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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I had an ARB diff cover installed on my currently stock suspension TJ. The ARB Diff cover hits the track bar right where it mounts to the frame.

I called ARB tech support (they were very nice :) ) and they told me they have heard of this issue on some TJs, and that there are variances in some of them but that he couldn't tell me what specifically is changing to make them hit. In either case, I'd love to find a solution.

I can remove the ARB cover, but I would really love to be able to keep it since it helps strengthen the diff, and of course it looks cool :) I don't think grinding down on the diff cover and/or trackbar would work very well because of the way it clearances. What really needs to happen is to either get the axle pulled/rotated back or get the trackbar forward.

If I get adjustable upper control arms I know I could rotate it back, but I am afraid I might get myself into too much caster angle. I tried measuring my current caster (it involved some painters tape, tape measures, straight edges, speed square, and lots of double checking) and as far as I can tell I'm right around 9 degrees currently. How much caster angle would be "too much"? I'd probably need to rotate it quite a bit to get enough clearance.. id probably be somewhere in the 13-15 degree range. i'm guessing that would be way too much.

I really want to keep my purdy red diff cover, but I don't want to have to buy 4 new control arms... that would be like 600 bucks :( Anybody have any wonderful ideas, or suggestions on max allowable caster?
 

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Fix that issue another way, you're getting into the too-much-caster-angle no man's land. 9 degrees is too much, especially if you're running big tires where caster angles of 4.5 to 5.5 degrees are optimal.

I'd instead install one of Currie's track bars which have better geometry to better clear such things. Currie Enterprises CJ Axle Parts

 

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Hey everyone, I had an ARB diff cover installed on my currently stock suspension TJ. The ARB Diff cover hits the track bar right where it mounts to the frame.

I called ARB tech support (they were very nice :) ) and they told me they have heard of this issue on some TJs, and that there are variances in some of them but that he couldn't tell me what specifically is changing to make them hit. In either case, I'd love to find a solution.
they're not telling you the whole deal. it's a big problem that spans most lift heights too. You should have kept the stock cover, or went with a Barnett cover.

read this:
tj front adjustable track bars for 0-3.5", does yours hit or fit? - JeepForum.com

I can remove the ARB cover, but I would really love to be able to keep it since it helps strengthen the diff, and of course it looks cool :) I don't think grinding down on the diff cover and/or trackbar would work very well because of the way it clearances. What really needs to happen is to either get the axle pulled/rotated back or get the trackbar forward.
You won't be able to make it clear without copious amounts of bumpstop extension. The ARB cover is one of the worst clearance covers available. Read the link above. Ditch the ARB cover and buy a bolt on skid or a Barnett diff cover.

If I get adjustable upper control arms I know I could rotate it back, but I am afraid I might get myself into too much caster angle. I tried measuring my current caster (it involved some painters tape, tape measures, straight edges, speed square, and lots of double checking) and as far as I can tell I'm right around 9 degrees currently. How much caster angle would be "too much"? I'd probably need to rotate it quite a bit to get enough clearance.. id probably be somewhere in the 13-15 degree range. i'm guessing that would be way too much.
Almost all adjustable uppers will NOT adjust shorter than stock, and you'd have to suck the axle back like 2". Not practical at all, and the tires will rub inside the wheelwell. Ditch the ARB cover.

I really want to keep my purdy red diff cover, but I don't want to have to buy 4 new control arms... that would be like 600 bucks :( Anybody have any wonderful ideas, or suggestions on max allowable caster?
Ditch the ARB cover. it's the problem.

I'd instead install one of Currie's track bars which have better geometry to better clear such things.
jerry, you're wrong. he's got no lift and stock bumpstops in front. The Currie track bar won't work. The Currie TJS/TJJ models need 2" of front bumpstop extension to clear the stock cover - source.

With your plan he'll be worse off and have more clearance problems - the JJ smashes into the fat upper end of the ARB cover.



The Currie TJS/TJJ can be made to clear with the ARB cover with 1.25-1.5" front bumpstop extension if you grind off a big part of the front face off the ARB cover. That means you need at least 2.5" of lift to gain some uptravel over stock. At stock height you're losing a good portion of travel.


More here: tj front adjustable track bars for 0-3.5", does yours hit or fit? - Page 70 - JeepForum.com

netlohcs, for under 4" of lift, if you want a pretty red diff cover, then buy a Barnett/T&J and paint it red...and KEEP THE STOCK TRACK BAR:


I'll recommend the Currie TJS/TJJ model track bar WITH THE STOCK COVER (or Barnett) when you're ready to run 2" front bumpstop extension...as in you have a 3-4" lift and 15.5" compressed length front shocks.
 

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jerry, you're wrong. he's got no lift and stock bumpstops in front. The Currie track bar won't work. The Currie TJS/TJJ models need 2" of front bumpstop extension to clear the stock cover - source.

With your plan he'll be worse off and have more clearance problems - the JJ smashes into the fat upper end of the ARB cover.
You are so diplomatic. With an ARB cover, I just assumed he had a lift and meant to say he had stock steering up front... I misread what he said. But you are right... Currie's track bar needs some lift to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey guys thanks for the advice, its appreciated. Unlimited, I sense that you are thinking I should maybe get rid of the ARB diff cover, eh? ;)

The sad part is, I got it for free with my airlockers, so returning it would essentially net me no money. I'm not really ready to drop any more money on a different aftermarket cover, so my situation is to either use the ARB in some fashion, or go back to stock. I'd really love to be able to keep the ARB for its reinforcing properties if I could.

After looking at that picture you posted, I didnt realize just how much material is there on the right side of the cover. I can't believe you can grind that much of and not go through! I may just end up doing that. Mine doesn't hit THAT bad, I could probably remove 1/2" of material and have enough clearance. Only sad part of that is it would really muck up the looks of it... but... I guess it is what it is.

I'll have to ponder it for another day or two, and then make my decision. Again, thanks for the info :)
 

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The sad part is, I got it for free with my airlockers, so returning it would essentially net me no money. I'm not really ready to drop any more money on a different aftermarket cover, so my situation is to either use the ARB in some fashion, or go back to stock. I'd really love to be able to keep the ARB for its reinforcing properties if I could.
i say go back to stock. you know that works. or a barnett. you can sell the ARB cover to somebody on craigslist or the classified forum. it would be good for somebody with a YJ who isn't running a front track bar.

After looking at that picture you posted, I didnt realize just how much material is there on the right side of the cover. I can't believe you can grind that much of and not go through! I may just end up doing that. Mine doesn't hit THAT bad, I could probably remove 1/2" of material and have enough clearance. Only sad part of that is it would really muck up the looks of it... but... I guess it is what it is.
I doubt there really is that much material you can remove. I suspect you would need to fill some rather large holes with weld, then grind & shape to fit.
here's that ARB vs Currie again:

For that combo, you'd have to cut the whole B and part of the R off, along with much of the raised mounting holes. The stock track bar would probably be similar. See the track bar bolt? You know that is dead center of the frame side mount, which gives you a reference point.

FWIW, I run a Solid diff cover...or what used to be a Solid diff cover. I had to hack a large portion of the front face off. Then I had to grind/fit/weld a 3/8" plate on the inside, fill the huge gap created and then grind it all flat to make it clear my current track bar.



This is with 1.375" front bumpstop extension and 2.5-3" of lift (5" uptravel)



You can see in the stock configuration with stock bumpstops, the frame side track bar mount will actually dip below or even with the tie-rod.

for reference here's a Solid vs stock track bar.

You can see my "Soli" cover has the whole rib at 1 o-clock ground off, and the ribs 3 o-clock and 5 o-clock along with the D have been complete cut off/chamfered on an angle.


I'll have to ponder it for another day or two, and then make my decision. Again, thanks for the info :)
Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Unlimited, you are right in regards to that ARB/currie combo... that would suck. Mine isn't nearly that bad. I'll post a picture of it in a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok so this took me a lot longer than a few minutes.. sorry ;)

In this picture you can see right were it hits, theres a small mark. Its above and to the right of the B on the cover.

I'm thinking I could probably just make a 45 degree slice right down the side of the raised area after the B.

I'm guessing it is probably pretty thick there, as the ARB and rectangle around it are actually raised out, making the diff cover even thicker there than normal.

I'm debating trying to do it without taking it off the jeep... but that would probably really suck, and if I used a sawzall it would probably look like a drunken monkey did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After looking at the picture for even longer, that area HAS to be just crazy thick... as the actual sealing surfaces are wayyy inside of that.... just look at where the bolts are. If you were to draw a line where the mating surface is (where the gasket/sealant would go) it would actually run right through the center of the B. I bet you could hack off the last 3/4" of the cover and it would still be totally fine.

I think I'm just going to cut this one. A lot less hassle than trying to sell it... find a new one .... put that one on... yadda yadda...

Anyone have a high power laser I can borrow so that I can cut it off nice and clean without having to take it off the Differential? Or wait!!! how about a light saber?? Any Jedis around that frequent the forum? I promise I'll return it right away...
 

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In this picture you can see right were it hits, theres a small mark. Its above and to the right of the B on the cover.

I'm thinking I could probably just make a 45 degree slice right down the side of the raised area after the B.

I'm guessing it is probably pretty thick there, as the ARB and rectangle around it are actually raised out, making the diff cover even thicker there than normal.

I'm debating trying to do it without taking it off the jeep... but that would probably really suck, and if I used a sawzall it would probably look like a drunken monkey did it.
it looks like you're losing a good bit of uptravel there. remember - track bar is going to actually dip down to the tie-rod, so measure that distance, and the distance between the bumpstop cup and the spring pad. realistically, you can lay under the diff and look upward. If the diff cover laps with the track bar in your view, you'll have clearance problems. Take a visual picture, and use a sharpie to draw what needs to be removed. Take the diff cover off, then grind away with an angle grinder. Finally, you need to bolt it back up, and pull the springs out and push the axle to full bump with a floor jack to see if it clears.

honestly....buy a barnett or go back to stock. paint it red if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, ill probably spend a bit of time soon laying under there and figuring out definitively how much would need to be removed.

Unlimited, I just wanted to say thanks and let you know I really appreciate the time you took to respond, AND post all those pictures, and I'm not just saying that. Thanks! :)

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to end up hacking up the arb.... can we still be buddies if I do? ;) I hope so...
 

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Gents, I have a question and forgive me if it was discussed and also for tagging off your thread here.

I have an 05 LJ Rubi with a 4" Rubicon Express Lift, Long Travel kit, Currie AntiRock Sway Bar. I just installed the Currie Steering Stabilizer system (track bar, drag link, tie rod ends, etc). I am also considering installing the ARB covers, front and rear but have some concerns after reading this thread.

So the question is, with my current setup, will I be able to clear the Diff cover on standard ride and what about at full compression/flexion?

Many thanks!
 

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So the question is, with my current setup, will I be able to clear the Diff cover on standard ride and what about at full compression/flexion?

Many thanks!
only you can tell us.

you need to pull your springs & jounce bumpers out, push the axle up to full bump and check. this needs to be done with any lift installation.

with 4" of lift you have longer than stock shocks and subsequently require bumpstop extensions of the proper length. now, whether what you installed (if you have them) is actually enough to prevent interferences is the question only you can answer by checking for the interferences yourself.
 

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only you can tell us.

you need to pull your springs & jounce bumpers out, push the axle up to full bump and check. this needs to be done with any lift installation.

with 4" of lift you have longer than stock shocks and subsequently require bumpstop extensions of the proper length. now, whether what you installed (if you have them) is actually enough to prevent interferences is the question only you can answer by checking for the interferences yourself.
Got it. Bought the Jeep with the lift, Long Travel, AntiRock, etc already installed.
 
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