The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular Jeep vehicles. Wrangler lovers will tell you there are very few improvements you can make to this vehicle. They are versatile and can be used as an open-air ride when you are traveling on the beach, and they can be tough enough to travel over terrain other vehicles simply cannot cover.
The only complaint that most Jeep Wrangler owners have is they are not the smoothest ride on the road. This rough-riding little vehicle actually gets the rough ride because the shock absorbers that make most vehicles ride smooth are positioned in such a way to absorb the impacts of traveling over uneven and rough terrain and not to make the passengers comfy.
You will also notice that the Jeep Wrangler sits higher off the ground than most vehicles. While this lets you cover rough areas, and forge streams and mudholes, it also lets you feel every little bump in the road.
There are a few things you can do if the roughness of your ride is causing you grief.
8 Effective Tips to Make Jeep Wrangler Ride Smoother
1. Replace the Shocks
You can replace the shocks that come standard on the Jeep Wrangler with high-performance shocks. The shocks that the manufacturer installs on these vehicles are very stiff so they can handle being driven in off-road scenarios. If you drive more on paved roads go ahead and get new shocks and new coil springs to remedy the rough ride.
2. Time for a Wheel Alignment
If your wheels are not aligned properly then the smoothness of the ride is changed. The angle of the wheels has to be right for your vehicle to drive smoothly. Often when you travel off-road you cause the wheel’s alignment to be slightly changed, not enough to eat the tires, but enough to make the ride rougher. You can read our suggestions for the best wheels and rims for jeep wranglers.
3. Have the Steering Stabilizer Checked
The steering stabilizers on the vehicle also aid the shock absorbers. They help contain the excess shock and when they are improperly aligned your vehicle will drive rougher, ride rougher, and be less stable.
You should have a licensed Jeep specialist check the steering stabilizer for you. This can make your vehicle safer to drive and more responsive so it takes a curve easier and does not tend to drift on the highway.
4. Get New Steering Bushings
You may need to replace the steering bushings. The ones that traditionally come on a Wrangler are rubber. These rubber pieces work pretty well, but they can stretch, they can compress, and they can wear out. Replace the rubber bushings with some made of polyurethane and you can increase the smooth action of your steering and make the ride less rough at the same time.
5. New Tires
You can change your tires and change your ride. The tires that came on your Jeep Wrangler are higher than normal and designed to get a grip on the surface they are covering. That makes them let you feel every little bump in the road. This is great for off-road travel but it kind of sucks for daily paved road driving.
You can put shorter tires that are actually designed for highway driving and that will instantly give you a smoother ride without changing the look of your Jeep too much.
6. Camber Kits
Lowering the vehicle with just the tires, or through new shocks simply may not give you the smoothness that you want. If you want you can install a camber kit that can straighten the track of your tires.
Often when the vehicle has been lowered through shorter tires or through new shocks the angle the wheel is at will be changed and the right side will work against the left side and the result is not a smooth ride. The camber kit gets installed, straightens those wheels back,- and lets everything work in unison as it should.
7. Make It Heavier
A lot of times we remove the top or remove the doors from a Jeep so we can be topless. This is fun to drive topless on the beach and feel the wind in our hair, but it also makes the vehicle ride rougher.
When you have the doors and the top off of the vehicle you have made it lighter. The lighter weight of the vehicle allows it to bump around more on the road and feel rougher when you ride.
The canvas tops and the canvas doors give you a look that you might love, but if the ride is rough you are going to need to switch over to steel doors and steel framed tops.
Put a hardtop on the vehicle and this will increase the weight and improve the ride. You should consider putting those doors back on too. It comes down to you having to decide if you want a smooth ride like that you get from a sedan or the freedom of the fresh air that only driving topless will give you.
Keep the canvas top and the canvas doors so you can switch them out when you want to take your Jeep to the wilderness, and keep the hardtop for when you come back to the city. The experiences you have will be worth the time it takes to swap over the tops and doors.
8. Change the Way You Drive
The way that you drive, especially the speed at which you shift gears may be causing you to have a rougher experience than you have to have. The engine in these vehicles is high-torque and when you shift gears it can be aggressive and make the vehicle jerk a little.
You can eliminate this action by shifting at a lower speed. This lets the shift be smoother and the engine does not have to be so aggressive.
A lot of the roughness that you experience when you ride in a Wrangler on a paved road is simply because these vehicles are not really designed for paved roads and traveling to and from work each day. They are made to leave the pavement, climb the mountainside, cross the sandy beach, go through the mud puddles, and take you to places few men have been. They are designed for the roads less traveled and the places that are still wild and free.
You can have the best of both worlds and make a few changes to your favorite vehicle to help tame it down a little. When you bought this vehicle you got a lot of horses, a lot of power, and you should enjoy it.