JK Coilover Conversion Delivers 13-inch TravelPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on February 5, 2016
“Do you want to supersize that?” is a question that most guys can’t resist. The same goes for our rigs. Most Jeepers are more than willing to upgrade their rigs to get the improved off-road performance out of their Jeeps they know is hidden deep down in there. Fabtech Motorsports already had a bolt-on JK Front Coilover Conversion system (PN K4043DL, compatible with its Short Arm and Crawler systems) that eliminated the factory front coil spring bucket, replacing it with a hoop system and Dirt Logic 2.5 Coilover reservoir shocks. With the same upgrade to the rear of the JK ready to hit the market, the company is waving that larger order of fries under a Jeep enthusiast’s nose. It’s pretty hard to resist.
The new Fabtech Motorsports JK Rear Coilover Conversion system (also compatible with its Short Arm and Crawler systems) puts 2.5 Dirt Logic coilover reservoir shocks in place of the usual coil spring/shock combo on the Jeep JK. It does so by adding a sub-frame and new lower shock mounts to the company’s existing systems. In addition, the kit includes a skidplate and all the hardware needed to do the job.
The result is 13 inches of rear wheel travel. There is a little cutting necessary but no welding, so this is a job that the experienced do-it-yourselfer can do in his or her garage. Keep in mind that during our installation, one of the stock exhaust hangers had to be sacrificed and an aftermarket cat-back exhaust system is a requirement. The bottom line, though, is that Fabtech Motorsports has taken a proven product for the JK frontend and provided a way to add adjustable coilover shocks to the rearend. That’s an upgrade any JK owner can use, even without ketchup.
With the Fabtech JK Rear Coilover Conversion system, articulation like this can make your JK unstoppable.
Though there aren’t that many parts to the new system, some cutting is required to get them in place
This JK has already been enhanced with a Fabtech 5-inch Crawler kit, but the Fabtech JK Rear Coilover Conversion system and the Crawler Suspension system can be bought together or separately.
The Crawler system takes the stock coil-spring–based setup pretty far, but say goodbye to those shocks and coils.
Our first task was to pull out the Fabtech Crawler rear-suspension system’s coils.
As the upper mounts for the coilovers will be included in the new Fabtech sub frame, the stock ones have to go. We carefully marked the cut lines.
The stock exhaust hanger is marked for extinction as well, as this kit is not compatible with the stock exhaust system.
The upper shock mount and exhaust hanger are carefully cut away using a cutting-blade–equipped pneumatic die grinder.
A sanding disc is used on the area to clean up after the cutting process.
The area is painted to not only protect against rust but to make it look better.
A new Fabtech lower shock mount will also be used, so the stock shock-mount tabs had to be removed.
A few inches of length also needed to be removed from the lower shock mount.
A sawzall was used to remove the piece. The area will be dressed with the sanding disc and painted after cutting.
The new Fabtech lower shock mounts were slid into place and bolts installed into the old shock mount holes.
The Fabtech kit supplies nut tabs that slide down into the stock mount so the new mount can be bolted in place.
Here is the finished and prepped new lower shock mount all buttoned up. Now we were ready to move onto the next task.
The holes that the stock trailer hitch bolts went into had to be enlarged slightly to accommodate the Fabtech sub-frame.
The heart of the new Fabtech JK Rear Coil Conversion system, the sub-frame, was lifted into position.
All mounting hardware for the sub-frame was prepped with Loctite
When bolting the sub-frame into place, there is one section where shims must be used between the JK’s frame and the new sub-frame.
All the sub-frame hardware was tightened down.
Even though some of the sub-frame mounting holes are already in the factory frame, a few more holes need to be drilled to completely mount up the sub-frame.
Nut tabs are again used in situations where it’s impossible to get a wrench in place.
With the tab in place, the Loctite prepped bolts are installed and tightened.
The Fabtech system allows for the stock trailer hitch to be re-installed. Supplied hardware is used to tie it to the vehicles frame and the new sub-frame.
With that, the new sub frame is in place.
The massive Dirt Logic 2.5 coilover shocks were next on our installation check
The reservoirs were then mounted to the forward cross member of the sub-frame.
A strap was used to pull the rearend into position so the track bar from the Fabtech 5-inch Crawler kit could be reinstalled.
These braided brake lines are also part of the Crawler kit.
The skidplate is installed, and the job is done.
For those who already have a JK equipped with a Fabtech Short Arm or Crawler kit, adding the Fabtech JK Rear Coilover System is the perfect combination for those rocky trails that requires max articulation.
The new Dirt Logic 2.5 coilovers are equipped with Eibach springs and provide 13-inches of wheel travel.