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When you’re buying a Jeep Wrangler, you’re not buying the vehicle for everyday suburban drives. Ideally, you’d want to take this vehicle out into the great outdoors in places that are inaccessible to most other cars. The modern Jeep is so good that you can tackle off-road paths without any concern or worry. However, when it comes to safety and comfort, what matters the most is your vehicle’s shocks.
While the Jeep Wrangler TJ can take you to many places, it has certain limitations. One way to overcome these limitations is by upgrading the parts. A great place to start is upgrading the existing shocks off the Jeep and replacing them with better options. Shocks are one of the essential elements of the vehicle.
Most people tend to think that the shock absorbers help support the vehicle’s weight, but that is not true. A shock absorber functions in two ways. Firstly, they control the movement of the springs and the suspension of the vehicle. By controlling this movement, the shock absorbers react to any bumps that you encounter on this ride. The better the reaction of the shocks the smoother the ride of the vehicle.
Secondly, they help ensure that tires are in contact with the ground at all times. It gives you so much more control over the vehicle under all circumstance.
Without the wheels being planted at all times you’re going to lose significant amounts of traction. They perform a crucial role in all modern cars and become even more critical when trying to improve off-road performance. Shocks also play an important role in establishing the profile of your car. If you want a tall profile then you get shocks that offer lift support. Even on a non-lifted vehicle, shocks can work towards bettering the ground clearance.
Even though the Jeep Wrangler TJ’s stock shocks offer decent performance, they let you down in certain areas. To maximize the off-road monster’s potential, you’re going to have to invest in custom shocks. For people new to the car customization industry, this can be difficult. However, there’s no need to worry; you won’t have to stress any complex specifications.
We’ve made a list of the shocks for Jeep wrangler TJ, and all you need to do is read through and pick one that suits your preferences. At the end of the list, we’ve also included a buying guide that explains everything that you need to look for when buying shocks! Without further ado, here are the 10 best shocks for Jeep TJ.
Anyone that’s taking their first plunge in the aftermarket shock industry can trust Rancho. They’ve been in business since the early 1950s and have provided continuously important innovation. The RS5000X shocks will fit in perfectly in both stock vehicles and lifted vehicles.
The shocks offer a high degree of flexibility and comfort thanks to the twin-tube design. Not only will you enjoy considerable support, you’ll also be more in control of your vehicle. These aren’t just off-road shocks, but they perform at a high level on-road as well.
Another key feature of the RS5000X is that they have a 2-1/4-inch diameter shock body. With the larger shock body, these shocks can hold an increased amount of fluid and perform better than the regular shocks. Additionally, the shocks can perform under all conditions and can withstand internal temperatures as low as -40 and as high as 248 degrees.
Rancho also has a fancy bit of wizardry known as the Progressive Engagement Valving. It means that the shocks allow the liquid to flow early and reduce the impact of harsh bumps. Even when you’re barreling down a dirt ride, you’ll still be impressed by how well these shocks can help absorb impact.
Product Features and Specifications
- Design for 4WD
- Compatible with 97-06 Wrangler TJ
- 2-1/4 inch diameter shock body
- All-weather performance
- Progressive Engagement Valving
Given their vast experience in the industry, Rancho knows how to make an exceptional product. Users generally report about the significant improvement the Rancho RS5000X made in the quality of their car ride. The only slight issue that some users did encounter was the complicated installation process.
When it comes to getting started in the aftermarket shock industry, the best thing to do is go for the most reliable name. Rancho has been in business since the 1950s, and the high-quality Rancho RS5000X isn’t going to let you down in any conditions.
Another entry from Rancho on our list, the RS5000 are brilliant shocks that you can get for your Jeep Wrangler 4WD 1997-2006. These shocks though, are for people that are already taking their first steps into off-roading. They’ll only fit vehicles that have been lifted. The shocks support a 2.5″-4″ inch lift in the front and the rear.
The highlight of these shocks is that they don’t just focus on one aspect of the vehicle. You won’t be sacrificing your on-road comfort. You get all the same highlights from the RS5000X system. The only difference is the compatibility of the vehicles.
An increase in the body’s size ensures that there’s all-around more fluid for the shocks to use. As a result, you get significantly better performance and more consistent results over time. It greatly increases the durability of the shocks as well. They also follow the same twin-tube design that provides more comfort and flexibility.
These sets of shocks have Progressive Engagement Valving as well, and oil will move freely through the shocks. When you’re facing bumps on the road, these shocks will react much faster to help the suspension adjust, directly helping to reduce the impact.
Product Features and Specifications
- Compatible with Jeep Wrangler 4WD 1997-2006
- Lifted Vehicles 2.5-4 inches
- 2-1/4 inch tube diameter
- Progressive Engagement Valving
As is the case with the RS5000, many users were greatly impressed with the shocks’ performance. Users notably stated that the shocks would improve the performance of the vehicle overall. It made better while cruising on the highway and ripping it out on the trail. Only a few users would go on to report that the shocks didn’t last very long.
Once again, you can’t go wrong with Rancho, in the hands of a proper mechanic, you can easily fit these shocks into other vehicles!
Bilstein is another company that has been making aftermarket shocks for quite a while now. They’ve been in business since 1955, and their expertise shows. The Bilstein 5100 Monotube is the Rancho’s only rival, and you pick between either depending on your preferences. These shock absorbers are that good.
The Bilstein 5100 will only fit on vehicles with a 3.5-4″ lift, which is a small range compared to the one that Rancho offers. However, the performance more than makes up for the small range. Whether you’re driving on tarmac or dirt roads, the shocks will react instantly to ensure that the ride remains stable, controlled, and comfortable.
Thanks to the superior high gas pressure monotube design any excessive heat generated from the oil is dissipated more efficiently. The dividing pistons design also helps make sure that shock absorbers are durable and offer consistent performance in all conditions.
Another key aspect of their durability is the multi-layer zinc finish. It helps ensure that the shocks won’t suffer from corrosion even after years of significant use. According to Bilstein, these shocks have the best in class durability.
Even though they’re a reputable company, Bilstein offers a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and its product. The warranty protects against any defects or premature failure.
Product Features and Specifications
- Monotube Gas Pressure Construction
- Self-Adjusting Deflecting Disc Valving
- Easy to install
- Multi-layer Zinc Finish
- Lifetime Warranty
Users are delighted with the performance of the Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shock Set. They’re highlighting the easy fit and great performance level as key reasons to buy the Bilstein 5100. Additionally, users also report that the build quality is evident, and you’re certainly getting a capable product.
The Bilstein 5100 (see More) is right up there with the Rancho, even though they share a completely different design. If you’re looking for a more outdoorsy focus, you should go for the Bilstein 5100!
With a name like Rough Country, you can be certain that you will get one hell of a shock-absorber system. It’ll give your Wrangler TJ the perfect blend of style, performance, and safety.
The N3 shocks feature a 10-stage variable valving that significantly improves the flow of fluid in between the product. Additionally, the shocks use military-grade material and support fluid at an internal temperature as low as -40 degrees Celsius. There’s no place on earth where these shocks are going to be compromised.
Not only do these shocks offer brilliant performance, but they’ll give your Jeep Wrangler TJ a taller profile. Who doesn’t want a vehicle that stands over all the others? It’s not just a visual boost, either. The shocks will give you a higher level of ground clearance. These features are advantageous, both on-road and off-road.
You’ll notice a significant improvement in the off-road performance of your vehicle. However, unlike certain suspension systems, there’s no negative impact on your vehicle’s tarmac performance. You’ll get a factory-smooth ride.
- Rugged Off-Road Design
- Lifted Factory Tuned Coil Springs
- Increased Ground Clearance
Users were especially pleased by the performance of the kit and the quality of the material used. However, certain users faced issues where the shocks absorbers would cause the vehicle to lean badly. The company would respond that these issues could be avoided by involving a properly familiar technician with the system.
You might spend a few more bucks on the installation, but Rough Country is the way to go if you want a rugged shock absorber system. If you’re a fan of tall profiles, you’ll appreciate installing these in your car.
Rubicon Express isn’t as well known as the other brands on our list, and are the new kids on the block. However, you shouldn’t take them lightly as they’re Jeep specialists. Their focus is on helping get Jeep users the absolute most out of their vehicle’s outdoor capabilities.
Their shock absorber kit allows drivers to do exactly that, and the twin-tube design helps ensure that they offer both flexibility and comfort. These are simple to install and will put you in a position to be raring to take your Jeep into the great outdoors. Once you’re on a dirt trail, this suspension system comes to life, giving you greater control and performance.
However, because the company places so much focus on improving the vehicles’ off-road performance, the suspensions end up being stiff. When you’re on the tarmac, you’ll notice every little bump.
- Twin-Tube design
Users were particularly delighted with the fitting of the product. Most of them claimed that they were pleased with how easy the system was to install. When it comes to performance, the reviews were mixed. Some users loved the performance and were completely satisfied, while others were completely negative.
Rubicon Express is a great option for anyone looking to increase their off-road performance and get the Rubicon look. However, there are better performing kits available in the market. The Rubicon Express system lags because it compromises tarmac performance.
Fox Shox is a very catchy name for an auto market shock absorber company. The company is more than just a name, and the Fox 2.0 Performance Shock kit is a great option. It’s compatible with the Jeep Wrangler 4WD 97-06 that have lift range from 0-2″.
Inside the Performance Series Shocks, a smooth body is the latest in shock absorber technology to ensure amazing performance. The shock absorber kit makes use of race-proven damping control to ensure on-road comfort and off-road control.
A precision aluminum body helps make sure that there are no chances of rust and helps make sure that the cooling process is efficient. Thanks to an internal floating piston, the shock absorbers’ performance will remain consistent for a long period.
Fox Shox is also offering a one-year warranty that covers any defects or premature failure.
- Precision Metal Impact Aluminum Design
- Race-proven Damping Control
- Internal Floating Piston
Users were generally pleased with the product, highlighting the performance and the easy nature of the install. Even though the overall install was simple, installing the rear shock absorbers proved to be a challenge.
Fox Shox might be the new guys on the block, but they’re FOX 2.0 Performance kit is a serious option for Jeep Wrangler owners. In a few more years, the company will gain more traction and recognition for their products!
The first thing that catches your eye when you’re looking at the SENSEN 6051 is the design. They don’t look anything like other shock absorbers on the market and will give your Wrangler a unique look. You can even get a sleeve to customize the design according to your preference. However, the shock-absorber system isn’t just about aesthetics.
These have been precision engineered to provide the highest standard in safety and performance. It follows a nitrogen gas-charged, twin-tube design built to improve the ride, handling, and performance of the vehicle.
The system fulfills all the OE requirements, and you can rest knowing that you’re getting a high-quality product. However, the product has a powder-coated exterior that isn’t known to be the most durable. It might suffer from rust and corrosion after multiple years of use!
When it comes to performance, the SENSEN system performs satisfactorily on the road. It’s an upgrade on the stock system and improves the quality of the ride. However, it lets you down when it comes to off-roading. It’s not strong enough to consistently deal with hardcore bouts of off-roading. You wouldn’t feel good yourself putting these absorbers through a rough time.
- Precision engineering
- Nitrogen Gas-Charged
One of the key things that customers were a fan of is easy to install nature. Even fitting the rear shock absorbers were a simple task in comparison to other systems. However, a lot of customers weren’t pleased with the off-road performance of the shocks.
While the SENSEN shock absorber kit works brilliantly on the road, it’s off-road performance is a let-down. However, the company could improve this aspect in future offerings!
We’re back to the familiar design of shock absorbers, and the Teraflex VSS shock set has a great look. It offers a minimalist black and white design that would go perfectly with any color Wrangler.
The suspension system has been designed keeping the Jeep Wrangler in mind, which is why you get high-quality performance. It caters to both the on-road and off-road demands of the vehicle.
Inside the shock absorber are Jeep specific premium rubber bushings that have bar pins and a resistant finish. As a result, these shock absorbers are capable of absorbing the most extreme off-road abuse. The VSS gas shock system uses a twin-tube design that’s got a triple-chromed rod that helps ensure that the system’s performance is consistent.
- Jeep Specific Design
- Gas Shock System
- Twin-Tube Design
- Triple-Chromed Rod
While the system’s performance was decent, there was one common feature that most users complained about. The package shaped with only the necessary parts. If the users needed any extra parts or were to lose any parts, it would mean another separate thing they would need to order.
They might be an unproven entity, but the Teraflex TJ Wrangler system sounds promising!
Bilstein is back on the list, and this shock absorber set is something special. It’s compatible with the Jeep Wrangler TJ 97-06. The 4600 Series is capable of helping your Jeep reaching the pinnacle in performance and handling. It’ll significantly improve the off-road performance of the vehicle, while still making sure that the day to day drive is still smooth.
Thanks to Bilsteins’ patented design, the dampers allow the vehicles to comfortably ride over several different surfaces. Additionally, you’ll have a greater amount of control for the duration of the ride. It’s the easiest way to improve the ride quality of your classic Jeep Wrangler.
Along with the brilliant performance, you also get a unique design. The blue and yellow color scheme is eye-catching and will draw attention to your vehicle.
- Bilstein Dampers
- Eye-Catching Design
Customers were very satisfied with the performance of these shock absorbers. However, one issue that several users were worried about was the paint wearing off. Shock absorbers typically go through many rough terrains, and you could expect these to not look so fancy after a few years.
The Bilstein 4600 Series shock absorber system is perfect for individuals looking to take their Jeep Wrangler to the next level. The design also looks great, but there’s a definite risk of the colors fading out with time!
10. KYB KIT Shocks
The last entry on our list is the KYB KIT, which is compatible with the Jeep Wrangler’s 1997-2006 models. These are the perfect shocks for individuals that are looking to find a simple alternative to the stock shocks.
Their performance is effectively similar to the stock kit you get with your great Jeep Wrangler. However, these shocks look significantly better than the stock, and they’re going to last much longer than your worn-out suspension.
If off-road performance was better, this shock-absorber system could potentially find itself on many lists.
- Monotube Design
- Easy Install
While using the product, there was no doubt that the easy install was a buying point for users. They also highlighted how similar the performance of the shock absorbers was to the stock system.
A great no nonsense replacement for the stock shock absorbers of your Jeep Wrangler
Buying Tips for Shock Absorbers
Now that you have your list of the ten best shock absorbers for Jeep Wrangler, your job is significantly easier. However, you’re still going to need to understand what you’re going to need to know when making the final decision to buy.
What Type Of Ride do You Want?
Your shock absorbers will play a massive role in the type of ride you’re going to get with your vehicle. Typically, stiff systems give you better handling, but the impact absorption will be poor in comparison. In comparison, softer systems will be able to absorb more impact and give you a comfortable ride at the expense of handling.
These used to be tradeoffs in the past, but modern shock absorber systems can offer the best of both worlds situation. Offering ideal performance, both on-road and off-road. However, if you know what kind of ride you want, it can be a great way to get the shock-absorber system that fits your need completely. The best way to understand what type of ride a shock-absorber system offers is by going through customer reviews. It’s impossible to understand all the different technical specifications, and you’re better off just knowing what your fellow Jeep Wrangler owners think.
Lifting your vehicle is pretty common when trying to get the most out of your Jeep Wrangler. Increasing the ride’s height will give it a taller profile and clearer room when in the outdoors. However, if you lift your vehicle, it also means that you’re going to need to pay attention to the lift specifications of different shock absorber system.
If your car doesn’t meet your shock absorbers’ lift requirement, it’s going to be close to impossible to get them to fit. Even if you somehow manage to get the fit, the performance is going to be significantly compromised. Make sure your shock absorbers aren’t too small or too big. Typically, you get a wide range of lift conditions that your shock absorber will function under.
Shock absorbers are an aftermarket part that is notoriously difficult to install and remove. However, that’s generally a misconception. Sure, you have to get down on your back to get access if you can’t raise the vehicle, but it’s not that difficult. Most modern shock absorber systems are easy to install and fix in place. However, if you don’t install the part correctly, it can result in some significant problems for you to encounter.
When you’re buying a shock absorber and planning on doing the fitting yourself, make sure you go for a product that’s along with your level. If you’re familiar with a car’s mechanics and think you can install anything, it’s still best to go for products that are easy to install.
Twin-Tube and Monotube design
While this is a technical debate, you can get the gist of the difference between the two. Twin-tube designs join two tubes together, while monotubes function as a singular one. However, the impact these both have on the shock-absorber system is evident. You need to do your research on which one is your preference.
Typically, the twin-tube design allows for better control and flexibility. However, the monotube design excels at its function. It’s a really interesting decision to make when you’re looking to maximize your vehicle’s performance.
Warranty is another feature that you need to look out for when looking to buy aftermarket shocks. Most companies will offer a six- month to a one-year warranty, but rare companies offer multiple-year warranties. Bilstein is so confident in the product and customers they’re offering a lifetime warranty.
Given shocks’ nature, they’re bound to come under a significant amount of wear and tear. An issue may arise, or the shocks might stop completely working. In these situations, having a long warranty becomes very helpful.
While not entirely that visible, it’s still a part of your car that you can make nice and look unique. That’s why the design of the shocks is an interesting feature. Most people try to match up their shocks’ color with the primary color of their vehicle to create a more cohesive look. Certain companies are even offering sleeves for shocks that serve as an easy to alter your aftermarket parts’ design.
Regardless of how visible the shocks’ design is, it’s a product that gets a lot of custom appeal. Companies are well aware that car owners love to have unique designs, and that’s why so many shock absorbers have appealing aesthetics.
Naturally, when you’re looking to buy a shock-absorber system, you’d want to incorporate the latest technology to give you the best performance. Whether it’s an internal floating position or progressive valve enhancing, they improve shock absorbers’ performance in different ways.
Make sure that you look at all the specifications that the companies are listing for the product. These can give you an idea of the level of technical wizardry that’s going on inside the product. As technology gets better, we can only expect more innovations to come out in the aftermarket shocks industry.
Lastly, you’re going to need to pay attention to whether the shock-absorber system is compatible or not. Companies typically give a list of vehicles that are compatible with their system. If your vehicle isn’t in one of the categories, it can challenge getting them to fit. Make sure you buy a shock-absorber system compatible with your vehicle to get the best fit possible!
Are shocks and struts the same thing?
Shocks and struts have several important differences from one another. Struts are a crucial part of the vehicle’s suspension system, whereas the shocks are not. They look significantly different from one another as well.
Are lift requirements important?
Yes, you won’t be able to fit shocks when you don’t meet their lift requirements. They’ll either end up being too large or too small.