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Lowering a TJR - Dealing with Adjustable Track Bar

679 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  LoctiteMonster
I'm going to help a friend lower his 4" lifted 2004 Rubicon TJ down to a more manageable 1". He has an auto transmission and doesn't want to spend the money on gears. Besides that, his wife wasn't happy with his decision. He has returned to the stock tire size. The plan is to install the following:
H&R springs
Rancho 5000X shocks
OME rear track bar bracket (currently has RE bracket with stock track bar). This is optional, only if needed to recenter rear axle.
Replace drop pitman arm with a stock one from Crown or wherever
Replace front and rear control arms with stock units from Crown or wherever
Replace CV rear driveshaft with stock driveshaft (stock driveshaft is all he kept from when the lift was installed).
Pull all of the additional bump stops out.
Pull the transfer case skid plate drop out.
Either keep and readjust front JKS track bar, and add required bump stops after cycling suspension.

So, the front TB is where I am looking for some real world experience. Would it make more sense to just replace the JKS TB with a stock Moog TB? I'm assuming the frame mount was drilled out for the 9/16" bolt to go through. Would there be enough of the existing tapered bore left to hold the mount tight? I think that the clamp force is probably the key factor here and even though some of the hole is enlarge, he would be good. Does anyone have any experience with returning a stock track bar to their TJ?

The JKS TB is about 6 years old so I think it is the older version It looks different than my 1 year old one on my TJ. It has a grease nipple on the frame bolt, nothing on the JJ mount. My newer one has a grease nipple on the JJ mount and just a regular frame bolt. Does anyone know if they have always used a 9/16" bolt at the frame?
Is there anyone that has done this before and successfully kept their previous adjustable TB? I'm especially interested in hearing from someone who has done this on a Rubicon with the D44.
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Stock TB in stock hole and torque bolt properly.
Stock TB in stock hole and torque bolt properly.
I believe he's concerned about the frame side, which has a tapered shaft for stock, but the taper gets drilled out for a regular bolt in most aftermarket TBs. If that's the case, then I think he will have to stick with an aftermarket TB. If the JKS can't be made to work right at stockish height, then I'd recommend the Metalcloak (I put mine on long before I got around to lifting it).
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Here is a recent discussion about using tapered inserts to go back to OEM in the frame side bracket:
I read through that thread. I do not have the ability or the tools to do what mrblaine did. I don't know if the original poster got an answer that he can implement. My questions, though very similar, are a bit different. I will still have a 1" lift and I am not opposed to using the existing JKS adj. TB if the TJ can still function as a mall Jeeps that sees a little bit of off road. I know I will have to have a couple of inches of bump stop, at least. I'm probably more interested in using a stock TB though. I remember taking a 9/16" drill bit to my mount when I installed mine. I did not take out very much material.
I'm wondering If anyone has successfully reused a stock TB after removing a JKS and been okay with the larger hole up top. Remember, the hole is tapered so there will still be some taper holding the alignment. The torque of the bolt may be enough to hold everything in place. Perhaps a washer weed to the top of the mount that allows the top of the TB end to align correctly is needed.

I have also read through the juggernaut:
tj front adjustable track bars for 0-3.5", does yours hit or fit?
but its a pretty long read and I got distracted a lot (breakfast, dinner, sleeping, kid's graduation, etc). What I did pick up from it is bumpstops are a must with adjustables and that its easy to get confused on if we are talking about the axle side or frame side holes.
I am talking only about the frame side.
Thanks for your replies so far guys. I'm looking forward to hearing more, especially from anyone whole has successfully returned to a stock track bar.
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