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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I just had some people verify that I had a transfer case drop that I wasn't aware of. My TJ (new to me) appears to be stock height and sitting on 30's. The suspension felt very rough to me, so I ordered a 3 inch zone lift to go in as soon as it gets a little warmer. I'm going around the jeep tonight to pre soak the parts with pb blaster and everything looks off to me.

First...shouldn't there be a nice sized space in the front and rear springs? Mine look like the bump stops take up the entire space inside the spring from top to bottom. Sorry for the bad pictures, but it looks like there might have been a lift in here at one point and the PO put back in the stock springs maybe? These pictures are taken with the Jeep parked on level ground. It fits 30's nicely, so I just figured it was all stock.



This would almost absolutely explain why I get bounced out of my seat when hitting a pothole :)

These don't look like stock control arms to me. Maybe older RE ones? I don't see a grease-able fitting on them though. If I remember correctly, the RE ones I had on my XJ were grease-able ..but I could be wrong.

 

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definitely not stock. it had a lift on it at one point, and tall one from the looks of it. somebody simply removed the springs and left all the other parts in place. can't tell if the shocks are way too long or not. lower control arms are fixed junk, and look way too long as well.

yes, those bumpstop extensions attached to the lower spring pad are aftermarket and should only be in place for the lift. those can definitely be removed if you're looking to keep things stock. you'll also need to verify the shock lengths are stock. you'll also need stock control arms (which are pretty cheap).

can't see much about the rear or front steering, so more pictures of those will help see what mess is lurking further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I have to get all that road salt off tomorrow then I'll inspect it a little more and take some better pictures.

I do have new springs and shocks with the Zone 3" kit. It's been sitting in my garage for about a week now. Monday a JKS front track bar arrives. I was hoping not to have to do control arms just yet, but I'm not really trusting the ones that I found on there now. I'd rather wait a little bit then upgrade to better ones instead of going back to stock. I had planned on eventually changing the rear axle, re gearing and doing a SYE, so I would need adjustable control arms when it got to that point anyway. The arms just might need to come a lot sooner before those things do.

It's not technically my daily driver, although I've only driven my ZJ to work maybe 2 or 3 times since I bought the TJ in January :) But now I don't feel safe with that piece meal suspension I've got going on under there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you'll also need stock control arms (which are pretty cheap).
I was just searching for some info on adjustable control arms and comment you had made back in 2011 was the first one that came up. And that post alone has already helped me in what I should look for and what I don't need for just 3 inches of lift!!! Gotta love the search feature :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So from what you had said in that older post, for just 3 inches of lift, I'm probably better off with stock control arms in the front, upper and lower. Adjustable in the rear upper (mainly for future SYE..maybe towards end of summer/fall) and stock for the rear lower. Does that sound about right?

Realistically, I will probably only take to the trails maybe 3 or 4 times a year..trails that I would have to disconnect the sway bar for that is. So building an outright trail rig isn't my main concern. But at the same time I'd like to have something that's a little overbuilt to ensure I make it home. That's where the future SYE and rear axle upgrade come into play. I know I'll have to regear too, so I don't want to put any money into my D35..I'd rather find a good D44, then do the gears.
 

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don't know what thread you're referring to, but take a read through these:

Unlimited04's LJ Build
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f210/correct-bumpstop-length-70047.html
Suggested Tech Readings

33's are fit in two common ways on TJ's:

1. 4" suspension lift, with ~2"+ bumpstop extensions in front and ~2.5" in the rear. Requires a SYE/CV shaft.
2. 2-3" suspension lift, with a 1.25" body lift, with 1-1.25" bumpstop extensions in front and 1.25-1.5" in the rear. The 1.25" BL usually accompanies a 1" Motor Mount Lift to offset some of the driveline angles.

Either way you go, figure on some or many of the following components: longer front brake lines, extended sway bar links front and rear, gears, brake and steering upgrades to accommodate larger tires, SYE, CV shaft, bumpstop extensions, new shocks, adjustable track bars, and a rear track bar bracket.

For control arms, you want something with a suitable flex joint on at least one end. That means Currie, Savvy, Clayton Off-Road or Metalcloak arms. You want to make sure the rear lowers adjust shorter than stock, so make sure to do your homework on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got some of the road salt off and did some more inspection of what I have going on underneath. As far as I can tell, I have Rubicon Express Superflex non adjustable lower control arms front and rear. Stock upper control arms front and rear. Stock track bar, but couldn't tell if the mount was re-drilled for the previous lift. A 1 inch transfer case drop. Bump stop extensions that are resting on the bumpstops when the jeep is on the ground and level..this is not good, but will be remedied with the new lift.

I was going to start tearing it apart today, but I know I'm not going to have much time to work on it this week. Rather than have it sitting in the garage all apart, I'm going to wait till next weekend to try to do it all in one shot. Instead I wired up some LED lights I've had sitting around for the past month, then continued the PB blaster soak on all the suspension parts.

In the mean time I'm wondering if I should order some new stock lower control arms, or order new bushings for the RE ones. I'll be surprised if the bushings that are there now are in decent shape..I've heard some really bad stories about the older RE ones.
 

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In the mean time I'm wondering if I should order some new stock lower control arms, or order new bushings for the RE ones. I'll be surprised if the bushings that are there now are in decent shape..I've heard some really bad stories about the older RE ones.
I would if you're installing a 3" lift. They are available at rockauto.com for less than $25 each with new bushings already installed, and the stock type arms are far superior to those fixed after market tube arms.
 

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I would if you're installing a 3" lift. They are available at rockauto.com for less than $25 each with new bushings already installed, and the stock type arms are far superior to those fixed after market tube arms.
Dont mean to hijack thread but am in similar situation and could use more info. Just bought 04 TJR with 3.5" RE lift and it came with non-adjustable RE LCA's and stock UCA's. After 10 years and 130K miles I'm sure bushings in all are shot, so I could use advise on what to replace/upgrade with what.

Why do you say stock are far superior? Then why do ppl buy aftermarket control arms?
 

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I'm in the same boat, re control arms need new bushing, go to re website and under builders parts they have bushings for the large (lower) super flex arms for 10 dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Rubicon express bushings have been prone to failing, and failing very prematurely. The stock bushings and arms are a much better choice. They are more durable and from what I understand even provide more flex.

I actually did not change the arms on mine. The bushings on whatever arms they are seemed to be in decent shape. I had 2 new stock control arms on hand just in case. I'm going to drive it like this for a little while and see how it feels. I just finished and only went on a short test drive, but already it handles like night and day compared to how it was before. I plan on upgrading axles and tires when my budget allows me too, so I'll tackle the control arms then.

The Jeep is looking a little silly with the lift and 30 inch tires :) I got about 3.5 inches of lift in the front, and 4 inches in the rear from the 3 inch Zone lift. I'm sure it's going to settle a little. So far, I'm really liking it!
 
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