PDA

View Full Version : Front to Rear swap article, F>R



Krash80
09-07-2004, 01:57 AM
Not exactly hard-core tech, but good info if you're new to ZJ's and looking for a good inexpensive lift....



ZJ Grand Cherokee 4” Budget Lift...the Front-to-Rear-Swap!


So you want to lift your Grand Cherokee (ZJ) three to four inches but don’t want
to spend a ridiculous amount of money doing so? The “Front to Rear Swap” is gaining
popularity as a great “budget” lift and might be just the lift for you!
Note: This article is a bit lengthy, but should prove to be very valuable to one who desires
a high-quality, yet economical lift for their Grand.

What exactly is the “Front to Rear Swap” or “F>R”?

In short, the F>R involves removing your stock front ZJ springs (coils) and
reinstalling them in the rear of your vehicle. This provides you with around 3.5-4” of lift
in the rear simply because the stock front ZJ springs are about that much longer than the
stock rear ZJ springs. Make sense?...I hope so! The front of the vehicle then will get a set
of longer aftermarket front springs to provide the appropriate three to four inches of lift to
match the rear. Your stock rear springs can then be discarded, stuck on a shelf, or even
welded together to become a mailbox post...seriously, don’t even try selling them, you
can’t give them away!
The three or four inch front springs that you use can be whatever your budget
allows or just whatever you prefer. Common brands of coils used with this lift include,
but are not limited to, Teraflex 3.5”, Rubicon Express 3.5” or 4.5”, Tomken, Skyjacker,
Rancho, or ProComp. All of these manufacturers’ springs can provide the necessary lift,
however some may require the use of spacers on top of either the front or rear springs to
level out the rig accordingly. For example, Rubicon Express 3.5” or Teraflex 3.5” front
coils might provide over 4” of lift to an I6 equipped ZJ with stock bumpers, yet the same
coils might only provide 3” of lift to a V8 equipped ZJ with a heavy steel bumper and a
winch up front. Also, the stock front springs that you install in the rear can result in
different amounts of lift depending on if your vehicle came with an I6 or V8 engine, the
mileage on the springs, or if the vehicle was equipped with UpCountry suspension.
I’ve found that simply stacking stock “rubber isolators” (rubber spacers that sit
atop the springs) on top of the springs is a great way to level out a ZJ. The stock isolators
are only about 8-10$ each from your local dealership, and they stack securely on top of
one another. Expect about 1/2” of lift difference from each additional isolator. Also note
that the front and rear isolators are slightly different in diameter from one another (I’ve
found that stock front isolators can be used in the rear, but not vice-versa).
In addition to purchasing new front springs, you will also need new longer shocks
all around. Stock shocks are simply way too short for a lift of this height and would
bottom-out on a speedbump...so you NEED four new shocks.
Many of the aforementioned spring manufacturers, as well as other companies
such as Bilstein, Edelbrock, and Old Man Emu, carry shocks that are the appropriate
length for this lift. Check the shock chart found in the “Grand Tech” pages on
NAGCA.com for what length shocks work with what height lifts.
The ride quality and handling of your ZJ after this lift will also vary greatly
depending on what springs and shocks you use. Do your research and find out spring
rates and shock dampening qualities before purchasing any parts.

So that’s it? I can simply buy new shocks and two new front springs and maybe a few
spacers and be all set with a working four inch lift? That sounds too good to be true!

Well, not exactly...that would be too good to be true. Many other things might be,
and usually are, necessary when doing this lift.
You will notice after installing a lift of this height that your front axle has shifted
slightly toward the driver’s side, and the rear axle has likely shifted a bit toward the
passenger side of the vehicle.

“Why is this,” you wonder.
This is the result of lifting a solid axled, coil sprung vehicle equipped with front
and rear trackbars. The trackbars center the axles under the body of the vehicle and also
provide the lateral stability necessary to keep the axles in place; they are mounted parallel
to the axles. The front axle has a trackbar that is connected to the frame on the driver’s
side and connected to the axle on the passenger side. The rear is the opposite with a
passenger side frame mount and a driver’s side axle mount.
To better understand why the axles move to the sides as they do when a lift is
installed, picture the trackbars mounted to the frame of the vehicle, but with the axles
completely gone. If the Jeep were sitting on the ground, the trackbar would be close to
level in orientation and the disconnected (or axle) end would be on the opposite side of
where the frame mount is. If you were to magically start lifting the vehicle off the ground,
the trackbars would swing down in an arc and the disconnected ends would move toward
the side where the bar is mounted to the frame. Now, visually reconnect the axles, and
you can see how as you lift the vehicle, the trackbars cause the axles to “swing” over to
the side where the trackbar is connected to the frame.

So how do I get my axles back under the center of the vehicle!??

Well, you could just leave the axles shifted over to the sides if they haven’t moved
very much; that’s actually what most people who install a 2” budget boost end up doing
simply because their axles haven’t shifted all that far. The higher you lift the vehicle, the
further over the axle will swing. If you only net 3” of lift from your F>R swap, you might
be able to ignore the trackbar issue altogether. Most people aren’t that fortunate though,
and their axles have shifted a significant amount to the sides.
The easiest, and probably best, solution to recentering the axles is to purchase
aftermarket adjustable trackbars. Adjustable trackbars can be adjusted to different lengths
to recenter your axles. These are available from JKS, Rubicon Express, Teraflex, and
KevinsJeepParts to name a few. If your ZJ has very high miles, the bushings in the ends of
your stock trackbar might be worn out anyway, so you can look at purchasing these
trackbars as “vehicle maintenance” if it makes you feel better. However, one can easily
spend well over 300$ on just trackbars, and this so-called “budget” lift isn’t quite so
inexpensive anymore.

Well the trackbars need to be longer, and I can’t afford adjustable ones...what else can I
do???
A few things:
-Purchase a rear trackbar bracket that lifts the effective axle mount about 3” so the stock
trackbar geometry is maintained and the axle remains centered. (To my knowledge a front
trackbar bracket is not available through any common manufacturers). Last I recall, a rear
trackbar bracket is around 50$ from Teraflex. This however, in my honest opinion, is not
one of the best options though. The lift bracket places a lot of stress on the stock axle
bracket, and there have been MANY cases of these brackets causing the stock bracket to
rip off the axle during heavy off-roading. If your rig is used 99% of the time on the street
though, and your lift is mainly just for looks or to cross a few fields and do some mild
off-roading, then this relatively inexpensive bracket may work well for you.

But, if you want to keep this a true “budget” lift, then you can instead...
-Lengthen your stock trackbars by taking the bends out of them in a hydraulic press.
-Cut in half and reweld your trackbars with a spacer and a sleeve to lengthen them.
-Drill new axle mount holes for the trackbars to move the axles over.
-Make your stock trackbars adjustable with grade 8 nuts and bolts and some very careful
welding. I believe there is also an article on NAGCA.com which describes how to make
an adjustable trackbar at home.

*Disclaimer*- Please note though that none of these trackbar lengthening methods should
be attempted unless you are a competent welder/mechanic or this work is done by a
competent welder/mechanic. Trackbars are EXTREMELY important, and your ZJ is
completely undriveable without one. If your home-brew cut-n`-welded trackbar were to
break on the street, you’d be very lucky to walk away from the accident scene. So
PLEASE, only attempt these modifications to your stock trackbars if you know what you
are doing! If your axles are off center and you can’t afford new adjustable trackbars yet,
it’s not the end of the world; your ZJ will still be driveable, but may dogleg a bit on the
street. Probably the worst result of this will be increased tire wear.

So now I’ve selected my front springs, all my shocks, and decided how I’m going to
address the trackbar issues. Is there anything else I need to know or do?

Not quite done yet. You will notice that with most any complete three or four
inch lift kit, the manufacturers usually include some control arms. Some lift-kits come
with just front lowers, others come with all four lowers, and still others come with all
eight lower AND upper replacement control arms. Control arms usually range anywhere
from around 50$ each for fixed length ones with rubber bushings on each end, to about
120$ each for articulating adjustable arms with a flex joint on one end, so if you were to
replace all eight of them, that would add up REALLY fast! Basically, purchasing new
control arms doesn’t exactly go along with piecing together our “budget” lift.

So how do I know if I need new control arms or not?

Every Grand Cherokee is different. Most ZJ’s work perfectly well with all eight
stock control arms at four inches of lift. Others, however, might develop undesirable
steering characteristics or driveshaft vibrations at only three inches of lift. By installing
control arms that have adjustable lengths, you can often change the axle orientation to
bring the steering feel close to what it was when stock, or, in the case of trying to stop
driveshaft vibrations, you can adjust the pinion angle (angle of the end of the driveshaft as
it comes out of the differential) to reduce or eliminate these vibrations. Other people
simply replace their lower control arms with aftermarket ones to gain articulation (axle
flex / axle droop) off-road. Or, if you’re mechanically inclined and can handle lengthening
your trackbars on your own, making your own adjustable control arms is not much harder.
Whether or not you will need adjustable control arms is determined on a case by case
basis.

What about brake lines? I’ve heard I will need longer ones.

If you replace your front lower control arms with aftermarket ones, you will
almost definitely need longer front brakes lines. The reason for this is that aftermarket
control arms usually allow for greater axle droop than stock control arms, and the limiting
factor of your axle droop will become your stock brake lines. Stretching or stressing these
lines can lead to tearing or cracking...and that’s bad! Usually the most inexpensive
replacement for ZJ front brake lines are stock front YJ brake lines which are supposedly
four inches longer than ZJ ones and are available at almost any autoparts stores. Many
lift-kit manufacturers carry longer front brake lines for ZJ applications as well. Only the
front brake lines will need to be replaced; the rear lines are plenty long for what your axles
will do with this lift.
If you keep all of your stock control arms, you *can* get away without replacing
the front brake lines. They will be just about maxed-out when a front tire is drooped as
far as it will go. Some people are not real comfortable with this for obvious reasons, and
they opt to replace their front brakelines anyway. Again, it’s up to you and what all fits
into your “budget” lift.
Regardless of what you use for control arms, the front ABS lines also need to
“lengthened” with this lift. But, this is very simple and involves nothing more than sliding
one of the rubber grommets that surrounds the ABS line out of its bracket that’s behind
the front shock, then zip-tying the ABS line to the shock to keep it out of harm’s way.

Now the BIG question:
WHAT SIZE TIRES CAN I FIT WITH THIS LIFT???

Basically it’s up to you! The easiest and most common tires used with this lift are
31”x10.5” on stock rims. These work well on almost every three or four inch lifted ZJ
and will likely create the fewest problems for you. However, if you desire more tire, you
can stuff whatever you wish on there. 32”x11.5” tires are tight fit on stock rims, but can
be done. Much more care is necessary though to be sure that your axles are perfectly
centered to prevent the tires from rubbing on the insides of the fenderwells or the springs.
If you must have 32”x11.5” tires, I strongly suggest aftermarket rims with less
backspacing (stick out a bit further). You can even fit 33” tires with this lift if you really
want to. Again, new rims are strongly suggested, especially if you opt for 12.5” wide tires
as opposed to 10.5” wide ones. However, once you get into the 33” and larger tire range,
adjustable control arms are almost a necessity, and you might even find that you need to
slightly trim body panels such as fenders and bumpers to fit them....or you could add
greatly extended bumpstops...which I will elaborate on shortly. You could even fit 35”
tires on your ZJ with this lift, but you will also have to cut a good portion of your fenders
off!
Like stated before, 31”x10.5” tires will create the fewest fitment problems for you,
give you the closest to stock performance, and produce the least amount of stress on the
drivetrain...I strongly recommend them over larger tires for a daily driver with this lift.

My tires rub and make awful noises when I turn my steering wheel all the way to one side.
How do I stop them from rubbing?

This is very common and is nothing to worry about...it’s easy to fix. Many times
even with only 31” tires on stock rims, the inside edge of the tire will catch on the front
lower control arms during full-lock turns. You can either just not turn your steering wheel
quite as far, or you can adjust your steering stops to prevent your tires from hitting the
arms when you turn the steering wheel all the way. The steering stops can be found on
the steering knuckles; they are small bolts that protrude from the insides of the knuckles
and you will see where they hit and prevent the tires from turning any further. Simply
remove these small bolts and place one or two appropriately sized washers beneath them
before reinstallation to effectively lengthen the steering stops. Then when you turn your
steering wheel all the way, the steering stop bolts will hit their stops sooner and prevent
your tires from rubbing on the lower control arms. Minimal, if any, differences will be
noticed in the vehicle’s turning radius.

Well I solved the problem of my tires rubbing on tight turns, but won’t these bigger tires
also rub inside the fenderwells when a tire is stuffed during off-road use?

If you only run 31”x10.5” tires, you can get away with the stock bumpstops, or by
extending them a short amount. You do not need those expensive bumpstop extensions
offered by the aftermarket companies; all you need are new slightly longer bumpstop bolts
and few washers to stack above the bumpstops. What you’ll do is remove the stock
bumpstop and bumpstop cup. Then find a metric bolt that is slightly longer than the stock
bolt that holds the bumpstop cup in place, and find some washers that fit around that bolt.
About 1/2” - 3/4” of washers should be plenty of spacer to keep 31” tires from rubbing
inside the fenderwells. Simply reinstall the bumpstop cup just as it came out, but with the
washers stacked above it so it essentially hangs lower than it did before. This extended
bumpstop will stop the axle before it can go high enough to smash your tires into the
fenderwells. The same can be done with the rear bumpstops, but I’ve found it’s not even
necessary with 31” tires.
If you run anything bigger than 31” tires, you’ll probably want to extend the
bumpstops significantly more. It can easily take one inch or more of spacers above the
bumpstop cups to prevent 32” and larger tires from rubbing. In the rear, you can basically
extend the bumpstop bolts with spacers as long as you desire to prevent rubbing, but in
the front, I don’t recommend extending them longer than about 1.5”. The front
bumpstops go down on a slight angle, and if you make them too long, they’ll rub on the
front-insides of the springs as the springs compress. If you need more than 1.5” of
bumpstop extension to keep your tires from rubbing, add a spacer such as a hockey puck
to the inside bottom of the spring perch to lessen the distance the axle can move upward
before hitting the bumpstops.

What about the dreaded DeathWobble I keep hearing about. Will I get that with this lift?

Well to start, let me cover a few things that usually cause deathwobble:
-ANY worn out or loose steering or suspension components.
-The front end being out of alignment.
-A worn out steering dampener/stabilizer.

So will you get deathwobble?...You might! The first thing that you need to realize
is that you are greatly changing the original geometry of the suspension...it was not
intended by DC to be used like this, so any great changes like this can lead to strange
effects. Our ZJ’s with solid front axles are very sensitive to extreme bumpsteer or
deathwobble, but there are quite a few things we can do to prevent against it.
As mentioned above, ANY worn out or loose steering or suspension components
can lead to deathwobble! If you know that your trackbar or control arms have bad
bushings or that you have worn out balljoints and your front end makes strange popping
or clunking noises, get those fixed BEFORE modifying the suspension.

My ZJ only has 20,000 miles on it...all the suspension components are basically brand
new...but I STILL got deathwobble after my lift!

The first question asked here is, “DID YOU GET AN ALIGNMENT????”
A front end alignment should always be performed right after significantly changing the
ride height of the vehicle as you are doing with a F>R swap. When the vehicle is lifted,
the front axle twists forward and completely changes the caster and the toe settings. A ZJ
with improper or out of spec caster or toe settings is far more likely to develop
deathwobble than one that has been aligned properly.
I’ll say it again...GET A PROFESSIONAL ALIGNMENT AFTER INSTALLING YOUR
LIFT!

I got my alignment done, but I STILL have deathwobble. Is there anything else I can
do???

Sometimes with larger tires, great bumpsteer or deathwobble will be present even
with all new tight front end components, as well as a proper front end alignment. This
deathwobble could be the result of a worn out steering dampener. The steering dampener
acts like a horizontal shock that basically is supposed to prevent or “dampen” bumpsteer.
If it is worn out, it will act basically like a normal worn out shock will: it will allow
excessive bouncing, but in this case, side-to-side bouncing.
The Old Man Emu SD40 is currently the most popular steering stabilizer used on
ZJ’s. In many cases, this dampener works so well that it may even subdue deathwobble
even if there are other worn out steering or suspension components. This stabilizer is
relatively inexpensive (around 60$) and is probably one of the best items you can add to
your front end to make the vehicle feel and act more solid.

So am I FINALLY done then?

You should be close, but even when you complete this lift you won’t be done. It’s
a Jeep...it’s NEVER done!
We’ve covered what’s absolutely necessary to do this lift, and that’s new front
springs and four new shocks, as well as strongly recommended trackbar modifications.
And we’ve also covered other things that might want to be looked into for personal
preference, or things that might be come necessary to resolve problems that develop as a
result of the lift.
It’s smartest to start with the basic things that you need, and if your system works
for you, use it that way! If you come across problems, diagnose them and replace/add
parts as necessary to achieve the results you want.
There are MANY people now driving ZJ’s with successful F>R swaps. If you take
your time and do your research (as you are doing by reading this article), you can
approach your suspension lift with confidence and understanding to get the job done
correctly and safely.

Good luck, and remember that a lifted vehicle will NOT handle like a stock one. Take
time to get to know your vehicle again and drive it with extra caution.
Keep the rubber side down!

-Ron Pitelka (Krash80)-



Author’s experience:

I lifted my ‘93 ZJ V8 in the summer of 2001 for the first time using the front to
rear swap. In the front, I installed a set of Teraflex 3.5” front ZJ springs with a couple
stock rubber isolators on top of them to make up for the weight of my ARB bumper,
winch, and V8. For shocks, I used four Old Man Emu ZJ long travels (N39L and N40L).
I had my neighbor press out the bends in my rear trackbar a bit to lengthen it, and I cut
and rewelded, and then sleeved my front trackbar to lengthen it to recenter the axles. I
kept all 8 stock control arms, brake lines, and bumpstops as they were and didn’t have to
change a thing. My rig sat at 4” front and rear and was perfect for the 31x10.5” BFG
AT’s that I ran. A few months after lifting my ZJ, I got deathwobble and couldn’t figure
out why, so I added an OME SD40 steering stabilizer and that cured my problems.
My total lift cost around 400$ for the shocks and springs, but I could’ve
accomplished the same thing for far less had I used different components. I used Teraflex
springs and OME shocks because at the time, they were supposedly the best equipment
for my ZJ.
I couldn’t have been more happy with my lift. It handled decently on-road, and
performed amazingly well off-road. But recently the lift bug bit me again and I desired
more from my Jeep so I added long control arms and some taller springs. By lifting it to
6.5”, I created many more problems than I’m prepared to handle right now. So the best
advice I can give to someone is to keep their lift as simple as possible. The lift to 4” is a
big step...to go up any higher is a HUGE and EXPENSIVE step!

Dr. Righteous
05-23-2005, 01:43 PM
I did a 2" BB lift on my '95 ZJ with shocks and ran 31" AT. I was very unsatisifed with the tire rubbing issues even though I was assured by many that it was easy to cure by trimming a little of the plastic from the front bumper.
NOT true. More like HACKING chunks out of the bumper will stop the tire rub. I came to the quick conclusion that 2" of lift was not enough for 31" tires.
Also, an issue that nobody metions is that the factory swaybars are USELESS once you do any lift on your ZJ. You must upgrade to bigger swaybars if you want any kind of on road handling. IF your ZJ is a trail only rig then no big deal. But how many people do you know with a trail only ZJ huh?

dasVettemeister
05-23-2005, 01:47 PM
^^^--- So fucking what. Please take it to: www.jeepsunlimited.com

Dr. Righteous
05-23-2005, 01:51 PM
^^^--- So fucking what. Please take it to: www.jeepsunlimited.com
Damn, what is your problem??????

I wanted to add MY experience also to that great write up. He was very detailed but didn't mention swaybars which are a must for street driven vehicles.

jdoom
05-23-2005, 01:55 PM
I have a BB and 31's right now and it works just fine. I only had to trim about an inch or so off the bottom of my front bumper, and if you consider that taking chunks out then i don't know what to tell you. Also my jeep handles just fine on road with the factory sway bar. I know every jeep is different so maybe you just have bad luck. that sucks.

Jeepinparrothead
05-23-2005, 01:57 PM
But how many people do you know with a trail only ZJ huh?

A bunch. Who was it I think Trance wasn't it? I don't know but someone put 33's on a BB and trimmed just a little. And yes go to www.jeepsunlimited.com

BigDaveZJ
05-23-2005, 03:02 PM
But how many people do you know with a trail only ZJ huh?

Actually, a good portion of the active members of this site have trail only rigs that don't get DD'd.

This site is geared towards people who are not only not scared to hack "chunks" of their bumper off, but also to those who hack chunks of sheetmetal off too. This isn't really a "budget boost friendly" site, but feel free to read all you can so you can gain the knowledge needed to further your rig.

BigDaveZJ
05-23-2005, 03:03 PM
A bunch. Who was it I think Trance wasn't it? I don't know but someone put 33's on a BB and trimmed just a little. And yes go to www.jeepsunlimited.com

I ran 32's with a BB, and I know quite a few other people have been running 32's and 33's.

BigDaveZJ
05-23-2005, 03:03 PM
^^^--- So fucking what. Please take it to: www.jeepsunlimited.com
Damn, what is your problem??????

I wanted to add MY experience also to that great write up. He was very detailed but didn't mention swaybars which are a must for street driven vehicles.

See my previous post for his problem.

And if swaybars are a must for street driven vehicles, how did I DD mine for 3 years without a swaybar???

dasVettemeister
05-23-2005, 04:15 PM
Damn, what is your problem??????



Two problems:

1. I hate stupid people.
2. I don't have enough time/ammo to kill all of you. :finga:


This site rocks because [generally] we don't have to sift through a bunch of dumb/noob questions and worthless commentary.

Dr. Righteous
05-23-2005, 05:03 PM
I have a BB and 31's right now and it works just fine. I only had to trim about an inch or so off the bottom of my front bumper, and if you consider that taking chunks out then i don't know what to tell you. Also my jeep handles just fine on road with the factory sway bar. I know every jeep is different so maybe you just have bad luck. that sucks.
Did the same thing. Had to go back and keep trimming more. Part of the issue is I had steelie with 4" BS. Also stock control arm. Axle wasn't exactly centered, but who buys brackets or adjustables with a 2" BB lift? Didn't know there was going to be an issue. All contributed to lest than perfect and my wife complained about it until I took the lift and tires off and "restocked" it for her and bought a ZJ for myself. BUT, this time it won't be BBs.
I'm debating a F>R swap or a full kit for 3-4" of lift.
And as far as swaybars, it almost felt like there was no sway bars after I did the lift!
Oh, and if everyone thinks I just logged on to bitch and moan think again.
The ZJ even with AT and a modest lift is KILLER offroad. I quit driving my Dodge Ramcharger offroad because it is just too big for most trails without knocking trees down and breaking my mirrors off. The ZJ easily outwheels it! I think I will just put a 9000 lbs winch on the Dodge and pull people out of mud holes and gulleys with it. :)

OverkillZJ
05-23-2005, 05:04 PM
As much as I enjoy dumbass / newb bashing, let's try to keep the good writeups on track. If you want to make fun of stupid people, take to my "I hate stupid people" thread in chit chat :rock:


and Dave, my rig might be a trail rig, but it still drives across the country :finga:

Dr. Righteous
05-23-2005, 05:11 PM
^^^--- So fucking what. Please take it to: www.jeepsunlimited.com
Damn, what is your problem??????

I wanted to add MY experience also to that great write up. He was very detailed but didn't mention swaybars which are a must for street driven vehicles.

See my previous post for his problem.

And if swaybars are a must for street driven vehicles, how did I DD mine for 3 years without a swaybar???

Man o' man are you guys hostal. You would think I asked about 23" wheels and where to get things gold plated to completely pimp out my ZJ.

I will make this my last post here.
You can cheer and have a party because reading what I posted must have thrusted you into a pit of depression.

Sorry I wasn't hard core enough for you guys.

BigDaveZJ
05-23-2005, 05:40 PM
Righteous, the whole point of that banter was that pretty much everyone on this forum has been through the budget boost stage and is well past it. We're not here to cater to the budget boost crowd. If you want to learn the best way to take your ZJ to the next step, then this is the place. A little thick skin goes a long way around here too.

Ken L
05-23-2005, 06:24 PM
^^^--- So fucking what. Please take it to: www.jeepsunlimited.com
Damn, what is your problem??????

I wanted to add MY experience also to that great write up. He was very detailed but didn't mention swaybars which are a must for street driven vehicles.

See my previous post for his problem.

And if swaybars are a must for street driven vehicles, how did I DD mine for 3 years without a swaybar???

Man o' man are you guys hostal. You would think I asked about 23" wheels and where to get things gold plated to completely pimp out my ZJ.

I will make this my last post here.
You can cheer and have a party because reading what I posted must have thrusted you into a pit of depression.

Sorry I wasn't hard core enough for you guys.

I thought the whole BB topic was covered pretty well in the "what flies here" post in the suspension section...

MaineZJ
05-23-2005, 07:28 PM
I had a BB and 31s. stock CAs, stock swaybar hardware, stock shocks, stock trac bars, stock rims

didn't notice huge rubbing on the bumper - but it wasn't long before I removed that worthless plastic POS anyway. Only problem was lack of droop with the stock shocks.

groundclearance
02-20-2006, 08:59 PM
2 Front 3.5 in lift springs (Rubicon Express)
1 Front Track bar (Rubicon Express)
4 Shocks (Rubicon Express)
1 Rear track bar relocation bracket (Rubicon Express)
1 Transfer Case Drop (Rubicon Express)
1 Set of Sway Bar Quick Disconnects (TerraFlex)

Here are most of the parts nicely laid out:

http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/2995-1/Lift+001.jpg

And here's the aftermath of the boxes...it looks like Christmas threw up on my floor:

http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3001-1/Lift+002.jpg

Price: 480 Shipped cross country by DC4WD, he is by far the cheapest retailer around and even better he sold me all Rubicon Express parts for the same price I could have gotten no name parts for! The sway bar QD's I bought off jeepforum.

Pre Lift:

Soak all nuts and bolts that are to be removed in PB Blaster for a week or so, try an experiment in you don't believe me, don't soak one bolt and do the rest, if you were like me (accidentally) the bolt you didn't soak (or forgot) will take as long as half the others combined.

Day 1: 9:30am to 1:00pm

I started by lifting the Jeep up with a frame lift, but I have worked on more comprehensive lift kits with just a floor jack and jack stands. Once lifted I removed the tires and began my fight with the track bar. First remove the bolt from close to the axle if you PB Blasted well this should be easy, the only problem I ran into was even after the bolt was off the nut I still had to continue wrenching it all of the way out because there is tension on the bar. Next DON'T BE AN IDIOT LIKE ME! Remove the cotter pin and then the nut on the top half of the track bar, I not so quickly learned that no matter how hard you beat on the bearing it wont come out if you forget to take off that nut, that also happened to be the one nut I forgot the PB Blast. After you have the nut off hammer a pickle fork in between the old track bar and the mount, the 3 lbs hammer will pay for itself first here. http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3004-1/Lift+003.jpg

After you have the old bar off compare it to your new one to get a general feel for how long it should be. http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3019-2/Lift+009.jpgNext you will need your drill and 5/8th Drill bit, you need to ream out the old track bar mount in order for you new one to fit (Assuming your install a RE bar that is), this will prove to be a very enjoyable experience if you enjoy hot metal landing on your face and having your hand slammed into your axle if you don't have the tip at just the right angle and pressure. After that is completed I reinstalled the lower bolt on the new track bar, but left the adjustable half until later (Before I installed anything I greased any moving parts and bushings and soaked all hardware in WD-40 I also used a wire brush to clean any hardware that needed to be reinstalled, again not required, but why not do it)

Next I moved onto the springs and shocks, first I put a jack stand under the opposite side of the axle then began to drop the jack to droop the axle which will help if your stubborn like me and didn't want to use spring compressors unless absolutely needed. I began by removing the two bolts the hold on the bottom of the shock to the axle, then moved onto the top nut, to get the top nut you will need to wrenchs or else the bolt looking thing will just turn on top of the shock not the nut itself, once all 3 are off the shock will slide right out.http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3007-1/Lift+004.jpg
Next onto the spring, I had a friend push the axle down while I removed the spring, It look a little wiggling, but I came out without compressors. Now compare your old spring to your new onehttp://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3010-1/Lift+006.jpg.....pretty sexy huh? Alright enough of that, now you are going to have to used the compressors to get the new one on, be careful because if the compressors fall off it would be ugly, it took me a few trys to figure out exactly where to put the compressors to make them work best (To close to the bottom you can't get the spring back in, to close to the top the spring wont compress enough) I found that about 3 spirals from the top is best. Again it will take someone to push down on your axle while you wiggle the new spring back in place, http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3013-1/Lift+007.jpgthe problem I ran into next was with the position of the spring compressors I couldn't get the springs to seat back in the notch, I just got it close as I could and from what I hear they will edventualy seat them selfs, I still don't feel great about it, but I'll see what I can do later. After the springs on I stated with the new shock, first you need to set up the new ones by forcing a bushing...thing into the shock for it to mount, after failing for a while I figured the best way was to knock out the rubber bushing and then you can easily put in the bushing (with your friend grease) then find a deep well socket that will fit over the metal bushing but not the rubber one and pound it back into the shock with your 3lb hammer (again I couldn't get it in with a standard one, but popped right in with that baby). After I had the shock ready for install, I bolted in the bottom bolts, cut the wire and guided it though the hole into the engine compartment and installed the top nut. http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3016-1/Lift+008.jpg

Now do the other side the same way. Thats it now minus your track bar your front end is almost done.

Finally you need to re-center the axle with your shinny new adjustable track bar, to do this, you guessed it, you center the axle under the Jeep adjust the track bar, and install the top bolt and bushing. I also installed some sway bar quick disconnects at this time as well. To do so you remove your stock sway bars (#55 Torx tip) install the bottom pin...thing....and then bolt the whole disconnect to the sway bar, grease it all up, install the bottom half and your good to go, if your like me and you've been running around without sway bars for a few weeks now you'll really enjoy being able to turn corners without worrys of rolling again. (Yes I know the sway bar pin thing is on the wrong side in these pics, I'm just an idiot)

http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3022-2/Lift+010.jpghttp://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3028-1/Lift+012.jpg

At this point I was already almost late for watch so I had to take it off the lift and run around with a California lift for a while, although tonight I did a quick alignment because it all got nice and screwed up.

Day 2:
Got the Jeep back on the lift and started on the rear, this is a lot easer then the front. I started again by removing the tires, spring retainer clamps, shocks and then the spring, only major difference was to be able to droop the axle more I had to loosen the parking brake cable, I did this by taking off this bracket:http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3037-1/Lift+015.jpg
heres everything out and ready for the new spring:http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3040-1/Lift+016.jpg
A comparison of the front and rear spring:http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3043-1/Lift+017.jpg
The spring compressors on the spring:http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3046-1/Lift+018.jpg
And me wrenching the compressors offhttp://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3049-1/Lift+019.jpg, which could have been avoided had I turned the compressors the other way around , that way I could have gotten a socket on it instead of having the hand turn the wrench all of the way off. Again do this to both sides put on your shocks and you just about done.

Next I moved to the relocation bracket, this was a pain, but a lot could have been avoided had I not tried to do it alone, BRING A FRIEND! First pry off the dust cover from the stock bracket: http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3052-1/Lift+020.jpg
Then removed the #55 Torx bolt, if yours was anything like mine I had to get a size huge breaker bar to even start to turn ithttp://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3055-1/Lift+021.jpg, whatever you do DON'T STRIP THE BOLT you need to reuse it. After you have it out is where a friend really comes in hand, first you are going to have to shift the axle to get the old track bar out, then I bolted in the new bracket, I've heard never to use a relocation bracket because they break easily, but this one seems pretty beefy, its certainly made of thicker metal then the stock one, but either way it should only be a temporary fix until I get a adjustable rear bar.http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3058-1/Lift+022.jpg Now the first problem I ran into with my bracket was that the hardware supplied was to big so I either had to ream out all of the hole's or get new hardware, I choice some of both. For the main bolt that hold in the track bar I got new hardware because the provided hardware was only grade 3, so I got a slightly thinner grade 6 bolt then the fun began. I had to shift the axle while trying to line up the hole and put the bolt in...not fun....at all. Since the other 2 holes needed to be drilled anyway I got a slightly bigger tip then the directions called for, and drilled them with that. You will need a 90* drill for the top hole.
Finally I rechecked all hardware, put the wheels back on and enjoyed my new lifted Jeep. My first thoughts are all good right now, I love the new hight, the ride is great and I'm not "Lowboy" anymore. Tommrow I will get tires and a alignment and call it done.....for now!
http://www.teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3064-1/Lift+024.jpg


Also I bought a transfer case drop that as of now I don't think I'll need, I want to drive it a bit more, but right now my drive line angles look fine and I feel no vibes, if anyone needs it, or any other information about this lift just shoot me an email mattanunn@teamgroundclearance.com

Well after getting the alignment this morning I took the Jeep out for its first freeway drive, and sure enough I've got a bad case of death wobble, really not fun on a bridge in heavy traffic, right now I'm looking for a SS to see if that'll cure it

*Update* Torqed the crap outa the TB, got a new SS, and wheels and tires and the DW is gone.

Heres a pic of it all finished.....for now:



http://teamgroundclearance.com/pictures/d/3067-1/Lift+025.jpg

--Matt Nunn

doyll
03-07-2006, 12:52 PM
Thanks Matt. Great write-up!

spykosshow
03-07-2006, 07:06 PM
That is a great writeup...too bad that jeep is no longer. :smt088

doyll
03-21-2006, 01:32 PM
I just did a F>R on my 97. I ordered YJ front brake lines from Autozone and they are same length as my stock ZJ lines. Maybe it's just Autozone lines, but XJ, ZJ, and YJ all appear to be same length.

fr3db3ar
03-21-2006, 03:25 PM
It must just be AZ then because I just ordered YJ lines from Napa and they are about 4" longer.

doyll
03-21-2006, 04:22 PM
It must just be AZ then because I just ordered YJ lines from Napa and they are about 4" longer.
Thanks, I'll order from NAPA

doyll
04-29-2006, 10:09 PM
Ended up finding there are several different lengths listed for YJs. The longest are 20 1/2" and cost as much as good stainless braided with shrink-fit covers so I got stainless. :)

iamdurkee
11-14-2008, 07:15 PM
the sway bar thing is junk just drive slow you dont lift shit so you can corner at 150 mph.

BigDaveZJ
11-14-2008, 09:11 PM
WTF? Nice revival of a 2+ year old thread for no damn reason.

fpkites
11-14-2008, 10:02 PM
Who the fuck are you and why are you bringing up ancient threads???

Derek33
11-14-2008, 11:14 PM
I think he brought this back for a great reason, I completely forgot that "you dont lift shit to corner at 150mph" Thats the problem I've been having.

dragordie
09-11-2010, 11:16 AM
Start off by saying hello, new to the grand scene. Built a lot of rigs 23 to be an exact count built scouts, cjs up to highboy fords. Last build spent 2 years building a 1989-limited 6.5-inch lift stock rear drive shaft running 35s with no problems. I was wondering on this F-R spring swap. My 98 has a 3-inch Rubicon super ride lift. So if I switch the fronts to the rear will that than give me like 5 inches for the rear? Just asking not intentionally trying to upset anyone rebooting an older post.No volgarty from me just have a Blessed Day<><:)

it usually runs fine
09-11-2010, 01:23 PM
yea

JordanA
09-12-2010, 01:14 PM
Yeah but they may be pretty stiff.

cowboy63b
09-13-2010, 02:45 AM
Start off by saying hello, new to the grand scene. Built a lot of rigs 23 to be an exact count built scouts, cjs up to highboy fords. Last build spent 2 years building a 1989-limited 6.5-inch lift stock rear drive shaft running 35s with no problems. I was wondering on this F-R spring swap. My 98 has a 3-inch Rubicon super ride lift. So if I switch the fronts to the rear will that than give me like 5 inches for the rear? Just asking not intentionally trying to upset anyone rebooting an older post.No volgarty from me just have a Blessed Day<><:)

WTF???? this is a 6 year old thread, so your new here huh, go to the introductions and post up, now go drink bleach and welcome to MC (not hostile just sarcasm, gotta have thick skin round here)