A stock Jeep JK stands out for its unique design and versatility. It can be driven in the city as well as off-road with no trouble at all. During its lifespan, some parts ought to be regularly replaced. Shock absorbers for instance need to be in mint condition always. They are used to maintain stability on the road giving a driver control of the car.
This article provides a guide on the best shocks for a stock Jeep JK. A good shock absorber for a Jeep JK is one which is able to transfer power and torque to bad roads when required. A Jeep that has mileage beyond 50,000 kilometres might need replacement of the factory shocks.
First, shocks are often broadly classified into mono tube and twin tube. A twin tube refers to a two shock cylinder filled with fluid and has a piston inside. It is a favorite for daily use, light riding and a comfortable ride. A mono tube on the other hand is a single valve system meaning all the shock components are within one shell.
This means that the mono tube shock has a better cooling system and ability to run off-road beautifully. It can also be used for daily driving but it will have a firmer ride. The following shock absorbers are some of the high quality options for your stock Jeep JK.
Best Shocks for a Stock Jeep JK
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Bilstein 4600 Series
The all new mono tube Bilstein 4600 shock absorbers are designed to achieve great performance. It includes four shock absorbers, two for the front and two at the rear that are well fitted for a stock Jeep JK.
The mono tube pressure technology offers reasonable stiffness that is useful for maintaining great handling, good performance and stability. The mono tube design also provides superior tube strength while minimizing heat build-up and shock fade.
The Bilstein 4600 works wonderfully on the highway as well as off-road by soaking up potholes and rough terrain well. The suspension technology used on these shocks also offers incredible comfort and improved stability no matter the terrain.
It is specifically modeled for a stock height Jeep JK to reach its optimum in handling and performance. It is easy to install, direct bolt-on and does not require any modifications.
- Mono tube pressured gas technology providing precise handling and improved stability
- Direct bolt-on that is easy to install
- Fits stock height Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models manufactured between 2007 and 2014
- Sold as a set of 4 shock absorbers
- Easy installation
- Offers precise handling and good performance
- Lifetime warranty
- There might be issues with fitting the rubber bushings
- Gives a stiffer ride compared to other shock absorbers on this list
Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport
The Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport are twin tube stable shocks that offer great control to drivers especially when driving at high speeds. A key part of these shocks is the triple oil seal which ensures consistent performance even at high temperatures.
The piston oil valve that is coated with Teflon is also another hallmark of these shocks. It is designed to ensure good oil flow through the discs thereby reducing heat creation. This is a notable feature as a shock absorber can easily fail due to too much heat which results in oil aeration.
The twin tube shocks also ensure a smooth ride as you glide over roads. To add, the installation process is simple. There is also a YouTube video on the same. They are a good fit for a stock Jeep JK and give it a non-imposing lift. Emphasis is placed on a better ride with more control and handling.
- Heavy duty twin tube type
- Seamlessly works well during both off-road and on- road driving.
- A triple oil seal valve that eliminates the possibility of dirt entering through the piston rod during compression. Piston oil valve is also coated with Teflon ensuring good oil flow
- Smooth ride
- Durable due to several quality parts that prolong the service life of the shock absorber. An example is the triple oil seal valve and piston oil valve. It is exceptionally good for the off-road enthusiast
- Quite expensive
Pro Comp ES9000 Series Shock Absorber- 926511
The Pro Comp ES9000 twin tube shock absorber with a white finish delivers a smooth ride, comfortable ride. Due to its nitrogen charged body, it is particularly engineered to also be for off-road enthusiasts. Its design is also coupled with 10 stage velocity sensitive valve system ensures this is possible.
It is a 1-3/8 inches double welded shock mounts and full displacement piston head that ensures maximum stability and durability. Additionally, the Pro Comp Suspension Company is one of the few manufacturers who test their products under real conditions as opposed to through virtual simulations.
It gives Jeep JK drivers the much needed confidence to conquer the off-road and on-road as the shocks have already tested true to the challenge.
- Nitrogen gas charged
- Twin tube design with 10 stage velocity sensitive valving
- Nylon banded full displacement piston head with double welded shock mounts
- Lifetime warranty
- Fits wonderfully in all models from the 2007 Jeep Wrangler (JK) to the 2018 Jeep Wrangler (JK) Rubicon
- Offers a comfortable highway ride as well as enhanced off-road performance and handling
- Each shock is sold as one. Shock boots are also sold separately
Rancho RS5000X RS55274 Shock Absorber
- IMPROVED HANDLING AND PERFORMANCE -- Cross Tuned technology featuring exclusive rebound valving system and advanced compression phase improves overall handling and performance on and off road
- MINIMIZES ROUGH RIDE -- Exclusive Progressive Engagement Valving is custom-tuned for each vehicle to help reduce initial impacts at low speeds and
This is an innovative 9 inch twin tube shock absorber. It is reinforced with a double plated chrome stock. It is a gas shock as well and the pressurization of gas increases grip and handling. The body which is about 3 inches in diameter also ensures that the fluid capacity runs in great speed adding on the stability of the car.
The suspension technology developed by the ride engineers at Rancho offer a variety of advantages setting it apart from its previous models. For instance, the twin tube gas pressurized shock minimizes the air to oil mixture thereby reducing shock fade and foaming.
The Ranch RS5000X features a 2.25 inch body that allows for increased fluid flow making the shocks cooler. This in turn ensures proper vehicle control and performance at high speed and rough terrain. It also works well as it has knob adjustment options for the damping you require.
The Progressive Engagement Valve system unique with these shocks also minimizes a rough ride thereby maintaining control and stability. All these provide for a high quality shock absorber.
It will work well for most Jeeps because you can easily set the damping of the shock using the adjustment knob.
- Twin tube shocks that ensure the shock does not fade due to foam formation during oil mixing
- Designed with nitrogen-gas charged pressure
- 25 inches body and a 1.375 inches internal dampening piston
- Fits 4WD vehicles
- Tuning system according to your requirements
- The great stability offered by these shocks decrease the harsh effects of off-road driving
- Lifetime warranty
- Ideal for on-road and off-road use as well as for towing
- The adjustment knob might break off after some time
- A rather stiff ride
Bilstein 5100 Series
The Bilstein 5100 is a heavy duty mono tube shock absorber. It particularly maintains vehicle stability by keeping the tires in constant contact with the pavement to control impacts and movements. A Jeep JK is a rather big car with larger tires and a heightened stance even as stock.
Lifted vehicles such as this require shock absorbers with great damping ability. The Bilsetin 5100 Series works particularly well as they are uniquely suited to Jeeps both on-road and off-road. It provides excellent grip on all road conditions.
The suspension technology in Bilstein 5100 shocks is also high quality and a good fit for JK. It maintains a controlled, comfortable and stable ride by instantly reacting to changing road conditions.
Its high gas pressure design also adds to comfort and handling while driving. The adjustable cup and dividing piston that permits the oil to expand as heat builds up also ensures consistent performance of these shocks.
- Mono tube type that offers consistent fade- free performance
- Strong and stable. This ensures the safety of the driver and passengers.
- Zinc plated finish with a smooth body design
- Fits 4WD
Jeep JK vehicles
- Smooth yet stable ride. It provides great control off-road as well as on the highway
- Quick and installation
- Short braking distance and improved handling
- Durable and a rather exceptional long life
- Lifetime warranty against defects and premature failure
- Paint can rust after some time
Fox 2.0 Performer Reservoir Shocks
Fox 2.0 Performer Reservoir is a mono tube type shock that provides exceptional performance off road as well as when street riding. One of its key features is an external reservoir which allows more oil and nitrogen in the shock compared to previous models. This in turn reduces heating up of the shock and cavitation under heavy use. It also eliminates shock fade when using it off-road.
The 2.0 Fox Performer shocks also use latest shock technology to provide a comfortable on-road ride as well as stability and control off-road. The smooth body shocks with a shaft that is chrome-plated by alloy steel uses race-tested dampening control as well as a high flow damping piston. All these enhance the durability and consistent performance of the Fox 2.0 Performer shocks. It is able to glide over the most rough road surfaces as well as on-road with ease.
- Mono tube shock with an external reservoir which reduces heat build-up and cavitation of the shocks
- Black anodized body made out of aluminum. This makes it all the more durable as it is rust resistant
- Fits Jeep Wrangler JK models manufactured between 2007 to 2018
- Comes as set of 4 shocks that fits both 2WD and 4WD Jeep Wranglers
- Sturdy construction. The shocks are designed to take quite a bit of hard driving
- Provides great control for a driver as it is pretty stiff
- External reservoir designed with the latest shock technology. This ensures consistent good performance both off-road and on-road
- One year warranty which protects against premature failure and defects
- Might need to add a compression adjuster to allow for softer response on paved roads
- Roost shields and shock boots are sold separately
Rough Country Jeep JK Shock Suspensions
Rough Country 1.75" Lift Kit for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK - 65130
- Give your Wrangler JK the Perfect Blend of Performance, Protection, and Style from Rough Country.
- Unmatched Ground Clearance | Premium N3 Shock Absorbers the Best in Performance for On and Off Road Use.
- Maintains Smooth, Factory-Like Ride | Levels the Front with the Rear.
- Spring retention design keeps
The Rough Country series is compatible with all 2007-2018 models of the Jeep Wrangler JK. It is a complete kit that offers easy home installation. Once installed, it gives your car an immediate good look that is well aligned.
It is high- pressure nitrogen charged with X Flex Joints that maintains the factory ride quality. The Rough Country shock kit also provides coil lifted springs and coil correction plates that provide good dampening and an improved look.
They are premium shocks that give good performance both on and off road. The lift it also provides is adequate ground clearance while maintaining the factory ride quality.
- 35mm size Piston. It also has a chrome hardened Piston Rod that is 18mm
- Designed with rubber bushings that ensure better absorption
- Easy to install. The shocks come with a comprehensive manual and there are various installation videos on YouTube
- Gives your Jeep JK a full 4 inches lift
- Offers great performance both on paved roads and off-road
- Lifetime warranty on parts and labour
- Might need additional installments like a new front bumper to complement the lift and the Rough Country dual stabilizer kit to get rid of any wandering and bump steer issues
Skyjacker Shock Absorber
Skyjacker is a twin tube shock absorber with a red shock boot, chromed piston rod, red polyurethane bushings and bonded iron piston. Together, these parts work to ensure a stable, better ride. It is also durable. The bonded iron piston for instance increases durability of the shocks by reducing internal wear and tear.
They come as a set of 4 shocks with all necessary washers, bushings, and nuts included. The SkyJacker’s limited lifetime warranty guarantees against defects and premature failures/
- Twin tube type shocks
- Lifetime warranty
- Hydro shocks
- Smooth ride
- Easy installation
- Highly durable
- Some parts may leak over time
Factors to be considered when buying shocks for a stock Jeep JK
A stock Jeep JK is a classic yet modern car that is aggressive and lifted. It is built to hit the off-road as well as on-road. However, shocks are all designed to deliver specific benefits. For instance, twin tubes comprise of two chambers that use either fluid or gas to dampen vibrations received from the terrain.
Due to certain factors such as its heat dissipation, it is often a favorite among daily drivers. Mono tubes on the flip side use a single valve system that gives greater dampening quality. This guarantees a smooth ride and greater handling for daily drivers.
If you are keen on pushing your Jeep JK to its limits, you ought to consider the shocks abilities to ply the off-roads. The vibration felt while driving on unpaved roads will be highly determined by the choice of shock absorbers.
Good ones will make the ride smoother. They provide great stability and control on rough road conditions. This is therefore a major factor to be considered when choosing shock absorbers for a stock Jeep JK.
The rigidity of shock absorbers determine the stopping distance of a speeding car as they resist swinging. Softer shock absorbers will then have a shorter braking distance. This is a factor to be considered if fast driving is your only kind of moving.
Jeep JK Model
Some brands indicated in this article are not compatible with all Jeep JK models. Rough Country shocks for instance are only compatible with the 2007-2018 Jeep JK 4DR Suspension System.
There are many high end shock absorbers that are fitted with the latest suspension technology. However, there are also many cost efficient options that are good quality as well. If you are on a tight budget and not too keen on fast driving on the off-road and on-road, a twin tube shock will get the job done.
FAQ ON BEST SHOCKS FOR A STOCK JEEP JK (WRANGLER)
What are the functions of a shock absorber on a Jeep JK?
Shock absorbers do exactly that- absorb shock received from the terrain. Its function is directly related to the stability and control of your car as well as oscillation reduction.
A shock absorber that is worn out or degenerated can lead to poor support of the Jeep’s weight, rough vibrations and poor handling of curves and corners. This in turn is a hazard to your safety and that of your passengers.
When do you need to replace the factory shocks on a Jeep JK?
Aside from maybe being that person who likes new things, there is one instance that can prompt you to change the shocks of your stock Jeep JK. After significant mileage, all shocks eventually experience some wear and tear due to long usage. Worn out shocks always need to be replaced.
There are a few telltale signs on when your shocks need to be replaced. One way to tell is when the car does not feel stable and keeps bouncing up and down. If you push your car from one corner and it doesn’t stop bouncing after a short period, you might need a replacement.
Any weird creaking noise is another indicator that the shocks are worn out. Finally, fluid leaks are another sign. Shocks that are worn out will ultimately leak through their seals like on the mounting tops and the bushings.
How do you know which shocks are best suited for a Jeep JK?
Some of the factors to be considered when buying shocks for a Jeep JK are the intended use of the car, budget and set up of the Jeep. A twin tube shock absorber is apt if you are a slow, on-road driver who is not seeking to push the car too much.
A mono tube type on the flip side is exactly what a person needs to drive high speed off-road. The amount of money one is willing to spend also factors in. The Rancho RS5000 for instance is a great budget option for both daily driving and off-roading.
If you are one who is keen on maintaining a certain look for your motorcycle, brands that retain that look also ought to be considered. The Rancho series shocks for instance are yellow while The Pro Comp ES9000 has a white finish.
What is the installation process of these shocks?
All the products stated in this article come with a detailed manual. Depending on one’s expertise they can be installed within hours at home, or at your local dealership.
The owner's set of instructions that come with the shocks are nonetheless easy to understand and follow for these products. YouTube also has informative videos on the installation process of these shocks.
What is a refurbished shock absorber?
This refers to reconditioning a worn out shock absorber back to work. While this leads to a damper back to work, it is no easy task and it might lead to future problems. It is highly recommended to buy the Best Shocks of a Jeep JK stated above.
Shock absorbers are one of the most important parts of a car. Without them you would feel every speed bump and pothole. Good shock absorbers give you a better ride quality and handling through dampening of energy from axle movement into heat.
There are different shocks that are suitable for Jeep JK owners. These include twin tube and mono tube shocks as well as coil overs and remote reservoirs. Choosing the right one might prove to be an uphill task but it boils down to a few factors already discussed.
Some shock absorbers are particularly manufactured for a lifted Jeep JK but this article has illustrated some of the high quality shock absorber options for a stock Jeep JK. Ultimately, the best shocks are those that fit your needs and budget.