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New shocks??


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I have a 1988 Sportruck in very nice, very original condition, with only 80,000 miles. It runs great, but the suspension seems a little harsh. I think it probably has the original shocks. My question is, since the shocks are 27 years old, should I go ahead and replace them, or is mileage more important than age? Also, would appreciate recommendations on replacement shocks--truck is not lifted and have no plans other than to keep the truck basically stock.  

Thanks!

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Age or mileage, which comes first basically.

 

I have Bilstein shocks on mine and I love them.  I used the same on my Cherokee and that was good too.  They are expensive though so I am curious if anyone else has cheaper recommendations.

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I have Bilsteins F&R on my '90 heavy ton, and they are pretty stiff, but I like 'em that way. I think you should be happy with the Monroes, and should notice quite a difference if you're really riding on the original shocks.

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What you DON'T want (IMHO) are KYB shocks. Years ago, my brother talked me into buying a set for my '88 Cherokee. They were AWFUL. They were very harsh over pavement cracks and small bumps, yet the provided almost no control over larger bumps. I took them off and replaced them with a set of Monroes (a series since discontinued, and replaced by the Sensa-Trac) that are infinitely better. The 2001 Cherokee I bought used three years ago came to me with KYBs in the front. Same thing. I finally got around to wrestling with the rusted-in OEM shocks in the rear, and replaced everything with a set of Rancho RS5000s all around. The Ranchos were given to me by a friend who had lifted his XJ. They are pretty firm, but they are are a huge improvement over the KYBs.

 

OME get rave reviews, but they're pricey. I'm partial to Monroes, with Gabriel being a close second. In Monroe, I like the Gas-Magnum line. The Reflex line is their premium series and should be very good, but I've never found the money to spend on them. I avoid the Sensa-Trac line because of the "groove tube" feature. It's good at stock height, but if you change the ride height at all (such as a budget boost) the piston isn't centered in the grooved section of the bore, and the ride and handling are adversely affected.

 

In Gabriel, I again lean toward the Ultra series as being an economical shock that rides well and works well. These have a 1-3/8" bore, which is the minimum I think should be accepted in any shock. Worth a look also are the LTV (1-5/8" bore) and the MaxControl (1-13/16" bore) series.

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I had Monroe ReFlex shocks on my Cummins and they rode great. For about a month before they blew out. I warrantied them and the new ones let go after two months. While the lifetime warranty was great I just don't see me spending a couple hours every couple months to change shocks and rotate the cupped tires. I will never run another Monroe shock ever again.

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Leaf springs do wear out with use (any spring does) but if the truck hasn't been used heavily to haul stuff it shouldn't be a concern. For what it's worth I have a set of Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks on my truck and I have no complaints after 5,000 miles.

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For what it's worth I have a set of Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks on my truck and I have no complaints after 5,000 miles.

 

Give them a few more miles. I put four new Sensa-Trac shocks on my truck after I first got it to replace the original stock shocks. After about 5K miles two of the four were blown out; one front and one rear. The other two still had some valve pressure but were on the way out too. They are okay if you are flipping a vehicle and don't want to spend any $$, but for longevity they are junk.

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If the shocks are original, you should absolutely replace them. The Bilstein 5100s are waaaaay too stiff for factory suspension IMHO. Had them on my 88 and hated them. I have a new set of cheapo Monroes to put on my 91.

 

I have a set of these in the box: Monroe 31094.

You can get the 5100's with different valving. I have 5125's in the rear and 5150's up front with 6" of lift and I would say it rides almost as good as stock.
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That I don't recall, I maybe I'm wrong and its the 5125's that tell you the valving, since they aren't vehicle specific.

 

I have them in the rear and they ride very well, much better than the Gabriel's I originally used.

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