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Old 04-29-2013, 10:20 AM   #1
Dezmond's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Delhi Ontario Canada
Posts: 21
Zone OffRoad 3" Suspension Lift Install w/pics

Hey Everyone.. Got my Zone Offroad 3" Suspension Lift kit in last Thursday and tackled it this weekend to have it ready for one of our local mudruns on Sunday.. It was a blast!!! Got it done just in time.. Here is a write up of the install.

Here is the kit from Zone. 3" Suspension lift with everything you need.

Here is what it is going in. 97 Jeep TJ SE.

First thing I did about a 3 days prior was spray the heck of of all the hardware figured I would be removing with PB Blaster. I knew all the the bolts were going to be pretty rusty so I wanted to prep myself. THIS IS A MUST! YOU WILL STILL BREAK SOMETHING or you will have to cut or drill. Thats later on

So here we go. We had to remove the drag link bolt on the passengers side. Well it didn't want to budge because the bolt was seized in the bushing. Well out come the cut off wheel and away we went to work on it. It's a '97 Jeep. Those are probably all the original hardware in there.

After we got the head and back out we had to drill out the bolt. Then a ballnose endmill went it to clean everything up.. Once that was done I ran a 10mm reamer in there to make sure it was nice and tight for the new bolt to go in later. BTW 3 HOURS just to get that done.. That was 2 of us
working on it..

Next out with the Track Bar links. They were tight but with the help of a pipe on the end we got them out...

Drop the pitman arm down.. Wan't too bad.. Lot's of spray and a good whack and it was free'd up.

You can start to lower your front end and pull the coils out.. Then take out the bumpstops and cups.. We were going to try to put the new coils in but as you can see there is NO WAY they will pop in without dissconecting the a-arms....

Now here is where it got a little fun.. We tried to loosen the cam bolts on the a-arms but no way would they come loose from the bushing and I did not want to fight with them. So we decided to take them out on the back end instead.. A whole lot easier and quicker... After that was done we were able to put the new shocks in and start to bolt things back up....

Of course when we took the calipers off I noticed I had a bad one on the drivers side so a quick trip to the Autoparts store and a new caliper was back on in no time.

Here is the front end done.. All I could think was Cheech and Chong Mobile Hey ala chinga!!! Is that a Joint man?? hahahahahah

Back end was pretty straight forward.. Didn't have any problems really. Just a lot of wrenching..

And here she is done...

Much higher.. I would say we gained almost 4 1/4 inches with the new kit... I guess the old springs were getting pretty worn out...

Sunday morning I did the transfer case drop and that was a breeze..

I hope this can help any of you guys out there that plan to do the lift. All in all it took us 2 days to tackle.. I would say a 15 hour job to be safe. Unless you have more people and better tools. We used ratchets and wrenches for the most of it...

Any questions I would be more than happy to help you all out..


97 Jeep TJ 2.5L
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:03 AM   #2
homebrwd's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 1,085
Nice write up but some of your terminology is incorrect. The "Track bar links" are
"Anti Sway bar links" The track bar is the diagonal link that goes from the driverside frame to a mount on the passenger side of the axle. Also Jeeps don't use a-arms, they have control arms. A-arms get their name because they are shaped like an 'A'.

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:13 AM   #3
UnlimitedLJ04's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,163
a few questions...

why did you "drop the pitman arm"? did you do full bump, full flex and full droop checks to assess brake line length, shock length, bumpstop extensions, etc? did you notice the new front bumpstop extensions, which push the bumpstop cup down, are now rubbing the spring?

here's a more complete write-up on a lift includes all the necessary suspension checks to ensure things all work. it's on a JK, but the TJ is basically the same as all the principles are the same.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 4,618
Images: 1
Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 View Post
a few questions...

why did you "drop the pitman arm"?
It's in the instructions to disconnect the pitman I am sure that is what he probably means. (I personally skipped that step.) But the stock pitman arm is later reconnected obviously.

'99 Chili Pepper TJ Wrangler "Mistress"
33x12.5 DuraTracs
Zone 4.25"
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,163
Originally Posted by Dextreme View Post
It's in the instructions to disconnect the pitman I am sure that is what he probably means. (I personally skipped that step.) But the stock pitman arm is later reconnected obviously.
yup... 1) you don't need to disconnect the drag-link TRE from the pitman arm; 2) making sure a DPA was not installed.

not sure why they tell you to do #1...totally useless step....
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