Choosing Shocks for your Jeep Cherokee XJ
Not many vehicle platforms last almost 20 years, this extensive life of the Jeep Cherokee XJ setup has allowed tons of aftermarket options.
If you're looking for a shock absorber to replace your worn out factory parts, there's tons of options, but only a few you should pay attention to. If you're a true Jeeper, those factory shocks are not going to last you past 40-50k, often less depending on your location. Our recommendations below are all Monotube design, which are proven to dampen better than off-the-shelf twin tube shocks (white can).
The industry standard by which most other shocks are measured against, these shocks will outlast anything of comparable cost. High pressurized gas, monotube design, these shocks are excellent for trucks and SUVs, soaking up potholes like no one's business, and can handle towing and heavier loads with ease.
Rancho RS7000 is Rancho's signature monotube gas shock, providing the most consistent ride characteristics through progressive design. These shocks have more travel available compared to the twin tube counterparts (RS5000 / RS9000), due to the monotube design. We recommend these shocks if you're considering going with Rancho.
KYB Gas A Just / Monomax
KYB Gas Ajust / Monomax gas shocks are the best option for drivers looking for an exact factory replacement part and ride quality. KYB manufacturers for numerous OEMs, excelling at stock replacement ride control parts. The Monomax is KYB's best for Jeeps and trucks, as its the most durable and provides consistent control.
White Can Shock (Random Brand)
These will get the job done, until they dont. Hard to expect more than 20,000 miles out of a shock when you paid $25 for it.
This is our most popular category for the Cherokee, beach, rocks, mountains, trails, creeks, donuts, duh? If you're off-road just as much as you're on road, and still value a decent ride on the highway, check these recommendations.
The Bilstein 5100 is one of our best sellers for the Wrangler platform, its a zinc-plated monotube gas shock which is great for moderate offroad use at lower speeds, rock crawling, and other aggressive terrain. Our most popular seller, the 5100 series provides great control offroad, while still maintaining a consistent controlled ride on the highway. Providing firmer dampening over a factory shock, or the 4600 series, these shocks help reduce body roll, and resist fade, with exceptionally long life. These shocks are the go-to shock for trucks and Jeeps that are daily drivers and weekend warriors.
FOX's new 2.0 Adventure Series shock is a brother to their incredible race winning shock design technology. These shocks are 2 inches in diameter, with a steel body, and maintain Fox's high quality components and internals. The Adventure series is the direct competitor to the Bilstein 5100, check our our blog post for more details and comparisons.
Gas shocks are near identical to the factory shocks on a Cherokee, these shocks feature a 2.25” body and a 1.375” internal dampening piston. These same shocks are featured on numerous Jeeps and full size trucks from the manufacturer. The RS5000X are a great budget option for a daily driver that sees the trails and mountains on the weekend.
Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport
Old Man Emu is one of the more premium shock options available for a do-everything-vehicle. Exceedingly durable in tough conditions, these shocks have incredible longevity, and their designs allow for the ultimate protection against road debris. Designed in Australia for the outback, Old Man Emu’s Nitrocharger Sport shock is the go-to damper for offroad enthusiast and extremely rugged vehicles.
These shocks are for serious off road 4x4'rs, who want a dependable long lasting shock, perhaps rebuildable, that gives the best control available. The two most popular options here are Fox and King shocks, both who have a long history of racing offroad and shock absorber manufacturing. There have been numerous new players with some impressive shock products coming to market, namely ICON, Fabtech, Sway Away, and Teraflex.
One of the leading manufacturers of OEM fitted offroad shocks right now, these are the shocks you always wished for during Christmas but never got because shocks are shocks right? Wrong. The Fox's aluminum body protects against everything the world throws at it, dirt, debri, mud, sand, snow - these shocks are heavily rust resistant, making them perfect for areas of high salt content.
Fox's top of the line shock product for factory applications, reservoirs are included, with a 2.5inch body that holds significantly more shock fluid to prevent fade and overheating. These adjustable shocks will handle anything your truck can throw at it, unstoppable.
Bilstein 5160 Reservoir shocks come with all the dependability that Bilstein is famous for, earned through extensive experience in offroad racing shock design. The addition of a reservoir allows for more travel and long term durability for offroad use. One sticking point with these shocks is the 90 day warranty, compared to the more extended Limited Lifetime on their 5100 series and 4600 series shocks. The 5160 series is an excellent choice for vehicles that enjoy the offroad, but still love their softer highway ride.
KING Offroad Shocks
KING Offroad Shocks provides tried and true offroad racing shock design, and they've brought that technology and R&D to the OEM space, giving a range of options for your Jeep or Truck. King and Fox are the two leaders in the offroad racing world in terms of team support and wins, both manufacturers have excellent parts made from near identical components. King’s quality assurance is unmatched, as they intentionally stay small as a company, to maintain quality and service standards surrounding their product.
Fabtech Dirt Logic
Fabtech Dirt Logic options are available in a full coilover system, or independent shocks with 2.25" shock bodies with an added reservoir. The Dirt Logic line is available in sizes up to a massive 4” body, meant for the toughest rigs on the planet, in a bolt on configuration. Featuring a 1.25” shaft and a 3.75” internal piston, nothing else comes close.
Icon Vehicle Dynamics offers 2" or 2.5" aluminum adjustable shocks for most major truck and Jeep models in a monotube design, with a beautiful matte finish. All parts are hand built in Riverside, CA, with exceedingly high quality components, based on non-stop real-world testing in the deserts of Southern California. Expect a more controlled ride with these shocks, reduced body roll on the highway, and incredible road feedback in all terrains.