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View Full Version : UNDER the JL WRANGLER RUBICON : A Look at Suspension / Steering Components & MORE!



wayoflife
02-13-2018, 06:59 PM
One of the first things that Cindy and I did soon after bringing home our brand new, Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, was rack it up so that we could get a good look at everything underneath and while everything was still clean. Certainly, it's a lot easier to photograph and handle things like suspension and steering components, when dirt and mud isn't falling in your face. For those of you who are interested, these are the pics we took and hopefully, they'll give you a better idea of what you can expect to find, under a JL Wrangler.

Going up...
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120035-a1e042f0.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120101-72aa8fc2.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120050-85e14327.jpg

REAR ENDOkay, these first set of shots are all from the rear end and document in detail, some of components you'll most likely be working with there when lifting your JL Wrangler. First up, a total overview.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120112-7f48bb40.jpg

A couple of shots that give you a better look at the JL Wrangler muffler and its all new Dana M220 rear axle.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120119-21f50848.jpg

A side shot of the muffler.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120720-72c6adcf.jpg

While similar to a Dana 44, the shape of the Dana M200 is definitely new and unique to it.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120137-6953045a.jpg

This passenger side 3/4 shot of the rear end shows how the rear shocks are now mounted on the outside of the frame rails. A nice improvement over the JK setup.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120126-55079e43.jpg

It's a little hard to see but here's a closer shot of where the shock is mounted on the frame rail. Nice thing is, it now uses a through bolt instead of a bar pin.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120216-fd33e8fa.jpg

Here's a closer look at the passenger side rear coil, track bar frame mount, bump stop, shock and sway bar.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120131-ff30f787.jpg

A view looking across the length of the JL Wrangler rear track bar. As you can see, it's bigger, beefier and shaped differently than the old JK.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120223-7f34e3dd.jpg

And, this is the driver side so that you can see the bigger, beefier and raised axle side track bar mount.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120139-3efd524b.jpg

3/4 shot of the rear from the driver side.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120146-b6eb9924.jpg

We ordered our JL Wrangler with the tow package and taking a step back, you can see what the hitch receiver looks like mounted under the rear bumper.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120207-e1589253.jpg

Here you can see that unlike the JK before, the JL Wrangler tow package comes with a weatherproof, standard 7-Pole and 4-Pole Trailer Connector Socket.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120205-a8d1656a.jpg

Being that we do have a Rubicon, it did come with a nice red J-hook style tow hook mounted on the driver side frame rail.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120221-91d6449e.jpg

MIDDLEThis is a shot looking forward at the belly of the JL Wrangler from the rear axle. As you will see, the EVAP canister - also known as, the 'rock target', has been relocated out of the way and up behind the passenger side rear fender liner.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120226-4cf6896c.jpg

As you can see, the JL Wrangler exhaust system still utilizes a resonator and the rear drive shaft is still an rzeppa design, just like the old JK.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120228-af5c2a13.jpg

Shot of the rzeppa CV joint at the standard cut, Dana M220 pinion. As you can see, the CV boot retainer is now flared.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120233-6b8e5d7e.jpg

Although the housing has been redesigned, Rubicon model JL Wranglers still have an NV241OR Rock-Track transfer case.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120236-bfc4dbb6.jpg

Shot of the rzeppa CV joint at the transfer case output shaft.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120238-ed11ad93.jpg

Here are a few shots that show what the JL Wrangler transfer case skid plate now looks like.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120241-a39c3fe4.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120247-10f8150c.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120249-e4093497.jpg

A few more shots of the transfer case skid plate being that it really takes a beating.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120356-1aa43f6e.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120401-ad670a48.jpg

Even more than the transfer case skid, the gas tank skid plate is without question that takes the brunt of all abuse out on the trail. While the factory skids are still serving their purpose on our 2 JK's, they are beat to all hell and it's nice to see that Jeep has redesigned this skid to have more structural embossing and ribbing to help reinforce it.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120407-5f093ab6.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120404-7931546a.jpg

View from the middle of the JL Wrangler looking back toward the Dana M220 rear axle.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120255-2600a073.jpg

Being that we ordered our JL Wrangler with the new 8-Speed ZF automatic transmission, it came with a skid bar to help protect the sump pan. You can see it here in this pic along with the exhaust loop and redesigned exhaust cross over that allows the front drive shaft to have a greater amount of droop without tearing the slip shaft boot.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120257-b6308b10.jpg

Another shot of the JL Wrangler transmission skid bar from the other side.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120335-81d1e0a0.jpg

A closer shot of the JL Wrangler exhaust loop from the other side.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120337-420fb373.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120339-eaa7d9af.jpg

Just beyond the transmission cross member and exhaust hanger, you can just see the front drive shaft output shaft. As you can see, it is still an rzeppa CV just like on the JK.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120300-d9b6ef8a.jpg

Looking toward the outside edge of the JL Wrangler, you can see the Rubicon rocker sliders are still mounted to the pinch seam and to the bottom of the tub.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120412-e9c14146.jpg

Stepping out from under the JL Wrangler, you can see that the rear fender wells come with pinch seams that have already been trimmed or angled back so that bigger tires can be run without making contact with them.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120416-b8a0df92.jpg

FRONT ENDOnce again, just like the JK, the JL Wrangler front drive shaft utilizes a u-joint bolted up to a pinion flange on the Dana M210 front axle.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120302-224bdef4.jpg

Here you can see that the Dana M210 is a high pinion axle and that the amount of caster it has allow the front drive shaft to almost be in line with the pinion even at a full droop.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120351-947ba59c.jpg

Here are a few shots of what a lot of people are still unsure of on the JL Wrangler - the FAD or, front axle disconnect motor.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120310-f5227f0d.jpg

Designed to disconnect the front axle when driving in 2WD, the FAD was incorporated into the design of the Dana M210 front axle to help improve fuel economy.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120312-b941e9e7.jpg

The fact that it has its own skid plate indicates to me that the FAD needs to be protected. Fortunately, it is an electric motor as opposed to the old school vacuum CAD's of yesteryear and hopefully, it'll hold up to water better than the electronic sway bar disconnect.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120315-30599d73.jpg

Moving over the passenger side front wheel, you can get a good look at the JL Wrangler lower control arm, red Rubicon shock which is not secured to the frame using a through bolt instead of a stud, the coil beyond it and the new beefed up Dana M210 end forging or what most people refer to as the "axle C".
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120320-4a834152.jpg

Here's a better shot of the JL Wrangler front shock upper frame mount with through bolt.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120422-9ecb4d18.jpg

A 3/4 view of the passenger side axle C, the new Dama M210 aluminum knuckle, ball joints, axle shaft u-joint and all new 2-piston brake caliper.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120322-aa78c6c7.jpg

A closer view of the 2-piston brake on the driver side.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120329-debf2807.jpg

Looking up at a JL Wrangler, 3.6L V6 Pentastar Engine. As you can see, it looks completely different from a 3.6L in a JK and the oil pan is even more out of the way and smaller too!
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120305-61fec2e2.jpg

More than the tiny oil pan, the reason why I'd want to install some kind of armor here is to protect the transmission cooler lines from renegade branches and roots on the trail.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120348-22d53649.jpg

Here's a shot of the motor mount.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120324-a61b32d1.jpg

The JL Wrangler comes with an all new steering box and it is now made out of aluminum.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120341-86346736.jpg

Going way up front, you can see the Rubicon electric sway bar disconnect sitting just above the air dam skid plate.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/upload/2018/02/05/20180205120346-aa8338ff.jpg

To help get better lighting on everything, turned our JL Wrangler Rubicon around so that it was pointing toward the garage door. Also, to help get a better look at all the steering components, I went ahead and removed the air dam skid plate. Here's a few shots of what it looks like up front without it.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122337-9c62e73b-me.jpg

With the air dam skid removed, you can get a clear shot of the electric sway bar disconnect motor, the sway bar itself, the sway bar end links, the pitman arm, drag link, track bar, tie-rod, steering stabilizer, axle C's, knuckles and of course, the all new Dana M210 front axle. You can even see how the front drive shaft now has a clear path downward.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122345-da6ea996-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122349-9f229945-me.jpg

Close up look at the electric sway bar disconnect motor.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122423-8582b6b6-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122427-cc89078d-me.jpg

Close up look at the driver side coil and sway bar link. Notice how the lower spring perch now comes with an isolator that's indexed for the coil.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122420-0b98dbd5-me.jpg

Here's a closer look at the new JL Wrangler tie-rod end with adjuster on the driver side.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122408-1483c201-me.jpg

View of the driver side steering knuckle with the lower ball joint in view.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122411-d70943bd-me.jpg

On the passenger side, you can see the all new beefy tube designed drag link with forged ends tying into the knuckle just above the tie-rod.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122404-d84610f8-me.jpg

A look at the passenger side coil. Again, notice how it has an indexed lower spring perch isolator.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122430-c301d426-me.jpg

The steering stablizer is still mounted low and is exposed to damage but the way it's mounted up has been improved. As you can see, it is now mounted on the axle just past the FAD unit and is secured to the passenger side steering knuckle right at the tie-rod end.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122433-6723c32d-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/13/20180213122436-c577702a-me.jpg

DIAGRAM OF SUSPENSION & STEERING COMPONENTSFor those of you who are new to Jeeps or working on one with coils and a 4-link suspension system, I have created the following color coded diagram to help you identify most of what you'll be working with on a JL Wrangler when installing a lift or making adjustments to your steering and alignment.

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/12/20180212134411-91176809-me.jpg

There's a lot less you need to work with in the rear but this diagram outlines some of the components you will be working with there.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/12/20180212151127-65aa0af1-me.jpg

I hope the photos and information I've provided in this post is helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions. :cool:

Gobicon2017
02-13-2018, 07:24 PM
Well done as usual. [emoji1303]


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wayoflife
02-13-2018, 07:32 PM
Well done as usual. [emoji1303]

Thank you. Hopefully it'll be helpful to others :)

JKU007FL
02-13-2018, 07:41 PM
Excellent picture review, well done indeed.

stitch1
02-13-2018, 07:50 PM
Fantastic photos. Thank you for taking the time to post these.

2nd.gunman
02-13-2018, 08:12 PM
Thanks Eddie. Very informative


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wayoflife
02-13-2018, 08:23 PM
Excellent picture review, well done indeed.


Fantastic photos. Thank you for taking the time to post these.


Thanks Eddie. Very informative

Glad to hear the pics are helpful to you guys :yup:

TrailHunter
02-13-2018, 08:41 PM
All this time youíve been waiting for your JL to come in... giving others plenty of time to review the JL... And yet you still Blow Everybody out of the water with your write ups and videos. So Awesome!!

wranglerwillys
02-13-2018, 09:38 PM
Awesome looking beast !!!


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Sharkey
02-13-2018, 10:14 PM
Very cool!!

fiend
02-13-2018, 10:52 PM
Thanks for posting these. Good thing you thought of it while the JL was still clean.

Beefed up Cs look good. Also the two pot calipers in front. Are the rotors larger than what the JK came with?

wjtstudios
02-13-2018, 10:57 PM
Great documentation! Very interesting


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jesse3638
02-13-2018, 11:49 PM
Looks like Jeep has listened to the 4x4 consumer and made some real improvements. I really wonder what it would be like if manufacturers weren't penalized for less fuel efficient vehicles.

Have you or anyone heard why a FAD vs. Traditional locking hubs? I know the new Fords have locking hubs which have an auto and lock position. If I had to guess it's to do with on the fly 4x4 shifting and possibly cheaper. I was just curious.

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Saharaunlmtd
02-14-2018, 12:32 AM
Very well done [emoji1303]


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wayoflife
02-14-2018, 01:12 AM
All this time youíve been waiting for your JL to come in... giving others plenty of time to review the JL... And yet you still Blow Everybody out of the water with your write ups and videos. So Awesome!!

LOL!! We appreciate it but really, we're just trying to share the kind of information that we'd want to see and with the hope that it'll be helpful to others. :yup:


Awesome looking beast !!!


Very cool!!

Thank you :cool:


Thanks for posting these. Good thing you thought of it while the JL was still clean.

Beefed up Cs look good. Also the two pot calipers in front. Are the rotors larger than what the JK came with?

Honestly, without pulling the wheels and measuring the rotors, I couldn't tell you for sure. However, just looking at them, they sure look bigger to me.

wayoflife
02-14-2018, 01:13 AM
Great documentation! Very interesting

Thanks, we're glad that you've found the photos and info useful.


Looks like Jeep has listened to the 4x4 consumer and made some real improvements. I really wonder what it would be like if manufacturers weren't penalized for less fuel efficient vehicles.

Have you or anyone heard why a FAD vs. Traditional locking hubs? I know the new Fords have locking hubs which have an auto and lock position. If I had to guess it's to do with on the fly 4x4 shifting and possibly cheaper. I was just curious.

Don't know if I could answer that but if I had to guess, FAD was more cost effective.


Very well done [emoji1303]
Thank you :cool:

Sessoms14X
02-14-2018, 01:39 AM
Now this is some info that I've been waiting for! I'm looking forward to seeing you put these axles to the test and see how it all performs with larger tires and suspension lift.

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Andy5160
02-14-2018, 01:41 AM
Great, great, [emoji106] based on what you saw underneath , how do you feel stock rubi JL axels and other components will accommodate 37ís?


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RanchoRubi
02-14-2018, 01:49 AM
Really helpful write. Thank you. Those improvements, though small , make bigger differences


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drrags
02-14-2018, 02:21 AM
Fascinating. Good stuff and thanks for posting these great pics. The more I see of the JL, the more I want it.

OverlanderJK
02-14-2018, 03:04 AM
Awesome! That detailed drawing with all the parts is sweet!


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notnalc68
02-14-2018, 03:24 AM
Glad to hear the pics are helpful to you guys :yup:

Great thread! I like the look of the new skids. Did you get a chance to measure the rear drive shaft, compared to the JK?


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aTX427
02-14-2018, 03:56 AM
great shots. For some reason, I was thinking you interviewed an engineer at SEMA who was showing you rear outboard shocks. Was I mistaken?

Maineiac
02-14-2018, 10:39 AM
Nice pics! Just seeing all that shiny stuff with no rust makes me want to get one! Looking forward to all the mods you post up :) have fun with it!

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PatyWagon
02-14-2018, 11:47 AM
Awesome write-up! Top notch pictures! I don't wrench my jeep but even I can appreciate all the work and engineering that went into the new JL, exactly why it climbs mountains right out of the box. Thanks Eddie always great stuff!

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wayoflife
02-14-2018, 04:52 PM
Now this is some info that I've been waiting for! I'm looking forward to seeing you put these axles to the test and see how it all performs with larger tires and suspension lift.

You and me both :D


Great, great, [emoji106] based on what you saw underneath , how do you feel stock rubi JL axels and other components will accommodate 37ís?


Honestly, only time will tell. One thing is for sure, we intend to test them out :yup:


Really helpful write. Thank you. Those improvements, though small , make bigger differences

Does this mean you're thinking about getting one? :thumb:


Fascinating. Good stuff and thanks for posting these great pics. The more I see of the JL, the more I want it.

LOL!! I love our JK's but this new JL really is nice. :yup:

wayoflife
02-14-2018, 05:15 PM
Awesome! That detailed drawing with all the parts is sweet!

Thank you sir :cool:


Great thread! I like the look of the new skids. Did you get a chance to measure the rear drive shaft, compared to the JK?

Unfortunately, I no longer have a factory rear JK shaft to compare it to.


great shots. For some reason, I was thinking you interviewed an engineer at SEMA who was showing you rear outboard shocks. Was I mistaken?

It was the JL reveal at the 2017 LA Auto Show.

RockingK
02-14-2018, 05:51 PM
Actually taking several for the team👍. This insight for those looking to purchase the next generation of Wranglers has this very cool, informative and detailed view that is priceless. Thank you so much for your attention to detail! :rock:

Rocralr
02-15-2018, 04:56 PM
Hi. It looks great. White is a great color. What are the plans for the JL? Is it going to stay mostly stock or are you going to build it up?

wayoflife
02-15-2018, 05:44 PM
Actually taking several for the team👍. This insight for those looking to purchase the next generation of Wranglers has this very cool, informative and detailed view that is priceless. Thank you so much for your attention to detail! :rock:

Thank you, we're so glad to hear you found the information and photos useful :)


Hi. It looks great. White is a great color. What are the plans for the JL? Is it going to stay mostly stock or are you going to build it up?

For now, run it stock but in the near future, get it up on 37's. Who knows for the future beyond :crazyeyes:

webejeepin
02-16-2018, 06:30 PM
Finally had the chance o look at these photo's on my PC.

Thank you Eddie, such well thought out photos captures what we all want to see in high res quality.

I call this training material.

Some big changes on the business end of the Jeep, and little ones too....they finally put a constant tension hose clamp on the rear diff breather tube hose @ the axle housing. :yup:

Clutch
02-20-2018, 06:30 PM
Would the JK skids fit on the JL? Also, do you still expect DS failure when you start lifting the Jeep?


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wayoflife
02-20-2018, 06:40 PM
Would the JK skids fit on the JL? Also, do you still expect DS failure when you start lifting the Jeep?

The JL is completely different underneath. I don't think any JK skid would work without modification or drilling.

Regarding the drive shafts, the front slip shaft boot should be okay now that the exhaust cross over has been re-designed and moved out of the way but the CV boots on a 2-door rear shaft as well as the front boot will still be in a constant state of pinch when lifted 3" or more. This is where I still expect to see premature failure with a lift.

Clutch
02-20-2018, 06:56 PM
Thank you.


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Zo6
02-22-2018, 05:31 AM
You are the best detailing everything . I have never viewed articles put together as well as you present.