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 Post subject: JBA Coil Overs with FOX shocks Install
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:08 am
Posts: 12
After having all this new stuff sitting on my work bench for almost 3 months, I finally got a good weather window to install my lift kit. A little background here: I installed an OME lift kit shortly after I bought my Liberty. the OME kit gave me about 2.25" in the rear and a sniff under 1.5" in the front (probably a little sag over the past years). I will be the first to admit that 14 years on a set of shocks is far tooooooo long. I know it so don't give me any grief. I plan on running the wheels off my liberty so I splurged and picked up a set of JBA coil overs with remote reservoir FOX shocks. I've been looking forward to the purchase for some time, but finally pulled the trigger. I've previously installed some JBA's upper control arms and I think the < 2" of lift was pushing the lower limit of their ability with respect to the alignment.

a few notes that some people might not completely agree with, but this is what I did.

1) Personally, I've never been successful beating on steering knuckles to separate ball joints or tie rod ends. so a few years ago, I bought a KD Tools #41690 kit. I think I paid about $90 bucks for it. After installing the front coil overs, I'd gladly pay another $90 bucks for it. After I pulled the brakes off the front, I had the steering knuckle out of the front end in no time at all.

2) I pulled out the upper control arms in order to get the coil overs between the lowers and the shock tower. the JBA instructions tell you to remove the top plate from the coil over, loosely install it into the tower and then install the upper pivot bolt through the shock/top plate. Between just getting the coil over between the lower and upper control arm and the way Marlin manufactures the bolt (its almost a press fit to get it through the top plate), I couldn't do it. I finally decided to pull the UCA and after I did, the coil over went in very easily (I did, however, bolt the top plate to the coil over and then installed it into the tower). Yes it sucks to pull the UCA, but I think it saved me time in the end.

3) Personally, I'd recommend deciding what other front end maintenance you might want to do while your installing new front shocks. You basically have to gut the front end to get the longer springs/shocks into the Jeep so front wheel bearings, half shafts, UCA's, lower balls or LCA bushings..... Give it some thought. I'm more of a fan of "while I'm there" I'll replace some other components. I didn't this time around and I'm starting to regretting it. My Liberty only has 120K miles on it, but sometimes its the years and not the mileage.

Photobucket link:

http://s347.photobucket.com/user/metalengineer/library/JBA%20Lift%20Kit%20Install?sort=3&page=1

Okay, enough chat, here is the install.

Friday, I started off with the rear end. I removed the old shocks and springs. I didn't have any issues getting the new springs into the perches, but before I installed them, I painted everything under the rubber isolators. I didn't have to remove the upper boomer rang ball joint and I'd guess the whole install too me about 3 hours.

I did have to relocate the e brake cable. I made some longer brackets to pull the cable more forward. I'm not completely convinced this is going to work, so I'll keep an eye on it. I did the brakes and replaced the calipers while I was there.

Saturday, I moved onto the front. I separated the upper and lower balls, the tie rod end and lower sway arm bolt. after removing the half shaft nut, I used one of the tools in the KD kit to push the shaft out of the knuckle. with the knuckle out of the way, I pulled the UCA and then the shock/spring/clevis out. I didn't have too many issues with the bolts/nuts with the exception of the half shaft nut. that one took me a bit to remove. once everything was out, reverse everything. I had previously replaced the rotors so I only did the pads and calipers.

One key note here, i adjusted the ride height before i located the reservoir. I figured as i raised the ride height, the space between the frame and UCA would be reduced. I'm glad i did this because my first guess wouldn't have worked. Even with the extra time to loosen the bolts there wanted to hang on for dear life, I'd say it took me about 3.5 hours per side. so all in, its a good days worth of work. I split it over 2 because I had the time

End result, I have 22.5" wheel centerline to fender in the rear and i adjusted the front to 22 dead. I wanted a little less rake then i had with the OME kit. I got it aligned yesterday and the shop gave it a clean bill of health.

Ride comfort wise, I'd say its better than the OME (which is miles better than stock), but the adjustability of the front end, is worth every penny. Its going to be about a month before the snows clear out in Colorado. once the earth reappears, I'm looking forward to getting up in the hills and really seeing the improvements.

that was my weekend.

Enjoy.

Ed

_________________
Original Owner, 2003 Sport, JBA Coil Overs with FOX remote reservoir shocks, JBA's 4.5 UCA's, MOOG LBJ, Skid Row/Jeep armor, Ruff Stuff rear diff cover, K&N cold air intake kit, Magna Flow exhaust, Satellite Radio, 03 GC EVIC.


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 Post subject: Re: JBA Coil Overs with FOX shocks Install - Update
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:08 am
Posts: 12
I got a chance to get on some dirt over these past few days. If your familiar with some of the roads in Colorado, I drove up the Pearl Pass Road to the Castle Peak trail head and South Colony Road over the weekend.

I previously had an OME kit installed and installed the JBA coil overs/FOX shock kit almost 2 months ago. the difference between the two...... WOW. night and day, different planet. you pick your favorite term. This kit absorbed the road instead of throwing you against the window or your passenger. My long term climbing buddy asked me what I had done to make my Jeep more comfortable to ride in. There is an objective viewpoint of the difference between the OME and JBA kits.

If you read the first part of this post, you noticed I had to move the E Brake cable mounting point. I made some brackets that moved the mounting point outward and forward. I needed the extra clearance to ensure the cable didn't bind up on the shocks external cylinder. I was a bit skepticle at first, but i fully articulated the rear axle (both sides) and i didn't get any contact between the two. WHEW. I was really concerned about this one.

Thats what i noticed IMHO.

Ed

_________________
Original Owner, 2003 Sport, JBA Coil Overs with FOX remote reservoir shocks, JBA's 4.5 UCA's, MOOG LBJ, Skid Row/Jeep armor, Ruff Stuff rear diff cover, K&N cold air intake kit, Magna Flow exhaust, Satellite Radio, 03 GC EVIC.


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