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

  1. #1
    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
    Old Timer TrailHunter's Avatar
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    They sound like a great buy.... Do you think the 5000’s may be a better choice than the adjustable 9000’s in regards to burning through the desert & fire roads? Any issues loading up the rear with gear and it’s affect on the ride?

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    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailHunter View Post
    They sound like a great buy.... Do you think the 5000’s may be a better choice than the adjustable 9000’s in regards to burning through the desert & fire roads? Any issues loading up the rear with gear and it’s affect on the ride?
    To be honest, for burning through the desert, I'd recommend getting a good monotube shock with a remote reservoir. That will help keep things cooler and the reservoir will help prevent cavitation.

  4. #4
    Resident Smartass OverlanderJK's Avatar
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    Looks easier than a JK. Great writeup!


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  5. #5
    Old Timer black pearl's Avatar
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    Great wright up! I love my rancho shocks.


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  6. #6
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverlanderJK View Post
    Looks easier than a JK. Great writeup!
    It really is nice that the engineers at Jeep took some time to think about designing things with Jeepers modding their Jeep in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    Great wright up! I love my rancho shocks.
    Thanks

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    I'm currently running a Readylift 2.5 in lift with the shock extensions. Would these shocks be a big improvement over the stock rubicon shocks with the extensions? Also are there any real downsides to running those extensions? thanks in advance

  8. #8
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeep-addiction View Post
    I'm currently running a Readylift 2.5 in lift with the shock extensions. Would these shocks be a big improvement over the stock rubicon shocks with the extensions? Also are there any real downsides to running those extensions? thanks in advance
    A "big" improvement? No. A "real" and "noticeable" improvement? Yes! Ultimately, your shocks can only do so much. A bigger part of what you're feeling is coming your factory coils as well. Coil spacers will give you a bit more lift but at the cost of your ride quality.

    Regarding shock extensions, the only real downside to them is that you're still running your factory shocks.

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