6 Best Shocks for the Jeep XJ in 2022


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A ride in a Jeep Cherokee XJ can be one of the smoothest and most luxurious experiences on Earth, even while you’re cruising on rugged terrain. There’s no denying that the latest model of the XJ has redefined smoothness and taken it to new heights, especially compared to the older versions: the TJ or YJ.

While a lot is said about the smooth and comfortable ride of Jeep XJ, let’s not forget this is a solid-axle vehicle built for the rough and untamed terrains. While most vehicles are notorious for transferring the pressure from bumps and potholes right to the seats, there’s something that dampens that pressure.

This is where the shock absorbers—one of the most essential components of a vehicle’s suspension system—come into the picture. They work by dampening the force of these bumps and impacts and converting the energy coming from the axle movement into just heat to prevent the vehicle from shaking.

If you look online for the best shocks for the Jeep XJ, you will find a wide range of brands and models to choose from. Furthermore, the shock absorbers come in different types and styles such as monotube, remote reservoir, twin-tube, and coil covers.

Whether you are just a beginner or an experienced Jeep rider, finding the perfect shocks out of so many options can be downright challenging. The wrong shock absorbers may not work with your Jeep Cherokee XJ—not to mention, you will also end up wasting your money and time.

To save you the trouble, our team has done an extensive study and analysis of the top-rated shock absorbers available online. Read on to find our unbiased reviews of the products carefully handpicked by us.

If you are too busy to read until the end, we simply suggest that you go with our editor’s pick: the Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shock Set (learn more), the market leader that offers two front and two rear shocks along with all of the necessary tools for a hassle-free installation.

#1. Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shock Set

The first option on our list is the Bilstein 5100 shocks set that is compatible with Jeep Cherokee XJ 1984-2001 models. These shocks use a monotube design and include a 46mm digressive piston to improve the road handling capacity for both on- and off-road experiences. These are available for both 3.5-4″ lifts and 2-3″ lifts.

The monotube body enables quick heat transfer from the shock oil to the shock body, and this further helps in dampening vibrations. Made from German technology and combined with a US manufacturing process, these shock absorbers are known to ensure maximum performance and durability.

The 5100 series shock absorbers are highly effective when it comes to the tougher situations and fare well in the off-road terrains, especially by comparison to the previous models. This kit includes two front and two rear shocks, along with the necessary hardware such as reservoir clamps, bushings, washers, and nuts.

Product features and specifications

  • Weight: 25 lbs.
  • 2-3″ front lift systems
  • 2-3″ rear lift systems
  • Fits 4WD & RWD vehicles
  • Mounting plates
  • Factory shock mounting bolts
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty


User/Customer Reviews

Those who have installed these shock absorbers have reported firsthand that these parts work great and effectively dampen the force of the impacts from travelling on uneven trails. A few users have said that the vehicle needs some time to “break in” the shocks after installation, but once it’s done, it gives you a smooth yet firm ride. Customers have also mentioned that the shocks feel sturdy and built to last.


Conclusion

If you don’t know any Jeep mechanics, you can simply do the installation yourself since the Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shocks Set comes with all parts and hardware needed for the job. While this complete set will cost you more a bit more, your Jeep will certainly thank you for the upgrade and you’ll notice the remarkable difference in your ride the moment you trek off-road.

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#2. Bilstein 24-017985 Front Shock for Jeep Cherokee XJ

The next item again comes from Bilstein, a company known to produce some of the best shock absorbers for the Jeep Cherokee XJ. Their 24-017985 model of front shock absorbers are built as a direct-fit upgrade for the factory parts used in a wide range of light trucks and SUVs.

These shock absorbers are based on a monotube design that provides consistent and reliable performance on all types of terrains. They use an exceptional, velocity-sensitive, and digressive piston that changes as per the different conditions of the road.

These shock absorbers are specially engineered for specific applications to ensure that users achieve optimized performance. Post-installation, you will notice a remarkable difference in ride quality, comfort, and handling of your Jeep. We were happy to learn that the manufacturer stands behind the product with a lifetime warranty.

Product features and specifications

  • Fade-free performance
  • Velocity-sensitive
  • Digressive piston
  • Based on a monotube design
  • Works with 1994-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ models 
  • Also fits 1993–1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee models
  • Lifetime Warranty

User/ Customer reviews

Those who have used these Bilstein shock absorbers say that they have become loyal to the brand and remained consistent in their use. Some customers have also mentioned that the installation part is straight forward for anyone with any technical knowledge about vehicles.

Conclusion

The Bilstein 24-017985 front shock absorbers take some time to break in, but once they perfectly fit your vehicle, you will notice a marked difference compared to before. If you are looking to replace the front shocks of your Jeep XJ, you will certainly not go wrong with this option. Overall, this set delivers a great value for the money.



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#3. Rubicon Express SK010645RXT 4.5″-5.5″ Twintube Shock for Jeep XJ

Rubicon Express stands third on our list, and they utilize a twin-tube design to produce the highest quality shock absorbers. The kit here includes four shocks and all essential hardware to aid in increasing the road handling in different types of terrains, both on- and off-road, for the Jeep Cherokee XJ.


The twin-tube body used in the SK010645RXT shocks set enables rapid heat transfer from the shock oil to the body to ensure increased fluid capacity and durability. Although the Rubicon brand has been in this industry for more than a decade, their latest products show significant improvement in the manufacturing processes, materials, and finishes.

With these shocks, you can get a 4.5”-5.5” lift (3.5”-4” also available), so be sure to choose the one that fits your needs best. This twin-tube shock set notably improves ride comfort, eliminates most of the bumps, and lasts for a very long time. As the kit comes with all the tools required for installation, you also don’t need to purchase anything additional from the hardware store.

Product features and specifications

  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Set includes 4 shocks
  • Hardware tools included
  • Fits 1984 to 2001 Cherokee XJ models
  • 4.5-5.5″ lift shock
  • Above-average fluid capacity

User/ Customer reviews

Users find these shocks to be well-made and the perfect length for a 4.5”-5.5” lift with extended bump stops for the Jeep XJ, as well as without any rubbing occurring at full flex nor full lock. Jeep owners have also mentioned that the installation is straightforward thanks to the hardware that’s included. A few users have warned that the bar pins that come with the kit are not good quality though.

Conclusion

The best part about owning an XJ-model Jeep is that the vehicle is not overly demanding, and you only need a pair of good quality shocks to make them work just fine. If you are a fan of SUVs and off-roading experiences in general, a Rubicon Express set is an affordable deal you don’t want to miss.

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#4. Monroe 58594 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber

The Monroe 58594 shock absorbers promise to infuse increased comfort in daily commuting with improved handling when riding off-road. Equipped with a smart valving mechanism, these shocks adjust in real time to handle any hurdles on the road and any increases in weight.

These absorbers are perfectly suited for both the light trucks that pull around trailers as well as the heavy load carriers. The design for these includes special modifiers that minimize friction and ensure a very smooth rod reaction. The fully displaced valving is specifically tuned for each application to adjust for different types of roads.

These units also include a fluon-banded piston that provides a reliable seal between the pressure tube and piston for increased durability and control. By installing a new pair of Monroe shock absorbers, your vehicle can easily sustain its height even when carrying up to 1,200 lbs.

Product features and specifications

  • Weight: 6.61 lbs.
  • Fully displaced valving
  • Smooth handling
  • Reduced friction
  • Works with varying loads and tow trailers

User/ Customer reviews

Customers have mentioned that the shocks are easy to install and that they also do a great job at giving a new lease on life to older Jeep XJs. A few users have hinted that you will need to use some creativity when installing the shocks as they come in an unloaded or uncompressed state, so you will often need to compress them in order to get them to fit perfectly. Some people have unfortunately noted that the ride quality does not change after installation.

Conclusion

The Monroe 58594 shocks set (see Amazon) allows you to easily carry additional weight of up to 1,200 lbs. and make you feel like you are in full control of the road. With reduced friction, you can enjoy a comfortable ride on asphalt as well as on rugged, mountainous terrain. Whether you are looking to replace your decades-old springs or simply just invest in an upgrade, these Monroe 58594 shock absorbers are a great choice.


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#5. Bilstein 33-151663 6″ Lift Rear Shock for Jeep XJ

When you want to replace just the rear shocks for your Jeep XJ, we suggest the Bilstein 33-151663, which is perfectly designed to suit a 6-inch lift. From the 5100 series, this gas-pressurized shock utilizes a monotube design to stay cool and function more efficiently for a longer lifespan.


The 33-151663 shock comes with a 46mm digressive piston featuring a self-adjusting valve that instantly adjusts automatically to handle a variety of different road conditions. Post-installation, you will experience improved road handling and better performance overall.

The Bilstein 33-151663 shock is also tuned for each specific application, so make sure you choose the right one with the correct settings to meet your needs. Equipped with a zinc-plated finish and featuring triple-C technology coating, this rear shock is sold with all of the necessary bushings, a black dust boot, and the installation hardware. We were happy to learn that Bilstein offers a lifetime warranty on all its products as well.

Products features and specifications

  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in China
  • 6″ lift rear shock
  • 46mm ID smooth body
  • Fit the 1984–2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ models

User/ Customer reviews

Even those who have used the rear shocks on their decades-old Jeeps have said that the improvement was noticeable and that the ride was much better after installation. A few users have said that the bushings are great, but the pins are not the best quality. Most customers experienced a smoother and a reliable ride after installing this shock.

Conclusion

The 33-151663 shock has the power to make an old Jeep feel almost like a new model, gliding on the road with minimized friction and improved comfort. When it comes to durability, reliability, and ease of installation, this rear shock absorber from the Bilstein brand is a great choice.

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#6. Rancho RS5000X Gas Shock Set

The Rancho RS5000X gas shock set, compatible with 1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ models, comes with two front and two rear shock absorbers. These are suitable for vehicles that do not come with any suspension modifications, or that have up to 1-inch front lift systems or up to 1-inch rear lift systems.


The core of these shocks is comprised of an innovative and patented rebound valving system and a superior compression segment of the unit. Based on the twin-tube design, this gas-pressurized shock absorber set includes a wide range of benefits including a reduced air-to-oil mixture that would otherwise cause foaming and shock fade.

The RS5000X set also features a 2¼-inch diameter shock body that allows for improved fluid capacity to operate more coolly and boost the Jeep’s control and performance in diverse terrains. This kit also includes all necessary washers, nuts, and bushings required for the installation process.

Product features and specifications

  • Weight: 25 lbs.
  • 90-day Free Ride Guarantee
  • Fits 4WD & RWD vehicles
  • Two front and two rear shock absorbers
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Unique valving system

User/ Customer reviews

People riding in their older Jeep XJ models have said that, after installing the shock absorbers, the ride felt comfortable and smooth just like before. Users have mentioned that they noticed a marked improvement in the performance of the vehicle, plus the 90-day guarantee makes it a safe choice for if you have any problems. Many customers have also commented that this set makes you feel like you are almost gliding over the road.

Conclusion

When you are looking for an adjustable pair of shocks for Jeep XJ, the Rancho RS5000X (compatible with 1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ models) is a great choice. The lifetime warranty coupled with the 90-day free ride guarantee makes it one of the best shock absorbers money can buy.


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Buying Guide: Things To Consider Before Buying Jeep XJ Shocks

Jeep XJ

If you have a Jeep that you love to take cruising off the beaten path every now and then, it’s important that you ensure every single one of all the small to large components stay in good working condition. While all the products mentioned above are suitable for most drivers’ needs, be sure to consider these followings aspects before choosing the best shocks that fit your specific Jeep model.

Compatibility

This is one of the most important factors because if you have a Jeep Cherokee XJ, Jeep Wrangler components are of no use to you. After determining the model and year of your vehicle as well as what the shocks will work with, you will also need to determine whether you need a factory replacement for stock height or something else that works with your lift.

Material

There are not many options for the materials available when it comes to choosing shocks for your Jeep. While you may find a few made from steel, most others will feature aluminum construction to keep them lightweight and provide more durability. Don’t forget to look into the finish options as well to ensure that the shocks are able to hold up for many years.

Driving conditions

The type of driving you to do is another important factor because nearly any riding shocks may work for daily commuting on the highway. However, you will need high quality and more reliable shocks for off-road and any challenging trails filled with obstacles.

Shock type

There are various types of shock absorbers available on the market, so you will also need to choose which type is the most suitable one for you and your vehicle. For example, a twin-tube shock is perfect for factory replacement. However, there are other options such as heavy-duty shocks, coil-over shocks, gas shocks, air shocks, automatic level control shocks, and overload shocks.

Shock diameter

Again, this is something that will depend on the type of road on which you usually drive.

When you incorporate a larger shock diameter, this means that your Jeep’s suspension will be able to handle more. People who frequently go off-road prefer the large shock diameters thanks to these benefits. However, you should bear in mind that the cost will also increase to compensate for the sizing change.

Size, style, shape

You additionally need to evaluate the size, style, and shape of the Jeep XJ in question before zeroing in on what would be the best shock absorbers. While some people prefer to just match the factory settings that are already in use in their existing Jeep, you may instead want to upgrade to something better with a heavy-duty component.

Ease of installation

If you plan to do the installation yourself, make sure the kit comes with all of the essential tools required or else you will need to purchase them separately from the hardware store. Those who lack adequate knowledge regarding vehicle mechanical assembly should seek an expert mechanic’s help to do the replacement.

Price

The affordability of a product is, of course, important—but we suggest that you don’t make cost your primary factor in decision making. You should consider the brand’s reputation and durability as well, while also keeping away from the cheap shocks that will eventually fail in just a short period of time.

Related Questions

Can new shocks make vehicles more stable?

Both new shocks and struts can help your Jeep stay more stable during braking and acceleration. They do a lot more than just make your ride smoother. By installing new shock absorbers, your old Jeep can feel and move just like new when it comes to driving on various terrains.

Is it necessary to replace shocks in pairs?

Mechanics at most service centers often recommend that you replace both the shocks at once even if the other is currently working fine. Since new shocks will have different dampening characteristics, this may lead to unusual behavior and handling, as well as additional adverse effects, if both are not replaced at the same time.

What is a “death wobble”?

This is a type of dangerous vibration that occurs in the front side of the Jeep, resulting in the entire steering system turning back and forth, making it hard to control the vehicle. One of the best ways to control a death wobble is to slow down the vehicle until normal steering control is re-established.

See Also:
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5 Best Radiator For Jeep XJ
5 Best Radiators For Your Jeep XJ

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