Nashville TJ's Coilover Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
I miss the snow...
 
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Nashville
Posts: 5,422
First, a bit of background. My rig is a 2004 wrangler unlimited which I bought new back in 2005. This is my 4th Jeep. My first car was a 1971 CJ5, with the 225 Buick Dauntless, Odd Fire V6. It would pull the front wheels off the ground going forward - and pull the side wheels off the ground going around a corner. It was a death trap - but you don't know that when you are 16.

Here is a pic - my sister always called me a Jeep Creep - so the name stuck. Since this rig, I've owned a 1982 CJ7 Laredo, and a couple of Cherokees. But I had been out of Jeeps for a while, before deciding to get back into it with my current rig.

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EDIT: I've been meaning to add an Index to this thing to help me locate and reference the large mods I've done. I'll add to this list periodically.

Coilover Suspension..................................... Post #5

Front Stretch - TMR Stretch Kit - - - - - - - - - - Post #683

Coilovers, 115" Stretch - First Pics - - - - - - - - Post #795

RTI Ramp Comparison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #836

Control Arm Welding - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #863

Train Horns - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #880

A/C Rebuild and Recharge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #901

Moab 2017 / Golden Crack Flex Comparison - - - Post #917

Tranny Cross Member Rebuild - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #973

Kenwood Double Din & Lowrance HD7 Install - - Post #1008

Power Steering Pump Pressure Valve - - - - - - - Post #1055

Catch Can / Aluminum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1057

392 Hemi - First Thoughts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1070

5.7 Ram Hemi Delivered - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1097

392 Hemi - The Build Begins / Teardown - - - - Post #1101

Suck Down Winch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1121

Busted Knuckle OffRoad Park - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1169

Data 60 Axle Shaft Carnage - Laser Cut - - - - - - Post #1173

Polk Speakers - Front and Rear - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1175

Axle Shaft Repair - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1179

ATS 545RFE Tranny Received - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1206

Subwoofer Repair - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1216

Golden Mountain Off Road Park - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1229

Trailer - Drive Over Fenders - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1246

392 Hemi - Assembly - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1291

392 Hemi - Build Complete / Ready for Install - - Post #1434

Easter Jeep Safari - 2018 / Pritchett Canyon - - - Post #1437

392 Hemi - Installation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1453

392 Hemi - Exhaust - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1588

Hood Louver - But not why you think - - - - - - - Post #1697

Dyno Tuning - Take 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1713

Bigger Cooling Fan - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1751

Belly and Engine Skid Modifications - - - - - - - - Post #1781

Exhaust - Back Half - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1797

Welder Idle Control - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1830

A/C / Take 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1841

1350 Driveshafts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1860

Cowl Intake - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1863

Oil Separator - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1887

Dyno Tuning / Take 3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1903

Dyno Pull - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1904

Motorfest Car Show 2018 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1915

Backup Camera - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1923

1350 Front Driveshaft - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1935

Long Travel Spare Front and Rear Driveshaft - - Post #1939

Tailgate Organizer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #1977

Wooly's Offroad Videos - February 2019 - - - - Post #2016

Driver's Seat Fold and Tumble Actuator - - - - - Post #2057

Monster Valves - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2068

Monster Valves Speed Testing - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2075

Cancer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2105

Inner Dana 60 Axle Seals - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2155

AOP New Years Day 2020 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2187

Caffeine and Octane Jeeps - January 2020 - - - Post #2196

Powertank Mount - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2211

PSC Hydro Assist Redeaux - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2317

Custom Windshield Washer Pump & Reservoir - - Post #2354

Wooly's May 2021 - Goodbye Krawlers - - - - - - - Post #2376

Cooling Fan Controller Switch Mod - - - - - - - - - - Post #2427

Maxxis Razr 40's - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2440

Colorado BDR ADV Bike Trip - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2485

A/C Leak Repair - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2488

Trailer Ramp Modification - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2500

Body Mount Replacement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2521

Team Hunt Overlander Ladder Mod - - - - - - - - - Post #2559

The Real LJ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2581

Smoked Rear R&P and ARB Locker - - - - - - - - - - Post #2584

Pro Rock 60 Rear Gear and Locker Setup - - - - - - Post #2643

14 Bolt Build - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2724

Shaving the 14 Bolt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2783

Straightening the 140 Bolt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2811

14 Bolt Truss - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2828

14 Bolt Gear Setup - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2859

14 Bolt Install - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2894

Fuel Tank Tuck - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2912

ProRock 60 Front 8 Lug Conversion - - - - - - - - - - Post #2933

Swing Away / Swing Down Tire Carrier 8 Lug Mod - Post #2958

GMRS Radio - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #2988

Bent Tailgate Correction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3015

Moab 2021 - TJ Fest - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Posts #3027

Roadside Trailer Repair - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3038

Moab TJ Fest GoPro Video - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3059

AOP April 2021 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3074

Colorado BDR in the Cherokee - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3093

Hydro Steering Mount Repair - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3109

Northeast BDR ADV Moto Trip - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3117

Door Surround Removal Mod - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3122

VanLifeDesign Picture - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3132

Tuning the 392 - Take 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3137

AFR Gauge Installation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3138

Laptop Desk for Data Logging - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3175

Hawk Pride Off Road Park - September '21 - - - - - Post #3152

AOP - September '21 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3164

Driveshaft Carnage - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3168

Top Repair - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3175

Antenna Replacement - Chrome No-Mo - - - - - - - Post #3181

Trailer Tires - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Post #3184

Driveshaft - Beef Version for the Rear - - - - - - - - Post #3185

Higher Volume Radiator Fan Needed - - - - - - - - - Post #3201

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post #2 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
I miss the snow...
 
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Nashville
Posts: 5,422
Back to the current project. Since getting the rig, I've put 100's of hours into it, but with the exception of a short build thread on the rear tire carrier, I've never done a build thread. This is what it looked like when I got it back in January of 2005. Not exactly hard core, but I was very happy to have another Jeep. .
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post #3 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
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I started tearing into it right away - and I actually have a picture of my first mod. Don't laugh - that bra stayed on the Jeep until I had to remove it due to the high-line.
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post #4 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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Posts: 5,422
Since then, the rig has gone from 35's on a 5 1/2" Rubicon Express lift, to 37's on Dynatrac Pro Rock 60's, to 40" Krawlers on SpiderLocks.

Along the way, I've done a full cage (a few variations), a supercharger, 4 Speed Atlas, ATS Transmission, Hydro Assist Steering and Brakes, lots and lots of armor, highline tube fenders, an on board Premier Power Welder, many changes to the suspension, front and rear bumpers, and a whole bunch of other projects. I spend more time wrenching on the damned thing that I do wheelin. But, it keeps me off the streets. When I do wheel it, I'm not afraid the beat the hell out of it. It's been a blast of a rig.

Here is a recent pic in its current state:

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post #5 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
I miss the snow...
 
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Nashville
Posts: 5,422
All in all, I was pretty happy with the rig. In 2015, my wife and I made the long treck from Nashville to Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari. Bucket list kind of a thing. Had a great time, and met a bunch of great people. Decided then and there it was certainly worth the 3300 mile round trip and 350 gallons of diesel for the tow rig. We were definitely going to come back (so I guess it is still on my bucket list).

But - something bad happened to me and my ego while out in Moab. Had the great pleasure of getting to run the rig on several great trails: Poison Spider Mesa, Moab Rim, Golden Spike among them. My wife took a great picture of me coming across Golden Crack. It's my current avatar.
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post #6 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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And it was this picture that ultimately led me to my current project. Flying that right front tire across the crack, instead of drooping down and keeping it on terra firma - has bothered me ever since. I always thought I had a pretty flexy suspension - but apparently not...

Anyway, after much consideration, I decided that to take the rig up to the next level I needed to go coilovers. So, first thing I did was buy a bunch of stuff.
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post #7 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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My original plan was to stay with the current suspension setup (it's always been fairly good to me) and just replace the coils with coilovers and pneumatic bumps.

However, when I started planning for the build, the first thing I did was spend some time flexing the front suspension to see how it was going to handle 14" inches of shock travel. So I did a bit of this:

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post #8 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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Well, it quickly became apparent that my radius arm setup in the front would bind pretty quickly on the way to full flex. So after much debate and thought, the project took me up the ladder for what would become the first of several occasions. I decided that if I was going to all the trouble to cut off the old coil buckets, and all the associated work, I may as well go ahead and do the entire front suspension to be able to take advantage of the full range of the coilovers.

So, I decided to go with a 3 link front suspension layout. I've had good luck with builder components from GenRight in the past, so I ordered the parts I needed from them. I also purchased the King Coilovers and the mounting hoops from them as well.
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post #9 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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So I got started. First step was to pull the front axle and remove all of the old mounts. On that 60, it took the better part of 3 or 4 hours . Between the coil mounts, the control arm mounts, and the sway bar mounts which were originally set up by Dynatrac, it was quite a challenge. This stuff was clearly built to last. A combination of my plasma cutter, many cutoff and flapper wheels on my grinders, and many, many blows with the BFH, got me to this point.

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post #10 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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Before digging into the axle, I removed the coil buckets and shock mounts. Plasma, grinder, BFH, and patience. Definitely committed at this point.

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post #11 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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With all the old mounts and coil buckets removed - it was time to move to the first part of the mock-up. I've always had good luck with my caster set right at 8 degrees, so with that in mind I began by mocking up the lower control arm mounts and the bump stop pads.

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Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 3 - 7-5-2016 092.jpg   Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 4 - 7-5-2016 066.jpg   Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 4 - 7-5-2016 067.jpg  
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post #12 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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The sway bar mounts originally built by Dynatrac were quite beefy, and cleared my high-steer setup very well. My original plan was to use these and not re-invent the wheel. However, during the mock up, I could see that these mounts were occupying the same space on top of the inner C's where I would ultimately need to mount the lower coilover mounts.

So, out came the plasma again, and they were gone in about 3 seconds. How did we get along before plasma?

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Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 5 - 7-5-2016 121.jpg   Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 5 - 7-5-2016 124.jpg  

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post #13 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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And with those mounts out of the way, I mounted the lower coilover mounts on the inner C.

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Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 4 - 7-5-2016 078.jpg   Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 7 - 7-5-2016 096.jpg  
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post #14 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
NashvilleTJ
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I was into the project about two weeks at this point, and about then I started thinking hard about the rear suspension. Again, it's always been good to me - but I began wondering why I was going to put all the work into going coilovers back there and still wind up with those LOOOOOOOONNNNGGGGG arms in the back. Even with the 40's, those buggers rode low and were always dragging. I also bent a few sets - the last being 2" x .250 wall DOM. As I said earlier - I beat on this thing.

My current rear lower control arms are made from 2 1/4"x .375 wall chromoly. They have not bent - but they still drag - and I lost 1/8" of ground clearance. Here is a cutaway. 1 3/4" x .120 wall on the left, 2" x .250 wall in the center (which bent on me fairly quickly), and the current 2 1/4" x .375 chromo on the right. Heavy stuff.

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Lower Control Arms - 12-5-2013 003.jpg  

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post #15 of 3227 Old 08-07-2016, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Anyway, all this thinking drew me to the conclusion that I also wanted to upgrade the rear suspension, go with shorter control arms mounted higher on the frame and higher on the rear axle, and eliminate the track bar.

So, back to GenRight again for the builder parts for a triangulated 4-link. This stuff is beefy.

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Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 9 - 7-5-2016 110.jpg   Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 9 - 7-5-2016 117.jpg   Jeep - Coilover Suspension - 9 - 7-5-2016 076.jpg  

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