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Old 01-29-2020, 04:00 PM
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TB or Not

Hello gang,

History:
I have a 2007 JK Rubicon, RC Adjustable lower control arms, 285/70/17 KO2 tires, XRC Steel front and rear bumpers. My Lift is 2.5 inches using spacers (it was purchased that way).
The ride was rigid because my Fabtech shocks were shot (I upgraded to Bilstein 5100's last weekend) - it is a smoother ride now.

Current glaring issue:
I been having difficulties with the steering - mainly feeling flighty and when hitting a bump or pot hole the steering wheel wanting to get away from me (especially at speeds over 50mph).
I finally took my rig to 4WP and was told I had an Drop Pitman Arm (I should have known that since I been under there enough) that may be causing some of the issue. Also it was suggested I get an adjustable TB.

Fix with adjustments:
I replaced the Drop Pitman Arm with a standard (the ride appears a bit better and the replacement was not as difficult as I thought). Though adjusting the steering wheel by yourself is time consuming. LoL
I ordered Spring Coils from MoparOnlineParts
77070096 & 77070099
It should bring my vehicle down to 2" and will be better for the minimal trail runs we will do this summer. I wanted to go back to stock but the GF looked unhappy with that idea.
I also ordered bump stops since mine were deteriorating.

Advice:
Should I order a RC Adjustable TB and install it, or wait to see after the coils are installed (there are posts that state a TB may not be needed with a 2" or less lift)?

I will post pics of the Bilstein and Pitman installed when I get home.
Also, I can post pics of the spacers I have installed over my coils currently (if that helps).
Thanks in advance.

Sent from my LM-Q710.FG using Tapatalk

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Old 01-29-2020, 04:27 PM   #2
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Make the GF and yourself happy, and bite the bullet and install a 2.5” Lift from Skyjacker or Teraflex etc. It will fix the issues and also more importantly make it safer

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Old 01-29-2020, 09:44 PM
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Here are the pics
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:59 PM
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more pics
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:11 AM   #5
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A drop pitman arm is generally a bad thing on a JK / JKU. It is usually installed in combination with flipping the drag link to above the point where it attaches to the steering knuckle vs the stock set up where it hangs below the steering knuckle attachment point. If you remove the drop pitman arm and the drag link is flipped that means the drag link and track bar will not be parallel and that causes bump steer. That is bad.
I would have an alignment shop measure the alignment and post the numbers here. From that we can offer advice. The main numbers to be concerned with are caster and toe.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:09 AM   #6
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@bluester
By the way, the Mopar 2" springs actually tend to deliver way more than 2" of lift up front, usually over 3", and around 2" in back. They are nothing like the Rancho 2" progressive springs, which deliver around 2.4" up front and 1.5" in back.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuzziMoto View Post
@bluester
By the way, the Mopar 2" springs actually tend to deliver way more than 2" of lift up front, usually over 3", and around 2" in back. They are nothing like the Rancho 2" progressive springs, which deliver around 2.4" up front and 1.5" in back.
I completely agree, the 2" in the Mopar description is highly misleading. You are going to need caster correction for sure. I would plan for a front track bar and a set of geometry correction brackets. You are going to be lifted more than you are now, which might be good because you don't have much up travel with those 2" bump stops installed.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:44 AM
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@ GuzziMoto
Thanks I appreciate the feedback and advice. I have a copy of the alignment from 4WP, which also advised me to get the adjustable trackbar and delete the drop pitman arm. I will post that... However, since I already replaced the drop Pitman arm and will replace the Coil Springs, I think I will wait until I have the springs installed. I can install the trackbar myself as I did the Pitman arm. I do not have a lift and cannot get the vehicle high enough to offload the old springs.... unless someone has a suggestion.

@ Pressurized
Thank you for your feedback... I have front lower control arms installed (DIY) - 4WP gave me a thumbs up on that as they say they find adjustable control arms are, eventually, a better route for a 2"+ lift (people seem to go bigger in the future) :-)
My plan is to install the adjustable track bar this weekend. :-D
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:06 AM   #9
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If you can install adjustable control arms, you should be able to handle an adjustable track bar.
As to swapping springs, with a decent floor jack and some jack stands you should be able to droop the suspension far enough to unload the springs. Sometimes you have to remove the wheels / tires in order to be able to drop the suspension far enough if you can't lift the chassis that high.
I have also used a set of spring compressors to reduce the amount I have to drop the suspension to unload the springs.

Have you checked to confirm your drag link is hanging below the knuckle attachment point and not above it? It seems odd they would install a drop pitman arm and not flip the drag link.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:00 AM
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@GuzziMoto
I checked the drag link and it is installed below the steering knuckle.
Raising the vehicle
I tried raising my vehicle using a Jack that can raise a vehicle 20 inches.
I set it on the frame - lowest point close to body bolts, and the tires did not clear. - I could be placing it on the wrong part of the underbody / frame.
Current Lift:
Yes, the lift was incomplete by the previous owner. It appears the drop Pitman Arm is/was an unnecessary addition. I was hoping with the Mopar coil springs I would get better travel and have a solid Mopar product. 😁

I can always pick up a lift / farm Jack and Jack from my steel bumper and place my 6 ton Jack stands under it.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:14 AM   #11
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I completely agree, the 2" in the Mopar description is highly misleading. You are going to need caster correction for sure. I would plan for a front track bar and a set of geometry correction brackets. You are going to be lifted more than you are now, which might be good because you don't have much up travel with those 2" bump stops installed.
Looks like he has adjustable control arms already...NM, just saw he already posted that.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluester View Post
@GuzziMoto
I checked the drag link and it is installed below the steering knuckle.
Raising the vehicle
I tried raising my vehicle using a Jack that can raise a vehicle 20 inches.
I set it on the frame - lowest point close to body bolts, and the tires did not clear. - I could be placing it on the wrong part of the underbody / frame.
Current Lift:
Yes, the lift was incomplete by the previous owner. It appears the drop Pitman Arm is/was an unnecessary addition. I was hoping with the Mopar coil springs I would get better travel and have a solid Mopar product. 😁

I can always pick up a lift / farm Jack and Jack from my steel bumper and place my 6 ton Jack stands under it.
I can't tell from the pics but you will probably need some longer swaybar end links with those new springs, and you might as well get a quick disconnect version. The rear track bar should have a bracket to raise it up as well, especially when adding the Mopar springs.

Be sure to cycle the suspension through a full range of motion to make sure you aren't binding anywhere after the swap over.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluester View Post
@GuzziMoto
I checked the drag link and it is installed below the steering knuckle.
Raising the vehicle
I tried raising my vehicle using a Jack that can raise a vehicle 20 inches.
I set it on the frame - lowest point close to body bolts, and the tires did not clear. - I could be placing it on the wrong part of the underbody / frame.
Current Lift:
Yes, the lift was incomplete by the previous owner. It appears the drop Pitman Arm is/was an unnecessary addition. I was hoping with the Mopar coil springs I would get better travel and have a solid Mopar product. 😁

I can always pick up a lift / farm Jack and Jack from my steel bumper and place my 6 ton Jack stands under it.
Here is how I do it.
I put the jack under the axle and jack it up high enough to remove the wheels / tires. Then I jack it up high and put jack stands under the chassis at the control arm mounts on the chassis. Then I lower the axle down to extend the suspension. Because I removed the wheels / tires I can lower the axle a lot farther than I could with the wheels / tires still there. That should give you enough to extend the suspension all the way, as long as your jack stands are high enough. A set of 4 ton or 6 ton jack stands should be enough.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuzziMoto View Post

Here is how I do it.
I put the jack under the axle and jack it up high enough to remove the wheels / tires. Then I jack it up high and put jack stands under the chassis at the control arm mounts on the chassis. Then I lower the axle down to extend the suspension. Because I removed the wheels / tires I can lower the axle a lot farther than I could with the wheels / tires still there. That should give you enough to extend the suspension all the way, as long as your jack stands are high enough. A set of 4 ton or 6 ton jack stands should be enough.
Thank you!

I want to express my gratitude to all forum members who are helping me. Your assistance is appreciated 😊
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:08 PM   #15
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Looks like he has adjustable control arms already...NM, just saw he already posted that.
Yep, somehow missed it in the photo's... I think he has enough to add the springs.

@bluester do you know the part numbers on the shocks? The Bilstein 1.5-3.5 is notoriously short. We might be able to adjust your bump stops a little if we know which shocks you have.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssinga View Post
Looks like he has adjustable control arms already...NM, just saw he already posted that.
Yep, somehow missed it in the photo's... I think he has enough to add the springs.

@bluester do you know the part numbers on the shocks? The Bilstein 1.5-3.5 is notoriously short. We might be able to adjust your bump stops a little if we know which shocks you have.
Bilstein shocks
Front model # 24-146708
Back model # 24-146715
B8 5100 series
Are there other numbers I should look for?
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:11 PM   #17
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Bilstein shocks
Front model # 24-146708
Back model # 24-146715
B8 5100 series
Are there other numbers I should look for?
Those are the 1.5-3" version. Good shocks, but a little shorter and don't need a lot of bump stop... A stock Rubicon shock is 14.75 compressed and those Bilsteins are 14.98. So just 1/4" longer, but you have 2" bump stops, so you have at least 1.5" more than you need to protect the shocks. With the 33's you have, you need almost zero bump stop to protect the fenders...

So, you are over bump stopped. Won't hurt anything, but we can help you get better once you get the other stuff in and working properly.
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:24 PM
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Those are the 1.5-3" version. Good shocks, but a little shorter and don't need a lot of bump stop... A stock Rubicon shock is 14.75 compressed and those Bilsteins are 14.98. So just 1/4" longer, but you have 2" bump stops, so you have at least 1.5" more than you need to protect the shocks. With the 33's you have, you need almost zero bump stop to protect the fenders...

So, you are over bump stopped. Won't hurt anything, but we can help you get better once you get the other stuff in and working properly.
@Pressurized
Much appreciated; and good info on the bump stops. 👍
I guess I will get another alignment once I get my coils in or should I get one after my RC Adjustable TB install? I plan on installing tomorrow; or tonight if it comes.. Amazon Prime member. 😁
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:22 PM   #19
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@Pressurized
Much appreciated; and good info on the bump stops. 👍
I guess I will get another alignment once I get my coils in or should I get one after my RC Adjustable TB install? I plan on installing tomorrow; or tonight if it comes.. Amazon Prime member. 😁
The track bar will not change your alignment... It will cause your steering wheel to be off center once you have centered your axle. Center your steering wheel and you are good to go. The coils will likely raise your height a little and that will lower your caster a tiny bit. I doubt it will be enough to need a control arm adjustment. You're going up about 3/4" in my estimation.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:52 PM
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@Pressurized

Quote:

The track bar will not change your alignment... It will cause your steering wheel to be off center once you have centered your axle. Center your steering wheel and you are good to go. The coils will likely raise your height a little and that will lower your caster a tiny bit. I doubt it will be enough to need a control arm adjustment. You're going up about 3/4" in my estimation.
Okay, got it installed and torqued to 125ft lbs
I need to get better at measurements and having a good point to have it centered. I followed the directions in the package and it looks like I am toe out. 😬
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:55 PM
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The previous post was written not to spec.. 🙃
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:36 PM
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So I replaced the track bar bolts with a 9/16 TB / LCA bolt kit. And that wandering when I hit a bump is gone!
Kit purchased:
Jeep Wrangler JK Track Bar and Lower Control Arm Bolt Upgrade Kit + Extra M14 Bolt (Amazon $45)
It wanders now - though it is easier to get under control. The steering feel tighter. I am almost there.
The help I received here on this site has been more valuable than any shop I taken it too.
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:02 AM   #23
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So I replaced the track bar bolts with a 9/16 TB / LCA bolt kit. And that wandering when I hit a bump is gone!
Kit purchased:
Jeep Wrangler JK Track Bar and Lower Control Arm Bolt Upgrade Kit + Extra M14 Bolt (Amazon $45)
It wanders now - though it is easier to get under control. The steering feel tighter. I am almost there.
The help I received here on this site has been more valuable than any shop I taken it too.
Good to see you making progress.

285/70r17 is often called a metric 33, it can still benefit from proper inflation for a Jeep. As we increase tire size, we reduce PSI to induce a proper wear pattern. My daughter runs that size at 30psi... On stock tires, a Jeep is good at 35psi and above, but once tire size increases, those pressures no longer work and cause twitchy handling... So, what's your tire pressure?
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:47 PM
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Good to see you making progress.

285/70r17 is often called a metric 33, it can still benefit from proper inflation for a Jeep. As we increase tire size, we reduce PSI to induce a proper wear pattern. My daughter runs that size at 30psi... On stock tires, a Jeep is good at 35psi and above, but once tire size increases, those pressures no longer work and cause twitchy handling... So, what's your tire pressure?
@Pressurized my tire pressure is 31psi for all 4. I do not have TPMS so I had to find a gauge. I went by Discount Tire while doing errands and they checked them as well. I am going to try to make some adjustments tomorrow. The Steering Wheel is slightly off.

Anyone have any ideas of how to properly measure to see if the Axle is Centered? Much Appreciated. :-D
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:06 PM   #25
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As GuzziMoto suggested, for the spring install, lift it from the axle. I placed 6 ton jackstands on the frame rails near the transmission brace. My 6 ton stands are much taller than my other set and those combined with removing the wheels/tires gave me plenty of room to lower the axle when swapping springs on my JKU.

I'm new to Jeeps so I took my time looking things over along the way but it was far easier than I anticipated. Also, being new, I don't know what best practice is, but I found the rear easy to drop the axle and do both sides at the same time. On the front, I did one side at a time.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:21 PM
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As GuzziMoto suggested, for the spring install, lift it from the axle. I placed 6 ton jackstands on the frame rails near the transmission brace. My 6 ton stands are much taller than my other set and those combined with removing the wheels/tires gave me plenty of room to lower the axle when swapping springs on my JKU.

I'm new to Jeeps so I took my time looking things over along the way but it was far easier than I anticipated. Also, being new, I don't know what best practice is, but I found the rear easy to drop the axle and do both sides at the same time. On the front, I did one side at a time.
@boosthead , thanks. The springs shipped today; no estimate on arrival time since they are shipping from NY and I live in Washington State.
I appreciate the feedback / suggestion. I will definitely attempt this myself as I am new to jeeps; I have worked on vehicles before. Though not nearly to this extent.

Trying to correct past geometry errors are challenging and, sometimes, frustrating. All-in-all, I am a proud Jeep owner now. Looking forward to getting this geometry issued put to rest! I am going to watch a few youtube videos and see if I can figure out where to make the adjustments. Again, thanks. :-D
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:47 AM   #27
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@Pressurized my tire pressure is 31psi for all 4. I do not have TPMS so I had to find a gauge. I went by Discount Tire while doing errands and they checked them as well. I am going to try to make some adjustments tomorrow. The Steering Wheel is slightly off.

Anyone have any ideas of how to properly measure to see if the Axle is Centered? Much Appreciated. :-D
Sounds good, 31 shouldn't be giving you any odd driving characteristics.

As for axle center, I use a tape measure and measure on top of the tire to the frame and use something that you can duplicate on both sides. Different size tires and lift heights make it impossible to tell you exactly what to use. Most tires have a mold line or feature that you can duplicate on both sides. For example, I use the bump stop tube where it comes out of the spring tower on both sides. This is perfect for my tire and lift height. Then I use a lug edge on the tire that I can duplicate on both sides.

Hope that helps... I can take a couple photos later if you need.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:19 PM
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Sounds good, 31 shouldn't be giving you any odd driving characteristics.

As for axle center, I use a tape measure and measure on top of the tire to the frame and use something that you can duplicate on both sides. Different size tires and lift heights make it impossible to tell you exactly what to use. Most tires have a mold line or feature that you can duplicate on both sides. For example, I use the bump stop tube where it comes out of the spring tower on both sides. This is perfect for my tire and lift height. Then I use a lug edge on the tire that I can duplicate on both sides.

Hope that helps... I can take a couple photos later if you need.
Thanks, photos are most helpful to me and my quest. I appreciate the assistance.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:51 PM
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My rear trackbar has a relocation bracket, do I leave that in?
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:08 PM
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Sounds good, 31 shouldn't be giving you any odd driving characteristics.

As for axle center, I use a tape measure and measure on top of the tire to the frame and use something that you can duplicate on both sides. Different size tires and lift heights make it impossible to tell you exactly what to use. Most tires have a mold line or feature that you can duplicate on both sides. For example, I use the bump stop tube where it comes out of the spring tower on both sides. This is perfect for my tire and lift height. Then I use a lug edge on the tire that I can duplicate on both sides.

Hope that helps... I can take a couple photos later if you need.
@Pressurized , using your above example I have 11-13/16 of the passenger side and 12-3/16 on the drivers side. That is .25 inches off.
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