GenRight Legend Extreme Suspension System - Building A Brawnier BrutePosted in How To on March 1, 2010 Comment (0)
There comes a time in every vehicle's life when change is necessary. While our Jeep Wrangler-turned-AEV Brute had already experienced quite a bit of change, we were itching for more as we continually strive to achieve the best possible trail set up and highway ride combination. The ride wasn't bad by any means. But, still, we knew it could be much better. Seeking something along the lines of a custom trophy truck-style long-travel suspension that could attack any impossible obstacle we came across and still scoot us about town in comfort, we discovered GenRight Off-Road and its Legend Extreme suspension system.
One of the most notable attributes of the Legend Extreme system is that it lends the ability to reposition the front and rear axles to stretch the Wrangler's wheelbase. Most will find they can move the front axle forward about 2 to 3 inches and the rear axle back up to 5 inches, to achieve more than 100 inches of wheelbase. This is especially beneficial for those running 37-inch-and-larger tires. With the AEV Brute kit we had already added 24 inches to create a 117.4-inch wheelbase. With the GenRight Legend Extreme kit we'd add more by moving the front axle forward 5 inches for better tire to fender clearance. All told we'll net a 122.4-inch wheelbase.
GenRight's Legend Extreme system isn’t your typical driveway installation job. It's a completely new coilover suspension system that requires removal of most factory suspension brackets and mounts. You'll need a lift, welding equipment, plasma or cut-off torch, metal bending and fabrication skills, a whole mess of tools, and a healthy knowledge about suspension geometry and set up. For the most part the kit is somewhat of a custom system with most of the more difficult steps already accomplished.
Installation of the coilover shock system requires removal of the stock suspension brackets on the frame. We already had coilover mounts in place at the front and rear of the Brute but they were tucked mostly beneath the fenders and incorporated the factory spring buckets up front, which would impede moving the axle forward. With the GenRight hoops we’d also open up the fenderwells a bit more to fit 14-inch-travel King coilover shocks.
GenRight's three-link front kit uses heavy-duty, laser-cut and CNC bent brackets and mounts. The control arms are made from 2-inch x 1/4-inch-wall DOM tube. Using a single upper control arm allows for more suspension up travel while maintaining a lower overall ride height. It also greatly simplifies the task of installation since you'll only have to worry about clearing the engine and transmission on one side. The four-link rear kit uses heavy-duty 1/4- and 3/16-inch-thick laser-cut and CNC-bent control arm mounts that are cut at an angle to keep the arm joints in a neutral position so maximum rotation can be achieved at full articulation. The tri-angulated design of the four-link system allows the rear track bar to be eliminated.
Both the three-link front and four-link rear kits can be used with coilover shocks (using the GenRight shock hoop) or your existing coil springs in the stock location. Also, the mounts in the three- and four-link kits are universal and can be cut or trimmed to be mounted in any position on any Jeep TJ, YJ, CJ, Early Ford Bronco or Toyota vehicle. The front and rear kits also include new Grade 8 hardware and detailed instructions.
Adding to the system is GenRight's front coilover shock hoop and outboard rear shock mounts. The outboard rear shock mounts are laser-cut and CNC-bent from 1/4-inch-thick steel. Large gussets are positioned on the forward side to the frame and the top and rear of the shock mounts are supported by a crossmember. The mounts also feature a wide opening so longer shocks won't bind. The front shock hoop offers a universal fit to suit many vehicle applications. The hoops are constructed from 0.120-inch-wall tubing and include an engine crossbar for extra support. The hoops position the shock mounts above the inner-fender well just below the hood line to fit up to 16-inch travel shocks. GenRight shock hoops also permit the axle to be moved forward up to 2 inches.
Addressing steering in the Extreme Legend kit is a variety of GenRight components, including front track bar mounts, drag link mounts, and the CrMo Hi-Steering kit. One of the unique aspects of the GenRight steering system and Legend Extreme kit is that they allow the front axle to be moved forward up to 5 inches with the steering box remaining in the stock location. This is achieved largely through use of GenRight's Twisted Pitman, which corrects the typical angle issues of a high-steer system. The Twisted pitman is double-sheared for strength and secures to the drag link using a 5/8-inch Grade 8 bolt. The twisted nature of the GenRight pitman arm allows the Heim on the drag link its full range of motion without binding.
Follow along as we tackle the first stage of the installation of the GenRight Legend Extreme system. We'll follow up next month with the completion of the install and review of the kit's performance, in addition to installing a selection of GenRight armor to continue our quest of building a brawnier Brute.