Finally, the WJ is lifted.
Here we go....
The final choice was an IRO 3" with adjustable trac bar, Bilsteins, Moog Trail Boss steering stabilizer, and new isolators. I got everything from Kolak. I plan to have a winch, and a bunch of gear in back, so I added a 10mm OME spacer all around. Got those from Quadratec, as I had a gift certificate to use through them.
Kolak was really good during the process, and got me a great deal on everything. I highly recommend him.
I did have some issues in the process, and I never went one day without a return email from him, and he was very prompt in contacting people on my behalf to sort it out. Once we got past two shipments missing parts, and then we all agreed what "new parts" should actually look like
I was ready for the install.
None of that was Nick's fault, and things do happen in the real world, so, anyway, here we go.....
First step was measuring things and taking the Jeep apart. I measured caster at the bottom of the axle, pretty much the only place I could stick my magnetic gauge. I figured it would be good enough for a before-and-after comparison. 6.5 degrees stock.
For a New England Jeep at 9 years old, it came apart pretty well. My front axle perches did have some pretty heavy duty rust under the front isolators, but I cleaned it up and doused it with rust converter, and there was plenty left to locate the spring - I'm not too worried.
I debated on spending the $ for new isolators, as I wasn't sure how bad mine would be - the Jeep's only got just over 100K on it now. But I was glad I did -- the fronts weren't too bad, but the rears were toasted. And Nick has a screaming deal on all 8 anyway.
No real issues with the install. Man that front upper driver-side shock bolt is fun.
Under the brake booster, under the ABS unit..... no access for a wrench. Then you figure out that on the suspension some of the nuts seem fused to their component, and you can only turn the bolt heads.....
I also was missing a zerk fitting on the driver side upper ball joint.
I guess whoever replaced the joint didn't feel like screwing in the zerk. I stole a zerk from a spare YJ dana30 I have.
The drag link resisted turning, to center the steering wheel after the install, but an overnight soaking in penetrating oil and a pipe wrench got it to go. 6 turns on the adjuster to center the wheel.
Caster measured at the same place after the install: 5.5 degrees. So I lost one degree. The Jeep seems to have a little wander, but that could just be the tires, or body sway from being higher - maybe I just need to get used to it. I'll think about a stiffer sway bar for the rear. No wobble yet, I've got about 60 or 70 miles on it so far.
Tires are Goodyear Wrangler Authority 265-75-16 on the stock wheels. Walmart, Under $800 out the door -- dismount, mount, balance, tax, everything.
I had a set of these on my old TJ, and at 30K+ they still looked great, so I went with them again. They are an agressive AT, look great, and make a nice little rumble going down the road, but not at all offensive. I would have liked Rubicon take-offs, but everyone around here wants $1200 or more for a set......
And they're not siped. The GYs are siped, and I know they're good in the rain and snow from my own experiences. I think I made the right call -- my wheels are in great shape, and the Jeep looks good.
I did pull the front driveshaft. I have a ujoint at the axle, but a Rezeppa at the TC. I do have a double-cardan replacement in the garage waiting for new joints and then swap the TC yoke. Probably won't get to that for a few weeks.
Here are some shots.
Next up is a hitch step welded out of some scrap 2" tube I've got.