Product testing is rife with challenges and rewards. For Jeep junkie Anthony Ascare, the reward is that he’s one of a few lucky individuals tapped by Energy Suspension to conduct the testing of its all-new Rock-Flex System for the extremely capable Jeep Wrangler JL chassis. The challenge: Custom calibrating his build to the point where it complements the kit’s particular needs.
This unique kit features Energy Suspension’s Rock-Flex bushings, which provide self-centering properties. Installed on Ascare’s 2018 Jeep JL Sport, the kit only has 1.5 inches of lift to contend with.
Ascare explains that the reason for running the lower of the two height options is twofold. On one hand, he has to accommodate his current tire size; on the other hand, he needs to run a Warn winch in conjunction with a winch bumper. With these additional components in place, the additional half-inch spacer will make its way onto the vehicle in order to compensate for the bump in weight.
Ascare has paired the Energy Suspension Rock-Flex kit with JKS Manufacturing quick disconnects for maximized wheel articulation. He’s also running Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks. All of this together permits an impressive 9.6 inches of travel up front and 11.1 inches of compression and rebound out back. Crunch the numbers, and Ascare’s setup nets 2 inches and 3.5 inches of additional droop over stock, respectively, further allowing the Rock-Flex bushings to “do their thing.
After shop testing Energy Suspension’s latest foray into Jeep territory for about a month (both in the shop and off-road), the results were better than expected. The Jeep JL Sport encountered no binding, popping, squeaking, or installation issues, as the suspension cycled and articulated fluidly both on and off the trail, as advertised. Delivering what Ascare calls “silent and smooth travel,” this Rock-Flex polyurethane kit packs a lot of value, if ride height compensation is in order.
There’s also a cam bushing that can be installed on the front lower control arm joints. Along with the polyurethane peace of mind, it also enables users the ability to dial caster back into the system in order to compensate for lift. This not only helps maintain proper driving characteristics, but negates premature tire wear. With the Rock-Flex kit installed, Ascare says he plans to continue “torture testing” these components in Michigan’s mud and snow for the time being, and then conduct some high speed sand dune shenanigans later this spring.
With the Rock-Flex system taking care of off-road needs and helping Jeeps get more out of a basic setup, it looks like just the ticket for owners that want capability first and foremost. Go ahead and check out more from Energy Suspension on its website and Facebook page.