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Unread 10-19-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
kdizzle79
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Suspension Lift component identification

After searching and reading and searching some more and not finding what I'm looking for, I've decided to start a new thread, which I really didn't want to do but here I am....

My 97 XJ Sport was lifted by the PO, but I don't have much information about what was actually done. I'm pretty sure it's a 3 1/2" lift but again, not sure what was done to lift the suspension. To me, all of the parts look stock because they're all covered in dirt and grime and I really don't know what's what under there. Does someone have a good diagram or maybe a flash video or something that shows how a lift is installed? Most threads about lift just show the Jeep from a front or side view of what it looks like lifted with larger tires. The company websites for lift kits show what parts come in the box but I don't know where they go, which doesn't help me identify what I have installed on my Jeep.

A couple weeks ago I had it on jacks and decided to lube everything that had lube points with grease. Most of the rubber boots that seems to expand when grease is squeezed in are cracked and has grease just coming right out of it. Does this need to be replaced? If so, what is it called?

Also, I'm unsure if my driveshaft angles are okay/safe. My CV or U-joints have got to be wearing down because I can't grease a couple of them because of the angle, I think. Due to the angle, the grease fittings are off to one side and just enough to make it impossible to fit any attachment onto them. I thought about buying the needle attachment but not sure if it will work in this situation.

I keep reading about DW, and wheel bearing play, front end alignment, and what to check but honestly, it's starting to get a little overwhelming because I don't know where each component is located on the vehicle. I have a FSM and a Hayne's but I still get confused, and now frustrated.

I rotated my tires after changing the rear drum brakes last weekend, which haven't been rotated since installed almost 3 years ago...terrible, I know. And now I'm thinking they need to be rebalanced but every time I do a search for a local alignment shop, the reviews are horrible.

After reading for hours and hours, it's all starting to look like a bunch of words in a language I don't understand. I'm tempted to bring my XJ to some kind of shop or something, put it on a lift and have someone point everything out to me so I'll know wth is going on and what things are called.

If anyone has pictures from under their rig and wouldn't mind adding text or something I would greatly appreciate it! Wow, I feel like such a loser, lol.

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Unread 10-19-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
lowicz96
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Look for a name on the track bar if its an adjustable one like in the picture, or on the swaybar end links. I know skyjacker uses red coil springs but thats about it. Maybe a name or type of shock can clue you in on the lift.

The wheel unit bearing is the thing the wheel and brake rotor bolts to. Wobbles is probably from an unbalanced tire or mis alignment. I would balance the tires 1st, then alignment
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Unread 10-19-2010, 12:38 PM   #3
kdizzle79
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Lowicz96, Awesome! Thanks...do you have one for the driveshaft and the joints? Also, the greasable fittings behind the brakes, near the axles?

I will have my tires balanced as soon as I can, just need to find a place that I can trust....I couldn't really find any alignment shops with any good or even decent reviews.

Is there anything I can do to the lift components to make them operate better? Remove and clean??? Replace anything?
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Unread 10-19-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
lowicz96
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What is wrong with you jeep? Its just has vibes going down the road?

Serviceable things in the front would be TRE's, or Tie Rod Ends. These are the greasable things at both ends of the tie rod, both ends of the drag link and at the end of the track bar at the body.

There are 2 ujoints in your front axle, one in each axle shaft. 1 ujoint and 1 double cardigan in your front driveshaft. The rear driveshaft depends on what the PO did. It could be a Slip yoke or just like the front DS

Ball joints are the joints that hold your knuckle to the axle and allows your front wheels to turn side to side. These can be greasable too and wear out over time. If your front tires have an in-n-out play then the ball joints need to be replaced.
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88' Cherokee Limited - RIP

Sold - 96' Cherokee Sport 4x4, 2 Door, AW4, NP242, Its the girlfriends now!!
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Unread 10-19-2010, 01:47 PM   #5
jkh
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No need to find an alignment shop to have your tires balanced. Just go to Discount Tire or something. Two different beasts.
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Unread 10-19-2010, 01:55 PM   #6
kdizzle79
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The grease fittings accept grease but expel it in a way that I'm wondering if something is torn or cracked. I was able to grease all of the front suspension parts, but am unable to grease the rear driveshaft. I don't think it's a slip yoke or SYE, I will take pictures later and see if you can identify what I'm up against.

I did notice a vibration while driving yesterday after doing a tranny pan drop and fluid replacement. The vibration wasn't anything major but did make me feel uneasy and was at speeds in excess of 50mph. I was driving to see how the transmission shifted and did okay except was slipping from a stop into first occasionally, I probably just need to top it off with some more ATF. It was hard to tell where the servicing was because the entire dipstick was covered in fluid after servicing it.

Anyways, in regards to the suspension, besides the vibrations, I'm just trying to educate myself on what is what and how it all works since I was reading tirelessly and felt like I was moving backwards. I didn't see any identification on any of the parts except saw a Chrysler symbol on some sort of piston looking shock absorber of some sort attached to the drag link. I also got the following number off the pitman arm: 8952000615T22XJ. I mean, I'm actually wondering if I even have a lift and it just sits high because there's 31x10.5s on it. The PO did say it had a 3.5" lift but I don't really know how to tell, especially because everything is discolored the same and all the hardware looks 100 years old. Pics to come....
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Unread 10-19-2010, 01:58 PM   #7
kdizzle79
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Unread 10-19-2010, 02:05 PM   #8
lowicz96
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The shock looking thing connected to the drag link is the steering stabilizer. It helps prevent bump-steer.

The TRE's will puke out the grease if they are already full. A torn boot on them is an indication they might need changing soon cause the grease isnt being held in there and dirt can get in.

Best way to learn is to dive right in. To give you a clue on the lift, I just did a homebrew 3.5" lift and i used 3.5" coil springs, 3.5" leaf springs and shocks of a JK that fit. Bent the brake lines closer to the axles and thats all i had to do
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Unread 10-19-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
kdizzle79
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What is bump-steer?
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Unread 10-19-2010, 02:08 PM   #10
lowicz96
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^^ thats the front ujoint and slip yoke of your rear DS

Bumpsteer is when you hit a bump with one tire and the jeep will "bounce" or turn slightly because of it.
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Project/DD - 95' Cherokee Sport, 2 Door, Converted to 4x4, AX-15, NP231, Black and lots of other goodies

88' Cherokee Limited - RIP

Sold - 96' Cherokee Sport 4x4, 2 Door, AW4, NP242, Its the girlfriends now!!
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Unread 10-19-2010, 04:31 PM   #11
jkh
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You wouldn't be running 31's with no lift without some trimming done. Are your endcaps still intact?

Looks like your driveshaft was pulled recently for some reason. Since the marks are where they are, looks like they replaced the ujoint...yet it looks like crap. Maybe it was done a long time ago and hasn't oxidized very quickly
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:43 AM   #12
kdizzle79
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I have owned this Jeep for about 3 years. I don't remember the PO saying anything about u-joints or the DS. How important is it that I replace the u-joints on the rear DS? And if I do, how likely is it that they will end up in the same exact position to where I'm unable to grease them?

Like I said, the PO did tell me it had a 3 1/2" lift, but it all looks like factory parts underneath...same wear/tear/color/etc...

Is there anything I can do to improve the quality of my lift? Any inexpensive parts I can change out? Thanks again

Kevin
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