My Quest for a Better Riding FJ40…Success (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
167
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Houston
Maybe this will help someone someday find a solution in there Cruiser’s ride quality. My 40 is the worst riding vehicle that you can imagine. It bounces, leans, and the tires will even come off the ground on some rough streets. It feels like your head is going to come off when you roll over those concrete seams on the street and then the air gets pushed out of your lungs. I have ridden in other 40’s and there is a big difference in ride quality.

I first noticed that there were shims in the rear springs and that they were backwards so at a club tech session, we turned them around. This helped a little with the ride and made a significant difference in the driveline vibrations. When you have about 6” of lift in the rear and a driveshaft that is shorter than your arm, vibrations come standard without some serous driveshaft modifications.

I then noticed that the previous owner (who I would like slap for this and other reasons) had put the shocks on upside down. I did some research about it and there did not seem to be a clear cut answer as to why this would be a good idea, and I sure as heck didn’t like it.

My buddy, who owns a XJ, decided that the 6” lift that we pieced together in college (because there were no 6” lifts for Cherokees’ back then) was just not cutting it. We had put it together using some custom Rusty’s control arms (puke) Grand Cherokee springs, etc… and it banged, rattled and squeaked (mostly because of Rusty’s control arms). He recently ripped off the lift and installed a Rock Krawler 8” long arm kit and life is good. So, I asked him what he was doing with his set of Rancho RS9000 adjustable shocks and he replied, “If they will work on your Cruiser, they are yours.”

I took the 40 out to a rock pile and flexed it a bit and determined that the rear shocks were of the perfect length and the fronts were probably about 1 to 1-1/2” too long, but I decided to try them out anyway and just add some longer shackles in the front for an extra inch or so of lift later if the shocks worked out. Currently, I have the stock shackles in the front and long ones in the rear.

I yanked off the rear Pro Crap shocks and they were completely shot. I could see why this would hurt the ride quality some. I slapped on the Rancho’s right side up and they went in perfectly. I then removed the front shocks and inspected them….hmmm…one Rancho and one no name and…they were different lengths....ugg. I installed the new Rancho’s right side up and we were good to go. I turned all of the shocks down to 1 of 5 on the adjustment knob and took her for a spin.

It is impossible to describe the difference in ride quality that I experienced at that point. I literally could not speak for several minutes. Was this the same Cruiser or did someone sneak up and swap me? The rig just floats over the pavement and is more stable at the same time. I always knew that these were nice shocks but damn…;)
 

PabloCruise

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
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19,625
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Northern Colorado
 
 
 
You don't hear a lot of good things about Pro Comps...

From what I hear, Bilsteins are the bomb... I like my Doetsch Tech's so far!
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
188
Location
SLC, UT
From what I have heard, the 9000's should not be ran upside down, but with others it does not matter.

Glad to hear it rides better now. I couldn't be happier with the ride in my 40 with stock springs, sprung over and reverse shackles in the front. I have the 9000's set at 1 as well.
 

nuclearlemon

not an addict
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Jan 30, 2003
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windy wyoming
 
 
 
V-DAWG said:
From what I have heard, the 9000's should not be ran upside down, but with others it does not matter.
.
i've heard the opposite, that the dead spot is so minimal you won't even feel it. been running upside down on my 40 for years (to protect the lame ass placement of the adjuster knob)
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Messages
1,373
Location
New Hampshire
 
 
 
 
Technically any twin tube shock should not be run upside down. I've done it too, sometimes it works, when it doesn't you know right away. Bilsteins, and other monotubes are sometimes mounted upside down in stock applications on strut inserts so they will run cooler.
 

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