Jump to content
jerpderp

Installing JK Wrangler Shocks

Recommended Posts

Figured I'd do an easy one for my first write up. I heard about using JK shocks on this forum, but couldn't find any real specific information. So here ya go!

 

Any set of shocks from a JK will work. I chose to get some from a Rubicon, as they are gas charged, and it doesn't hurt that they are race car red. :yes: Takeoff JK shocks are pretty common, there are a LOT of people who lift their JK, and most have very few miles on them. First, let me give you guys some measurements so you can decide if they'll work for you:

 

Front extended: 22.5 inches

 

nPt8nwO.jpg

 

Rear extended: 23.125

 

rbTmNPM.jpg

(note: these upper rear bushings are NOT the correct ones I ended up using)

 

Since I failed to get compressed lengths, here's some measurements hornbrod got from Monroe's website:

Front: Compressed Length 14.020", Extended Length 21.930" 
Rear: Compressed Length 14.760", Extended Length 23.150"

 

From what I've heard, they'll work for up to around 2 inches of lift. I have OME 2930 coils up front and 2wd leaves with a 1 inch lift shackle in the rear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, now here's what you have to do:

 

First, press out the lower sleeves on all four shocks. Take care not to damage the rubber bushings, use some lubricant to help ease the sleeves out. I used a vice and sockets initially, then bought a ball joint press and that made life much easier. :chillin:

 

PWFuIeu.jpg

 

Next, press out the upper bar pin on the rear shocks. Don't worry about damaging the bushing or bar pins, they will be discarded. Next, press out the upper bushings themselves, they have a very small inner diameter and won't fit over a Comanche upper shock mount. Be careful not to damage the bushing housing.

 

NvedG5k.jpg

 

Now its time to start reassembly. It took a ton of searching and testing to find the right replacement bushings. I probably spent almost as much on bushings as I did to purchase the shocks themselves. :doh:  All four rubber lower bushings will work. I never found a correct replacement lower bushing, so once again, take care not to damage the lower bushings.

 

The upper front has the correct bayonet mounting, so if your new shocks came with bushings, you can use those. For the lower front shocks, you can press in the bar pins from the shocks already on your Comanche(the bar pins from the JK rear shocks will not work), or you can get a bar pin eliminator kit. I went with the eliminators. I felt like pressing in the bar pins could easily damage the bushings. Your choice.

 

For the upper rear shocks, you will have to buy a replacement bushing. Prothane p/n 19-909 turned out to be a perfect fit. Lube up the outer diameter and press them in. The lower rubber bushing will slide on to the Comanche lower mount with a bit of lubrication.

 

Here's they are installed:

 

Front

OOmjbcJ.jpg

 

Rear

igcgsIg.jpg

 

Replacement Polyurethane rear upper bushing:

 

meBv6di.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do they ride? I can't provide a direct comparison since I swapped in a D30 for a beam axle and installed OME 2930 front coils at the same time, but my ride is much, much nicer now. Very controlled and yet still plush. Absorbs impacts with out feeling sloppy. I'm very pleased. I haven't done any off roading, as I'm still 2wd. These aren't gonna be for hardcore lifted wheelers, but if you have less than 2" lift, and want some nice shocks on a budget, check em out. Cheaper than buying 4 of the most inexpensive parts store shocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent writeup and pics. The rear JK shocks have the same bushing for both upper and lower mounts, so if the lower bush will slide on, why do you need a replacement bush for the upper? The MJ rear shock studs are identical.

 

Also if you could publish the compressed JK shock lengths that would be helpful.

 

This one's headed for the DIY forum.  :cheers:

 

EDIT:  Done

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent writeup and pics. The rear JK shocks have the same bushing for both upper and lower mounts, so if the lower bush will slide on, why do you need a replacement bush for the upper? The MJ rear shock studs are identical.

 

Also if you could publish the compressed JK shock lengths that would be helpful.

 

This one's headed for the DIY forum. :cheers:

 

EDIT: Done

Thanks hornbrod! You had some posts that gave me this idea initially. Unfortunately after you remove the bar pin, the ID of the bushing is tiny. And for whatever reason, the upper bushing housing is a smaller diameter than the lower by ~1/8 inch. I'll take some more pics.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks hornbrod! You had some posts that gave me this idea initially. Unfortunately after you remove the bar pin, the ID of the bushing is tiny. And for whatever reason, the upper bushing housing is a smaller diameter than the lower by ~1/8 inch. I'll take some more pics.

Excellent - I didn't know that. I have a set of the JK Rubicon shocks waiting to go on my Sahara when the originals wear out. Maybe I better go look at them.  :yes:

 

Also, do you remember where you sourced the BPEs for the front lower shock ends?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome writeup! Gonna add to my ideas list

 

Thanks man! Really appreciate it. I'd recommend it. It was pretty easy, inexpensive and they ride nice. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent writeup and pics. The rear JK shocks have the same bushing for both upper and lower mounts, so if the lower bush will slide on, why do you need a replacement bush for the upper? The MJ rear shock studs are identical.

 

 

Here's the pics and measurements I promised:

 

KH0PsHn.jpg

 

PtcdUTE.jpg

 

Original upper rear bushing is the black one (obviously). The red bushing was one I tried to use for the lowers, however the shoulders were too wide and thick.

 

Original upper bushing OD: 1.125 in ID: ~0.375 in |||||| Needs to be 0.625

Lower bushings OD: 1.25 in ID: ~0.625 (or close enough)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really awesome, thanks! I'm thinking about doing this sooner rather than later. You mentioned that the Rubicon take offs are gas charged. Does that mean that the black ones from Sports or w/e aren't? I've been watching for them on Ebay but it seems like the all black shocks are more common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Jess said:

This is really awesome, thanks! I'm thinking about doing this sooner rather than later. You mentioned that the Rubicon take offs are gas charged. Does that mean that the black ones from Sports or w/e aren't? I've been watching for them on Ebay but it seems like the all black shocks are more common.

 

Only the Rubicon and Sahara shocks are gas charged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, HOrnbrod said:

 

Only the Rubicon and Sahara shocks are gas charged.

 

:thanks:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a set of the black ones several years ago. They ride great and dampen well. I recommend this swap. I didn't have a set of Rubi shocks at the time otherwise I would have done them instead just for coolness factor, but I have no complaints with the black ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent write up! Reading this than you need only 2 replacement bushings than correct? Is this bushing available at a part store? Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice write up.

I ran homemade BPE's made from XJ rear sway bar brackets. I just found correct sized bolts/nuts for the bushing to bracket mounting.

I think I have JKS currently.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×