I mentioned on the last update that I was considering changing out the shocks on
the LJ to something stiffer to better control the rear end of the rig both on
and off road. One of my friends had found a shock made by Fox that looked like
it would fit the bill.
The shock looks very similar to a Bilstein shock absorber except for the beefier
aluminum ends and the remote reservoir.
The truly cool feature is on the end of the reservoir. The 8 position knob
allows you to adjust the compression dampening. You can also add or
subtract nitrogen to further tune the chock (+/- 50 PSI).
I initially mounted the reservoirs on the shocks but I was concerned with the
passenger side reservoir being so close to the exhaust tubing so I fabricated
some small mounts on the rear frame rail and clamped the reservoirs to the
mounts using the supplied hardware. Once they were mounted I hit the road
for a 2 day work trip to Flagstaff.
After 300 miles I have to say I am very impressed with these shocks. I am
running the factory 200psi of nitrogen and ran a setting of 4 on the adjuster.
The usually wiggle when transitioning over bumps was gone as was the rhythmic
sway when cruising along at 70+ on the interstate. I would dare say the
suspension felt "tight" on the road The Jeep would also stay amazingly
flat when cornering at high speeds. This was readily apparent taking some
of the "S" curves on New River Road heading back into Peoria; in the past the
body roll made anything above 50mph very uncomfortable. I can't wait to
try these off-road.
(I should note I run a Currie Anti-rock sway bar which is flexible enough that
you do not have to disconnect it off-road. The tradeoff is it allows more
body roll than the stock sway bar on-road even at it's stiffest setting.)
Not sure if I will upgrade the front Bilsteins, they do not seem to have the
same bottoming issue that I had with the rear shocks.
It has been a fun couple of years but for various reasons I have sold the Jeep.
Between rock crawling, work and a 6 year old I just did not have enough time to
get out as much as I would have liked with it and it seemed like a shame to just
let it sit most of the time. I am sure some sort of light duty project will rear
its head down the road.