Project Built to Cruise

Page 8

   
 

Previous Update

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. 

Update 4-21-11

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.