Bilstein vs. Rancho

mgroeger

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I've heard great info on both. I have a 2.5" Budget boost and 33's and want to get rid of the extension bracket and put in a longer shock to give it a little more stability. I would like to keep the stock Sahara ride as close as possible. We off road whenever we can but this is a 95% daily driver first. Our offroading is some decently tough trails with rock crawling and general trail riding.
Technically the lift is 2.5" up front to remove the rake and 2" in the rear. Any opinions out there?





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Uhdinator

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I dealer added 2" spacer lift, wheels and bigger tires while on the lot. They didn't put longer shocks on and i questioned it. Did some research and they agreed it should have longer shocks. After reading good reviews I had the dealer order RS5000X shocks and installed them myself.

Much better ride! 2-3" longer part#'s end in 65 and 66. They are bigger than OEM and in my opinion you should get better than OEM when going bigger tires anyway. Side to side body roll is reduced. Firmer ride, not stiff but def better. Before upgrading i noticed a little flubber when hitting road seams or RR tracks. Upgrading steering stab and shocks should be done with bigger tires. The OEM are supposedly gas but are fairly easy to compress by hand compared to the RS5000X.

Bilsteins are likely good too but in the $80 range vice $50. i'm happy with them. The RS5000x is new and not the same as the original RS5000.
 

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Bilstein makes a very good product. Rancho isn’t bad either though. I’d go bilstein if it were me. I’ve ran them in the past and have had really good luck. I’ve also ran rancho in half ton trucks and my last crawler. The crawler was merry trying to find the longest shock I could get my hands on and options were limited.
 

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Rancho has some nice options. If they salt the roads where you live I would choose something else.

Bilsteins are nice and hold up to the conditions. They are a firm riding shock.
 

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Hey Mike! I will put my experience in here.

The "too long didnt read" of my experiences are Fox/King > Bilstein/Falcon (until i get more miles!) > Rancho

Rancho is an OEM manufacturer and does great work with their shocks. In the 5000 series they do use OEM technology with the twin-tube setup, and that means a couple of things: They ride progressively more like stock (soft soft soft soft until the valving ramps up to stiffer). This is a positive or a negative based on the end user. If you like soft rides, this is a positive, if you like a sporty and more controlled ride, not so much. The twin-tube shocks also slosh oil around making the shock hotter, which on the road is not a huge deal, but offroad starts to degrade the shocks.

Bilstein uses monotube technology (oil and gas separated by an internal floating piston) which keeps the shock cooler, and the oil less aerated (more consistent performance). Bilstein uses Digressive valving which tends to not react to small shaft movements (body roll and pebbles) which means body roll is really well controlled, but you will also feel small irregularities in the road.

Falcon shares a lot of similarites with Fox and King but we dont have years of experience yet to know their longevity, but so far I like their build quality.

Fox and King are very similar to Bilstein in that they use a monotube construction, but they are designed to be serviced, and can be revalved to personal taste. They use their racing experience to build high quality units that dissipate heat well, have consistent performance, and can be anything you want them to be if you put some work into them. Out of the box, Fox is favoring a softer ride that still has thick backup shims for bottom out control off road. King is doing a similar setup. King and Fox use large piston sizes than their competitors so that a more varied valving can be created in the same space.
 

OBJLU

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I dealer added 2" spacer lift, wheels and bigger tires while on the lot. They didn't put longer shocks on and i questioned it. Did some research and they agreed it should have longer shocks. After reading good reviews I had the dealer order RS5000X shocks and installed them myself.

Much better ride! 2-3" longer part#'s end in 65 and 66. They are bigger than OEM and in my opinion you should get better than OEM when going bigger tires anyway. Side to side body roll is reduced. Firmer ride, not stiff but def better. Before upgrading i noticed a little flubber when hitting road seams or RR tracks. Upgrading steering stab and shocks should be done with bigger tires. The OEM are supposedly gas but are fairly easy to compress by hand compared to the RS5000X.

Bilsteins are likely good too but in the $80 range vice $50. i'm happy with them. The RS5000x is new and not the same as the original RS5000.
Great feedback, I ordered a set and installing them this weekend. I ordered to get rid of the brackets but also hoping they will help the body roll a bit whixh it doesn't bother me so much but it'd be nice if I could reduce it some.
 

OBJLU

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I put the shocks on and really like the ride, they cured my body roll and my Jeep feels much more stable at higher speeds.
 
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I'm sold at this point. I've heard really good things on the TJ forum as well. Plus they have a 30 day no questions asked money back.
 

Uhdinator

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I put the shocks on and really like the ride, they cured my body roll and my Jeep feels much more stable at higher speeds.
Glad you like them and I didn't lead you in the wrong direction!
 

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Any opinions on the Bilstein 5100 vs stock Rubicon shocks? Would like to get a bit better ride and thinking of replacing with the Bilsteins. Worth the $300 for the trade out? I don't wheel hard so looking for that better everyday highway ride and control since it's my daily driver and mostly a pavement warrior.
 
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I've settled on the Rancho RS500X (part number RS55065 and RS55066). I've read that they are a little smoother than the Bilsteins and since you are not really going to off-road it these would probably be best for you IMO from what I have read.
I have a TJ (The Mrs. has the LJ) and one of the guys over there has run every shock under the sun and was surprised at how smooth the Rancho's were especially at the $200 for all four shocks price point.

PM John Arriola @OffRoadWarehouse and he will take care of you.
 

VictorChampion

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Thanks @mgroeger for sharing. I appreciate the input. My need is not immediate but do like the idea of reducing body roll and nose dive on hard braking. None of which is an issue but would like a little more stability without the "conestoga wagon" ride on the interstate, if that makes sense. I've always had 2dr Sahara's in the past and find the Rubicon to be a little less forgiving than the Sahara's were regarding interstate manners. Both great rigs, I want the "in the middle" combination. Of course, don't we all!
 

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I ran Bilstein 5100 on my 2004 Chevy 2500. Had one shock fail after the first year but good ride. I run Rancho 9000 on my TJ trailer queen. Ran 9000 on my 2015 F250. My 2017 F250 has Rancho 5000 on it or Fords version. You can’t wrong with either. The only problem I have with my 9000’s on my TJ is they are expensive to replace when you trash one on an obstacle!
 

VictorChampion

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Thank you @Stickerhead. I wonder if either of these are a significant upgrade over the stock Rubi shocks or will it be negligible since I am not lifted?
 

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