Great deals on TJ parts on Amazon!

Looking for parts for your Jeep Wrangler TJ? Checkout the selection of TJ parts Amazon has to offer, many with 2-day Prime shipping!

Click the image below to browse TJ parts on Amazon.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Parts on Amazon

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Stock Suspension Height - Johnny Joints or OEM?

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
Got a bit of a weird one. For my current build I have a 98 Sahara. I'm rebuilding the entire suspension as the current one is trashed. Getting new everything.

Springs will be the stiffest OEM ones and will have stock height. I will be running 32's or 33's with a 1.25" BL. I expect to trim and add some high clearance fenders.
I'm debating on what to do with the control arms and trackbars. Part of me wants Johnny Joints all around to prevent binding, improve flexing, and give a better on road ride and handling. Part of me just wants to throw some Rock Auto replacement parts at it for a fraction of the cost.

What do you think the difference would be between new OEM style replacement and adjustable Johnny Joints all around? Would I notice a significant difference at stock height? This TJ is a daily driver and see lots of time on the highway.

I may install a spring lift down the road. But that could be a couple years.
 

freedom_in_4low

Sacred Order of the Coil Spring
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
4,588
Location
Edmond, OK
just my opinion, but with a stock height suspension you won't have enough travel to worry that much about bind. Plus, since stock control arms are pretty bendy, they take up whatever flex the bushing can't provide.

I'd 100% keep stock arms and bushings on a stock height suspension.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
17,356
Location
🌎
Got a bit of a weird one. For my current build I have a 98 Sahara. I'm rebuilding the entire suspension as the current one is trashed. Getting new everything.

Springs will be the stiffest OEM ones and will have stock height. I will be running 32's or 33's with a 1.25" BL. I expect to trim and add some high clearance fenders.
I'm debating on what to do with the control arms and trackbars. Part of me wants Johnny Joints all around to prevent binding, improve flexing, and give a better on road ride and handling. Part of me just wants to throw some Rock Auto replacement parts at it for a fraction of the cost.

What do you think the difference would be between new OEM style replacement and adjustable Johnny Joints all around? Would I notice a significant difference at stock height? This TJ is a daily driver and see lots of time on the highway.

I may install a spring lift down the road. But that could be a couple years.
OEM

However, if you know you’re going to need them later in your build there’s no reason to dump $200 on stock control arms. Just pony up $1300, get double adjustable, and when the time comes you’ll just need to adjust them.
 
OP
Yoda

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
**A side note. This is going to be my wife's "new" car. I'm going to be going through it 100% and replacing and addressing everything that is a wearable part.

I don't have $40k+ to drop on a new Wrangler so the goal is to make a 2022 version of a 1998 TJ using "upgraded" parts where possible. I don't mind spending more for better modern parts IF they will provide a measurable improvement over stock in some way.

I'm also trying to build for the future when I will end up lifting it a bit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ColoJeep

srimes

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
814
Location
Oregon
Stock arms and bushings are great in how well they flex and control the axle and are increadible tough as long as they don't directly hit anything. If you're not going to use them a rock sliders and don't need extra adjustability use the stock arms.
 
OP
Yoda

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
One last twist to the question. If I had two identical stock height 98 TJ's and one had brand new OEM style suspension bushings and one had Johnny Joints all around.....would I be able to tell the difference between the two on road?
 

jjvw

birds aren't real
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
20,484
Location
Colorado, USA
One last twist to the question. If I had two identical stock height 98 TJ's and one had brand new OEM style suspension bushings and one had Johnny Joints all around.....would I be able to tell the difference between the two on road?
Highly unlikely
 
  • Like
Reactions: srimes

psrivats

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2018
Messages
3,632
Location
OR, USA
One last twist to the question. If I had two identical stock height 98 TJ's and one had brand new OEM style suspension bushings and one had Johnny Joints all around.....would I be able to tell the difference between the two on road?

No.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
17,356
Location
🌎
**A side note. This is going to be my wife's "new" car. I'm going to be going through it 100% and replacing and addressing everything that is a wearable part.

I don't have $40k+ to drop on a new Wrangler so the goal is to make a 2022 version of a 1998 TJ using "upgraded" parts where possible. I don't mind spending more for better modern parts IF they will provide a measurable improvement over stock in some way.

I'm also trying to build for the future when I will end up lifting it a bit.
If you’re setting this up for your wife, get Rancho 5000x or Black max shocks for stock height. Stay with OEM arms. Line the interior tub with sound deadener and heat mat. Replace carpet with BedRug. Get Seat heaters. It will be a nice DD
 
OP
Yoda

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
If you’re setting this up for your wife, get Rancho 5000x or Black max shocks for stock height. Stay with OEM arms. Line the interior tub with sound deadener and heat mat. Replace carpet with BedRug. Get Seat heaters. It will be a nice DD
That is pretty much the plan! I may even install some Lizard Skin sound and heat insulator on the floor as well.

This TJ will be used in the woods on the weekends. No rock gardens or mud pits, just fire roads with downed logs and random rocks to climb over.

I do worry about smashing a control arm and bending a stock one but they are so cheap it would be easy to get another OEM style to replace it. The Captain Overkill in me wants HD control arms just to not worry about this. But an extra $1k for the good stuff is hard to swallow if I can't tell it's there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: srimes

pagrey

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
7,062
Location
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I will be running 32's or 33's with a 1.25" BL. I expect to trim and add some high clearance fenders.
I'm debating on what to do with the control arms and trackbars. Part of me wants Johnny Joints all around to prevent binding, improve flexing, and give a better on road ride and handling.
If you are going to spend the money why would you do this the wrong way? There is nothing on this site that I've ever found that says a body lift and some trimming will fit 33" tires. If you want flex and better ride you might consider doing things the right way and what you are describing isn't it.
 
OP
Yoda

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
If you want flex and better ride you might consider doing things the right way and what you are describing isn't it.
I come from the XJ world....so I may very well be full of shit when it comes to my intentions with the TJ. What is the general consensus for the "right way"?

I'm just having a hard time with the people saying...if 31's fit just fine with a BL, but 33x10.5's WONT fit with a BL and Highline style fenders. The 33's only add an inch of tire height over the 31's and the highline style fenders provide something like 2 inches of extra tire clearance.

I don't have any build experience with the TJ, which is why I'm here asking you guys.
 
OP
Yoda

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
If you want flex and better ride you might consider doing things the right way and what you are describing isn't it.
I come from the XJ world....so I may very well be full of shit when it comes to my intentions with the TJ. What is the general consensus for the "right way"?

I'm just having a hard time with the people saying...if 31's fit just fine with a BL, but 33x10.5's WONT fit with a BL and Highline style fenders. The 33's only add an inch of tire height over the 31's and the highline style fenders provide something like 2 inches of extra tire clearance.

I don't have any build experience with the TJ, which is why I'm here asking you guys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JMT

pagrey

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
7,062
Location
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I don't have any build experience with the TJ, which is why I'm here asking you guys.
I'm no expert on 33" tires that's for sure. The zone kit is a good blueprint of how to do it right. Sometimes people here read 32-33" and think okay, this guy is basically going to run 31" tire, I see it more as you're going to put 33" tire on and not like it. There are plenty of threads about how to run each size tire the right way, that sounds like what you want to do. I know the right way and wrong way sounds bad but generally you need more to get it all to work right on 33" tires.
 

TRE3TOP

TJ Addict
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
1,236
Location
Atlanta
That is pretty much the plan! I may even install some Lizard Skin sound and heat insulator on the floor as well.

This TJ will be used in the woods on the weekends. No rock gardens or mud pits, just fire roads with downed logs and random rocks to climb over.

I do worry about smashing a control arm and bending a stock one but they are so cheap it would be easy to get another OEM style to replace it. The Captain Overkill in me wants HD control arms just to not worry about this. But an extra $1k for the good stuff is hard to swallow if I can't tell it's there.
Hot head butyl liner is waaaay easier and much less messy than lizard skin.
 

TRE3TOP

TJ Addict
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
1,236
Location
Atlanta
I come from the XJ world....so I may very well be full of shit when it comes to my intentions with the TJ. What is the general consensus for the "right way"?

I'm just having a hard time with the people saying...if 31's fit just fine with a BL, but 33x10.5's WONT fit with a BL and Highline style fenders. The 33's only add an inch of tire height over the 31's and the highline style fenders provide something like 2 inches of extra tire clearance.

I don't have any build experience with the TJ, which is why I'm here asking you guys.
High lines may look kinda goofy with 33”s as it opens up the wheel well a pretty good amount.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
17,356
Location
🌎
That is pretty much the plan! I may even install some Lizard Skin sound and heat insulator on the floor as well.

This TJ will be used in the woods on the weekends. No rock gardens or mud pits, just fire roads with downed logs and random rocks to climb over.

I do worry about smashing a control arm and bending a stock one but they are so cheap it would be easy to get another OEM style to replace it. The Captain Overkill in me wants HD control arms just to not worry about this. But an extra $1k for the good stuff is hard to swallow if I can't tell it's there.
I used stock arms at Wolf Caves on numerous occasions. If you hit your CA’s on the terrain you describe, it will be a miracle.

6971B90C-479C-445C-9C89-6B41AD8D65DB.jpeg


130DAD36-C4B5-4463-95D4-E8922B9228B1.jpeg


99284874-277C-4F3F-AA53-DB9104BCB06D.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: srimes

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru Moderator
Staff Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
23,738
Location
Fleming Island Florida
X2 with the above advice to say with the OE control arm design. It holds up better and flexes better than many "heavy duty" aftermarket control arms. It may look cheap since it is stamped out but it's really not. Many would call its design "elegant" since it works well, lasts a long time, and outflexes many aftermarket control arms.

And for your 33" tire clearance issue, they really need no less than 3" additional clearance and that's for a street/mall cruiser Jeep. For offroading 4" is recommended. The 3" of clearance could be created with a 2" suspension lift and 1" to 1.25" body lift (no higher than that for a body lift!!!). The 4" amount can be created with a 3" suspension lift and 1" to 1.25" body lift.
 
OP
Yoda

Yoda

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
171
Location
MA
Thank you Jerry! I keep falling back on the....."But I'll get at least two or three more inches of tire clearance back from highline style fenders". Which is why I've been debating the possibility for it. But I've never done it....so what do I know?

I agree on the at least 3-4" of lift for proper offroad articulation with 33's. Does this advice really apply to stock style flares only? Or can I get away with less lift if using highline style fenders?

Perhaps I am thinking highline fenders were the answer to all the worlds problems....