JK rides rough after installing 2" spacers

GiggityGibbs

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I don’t know anything about suspension so I have a question.

I have a 2016 JKU Sort
My buddy gave me 2” coil spacers for the front and back. I installed them using spring compressor and just Slipping them on top and relaxing the spring again. (removed the factory spacers first.)
I don’t notice any difference in the height. Maybe 3/4” in the back and 1” in the front. Now the back end is really rough goin over speed bumps faster than 2mph.

Are there other adjustments I need to make? Longer shocks? Longer sway bar links? Someone mentioned to me I should loosten the sway bar brackets and re-torque them with the Jeep on the ground to take the twist out because they’re now loaded? That didn’t make a lot of sense to me though. The only thing I can see is the sway bars are angled pretty far down now but not a lot of visible lift next to a stock Jeep.
 

Chris

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Yes, because your shocks are bottoming out now.

You can't just throw on 2" spacers without adding longer shocks. That roughness you feel is the shocks likely reaching the end of their travel over bumps. Not a good thing!

In addition, a spacer is never going to ride as well as a longer spring.
 
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GiggityGibbs

GiggityGibbs

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Thank you for the advice! The video I looked up did not mention replacing the shocks. I found them online and shocks were “optional” if you bought the kit from rough country. Since they were free I figured I would give them a shot. Other people mentioned the stock shocks had enough travel. I guess I’ll just have to drive a little slower over the speed bumps until I can pick up some replacement shocks.

Is there any truth to needing to adjust the sway bars? Longer linkages maybe? I rarely take this off road, it’s my only vehicle I was just trying to make it look a little nicer.
 

BLACKJKU

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You could jack the front up from under the bumper and then the rear up and check to see how much travel you have before the axles start to raise up.
 
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Boosthead

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It's generally thought that the stock shocks can handle 2" spacers but it may be close. You should also consider loosening all 8 control arm bolts, cycle the suspension, and then retorque them at ride height. Folks suggest doing this while the Jeep is on the ground but I found this wasn't possible. I put jackstands under the axles with all wheels off and you have the needed access to retorque the bolts with the suspension under load. If you only have 2 jackstands, you can do one axle at a time, just need to make sure you have that axle at the correct height, matching the other axle, before torquing the nuts/bolts. If you don't perform this step, the bushings will bind as they can only move so far once those 8 nuts and bolts are tightened
 

Ballermaris

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One thing I have to look at in this way if you do this kind of mod if at all possible have a professional shop do suspension work. I know many want to save some scratch, but you have to ensure that the rig is safe to drive.
I take a gander every once in a while at YouTube Videos that show Jeep Fails.

Some are frankly oh what in the WORLD were they thinking?

One video showed an idiot with teeny tiny wheels, driving down the street at some show off my ride. I think they may have "stolen" the darn things from some dudes Ghetto ride. I am serious, they were teeny tiny, and the frame of the Jeep was maybe 2" off the ground.
 
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GiggityGibbs

GiggityGibbs

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Thank you guys! I think I will take it to a shop down the road that does a lot of Jeep mods. Not having a torque wrench or even a jack other than the scissor jack hidden in the bumper I’m likely to get hurt.

I would like to get different shocks and likely have them look at alignment.
 

Chris

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Well the bottom line is that you've raised your vehicle 2", and thus caused the shocks to be extended 2" further in their range of travel.

So now when you hit a bump in the road, you have 2" less of travel, which may very well be enough for the shocks to bottom out.

I'd bet dollars to donuts this is a shock issue, and if you replace the shocks with the correct length shocks, the problem will be solved.
 
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GiggityGibbs

GiggityGibbs

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Thank you! Any recommendations on brands for every day driving? Would I also need longer sway bar links?
 

Chris

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Thank you! Any recommendations on brands for every day driving? Would I also need longer sway bar links?
Sway bar links should be fine.

For shocks, IMHO the best ride out of any off-the-shelf shocks is the Rancho RS5000X, which is convenient, since they are also very, very cheap.

The Fox shocks have more bling, but they are a stiffer ride, whereas the Ranchos are a very, very nice and soft ride.

These would be the ones you'd want for a 2" lift:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019BNC6YY/?tag=jkforum-20
 
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GiggityGibbs

GiggityGibbs

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Update!

Those Rancho RS5000X shocks are the exact same length as the OEM shocks. I replaced the rear shocks just to see if it would help the ride. They are easier to compress by hand than the OEM ones and it’s a little smoother over the speed bumps now. With the Jeep still in the ground there’s only like 2” more they’ll extend though. The back end still feels rough but not as much. Probably because the ranchos are a little more forgiving.
 
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GiggityGibbs

GiggityGibbs

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Also I’m wondering, Are there any benefits to the fox shocks over the rancho ones? Why would someone choose a stiffer shock over a smoother riding one?
 

Boosthead

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We really like the rs9000's on our JKU. Out of 9 settings, we use 3 front and rear with 1" front spacer and 3/8" rear spacer. Some people have different preferences in ride quality and may prefer stiffer shock valving. Also, you'd typically run a stiffer shock with higher spring rates.