04 GC Overland Build Thread - 3in lift OME HD w/ Bilstein 5100s - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > WJ Grand Cherokee Forum > 04 GC Overland Build Thread - 3in lift OME HD w/ Bilstein 5100s

Clayton Off Road WJ Long Arm Kits!Clayton Off Road - JK Prototype Gas Tank SkidTJ 5.25" Speaker Adapters - NalinMFG

Reply
Unread 12-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #1
Elite04GC
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , VA
Posts: 58
Wj 04 GC Overland Build Thread - 3in lift OME HD w/ Bilstein 5100s

I've done a few things to my jeep already:

Front & Rear Addco Sway Bars - The stability when cornering has improved 100%. That scary I might flip over if I don't slow down when taking on and off ramps at high speed is gone. I replaced the rear first and loved it, but could still feel the body roll up front. I have the factory skid plates underneath so the front was little bit of a PITA, but not too bad.

I had a wheel fly off after the dealer checked my car out upon purchase. Several months later the left wheel flew off on the highway at 60mph. The dealer claimed they tightened and didn't over tighten any lug nuts. They said I probably interrupted someone trying to steal my wheels and the thief loosened just the left front wheel. In my opinion, total BS. My solution was to put Gorilla wheel locks and lugs nuts. They are great. Expensive but much better than the factory OE equipment.

Upon purchase, I changed the air filter, added a cabin air filter and changed the engine oil several times. Changed the front and rear axle oil, transfer case oil and transmission oil. Wanted to make sure all fluids were solid and factory spec. I haven't done anything with the power steering fluid. I have a leak so I'm going to have that checked out. Open to any ideas or suggestions.

Upgraded rotors and pads to Stillen Performance with racing brake fluid. I noticed one of the boots was bad on the right caliper so I changed both brake calipers with akebono. Very disappointed they both are completely rusted in about two weeks.

Now on to my current project:

I am accumulating the parts to lift 3 inches with the Old Man Emu HD Springs and Bilstein 5100 shocks. I'm replacing the insulators all around.

Prior to embarking on this adventure I thought it a good idea to beef up some steering components.

1. Replaced the Steering Stabilizer - Tenneco

2. Replaced the Tie Rod & Tie Rod Ends - Moog

3. Replaced the Drag Link & Tie Rod Ends - Moog

NEXT STEP:

1. OME HD Springs

2. Bilstein 5100s

3. Insulators all around

4. IRO Adjustable Track Bar

Questions:

As I look underneath at what will happen with taller springs and shocks a few issues come to mind. The first is the A Arm in the back. With taller springs it seems that thing is going to be at an extreme angle.
Is there a shim or something needed to keep everything in line back there???
I think I saw an adjustable a-arm somewhere. It that something I should look into getting???
The second issue is purely a ride quality issue. I notice there are upper ball joints up front. How do I test the condition of those?
Are they something I should replace while were in there???

Anyone with experience I would appreciate any tips tricks or other insight into pitfalls, things to avoid or things to consider.

__________________
04 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
OME HD Springs, Bilstein 5100s, Black Mamba M2X Wheels, Stillen Rotors & Pads, Addco F/R Sway Bar, Moog(Trail Boss SS/Tie Rod/Drag Link), IRO Adj. Trac Bar, Mag-Hytec Trans Pan, Rugged Ridge Mats, Mobil 1 Extended 10w30, Gorilla Lug Nuts & Locks
Elite04GC is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-07-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
its-me-B
Registered User
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: milwaukee, wi
Posts: 626
For the rear a arm... you can find two inch spacer that will help bring everything back close to stock, but at three inches it's not really needed. I'm at three inches without the rear spacer and all is well without it.

As for the ball joints... put the front up in the air and put a pry bar one the arm. Then pull or push one the bar depending on where you wedge it in and see if the ball joint moves around or look for play in the arm. If you get movement replace.
__________________
Do the world a favor, hurt a honda...
Iro 3" lift with pro comp 9000es shocks, adjustable trackbar, led rock lights, all interior lights converted to leds, two 10" kicker comp with Kenwood 600 watt amp
Zombie Outbreak Response Unit #396
its-me-B is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-07-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
03azwj
Registered User
2003 WJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 483
I agree with its-me-B. I run the same lift plus 3/4" spacers all around. I've had the lift on for about a year now without the rear spacer and no issues so far. I've also added adjustable upper and lower control arms and they make an amazing difference.
__________________
3" OME HD springs, Bilstein 5100, JKS adjustable trackbar, Moog SS, IRO UCA'S & LCA'S, 3/4" front and rear spacers, BFG M/T km LT255/75R17, JK Rubicon takeoffs, 8K HIDS Hi's & Lo's. full Rockford Fosgate set-up, blue l.e.d. interior, clumsy driver
03azwj is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2013, 01:31 AM   #4
madZJ
Registered User
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The last frontier
Posts: 306
I just put on the OME HD springs and 10mm spacers with new isolators, Bilstiens, JKS track bar and rear Addco sway bars. I love the way it handles and looks with the 245/70R17 Durotracs. Come spring I want to add the front Addco sway bar, 3/4' spacers, adjustable arms, and a truss and skid plate from Valhalla Fab which gives you a 2" spacer.
madZJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2013, 07:44 AM   #5
skain8
Under Construction
 
skain8's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Reading, PA
Posts: 3,612
You should really run a spacer in the a-arm even at 3".
__________________
Tom

'02 WJ: 4.7L, 5", HP44/9", 231HD, tall & skinny KM2's
'99 XJ: stock
'99 XJ: stolen
'06 XK: sold
231HD build guide
skain8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
Elite04GC
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , VA
Posts: 58
Thanks skain8. The angle looks a little steep without modifications. Do you know anything about the adjustable A-Arm???
__________________
04 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
OME HD Springs, Bilstein 5100s, Black Mamba M2X Wheels, Stillen Rotors & Pads, Addco F/R Sway Bar, Moog(Trail Boss SS/Tie Rod/Drag Link), IRO Adj. Trac Bar, Mag-Hytec Trans Pan, Rugged Ridge Mats, Mobil 1 Extended 10w30, Gorilla Lug Nuts & Locks
Elite04GC is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
skain8
Under Construction
 
skain8's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Reading, PA
Posts: 3,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite02GC View Post
Thanks skain8. The angle looks a little steep without modifications. Do you know anything about the adjustable A-Arm???
The adjustable a-arm is a nice piece. You can get away with just a spacer at 3", but the adjustable a-arm would work and give you some added benefits. IRO, Rusty's and Endless Mtn Fab all make one. I'll leave it to Tollmtn to fill you in on IRO's a-arm. I am admittedly biased, but Endless Mtn Fab's a-arm is top notch due to adjustability and quality of materials. If you have specific questions about the a-arm, PM me.
__________________
Tom

'02 WJ: 4.7L, 5", HP44/9", 231HD, tall & skinny KM2's
'99 XJ: stock
'99 XJ: stolen
'06 XK: sold
231HD build guide
skain8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-08-2013, 03:03 PM   #8
Tollmtn
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: , MT
Posts: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite02GC View Post
Thanks skain8. The angle looks a little steep without modifications. Do you know anything about the adjustable A-Arm???
At three inches of lift a 2" spacer will position your stock A arm horizontal or slightly above horizontal. The rubber bushing will be very close to centered. Bushing wise you couldn't ask for more. The pinion t case flange angle works out for most but if you want to adjust it so it is dead on an Endless Mountain or Rusty's A arm should allow you to do that or an option would be adjustable LCAs.

Speaking only for IRO's A arm with it's two inch up space built into the diff bracket. With 2-4 inches of lift and stock rear LCAs if you want to dial in pinion and T case flange angles the adjustable A arm would have to be made so it would adjust to a SHORTER than OEM length and it is NOT. If you think about the geometry involved you will realize why this is true.

IROs A arm with it's adjustment bottomed out is the same length as a stock A arm so the adjustment is useless with stock LCAs.

IRO over corrected for bushing angle and with 3" of lift the bushings will be very nearly limited out at ride height, they are Dorman bushings so do not expect them to last under those conditions. The flex joint IRO supplies is non adjustable junk compared to the joints Endless Mountain or Rusty's uses on their A arms. If you have question or want pictures I would be glad to provide either.
Tollmtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-11-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
Elite04GC
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , VA
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tollmtn View Post
At three inches of lift a 2" spacer will position your stock A arm horizontal or slightly above horizontal. The rubber bushing will be very close to centered. Bushing wise you couldn't ask for more. The pinion t case flange angle works out for most but if you want to adjust it so it is dead on an Endless Mountain or Rusty's A arm should allow you to do that or an option would be adjustable LCAs.
Tollmtn, It sounds like I could get away with nothing, but the 2 inch spacer would help. I would like to dial in the pinion t case flange angle. Those adjustable A-Arms are pricey. I don't understand fully what an adjustable lower control arm would do. I thought it was just to re-center the wheel. Would the adj. LCA help with the t case flange angle? Thank you very much by the way.
__________________
04 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
OME HD Springs, Bilstein 5100s, Black Mamba M2X Wheels, Stillen Rotors & Pads, Addco F/R Sway Bar, Moog(Trail Boss SS/Tie Rod/Drag Link), IRO Adj. Trac Bar, Mag-Hytec Trans Pan, Rugged Ridge Mats, Mobil 1 Extended 10w30, Gorilla Lug Nuts & Locks
Elite04GC is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
Tollmtn
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: , MT
Posts: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite02GC View Post
Tollmtn, It sounds like I could get away with nothing, but the 2 inch spacer would help. I would like to dial in the pinion t case flange angle. Those adjustable A-Arms are pricey. I don't understand fully what an adjustable lower control arm would do. I thought it was just to re-center the wheel. Would the adj. LCA help with the t case flange angle? Thank you very much by the way.
This is why and how Adjustable LCAs help, this requires some thought. When stock a WJ A arm is above horizontal with the frame the UCAs are below horizontal with the frame. If you drew a vertical line just touching the end of the A arm as you add lift the arm will swing a radius pivoting down on it's mounting point. When the A arm reaches the point that it is horizontal it would extend past the vertical line toward the rear of the Jeep, it will pivot down a few more inches with 3" of lift. Then if you put in a two inch spacer it pivots back up and will be up to virtually horizontal and at it's most rearward point of it's arc.

The LCAs start out below horizontal so if you drew a vertical line just touching the end of them they would move away from the line right from the start but in the opposite direction they move toward the front of the wheel well.

So in affect the upper arm as it pivoted down to horizontal moved the top of the diff toward the rear, (this happens with lifts up to about 3.5 " when you use a 2" spacer). Meanwhile the LCA started out below horizontal so as it pivots down it moves the bottom of the diff toward the front of the wheel well. As you see, the top of the diff moves back, the bottom forward, this rotates the diff pinion up.

SOOOO! If you have adjustable LCAs you can adjust them longer to center the wheel in the wheel well but that also rotates the diff and corrects the flange angle you just have to balance the two out. Also you can see why a stock length A arm like IRO's will not have adjustment in the right direction for the rotation you need.

For reference. When I had 4" of lift, the OEM A arm with a 2" spacer and stock LCA my A arm was just 2 degrees below horizontal but the LCAs were at 18 degrees below horizontal. That made my pinion and T case flanges 4 degree out, yours will be less. Even at that I did not have noticeable vibrations so at three inches you should be fine.

One other point, when you add a spacer it definitely puts the rubber bushings in a good position, that has been established. It also puts the ball joint about in the center of it's angular travel. From ramp testing I did with 4" of lift, the OEM arm with 2" spacer give you all the flex possible with short arms. The ball joint will not limit out with the rear sway bar disconnected and one wheel stuffed and the other in full droop. I didn't test this but I believe even at 3" without a spacer the ball joint will limit out or be dangerously close to limiting out.
Tollmtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-18-2013, 02:41 PM   #11
Elite04GC
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , VA
Posts: 58
tollmtn ~ thank you very much. I'm going to chew on that a little bit and get back to you. I think I understand what you're pointing out, but I have to look under the rear again. If I can I'll take a few photos.
__________________
04 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
OME HD Springs, Bilstein 5100s, Black Mamba M2X Wheels, Stillen Rotors & Pads, Addco F/R Sway Bar, Moog(Trail Boss SS/Tie Rod/Drag Link), IRO Adj. Trac Bar, Mag-Hytec Trans Pan, Rugged Ridge Mats, Mobil 1 Extended 10w30, Gorilla Lug Nuts & Locks
Elite04GC is offline   Reply With Quote




Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.