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Seems it’s about that time. Muh shocks and struts need replaced. Obviously I could go OEM, but if there’s something worth buying in the $600-$800 range for all 4 that could pull double duty for city and overlanding, I’d appreciate some recommendations.

2014 trailhawk.
 

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Seems it’s about that time. Muh shocks and struts need replaced. Obviously I could go OEM, but if there’s something worth buying in the $600-$800 range for all 4 that could pull double duty for city and overlanding, I’d appreciate some recommendations.

2014 trailhawk.
Bilstein B6 struts and shocks. The B6 is a little more heavier duty than stock. If you just want a higher quality stock ride quality, go with the B4's...It's pretty much those, stock Mopars, or Dobinsons for available options...😎
 

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I went with the Bilstein B4 for the front and rear about a year and a half ago and I'm really satisfied with the choice I made. I was originally looking for the B6's, but could not find four of them, while it took me two months to find four of the B4's. Not sure what's available for either these days, but maybe things have improved.

My experience with the B4 is positive. I can say that the ride is much firmer than the stock shocks and struts and it's really firm enough for me. If the B6 is even more of a firm ride, then I may not have picked the wrong ones.

My suspension lift is 1-1/2" and the B4 shock travel is ideal. I suspect that's true for 2" lifts as well, but not sure about anything more than that.

You'll like the Bilstein's.
 

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Just installed the B6 set a couple weeks ago. I don't know why Jeep doesn't just put these, or an equivalent on the Cherokees to start.
Ride is wonderfully tight on the streets (in LA :cool:). Haven't been off road with them yet since I'm working on a coolant leak issue before heading out to the desert.

Warning, Be careful if you have a lift kit already installed. Something seems to get fishy with the struts, but they do go in with capable hands.
 

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Just found a leaking front strut so I guess it's my turn to swap in some Bilsteins. My main criteria is ride quality. I feel the stock shocks are unnecessarily harsh. I had Bilstein B6 on a lowered BMW and they were nice on the track but somewhat harsh on the streets.

On the forum, there's a few who have mentioned their Bilstein B4s were firmer than stock, and they definitely wouldn't want firmer. Those with B6s say they're firmer than stock but ride quality on the highway is better than stock, I'm guessing in terms of sway control? It's definitely possible the monotube B6 has better initial give for less harshness than the twintube B4, but the BMW sure didn't feel that way.

Anyway, an extensive search for forum mentions of Bilsteins showed only @Tyler-98-W68 having used both B4 and B6, and he seems to be banned for some reason. So I'm just curious if anyone else has tried both and has an opinion on the relative harshness of the B4 vs B6 vs stock on an average shitty street filled with expansion joints, manhole covers and potholes, and highway speed expansion joints.

The stock shocks feel harsh on low-speed streets, but I don't notice expansion joints on the highways around here like I do with the RV so for me the stock setup is more of a lower-speed harshness problem. It may also be more related to the relatively stiff swaybars than the shocks, which may make all the shocks feel about the same at lower speeds, I.e. potholes at 30 mph.
 

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I can only comment on the factory shocks and struts and the Bilstein B4's and I can say that the B4 is an improvement, on the highway, city streets (with potholes, snow and other surface issues) and the somewhat lighter 'off-roading' that I've done so far and when it's time for replacement, I'll again go with the B4.
 

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...curious if anyone else has tried both and has an opinion on the relative harshness of the B4 vs B6 vs stock on an average shitty street filled with expansion joints, manhole covers and potholes, and highway speed expansion joints.

The stock shocks feel harsh on low-speed streets, but I don't notice expansion joints on the highways around here like I do with the RV so for me the stock setup is more of a lower-speed harshness problem. It may also be more related to the relatively stiff swaybars than the shocks, which may make all the shocks feel about the same at lower speeds, I.e. potholes at 30 mph.
I just went from the stock struts to B6s. I wish they were there to start from the factory. The ride is more solid all around on the junk streets here in LA county. Haven't been off road with them yet, but I know they will continue to make me smile there. That said, I do not expect rocks or narrow rut-type bumps to be any different with them though, including washboard. I think those pinpoint shockwaves are too "high frequency" to be damped by anything on most suspensions especially at low speeds.

It's tough to gauge what you are looking for though in a Cherokee (or anything that size), with expansion joints and potholes like that at low speeds. It's the bigger holes and other uneven pavement damage that the struts and shocks eat up for snacks at any speed. The B6s love that stuff.
 

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It's tough to gauge what you are looking for though in a Cherokee (or anything that size), with expansion joints and potholes like that at low speeds. It's the bigger holes and other uneven pavement damage that the struts and shocks eat up for snacks at any speed. The B6s love that stuff.
Before the Cherokee, we had a CrossTrek which had a much more compliant ride on your basic bad pavement, and also felt a lot more eager in corners. I think for a vehicle with off-road capability that drives 99% of its miles on the street, Subaru did a great job with ride and handling and it would be nice if the Cherokee were a little more like that.

I ordered the B6s so I guess I'll find out soon enough.
 

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You already made the excellent decision to drive a Cherokee over a CrossTrek. Really the two shouldn't be compared, so I won't go there. Upgrading to B6s is your next excellent choice. You'll be looking for bad pavement to tackle during that 99% of the time 😂
Like I said, Jeep should have put B6s or their equivalent on the Cherokee to start.

Wish you the best.
 
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I'm probably in the minority here, but the Jeep Cherokee is just another car. It has a particular set of design decisions that are different from the CrossTrek, but both are decent vehicles. The CrossTrek is around 800 lbs (!) lighter, but if you want to tow more than 2000 lbs you'll have your hands full. The CrossTrek's ride and handling was far better than the Cherokee's, but the CrossTrek is handicapped by the 148hp motor. The Cherokee isn't particularly fast for its 276hp though, and the Subaru's CVT felt much better than the 9-speed auto in the Cherokee.

The main reason we have the Cherokee now is that of the small SUVs that can be flat towed behind an RV, it has the offroad capability we wanted, because at the time we were traveling out west and enjoying the fire road and off-road capabilities of the CrossTrek. They can both get out there and do the thing without much risk of getting stuck. In general, if the terrain is too rough to go solo with the CrossTrek or Cherokee, you'd want to have a buddy and/or a winch even if you have a lifted Wrangler on 35s.

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I'm definitely not knocking a Crosstrek, but I personally have been many places in my Trailhawk where even the most capable Crosstrek will ever come close to going. Now I don't push mine to the limits by any means, as I have other dedicated offroad toys, but here's a fun little video of their true capabilities, and there's many others out there...There is no comparison between the two...😉😎
 

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Well, that Trailhawk looks lifted, has rock sliders, bigger KO2s, and starts at $10K more than the CrossTrek. And if you want a bit of a laugh/cringe, here's a stock-looking CrossTrek (non-stock wheels but shitty-looking tires) on Hell's Revenge in Moab. He was very sloppy and destroys the front bumper and probably puts some good dents in the undertray, looks like he's having fun though. But with clearance-oriented bumper, 2" lift, better wheels and bigger tires, and rock rails, it would do just fine and still cost $5-10K less than that Trailhawk.

The Trailhawk will still be better on the harder off-road stuff, with the low range and locker.

But the stuff you want to try solo, 25 miles from a main road, out of cell coverage, in your daily driver with no winch, is just not going to be that much different between the CrossTrek and the Cherokee. Bump a rock wrong and bend/break a tie rod on either vehicle and you're going for a really long walk. High-center on a big rock? Going for a long walk. Come to a steep slippery down-hill you might not make it back up? Probably time to turn around, or you might be going for a really long walk. The off-road recovery cost will be bad but starting a 10-mile walk 1 hour before dark will be worse.

And both Hells Revenge and that Wheeler Lake trail look like trails you should probably do in a group, or at least with a buddy, unless you're in a dedicated off-road rig.

 

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Ouch!!! That's gonna leave a mark...🤣😎
Definitely! He said he did a bunch of other trails around Moab and didn't know that one would be so tough.

This one wouldn't have had any problems. Considering the $10K starting price difference from CrossTrek to Trailhawk, it's still quite a bit less than a comparably equipped TrailHawk. The Cherokee crowd would love the Subaru aftermarket with stuff like adjustable control arms for those that want to lift 3"+. And the Subaru crowd would love the Cherokee's low-range. I still think Subaru could have built a lifted CrossTrek RallySport edition with a lower-range CVT, better clearance bumpers and a 2.0 turbo pushing 240hp and they could have sold as many as they wanted to build.
 

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This one wouldn't have had any problems. Considering the $10K starting price difference from CrossTrek to Trailhawk
I had to watch that whole video of that thing on Fins just to see what happened when he got to Cleo's Step, and it fared better than I thought. Good thing for that nice front bumper...LOL!!! That's the one obstacle on the entire trail that doesn't have an easy way around. My profile picture was taken at the top of that spot when my Trailhawk was brand new, and bone stock, long before I put the 2 inch lift, and 245/70's on. To this day, the only trail scars I have are a few minor scratches on the skid plates. Isn't that what they're for??? LOL...😉😎
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Cleo's Step, and it fared better than I thought. Good thing for that nice front bumper...LOL!!! That's the one obstacle on the entire trail that doesn't have an easy way around. My profile picture was taken at the top of that spot when my Trailhawk was brand new, and bone stock, long before I put the 2 inch lift, and 245/70's on.
Did you clear at the bottom with the stock Trailhawk bumper? Maybe going at an angle instead of straight down like he did? My Overland bumper doesn't have great clearance.

The B6s arrived. First thing I noticed is the flat spot opposite the sway bar bracket. Strange, but I found a couple pictures here of other B6s with that same flat spot so I guess they're made that way.

Also, the struts didn't come with a boot or dust shield, although the rear shocks do. Does the shield from the stock struts fit? I'm not sure if the shaft is a different size, although I suppose I could drill it out.

Strut bearings only have 65K on them, I've never replaced strut bearings even on my old lowered cars with 150K+ miles and lots of autocrosses and track days. I've seen some say they should be replaced but unless they're really terrible like those plastic clips that hold the strut in (WTF?) seems like they should be fine. On my old cars the top hat of the strut bearing had bolts going through the strut tower (the CrossTrek too), it's unfathomable that Jeep just put a little plastic clip and went "🤷‍♂️ shouldn't fall out before it's sold" or maybe "🤷‍♂️ can't see it from my house".

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Also the bottom fin that I guess lines up with the pinch mount slot so you don't install the wrong side is a little bent. Should be easy to straighten.
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Also, the struts didn't come with a boot or dust shield, although the rear shocks do. Does the shield from the stock struts fit? I'm not sure if the shaft is a different size, although I suppose I could drill it out.
The bellows (boots), bearings, and a few other various accessories you might need are sold separately...😎
 

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You might as well order a set of these. I think every Cherokee should be running them, whether you go offroad or not...😎High Performance Strut Clamp - MFC Offroad
I did order them. I've seen some mentions that they take a while to ship but I don't have to be in too much of a hurry. I'd like to see if I can install them but I don't think I can get away with that in my apartment parking lot. I wish there were hobby shops for civilians.
 
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