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TexasJeepGirl 01-02-2013 03:18 PM

Steps for Upgrading?
Currently I am running stock except for 17" wheels, 33" tires, and a 2.5" RC lift and upgraded Steering Stabilizer (relocated). I noticed that my tie rod took a little bit of a beating recently, and as I started thinking about replacing it, I wondered:

What is the best way to begin upgrading steering/suspension/etc? I don't want to start upgrading parts and then have other subsequent parts take damage because of a discrepancy in strength and ability. Is there a general rule of thumb to follow? When these tires wear out I plan on getting 35's and probably a 4" lift at the same time. I want my other components to be an equal match for that kind of set up.



onetraveller 01-02-2013 03:39 PM

The best way to begin is to define your parameters (i.e. needs), develop a plan, and implement it all at once. How do you plan to use the Jeep, are the lift and tires mainly for looks, will you be doing weekend off-road expeditions, or will you be doing hard core rock crawling, desert racing, or mud bogging on a regular basis? What are you budgetary limitations? Will you be doing the work yourself or having someone else do it?

Once you can honestly answer these questions, then you can start looking at the various manufacturers and the different lift types. You'll need to consider the additional modifications that'll cascade from your needs based decisions. For example, if you lift higher than 2.5 inches, you will likely need to install upgraded driveshafts.

Many people go with a single manufacturer or custom shop and let that group work out all the bugs. AEV is a popular example of a shop that will do a complete turn-key work over on your or a brand new JK. No they aren't cheap, but they are nice.

Remember to look at your Jeep as a system, every change you make affects other components of the system.

You are on the right track by asking questions, but the first ones have to be answered by you.


jwilson2598 01-03-2013 06:55 AM


Originally Posted by pluke the 2
Good reply. I'm with him. But avoid AEV if your usages are for offroading. I'd consider it a down grade

Curious why you say AEV is a downgrade?

DaK 01-03-2013 07:29 AM

onetravellers advice is excellent but since not everyone can afford to just drop off the jeep and let someone have at it, such as I, layers and sections were the way for me.

Suspension and skids- we do a lot of rock crawling out here. Even our expedition type runs out here have some obstacle that must be breeched so lift and underbelly protection were a must. 3.5 Rock Krawler X factor and Rockhard Skids were installed as were 35" tires.

Bumpers- The rear bumper was installed with the above mod, mostly because the installer had can't be beat price on a used one that was never used. Rockhard units as well. I like to stick with one manufacturer.

Diff covers-this can be debated if the stock ones ever need replacing. Had to have some work done on the lockers so, why not. Poison Spyder units installed.

Winch came along a lot later. we normally don't wheel where a winch is required but, they are nice to have. Got the Warn Power Plant. Has onboard air so don't have to carry an extra unit to provide air.

My only real addition with advice is to do your research, save your coin, do the mods once. A lot of money is spent upgrading this and that once the mods are complete. Reasons vary for this. Also, while out on the trail, question those with lifts and mods ask 'em, why they went that route, would they do it this way again, what if anything would they change. I spent about 6 or so months asking about before deciding on a direction to take our rig. Now she can go just about anywhere at anytime and has nice road manners as well.

onetraveller 01-03-2013 08:14 AM

These gentlemen have made my point for me. AEV is a company that is very well regarded by a certain set of users and not so well regarded by another set of users. You need to understand which group your needs place you in before you can understand the nuances of whether AEV's, or any other company's, products are right for you.


TexasJeepGirl 01-03-2013 12:25 PM

Thanks for the replies!

I definitely am not in a position to just drop the Jeep off to a shop and write the check. We actually have TWO 2012 JK's in this house, so just imagine that whatever money I have to spend on my Jeep is actually halved, lol! My husband and I do all our mechanical work (I am an aircraft mechanic... Jeeps are easy! :P).

We do alot of wheeling, and its pretty mixed terrain, but definitely more on the rock crawling side. I've already dented up my skids pretty good so I know that should be an upgrade soon. My tie rod could also use replacing, so I am just trying to figure out what else I should upgrade at the same time as the tie rod. A lot of people say, "Don't upgrade it until you break it!" but something tells me that is a bad plan. :)

Sueby 01-03-2013 12:35 PM

I don't think getting a new tie rod would really matter in regards to any of the other mods you may have planned in the future. I smashed mine up & replaced it with a big, beefy synergy one on my old Jeep & then took it with me to the new Jeep.

We might have had to get a new bracket for the steering stabilizer flip/high steer kit, but I'm not even positive of that.

jagerhelix 01-03-2013 01:08 PM

You've only got a few options when it comes to steering before you get into big bucks. One of the cheapest and most important is a sector shaft brace, it doesn't take much to snap that shaft and then you are stranded. Ask me how I know lol. Your tie rod is most prone to damage so a beefier one isn't a bad idea. I just ordered on myself. If you go any higher you can look into high steer options to bring your geometry a bit closer to stock and relieve stess on your components.

WatchThis! 01-03-2013 01:39 PM


Originally Posted by pluke the 2 (Post 3177584)

because they use brackets in replacement for adjustable control arms. brackets tend to break and only have a few options for adjust ability where control arms offer full adjust ability.

Dont forget the fact that they are not that hard to bend. Especially if you have to winch on one that is hung up on the front diff.

jwilson2598 01-03-2013 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by pluke the 2 (Post 3177584)
because they use brackets in replacement for adjustable control arms. brackets tend to break and only have a few options for adjust ability where control arms offer full adjust ability.

Good point that I didn't realize. I only have their bumpers, so I didn't know much about their suspensions.

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