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Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:52 AM
Our XJ has been in need of a new front suspension for a long time and this weekend the Cherokee got it. The list of parts included-


TeraFlex Long Arm upgrade
TeraFlex 'Flex Arm' uppers
TeraFlex 4" coils
Doetsch shocks
Ext. braided steel brakelines



The old suspension was worthless junk... it rode like there were 2x4's between the frame & axle! Every minor bump in the road jarred the Jeep and made for a very uncomfortable ride. Offroad with the tires aired down, it was OK but that's only because the tires were doing most of the work. Here's some pics of how the suspension worked before the upgrade.

Old front suspension, close to full flex-

http://img455.imageshack.us/img455/6193/4runner047medium6cl.jpg

http://img485.imageshack.us/img485/7469/4runner049medium8da.jpg

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:54 AM
Here's the new parts, minus the brake lines-

http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/254/1001363medium2tb.jpg

http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/797/1001354medium0mt.jpg


TeraFlex has had a long arm XJ kit for quite awhile, but they recently re-hashed control arms. The new TeraFlex long arms are BEEFY! The specs include: A modular end on one side, a very large rubber bushing end on the other and very thick 1.75" DOM tubing which is powder coated.


Control arms are 1.75" DOM, .281 wall tubing.
Modular Rod Ends are 3" OD, 5" shank length.



I'd have no problem with bashing these things on rocks, they should help protect the front driveline from damage.

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/4051/1001356medium7sw.jpg

http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/4065/1001359medium4ym.jpg

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:55 AM
Tires off, jacks under XJ and front axle ready to disassemble!-

http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/5466/1001364medium7yl.jpg


I sprayed all the nuts & bolts down with PB Blaster a week before to make sure they all came off easily. I would highly recommend this to anyone taking apart rusty nuts & bolts, it makes the job more enjoyable.


Everything is off and a pile of old, rusty parts!-

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/9900/1001367medium4eq.jpg

http://img470.imageshack.us/img470/1740/1001383medium3kw.jpg

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6486/1001374medium5zc.jpg

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:55 AM
The lower control arm mount needs to be cut off. I used a sawzall, then a die grinder where needed. I've never cut these off a Jeep before, so the first one was a bit of a challenge, but the 2nd one was a breeze.-

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/5191/1001375medium2kg.jpg

http://img477.imageshack.us/img477/7849/1001377medium5pt.jpg

http://img477.imageshack.us/img477/6020/1001378medium9fi.jpg


Touched up the edges with the grinder, then added a bit of paint for rust proofing.-

http://img477.imageshack.us/img477/124/1001380medium6xy.jpg

http://img470.imageshack.us/img470/8525/1001382medium6nf.jpg

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:56 AM
Next up is the T-Case crossmember removal & modification, then install of the new lower control arm mount.-

http://img470.imageshack.us/img470/4500/1001384medium3ou.jpg


The forward-most hole needs to be tapped for 3 bolts along the bottom part of the frame, the 2 bolts are added to the outside, then 2 more to inside.-

http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/6885/1001385medium4cm.jpg

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/4844/1001386medium7ow.jpg


Crossmember is trimmed to mount between the new lower control arm mounts. I used the chop saw for ease.-

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/1781/1001391medium5zn.jpg

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/1447/1001392medium4fs.jpg

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:57 AM
After the crossmember was done, I started bolting up the new control arms.-

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/5233/1001389medium2jg.jpg

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/3168/1001390medium2gf.jpg


Then the new springs, shocks and brake lines were added.-

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/7817/1001393medium4yb.jpg

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/9082/1001402medium7yq.jpg

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/6480/1001404medium5md.jpg



After bleeding the brakes, bolting up the track bar and putting the tires on, I took it for a drive. The ride change is night & day, its diffrent riding around town! The suspension actually 'works'! What a concept, eh!?! Before you noticed every bump, now you can actually focus on getting to your destination.

I haven't had it out wheeling yet, but we did take it on a bumpy dirt road. The suspension soaked up the bumps very well, it was pretty impressive. We're taking the Cherokee out to Moab next weekend for a trail test, I want to see how the new TeraFlex Long Arm upgrade preforms offroad! I will be posting a full report after I get back.

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 11:57 AM
I got my parts thru TeraFlex Plus (http://www.teraflexplus.com/). They were great to work with, got the parts to me quickly and have easy to follow instructions. The parts are well built and very abuser friendly.

(I understand that TeraFlex can also make control arms to custom lenghts, for that 4 link project. It seems like a good alternative to piecing together all the parts.)

I'd rate the TeraFlex XJ Long Arm installation a 7 out of 10, with 10 being the most difficult. It requires a few power tools and a good amount of mechanical knowledge. It took me just over a day to complete the install, I spent all day saturday working on it, then a couple hours on sunday finishing it up.

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 12:01 PM
The following weekend, we took the Cherokee to Moab for a little trail test to see how the new suspension works:



http://img489.imageshack.us/img489/6972/1000065medium3on.jpg

http://img489.imageshack.us/img489/1717/1000237medium8db.jpg

http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/3088/1000241medium9ae.jpg

http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/1393/1000243medium7st.jpg

http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/448/1000247medium9nm.jpg




The Cherokee's new suspension seemed very well balanced. If you were on a off-camber hill the lean wasn't bad, but once you got it crossed up, it flexed out really well. The suspension makes the ride much more comfortable than the stock short-arm configuration.

My wife drove most of the time and her impressions were as follows. She said there were times where she's approach a rough, rocky spot and, being used to the old suspension would brace for the impact, only to have a surprisingly smooth ride.

Greg@RME
December 31st, 2005, 12:02 PM
A few more...


http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/4010/1000252medium3tp.jpg

http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/7856/1000253medium3fs.jpg

http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/190/1000258medium4su.jpg

http://img483.imageshack.us/img483/2517/1000360medium2nf.jpg

http://img483.imageshack.us/img483/1002/1000362medium6wr.jpg

Ohana Fab
December 31st, 2005, 12:24 PM
Nice thread showing your install as it progressed :)

J.

Frank Z
December 31st, 2005, 12:29 PM
Nice write-up!!

Greg@RME
January 1st, 2006, 10:50 PM
Nice thread showing your install as it progressed :)

J.



Nice write-up!!


Thanks guys! I'm sure the folks with dial-up hate me with all the pics, but... oh well!!

I figure it's fun to see neat parts, but knowing what it took to get them on the rig helps out others who are thinking about the same upgrade.

lowbflat
January 14th, 2006, 03:14 PM
I put a 4" Terraflex long arm on my TJ and it works great! I used Old Man Emu springs though for an extra bit of lift. It was a 2 day project to put it all on including the SYE, but my TJ climbs and flexes great. I put 35" BFG MTR's on and they rub but not so much to do anything about it. Great writeup, thanks for sharing.
MM

whited
March 29th, 2006, 11:03 AM
This is one of the finest posts I have ever seen about any topic on any forum.

:thumbsup: :hail: :thumbsup: :hail: :hail: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Greg@RME
April 5th, 2006, 10:22 PM
This is one of the finest posts I have ever seen about any topic on any forum.

:thumbsup: :hail: :thumbsup: :hail: :hail: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:]


Wow, thanks for the kind comments! :)

Wally
April 6th, 2006, 01:37 PM
http://img483.imageshack.us/img483/1002/1000362medium6wr.jpg

Could we get a little bit closer shot here :flipoff2: I'm really liking what i see :D

Greg@RME
April 7th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Could we get a little bit closer shot here :flipoff2: I'm really liking what i see :D

:P Don't you wish! :D