Need new shocks - AEV 2.5" DS lift - your thoughts?

#1
I'm in the market and researching what shocks I should replace my 52K miles AEV tuned Bilsteins with. Not real interested in dropping a load of coin, but I'm curious to know your specific experience with a setup similar to mine. I've looked at standard 5100 series Bilsteins, Fox 2.0, Faclon's, and even dabbled with the idea of a Rancho 9000xl.

AEV 2.5" lift
35" BFG AT KO2
Front and Rear bumpers with spare
Winch w/syn. line
Full skids
Roof rack / Awning / etc.
Fridge and Storage drawer setup inside

Driving conditions range from mostly fire service roads, highway, around town, mountains, occasionally more aggressive wheeling.
I'm a fair amount heavier than when I first installed the lift 50k ago. I'm getting a good amount of swaying offroad and some bobbing over bumps so I figure it's time.
I've been real happy with the Bilsteins that came with the kit, so that may be my logical answer...but I'm curious to know what else is out there.
Photo for reference:
 
#2
I'm curious, do you think they need to be replaced at this time? I'm just wondering as sometimes they last longer than expected and maybe you could save some coin that way?
 
#3
Shocks are very subjective and what I like you may not. Personally I've run the Fox 2.0, Rancho 5000XL and Falcon 3.3s on various Jeeps. I've installed a couple of sets of the Rancho 9000 and Bilstein 5100, but not on my Jeeps. The Falcon are the best I've run followed by the Rancho 5000XL. Nothing wrong with the FOX 2.0 but they were no better than the Ranchos and more $$.
 

motoboss

Bad Influence
#4
I just replaced my Rough Country's with Blistines 5100 and love the difference they've made. Pretty low bar but........
 
#6
I'm curious, do you think they need to be replaced at this time? I'm just wondering as sometimes they last longer than expected and maybe you could save some coin that way?
Like I mentioned in the original post, I'm starting to get some bouncing and swaying. Even the on road ride is getting a little sloppy and harsh.

Shocks are very subjective and what I like you may not. Personally I've run the Fox 2.0, Rancho 5000XL and Falcon 3.3s on various Jeeps. I've installed a couple of sets of the Rancho 9000 and Bilstein 5100, but not on my Jeeps. The Falcon are the best I've run followed by the Rancho 5000XL. Nothing wrong with the FOX 2.0 but they were no better than the Ranchos and more $$.
The Falcon's also cost the most...I like the 2.0 version of the Falcons, but can't get any real world experience from anyone with them. I'd love for someone to chime in about the Rancho adjustable. They seem to get a bad wrap just because of the Rancho name. I ran them 15 years ago and they were a good shock...hell, the've been around forever making offload gear. You'd think they'd have it down by now.
I just replaced my Rough Country's with Blistines 5100 and love the difference they've made. Pretty low bar but........
Yeah, your bar was pretty low at the start. I loved my Bilsteins for probably 45000 of the 50k I've driven them....kinda makes sense to go back with a fresh set.
 
#8
I would run the Falcon 2.0s over the bilsteins. Larger body and shafts, more oil volume and designed specifically for the JK. I have a few friends that have run the 2.0s with NO complaints... especially at the price point. I personally run the 3.3s on my JKU and I love them. As little as I actually turn the knob and adjust them, I probably would have been perfectly happy with the 2.0's myself.

I had the same 2.5" AEV kit, then upgraded the shocks to the 3.3s, then upgraded the springs to EVO MFG plush ride 3".
 

ratled

Adventurer
#9
What's your current setup? Lift and other add-ons? Any other experience with other shocks prior to the Rancho's?
17 JKU HR
Winch w/ synthetic
Dual Battery
OEM steel bumper
I carry my Hi Lift on my front bumper

I had a the natural nose down rake before the add ons and it got worse with them. I added the 9000's as part of the Rancho 2" four coil lift. The local independent offroad shop recommended the setup after I outlined my objectives... including that I will be adding armor to the underneath. I do run the stock MT's it came with it, but run with a moderate to heavy load out including a larger freezer and mining gear at times.

I haven't ran any other shocks on the Jeep but I have a set of Rancho 5000s on my full sized truck for a very long time and they have been flawless...... the deciding factor for me to go Rancho this time. My understanding is the 9000's are the same as the 5000s but adjustable to adapt to the load and conditions. I played with tuning them from DD to using it as a Jeep but found that the current settings work well enough in both worlds that I just run it that way all the time. I'm sure all of the tunable shocks regardless of brand are would have the same results when comp'ed to their non tunable offerings.

You can search around and find fan boys and haters for just about everything these days. When I was looking for my lift the Rancho wasn't anywhere on my radar and my list was AEV, OME and the Mopar. I was surprised at the number of haters for the AEV but was surprised how few there were for the Rancho

I hope this helps

ratled
 
#10
Following, I as well have the AEV 2.5" Dual sport about 91K on the jeep 71k on shocks seem good but probably need replaced soon. Looking for a quality shock planed to go with 5100s but if there is a better option would love to hear.
 
Last edited:
#11
Following, I as well have the AEV 2.5" Dual sport about 70k on the jeep shocks seem good but probably need replaced soon. Looking for a quality shock planed to go with 5100s but if there is a better option would love to hear.
I've been thinking about this some more, and after reading your post it hit me...the Bilstein 5100 series shocks have been great for a pile of miles, they are reasonably priced and available. My curiousity of knowing if there is something better out there (in the same $$$ range) is what prompted my question. But the 5100's are and have been a great shock for me.
 
#12
I also have the AEV 2.5" Dual Sport lift and 3 of the 4 Bilstein shocks started leaking. I wasn't unhappy with them but I ended up replacing them with Rancho 9000's based partly on an Overland Journal shock review. We hit a lot of washboard roads in the desert areas and they had less fade then the others. The ride is similar to the Bilsteins and I do like the adjustability although I mostly leave it on it's lowest setting for around town and bump the back ones up a notch when I'm towing.

If money was no object I would like to try out the OME BP51's as I have heard great things about them.
 
#13
I also have the AEV 2.5" Dual Sport lift and 3 of the 4 Bilstein shocks started leaking. I wasn't unhappy with them but I ended up replacing them with Rancho 9000's based partly on an Overland Journal shock review. We hit a lot of washboard roads in the desert areas and they had less fade then the others. The ride is similar to the Bilsteins and I do like the adjustability although I mostly leave it on it's lowest setting for around town and bump the back ones up a notch when I'm towing.

If money was no object I would like to try out the OME BP51's as I have heard great things about them.
It looks like you are similarly built to mine, weight wise. Do you get much swaying offroad with the Rancho setup? I'd love the BP51's as well, but don't really want to drop 1000+ on shocks.
 
#14
It looks like you are similarly built to mine, weight wise. Do you get much swaying offroad with the Rancho setup? I'd love the BP51's as well, but don't really want to drop 1000+ on shocks.
Yeah, those BP's are definitely not cheap!

No issues with swaying offroad but I am frequently towing my trailer so I'm not exactly flying down the trails.
 
Top