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Thread: WRITE-UP : Rancho RS5000X JL Wrangler Shock Absorbers w/ Dynamic Rebound Springs

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    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    WRITE-UP : Rancho RS5000X JL Wrangler Shock Absorbers w/ Dynamic Rebound Springs

    Ever since Cindy and I installed an EVO 2.5" Boost Lift on our Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, we've been wanting to run a new set of replacement shocks and ideally, ones that were made for the amount of lift we had. Knowing that Rancho makes a lot of different shocks and in a ton of different sizes, I decided to give them a call to see what they had available and what might work with what we were needing. As I would come to find, they actually have an all new shock available, made specifically with the JL Wrangler in mind and as luck would have it, they were willing to let us test them out!

    Improving upon their ever popular RS5000X, Rancho added an all new feature to them called, DRS or Dynamic Rebound Spring Technology. Essentially, it's "a unique internal system that includes a tuned metal spring and fortified interior construction" that provides "greater control, reduced body roll and prevents rod over-extension". Of course, in addition to being affordable, I'm happy to say that these shocks are available in stock lengths and extended lengths designed to provide an additional 2.5” of greater travel up front and 4.5” more in the rear. For our purposes, that would mean we could installed them on our 2.5" lifted JL Wrangler and without the need for shock extensions.

    The following write-up will show you what all you'll need to install these shocks and just how easy it is to do.

    What you will Need
    • (2) Rancho Front Shocks for Stock Height JL Wrangler - Part #RS55063
    • (2) Rancho Rear Shocks for Stock Height JL Wrangler - Part #RS55064
    • (2) Rancho Front Shocks for 2" Lifted JL Wrangler - Part #RS55065
    • (2) Rancho Rear Shocks for 2" Lifted JL Wrangler - Part #RS55066
    • 18mm Socket & Wrench
    • Ratchet
    • Torque Wrench

    This is a shot of what the Rancho RS5000X shock absorber looks like right out of the box.


    Instructions
    I should note that it's completely unnecessary to raise your JL Wrangler and remove your wheels just to swap out a set of shocks. For the purpose of this write-up, I did remove my wheels but only so that I could take photos of what I was doing more easily.

    1. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing your front shock absorber to the axle mount. If you are running a relocation bracket as is shown below, you will need to remove it as well.


    2. Again, using an 18mm socket, remove the bolt securing your front shock absorber to the frame.


    3. Replace your factory shock with your new Rancho RS5000X and secure it to the frame mount using the factory bolt. Using an 18mm socket, tighten the bolt to 81 ft. lbs. of torque.


    4. Secure your Rancho RS5000X shock to the axle mount using the factory bolt and nut and then tighten it to 74 ft. lbs. of torque. An 18mm socket and wrench will be needed for this job.


    5. Moving over to the rear, unplug the wiring for the factory electric locker. To do this, you will need to slide the gray lock back, depress the release tab and then pull the plug out.


    6. You will also want to unclip the wiring from the emergency brake cable.


    7. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing your rear shock to the axle mount.


    8. Using an 18mm socket, remove the bolt securing your factory shock to the frame mount.


    9. Replace your factory shock with your new Rancho RS5000X and secure it to the frame mount using the factory bolt. Using an 18mm socket, tighten the bolt to 81 ft. lbs. of torque.


    10. Secure your Rancho RS5000X shock to the axle mount using the factory bolt and nut and then tighten it to 74 ft. lbs. of torque. An 18mm socket and wrench will be needed for this job.


    AFTER SHOTS
    That really is all there is to it. Here are a couple of shots of what the Rancho RS5000X shocks look like installed




    And, here are a few shots of what they look like out on the trail.






    At full articulation, the front shocks do kiss the frame rails but not enough to be a real problem.




    Nice to still have decent flex and without having to run shock extensions.





    RANCHO RS5000X REVIEW
    I should note that while bone stock, Cindy and I loved the factory ride quality of our Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. After installing a 2.5" coil spacer lift and running it with shock extensions, we noticed that the ride quality had suffered a bit and without question, a lot of this had to do with the load range E 37" tires we are now running. Lowering the air pressure to 28 PSI helped out a lot but there was still a space between crawling and driving fast over rough terrain that still felt harsh to us. As mentioned, our best guess was that the factory shocks were having a hard time keeping up with the additional weight of the new bigger tires and beadlock wheels we're now running.

    While our ride was far from terrible, it was definitely something we were hoping to improve upon and at only $55 a pop, the all new Rancho RS5000X shock absorber with DRS technology seemed like a great place to start. And, I have to say that so far, we have found them to be a real improvement over stock. Around town and on the highway, we've found them to feel at least as good as stock if not better and on the rocks, they still offer just as much articulation and without having to run shock extensions. That being said, where they're a real improvement is in driving faster over rough terrain. With the factory shocks and in these conditions, we found that they'd get to a point where dampening was diminished and on occasion, the axles would just drop out causing a harsh feel and loud bang. In the testing we've done so far, we have yet to experienced this with the RS5000X shocks. Assuming things stay this way, we'll be super happy.

    I would be the first to say that the all new Rancho RS5000X shock absorbers are far from being a set of coil overs or bypass shocks but for the cost, I think they're a great buy, well worth every penny and a better alternative to running shock extensions.

  2. #2
    Guy with a Red 2-Door Cozdude's Avatar
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    Love how much easier it is to do shocks on the JL! Glad to hear they are providing a better ride and working well. I always suggest rancho shocks for all applications at this point cause they are that good

  3. #3
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
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    Nice write up. I've heard great things about Rancho shocks.

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    Caught the Bug TFD's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up. I was hoping these would work with the 2.5 Evo enforcer kit.


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    Shock removal and replacement on the JL’s have come along way! It was almost too easy!

    Cornering with these shocks is impressive! That and the on road, high speed feel is spot on!!




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    Fresh Catch jrzJL's Avatar
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    Awesome job!!


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    Do you think moving the front lower shock mounting out from the stock location would help not have the shock contact the frame?


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  8. #8
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cozdude View Post
    Love how much easier it is to do shocks on the JL! Glad to hear they are providing a better ride and working well. I always suggest rancho shocks for all applications at this point cause they are that good
    They really are way easier to install and for the money, the ride quality these Rancho's provide are surprisingly nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by WJCO View Post
    Nice write up. I've heard great things about Rancho shocks.
    They may not be as sexy as some brand name shocks but they have been around for a really long time for a reason. I do like the fact that they are made in the USA too

    Quote Originally Posted by TFD View Post
    Thanks for the write up. I was hoping these would work with the 2.5 Evo enforcer kit.
    Yup, they should definitely get the job done on a 2.5" EVO Enforcer Kit.

  9. #9
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erockhopper View Post
    Shock removal and replacement on the JL’s have come along way! It was almost too easy!

    Cornering with these shocks is impressive! That and the on road, high speed feel is spot on!!
    Yup, they feel pretty nice at higher speeds and in corners.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrzJL View Post
    Awesome job!!
    Thank you. We have a video of all this and our testing coming later today

    Quote Originally Posted by upnover View Post
    Do you think moving the front lower shock mounting out from the stock location would help not have the shock contact the frame?
    I'm sorry but I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking. Do you mean installing some kind of outboard relocation bracket?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife View Post
    Yup, they feel pretty nice at higher speeds and in corners.



    Thank you. We have a video of all this and our testing coming later today



    I'm sorry but I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking. Do you mean installing some kind of outboard relocation bracket?
    Yes, outboarding the lower portion.


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