Yesterday we FINALLY got a day of dry and warm weather, so I installed the shocks and rear anti-sway bar that had purchased in February, and I thought I’d report on the results.
When driving it over rough or uneven road or dodging pot holes (especially when turning), my Wrangler always rock ‘n rolled fairly severely from side to side making my head feel like one of those bobblehead dolls.
My JK only has about 9,000 miles on it, and is used primarily as a daily driver, but it is also used as a toad for my motor home and as a tow vehicle for a hard sided pop-up camper. Its factory spring numbers are 14 Front and 55 Rear. I also have air booster springs installed inside the rear coil springs, which help compensate for the tongue weight of my camper trailer.
On the advice of Pressurized and others on this forum, I bought a set of 4 new Rancho 5000x shocks and a new Hellwig rear anti-sway bar. Although I have only test driven on them about 10 miles, so far they seem to have cured the rock n’ roll problem. Here are the components I bought:
Shocks: Rancho RS5000X Gas Shocks set – 07-15 Jeep Wrangler JK:
Sway bar: Hellwig 7706 Rear Anti-Sway Bar for Wrangler JK:
The installation took about 3 hours (much of which was chasing down tools).
The Rancho 5000x shocks are considerably more robust looking than the JK OEM shocks, but when test driving after the install, they provided a smoother (less choppy) ride. So far they seem like a winner. The install was fairly straight-forward, except for the front passenger side shock which required breaking out a little plastic on the top mount to make room for the Rancho’s slightly bigger top rubber bushing/washer/nut pieces. Also, for both front shocks I super-glued the top washer and nut to the rubber bushing, creating 1 piece instead of 3 (this made installation a lot easier). I installed the rear shocks without removing the rear wheels, but I removed the front wheels for better access when installing the front shocks.
The Hellwig rear anti-sway bar is a little bigger in diameter than the OEM JK anti-sway bar, which provides increased anti-sway ability. The installation was not too difficult, but I did end up removing both rear wheels – this was necessary to wiggle the OEM anti-sway bar out and thread the Hellwig bar back in. At first I thought I was going to have to drop the exhaust system, but ended up not.
FCA used a real variety of different metric-sized bolts and nuts on these components, so doing these installs required a good set of metric sockets and box wrenches. I used 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, and 19mm sizes, plus an adjustable wrench. Ratcheting box wrenches were especially helpful.
So far I’m happy with the new shocks and anti-sway bar.