Posted on: 2013-04-25
Rancho RS9000XL Shocks Review
The RS9000XL’s are finally on the TJ build (the BRC-12), and I have to say that I never imagined my Jeep would ever ride so well. Simply put, Rancho Suspension’s RS9000XL shocks are amazing. So amazing in fact that I thought something was wrong with my Jeep once I started driving it. Aren’t Jeeps supposed to beat you up? Not only did the RS9000XL’s remedy the jarring sensation of cruising down the road, but they also eliminated nearly all the body creaks that developed over the years. Witchcraft, I know.
The first thing you’ll notice about these shocks is their robust construction. They come in a metallic finish, are 2.75″ in diameter, and feature a robust 18mm nitro carb rod. Rancho has a RS9000XL for most applications, make sure to check their website, gorancho.com.
Installation was a breeze as well, the only thing I would’ve done differently is reverse the rear shocks since the dial is left exposed. One slip on an obstacle and I can see those adjustments going bye-bye.
I also paired the RS9000XL’s with Rancho’s RS7000MT monotube steering stabilizer. Built off of the RS7000MT shock, this steering stabilizer makes short work of my 33″ x 12.5″ Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ tires. This is particularly useful when you’re aired down, locked in 4-low, and crawling over an obstacle. My previous steering stabilizer would struggle turning the MTZ’s at low speeds, which would inadvertently threaten to kill my Jeep since it’s a manual. Thankfully this is no longer a concern.
Rancho RS9000XL Shock Settings
Rancho built in nine separate settings with their RS9000XL.
Their soft settings (1-3) are designed for off road flexibility so you can get the most out of your articulation. Medium (4-6) and firm (7-9) are designed for daily driving, or towing situations when control is needed.
Adjusting the RS9000XL is easy, simply turn the dial counter-clockwise to soften, and clockwise to stiffen. You’ll feel each setting “click” as the dial passes the 12 o’clock position, which is the current setting. Each RS9000XL comes from the factory set to 5, which is fine for most lightweight applications. I ended up leaving the front shocks at 5, but adjusted the rears to 4 for a softer ride. These settings worked perfectly for both highway and logging roads; thankfully I no longer dread driving on country roads with these RS9000XL shocks. They easily cut through the variety of dips, bumps, and rocks at various speeds.
In all I couldn’t be happier with the initial performance of Rancho’s RS9000XL shocks, and RS7000MT monotube steering stabilizer. And it doesn’t look like I’m alone – there are countless reviews across the internet that rave about the superior quality of these shocks. If you’re a daily driver like me that needs hardcore performance on and off road – then these RS9000XL’s are for you. Next month we’ll be able to test their rock crawling prowess at the
21st Big Bear Jeep Jamboree