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Most here seem to have either used the Rancho RS9000 or the Old Man Emu shocks. Both have high marks. I use the RS9000's because of the adjustability. Crank them up for real off-road, medium for on-road and soft for washboard dirt roads. I think they are fantastic. Great pricing at http://www.hotrodoffroad.com, about $250.00 for four. Sometimes Rancho has a buy 3 get one free deal.Some have used the Edelbrocks but have noted a few problems with reliability (leaking shocks). I have Monroe's on my car since that was the only aftermarket available as a strut, however, they are fine. They are not the "sensa-trac" or "reflex" shocks. I think most would agree that any shock is a vast improvement over stock. So, if you choose the Monroe's, likely you'll be happy. I think some have noted on various forums that the Monroes or Gabriels may not have the durability as some other shocks, that may be the most inexpensive versions. The Ranchos carry a lifetime warranty.My friend has Bilstein's on his, great for on road but very stiff. On rough roads, causes a lot of vibration in the vehicle. Are about $50 each for Trooper.Tokiko (trekmaster) is another manufacturer for shocks. The stock shocks are Tokiko's, but are not gas shocks. The aftermarket Tokiko are also a good choice, from the posts. There has been a lot of good press on the Trekmaster and Trooper. Overlander recommends Tokiko for Trooper, however, it is part of an overall suspension kit.
Here are a few good links:www.overlander.com www.shox.comwww.explorerprocomp.comwww.gorancho.comwww.edelbrock.comwww.bilstein.com
One of the 4wd magazines just did a review of shocks for trucks. Probably could find it in the library or somewhere.
I was following Steve’s (sdc2) Trooper on Elephant Hill (3.5). As Steve mentioned in his post, this is as far as I want to take my almost stock Trooper; however, it was doable, and I was quite amazed by how Trooper performed on the trail. I just wished I had larger tires like Steve had for crawling rocky sections and ledges. You can see Steve’s actions in my picture link below.
Dome Plateau (3). This was easy trail with beautiful scenery. No problem at all with stock vehicle.
Fins ’n Things (3.5 rating) had many steep up/downs. I ran this trail with complete stock Trooper last year (even with almost worn out original Duelers), so I knew I wouldn’t have any problems. But having extra 1.5” of lift and stiffer springs/shocks made a big difference. I’ve noticed that my front bumper/rear hitch receiver did not scrape where it did last year, and I had fewer bottoming out on the trail, also.
Link to my pics:http://community.webshots.com/user/eiji_miura
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