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Tj Shocks?

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by Boyink, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. Sep 20, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
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    5,966
    Thought I'd get a few things addressed on the TJ this week.

    Ordered a new oil pan to replace the dented one (never did get the story from Dad on that), and the last time I had it at the shop the mechanic mentioned some suspension bushings were in bad shape.

    I'm still trying to figure out what Terraflex lift Dad put on and if it replaced the upper control arms as well. I'll slide under the Jeep after supper and see what I see.

    But I thought I'd replace the shocks too - since they are 20 years old and have seen some heavy use.

    I had just about decided on the Rancho 5000x gas shocks when I ran across stories of issues with TJ upper rear shock bolts snapping off...and sure don't like some of the "fixes" see that involve cutting holes in the rear floor....:shock: Or dropping gas tanks, and loosening the body from the frame.

    Not sure what to do...this jeep has always been garaged, has ~ 51K miles, and the frame still shows painted and not rusty.

    Any of you TJ guys had issues with those bolts?
     
  2. Sep 20, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
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    5,966
    OK - near as I can tell the lift kit has stock/non-adjustable upper control arms with aftermarket lower arms (like this kit).

    Researching it sounds like people prefer to have adjustable upper control arms as well, but overall the rig has always tracked and driven well with no driveline vibrations (pretty sure Dad put in the spacers to bring the driveline down). The general consensus is that it's just easier to replace the entire upper arms rather than try to put new bushings in them.

    So - spring for adjustable arms or just replace what's there? Really not off-roading this thing much these days and it's mild when we do.

    Shock bolts don't look too rusty - I'll hit them with PB Blaster for a few days just to increase the odds, but I think I'll move ahead with shock replacement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
  3. Sep 21, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    6,084
    I just watched a video on those shock bolts. What a nightmare. That design obviously didn’t have longevity in mind.

    JMO, if you like how it drives and handles, don’t try to ‘fix’ it. I personally like the “soft spring/stiff shock” combo, but some people don’t. A road/car shock will have much less compression damping than an off road shock like an RS5000, so you will feel impacts more through your back with the Ranchos.

    I especially like a stiffer shock in the rear of jeeps to calm the bucking feeling. We’re sitting over the rear tires, so bumps and whoops that we’d only feel half of in a pickup, we’re feeling all of in a jeep. Probably much less noticeable with coils springs in the rear, but the Ranchos will make a difference in how it feels. Better or worse, that’s personal preference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
    Boyink likes this.
  4. Sep 21, 2021
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Morgan Hill, Ca
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    Nov 15, 2003
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    3,073
    :watch: Watching this thread and off to check my shock mounts. It has always been in California so hopefully no issues.
     
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  5. Sep 21, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
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    Just read this thread and I'm torn about the shocks. Should be a simple DIY but if those bolts break I'm not sure I'm even setup to go about a fix.

    But the odds of them breaking won't improve if I procrastinate. Maybe better to try it now and get a bunch of anti-seize on there if they don't break.

    I'm a bit hamstrung in that I never really drove this thing stock, nor have I driven another TJ. I have no idea what the ride could be, only what this one is. And compared to the ECJs I've had it's great - but still a bit squirrelly on the twisty/uneven back roads around here. But it's also a short wheelbase lifted Jeep....
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  6. Sep 21, 2021
    pat w

    pat w Member

    washougal wa
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    Dec 25, 2015
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    106
    If the jeep isn't rusty it's usually a non issue..soak it for a few days and you should be fine..ive done lots of them and have never fought a broken bolt fwiw
     
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  7. Sep 21, 2021
    pat w

    pat w Member

    washougal wa
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    Dec 25, 2015
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    106
    And also the rancho 5000 are your best bet for an "off the shelf" shock absorber
     
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  8. Sep 21, 2021
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ava, MO
    Joined:
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    OK - decided since I wasn't doing the work I just ordered new bushings for the upper control arms vs. replacing the entire arms. Terraflex had a kit for all of the lower arm bushings.

    Also ordered a can of Kroil - a bit steep at $30 but if it eases the issues with those rear bolts it's money well spent.

    I'll wait a few days then order the shocks.
     
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  9. Sep 21, 2021
    pat w

    pat w Member

    washougal wa
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    Dec 25, 2015
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    If you want to join us over at jeep wrangler tj forum
     
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  10. Sep 26, 2021
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Member

    Kelso Wa
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    Mar 18, 2010
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    707
    I’d been eyeing the newer ranch 5000 as well. The wife’s tj already had bilstien 5100s and I absolutely hated them…until we got it up to weight with the added hardtop, rear swing bumper and spare, and some tools/gear. Now they’re just about right, still stiff but good.

    i haven’t broke those mount bolts but have stripped the heads. It’s an absolutely terrible design, and a bear to make right.
     
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  11. Sep 29, 2021
    Downs

    Downs Kubota Orange Rattlecan

    Hunt County Texas
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
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    476
    Looks like they used Barpins like on the XJs. There's no easy fix, you're going to have to do something to fix it. There's a company that sells flag nuts for the XJs, but you have to bust off the old weld nuts first.
     
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