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Old 02-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
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Front end/Front Suspension issue on brand new 2012

Hello WF,

I have yet to formally introduce myself. My name is Rob from Reston, VA. I recently purchased a 2012 JKS about a month and a half ago. I have been waiting to resolve an issue before posting any pictures or documenting my mods.


Here it goes (I apologize for the lack of pictures; currently at work):

I had the dealership install a 2” Mopar lift on my brand new Wrangler Sport. I understood and read all the negative feedback on these lifts prior to purchase, but for peace of mind regarding any issues being covered by the dealership I went with it. Additionally, I had never installed anything on a vehicle save audio components. Also, the GF’s family has been using this specific dealership for a decade and a half and subsequently I was given a really decent deal on the lift and install.

My issue in a nutshell:

My front coil springs are not symmetrical between drive’s and passenger’s side. The driver’s side “bows” forward a little, and the passenger’s side “bows” rear a little. There is a 1+ inch gap between the back of the bump stop and coil spring on the driver’s side, but on the passenger’s side that 1+ inch gap is between the front of the bump stop and the coil spring. So instead of symmetry, they are mirror opposites of one another.

The GF’s father and I discovered this issue because my front driver’s side sway bar link was rubbing the front driver’s side coil spring. On the passenger’s side there is over an inch of clearance.

The dealership installed a new driver’s side front coil (supposedly) and a new driver’s side Mopar sway bar link (supposedly). After those didn’t solve the issue, we had it taken to a body shop to make sure the frame wasn’t bent. The laser system at the body shop confirmed the frame was within factory spec.

Next the dealership stated I needed a new front differential because the “coil perch on the driver’s side was 2mm off compared to the passenger’s side”. This was installed on Wednesday along with Rough Country quick-disconnect sway bar links. This did nothing to solve the issue. The driver’s side still bows forward, while the passenger’s side bows backwards. The 1+ inch gap between bump stop and coil spring is still mirror images of one another.

The Service Manager, multiple Service Techs, and the Salesman (who has been working on and selling Jeeps his entire life) all say they have never seen this issue before.

I recently contacted Chrysler Corporate who forwarded my case to Chrysler Legal. I have been documenting every conversation with and visit to the dealership. After talking to Corporate, the dealership immediately contacted me to say a Chrysler Tech Engineer would need to look at the vehicle, but that could take up to three weeks for that to happen.


My questions to you all:
-Has anyone experienced this before?
-Is there any reason why the coil springs would not be completely vertical?
-Should I be worried about the coil springs unseating themselves while driving?
-Are there any local Nova Jeepers who wouldn’t mind crawling underneath this bad boy with me to see if the dealership completely botched the install? Beer, pizza, bourbon, pretzels, you name it, will be gladly provided.

Another thing I am worried about : After reading the Mopar lift installation guide, it nowhere states to loosen LCAs prior to install and torqueing back to spec afterwards. I am sure they didn't shake the jeep back/forth, left/right prior to retorqueing per Planman's recommendations. This dealership supposedly has installed “over 40 of these lifts on the new 2012s”.. Keyword “supposedly”. I have the Synergy replacement bolts, but have been holding off until this is rsolved.


So at this point, I regret purchasing a Mopar lift… But, had I gone with a different one, and installed myself, I could be facing an extremely uphill battle proving this issue wasn’t caused by a faulty install/faulty aftermarket lift. I don't think the issue is the lift or the install, but actually a defect in the front end.

I appreciate any and all comments and suggestions. I will also try to snap some pictures of this issue (once I find a better camera than my crappy cell phone).


Thanks,

RB

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Old 02-24-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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Some coil spring bowing is normal but the bigger concern here is a dealership saying you "need" a new differential after lifting your jeep. Nothing in any lift kit would require you to get a brand new pumpkin and unless I'm misunderstanding this, it is further evidence that the dealership does not know what they are doing. Dealerships slap lifts on Jeeps every day without proper knowledge and unfortunately after gaining suspension experience on your own working on your jeep, you can easily walk down the aisle at a local dealer with dealer installed lifts on jeeps to see all the shortcomings. It is not likely or probable that your jeep has an axle made differently than any other on the lot. Not impossible but not likely. It is much more possible you have a dealership trying to learn what is wrong here with their install of your lift.

Regarding the sway links coming into contact with other suspension components, this could be two fold. Either the dealer did not properly install the new links correctly (bolt position and angle) and or they are coming into contact with your wheels/tires. Are you running aftermarket options here? We need more information on this to help -

Your coil springs must be seated properly or there is a potential for complications here. This is easy enough to check your self. Simply go out to your jeep and view the springs. Make sure the bottoms (area touching the axles) are turned into their guide positions. There is a small space made in the coil perch or mount that the spring cannot be turned beyond if it is mounted correctly. The coil actually sits into this little "groove" and needs to be turned until it stops.

Regarding loosening CA and track bar bolts, this must be done and the jeep must be bounced after all parts are installed while under full weight prior to re torquing all necessary bolts. Stick around and check back here regularly, others will be offering help soon too.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
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^

Another vote for DIY
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply.

The sway bar lingks that came with the lift weren't hitting wheels/tires, only coming in contact with the spring. Other than the Mopar lift, the jeep is completely stock. The dealership installed the RC swaybar links Wednesday, and those aren't currently hitting the spring. But, the assymetry still exists. Looks like I need to take it by a 4x4 shop to get an "expert" opinion. Yeah, i have lost all faith in this dealership.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novawrangler
Thanks for the quick reply.

The sway bar lingks that came with the lift weren't hitting wheels/tires, only coming in contact with the spring. Other than the Mopar lift, the jeep is completely stock. The dealership installed the RC swaybar links Wednesday, and those aren't currently hitting the spring. But, the assymetry still exists. Looks like I need to take it by a 4x4 shop to get an "expert" opinion. Yeah, i have lost all faith in this dealership.
Can you take some pics?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novawrangler View Post
Thanks for the quick reply.

The sway bar lingks that came with the lift weren't hitting wheels/tires, only coming in contact with the spring. Other than the Mopar lift, the jeep is completely stock. The dealership installed the RC swaybar links Wednesday, and those aren't currently hitting the spring. But, the assymetry still exists. Looks like I need to take it by a 4x4 shop to get an "expert" opinion. Yeah, i have lost all faith in this dealership.
Before you do, take some detailed pictures for us and post them up. If we were standing there we could diagnosis easily but it's much harder when we are not.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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Just started downpouring here in Sterling, VA. I will borrow a coworkers camera and snap some pics ASAP.

Thansks guys, apreciate the help.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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I am confident that the dealer fouled this up. I have VERY limited experience in this area but installed my own leveling kit with the help of a friend. I am willing to bet either one or both of your springs on the front are not seated properly. There are grooves on the bottom that ESP mentioned that act as a seat for the bottom of the spring. You should be able to lay down under there and tell pretty quickly if this is the case.
The one benefit to this whole thing is that the DEALER fouled it up, so come hell or high water you let THEM fix it and guarantee their work. I'd also have them give me some new written assurance in regard to your warranty and such so you have all the documentation you'll need should something occur later. DO NOT let them talk you into "living" with the issue b/c this is NOT normal. If anyting, tell them you want the Jeep returned to 100% stock, have them refund the money for the lift and get some buddies to help you install a new one. My $0.02.
Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:38 PM   #9
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The supposed "need" for a new differential is disturbing in itself. An aftermarket lift has absolutely nothing to do with the diff.

Based on your description of the swaybar end link variances, ESP's right on...sounds to me like they botched the install. Wouldn't be the first time. That's why so many of us learn to work on our Jeeps ourselves. Don't take that as a criticism. I realize you'd rather deal with the issue at hand, and I don't blame you.

Tightening the control arms and trackbars to spec when the Jeep is on the ground is just plain SOP. If you suspect they didn't do it, it's easy enough to fix yourself (though, since you kinda got em over a barrel, I'd just "supervise" them doing it once they figure out what to do about your lift).

At this point, if I were you, unless you actually see them torque everything with the Jeep on the ground, I'd take it home and do it myself. Just loosen up all the bolts to the UCA's, LCA's and trackbars. Shake the Jeep to settle all the bushings, then tighten back to spec. Everything should be @ 125 ft-lbs of torque, EXCEPT the front upper control arm, which should be 75 ft-lbs.

We'll be able to figure out more when you get some photos of the spring / bump-stop discrepancy up.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. If it wasn't deluging outside at the moment I would be underneath taking pics.

Once this issue is resolved, I won't be taking it back to this dealership every again. Not even for the free oil changes.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by novawrangler View Post
Thanks everyone. If it wasn't deluging outside at the moment I would be underneath taking pics.

Once this issue is resolved, I won't be taking it back to this dealership every again. Not even for the free oil changes.
Too often with dealers, you can get one that has an outstanding sales dept, and a wretched service dept.

Or vice versa.

Or, well, one that has neither.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:10 PM   #12
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Never trust the stealership to do any type of mod. The mechanics work on nothing but stock vehicles day in day out. They are taught that modifications to any component will have catastrophic consequences. They've definitely botched you suspension, good luck, you'll need it.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:53 PM   #13
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Hello

I have a 2010 JKUR and I installed a RE 3.5 spring lift with 2 friends that have done lifts before. I am having the same issue you described, except it is my passenger side spring that is rubbing the sway bar during full flex and a 1" asymmetry when sitting on level ground.

Have you found a solution to your problem? If so, what was it? This may help me get to the bottom of my issue as well.

I will be looking for a solution in the mean time, I will let you know if I find a solution.

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