You’ll find built-in shocks coming with your Jeep Wrangler, which is a crucial part of a vehicle to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. Riding a car without a good shock is something you don’t want to taste twice, especially on damaged roads.
A lot of shocks are available in the market. Thus, it is tough to find out the best one. But when me and my team are there, you don’t have to worry.
I have been working with different suspension upgrades for six years and leading a team of expert mechanics. We have a good idea about the shocks available in the market. From our experience, we’ve made a list of the 5 best shocks for Jeep Wrangler and reviewed them.
Our process includes finding high-rated products (at least 12-15) and evaluating them through deep research. We utilize our experience, expert opinions, and user reviews to conclude. Thus, we pick the top products to suggest through a proper process.
As you’re looking for a shock set for your Jeep Wrangler, our suggestions will help you make an informed decision. So, stay with us for a while.
Who Should Get This
One of the main reasons for getting an aftermarket shock set is performance improvement. The stock shocks coming with Jeep Wranglers are well-known for smooth performance on roads. Also, they can support driving on damaged roads.
But when it comes to off-roading, upgrading the OE shocks is a must if you want to enjoy it. Stock shocks will support you, but getting a compatible upgrade will keep it as smooth as possible.
Another reason behind getting shocks is replacing the broken ones. OE shocks support you for a long time if you don’t put immense pressure on them. But sometimes, they may get damaged, broken, or torn somehow. In such cases, getting an aftermarket shock becomes mandatory.
Comparing Our Recommended Top 3 Picks
- Fits 2007-2017 Wrangler & 2018 Wrangler JK
- Improves performance greatly
- Lifetime warranty
- Digressive valving
- Premium price range
- Both front and rear shocks
- Compatible with 1997-2007 Jeep Wrangler TJ
- Ensures improved performance
- Lifetime warranty
- Rebound valving system
- Moderate price range
- Both front and rear shock
- Fits 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler TJ
- Offers satisfactory improvement
- Limited lifetime warranty
- 10-stage variable valving
- Affordable price range
- Front shocks only
Top 5 Best Shocks for Jeep Wrangler
Bilstein Front and Rear 4600 Series Shock Absorbers
With more than 140 years of history, Bilstein is not offering something to disappoint you. The 4600 series of shock absorbers is one of its finest creations. Being a précised mixture of quality and design, the Bilstein shock of this design ensures top-notch performance and maximum durability.
Bilstein has built these absorbers with its mono-tube design, allowing it to stay consistent no matter where you drive. Besides, the valves are designed and placed for instant reaction to changes in the road, making your vehicle more controllable and comfortable from the very first road damage they faces.
Most of the users have loved the riding experience it offers. Besides making off-road driving easier, it helps in towing tasks too. You can handle a huge load with better stability if you get these absorbers installed.
I love the build quality especially. Bilstein claims that it is built using quality materials meeting all the standards. I wasn’t sure whether it is true, but the performance has made me believe it. It comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, which shows Bilstein’s confidence in it.
In the package, you’ll find two front shocks, two rear shocks, and the necessary components to install them. An instruction manual also comes with it, but the installation instructions are of no work.
- Ensures value for money
- Comes with features supporting better performance
- Offers more comfort and control on off-roads
- Have a lifetime warranty
- Installation instruction is not that supportive
Why We Choose This Product
I’ve chosen this set as it comes with everything you may need- performance, safety, comfort, and durability. No matter whether it is on-road or off-road, these shocks offer the best driving comfort. Also, you’ll love how much it supports while towing. Forums and experts suggest these shocks to anyone who wants better stability in towing and off-road. So, overall, it should be at the top of the list of best shocks for Jeep Wrangler, and I’ve placed it in the position it deserves.
2. Rancho RS5000X Gas Shocks Set: Runner-Up
If you own a 1997-2006 Wrangler TJ with no or 1-inch lift and looking for a set of shocks for your vehicle, don’t miss trying this set. I’ve installed it in one of my clients’ TJ. It was a pretty straightforward process. The outcome was satisfactory.
Rancho has employed its patented rebound valving system for better response. Its twin-tube design minimizes foaming to keep the shocks durable and low-maintenance. Besides, it improves the spring rate a bit.
Also, it comes with a larger shock body to allow more all-weather fluid inside. Employing more fluid results in a comparatively cooler operation, making it more effective in handling shakes at high speed or off-road.
Users love the smooth ride it offers. For this, it comes with multiple features, including progressive engagement valving by Rancho. But I love the performance it offers at this price tag. It doesn’t cost you more than 250 bucks but offers a performance valued more than this.
If you’re looking for good value for money for your Jeep Wrangler TJ, get this package. It comes with four shocks and everything needed to install them properly. Expert installation is recommended.
3. Rough Country N3 Front Shock Absorbers
If you want a pair of front shock absorbers for your 3”-4.5” lifted Jeep Wrangler JK, Rough Country has just the thing for you. It is designed to outperform your stock shock both on and off-road. Like most other Rough Country products, this is another offering great performance at an affordable price range.
Chrome-hardened piston and military specification fluid help it to perform smoothly on both road types reducing vibration as much as possible. You should thank the other parts too. Premium materials used in this shock keep it strong and durable.
Even if it breaks somehow, you can claim the limited lifetime warranty offered for it.
I love the 10-stage variable valving design it comes with. This has a great impact on ensuring riding comfort by reducing road vibration.
The metallic silver paint adds to your Jeep’s appearance. Also, it is easier to clean. So, you won’t lose the look soon.
If you don’t want to go to a mechanic to install the shocks, don’t worry. You can do this easily if you know a bit about shocks and related components. The Internet is loaded with video instructions Besides, an installation manual comes with the package.
I don’t suggest it for professional off-roaders. If you go for off-roading occasionally, getting it installed won’t disappoint you, I ensure.
4. Rubicon Express SK010504RXT 4.5” Shock: Budget Pick
I thought a good set of shocks within a budget would be tough to find. But this one from Rubicon Express has changed my mind. If your budget is less than 150 bucks, you can go for it. The set is specifically for a 4.5-inch lifted Wrangler YJ, but you can fit it in a 3-inch lifted one.
The aluminum body and chrome shaft have made these shocks pretty strong and durable. Also, multi-lip seals and double-welded rings have a huge impact on durability. So, you can expect it to support you for years.
The oversize body design allows them to hold extra fluid, resulting in minimized heat. It helps the shocks to perform well under pressure. Thus, the set of shocks offers better comfort and handling than your stock shock.
Though the manufacturer claims them to be the best shocks money can purchase, I don’t agree with this statement. I know they’ve improved the design and production with time, but achieving the highest quality is still a long way.
Don’t worry. Having a set of these shocks will help your Wrangler YJ perform better than having OE ones. But to enjoy premium quality, you must go for premium ones.
Also, I have an issue with the installation. It may result in a messed up situation if you’re not an expert. So, leave it to the experts.
5. Detroit Axle Shocks Absorbers + Sway Bar
In case you want replacement shocks with no or slight change in performance, this set from Detroit Axle should be a good pick. It fits the 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler well and offers satisfactory performance, just like the stock shocks.
It comes with two front and two rear shocks, as well as two sway bars for each. Also, necessary kits are included in the package.
I won’t say it comes with shocks and bars made with premium material, but the make is pretty decent. I’ve installed it a few times, and the users were happy.
To ensure quality, each shock undergoes several tests. Only the ones that have passed the tests are sent to you. So, you can be sure about the durability. If there is any issue, a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty will be there for you.
It fits perfectly in vehicles with a 2-inch lift. Installation is a bit problematic, but experts can handle it easily.
Don’t worry if you’re into irregular off-roading. It can handle the stress well. Just remember to check it after each stressful off-roading session.
What to Choose between Rubicon vs Detroit Axle?
Choosing from the two is typically easy as they are designed for different purposes. The one from Detroit Axle is suitable if you want an OE performance. It comes at a low price to offer you the exact performance you got after buying the Wrangler.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for a bit of enhancement in your driving experience, going for the set from Rubicon Express is the best option. It is designed to provide you with performance within a budget. Also, you can go off-roading often by having it installed in your Wrangler.
Expert Video Reviews about Top Shocks for Wrangler
Why Should You Trust Us?
This list of best shocks for the Jeep Wrangler is made by our team of experienced people having good ideas about the automotive industry. Our team has expert mechanics, researchers, and vehicle enthusiasts who you can trust.
We’ve reviewed the products in a transparent process. First, we’ve picked the shocks we see most people use. Then, we’ve conducted a thorough research on them. As vehicle experts and enthusiasts, we already had previous experience using some of them.
From our experience, experiment, and research on expert opinions and user reviews, we’ve rated shacks in our list and picked the top options to present in front of you.
We don’t have any connection to the brands. So, you can depend on our reviews without any hesitation. Picking the shocks we’ve suggested won’t disappoint you.
How We Pick the Best Shocks for Jeep Wrangler
While selecting the top picks, we’ve considered several things to evaluate and choose the best shocks. You can use them while picking one for you. Let me tell you about them.
If it’s not compatible, it is a disaster. So, you must check if it is compatible with your vehicle model and make. Otherwise, you’ll end up receiving the wrong shocks.
Material and Build Quality
Shocks support you in smooth riding by handling huge pressure. So, the material and build quality should be premium enough to ensure performance improvement. Try to pick one coming with a strong body made of aluminum, a shaft made of steel or chrome, and seals that don’t break under pressure.
Buying choice also depends on the performance you want. We’ve suggested some that ensure performance improvement and some as OE replacement. Pick one that matches your performance expectations.
We’ve focused on picking stocks that are easy to install, but you may find some that require expert installation. If you don’t spend extra bucks on a mechanic, pick an easy-to-install shock.
We know price is an important factor. That’s why we’ve tried to keep our selections in different price ranges. You should try one that meets your budget. However, you may need to compromise the budget if you want exceptional performance.
Different Types of Shock Absorbers
While searching for shock absorbers, you’ll find four different types of socks.
1. Mono-tube Shocks
These shocks come with a single tube containing nitrogen gas and hydraulic fluid. The tube is exposed to the environment. As a result, the heat dissipates quickly, increasing its efficiency. Because of this, such shocks are used in high-performance applications.
These shocks are less common in regular cars as their price is high.
2. Twin-tube Shocks
Twin-tube shocks are designed with two tubes- a working tube inside and a reservoir tube outside. The inner tube has a fluid, a piston, and a lever. The outer tube contains the inner tube and nitrogen gas.
In this tube, the heat can’t dissipate right away in the air. As a result, the twin-tube design is less efficient in extreme situations. However, it offers smoother ride quality. Also, twin-tube shocks are durable. So, this design is widely used.
3. External Reservoir Shocks
These are designed to capture the benefit of both mono-tube and twin-tube shocks. They come with a tube containing fluid, a lever, and a piston. There is an external reservoir attached to the tube or placed a bit away from it. The tube and reservoir are connected through a hose.
They are perfect for high-performance applications like rally cars.
4. Coilover Shocks
A Coilover shock is a combination of shock and a soil spring surrounding it. This design is invented to make mono-tube or twin-tube shocks more effective. You’ll now find some coilover external reservoir shocks too.
Such shocks are great for towing. They ensure good stability.
You can adjust the height of the coils to match your lift preference.
Shocks can be divided into three main types based on the working principle. They are-
- Fluid Shock Absorber – Used fluid inside the tube
- Magnetic Shock Absorber – Uses magnetic power
- Pneumatic Shock Absorber – Uses air inside the tube
Cost of Installing a Set of Shock Absorbers
If you can install the shocks, it’s great. But if you don’t have previous experience of installing them, going to a mechanic is a must. This is a cost that most people overlook while choosing a set of shocks. So, I’m writing a bit about it.
Leaving the cost of buying shocks, I’m discussing Worn shocks that don’t offer similar stability only.
Typically, replacing your front shocks will cost you around $150-$350 based on several factors, including vehicle model and make, shock brand, additional service, and many external factors. It is for replacing the pair.
In the case of replacing a pair of rear shocks, you may have to spend around $100-$300, depending on all the factors stated above. Replacing the rear ones is easier. So, the cost is cheaper too.
So, after getting your dream shocks, you may have to spend a total of $250-$650 to get them installed. This is the typical labor cost for replacing a set of four shocks.
It is just an overall assumption. It may vary in your case. Talking to your mechanic directly about it will give you a closer estimation.
Where to Buy These Shocks?
Try Amazon if you’re looking to buy any shocks, whether our suggested ones or others. All the shocks we’ve recommended are there. Also, you’ll find many other shock absorbers according to your vehicle model.
Online platforms dedicated to selling automotive aftermarket parts sell shocks too. Check Advanced Auto Parts, RockAuto, or your preferred online shop for the availability of the shock you want to pick. Most brands sell their shocks directly from their official websites. Others will guide you to a local dealer.
Also, you can check your local automotive shop for the one you want to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it a must to replace worn shocks?
Yes, Worn shocks don’t offer similar stability as a good one. As a result, handling the vehicle becomes tough as it becomes less stable. The vehicle body becomes more unstable, and the tires don’t get a grip like before.
Thus, the risk of accidents increases a lot. Riding comfort is also compromised a lot if a shock is worn.
How long can I expect shock absorbers to last?
Standard shocks last for 40,000-50,000 miles. You can expect them a bit more if you avoid off-roading. Regular off-roading damages the shocks within 30,000-40,000 miles.
Some brands offer shocks for a bit longer support. But I suggest not expecting much from shocks if you want to go off-road regularly.
How to know that my shocks are bad?
You should check the shocks if you experience poorer handling and less comfort than before. Also, vibrations, fluid leaks from shocks, and clunking are signs of bad shocks. It’s better to check the shocks regularly to know if they are bad.
Can’t I go for off-roading with stock shocks?
Wrangler stock shocks are okay for off-roading but not great. So, if you want to enjoy it and have more safety, replacing OE shocks with better ones is necessary.
How to Install Jeep Wrangler Shocks Absorber
Deciding to pick one is not easy, I know. Thus, I can help a bit more. If I were you, I would go for the one from Bilstein. It might be high-priced, but worth every penny. You won’t find many shocks like this one.
But, in case of a budget pick, I would go for the set from Rubicon Express. It offers good improvement within a budget.
What do you think? Take some time to choose. Compare the options, and you’ll find the one that best suits your needs and is within your budget.