04 TJ Rubicon - suspension recommendations? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-08-2020, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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04 TJ Rubicon - suspension recommendations?

Hi, just getting back into Jeeps - used to be involved with a great club way back when and hoping to rejoin soon. My last rig was a TJ, and I had the Teraflex short arm kit and 35s, which I liked but man that thing was squirrely... I've always liked the look and idea of the long arm kits, like Skyjacker makes. Any experience with these you guys can share? I'm planning on 6" of suspension lift and maybe 37s, and another more streetable set of tires for winter/other use. Pretty much will be a trail rig only but would like to keep it street legal here in NH. Thanks very much for any help!

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post #2 of 18 Old 02-10-2020, 09:15 AM
TJnBC
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Stick to a quality 4" lift like Currie, Savvy, TMR, MC and 35s. You will need to do A LOT more work than a lift to run 37s....
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-10-2020, 11:03 AM
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What is your budget? Take a look at the Savvy midarm kit instead of the various bolt on generic longarm setups. Those Rubicon Dana 44s aren’t suited for 37” tires so focus your build on 35s. Don’t forget to also address gearing, steering, brakes, and axle shaft upgrades.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-11-2020, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I've found some info on the Rubicon Express long arm kit - though some are critical of the long arms getting caught up on rocks. To a point I can see where they hang down lower towards the transmission/transfer case crossmember, but I'd think if you encounter rocks in there, they're more likely to get hung up on your front or rear axle/suspension with a steeper short arm hanging down. I'm surprised to hear the Skyjacker kits aren't what they used to be. Anyhow, my last trail rig (TJ Sport) had a 44 rear (from a Sahara), lock-rite, and 4.56 gears (I'm not 100% on the gear ratio), with the 30 front (open), and that held up pretty good with 35s. Have you guys had any experience regarding your claims the 44s couldn't handle 37" tires? I tried looking at your rigs in your signature but didn't see any build or specifics on what you're running? I'm not bashing 35s by any means, but this is never going to be a daily driver. This Jeep has 4.10 gears which should be pretty decent to start with I'd think. What are you saying the 44s would need to run 37s? Aftermarket axle shafts? Bigger brakes? Anybody else with experience on this want to chime in, particularly someone who has a similar rig? Would certainly want to check a few bigger rigs before I solidify any plans, especially if I can see what is working in the real world beforehand. Thanks very much

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-11-2020, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Found a good link but I don't have enough posts to share it yet - does echo a couple things you guys said. As much as I want to run 37s, I don't really need to and it sounds like that will keep me from wheeling anytime soon so.... I'll stick with 35s for now at least. Certainly welcome to any ideas on brake and axle as well as steering upgrades. Anybody else on here with a similar rig that works well/they're happy with? Thanks!

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post #6 of 18 Old 02-11-2020, 10:10 AM
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what are you looking to gain by going from OEM arms to long arms.

if its drive-ability you will experience a downgrade with 6" of lift and/or any of the bolt on long arm kits. most LA kits on the market sacrifice geometry for ease of install. this leads to a laundry list of handling issues that many have refereed to as a "jeep thing", it isnt, its a "poorly designed suspension thing".


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post #7 of 18 Old 02-11-2020, 11:46 AM
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never had a single issue running Short Arms on 2 separate jeeps. 97 TJ w/ 3.5" MC coils and 2006 LJR with 4" lift. Never get caught on rocks and can out wheel most LA drivers out here. Ride quality is great, which is determined MOSTLY from your shocks

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post #8 of 18 Old 02-12-2020, 12:35 AM
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"Squirley" could be anything from tires, bad caster, poor shocks......
Not a fan of "kits", LA's get in the way more than anything
6"front and 4" rear on 35's and rides smooth as glass

37's require alot more axle work, and a wider stance and longer wheelbase to be justified IMHO
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-13-2020, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
what are you looking to gain by going from OEM arms to long arms.
More time to talk to the wife on the cell phone when hung up on rocks.
p.s. Sorry Jerry B.
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TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/Black Magic brakes. SOLD for Covid-19 pandemic rent money. :(
99' XJ /4.0L-AW4/ 5.5" lift / Rancho shocks/33" DC Extreme country MTs. Jeep #18
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-13-2020, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hi guys, thanks for the info! I was thinking long arms would track straighter on the road, as I remember getting to the trails it felt like I was driving on marshmallows, understanding I had quick disconnect sway bar links, etc. Then I was running the Teraflex 4" kit and 35s (Swamper SSRs). Do you guys think 4" is good for 35s, generally, and why run 6" springs on the front, particularly with the short arm kit? Is that because you have winch? Or are the TJs not level to start with? I would think it would be hard to fit 6" springs in there particularly with a short arm kit. But importantly, if the long arms sacrifice flex and clearance for streetability, I'm not worried about the street manners too much. I didn't realize that was the tradeoff, if that's the case. The MetalCloak site looks good, but I only see a 3.5" kit (I know at least one of you doesn't like kits - but I got to start somewhere?). I do like how the control arms are aligned, and that they provide for flex too. It's also a little confusing that they have aluminum uppers only as an option, is that because they aren't designed/available for lower control arms? Would really love to build a reasonably decent trail rig that's fairly basic, using well-established parts... if I can learn from your experience. Thanks guys!

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post #11 of 18 Old 02-13-2020, 02:39 PM
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4" Susp lift, 1.25" BL and 35s. Running small coil spacer up front if you find the winch is weighing it down.

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post #12 of 18 Old 02-15-2020, 01:01 PM
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Hi, '06 rubicon over here. As far as suspension is concerned on my rig I currently have the 4.5" fabtech springs and currie control arms with a few metal cloak parts mixed in. I am looking to replace the springs here this summer and the the rear spring bucket reloacted. I am torn between the 3.5" metal cloak dual rate springs and the Currie 4" dual rate springs. I installed the metal hiline fenderrs many years ago to keep my rig low center fo gravity. I like the way it all handles right now but I'm always looking to improve. Plans for the future include this list:

Savvy Mid arm kit
new srings 3.5"-4"
relocate spring buckets
Interior cage install
undercover fab half doors with uppers


In my build thread its updated to current I beleive you want "Tag the TJ rubicon"

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post #13 of 18 Old 02-17-2020, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CR05BY View Post
Hi guys, thanks for the info! I was thinking long arms would track straighter on the road, as I remember getting to the trails it felt like I was driving on marshmallows, understanding I had quick disconnect sway bar links, etc. Then I was running the Teraflex 4" kit and 35s (Swamper SSRs). Do you guys think 4" is good for 35s, generally, and why run 6" springs on the front, particularly with the short arm kit? Is that because you have winch? Or are the TJs not level to start with? I would think it would be hard to fit 6" springs in there particularly with a short arm kit. But importantly, if the long arms sacrifice flex and clearance for streetability, I'm not worried about the street manners too much. I didn't realize that was the tradeoff, if that's the case. The MetalCloak site looks good, but I only see a 3.5" kit (I know at least one of you doesn't like kits - but I got to start somewhere?). I do like how the control arms are aligned, and that they provide for flex too. It's also a little confusing that they have aluminum uppers only as an option, is that because they aren't designed/available for lower control arms? Would really love to build a reasonably decent trail rig that's fairly basic, using well-established parts... if I can learn from your experience. Thanks guys!

Yes 4" is enough if you add a 1" BL. I am running a complete 4" Currie lift kit and their Antirock sway bar. I drives like it did when it was stock. It been over the Rubicon several times, along with Fordyce and Moab w/o any issues. So it's seen it's share of rocks/
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post #14 of 18 Old 02-18-2020, 02:29 PM
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unless we knew a budget u had in mind, it would be tough to point you in a direction.
4" short arm suspension lift, and 1.25" body lift, will clear 35s.
avoid rubicon express, rough country, tuff country ect...
if you want a cheap lift to start with, look at zone or bds.
if you want top notch look at currie and savvy.
stock steering will bend.
stock brakes are unsafe for 35s.
chromo shafts would be good insurance down the road.

if you really want top do 37s right, cash in your 401k.
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post #15 of 18 Old 02-19-2020, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys - great information! Nice rigs too - esp Plumber1. Are you really running beadlocks or are those simulated? I guess it used to be that most of the kits were about the same money, Rough Country has always been a compromise brand with those I've talked to, but you know about opinions! I like the Currie kit, which is actually a bit more than I expected for a short arm kit but would rather invest in something good that will last and perform well in moderate wheeling. I saw someone's post referenced "MB brakes" - assuming that's an aftermarket kit/bigger rotors? My last TJ had stock brakes which seemed to hold up okay with 35s but I would much rather be safe than sorry. I'm hoping to join a local club and run at least a few trails a year starting this spring/summer. Thanks again!

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