Have a few modifications on the way so I figured I would start a build thread.
'06 WK Limited Chrome grill
OME HD springs/struts/shocks
Spidertrax 1.5" spacers f/r
General Grabber AT2's
I've only been active on the forums for a couple months and I am still learning all the rules and etiquette. The builds that are posted have been a huge help along with all the other threads. This may seem lengthy to some so humor me and spare the complaints. I just wanted to post this for others to see and comment on, bounce ideas, suggestions, install tips, and overall give the next guy or gal that is thinking of some mod options some ideas to chew on and let them know what went into my decisions.
All but the tires are ordered and in transport (don't have tangible parts just yet so I almost feel like I'm jinxn myself by starting this thread). I decided to spend the xtra $ and go with the OME. I thought long and hard about a RRO 2.25"/billstein set-up and then Nick Kolak ran a Labor Day deal that I jumped on. For 200 more bucks than RRO/billsteins I bought the OME HD. We plan to wheel maybe once a month or so. Nothing extreme but in the KC area there are some decent Offroad parks close enough to make a day out of it.
Being a daily driver the OME seemed like the best option in the end as it is a true suspension lift that will stand the test of time.
As far as rims I like the Ronin II's on the rig. I just wish they had a deeper backspacing. Considered Blackrock or Cragar black steelies what with the black trim on the WK. They have that deep wheel/tires bubbled over rim look that I like - but - they are heavy. Adding that weight along with the weight of the bigger tires, I was looking at adding another 20-30lbs per wheel. That's a lot of new unsprung weight to ask the 4.7 to get turning and require the pads/rotors/calipers to get stopped. So, I decided to go with spacers and went with (so far as I can tell) the best money can buy, Spidertrax. Plus they are a cheaper alternative to new wheels. As far as 1.5" that is the only option I could see with Spidertrax 5x5 bolt pattern for the stock WK platform.
The grill is something the wife and I just think would look better than the stock. Chrome will contrast the paint color better and show off the "Jeep" look from the nose. Not trying to pass it off as a limited or anything, just think it will look better.
Tires: I really like the BFG A/T KO 265/70R17. But - they aren't cheap. Already having "upgraded" to the OME I was looking to save some dough. 265/70R17 Grabber AT2's are much cheaper. They look good - I have seen a set up like this on Jeep Forum and I like it. I had BFG ATs on an S-10 that I had so I hope the Grabbers wear like the BFG's.
Anyone with install advice please drop me a line.
So - I'll update the build thread as updates are necessary and untill then happy Jeepin' everyone.
Thanks to a fellow Jeeper in NY selling off some front end parts and his timely shipping, I was able to swap the grill yesterday. This is easy to do and can really change the look of the front. Definately diggin the chrome.
Still waiting on the OME HD kit to arrive and the spacers will probably come tomorrow. Still haven't started the heavy lifting pardon the pun.
So here's an update. As of today I'm still waiting on the the full set of
OME HD components. Only thing left to arrive is the front struts.
Being as each piece has been delivered the days I'm on duty, I'm not expecting the struts to come until Friday, but we'll see. I have the weekend off so hopefully everything is in and I can give it a go.
In the meantime, I took some time today to install my 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers and give it the once over inside and out.
Rear view stock:
Rear view 1.5" spacers:
Side view stock:
Side view 1.5" spacers:
I like the look of the wheel/tire coming out past the fender wells. Plus I gave it a good cleaning inside and out :
These are easy to put on. Don't forget the locktite on the hub lugs and just make sure you have a torque wrench
on hand and use it to set torque on all 10 lugs per wheel. Take your time and make sure to torque every lug the same and use the star pattern. There are a lot of lugs being torqued so rushing things might cause you to inadvertantly forget to tighten one (this could be catastrophic).
I set all mine at 90-100 ft-lbs. I used the needle type torque wrench so I listed a range. Friday I will have access to the "click" type torque wrench and I will re-torque everything to 95 ft-lbs. The spacers say to set at 80-90 but a didn't figure the extra 5 lbs would hurt and I won't have to reset everytime I go from spacer to wheel lugs on each corner.
After install I drove around the block and later ran an errand to the store. I notice the wider stance gives the steering a little "tighter" feel. Other than that everything seems a-ok.
Well, I will update the build thread when updating is available.
Until next time - happy jeepin everyone
Okay - I finally got my front struts in yesterday! It seemed like it was taking forever to get all the components. After reading other build threads, I think a month wait was either on par or even earlier than some. The install is going to be Friday morning after I come off shift. My duty chief has been lifting Jeeps for many years and has offered his assistance. I will have access to a lift, air tools, third arm, cutting torch (God, I hope I don't need that), etc. Basically he told me to bring my Jeep, my parts, patience, and positive attitude. I told him no problem - I am very excited to tackle this. I've been reading posts and builds until my eyes bled trying prep for the install.
If all goes well I will try to post pics by the weekend.
Oh yeah, the Grabber AT2's were scrubbed from the blueprints because so far as I can tell they're on a major backorder. Tirerack has them but I would have to pay shipping from Nevada - like $150+ bucks just for shipping. I was gonna go with Nitto Terra Grapplers but the shop that was offering these only carries a B load range. So, I came accross some Goodyear Wrangler Authorities at Wally World. I know what people think when WalMart is mentioned, but they look awesome, have a C load range, speed rating of 100mph, and come with a great sticker price:
4 - 265/70R17 for $690
By the way, I was reading alot on JF and other forums about the rear trackbar geometry and I'm wondering if anyone with the OME HD has also put in an adjustable trackbar. I know the guys with the modified OME either have or are considering it, but does anyone else notice issues with the stock trackbar and straight-up OME HD? Any last minute advice would be more than welcomed!
This is going to look very nice dude... definitely post a pic and throw one up in the wheel/tire/lift thread stickied above.
Thanks, AJeepZJ. I just found out my tires are already in as well. Pics will be posted for sure. If I'm not getting frustrated with the install and think of it I will include some of the install. I have to rep all my research and hard work!
Picked up the new tires. GY Wrangler Authorities 265/70/R17.
They seem HUGE. I know everyone with comparable
lifts run this size - but $H1T they look big! I didn't want the dog in the photos but after I took them I realized he gave the meats a point of reference.
He's a good 100lb Shepherd and looks little next to them.
Well, with any luck the next post on my build thread will be the finished product. Until then . . .
Installed everything yesterday. It all went very well. Took as long or longer to get the tires mounted as it did to install the lift. I'll make up a little more detailed post with more pics and some pointers we came accross during the install. Some quick before and after pics:
Penetrating oil is your friend for this project. I sprayed all the disconnection points with PB Blaster almost daily for a little over a week before the project.
We started on the front as this is the "bear" of the install. Use a 24mm 6 point deep well socket on the lower arm nut. The bolt will not spin because there is a tab that prevents it from turning. You will need either a large screwdriver and hammer or in our case an air chisel to push the lower control arm bolt all the way out. Make sure you take all the tension off the lower arm that you can. Also, we wrapped bailing wire around the top of spindle and the UCA in order to keep the disco'd parts out of the way but not tear an abs or brake line:
Old vs new front coil. Notice the slight difference in length but significant difference in thickness:
To get the fork on the new strut it helps to put a large flathead or wedge
in the space of the fork where it slides over the strut tab while a bfh is used to hammer the fork onto the strut. To get the bump stops back in place it helps to lube them with silicone before you run it down the new strut piston, before you you place the new coil on and mounting plate. We used a vice to stand the cartridge up while we hand tightened the spring compressors just enough to get that center nut started on the piston threads. Take it slow because you'll have to compress the coil quite a bit and it puts A LOT of stress on the compressor bolts. Keep an eye on the alignment of the coil/bottom rubber boot/strut/top plate and be sure the strut tab is oriented to the inboard side (narrower side of mount plate) of the mounting plate. Then make sure that center strut piston nut is bottomed out. We used a wrench on the hex head of the piston to hold it in place while tightening the center nut. Once the assembly is put together and the tension is let off the compressors you will probably need to pry the compressor "hooks" from between the coils as the distance between is tighter than when you put the compressors on:
The rear end goes very quickly relative to the front. After disco of the top sway link bolt and taking the old shocks out, the rear axle will drop down. We used jack stands on each side of the pumpkin against the axle to keep it from falling too far as you will need to keep an eye on the brake line slack. They are a limiting factor as to how far you can let the axle down. In addition, we noticed we had to take the drivers side bump stop off as well as the upper mount from the frame rail and compress the coil (A coil on driver side) to get the new spring to squeeze in. The problem is the driver side control arm hits the fuel tank /tank protector and doesn't allow it to drop far enough down. Also, the track bar is connected to the frame on the driver side. The passenger side can be pushed/pulled/dropped down far enough to simply take the old spring out and put the new one in by hand with no trouble at all:
The last thing to do is double check that everything is torqued down and put the wheels back on. (As a side note - all nuts and especially bolts/threads were cleaned up with a grinding wheel brush and anti-ceize applied to all threads before reassembly). Drop the rig to ground, finish torquing wheels, stand back and marvel the accomplishment!
I gained a good 3.25 " of lift from ground at the B post. I would guess the springs will "settle" some but that is where it stands now. The GY Authorities are awesome tires, by the way, for anybody looking for a good, aggressive yet affordable tire. Not too much road noise (nothing like an M/T). It looks better than I could've imagined and I am extremely happy.
The ride is stiffer but it is nowhere near rattling the fillings out of my teeth, and no weird "clunks", "rattles", or other noises.
Now I just have to see about fitting a full size spare in the well underneath. I'll posts what I figure out on that one when I figure it out.
Hope the build thread is helpful to someone out there and until next time . . .