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WK2 Air suspension and Blistein Shocks


Mike WK2
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Mike WK2

Hi, after my very tired rear air suspension gave up at Slindon, I thought I better do the job I have been researching for some time. 
 

upgrading the rear shocks ( also well past there prime ) I’m sure I read someone else in the club looking at the same for alternatives as well so thought I would share what I have done. 
 

so I had been looking for replacement shocks for some time, and the only listing for the WK2 with air suspension is either manufacture originals or Arnot, both come with a hefty price tag of circa £250 per shock. Which I didn’t want to spend and I wouldn’t an improvement rather than just stock. 
 

I had read on one of the American owners club that a chap had done a huge amount of research and come to the conclusion the listing for the blistein shock with non air suspension was exactly the same length, dimensions etc etc. 
 

so I had already taken the plunge and ordered these. Part number in the picture below. 

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Mike WK2

I can now confirm that they do fit exactly with no issue at all. 
 

You do have to re use the top mount which incorporates the bump stop, there is also a couple of tools you need to make sure you have to save routing round the garage. 
 

the top bolts to remove the bracket are 5/8 socket.

 

once the shock is out the top mounting plate pulls off no issue  giving access to the shock thread and secure nut, but this recessed so you need a 18mm box spanner to remove the nut and a small long 10mm socket and extension bar which will slide through the box spanner to enable the nut to removed. 

 

in revers with the bilstein same box spanner but you need a 6mm Allen drive which will fit through the box spanner. 
 

20 mm socket and 22mm spanner for the bottom bolts. 
 

 

 

 

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Mike WK2

The air bags had been my prior issue knowing that they where in poor condition was getting know where fast with getting replacements from local dealers / stockist without even getting to how much, hence not doing before the weekend away. 
 

so whilst back at Washington campsite on the Saturday night got on google and just ordered from the place that had the quickest delivery time quoted. ( MOT due this Friday ) 😆

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Mike WK2

I ordered through eBay 🙈🙈 from this company in Germany quoting they would be delivered on Tuesday ( today ) didn’t believe it but worth a go. 

26CFE0DC-0DD1-4FC3-A52C-8F44D192C9C3.png

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Mike WK2

But true to their advert they turned up courtesy of UPS at 11 this morning. 
 

I don’t know how the cost compares as never got as far as a price from anyone that had them in the UK. 
 

but a pair, purchased and delivered including import tax ( £78 ) meant the cost per unit was £150 each. 
 

easy to fit, the only fun and games was removing the clipped in air hose from the old units. Mine hadn’t been touched in 9 years since it was made and wouldn’t depress to pull off. 
 

but a very careful pry on both sides with the smallest flag head watch makers screw driver got there. 
 

there was one issue with the new bags they quote not use the original fitting and to cut the air line and use their straight connector. 
 

I didn’t like that idea for a number of reasons. 
 

1) I don’t believe the air line was long enough once cut behind the connector. 
2) future replacement bags could be difficult 

3) it would have meant a radius curve in the hose putting the air line out in the wheel arch. ( asking for trouble ) 

 

So I have done what they say not to, and removed the old connectors from the original bags which screw straight into the new ones. 
 

clipped up on the original connectors and all good. 

 

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Mike WK2

Also, with regards to the air bag replacement, all the advice on line is to disconnect the battery to stop the air system being able to run. 
 

but as I done the work split over a couple of hours on each day, I didn’t want to leave the vehicle without Alarm and central looking. 
 

so I pulled the 20a - M2 fuse and the 40a - J01 fuse. Which stopped the air system from operating but left the car alarmed and locked on my drive. 

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Mike WK2

Have only given it a 20 mins test drive so far, but all appears good and the ride quality is brilliant. I am obviously comparing to the somewhat dead shocks and springs that I had before. 
 

but I am very pleased with the end result. 

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Mike WK2

Have tested off road at all as yet or OR1 and OR2, but will give it a bash at the weekend and give an update. 
 

hopefully helpful to someone else. 

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Is the front suspension next?

I like Bilstein's too, but I don't like how they make some models in Europe but only sell them in the USA - like those I currently have.

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Mike WK2

Definitely front suspension next, I’m not missing a second day on a trip again 😆😆😆😆

 

been following a thread on a US forum where again they recon you use the bilstein listed front shocks for the coil spring version and fit the bags utilising the original top plate. But checking it out a little more before taking the plunge. 
 

have emailed the German company that I got the rear bags from and seeing what they say. 

 

Done a 200 mile round trip today on the motorway and it sits on the road spot on so chuffed. 
 

Also picked up a little lane on my way back home and OR1 and OR2 both all work fine. 
 

😁

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11 hours ago, V said:

Is the front suspension next?

I like Bilstein's too, but I don't like how they make some models in Europe but only sell them in the USA - like those I currently have.

 Same here V. Very frustrating.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • VIP Member
On 18/08/2021 at 22:06, Mike WK2 said:

Definitely front suspension next, I’m not missing a second day on a trip again 😆😆😆😆

 

been following a thread on a US forum where again they recon you use the bilstein listed front shocks for the coil spring version and fit the bags utilising the original top plate. But checking it out a little more before taking the plunge. 
 

have emailed the German company that I got the rear bags from and seeing what they say. 

 

Done a 200 mile round trip today on the motorway and it sits on the road spot on so chuffed. 
 

Also picked up a little lane on my way back home and OR1 and OR2 both all work fine. 
 

😁

Hi Mike I thought the fronts were a full all in air suspension spring and shock in a single unit. I didn't think there was a separate shock absorber like the rear. See link below.

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2011-2016-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-WK2-Air-Strut-Front-Right-68029902AE-/183709599450?var=0&mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=710-53481-19255-0&campid=5338268676&toolid=10044&customid=CjwKCAjw7fuJBhBdEiwA2lLMYQ5Vt1KUki3wjDI_BW2rsx_8zMaJ38Bc4duib5g00bOdKP5YvabN8hoCyGkQAvD_BwE

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Hi, I am coming to the conclusion your right 😆. I have digging and digging on the subject, I can find replacement bags only, but can’t find anyone that has done an alternative replacement shock / strut. 
 

and I suspect my shocks are in as poor condition as the rears where. 
 

Thanks for the link, front may have to be next month, as just ordered replacement wheels, so I can get down to 18’s and bigger tyres. 
 

Anymore this month and I think I’ll be getting told off 😆😆😆, will keep you posted when I have done then though. 
 

cheers 
 

 

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