Zone Offroad 2" Lift for TJ
I just installed the Zone Offroad 2" spacer lift for my 03 TJ and wanted to give everyone a good heads up prior to doing it. Obviously before doing any work PB Blaster is a must, but even after a week of being drenched in the stuff there were a couple problems. I also recommend before even starting getting new sway bar links without the ball joint connection and a ball joint separator. These will come in handy. Let me start off by saying that the ride is greatly improved by the lift with the optional nitro shocks, about $20 more. It's still stiff, but you notice a lost less of the little vibrations and bumps in the road. Off road is still the same if not slightly better when cornering. I installed mine over the course of 10 hours without a lift, this is more than the 4-6 they say it takes. The first problem I ran into was the front shocks spinning when taking off the top nut (which can be accessed through the engine compartment, but you need to take off the air intake filter housing). This was solved with a pair of channel locks as the damage didn't matter as the shocks were being thrown out. The next issue was the sway bar links which needed a ball joint separator (pickle fork) to come apart and required quite a bit of brute force. Everything else went in well until it came time for the sway bar links to be re-installed; the ball joint just kept spinning even when using a pair of pliers to hold the bolt in place. This is where the new sway bar link comes in handy, Zone makes ones that are about $70 and were a breeze to put in; plus it makes putting in a disconnect easier in the future. With that the front end was done and as many may know the *** end is even worse because of the position of the shocks and the tendency for the rear bolts to sheer off. Well it happened to me (Both on the passenger's side) so both had to be drilled. The threads were also toasted from rusts so I drilled them out too. I wound up using 5/16" bolts, washers, nuts, and heavy thread lock as a replacement. It was easy to do with some help. I put on the inside most bolt in first through the hole for the top of the shock and tightened it down so there was still enough room to fit the shock bracket. I then slide the shock in and put the other bolt in place (This is where the help came in). There is a gap between the wheel well plastic and the frame where a combination wrench can fit. Using this area to hold the nut it is very simple to tighten up the bolt from the bottom. Be sure to put thread lock in place on all of these new bolts. I was lucky in that the rest of the rear installed without a problem. I did install new sway bar links again in the back to just satisfy my OCD. After a drive around town it was like a whole new car as I greased everything up while I was down there and also changed all the fluids. Probably the best $450 (Estimated Total) I have put into my TJ. Highly recommend doing it and going with Zone. They shipped the entire lift in 2 days from Michigan to NJ for $11, which is nothing when compared to Quadratec who charge this amount for a dam sticker, and everything is very solid and made in the USA. To top it off their customer service is awesome! Never have I experienced any better. When I ran into the sway bar link problem you can call them up and they'll help you along the whole way. They definitely have my business in the future.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.