The Lone Ranger – 60/14 Bolt swap – Shocking the Rear
After killing my Rubicon Express shocks I had in the rear (I was accidentally using them as bump stops when I had a load in the bed ). I needed to swap something in that would help control the rear some and hopefully settle the sway down some.
This wound up being a bit of a pain to get it dialed in but we got there. The shocks I’m are the same as what’s found on the Chevy/GMC 1500 2wd trucks (I used a ’98 model year). All shocks measured 26.25″ Long and 16.375 Compressed (9.875″ travel) so they were a good fit for my application, and cheap to boot!.
It took some trial and error to find the right shock for my setup. Below is a photo of all the shocks lined up:
On the Left is the RE shock from a RE6030 Kit. This shock rode nice, and seemed to work well I was a bit bummed when I killed it.
Second to the left is a cheapy Monroe shock for the GM application. It turned out to be waaaay to soft and was quickly discarded.
Third fro the left is the Monroe air ride shocks. These actually worked very well dampening the rear and adding support (I ran these before I put the AAL’s in). While they could be a viable solution, I was extremely paranoid about ripping one of the ‘air bags’ on the shocks while on the trail. There is some language about how you’re not supposed to fully extend the shock with pressure in the system in Monroe’s paperwork. Those two factors made me search for an alternative to ensure that I didn’t put myself in a bind later on.
The last shock (Far Right) looks to be the answer. It is a Rancho 9000XL (Part number RS999190) nitrogen charged shock. This dude is unique as it allows you to adjust the dampening via turning a little knob on the shock body itself. While not cheap (about $80 bucks a corner) it allows you to forgo buying different shocks to try to find the one that has the best dampening for your situation. These shocks are the beefiest shocks I’ve played with so they should hold up to my abuse.
So far, these shocks seem to be working well for me. Well enough that when my front shocks die, I’ll probably swap them out for another set of Rancho’s. The only complaint I have about them is the knob used to adjust the settings is a chintzy piece of plastic. I don’t plan on adjusting the often so I’m not that worried about it. I’ve also set the shocks up so that the knob is protected via the axle tube.
One finial note on using shocks for the GM application, you will more than likely have to swap out the metal bushings to get them to work for your application. These bushings are available at your local hardware store; all you need is a vise/press to get the ‘old’ ones out.
In my case I pushed out the bar pin on the top, and the metal bushing on the bottom, and slapped in some ½” metal bushings to get the job done.