Review & Install Video
These Teraflex 9550 VSS Front and Rear Shocks are for anyone with a 2007 to 2018 JK with two and a half inches of lift that are looking for a very high quality shock that's going to ride and perform very well, both on-road and off-road. These shocks are gonna be a nice easy one out of three wrench bolt-on installation and we are gonna show you how to do that in just a second.
So, when you're shopping for shocks, it's gonna be for a couple of different reasons. Yours are worn out, leaking, just not working properly or maybe you just added that two and a half inch lift and you want a longer shock that's going to accommodate that to get the maximum out of your suspension. Whatever the reasoning is when shopping for shocks, you're gonna find a couple of different main categories. One is going to be a twin-tube shock which is what we have here and then a little bit more expensive, generally, is going to be a mono-tube shock. A mono-tube shock can have a couple of benefits. If you're doing some really hardcore off-road racing, you're hitting the wash boards at speed, you need that shock to do a lot of damping. Having a mono-tube shock, it can provide a little bit more of that damping power where a twin-tube shock like this one has a slightly smaller piston and can't handle quite as much damping. However, for the vast majority of us, on-road, off-road, rock crawling, all of those things, a shock like this is still going to be just fine. It's going to perform very, very well for you.
This is going to be a shock that falls into the nitrogen-charged category. Again, when you're looking at shocks, you're going to find hydraulic and nitrogen-charged and a nitrogen-charged shock has a couple of benefits that, sort of, counteract some of what I had just mentioned that a mono-tube is really good for. So the nitrogen charge inside of the shock is there to keep the fluid in the shock from foaming and cavitating which can sometimes happen when you work the shock really, really hard, especially over a shorter period of time and that foamy and cavitation can cause what's known as shock fade and you can get a bouncy ride. So by having the nitrogen-charge in the shock, it helps to eliminate some of that. So even if you are working the shock a little extra hard off-road, that nitro charge is going to help eliminate any, sort of, shock fade that you might have and again, it's just a very well rounded shock that's a little less expensive than most of those mono-tubes.
It's also a very well-built shock. You're going to have the chrome plated shaft here which is a little bit thicker than some of the other on some of the other brands out there. It is going to be hardened so you don't have to worry about any sort of bending. And the rest of the body of the shock and the bushings and all of that is going to be really, really well made so you're gonna get a lot of longevity out of the shock. Now, one thing that I really wanna focus on here is the fact that this is a VSS shock, a vehicle-specific shock, which means that this is valved specifically for your vehicle and that's really, really important. A lot of the shocks you'll find out there on the market, they'll fit your vehicle because they're the proper length depending on your lift kit but they're not actually built for your vehicle and therefore, the weight of the vehicle, the spring rates, all of those things are a little bit different from vehicle to vehicle and you don't really know what kind of ride you're going to get. These shocks from Teraflex are tuned specifically for your JK so you know you're gonna get a really comfortable ride out of them as well as them being a very high quality piece that's gonna last a long time. So they really are the complete package.
Now because this is a premium product, they're gonna be a little bit more expensive than some of the other shocks you might find, coming in at right around the $285 mark but I think that's really fair for the quality of the shock, the longevity you're going to get, the life. You're also going to get a very comfortable ride and some great performance on-road and off-road. So, as we said before, this is gonna be a nice easy install for you just bolting right into place, one out of three wrenches and I'm gonna show you how to do it right now.
For this installation, we used a 15, 16, 17 and 18-millimeter wrench along with ratcheting versions where it made sense. We also used a couple of sockets, a 16 and an 18-millimeter. We used a 1/2-inch extension and we drove those sockets with our half-inch pneumatic impact. And finally, we needed a set of diagonal cutters.
So the first step in our very easy one out of three wrench installation of these new shocks is to get our factory shocks out of the way. As you can see, our Jeep is up on a lift here. We had the tires pulled off of it. You could certainly do this on the ground on a jack and jack stands if you would like to. Now in our situation here, the shock is what's limiting the down travel of the axle. So, we have a couple of pole jacks underneath the axle supporting that weight so when we get the shock out of the way, nothing is gonna move around on us. And we're gonna start right up here on the top nut on the shock. Now these are known for getting rusty. If you were taking your shocks off and just throwing them in the trash anyway you're not gonna be too worried if that does break off. In fact, you can make it a little bit quicker and easier to get that shock out of the way. If you are trying to save the shock, use a good amount of a penetrating oil on that to try and get it to break loose as easily as possible without just breaking off completely. Now, in the 2012 and up Jeep, there is a good bit of plastic in the way here. It can be a little bit tough to get a wrench on that nut. If you are too concerned, you don't wanna break that plastic away, there is a way to do it. That's how we're gonna do it today. Just, kind of, fishing our wrench in there and getting about a quarter turn at a time on that nut. If you are not overly concerned about the plastic, in fact, the install instructions will tell you to break away some of that plastic and free up a little bit of additional space for you, that way you can get a larger ratcheting wrench or possibly even a ratchet on that nut just to make it a little bit quicker and easier to remove your old shock and to get your new one installed. So, all that being said, we're gonna get a wrench up in there and see if this is gonna break free for us.
We have our wrench on the top nut and we're also going to use a wrench on the bottom of the shock here to keep the shaft from spinning while we break this loose. We have the nut out of the way. We can pull the shock down and out and move on to removing the bottom bolt. With the lower shock bolt removed, the shock will come right out.
So, as you can see, with the factory shock next to our new shock, there are a lot of similarities, a couple of differences that I do wanna point out. The main difference visually, of course, is the factory one is very rusty. It does have this plastic protector over the shock piston or the shaft of the shock piston anyway and that's just to keep a little bit of dirt and grime off of that area of the shock. Your Teraflex one does not have one. That's not a bad thing. There is some argument on whether or not this helps or hurts when there is some dirt debris that gets stuck up in there. The normal rain and wash from water on the road can't rinse it off as easily. So there are definitely some arguments for having something like this and for letting it run completely open in this fashion so when you do get something on there, it can, a little bit more easily, be washed off. So, visually, again, a couple of differences that I did wanna point out.
As far as the construction goes, like I mentioned before, these are both a twin-tube shock so they are going to be pretty similar in construction. Of course, your Teraflex shock is going to be longer because it is for a lifted vehicle where this is a stock shock for a stock height vehicle. It's a little bit hard to tell how much longer it is because we still have it banded. That's gonna make it a little bit easier for us to get it installed in the Jeep in just a second. But trust me, it is gonna be a little bit longer. But as far as the lower bushings, as far as the post up top, the way that the bushings for the top go, all of that stuff, front and back, is going to be very, very similar because these will bolt right in place of that factory shock.
Now we're ready to bolt our new shock into place and like we said before, we are gonna leave the banding on just to make it easier to get everything lined up on the bottom here so we're not fighting with the top. Then we'll snip the banding, get rid of the protective plastic cap on here. We will have to pull the shock back just a little bit to get our lower bushing and washer in place then we can guide the top up through the hole, put the washer and bushing on the other side, finally get our nut started and get everything tightened up. But, first thing's first, we'll start on the bottom bolt.
So we'll get our nut started on there by hand but we are gonna leave it loose until we have the top all guided in there and ready to go then we'll go back and tighten up the hardware. So I have a pair of diagonal cutters here that we'll use to cut the banding and I also have my other hand on the plastic shipping cap. We'll pull that off and just let the top of the piston of the shock land somewhere up here next to the hole so we can get our bushings on there. So we have a washer and a bushing that's gonna go on the underside and on the top side of our shock mount that's attached to the frame here. And on the bushing, you have a larger side and a smaller side. We're going to put the larger side up against the metal of the shock mount. That's going to help that shock to self-center in that hole which means that the washer goes on the other side. So I'm gonna pull down on the shock a little bit. Set these over top of it. Then allow the piston of the shock to go up through the hole. Then we'll get the washer and the bushing on the other side and start our nut into place.
Now we'll go ahead and tighten up our top nut. It's about good there. You wanna make sure that you're compressing your bushing a little bit so you're not gonna get any, sort of, noise or chattering out of the top shock mount here. So you can see our bushing is a little bit squished down which means we're plenty tight. We'll go back and tighten up the bottom bolt and then we can jump to the other side and do the same thing.
Now we can pull the pole jacks out of the front and move them to the rear axle so we can do the rear shocks. So, just like up front, I'm gonna put the pole jacks under the rear axle to support the weight and then get those factory shocks out of the way. The back shocks are pretty much the same as the front on the bottom. There's just one bolt to remove.
While the bottom of the shock in the back is the same as the bottom of the shock in the front, the tops are a little bit different. So, front we have that single post, in the back here we have what's known as a bar pin. So there are two bolts that hold that bar pin to the upper shock mount. So, we have a slightly different size socket, 16-millimeter this time. We're gonna get in there and remove those two bolts.
With our stock shock out of the way, we're ready to install our new one and just like up front, we're gonna leave the banding in place. We're going to attach the two upper bolts then we'll cut the banding, let the shock fully expand and get that lower bolt in. Now we'll cut the banding and the shock will expand right down into the shock mount. Finally, we'll grab our stock hardware and get it bolted in. Now we'll repeat the process on the passenger side. And we'll get it bolted up with our factory hardware. So if you're looking for a very high-quality set of shocks for your lifted JK, I would recommend this choice from Teraflex and you can find it right here at extremeterrain.com.