Rancho Takes On The Monotube Shock MarketPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on December 1, 2011
Rancho, synonymous with its popular RS-series of shocks and quality lift solutions for 4x4s, has been a major player in aftermarket suspension as long as most of us can remember. Recently, Rancho revamped its lineup with some new additions, including a line of monotube shocks dubbed the RS7000MT.
The nitrogen-charged RS7000MT comes in a brushed metallic finish that is clearcoated for maximum corrosion resistance. The body is 50mm (1.97 inches) in diameter and uses a 46mm piston on a 14mm chrome rod. The ten-stage velocity-sensitive valving is specifically tuned to the application intended and protective boots are included. All RS7000MTs come with a limited lifetime warranty and 90-day free ride offer, eliminating any reason by a prospective customer not to try them.
Knowing that monotube shocks offer superior response over twin- or triple-tube shocks and wanting to see how Rancho’s monotube stacks up against other offerings in the industry, as well as its own popular RS5000s, we decided to order a set for our ’07 Ford Super Duty F-250. This truck, which is typically used for towing a travel trailer and driving down backcountry roads, already had a leveling kit and RS5000 shocks installed. We figured this would be a perfect vehicle because we could compare the entry-level RS5000 with the new RS7000MT and really get a feel for any increase in performance offered by the monotube.
Rancho says that the RS7000MT will improve handling and enhance stability by reducing body roll, as the nitrogen gas charge provides additional spring rate for maximum damping response. Monotubes are also known for their ability to effectively dissipate heat and eliminate cavitation, reducing shock fade. Another feature of the RS7000MT is the hydraulic lockout, which Rancho designed to cushion the impact as the shock reaches full droop, minimizing the harshness of a suspension top-out.
Rancho’s RS7000MT comes in direct replacement sizes for stock vehicles as well as many of its most popular kits. This means if you already own a Rancho-lifted vehicle, there is no guesswork involved in upgrading your shocks. Rancho already has the valving and shock lengths figured out for you.
The install, which was done in a little over an hour in our driveway, literally transformed the ride of this truck. Read on to see how easy swapping shocks can be and what a noticeable difference they can make on your rig.
How It Works
The difference in ride of our Super Duty was apparent from the moment we backed out of the driveway. Taking it on our typical test loop, we could tell that the Super Duty ride felt tighter, with less body roll around corners. The most noticeable difference was on larger bumps, such as drainage cross ditches, where the big Ford was clearly more controlled and no longer exhibited a suspension crash as the shocks were compressed.
After a few hundred miles behind the wheel, the owner of the truck told us that he feels like he has a brand new truck. He says the ride on the highway is “great” and that the truck no longer bounces over expansion joints. He tells us that the biggest change is in the way the RS7000MTs control oscillations of the rear axle with his 27-foot, 7,200-pound trailer hooked up. He is also impressed with the way short, sharp impacts, such as broken pavement or railroad tracks, are no longer harshly transmitted to the cabin.
While the previous setup on this Super Duty never exhibited a bad ride, it could sometimes exhibit ride harshness, which is all but gone with the RS7000MT upgrade. Overall, we’d have to agree with Rancho’s performance claims and can recommend the RS7000MT for anyone looking for an affordable, real-world improvement in ride comfort and stability.