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My 18 Sport S build

62521 Views 362 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  rsmwrangler
Picked up a used 18 unlimited Sport S from Carmax couple of weeks ago with 31k miles.

Here she is in stock trim
2021-05-23_07-05-11 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

I'll start doing little mods at a time, i went with led headlights, Spiderwebshade, Bestop seat locking storage, Tuffy rear cargo box, and tow hitch. i'm also keeping the stock Moab wheels for now so i also added Redrock 1.5 spacers.

2021-05-30_02-42-29 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-05-31_10-02-24 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

Haven't decided if i'll do 285/75/17 or 35x11.5x17 tires, added an Smittybilt basic carrier
2021-05-30_04-09-02 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

As for a lift for now she has the factory 17/58 springs and i'll be doing a small boost lift with 1.75 front spacers and 1" rear spacers. also ordered some wedge spacers for the back for an extra 1/4" or so, i have Rubicon Express shocks front and rear, same ones i used on my first Jeep lift on my first Wrangler :)
front RXJ713, 24.14 extended 14.8 compressed
rear RXJ714, 25 extended, 15.3 compressed
Didn't want to mess much with trackbars and control arms yet as i want to save for a proper 3-3.5" lift. Here she is stock for now.

2021-05-30_10-50-57 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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Making a mess today :), but my basic lift in on
20210604_171258 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

Wanted to keep things as simple as possible, I added the Synergy fixed front LCA's in the end cause i wanted to keep my caster up. All in all she drives great just like stock. Don't know exactly what's going on but this Jeep drives a lot nicer stock than my 13 did stock, so i just did a small set of spacers to keep the cost down for now, but added longer shocks and all the other little stuff i thought i needed to make the kit a little more complete

So this was my initial suspension setup:
Rubicon Express RE1325 1.75" front spacers
Daystar KJ091140BK 0.75" rear spacers
Synery 8097 JK rear coil Wedges

RXJ713 front shocks,24.14" extended - 14.80" compressed
RXJ714 rear shocks, 25.00" extended -15.30" compressed

Teraflex 4304400 rear brake line bracket
RE 1380 2" front bumpstop
RE 1387 2" rear bumpstops
Synergy 8047 Fixed front LCA's
JKS 2034 quick disconnects
RE1158 rear sway bar links

Synergy 8047 is 22 3/4" eye to eye
2021-06-05_09-11-49 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-11-58 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

The stockers are 22 9/16
2021-06-05_09-12-07 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

Also took this picture to show the angles of the sway bars in stock trim
20210604_151715 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-16 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

And finished product
2021-06-06_11-39-12 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-30 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-35 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-40 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-45 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-13-05 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-13-00 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-55 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-05_09-12-50 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

I had ordered Yokohama 285/75/17 but i cancelled the order because Discount Tires Direct messed up and they didn't have the tires in stock. i'll check with my local Americas Tires on Monday.

I'll also be scheduling my regear fairly soon, going with 4.56's. I already ordered the security cable for to unlock my odb2 port from Hptuners and i have it in the garage. so i'll be able to change tire size and gear size. Will install soon. I'll also try AlfaOBD in the Jeep and see if can configure the same stuff i've done with my RAM 1500. I'd assume it'll work since i've seen Jeep in the menu. Will see.
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Points of interest after this round of mods:
Measured lift
Front: shock top busing to eye of shock bolt: 18
Rear: bumpstop cup to pad: 5

after spacers
Front: shock top busing to eye of shock bolt: 20 5/16"
Rear: bumpstop cup to pad: 6 3/4"

Lift gained fron: 2 5/16 =2.3125"
Lift gained rear: 1 3/4" =1.75"

Axel shift measure from frame to the tire lip
FD: 20 1/8
RD:13 1/2
FP: 20 1/4
RP: 13 3/8

After spacers:
FD: 20 1/4
RD: 13 1/4
FP: 20 1/8
RP: 13 5/8

Front shifted 1/8" towards driver
Rear shifted 1/4" towards passenger

I have the 17/58 factory springs
Front springs will support a 26.5" extended shock with a 1.75 spacer on top of the factory isolators
Rear springs will support a 25 3/4 " extended shock with the 0.75" spacers + coil spring wedges combo i have. Factory isolators are also in place.

My front shocks are 24" extended, rear are 25" so i don't need coil spring retainers.
No need for trackbar correction of any kind to recenter the axels.

Still need to take the Jeep to the aligment shop to double check the toe, i simply recentered the steering via drag link and she's driving straight but i have no idea how the toe looks like yet.
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Added the rear seat spacers to give the kids a little more room back there
2021-06-04_11-53-15 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-04_11-53-43 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

Also removed the huge factory muffler and got a Magnaflow SS muffler in place, Magnaflow 11236, 2.5" I/O, Offset/Offset
2021-06-04_11-53-57 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

and had the exhaust tip tucked a little higher as well.
2021-06-04_11-54-04 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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Got my Jeep aligment rechecked today, as expected my toe was a little out of specs
Caster was 4.2-4*. Little surprised considering Synergy says the Synergy 8047 fixed arms should yield 5.5* caster correction for 2" lift. and 5* for 3"
I'm only lifted 2 1/4" and my caster is only 4*, not that is bad, but i'd have preferred that be in the 5" range at this front lift.
2021-06-08_02-51-00 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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2nd gotcha, the Rubicon Express front shocks RXJ713 are longer than advertised, god damn it.
Typically i wouldn't be mad about it, but more droop is not always welcome. the shock is advertised at 24" extended. i measured the rears and they're 25", but didn't measure the fronts. Today i lifted the the front in the air and got her supported by the frame cause i wanted to check DS clearance with the exhaust and found the DS will contact the exhaust shield badly, that's connected or disconnected, and came to find out the shocks are actually 25" extended. i did my calculations initiallly with 24" damn it.

RXJ713 shock extended=25"
2021-06-09_03-43-49 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

This is the clearance with 23 11/16" extended shocks, literally a half pinky finger
2021-06-09_03-49-01 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-09_03-48-53 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

So I'll need 23 11/16 extended shocks tops to be safe in the front because of the stupid DS rubber boot, and i'm not messing with the exhaust spacers though that seems to be another option.
I have 3 options, get a 1310 DS or or get the exhaust spacers or get shorter shocks.

And i guess I'll have to install the stock shocks before i get my new tires on. dropping the suspension to get the tires installed will cause the boot to contact the shield and if the thing is hot the rubber will melt and i'll damage the boot. Fack. Good thing i have'n't discared most of my stock parts yet.
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Went back to stock shocks in the front for now, and i'm returning the front RE's.
Getting new tires tomorrow, 4.56's on Saturday.
In a couple of week i'll reasses if i'm going to buy new 23" shocks for the front, or do an Adams 1310 front, then do 26" extended shocks.
Got the new tires installed. BFG KO2 315/70/17 E rated.
To my surprise, the setup seems fairly light, i'll say 82-83 lbs so i won't be changing my tailgate hinges.
My spare is a used KO2 in the same size 315/70/17 and load rating.
2021-06-11_07-38-46 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-11_07-58-46 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-11_08-07-36 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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4.56's are in. Going through the 500 miles break-in period.
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I'll bet those feel nice! Almost like speed racer?
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I'll bet those feel nice! Almost like speed racer?
Oh yeah big difference in the way the Jeep accelerates now. The wheel/ new tires setup checks my bath scale at 90lbs per corner so the 4.56's feel more at home in there compared to the 3.21's :)
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Ordered Rockhard RH-6009 rock sliders and a set of Teraflex 1553100 front shocks. They're the longest I can find for my setup at 25.65" extended. I'm going to go with an aftermarket front driveshaft. I have a local driveline shop close to home and I'll ask them for a custom DS. Either that or I'll get an Adams 1310. I'll give my local driveline shop a try and see if I can get the a better price that way.
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Shaved my factory fenders and chopped the front bumper wings. i'll prob get a real stubby later on on but for now this is free and this will do for a little while.
Ordered an Smittybilt belly pan skid, Rockhard control arm skids and I’m getting a custom 1310 front driveshaft installed on Thursday.
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Ordered Poison Spyder diff covers and Clayton steering stabilizer relo bracket.
Sent an email to Northridge today and see if i can exchange the Synergy fixed control arms i have and the get the Clayton overlander + adjustable arms instead. I should have done this from the begining. Worst case I'll have a set of literally 2 week old Synergy fixed control arms in the for Sale section.
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Learned today about Northridge4x4 return policies do suck. They won't accept a return on the arms because i installed them and the performance nature of the items don't allow them to accept them back ? Lol WTF ? what kind of company is this ? they've lost a loyal customer. Quadratec didn't have any issues refunding the shocks i bought and installed, Summit Racing have refunded me on brake pads and rotors, and SLF-140 coil springs that sucked and i wasn't happy about them all within the first 30 days.. How would you know the product you're buying is good or have something you like or don't if you don't install the item ? Man they suck big time and i didn't know about it until it's time they deal with a silly issue. I was even willing to eat a return fee which some companies do, and i just wanted to exchange. now i'm trying to get a refund and i'm not buying from Northridge ever again. Lots of other companies out there willing to keep a customer happy, not this one, they're choosing the chitty way.. oh well. live to learn who sucks...

I've contacted Synergy directly via email. we'll see if they can do something about it.
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I got the my new custom DS installed yesterday, and did the install on my oil pan skid today.
2021-06-25_07-45-12 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-25_07-38-08 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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Front bumper wings chopped and fenders shaved.
2021-06-25_07-55-04 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-25_07-38-28 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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Got the SS relocated with the Clayton SS relo bracket. The factory tie rod clamp rubs on the diff cover when the wheel is all the way to the driver side as i had to move it up , while i could grind the thing a little bit to prevent that i'll just yank it out and use a a Synergy clamp instead. i ordered it yesterday so i'll should have it by tomorrow.
2021-06-27_10-54-00 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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While i wait the 500 miles gear break-in period, i'll have some fun with the kid and the toys today
2021-06-27_11-00-57 by RAM RSM, on Flickr

2021-06-27_11-01-07 by RAM RSM, on Flickr
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