Bring on the Trails!
We spent the whole afternoon on our first day in the JK and the better part of the second day, as well. Pete Trasborg from JP Magazine and I swapped out time in the driver seat while the other took photos. I knew on the second day that Pete was an ok guy when I saw him yanking the top and doors out of the Jeep first thing in the morning (it was in the low 40's).
A JK on 37" tires looks massive. Already larger than any previous Wrangler, the JK's just look awesome lifted. Their extra length and width tend to make them more stable on the trails, as well - especially on side hills.
This JK did awesome all weekend. Though the factory auto swaybar disconnect almost felt like cheating, it was great have. Disconnecting it allowed the front end to flex out and be more compliant as we tromped over the rocks and ledges. On the side hills and long, steep ascents, reconnecting it lets you feel that much more comfortable on-the-fly.
The suspension worked very well and the ride was comfortable (really). Our kidneys all stayed in place and we experienced no bleeding. Time, settling and abuse will soften up the springs a bit and that will be a good thing, as well, allowing a little more flex on the rocks.
The Wrap up
What's really cool about this kit is that it's really pretty inexpensive as far as lift kits go. Hitting the street around 600 bucks means more money to spend on tires and other goodies on the Jeep. If you want more flex and more adjustability, add the Rockrunner arms. For the most part, though, the out-of-the-box setup should work just fine and come in at half the cost of most TJ kits.
We hope to get a Superlift kit here on a project Jeep soon so we can get more seat time and a true long-term feeling about the kit. Judging, though, by our initial drives and our experience with Superlift in the past, we're confident that this kit has a great future.
The future is pretty much here, too, as these kits should be hitting the shelves right about the time you read this.
OK, so that's not really the whole story from the trip. No 'wheeling trip would be complete without some problems. We did have some that we may as well report here. Please note that they had absolutely nothing to do with Superlift!
While parked at camp, Trent McGee from Superlift was one of the first to discover that Jeep in their infinite wisdom has not fixed one of the biggest issues four-wheelers have faced with the TJ Rubicons. That's right, the front axle joints still use half circle clips. What's that mean? It means that under real off-road conditions they tend to walk and once they walk far enough, the joints come loose and next thing you know you've got a busted axle shaft. Trent noticed our mule's clips a-walkin' and we had our good friend, Mark Hinkley tack weld them back into place so we could go have more fun on the rocks. Thanks Mark!
Of course, it wasn't too long before Mark was put to work helping me out again. Alright, now he who hath not aired down too far and peeled a tire off the bead may cast the first stone. Yup, off the tire went with the Jeep aiming downhill. Oh boy, what fun. Thanks to everyone who jumped in to reseat the tire - especially Russ Baer from Baertrax who laid underneath the Jeep and took a nap. Actually, he was helping by putting pressure on the back side of the tire with his feet.
The crew reseats the tire after it came off the bead.
Russ Baer takes a nap.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Editor of ROCKCRAWLER.com. Michael has owned six Jeeps and gets the most four-wheeling pleaseure beating up other peoples' Jeeps. If you have a 4x4 that you'd like abused and don't mind cleaning and fixing, contact Michael at the email address below.
Michael at [email protected].