Skyjacker Lift Kits For Jeep TJ - Installing FlexPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on July 1, 2002
Joining the existing 6-, 8-, and 10-inch Skyjacker Rock Ready Long Arm family of suspensions for the Jeep Wrangler TJ is a new 4-inch lift, and we're here to provide an exclusive first look at the installation of this brand-new, fresh-outta-the-box system. This kit is designed for serious trail enthusiasts who want the highest level of function from their rigs in a moderate-height lift. In addition to the top-quality components included in the kit, we also installed Skyjacker's High Clearance Transfer Case Skid Plate, Skyjacker's Rock Ready Steering Gear Box Skid Plate, and Skyjacker's Rock Ready Transfer Case Shifter Bracket. Other options include Skyjacker's optional Skyking coilover shocks, heavy-duty replacement tie-rod tube, and slip-yoke eliminator kit.
The installation was completed at Attitude Performance in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, by shop owner Matt Dinelli. Skyjacker estimates the average install time for this kit to be 10 hours, but the highly experienced Dinelli had the kit installed in less than 8 hours. The kit is mostly bolt-on, but you will need either a plasma cutter or cutting torch to remove the stock upper and lower control-arm mounts at the frame, and welding is required to mount the new two-piece subframe which holds the transfer case skidplate and mounts for the lower control arms. The result will be a suspension that allows for fitment, and full travel, of 33-inch tires.
The Skyjacker 4-inch Rock Ready Long Arm kit includes new front and rear coils, new upper and lower Double Flex Long Arms with spherical rod ends at both ends of each link, four Softride Nitro or Hydro shock absorbers, front and rear stainless-steel braided, polyurethane-coated brake lines, double-disconnect front antiroll-bar end links, extended rear antiroll-bar end links, front track bar, integrated two-piece subframe assembly, heavy-duty steering stabilizer, and dropped pitman arm. Also pictured is the Skyjacker High Clearance Transfer Case Skid Plate and Rock Ready Shifter Bracket.
1: The first step is to set the length of the new Rock Ready upper and lower link assemblies. To do this, swivel the ball socket so the bushings are exactly centered, and measure the length of the link assembly from the center of each eye on each end. Rotate the rod ends as needed, being sure to keep the ends square with each other until the link assembly measures the pre-alignment measurements given in the Skyjacker installation guide. When the measurements are correct, tighten the jam nut against the steel tubing. These are pre-alignment measurements only; final measurements will be set when the vehicle is aligned.
Behind the Wheel
We didn't waste any time commandeering the Jeep once the Skyjacker 4-inch Rock Ready Long Arm kit was installed. We would've liked to have spent about a week experiencing the kit in a variety of situations, but the owner wanted his Jeep back (go figure). Since our 4x4s have to pull double-duty as daily commuters and weekend warriors, we tend to put a lot of stock in day-to-day driveability. With that said, we were pleased with the ride and handling of the kit on the road. The ride stiffened a bit over stock, but it still retained the TJ's inherent fine ride quality. The most noticeable change was in how the suspension reacted to minor road imperfections at speed--we could feel 'em more. This is due to the fact that spherical rod ends are used at the ends of the links instead of rubber bushings, thus they don't absorb these small impacts, which are transmitted to the frame and body. It's a small price to pay for the awesome articulation this kit generates, though.
Off-highway, the kit shined on obstacles that required wheel travel, and the Softride springs' compression and rebound made climbing obstacles easy and comfortable. The owner of this Jeep chose to mount 35-inch BFG All-Terrains, which are a bit big for a 4-inch kit. We ramped the Jeep after installation, but the tire contacted the lip of the front fender before we came close to using up the available travel of the Long Arm kit. Thirty-three-inch tires would be perfect for this application and would complement the full capabilities that it has to offer.