With all the shocks on the market today, it's difficult to pick what will work best on your four-wheeler. There are several manufacturers, various types of technology, and plenty of hype.
We contacted Rancho to get the three shocks that the company produces. It offers cellular gas shocks (RS 5000), manually-adjustable shocks (RS 9000), and the new self-adjusting shocks (RS X). All three of these shocks present distinct advantages.
To test them, we used a 48 flatfender with a very modified spring-over suspension system. You might think it isnt a good example of the typical four-by, and youre right. However, its poor on-road-handling characteristics will give us more defined results than a stock or even a moderately lifted vehicle. It sways horribly in corners, partially due to the lack of sway bars. It dives when braking, and the front lifts under acceleration. It does, however, ride comfortably while going slow as well as at high speeds. All of this will be taken into account when putting each shock through its paces. Since the RS 9000 is actually five shocks in one (five different settings), we tested it on the most extreme settings (1 and 5). This covers the range of possibilities with the manually adjustable shock.