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Comanche steering/suspension upgrade


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#1
Twister

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Erin and I have been down to one truck for the last 5 months so over Christmas I decided to get one of her 3 jeeps going. The reason it had been sitting was because of a huge death wobble problem. Erin had lifted it prior to us dating . Her and her friends had done a leaf over in the rear and a 2 inch spacer on the coils in the front. Later 4 inch coils were added. The stock trac bar and links were still in place. A 2 inch drop pitma arm was the only steering upgrade. The death wobble was so bad anything over 40 felt like the truck was going to break apart and rattle the teeth out of your head. As well some minor things like the rear main seal, breather hose on the valve cover was broken and the vacume shift wasn't working.


So here goes my 18 hour over haul.

The shift cable and fork from posi lock was a pretty cool upgrade. Getting rid of the vacume lines that never seemed to work. We found out, after I spent a couple hours trying to get rid of all the leaks, the fork was broken.


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#2
Twister

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After trying to run a hose to the air filter and it loading the filter with oil. Then trying to use my gm breather and squishing it. Or trying to find a bloody grommet to fit the valve cover and anything else, I found this little K&N filter and just made an adapter.
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close the hood
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Reopen the hood and it's not squished. Wicked didn't just waste a bunch of time
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Erin laughs every time she opens the hood now. It looks like a tiny air cleaner.

#3
Twister

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Then onto the suspension. Hmmmm I really want to radius arm it but don't have the time right now. Screw it I'll radius arm it in the summer when I have more time. My choice is to lengthen the links,add a turn buckle(left right) adjustable upper and fix the steering.

Okay keep it easy here goes.

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Got my lowers made up and a spare set. 1 3/4 .120 D.O.M. With a kick to clear the mount. The old arms were binding something bad on the axle mount. The lower links were made 2" longer than stock. To move the axle forward in the wheelwell.

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Then I used energy suspension bushings. Chevy leaf spring to be exact. It won't be the most flexy thing in the world. It's goal in life is to drive backroads over 180km of washboard a day then hit pavement and drive straight. Not to mention when the roads drift or it ranins all summer and we have to drive through 6 inch deep slop.

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New next to the old

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And I figured no better place to test this roll bar paint than on links that will be living on a gravel road.

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#4
Twister

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The holes were all worn and oval. Maybe some of the death wobble was coming from here. It looks like the ovaling was caused by the binding of the link on the lower mount. I decided to drill the holes out to 9/16. It's what the bushings take anyway. Saves me from spinning new spacer tubes.

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I used a reamer bit that I bought from Altarus in Calgary. The tool shop formerly known as Northern Metalic.

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And my Lithium 18volt Makita 2 speed drill.

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#5
Twister

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yup the upper bushings are crap.

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And yarding the steering out
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#6
Twister

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Yes in the upper picture that's not how you remove a tie rod end. But it's mine and I hate it and want to wreck it so it can't be used again.


After pounding the crap out of the upper bushings to get them out of the housing I buffed the holes out and made some sleeves to insert into the stock mount. These sleeves hold the chevy leaf spring bushings as well. The hole point behind this was to do it on the cheap and reliable.

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#7
Twister

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Then I made the upper links. Two inches longer as well but being a double turn buckle they have the capacity to grow or shrink 1 1/2 inches either way.

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#8
Twister

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Time to get back to why jeeps steer like #hit.



All the stuff jeep uses on the diff. Mainly the stupid trac bar. Just a cluster *u#k of crap.I guess it's a jeep thing because I just don't unserstand why anyone would make such a short bar , with a tie rod at one end that slots into a braket that's bolted to them frame so it can work itself loose. Or why they put the lower end under the coil and behind the steering crammed in with the sway bar mount. Then make a wish bone steering linkage?

My thought on fixing it was to just cut it all off.

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If you do this yourself always pay attention to the little things like this tad of sheet metal that needed to be cut off to allow clearance for the upper link. I welded the seam up after I cut it just so it won't allow water in.
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#9
Twister

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After cutting I always make sure I clean the cut areas. I also make sure all paint and rust is gone so that when I go to mput the new mounts on and weld I won't get perosity. It just saves time and swearing down the road. If you nick your housing it's not the end of the world. If it's deep just fill it with weld. I always fill and grind for a clean finish but if they're small and you're lazy or your grinding abiltities suck (and you'll wind up making an uglier mess) just leave the marks.

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This is that seam I welded up

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The upper link bolts hid behind this hole. Itmakes it hard to drill out the dinky little mount holes with normal tools. I have the right angle drills but figured I would try and drill them out with normal tools.
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In order to make it all the way through I had to grind the outter access hole a bit to allow thw drill chuck to go through. At first I thought to myself that maybe I shouldn't do it but then I noticed all the other large factory holes in the frame . Who cares it's not going to weaken it . Just as long as I didn't make it ugly(er)
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Now the fun part, putting the upper links in. So I made the upper links 2" longer. The upper link mounts are on an angle so when you make the upper arms longer your link points become narrower at the axle end. This made it a pain in the ass to attach them axle end. The chain block didn't work, I wound up shrinking the adjustable links in, bolted them to the mounts then screwed them out. There's a little tension in there. Honestly not as much binding as the stock trac bar causes .
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#10
Twister

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All links bolted in and it doesn't bind any more. Brakes lines are all that's limiting the down travel.

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#11
Twister

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wipped up some coil buckets
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Started welding on the buckets, gussets, etc..

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#12
Twister

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Now the steering. I used chevy style one ton chromoly rebuildable tie rod ends. Since they have a .625 taper to .75 and the jeep hole maxes out at .625 it's an easy ream. I went with high steer. For a couple of reasons. First to create a better steering angle. Second to raise the tie rod above the diff cover. Third just because.
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#13
Twister

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Steering run through it's cycles to make sure it won't hit anything.

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#14
Twister

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getting rid of the pan hard mount

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Drill press bit me. I taped it up. It bled for three days.
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shock brakets
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trac bar mounts

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#15
Twister

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New brake lines

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Pretty happy how it turned out. It has no death wobble and it's not using a stabilizer. The ride is way different. Alot smoother and you can feel the travel when hauling ass on the back roads.

#16
Twister

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Then onto the rear. The saddles that were welded on had a center hole that was a touch larger than the centering pin of the leaf so I made a shim plat with a smaller hole.

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#17
Blackhorse

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Awesome work, and just 18 hours...it takes me 18 hours to get motivated some times :)
I finally got that "jeep thing"..... now it hurts when I pee

#18
Twister

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It took more than 18 hours. That was my goal. It took me a bit longer because I kept cutting myself so it hurt to use my hands.

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You could add 6 or 7 more on. I said moron haha .

Anyway



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I didn't think about the shocks bottoming out when I made the mounts and I was going for droop when I mounted them ( for all the sweet air I get when I cross over intersections out here) Anyway it limits the flex. But like I said this is more for ripping than crawling.
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All said and done it sits 7.5 inches higher in the front end and 6 or so in the rear. It seems to list to the rear drivers side so I'm guessing a new set of leafs in the future or some kind of linked rear with coils.
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#19
Knuts

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Hey Guys,

I am really interested in a steering setup like what you have done on this Comanche but on my Rubicon. I am wondering how that passenger side TRE worked out and if it eliminated the typical tie rod rotation. Can you give me an idea of the cost of this set up? I am currently running a track bar relocation bracket, adjustable track bar and drop pitman. I am told to just dump my money into the Currie Correct link but I'm not sold that it is my best choice. I would love to hear your thoughts Clay.

#20
Twister

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can you post up the "currie correct link" Your rubicon is a tj ? What lift is it? I'd just have to see what the clearances are. We put a similar set up on Jamies unlimited and it worked I just can't remember if the sway bar mount was an issue. The tie rod rotation is gone but I run a bushing between the tie rod and knuckle to help it . It 's impossible to get rid of all of it with out the bushing. Cost is 85 a tie rod, 95 for the x tie rod (extra material and machining) and a dollar an inch for the link material, plus $35 an end to machine the threads. If you wanted to go through with it I wouldn't mind having you bring it here and us put it on the hoist. Just to make sure everything fit proper and went smoothly. It would allow me to see any problems that might arise.




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