Suspension help on new to me TJ


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Lifetime Supporting Member
Jun 21, 2021
Just bought a '06 Wrangler Rubicon. Primarily for my wife to drive around town, not any serious wheelin'. It already had a suspension lift 4"-ish, and from what I can tell by ready on this site, some wrong parts. It drives awful, rolls into turns, doesn't track well and routinely goes into the famous death wobble deluxe version! The tires are 35x12.50-15 and worn from (and now causing) some of the driving issues.

Suspension as it is:
Looks like 4" lift springs and the spacers above the front springs are about 2-1/2" thick.
Shocks are Skyjacker Nitro 8000 which makes me think it's their lift kit too, but the rear lower control arms don't look like what's on their website now.?.?
It has the drop pitman arm
The front Track bar appears to be totally wrong, and has a Heim joint that is nearly maxed out to one side.

My thoughts on making this a safe daily driver for my wife (it's parked now until repaired) are as follows:
Replace the track bar with a HD stock type replacement.
Add a front track bar relocation (drop) kit.
Re-bush factory upper control arms & the lower aftermarket control arms
Re-bush the sway bar links
Replace upper & lower ball joints with good quality stock.
Replace steering ends.
Reduce the spacers over the front shocks by an 1" or so
Replace shocks with high quality shocks (Ranchos?)
Finally, once all this is done, back up to 33x12.50-17 tire/wheel combo.

I's a car guy, but just starting to learn Jeeps! I would greatly appreciate your time in reviewing the information, attached pictures, and giving my your thoughts on what I need to do to make this a safe & fun to drive Jeep. Recommendations of parts and brands would be appreciated as well!


2006 Wrangler Rubicon
Inline 6 w/ 6 spd Manual

You'll get a lot of good advise here.

I'd ditch the 35s for 33s. Remove the spring spacers. Get stock pitman arm. And throw away that track bar for another brand.

Probably so much more too. Can't tell from the pics
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If it were mine I would start over because you have a mess there, no wonder it drives like crap. №1 would be the drop pitman. You can see that your drag link and track bar aren't even close to parallel. № 2 would be all the spring spacers.

You don't mention what gearing you have. Is it correct for 35s? So let's start there. Determine your gearing and get the correct size tire on it and set up the suspension for that size tire.
Start over...
Yes seriously

Someone puts all that effort into a suspension that can't even be used because the sway bar links won't disconnect.
Gotta love that...🙄🙄🙄🙄

Your steering...

See the lines? They should be parallel

They should be like this...

Going back to a stock pitman arm would help get close to where you want to be

That change alone will feel like a new jeep

Good luck

Rid the spacers too and run a 33"
When I got my Sahara it had a 4" lift with a mess of a steering system. I installed the ZJ steering kit (there are a bunch of threads on here), ditched the dropped pitman arm, replaced the track bar & now it steers like a dream. I'd also get rid of those 35s if you're just going to be driving it around town.
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Start here, that's a huge gap.
View attachment 260878
Thank you. There is a drop mount at the axle side end of the track bar that needs to be dealt with. The trackbar has too much bend going over the diff and the rod end is binding on uptravel. I'm not sure what that mess the arrow is pointing at is but there is nothing good about it.
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That track arm is rough for sure.
The fact that the jeep is on the ground the the heim joint looks like its completely tapped out for up travel is suspect,
and the lack of proper misalignment spacers on said heim joint would make it function a little better, and it looks like they used a piece of threaded rod instead of a bolt to mount it. IDK

Like others have said, replace your drop pitman arm for a stock one and that will help get rid of some of your death wobble.
If it wasn't for the gap at the edges where the "bolt" goes through, I'd wonder if that isn't a steering stabilizer bolt with the tapered pin on one end?? If so, it should have a gap before the hex bottoms out.
I'd put a $1 on that being a stabilizer bolt; there's 4 washers on that setup, I'm not an bolt/washer expert, but I would find a better way.
First off, nice Jeep. Putting aside the current set up issues, I think an 06 Rubicon w/ a manual and a clean looking underbody is a great start for a project car.
Second, you've already gotten responses from some pretty experienced forum members so I will stay away from specific mechanical recs.
Lastly, what does your wife want? If she really wants that jeep and you really want it safe, reverting to stock is probably best with a thorough going over (fluids, brakes, shocks, bushings, ball joints etc.). If she's just going along with your jeep idea, maybe a modern small SUV with all the safety bells and whistles for her is better? The dealer can maintain it under warranty, her hair doesn't get messed up and you both have a quiet and comfy trip car. Meanwhile the jeep will keep the car guy in you busy indefinitely.