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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > Grand Cherokee General Discussion > The Billzcat1 Build Thread

Savvy/Currie Aluminum Control ArmsRockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits ZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4w

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Unread 05-25-2011, 12:37 AM   #16
billzcat1
Chicken in a Turkey Suit
2003 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 8,537
Recent progress:

Re-attached the rear sway bar with some home-made rear sway bar end links. While I never had any specific problems with it totally gone, I wanted to see if I liked it with the rear sway in with proper length end links. I do! I would say that this is how I rank the rear sway bar, from best to worst: sway bar w/ proper length end links --> no sway bar --> sway bar with wrong length end links.

Up front, I had slight clunking from the JKS Quicker Disconnects and I had tried everything possible to correct it. I heard from some folks that Rough Country QDs were clunk-free and a simpler design. I got those in yesterday and they are defective right out of the box. I have a number of complaints about the design. For one, the torque specs listed in the instructions are much too high for the grade of hardware used. The hardware is of such low quality that while attempting to torque to the spec indicated, I pulled the mounting stud through a 1/2" washer and crushed the lower rolled steel sleeve/spacer. I partially rectified this using some leftover grade 8 washers and a lower torque spec. Where the upper stud bolts to the sway bar, you have a 3/8" stud (maybe 7/16") going through a 9/16" hole. There's lots of room around the stud and NO washers to distribute load. I had to add washers here as well. My main complaint: the bushing on one side is defective right out of the box, as in plain-old-doesn't-fit defective. It is loose and sloppy and surprise surprise, it's a clunk factory. RC has a replacement part on the way, but based on the lack of intelligent design and the low quality control, I will probably avoid RC parts in the future.

I do like some of its features though, and here's a break down of pros/cons over the JKS QDs.

Pros:
  • Mounted on inner side of sway bar = more clearance (JKS QDs rubbed on the driver's side)
  • Bolted to the sway bar = can't be lost or stolen
  • Includes mounting tabs to secure end links when discoed
  • Automotive ball joint and rubber bushings provide quieter operation than JKS poly spherical bearings
  • Much cheaper
Cons:
  • Not as easily accessed for disconnect
  • Quality of hardware is much lower
  • Quality of retaining pins is lower
  • Design is much smaller/thinner/weaker than JKS
  • Length is not adjustable over any usable range.
  • Length is too long for 3-4" lift (even though it "fits" 3-6" lift)
  • Mounting tabs only work correctly with 6" of lift.
While waiting for my replacement bushing to show up, I am running disconnected. I can't stand the constant clunking. Lo and behold, the mounting tabs are WAY too short for my current lift height, so I fabbed up some small extensions from aluminum stock to lower the tabs to a workable height. This took a little trial and error to find a location that was easy to connect, would not rub the mount at full lock, and would not hit track bar or pitman arm at full stuff/full lock. I'll add pics later, but I am happy with my work.

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Unread 05-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #17
leadsled jeep
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Great thread Richard. I will be following your progress. Your input on this site is a great benefit to all.
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'02 Overland 130k+ miles. 245-70-17 GG AT2's. BDS 2" lift, Bilstein 5100's, JKS QDs. Addco Swaybars F/R. Stillen Front Rotors/ Pads. TRE's, BJ's, wheel bearings. 100% Amsoil. I like my rifles like my coffee, hot, black and continually refilled.
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Unread 05-25-2011, 02:52 PM   #18
MikeeN
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Billz are your bilsteins for 2 inch lift or for the 3-4 inch lift? I have the same lift and spacers as you do, and i wa wandering if you like the ride with the bilsteins?
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Unread 05-25-2011, 03:04 PM   #19
Thomahawk
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Great buildthread Billzcat1, awsome Jeep. 2Thumbsup!
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R.I.P. 2000 Grand Cherokee Limited, 4.7 V8, Quadradrive, Shale Green Metallic, Agate/Carbon interior, Well modded and highly missed :(

Buildthread [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/jeep-norway-2th-buildt-overland-upgrade-1813490/[/url]

MONEY WILL CONTINUE TO BE THROWN INTO THE RIG UNTIL CONDITION AND SATISFACTION IMPROVES!!!
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Unread 05-25-2011, 03:05 PM   #20
billzcat1
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They are the 2" lift bilsteins. The ride is great! With the winch on the front, it's closer to 2.5" lift.

Thanks Thomahawk!
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Unread 05-25-2011, 08:59 PM   #21
billzcat1
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Pictures of the RC vs JKS and new bracketry requirements.

Assembled JKS vs assembled RC. Note that the JKS is adjusted to the correct length for a 3" lift. The RC does not have any adjustment shorter and only 1" of acceptable adjustment longer.



RC end links installed. Note the small black bracket between the pitman arm and track bar which is where you secure the end link when discoed. At this short of a lift, moving the sway bar up an additional 3" when discoed is very difficult.



New aluminum bracket extension installed! In this position it clears the pitman arm and nothing is really close when flexed. The brackets reuse the motor mount bolts that pass through the frame rail. Note that in this position, the sway bar does not need to move to connect to the mounting bracket when discoed. Also, you can see in this image (normal ride height) that the sway bar is up around 45 and should be around 30 for optimum ride and performance.



Passenger side bracket.

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Unread 06-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #22
MikeeN
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so you inspired me to buy bilsteins and all i have to say is WOW. The ride qulity goign from cheapo shocks to these is day and night haha now i remember what it feels like to almost ride stock again haha or actualy better than stock
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Unread 06-01-2011, 11:27 PM   #23
billzcat1
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Glad I could help! Although with as many Bilsteins as I've "sold", I think they owe me commission by now!
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Unread 06-01-2011, 11:40 PM   #24
USN_BlackWK
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Nice build! Its good to know there are places to wheel in WA... I'm moving up there this summer
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Unread 06-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #25
billzcat1
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Cool, where to? Have to meet up so I'm not the only Grand on the trail.
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Unread 06-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #26
USN_BlackWK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billzcat1 View Post
Cool, where to? Have to meet up so I'm not the only Grand on the trail.
Somewhere on or near Whidbey Island. I haven't even started looking for a place yet. I'm deff down for some wheeling!
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Unread 06-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #27
billzcat1
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Ah...Naval Air Station?
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Unread 06-02-2011, 02:34 PM   #28
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Is it just me, or does the JKS design look better?

I'd love to be moving to WA, also. Lucky dog.
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Unread 06-02-2011, 04:33 PM   #29
USN_BlackWK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billzcat1 View Post
Ah...Naval Air Station?
Yep
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1998 Cherokee Classic 4.0L
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Unread 06-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #30
billzcat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowLeopard View Post
Is it just me, or does the JKS design look better?
It is stronger and easier to use, more adjustable to boot. But, the RC are lower profile and significantly less clunky...but not clunk-free.
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