2006 Jeep Wrangler LJ build 11-2018

Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#1
Not sure what I'm in for here but have been saving for a year and agonizing over the decisions of what's best for my LJ. A long arm system was my plan but combination of cost and difficulty of install with no lift or prior experience got me here. I guess the best way to get to know my Jeep is to do the work myself, and of course with some help from YouTube, TJ Forum and Jeep friends. That said the Forum is what really got me to the choices on all below but the shocks. I'm just taking a costly risk in hopes that I'm really happy with the on/off road ride and the look of the Falcons. I bought this Jeep from the original owner 2 years ago here in North Georgia. Made a little bit of room in the garage and ready to get started.

Build list- (for now) purchased from 4 wheel parts Norcross GA
Currie 4" short arm (CE-9801HSL)
Currie 1" body lift (CE-9300)
Currie HD tie rod system(CE-9701)
Currie rear shock mount extensions (CE-9601)
Teraflex belly up skid-(4648403) 1" motor mount spacers included.
Falcon series 3 shocks (40130400304)
Falcon stabilizer(40221110001)

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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#2
I don't know much about those Teraflex Falcon shocks. I see a lot of people running them, but I'm not sure if they're actually a good shock or not. I'd be curious to hear the opinion of @mrblaine on those shocks. If anyone has seem then in action before, I suspect it would be him.

I'm generally skeptical of Teraflex stuff, but I doubt they are making those shocks themselves. I suspect someone is manufacturing them for them.

Anyhow, you certainly have a nice canvas to start with, and you've obviously been doing your research, having chosen a very high quality lift!

Good call on abandoning the plan for a long arm lift as well. If you do the research on those, you'll see that they really aren't a good solution for any TJ / LJ owner, as there are far better options out there than a long arm.
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
2,951
3,225
Quail Valley, CA
#3
I don't know much about those Teraflex Falcon shocks. I see a lot of people running them, but I'm not sure if they're actually a good shock or not. I'd be curious to hear the opinion of @mrblaine on those shocks. If anyone has seem then in action before, I suspect it would be him.

I'm generally skeptical of Teraflex stuff, but I doubt they are making those shocks themselves. I suspect someone is manufacturing them for them.

Anyhow, you certainly have a nice canvas to start with, and you've obviously been doing your research, having chosen a very high quality lift!

Good call on abandoning the plan for a long arm lift as well. If you do the research on those, you'll see that they really aren't a good solution for any TJ / LJ owner, as there are far better options out there than a long arm.
No experience. I've got too much time and money invested in learning how to make the Fox stuff work and work well to branch out. If they aren't tunable, find some that are.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#4
No experience. I've got too much time and money invested in learning how to make the Fox stuff work and work well to branch out. If they aren't tunable, find some that are.
Makes sense. That's why I went with the Fox shocks. They're widely used, and finding someone to tune them was very, very easy.
 
OP
OP
Trailblazer325
Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#5
Thank you both. Teraflex says engineer that left Fox to join them is what started the shock division. They do make them in Salt Lake City. I have already committed to these and will be sure to share what I find out once I get some on and off road miles on them.
 
Likes: Chris
OP
OP
Trailblazer325
Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#7
Slow going so far as I got ahead of myself on a couple things and have had to do it 2x. Story of my life.

3” body lift removed
If you do this look up a complete kit so you know what all got installed. I did not thinking I could just figure it out and cost me a couple hrs.

1” body lift anTeraflex skid installed
Be sure to cut, lower and re-weld exhaust bracket before installing skid plate. I did not so had to remove skid and do it all again. If you have manual trans no need for adaptor plate off factory skid like the Teraflex install video shows. That’s auto only.

Going to grab 2 more jacks for rear and get started on the suspension lift this weekend.

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OP
OP
Trailblazer325
Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#9
So my plan was to have this done by next weekend for the Jeepcember event at Durhamtown but the Currie lift never made it this week. Was told by 4Wheel Parts that Currie had a problem with some powder coated parts and it delayed the shipment. Won't have parts until end of next week now. Not happy at all because I really wanted to have mine for the ride. Good thing were a Jeep family and can still go, will just have to take my wife's the JKU and daughters LJ.
 
OP
OP
Trailblazer325
Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#10
So far much more work than I thought. Front shocks gave me a fit. Only idea I had was to weld some plate to shaft to keep from spinning. It worked and both top nuts sheared off after several turns. Axle was not easy alone. Would have been a good idea to have help on that. Time for a beer break.

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RubiconMike

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2018
272
244
Santa Cruz, CA
#13
Good call on abandoning the plan for a long arm lift as well. If you do the research on those, you'll see that they really aren't a good solution for any TJ / LJ owner, as there are far better options out there than a long arm.
I'm curious about this comment. I've been running a Rock Krawler 4 1/2" X-Factor long arm kit for over 10 years and have been very happy with it.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#14
I'm curious about this comment. I've been running a Rock Krawler 4 1/2" X-Factor long arm kit for over 10 years and have been very happy with it.
There's a great thread on this subject here: Long Arm Lifts vs. Short Arm Lifts

First and foremost, if you're happy with your current setup, then there is absolutely no real to even look into this further. However, if you really get into wheeling like some of these guys do, you'll come to understand that a long arm lift is far from the best setup you could have under your TJ / LJ. I'm not even sure how the long arm thing came about in the first place to be honest, but I think it may have started with people spreading the nonsense myth that a long-arm lift provided a better ride (@mrblaine might have some knowledge of how the long arm lifts gained such popularity. More knowledge than I would have at least). This is of course not true as far as our TJs and LJs are concerned.

I think another part of it was pure marketing hype. Somehow or another, all these companies convinced everyone on the internet that a long arm lift was the way to go. I don't know how they did it, but they did it.

If you look at what a long arm does in terms of geometry, antisquat, etc., you'll come to realize it's not the perfect setup that some of these companies would claim it is.

Here's an example of bullshit on the whole long arm vs. short arm thing:
https://www.4wd.com/article/content.jsp?childEventId=jeep-lift-kitslong-vs-short-arm

Scroll to the bottom where it says "long arm vs. short arm comparison".

Somehow they're trying to convince the reader that a short arm is inappropriate if you are on the highway daily, or has over 3.5" of lift.

They've also mentioned that a long arm is more appropriate if your Jeep is your "daily driver" and needs to "ride smoothly".

I really don't know where they come up with that stuff, but I always love hearing @mrblaine's comments about those sort of statements, as he always has some very truthful things to say about the matter.

In this day and age, I suspect we'd refer to those as "alternative facts" :risas3:

Anyways, check this thread out: Long Arm Lifts vs. Short Arm Lifts

@jjvw, @Jerry Bransford, and many others who have more knowledge than I do on the matter have contributed to it, and I think it's a very helpful thread to understand some of this.

But at the end of the day, you're happy with your long arm, so you really have nothing to even think about. I'm just trying to answer your question the best I can!
 
OP
OP
Trailblazer325
Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#15
You can just use a pair of vise grips on the shock, that's what I did.
I should have taken a picture. I had 3 pair of vice grips on the shock shaft and the damn thing still spun. I felt like it was a trick someone was playing on me. I finally just got mad enough to get out my welder. I even soaked all nuts and bolts with pb plaster for a week. My garage still smells terrible from that stuff. So far this was the only 2 that kicked my butt.
 

RubiconMike

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2018
272
244
Santa Cruz, CA
#16
There's a great thread on this subject here: Long Arm Lifts vs. Short Arm Lifts

First and foremost, if you're happy with your current setup, then there is absolutely no real to even look into this further. However, if you really get into wheeling like some of these guys do, you'll come to understand that a long arm lift is far from the best setup you could have under your TJ / LJ. I'm not even sure how the long arm thing came about in the first place to be honest, but I think it may have started with people spreading the nonsense myth that a long-arm lift provided a better ride (@mrblaine might have some knowledge of how the long arm lifts gained such popularity. More knowledge than I would have at least). This is of course not true as far as our TJs and LJs are concerned.

I think another part of it was pure marketing hype. Somehow or another, all these companies convinced everyone on the internet that a long arm lift was the way to go. I don't know how they did it, but they did it.

If you look at what a long arm does in terms of geometry, antisquat, etc., you'll come to realize it's not the perfect setup that some of these companies would claim it is.

Here's an example of bullshit on the whole long arm vs. short arm thing:
https://www.4wd.com/article/content.jsp?childEventId=jeep-lift-kitslong-vs-short-arm

Scroll to the bottom where it says "long arm vs. short arm comparison".

Somehow they're trying to convince the reader that a short arm is inappropriate if you are on the highway daily, or has over 3.5" of lift.

They've also mentioned that a long arm is more appropriate if your Jeep is your "daily driver" and needs to "ride smoothly".

I really don't know where they come up with that stuff, but I always love hearing @mrblaine's comments about those sort of statements, as he always has some very truthful things to say about the matter.

In this day and age, I suspect we'd refer to those as "alternative facts" :risas3:

Anyways, check this thread out: Long Arm Lifts vs. Short Arm Lifts

@jjvw, @Jerry Bransford, and many others who have more knowledge than I do on the matter have contributed to it, and I think it's a very helpful thread to understand some of this.

But at the end of the day, you're happy with your long arm, so you really have nothing to even think about. I'm just trying to answer your question the best I can!
Thanks, I read through the thread and while I'm far from being a suspension engineer, I did find it fascinating.

Like so many things in life, everything has compromises, and we pick the ones that are more important to us and/or least annoying.

I chose my lift because being near the Sierras, I wanted to optimize it for rock crawling. Under extreme articulation, shorter arms travel in a tighter radius and run out of articulation sooner, as well as moving the axle fore/back more than a long arm, all other things equal. To offset the ground clearance issue with long arms, I chose a lift with "dog-leg" arms, similar to the old Nth degree design. The lower arms are parallel to the frame for about half-way then bend down to reach the axle mounts. The clearance is similar to what a short arm system would have with the same springs. (BTW, the reason long arm lifts were popular 10 years or so ago is a belief that it would allow greater articulation - remember RTI? I don't remember anyone talking about a softer ride.)

The system I bought uses three links in the front (four if you count the track bar), again, to maximize articulation. It only uses one upper control arm in the front. The rear uses triangulated upper arms and eliminates the track bar.

The end result for me is: a comfortable 4 hour drive to Sierra Trek, climbing all 5 winch hills with no assist, and a comfortable drive home. Could the same thing have been done with an equivalent short-arm setup? Probably - there's usually more than one way to achieve an objective. Having driven an '03 Rubicon on short arms, and then my '05 for a couple of years before converting to long arms, would I do the same thing again? Absolutely - I still believe for the kind of driving I do I prefer a long arm system.

Not that I try to be contrary, but I still run a hydraulic winch too. :)
I research the available information, decide which compromises are more important to me, then buy what I like. That's the same advice I try to give when people ask me what they should buy.
 
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OP
Trailblazer325
Nov 23, 2018
10
14
NE Georgia
#17
Well its been 30 days since my last update and by looking at my garage/LJ you would not know I have done a thing since. Long delay in getting all my parts (did not get until Dec 15th) made me realize I need to not rush to finish and do this right. So that said between work, Christmas vacation away etc below is what I have done.

1. Re-cut and weld exhaust bracket. I did not lower it enough the first time. Should have installed exhaust before welding.
2. Installed the motor mount 1" spacers that came with the teraflex belly up skid. This was not a pleasurable experience. Wish I would have spent the $100 on new motor mounts. Another lesson learned the hard way.
3. The 1" motor mounts did not lift the engine enough and the fan was touching the bottom of shroud. Seems simple to just lower shroud and drill 4 new holes in the plastic. Where I needed the holes there was plastic fins so I had to grind away in places where there is no room to work. Did it all with fan on and shroud floating there. Extra set of hands would have been helpful here.
4. Rear main seal and oil pan gasket replaced. Cleaned up oil pan and it looks new.
5. Fuel filler hose was cut in half for the 3" body lift so ordered the GM hose with flap. Thx to the forum I found out about that. While at it cleaned up and painted chrome spill. Removing all the chrome 1pc at a time.
6. So far axle, caliper, brake rotors etc. have been the worst part of this project. Trying to clean the mud and rust without making a mess of the garage has been difficult. My concrete driveway now has a nice patina look to it. Not the word my wife used. The front axle was a mess and had not been touched in 12 yrs. Power wash, air brush, hand brush and on 3rd coat of WD40(bought a gallon and a sprayer). This was not my plan but I noticed a couple spots that I used the WD40 looked clean. It did such a good job I'm not even going to paint.
7. Installed some GraBarsUSA. Christmas gift and of course not just a bolt on. Had to cut 1.5" hole in plastic window trim. Look good and very HD.

There are lots of other very small things that I have either fixed or cleaned up/painted and put back as I find them.

Now next decision before I move forward. I have all Currie suspension and forgot to buy the Johnny joints for the front axle. $195 for both and some cutting/welding which is no problem. Now for another $65 I can get and Artec truss for the front and both Johnny joints. There is an extra piece of steel needed without truss that's $75. Don't need it with the truss. So I know I don't need the truss but for just $65 seems like I should. I have wasted a week or so trying to decide. Again I know I don't need the truss but it does look good and I have to tools needed to add it. I need to make up my mind this week. Here are a few updated pics. Thanks for looking and sorry for the long story.

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after WD40 3.jpg


after WD40.jpg


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GraBar USA.jpg


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lower R shroud. bolt re located.jpg


no more dirty chrome.jpg
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#18
Wow! You certainly aren't messing around there. You might have more Jeep packages sitting there than I did at the peak of my build. It's coming along nicely though.

I'm curious to hear how you like those Falcon shocks (you are installing Falcon shocks, right?).