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1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ - Project Teal-J II, Part 3

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 16, 2004 Comment (0)
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Project Teal-J II, Intro
Project Teal-J II, Part 1
Project Teal-J II, Part 2
Project Teal-J II, Part 3
Project Teal-J II, Part 4
Project Teal-J II, Part 5
Project Teal-J II, Part 6
Project Teal-J II, Part 7
Project Teal-J II, Part 8
Project Teal-J II, Part 9
Project Teal-J II, Part 10
Project Teal-J II, Part 11
Project Teal-J II, Part 12
Project Teal-J II, Part 13
Project Teal-J II, Part 14

In our previous installment of the buildup of our '97 Jeep Project Teal-J, we improved its capability on nasty trails by swapping in an Atlas II transfer case from Advance Adapters. This month, we decided to help keep the Teal-J's tires on the ground by installing a flexible suspension.

When our TJ was first built, there weren't many suspension systems available for it, but now lots of companies have TJ kits. One that was introduced recently that caught our eye was the Fabtech 6-inch long-arm suspension kit. Fabtech has its roots in desert racing and has always built strong stuff, so we were interested to see the company's take on a Jeep suspension. Plus, we knew that it was time to try out a long-arm kit on a TJ.

So once a kit was available, we drove to Fabtech and followed along as a much more flexible suspension was grafted onto our Teal-J. What follows are the highlights of the installation.

View Slideshow
View Slideshow

Finally, the new Fabtech subframe can be welded onto the frame. It is not fully welded to the frame, but rather along three small tabs to provide some extra strength. Once done, the vehicle can be put on the ground and the track bars checked for proper alignment.

Longer is Better
So is it really worth extra time, cutting and welding to install a long-arm kit onto your TJ? Well, it depends upon what you intend to do with your rig. Since we wanted the most articulation we could get, it was definitely worth it for us. Longer control arms allow for more travel and articulation simply through their length. While the explanation involves some physics, there is a very easy way to visualize it by using your body. Stick your arm straight out in front of you. Now, using your elbow as a pivot point, move your hand up and down. Notice how far your hand can travel. Next, lock your elbow and use your shoulder as the pivot point. It is very easy to notice how much farther your hand can go up and down. If there was an axle attached to your hand it would be easy to see how much farther it could travel. Something else you should notice is how much less of an angle change there is with your hand when using your shoulder as a pivot point. This is another major benefit of longer control arms. In fact, as the Fabtech suspension system cycles through its travel, there is no pinion-angle change, making for proper suspension cycling and happy driveshafts.

Project Teal-J II, Intro
Project Teal-J II, Part 1
Project Teal-J II, Part 2
Project Teal-J II, Part 3
Project Teal-J II, Part 4
Project Teal-J II, Part 5
Project Teal-J II, Part 6
Project Teal-J II, Part 7
Project Teal-J II, Part 8
Project Teal-J II, Part 9
Project Teal-J II, Part 10
Project Teal-J II, Part 11
Project Teal-J II, Part 12
Project Teal-J II, Part 13
Project Teal-J II, Part 14

Sources

Fabtech Motorsports
Brea, CA 92821
www.fabtechmotorsports.com

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