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Thread: Lift Straight Talk

  1. #1
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    Lift Straight Talk

    I'm looking for solid guidance on my lift. Please comment if you can.

    There seems to be a lot of incomplete, conflicting, confusing and inaccurate information on the web, and in vendor lift kit instructions, regarding what to do and not do when lifting a Jeep.

    I bought a 2002 Jeep TJ X last year. It was in great shape with only 54K miles on it. It was stock with no accident history and has 31 inch BF Goodrich TA radials on it. It ran great. No vibrations or other issues. Alignment was perfect and tire wear reflected that. My only issue was it looked like a "Barbie Jeep". I wanted to make it more manly looking and more suited for off-road capability. So I researched lift kits, etc. After a lot of studying and leveraging my decades of mechanical experience (some professional and some not) I decide on a 2 inch lift kit from Teraflex. The primary reasons for only 2 inches was to avoid getting too radical, and keep the center of gravity lower than what a higher lift would cause. I had read and heard that if you don't go higher than 2 inches you don't need to replace the stock track bars with adjustable ones, and you don't need to get a SYE and a replacement drive shaft. This is where things began to get wacky/wrong.

    The Teraflex kit I bought only included springs, bump stop extensions and a bracket to reposition/remount the original rear track bar so that it would (hopefully) be in the right location after the lift was installed. The advertising and instructions stated that the kit "includes everything you need" for the lift. After measuring and contemplating the 2 inch lift (not installed yet) I realized that it was definitely going to shift the tracking of the axles off center and that I should consider installing adjustable track bars front and rear in order to adjust the suspension so that both axles could be properly and truly centered. So I ordered JKS adjustable track bars for front and rear. I also order Bilstein shocks all the way around and a robust steering stabilizer from Rough Country. Then I went to install everything.

    First, I found that the Teraflex instructions are grossly incomplete. For example, they fail to tell you to disconnect the front anti-sway bar links so that you can drop the axle low enough to remove and replace the springs. Even if you use a spring compressor, you can't remove and replace the springs unless you disconnect the anti-sway bar links. The taller replacement springs, which are effectively the lift itself, are especially impossible to install if you don't drop the axle like this. Oddly, they do tell you to disconnect the rear anti-sway bar links. Then the Teraflex instructions tell you to drill a hole in the front track bar mount that is welded to the axle. If you follow their instructions you will wind up with a very nasty hole that partially overlaps the original hole resulting in an almost elliptical shaped, largely wobbled out hole which is a horrible situation to mount the track bar in. No wonder people report death wobble. Thankfully I had bought the adjustable track bars and could mount everything in the original holes without having to compromise the frame or axle mount points by drilling or removing metal. I got everything put together, centered both axles within 1/16th of an inch, made sure everything was lined up, lubed the chassis and took the Jeep for a test drive. The steering wheel is no longer centered/true, but I expected this due to the lift and change in angles. It needs an alignment as Teraflex indicates in their less than acceptable instructions. They are at least able to state the obvious. The Jeep tracks properly and does not pull to either side. However, it now has a noticeable vibration.

    I'm thinking the vibration is due to the increased drive shaft angle and that I need to get a SYE and longer/better drive shaft. Many posts state this is not necessary while others state it is, all for the exact same Jeep year and model. How can that be? It's not like every individual Jeep of the exact same year and model were made differently. Jeep made them exactly the same way, same measurements, same parts, same manufacture process. Therefore you either need a replacement drive shaft and SYE, or you do not. This cannot possibly be ambiguous. This is all based on simple measurements and simple mechanics. The aggregate of statements on forums and other web media make this all sound otherwise, like everything is based on variable opinions, black magic and voodoo. But that can't be right. If you have a stock 2002 Jeep TJ X model and you put a 2 inch suspension lift on it you either need a new rear drive link, or you do not. This is a basic fact and basic logic. It is not based on throwing down chicken bones and bat toes to see what happens. So which is it?

    Thanks for any comments.
    Last edited by Janitor; 05-29-2019 at 11:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Old Timer longarmwj's Avatar
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    Well your first problems came when you purchased and installed anything at all from Teraflex or Rough Country


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by longarmwj View Post
    Well your first problems came when you purchased and installed anything at all from Teraflex or Rough Country


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    What vendors do you recommend?

  4. #4
    Old Timer longarmwj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janitor View Post
    What vendors do you recommend?
    Companies to trust:

    JKS, Synergy, Offroad Evolution, Rancho, Superlift, Daystar, Dynatrac

    Companies to stay away from:
    Teraflex, Metalcloak, Rough Country, Steer Smarts, etc


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by longarmwj View Post
    Companies to trust:

    JKS, Synergy, Offroad Evolution, Rancho, Superlift, Daystar, Dynatrac

    Companies to stay away from:
    Teraflex, Metalcloak, Rough Country, Steer Smarts, etc


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    Thanks very much. I just found the RECOMMENDED Jeep Parts & Accessories threads. Wish I had signed up on WAYALIFE before I bought Teraflex. Any ideas on the drive line topic?
    Last edited by Janitor; 05-30-2019 at 12:05 AM.

  6. #6
    Old Timer Jsouder53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janitor View Post
    Thanks very much. I just found the RECOMMENDED Jeep Parts & Accessories threads. Wish I had signed up on WAYALIFE before I bought Teraflex. Any ideas on the drive line topic?
    Many people run Adams driveshaft and haven’t had any issues, but Eddie also recently had issues with his driveshaft from them. He then found it way cheaper to use his local driveline shop, which I would investigate next time I need a new one.

  7. #7
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    you can do a transfer case drop until you get the slip yoke eliminator kit.
    you can lower your transfer case 1/2 to 1 inch and get rid of most of the vibrations.

  8. #8
    Old Timer longarmwj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nujeeper View Post
    you can do a transfer case drop until you get the slip yoke eliminator kit.
    you can lower your transfer case 1/2 to 1 inch and get rid of most of the vibrations.
    The cost of that in most cases is about the same as a SYE. Not sure why anybody would ever want to drop their transfercase down. All that does is eat up any ground clearance they gained by lifting it.


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  9. #9
    Old Timer longarmwj's Avatar
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    Not sure why I’m even in this thread though. I’m not very good at “straight talk”


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  10. #10
    Knows a Thing or Two RCVRY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longarmwj View Post
    The cost of that in most cases is about the same as a SYE. Not sure why anybody would ever want to drop their transfercase down. All that does is eat up any ground clearance they gained by lifting it.


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    T-case drop is much cheaper than SYE and CV driveshaft. Especially if you make your own. They’re not that complicated. It’s just to get by until it can be done the right way.

    Ground clearance losses are negligible because until he does a tummy tuck that cross member is hanging low anyway.



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