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Old 01-29-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
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Axle Centering Issues

So im in the Market for a budget lift. The 2.5" teryflex or black diamond, rubicon express etc. The concern I have is, some kits come with longer swaybar links, some come with trackbar relocation brackets, and others come with nothing but springs and bumpstops. I want a complete budget lift. I read horror stories about the rear axle moving off center when you lift it budget style. Whats the deal? I dont want that kind of headache. What parts do you actually need and what are hollywood parts only included to look better then other kits? I own. jk 4d. Help me out.

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Old 01-29-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pkmcd99 View Post
So im in the Market for a budget lift. The 2.5" teryflex or black diamond, rubicon express etc. The concern I have is, some kits come with longer swaybar links, some come with trackbar relocation brackets, and others come with nothing but springs and bumpstops. I want a complete budget lift. I read horror stories about the rear axle moving off center when you lift it budget style. Whats the deal? I dont want that kind of headache. What parts do you actually need and what are hollywood parts only included to look better then other kits? I own. jk 4d. Help me out.
The horror stories you read are from peeps who buy crap lifts that are too big and don't have the parts necessary to do the job correctly, or they didn't know what they were doing when they installed their lifts.

For the most part.

If you buy a TeraFlex 2.5" lift (either the one that comes with adaptors for your stock shocks, or the one that comes with TF's own aftermarket shocks) you shouldn't have a problem with your axle getting off-center. If you do, an adjustable trackbar can fix it. That's basically all a trackbar does...keeps your axle centered.

If you put on one of the above mentioned lifts and find that your Jeep is a bit jerky (steering- and tracking-wise), you can add a pair of lower front adj control arms, which will allow you to adjust your caster to a more positive # so that your Jeep will ride better on the road.

Neither of these are sold with the TF kit because most of the time they're not necessary with a 2.5" lift. Some peeps here buy the adj tb afterward; some buy the adj ca's; some buy both. It depends on your Jeep, what tires you're running, etc.

Contrary to popular belief, every Jeep is not exactly alike.

More generally, a lift that consists of just spacers is called a budget boost.

The lift that comes with just springs and bumpstops is called a coil lift.

A lift that comes with shocks is more involved, and should have new shocks, springs, bump stops, swaybar endlinks and, depending on height, brake line relocation brackets.

When you get to lifts of 3" or more, the same kits should also include (IMO) front and rear adj ca's, front and rear adj tb's. At that point you're also getting into new drive-shaft territory.

Does that mean all lifts will have these things? No, as you've already observed. Personally, I'd steer clear of the ones that don't. Like anything else, there are cheap lifts out there designed to give the buyer the "look" he wants for his Jeep, without necessarily addressing all the safety considerations that come from changing the steering/ride geometry of a 4,000 lb brick on wheels.

Sad, but true.

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Old 01-29-2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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... When you get to lifts of 3" or more, the same kits should also include (IMO) front and rear adj ca's, front and rear adj tb's. At that point you're also getting into new drive-shaft territory.

Does that mean all lifts will have these things? No, as you've already observed. Personally, I'd steer clear of the ones that don't. Like anything else, there are cheap lifts out there designed to give the buyer the "look" he wants for his Jeep, without necessarily addressing all the safety considerations that come from changing the steering/ride geometry of a 4,000 lb brick on wheels.

Sad, but true.
So Wolf, do you think I'm okay: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/adj...ml#post1972789

I have all the stuff listed above except for the adjustable rear TB, adjustable rear CAs, and adjustable front LCAs. If I have adjustable front UCAs, do I need adjustable front LCAs? And in light of all that, do I need an adjustable rear TB if my axle appears centered (i.e., my rear tires extend out from the fender pretty-much exactly the same amount--at least within 1/8" or so)?
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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So Wolf, do you think I'm okay: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/adj...ml#post1972789

I have all the stuff listed above except for the adjustable rear TB, adjustable rear CAs, and adjustable front LCAs. If I have adjustable front UCAs, do I need adjustable front LCAs?
Wow...just looked through your thread. Don't know how I missed it the last day or so.

The adjustable CA's are simply to set your Jeep's caster after a lift, usually one of 3" or more. Your caster should be around +4º ~ +6º. If your Jeep tracks straight on the highway at speed, and you don't have to constantly correct your steering, then your caster's probably where you need it to be. Does your Jeep "jump" when it hits a pothole or bad pavement? Does your steering twitch, or feel flighty? Those are signs of improper caster.

If you've got adj upper UCA's, that's fine. That's what I've got on my rig. Some kits come with fixed CA's, designed to ensure a specific caster with the kit they're intended for. For the most part, if you have NO adj ca's but need to fix caster, it's easiest to get adj lowers.

But, like I said, if your Jeep feels good on the highway and your steering is solid, then you shouldn't need to adjust anything.

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And in light of all that, do I need an adjustable rear TB if my axle appears centered (i.e., my rear tires extend out from the fender pretty-much exactly the same amount--at least within 1/8" or so)?
Nope. Pretty much the only purpose of adj tb's is to center your axles. If they're centered okay, you shouldn't need em. That 1/8" difference in how far each rear tire sticks out is minimal. You're good.

I'll have to go back over to your thread and read through it...I just scanned it to see if you were getting answers to your questions. Looked to me like MTH and others had things pretty well covered.

Cool trail pix of the Hummers, btw. Y'all beat the sh** outta those bad boys, don't you?

I can see why you need your Jeep to be a tank.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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Wow...just looked through your thread. Don't know how I missed it the last day or so.
Lol, I thought I was on your "Blacklist" for some reason. Thanks for the reply. To avoid any further hijacking of pkmcd99's thread, I’ve responded in my own thread here: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/adj...ml#post1973717
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Lol, I thought I was on your "Blacklist" for some reason. Thanks for the reply. To avoid any further hijacking of pkmcd99's thread, I’ve responded in my own thread here: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/adj...ml#post1973717
Lol...I have no blacklist. And if I did, you wouldn't be on it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #7
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Lol...I have no blacklist. And if I did, you wouldn't be on it.
Muhahahahahah!!! I have you fooled! Otherwise I definitely would be on your nonexistent blacklist.

Seriously, thanks for the helpful info. I'm struggling to figure things out.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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Muhahahahahah!!! I have you fooled! Otherwise I definitely would be on your nonexistent blacklist.

Seriously, thanks for the helpful info. I'm struggling to figure things out.
Feel free to use the PM system, if you need something. I DO sometimes disappear for a few days when I'm working (depending...if I'm sitting in a hotel room waiting for a game or whatever I'll be on here.)
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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Feel free to use the PM system, if you need something. I DO sometimes disappear for a few days when I'm working (depending...if I'm sitting in a hotel room waiting for a game or whatever I'll be on here.)
Thanks kbbwolf. I appreciate the invitation, and I will use it, but try not to abuse it. I appreciate your helpful advice.

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