TJ suspension, where to start? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
ProjectAlana
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TJ suspension, where to start?

On my 2003 tj i currently have a basic BDS 3" lift. I'm running stock arms and all that. Im looking to start upgrading but I'm not sure where to start. I was thinking control arms. It is a daily driver that does more offloading on the beach than anything else. Maybe I should start with steering? Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 03:49 PM
mattdoc
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Upgrading what? Why? Those aren't sarcastic questions - there are so many options of how you could upgrade a jeep that we need to know what you want before we can recommend specific parts.

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mattdoc View Post
Upgrading what? Why? Those aren't sarcastic questions - there are so many options of how you could upgrade a jeep that we need to know what you want before we can recommend specific parts.
I think it's fairly obvious after seeing the title of the post and the information given. . . . He would like to upgrade his suspension/steering components.

If the equipment was installed soon after the Jeep was purchased, it's probably time to go through all bushings and replace them. While doing that, I'd consider how much you can spend to replace your components with quality adjustable control arms, or add things like SYE kits and double cardan drive shaft . . . if you don't already have these.

Yet in the sand, lockers may be the best bang for your buck. A lift won't do you much good in the sand beyond allowing larger tires.

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 05:30 PM
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I guess the major question is "are there any issues with it currently"?
that would point ya to a trouble spot first.

after that, just throwing out ideas, my first upgrade would b a quality front adjustable track bar.
assuming it aint got one already. you want a metal cloak, or currie track bar.

imho, the next upgrade is all new steering.
currie or savvy ultimate is top notch!
if price hurts ya, the complete zj steering system is really cheap.
all new parts, all at once, really tightens stuff up.
you old stuff makes a nice trail spare.
check the ball joints too!

pull the springs, and fully cycle the suspension.
set bump stops correctly.
maximize your current shock travel.
many leave travel on the table, and dont realize it, cause they did not wanna look.
and shocks are not bump stops!

after that quality adjustable control arms.
currie, savvy, rokmen, clayton, metal cloak.
when u do control arms, do the currie jj housing kit!
its a really nice upgrade!

glfwda #6624
2005 rubicon sahara lj #592
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 06:25 PM
mattdoc
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Originally Posted by joe_jeep View Post
I guess the major question is "are there any issues with it currently"?
that would point ya to a trouble spot first.
That's my point - what are you trying to improve? I have an ingrained part of my brain that is cheap, and always balance that with what's good for what I want from my jeep.

We could recommend a $3000+ suspension replacement that will be awesome at his lift height, but it might not be money well spent if he just drives on the beach 100ft from the parking lot. We just need to know more about what he wants from his jeep before we can make good recommendations. Is there a certain part of the beach you get stuck on? etc...

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 07:42 PM
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Set a goal and replace worn out parts to meet that goal. Maximizing suspension travel is a good one to focus on. Would you like to raise the skid plate? Work up towards that piece by piece. Since it is a daily driver (like mine) put extra effort into making it behave well on the road, as well as making it reliable.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
Set a goal and replace worn out parts to meet that goal.


Best to start at the finish, Figure out where you want to be replace what you need to first and work to the goal.
This will save big $$$ not buying the same thing over and over.
Research all of it. A lot of us have already found and fell for that deal you saw, we spent/wasted time/money on it, learn from our mistakes
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 08:04 PM
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Since it seems you do not have a specific complaint, do yourself a favor and do not buy any kind of kit. When you set that goal, learn and understand everything you can about what is involved to reach it. Buy and build the individual parts you need to get there. Aim for quality before show. You will be better off because of it. For me, the the learning process and the building is often the best part of the project.

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post #9 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 08:33 PM
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Get Rid of the Skid.

1" MML, 1.25" BL, DCDS, SYE, HCTCS.

It's called a tummy tuck.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 10:35 PM
Ross
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Originally Posted by rondak46 View Post
Get Rid of the Skid.

1" MML, 1.25" BL, DCDS, SYE, HCTCS.

It's called a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck for the beach?

I say big stereo. Leave everything else, alone unless it is broke.

01 TJ,33X12.5Flaken WP ATs,Winch, ARBs F&R, belly up, some armor,4.0,5spd
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ross View Post
A tummy tuck for the beach?

I say big stereo. Leave everything else, alone unless it is broke.
All jeeps need tummy tucks. The driveshaft and skid are a factory convenience and worse. Lifting from there leaves all doors open.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 10:44 PM
rondak46
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The space that the skid plate renders less than useless is the best place to start recovering the Jeeps capabilities; not at the tire's.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 11:12 PM
Ross
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Originally Posted by rondak46 View Post
The space that the skid plate renders less than useless is the best place to start recovering the Jeeps capabilities; not at the tire's.
I have been running a tummy tuck for over a decade and under stand the benefits but on the beach if a regular skid gets in the way you are in sand deeper than your axles. A tummy tuck would only allow you to sink deeper.

01 TJ,33X12.5Flaken WP ATs,Winch, ARBs F&R, belly up, some armor,4.0,5spd
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-08-2016, 11:51 PM
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I drive on the beach and sand mostly too. I'd say my big tires and front locker add the most to not getting stuck. I'm sure my rear Truetrac helps too, most the time I don't need 4x4 unless I'm going up hill. My Tummy Tucker has always been at least a foot away from ever touching any sand. Also not sure if the best steering would even matter, my ZJ steering has been more than sufficient.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-09-2016, 08:26 AM
Ben
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Clean your frame out, coat any parts that show signs of rust, make sure all your parts are draining water properly.
Drop your center skid and check for rust where it mounts, clean whatever is riding along between your skid & t-case.
Replace any worn bushings, seals, ball joints, or bearings.
Grease and/or replace your universal joints.
Change your diff fluids.
Capabilities are often discussed here, if your Jeep becomes marginally more capable at traversing terrain, does it matter if it's not capable of withstanding the test of time...


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