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-   -   Stretched my Xj, now some questions. (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/stretched-my-xj-now-some-questions-1316761/)

DezertXj88 01-19-2012 05:36 PM

Stretched my Xj, now some questions.
 
Hey guys figured I'd share this with everyone. Help older and newer people alike..
I'm only at 3" of lift, but have have a 103-104" wheel base. Stretched my front end 2.5" pass what it should have been. LCA's set to 18.5" roughly.
Anyway my coil is rubbing the out C's on my axle, never noticed it before. Doesn't seem to be an issue but a concern, so I thought I'd mention it. My shocks & coils have a slight positive incline, leaning like this /, but not much. Ride is way better!

Flex before and after is noticeable had these same arms setup at 16" and it flexed good, but now with it stretched 2.5" its alot better.. I'm hitting the shock mount above the LCA's, so I'm going to trim it, flexed with no shocks since my shocks are limiting me, but when my Doetsch 8386's get here I'll be good. No bump stops what so ever, took the stock ones out! I can stuff the passenger side wheel until my track bar mount hits the frame and it obviously won't stuff anymore after that! Serious fender trimmage needed!
Track bar hits track bar mount when stuffing driver side wheel so thats whats limiting that side. Will an aftermarket track bar take care of this? My axle is centered, its just hitting the mount at full flex.


Front setup: Stock track bar, Zj steering, 3" coils, Teraflex monster uppers/lowers, and Jk shocks..No sway bars at all.
Note the shocks will allow full stuff without being fully compressed but don't offer the travel needed at full droop.
Jk shocks are 17" collapsed/24.5" extended. Dt8386's are 17" collapsed/29.8 extended. Can't wait to have some fun.

Rear setup is a 1" OME leaf pack with a 2.5" RE full length AAL, stock shackle & Rancho 9000's?. Giving about 2.75" of lift. Soon to have relocation boxes & a Mj shackle for better flex. I only have 2 spring clips holding my leafs together, so when I flex all my leafs seperate, allowing more flex. I haven't picked up my rear wheel when flexing yet and my rear wheel sits perfectly in the fender on the bump stops, no rubbing at all!
I'm happy seeing as I only spent 700 all together, over 500 of that was on my new control arms lol. Yup thats right I got my 3" lift together for about 150 bucks. I really wish I would of gone Currie or similar though, dual JJ's/flex joints would be better than my rubber/flex joint setup now but no worries as its mainly a camping rig.
Pics coming soon.

Anyway point of the thread was to show how happy I am. And to say/prove that stretching your front end a few inches is very beneficial. It flexes more and rides better now and no other issues at all.
LCA suggested length for 3" of lift is 16", mine is set at 18.5".

Weeder1 01-19-2012 06:35 PM

pics?

DezertXj88 01-19-2012 07:21 PM

Of the jeep in general or of the coil contacting the outter C's. I'll have some pics up tomorrow, but don't expect something extremely different lol. The axle is noticeabley further in the front, but nothing to extremely lol.

Weeder1 01-19-2012 08:23 PM

Well if its anything like my xj right now then you might just have to extend the uca's. Did you extend those with the lowers? If you just did the bottom then it most likely rolled the axle a little, my coils rub the c's because the uppers need to be longer. Id like to see pics though for shure, and a pic of the whole this because i like stretched xj's. :D

DezertXj88 01-19-2012 09:21 PM

Well no I did adjust my uppers and lowers. Casters dead on..thats what had me curious. Lowers are actually around 17.5 eye-eye, maybe a smidge more and uppers were set to 16" and adjusted back alittle to set the caster.
I have more room to go forward without any binding, but for now I'll stay where its at. IDK all the stipulations (pros & cons) of having my coils & shocks at a positive angle?

Weeder1 01-19-2012 09:28 PM

f it then!!! lol
nah id like too see it, ill check in tomarra and chat more.

DoctorTim 01-19-2012 11:27 PM

Pics or you're lying!!!!

DezertXj88 01-20-2012 12:19 AM

They are coming Tim lol, gonna flex it and grab pics tomorrow.

DezertXj88 03-07-2012 03:47 PM

Tim I still owe you some pics! I will grab some either tonight or tomorrow now that I've got my new axle in! I'm actually going to pull my axle even further forward, thinking another inch, which will give me a 2-2.5" stretch on the front end.

Coils still slightly contacting the outter C's, and every now and then you can hear the rubbing, but it doesn't bug me what so ever. Casters perfect, it doesn't wander..it rides like a dream..so I'll let the coils rub until they "self clearence" themselves.

Timo_90xj 03-08-2012 12:18 AM

If you move the front axle forward that much, you need to address the coil problem by either moving the coil buckets on the axle back (cut & weld), or moving the coil tower forward (not recommending that).

Also, at close to 2.5" WB stretch in the front, you need to address steering linkage, trackbar and swaybar issues - they will be at a wrong place. You really can only move the front axle about 1"- 1.5" before getting into bigger issues that needs attention = cutting & welding... or you can do a hack job and not do anything, but that'll result in crappy handling and all sorts of noises from stuff hitting each other and possibly breaking.

For your trackbar issues at the axle, also most aftermarket trackbars do that - it's because of the way the trackbar mount is built. You can shave a little off from the top with an angle grinder, or re- drill the mounting hole a little bit closer (IIRC ~1" is enough) towards middle of axle. As for running no bumpstops, I do NOT recommend that. I you need something soft there when you bottom out to prevent stuff from falling apart. Also, you must have something that limits your uptravel slightly BEFORE something binds. You never, never want shocks, trackbar, CAs or any of the steering components to be you limiting factor. It's got to be your bumpstops.

edit: I stretched the front WB on my ZJ about 1.75" or so, and had similar issues than you. Coils rubbing on the inner C's, some rubbing on the coil towers at flex, stock trackbar hitting the pumpkin at full compression. Steering was pretty good, although I couldn't move stock trackbar frame-end mount forward enough to prevent it from either hitting the pumpkin or steering linkage. I will weld in a DIY double shear mount to get rid of that problem. WJ knuckles, brakes & steering will hopefully clear sme of the steering issues, and I cut & re- centered the coil buckets to have the coils at correct angle, and I also modified the lower shock mounts to angle the shocks right. I also cannot use front trackbar before moving the trackbar mounts forward a little, since the swaybar links and the swaybar rubbed the coils.

All above applies to XJs just as well, since the front- end is almost 100% identical to that of the ZJs. I do get better flex, clear the 32s a lot better on the front wheel wells (ZJs wells are even smaller than on XJs :nuts: ), and ride quality was improved. It's a bit of work but well worth it IMO.

When I had long arms & custom steering on my XJ with about 4" lift, I stretched the front WB about 1.5" from what it should've been. Obviously no ride quality difference on long arms, but I did get a little bit better approach angle and didn't need to smack in the lips on the wheel wells to clear 35s :thumbsup:

DezertXj88 03-08-2012 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo_90xj (Post 13198486)
or you can do a hack job and not do anything, but that'll result in crappy handling and all sorts of noises from stuff hitting each other and possibly breaking.


Guess you missed my other thread huh?:laugh:
I do stuff the right way..pull coils and shocks and set axle whereI want it and then flex it out and check everything!! And for reference, many many people have gotten 2-2.5" stretch without issues:) anything more becomes a problem with steering & trackbar binding, haven't heard of coil issues yet, but I guess it could become a problem, although I'dbet the steering would become an issue first.. Moving the steering box forward, or reversing it, pitman arm out front, people have done 3-4" without coil issues..
I'll be taking it as far forward as I can though, yes testing & flexing it out to make sure I'm good with steering & such! Currently full stuff, lock-lock no binds..I think when stuffing the passenger side and full lock to the right the pitman arm TRE is at its max angle, but again it won't flex that far that often, and even less often will I be full lock when flexing it like that! I'm stretching my xj to ride better, carry weight better..heavy bumpers and such and a better approch angle.

Coil and shocks are fine with the slight lean they get, although I see the concern..I think the coils will be fine, shocks may become an issue with the stud mount up top...we will see. Curently with my 1.5" stretch, they are slightly, ever so slightly leaning forward, shocks are the same. The very last coil rubs the outter C's ever so slightly, but it doesn't bug me much at all! Not noisy and it'll self clearence..and the ride improved 10fold over the normal length..Honestly I think 16.5" should be the minimum control arm length on a 3" lift..and somewhere around 18" for a 4.5..wish companys would sell arms like that lol.
,

3" lift, with 16" arms my ride still sucked, the extra .25" over the stock arms isn't even noticable. Although it may flex slightly better with aftermarket arms, the ride doesn't improve much. Now with my arms at 17.5" its alot smoother over bumps! It feels alot more stable at highway speeds as well, not so jumpy/twitchy I guess..And it flexs better, axle doesn't fall backwards anymore, it falls straight down! And with a slight angle on the shocks you get more travel. Not the best example but sort of how those prerunners are run 18" shocks with 26" of travel..the angle in which they are mounted helps! I'm not claiming huge increasing, I'm just saying it helps:rofl:



We will see exactly how far I can go tomorrow, and then when I do my OTK inverted Y setup we will see if I can go further, or if I'll have to push the axle back a little. Currently have stock steering/Zj tie rod and a stock trac bar..no drop bracket or anything, and I can almost get the track bar bracket to touch theframe when flexing...ya I have no bump stops, and ya I kinda ate my fenders a little..

When I go OTK I'm doing a RHD xj drag link and keeping the Zj tie rod, and getting some goferit inserts..easy as pie and cost all of 100 bucks. Otk steering..after that a IRO double sheer trackbar.

Timo_90xj 03-08-2012 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DezertXj88 (Post 13198537)
Guess you missed my other thread huh?:laugh:
I do stuff the right way..pull coils and shocks and set axle whereI want it and then flex it out and check everything!! And for reference, many many people have gotten 2-2.5" stretch without issues:) anything more becomes a problem.
I'll be taking it as far forward as I can though, yes testing & flexing it out to make sure I'm good with steering & such!

Yeap, missed that! :D

You can get away with as much as 2.5" WB stretch depending on suspension/ steering components you run. Stock steering & trackbar and it's a tough job getting everything right. Actually, it's pretty impossible :D I edited my post a little, see what kind of troubles I ran into :shhh:



Quote:

Coil and shocks are fine with the slight lean they get, although I see the concern..I think the coils will be fine, shocks may become an issue with the stud mount up top...we will see. Curently with my 1.5" stretch, they are slightly, ever so slightly leaning forward, shocks are the same. The very last coil rubs the outter C's ever so slightly, but it doesn't bug me much at all!
Remember that under compression, the axle moves even further forward and the coils will most likely rib the coil towers. I've had that happen on my XJ with short arms and WB strech, and it happened with my ZJ with about 1.75" WB stretch. You can either live with it, or move the coil buckets back and get rid of the noises. I hated to noises so I did it the hard way :)

Quote:

Honestly I think 16.5" should be the minimum control arm length on a 3" lift..and somewhere around 18" for a 4.5..wish companys would sell arms like that lol. 3" lift, with 16" arms my ride still sucked, the extra .25" over the stock arms 0isn't even noticable lol..although it may flex slightly better with aftermarket arms, the ride doesn't improve much. Now with my arms at 17.5" its way better, alot smoother over bumps! It feels alot more stable at highway speeds as well, not so jumpy/twitchy I guess..
Agreed, ride quality and handling improves, along with better clearance at the back of the wheelwells for bigger tires (both XJs and ZJs benefit from this). I'm pretty damn sure lift kit manufacturers recommend the shorter arm lengths so that people don't run into clearance/ noise issues, and to get their axle centered at ride height.

Those of us who actually use the brains and test different WB setups can gain from using longer arm lengths than recommened, but it comes at a price. Needs some patience and a bit of fine. tuning and possible cut & weld procedures, along with other upgrades but in the end it's well wroth it :thumbsup:

DezertXj88 03-08-2012 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo_90xj (Post 13198561)
Yeap, missed that! :D

You can get away with as much as 2.5" WB stretch depending on suspension/ steering components you run. Stock steering & trackbar and it's a tough job getting everything right. Actually, it's pretty impossible :D I edited my post a little, see what kind of troubles I ran into :shhh:





Remember that under compression, the axle moves even further forward and the coils will most likely rib the coil towers. I've had that happen on my XJ with short arms and WB strech, and it happened with my ZJ with about 1.75" WB stretch. You can either live with it, or move the coil buckets back and get rid of the noises. I hated to noises so I did it the hard way :)



Agreed, ride quality and handling improves, along with better clearance at the back of the wheelwells for bigger tires (both XJs and ZJs benefit from this). I'm pretty damn sure lift kit manufacturers recommend the shorter arm lengths so that people don't run into clearance/ noise issues, and to get their axle centered at ride height.

Those of us who actually use the brains and test different WB setups can gain from using longer arm lengths than recommened, but it comes at a price. Needs some patience and a bit of fine. tuning and possible cut & weld procedures, along with other upgrades but in the end it's well wroth it :thumbsup:


Man I know, I hate the stock track bar and I think my drag link is original from 88 lol. So instead of replacing it, I'm getting the RHD version and going OTK. And then my trackbar..right now my axles pretty centered, but I know my trackbar is done..its probably original as well.
I'm headed out there now to see how far I go can. At full compression my coils just squish and bend outward towards the tires kind of, they sit almost straight up and down though..I was wondering if it was because the stretch? Before I coudln't flex it out this much, and my coils never bowed outward..I think because I can flex better/more thats why they are doing it?
I do have those coil holders as well..they wrap around the last coil and keep it in place so I don't drop one out, or so 1 doesn't go shooting out lol!

I wish stretching our rear end was this easy:rolleyes: I've got antiwrap perches that I'll put on eventually..and they will allow me to move my rear axle back .75" but it probably won't even be noticable. I was really shooting for a 105-106" wheel base, really just to say I can and that I have and because it looks sick. But iits also functional, better ride, carries weight better, better approach/departure, better ride... I have nothing else to do but tinker around on my xj. I really need to buy some longer shocks, I think it was the DT8683's or something similar.
I have no sways, so I guess thats why it felt so much better at highway speeds..before it just felt..twitchy. Wanted to go everywhere everytime it hit a bump. Not soaks it up and keeps on tracking true.

habbyguy 03-08-2012 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DezertXj88 (Post 13200095)
I have no sways, so I guess thats why it felt so much better at highway speeds..before it just felt..twitchy. Wanted to go everywhere everytime it hit a bump. Not soaks it up and keeps on tracking true.

You're an adult, and I don't wanna preach, but I'll just say I'd NEVER use my DD XJ on the road without a sway bar, especially after I lifted it. The XJ is never going to be a sports car, but if you keep the front end in good shape, and replace your shocks every million miles or so, it'll generally get you out of trouble. Without sway bars, when (not if) you have to do a violent maneuver, the XJ will do its best to point its chassis at the sky. Look at the tales of rolled (on the road) XJs and you'll see a common thread throughout (missing sway bars).

I just got a set of discos, and now have the best of both worlds. And FWIW, I can't imagine that a sway bar makes a lot of difference to ride quality "just riding along", since the wheels shouldn't be deflecting all that much at highway speed. OTOH, if the sway bar bushings are really shot, you can get some odd noises/clunks out of the front end.

I know that lots of people are driving around without sway bars all the time, and convinced that it doesn't matter since they haven't been killed. They'll probably continue to get away with it until they have to crank on the wheel to avoid a brain dead driver, deer, child or texting teenager (I can't really put the last one in the "driver" category because driving is only taking up a small part of their effort/thought).

Either way, good luck out there...

DezertXj88 03-08-2012 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by habbyguy (Post 13200340)
You're an adult, and I don't wanna preach, but I'll just say I'd NEVER use my DD XJ on the road without a sway bar, especially after I lifted it. The XJ is never going to be a sports car, but if you keep the front end in good shape, and replace your shocks every million miles or so, it'll generally get you out of trouble. Without sway bars, when (not if) you have to do a violent maneuver, the XJ will do its best to point its chassis at the sky. Look at the tales of rolled (on the road) XJs and you'll see a common thread throughout (missing sway bars).

I just got a set of discos, and now have the best of both worlds. And FWIW, I can't imagine that a sway bar makes a lot of difference to ride quality "just riding along", since the wheels shouldn't be deflecting all that much at highway speed. OTOH, if the sway bar bushings are really shot, you can get some odd noises/clunks out of the front end.

I know that lots of people are driving around without sway bars all the time, and convinced that it doesn't matter since they haven't been killed. They'll probably continue to get away with it until they have to crank on the wheel to avoid a brain dead driver, deer, child or texting teenager (I can't really put the last one in the "driver" category because driving is only taking up a small part of their effort/thought).

Either way, good luck out there...


Let me say I bought this cherokee without sway bars, and he cut the swarbar links off the axle..joy!! And I do have a sway bar in the driveway, it hasn't gone on yet cause I haven't felt the need because my I built my jeep around no sway bars! Not to say they wouldn't do good still. But also haven't gone on because I'm going OTK steering and the swar bar links/mounts on the axle would be in the way, once the steerings done I'll get extended links and set it up the right way..So the sway bar will find its way back under my rig, but currently I don't feel its an issue because they've been compensated for!
Now I'll be honest..I think this is a blanket statement somewhat! I do agree however that the uneducated, or unexpeireinced should NOT remove them!
I think it depends on driver/and jeep! Stupid move on my part, but we have an old long back road, and I've had my cherokee up to its max of around 102mph..although no I wasn't swerving, it felt plenty steady changing lanes at those speeds!

I'm at 3-3.5" of lift on 31's and I've made plenty of fast evasive manuvers! When I first I lifted it, 3" on old 235's and I had some guy blow a tire and spin in front of me around 70mph, all of about 2 weeks of driving a lifted jeep..and I'd say the jeep handled that one great except for the rear tires locking up.
Steering and some brakes and all was good till the rear brakes locked up, PO adjusted the shoes WAY to tight. When they locked up the jeep was pretty far out there, and I had no fear of it rolling, or laying over! Then some girls had boxes blow out of a pickup on the freeway and I swerved around those without issue.

And again jeeps aren't race cars, 98% of the time mine doesn't go passed 70mph, I usually set the cruise at 65-68mph and just go. You will never find me in the fast lane on the freeway thats for sure lol. And in the same since, my buddies rig is 4.5" no sways and 33x10.5's. He's a jeepspeed guy, his feels even stiffer, and doesn't feel like its got body roll at all. I do agree sway bars should be run, mine came without them, and until I feel the need for them so I haven't made a effort to get them on yet!

I honestly believe the setup matters though. Most poeple build their rigs to flex! Soft coils, semisoft shocks ect and are usually around 4.5" of lift.. I have a 3" rustys coil, 180lbs I wish it was stiffer and Jk rubi shocks. I wish they were stiffer as well! My jeep flexs fine, and doesn't have 1 issue with body roll.
On the other hand, a local has 5.5" LA and 35's and runs sways and I feel like we are going on our side every time he hits a sharp turn. Where as mine is 3" and 31's and feels like it can run autocross without an issue. I realy think it depends on the rig, and really the driver in situations like that.

Although it is unsafe to remove sway bars and should not be done! And I encourage everyone to spend the extra 150 on discos! Had my rig had them when I bought it, that would still be on it! But because it didn't I built my rig a little stiffer to compensate, and it works just fine..a sway bar will find its way under my rig once I finish up my steering and everything though! No since in adding it now, then having to recut and weld the sway bar links again once I go OTK.
I do think everyone shouldh ave one, butI also feel thatit can be compensated for and that the setup & driver matter.
Not directed at you habby, but I've seen it alot and I don't think "its a jeep without a sway bar, must be unsafe" is a fair statement!


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