You feel it on the drive home, when you take the kids to school, and on the trails. Poor suspension systems will turn event the most amazing off road Jeep lackluster. It can even go so far as to kill your interest in offroading.
Stock suspension systems do not usually cause any problems to the performance of your vehicle. They do their job and keep your car from behaving too erratically.
This is acceptable for most people, but not for Jeepers.
We need clearance, articulation and travel.
We need a system that is capable of running both on the highway and through the rocks.
And here is where the danger lies, the need for something better.
The Truth About Suspension Kits
90% of suspension systems are the exact same kit. They may have different bushings, or tolerances, or connectors but they are all essential the exact same kit.
Every one of them works off of the same design and concepts just with slightly different parameters of build quality,
Hold two suspension kits side by side and you will see they are pretty much the same.
These mass produced suspensions are cheaply made and extend the links while keeping the same mounting brackets and throwing off the original suspension geometry.
This changes the dynamics of the car, the handling, ride, drive and off road capabilities.
Install this cheaply made, and cheaply designed suspension your rig will never be the same.
Then it starts…
Your Jeep will feel dangerous at highway speeds.
The handling will cause you to take corners slower.
Your ride will feel lose or wobbly.
So make it a trailer queen right? Don’t take it somewhere it won’t do well and haul it all over. Take the time to put it on the trailer, hook up the trailer, haul the trailer, get the rig off the trailer, and drive under 30mph in-between the rocks. If you’re jeep can’t handle paved streets it won’t perform off them.
Your offroading rig will struggle on the rocks, trails, or even the mud. Classic symptoms include:
- Poor handling
- Wobble while swerving
- Feeling like you’ll tip on corners
- Fear of driving over 60 mph
- Difficulty traversing rocks or climbing
- Lack of stability on street or off roading
- Constant breakage of the suspension
- Loss of interest in Jeeping
Any of these alone can harm a Jeeper’s love of off roading. Every moment on the trail, not just when you are wheeling, you will feel the sloppy suspension. And when you try to mount that rock, BOOM, it breaks because the system was never meant to be used as far as it was rated.
Then you have to make a fix on the trail.
Get towed out.
Winch every other obstacle.
Pray that one of you’re buddies has a portable welder.
You do not want to be stuck with a Jeep that can’t drive or needs to have parts constantly replaced.
The Only Thing Sadder
The only thing sadder than Jeeps that are held back by their suspension systems, is their owners that believe there is no other option. They chock these problems up to the way they wheel or the dangers of a lift kit. They constantly replace the parts on their suspension and try new shocks or springs in an attempt to fix the underlying problem.
Eventually, they stop Jeeping.
Maybe they take a break to save up for a new fix, decide Jeeping is too expensive, or don’t want to have to fix their rig again, after just another weekend.
In short, take a hard look at your suspension, and go through the above points to make sure one of the key components of your Jeep is not hurting your love of off-roading. A great suspension will leave you with a smile on your face every time you get out of your Jeep. And a Dual Sport Jeep suspension will perform both on and off the pavement.
by Lucas Hawes