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Grander Commanders

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Tom Morr | Writer
Posted September 12, 2006

Superlift's 4-Inch Lift Improves New Grand Cherokees' and Commanders' Trail Ratings

The new-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) and '06 XK Commander have been panned by hardcore off-roaders as being too pavement-oriented because of their unibody construction and independent front suspensions. This vocal-minority grumbling didn't discourage Superlift from engineering lift systems for both 4WD and 2WD versions of these new Jeeps, because Superlift strives to have the widest range of lift systems and accessories in the off-roading industry.

Designed in cooperation with American Expedition Vehicles (see sidebar), the new Superlift 4-inch systems maintain these Jeep SUVs' tame on-road ride while improving their off-road potential. Ground clearance improves through creating space for up to 33x12.50 tires on 8.5-inch wheels with a maximum 5.75-inch backspacing (to retain the factory wheels, minimum 3/4-inch-thick spacers are required for knuckle clearance).

PartsSuperlift applies its Frame Integrated Technology (F.I.T.) IFS approach to the WK/XK kit. Key components are replacement ductile-iron steering knuckles with a stout bellypan/crossmember assembly. These knuckles and the high-clearance crossmember help relocate the differential (4x4 application only) and lower control arms to maintain factory geometry: CV axles, steering linkage, and wheel alignment stay within spec. The 4x4 version of the kit also addresses front driveline angles so that the factory driveshaft can be retained. Underneath, Superlift contours the kit's interlocking crossmember and full-width bellypan for maximum ground clearance, using countersunk fasteners. This subframe structure relocates the lower control arms and improves the WK/XK's overall stability.

Superlift enhances ride quality in the front by adding preload spacers and tower blocks to the stock coilover strut assemblies. The preload plates increase the spring rate slightly to minimize mushiness and compensate for the increased weight and offset created by larger tires and wheels. Extended factory-style front and rear antisway-bar links ensure proper bar preload to further tune the road ride.

In the rear, Superlift eliminates the inherent sponginess by using longer coils that have a slightly heavier rate than stock. The kit's relocation brackets maintain correct four-link geometry.

Customers can choose between two grades of rear shocks, both of which are valved specifically for the XK/WK: standard Superlift Superide hydraulics or premium Superide SSR remote-reservoir shocks, which are trick-looking, high-pressure monotube units.

In addition to shock choice, customers can also add optional eXtreme Ring differential cover protectors. These and all other Superlift components are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

Note that if the Jeep is equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), premature system engagement may occur after installing any lift system: ESP function is impacted by tire size, wheel offset, and other factors. If ESP routinely activates, the driver can disable the system by pushing the "off" button located in the center stack of the dash. ESP is also affected by steering-wheel position, and the system must be disabled with each key cycle if the steering wheel isn't centered. Superlift and AEV are working on an ESP recalibration system; check their websites for the latest information.

Sources

American Expedition Vehicles
Wixom, MI 48393
248-926-0256
www.aev-conversions.com
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