Rough Ride


New member
I have a hell creek 2.5" kit on my CJ-7, which is really just a rough country kit. I didn't know that until it showed up stenciled "rough country." Anyway, the ride is pretty harsh. I don't mind a bumpy ride to let me know I am in an old Jeep; its not supposed to ride like a caddy. The problem is, it rides like a horse drawn carriage... The seatbelts actually lock up and hold my butt in the seat. On big bumps, my feet leave the pedals! I am used to the 26 yr old stock springs that bend like wet noodles.

I know to make sure the shackles and other components are not overtightened, and they are not.

I also know the springs are supposed to break in and soften up a little, and shocks play a big part in the ride too. The kit has Heckethorn 8000 series shocks. Are these any good? I am wondering if there is room for improvement there if the ride doesn't soften out a bit. I don't want to spend any more money on it, but my passengers complain they are peeing blood! :shock: Any experience with these shocks, good or bad? I didn't get the nitros because I read on here how they are stiffer.


RE: YJ front bumper size

Well the leaf springs are not Rough Country are they? Hell Creek makes their own springs (at least they do for the 4" YJ and 4.5" XJ kits).

Is the ride harsh like you feel every pebble or is it very bouncy? If it is bouncy it should settle some. If it is harsh then it may not get much better. Those shocks are basically cheap hydraulic shocks. I had a set they rode nice for a month or so, and quickly wore out. After less than a year I replaced them with Old Man Emu.
[edited for clarity]
They are definitely Rough Country springs. I bought Hell Creek because of people on here talking about how they make their own springs and how good they were. When they showed up, they had Rough Country stenciled on them. I was fooled by the generalization.

I'd say the ride is more bouncy than feeling every pebble. Hitting small potholes or bumps in the road is not that bad. Its the roads that have an uneven surface that get it bouncing. There is one road that I have to take to work that they cut out 8-10 ft sections of concrete and repaved them with asphalt as a temp fix. It makes for a kind of wavy road surface that really seems to make the CJ bounce hard. It feels like when you drive a boat across waves.

Any recommendations on different shocks?
Hell Creek should make it known when they re-sell RC as opposed to making their own. That's kind of sneaky :(

I replaced those very shocks with Old Man Emu nitrocharger long travel shocks. They definitely took the bounce out, as they are very firm shocks. The same result can probably be obtained from a less expensive shock, but I had read nothing bad about them so that's what I went with.

I would give it a while to settle down though, many leaf springs will do that for a while. Take it out on a trail and flex it out. That should help them break in.

RE: Why can

i have the hellcreek 4" lift and i do agree... tom is really good a customer service but he should let folks know when they're getting RC springs - let the springs break in and then consider changing out the shocks - my heckthorne shocks are way on the stiff side and are on the way out as soon as i can come up w/a good reason to spend the $$$ (wife's just dont understand!!!) ;o) .... be a shame if my 6# hand sledge "slipped" and bent one.... hmmmmm......
RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Unlimited Rubi, Hemi, 37

Have you played with the tire pressure? I know most people don't consider tires to be part of the supension, but they are the root of most rough rides, springs being second. You want to keep the tires aired up for the road, but not over inflated. I would air them to the point that they make a flat tread pattern (run through water or dirt to check) but not any more. Then drive it and see if it makes any difference before buying new shocks.

RE: Re: RE: Rough Ride

Good idea, but actually, if anything they are a pound or three low. I have been meaning to air them up next time I get gas... I'll check that pressure though and see what it's at. I can definitely tell its loosening up a bit, but its still really bouncy.

Back to TwistedCopper's comment on the nitro shocks... I had read on here, I think maybe from Bounty, that the gas charged shocks made for a rough ride and the hydraulic ones make for a smoother one. Did I get that backwards?
No, the gas make for a firm ride, less bounce/more bump if you will

Hydro shocks are softer, but if your springs are too springy (bouncy) then you may need a firmer shock.

Personally, I think both versions by RC are the pits. One too soft, one too hard. As a matter of fact I have been disappointed with every product I have ever bought from Rough Country.

If you get a new set, spend a little more $$$ and get a well made shock.

Still, I'd give those springs more time to settle.
TwistedCopper said:
Still, I'd give those springs more time to settle.

Exactly, it can take quite a while for new springs to break in (like 6+ months sometimes).

When they are really broken in, you'll notice a BIG difference.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Rough Ride

OK, I will wait it out then. Thanks for the advice guys, as usual.
RE: Elliptical suspensions

I don't even remember if I got hell creek stickers. I don't think I did! I know I have RC ones, but I didn't use them.

If you end up getting new shocks later, go with either the Rancho RS9000's or the Pro Comp adjustables. That way you don't have to gamble on whether the shock is good or bad. If you don't like the ride, you can change it with the twist of a knob.
I think Rancho runs a sale once a 3 get one free.
get the hellcreek sticker by asking for it - tom used to send them out w/each lift - but stopped - i got mine just by asking ... also, the air pressure does help - i run about 25 psi in my BFG MT's ... and yea... i got PLENTY (like 5 or so...) RC stickers....
You got it right, Nitrogen (gas-charged) shocks generally ride stiffer than hydraulic shocks. Goos shocks make a world of difference, and high cost doesn't necessarily mean good.