Trailmaster suspension - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Trailmaster suspension

I'm looking at getting getting the trail master 3 inch suspension lift and was wondering what the pros and cons are of the lift. I've tried using the search button but had no luck. Thanks guys/gals

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post #2 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 05:23 PM
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A 3" lift should include or be supplemented with (at the minimum):
  • coil springs
  • extended brakelines
  • longer, quality shocks
  • front adjustable trackbar
  • rear adjustable trackbar and/or rear axle side trackbar relocation bracket (properly braced)
  • longer front and rear swaybar links (front swaybar quick disconnect links if not for a Rubicon)
  • adjustable front lower control arms or front control arm drop brackets
  • front and rear extended bumpstops
  • if a 2 door, rear lower coil degree correction wedges and coil retainers

If you have an automatic, you will eventually need a new front driveshaft.

So, if you buy the Trailmaster kit, you should supplement it with everything it is missing.


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post #3 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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I may go with a 2 or 2.5 then I'm not wanting to have to replace drive shafts yet. I've only got 9000 miles on it.

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post #4 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Its my dd and won't see any hardcore wheelin for a little while. Mostly weekends on the beach and trails at the off road park

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post #5 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 07:23 PM
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What size tires do you want to run?


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post #6 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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35s at the most.

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post #7 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 07:37 PM
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Don't forget extended bump stops

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post #8 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 08:23 PM
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Are you going to ever add a winch or a steel front bumper?


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post #9 of 20 Old 02-20-2014, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Both later on. I have a small budget to work with.

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post #10 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 05:50 AM
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What can you get away with

I run a 3" lift right now. Some things you don't have to add right away...

You don't have to have extended brake lines with a 3" but you do need to disconnect brake line bracket in the front and use a relocator in the back for normal driving. I wheel mine like this as well and they are still working fine. I can actually flex out and they are fine.

Have to have a rear track bar relocation bracket but the front will still fit in place. Will be a nicer ride if changed out though.

Drive shaft will last a long time (in most cases) with a 3" but it does wear down at that angle.

Stock tires you don't need larger bump stops. If you go to larger tires you need larger bump stops.

Exhaust spacer is not a bad idea. Can be run without them.

Overall you can start with just a few pieces to lift it but be ready to add parts randomly if something does break. You don't have to buy a full "stage 3" lift to drive right away but there is a better chance of breaking a part if you don't.
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post #11 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13_jk_unlimited View Post
Both later on. I have a small budget to work with.

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If you aren't going to run larger than 35s in the future and you are gonig to run a heavier front bumper, either a Teraflex or AEV 2.5" coil lift with shock extensions will work fine.

With a 2.5" lift, you can get by without adjustable front lower control arm and still have reasonable caster alignment specs.

With 2.5", you can get by without an adjustable front trackbar.

You will need 2.5" extended bumpstops to run 35s with stock fender flares.

With just shock extensions, or with most socks appropriate for a 2.5" lift, you can get by with just rear brakeline relocation brackets.

With a 2.5" lift, you can get by moving the rear swaybar links to the front and just adding longer rear links.

3" is really the point where if you don't add those other components, you alignment specs are off, shocks appropriate for that amount of lift are too long for stock brakelines, extended bumpstops are needed to prevent both the shocks and the springs from bottoming out, you need both front and rear longer swaybar links, etc., etc.


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post #12 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by planman View Post
If you aren't going to run larger than 35s in the future and you are gonig to run a heavier front bumper, either a Teraflex or AEV 2.5" coil lift with shock extensions will work fine.

With a 2.5" lift, you can get by without adjustable front lower control arm and still have reasonable caster alignment specs.

With 2.5", you can get by without an adjustable front trackbar.

You will need 2.5" extended bumpstops to run 35s with stock fender flares.

With just shock extensions, or with most socks appropriate for a 2.5" lift, you can get by with just rear brakeline relocation brackets.

With a 2.5" lift, you can get by moving the rear swaybar links to the front and just adding longer rear links.

3" is really the point where if you don't add those other components, you alignment specs are off, shocks appropriate for that amount of lift are too long for stock brakelines, extended bumpstops are needed to prevent both the shocks and the springs from bottoming out, you need both front and rear longer swaybar links, etc., etc.


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I have to disagree about the front track bar for a 2.5" lift. The rear can get by with a raised axle side track bar bracket but the front really should have an adjustable track bar because the front will likely net 3.0-3.5" lift with TF or any 2.5" springs. I had a 2.5" BB and it put the front and rear axles more off center than expected about 3/4" or so IIRC.

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post #13 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
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I have to disagree about the front track bar for a 2.5" lift. The rear can get by with a raised axle side track bar bracket but the front really should have an adjustable track bar because the front will likely net 3.0-3.5" lift with TF or any 2.5" springs. I had a 2.5" BB and it put the front and rear axles more off center than expected about 3/4" or so IIRC.
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 09:26 AM
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Disagreeing with Planman, hahahahaaahahahahahah bahahahhhahaahaha.





.................That was a joke, right?
Nah after just 1000 miles with a 2.5 BB and stock track bars the front lower bushing is tweaked permanently. It would have come apart soon after. After my wobble BS I am big on making sure the track bars are sorted correctly.
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post #15 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 09:34 AM
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Hmm. I ran a 2.5 BB on one of my JKs for about 10k miles with the stock bar. No weirdness, no wobble, and no unexpected wear. In fact I had zero trouble getting the track bar in place after I completed the lift. If it was 3/4" off I would have know it and it would have been a pain in the ass to get back in. Every Jeep is different I guess.

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post #16 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 10:18 AM
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Hmm. I ran a 2.5 BB on one of my JKs for about 10k miles with the stock bar. No weirdness, no wobble, and no unexpected wear. In fact I had zero trouble getting the track bar in place after I completed the lift. If it was 3/4" off I would have know it and it would have been a pain in the ass to get back in. Every Jeep is different I guess.
I never had any wobble with the 2.5" BB and stock track bars but I had to push it over while the guy helping me put the bolt through and it had to go over quite a bit. Rear was the same but opposite direction. It was noticable having one tire sticking out one way the other sticking out the other. I need to take a picture of the front axle side joint. It is tweaked quite a bit from being torqued sideways and has stayed that way for months just sitting off the Jeep.
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 12:04 PM
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Nah after just 1000 miles with a 2.5 BB and stock track bars the front lower bushing is tweaked permanently. It would have come apart soon after. After my wobble BS I am big on making sure the track bars are sorted correctly.

The bushing damage was because all control arm and trackbar bolts absolutely must be loosened when lift height is changed and not retorqued until after the full weight of the vehicle is back on the springs so that the bushings are pinched between the brackets in a neutral position.

Otherwise, the stock rubber bushings are pre-loaded/twisting/binding to the wrong ride height, and the bushings will wear out prematurely.

You are correct in that if 2.5" springs net more than 2.5" lift, then an adjustable front trackbar and front lower adjustable control arms are needed.

It is important to find out from manufacturers the actual expected net lift given the buyer's application.


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post #18 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 12:46 PM
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The bushing damage was because all control arm and trackbar bolts absolutely must be loosened when lift height is changed and not retorqued until after the full weight of the vehicle is back on the springs so that the bushings are pinched between the brackets in a neutral position.

Otherwise, the stock rubber bushings are pre-loaded/twisting/binding to the wrong ride height, and the bushings will wear out prematurely.

You are correct in that if 2.5" springs net more than 2.5" lift, then an adjustable front trackbar and front lower adjustable control arms are needed.

It is important to find out from manufacturers the actual expected net lift given the buyer's application.


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Pretty much all 2.5" lifts net 3.5-4" front lift on 2 door JKs because the springs are not 2/4 door specific. My RK 3.5 triple rates netted 5.25" front lift and 4" rear lift on my 2 door for example.
The bushings for the track bars and control arsm were loosened and retorqued on the ground. The rubber axle side bushing was twisted to the side because of the torque on it from it being pulled on.
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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I think its going to be a 2.5 inch. Just not sure which company I'm going to go with.

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post #20 of 20 Old 02-21-2014, 06:56 PM
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Pretty much all 2.5" lifts net 3.5-4" front lift on 2 door JKs because the springs are not 2/4 door specific. My RK 3.5 triple rates netted 5.25" front lift and 4" rear lift on my 2 door for example.

The bushings for the track bars and control arsm were loosened and retorqued on the ground. The rubber axle side bushing was twisted to the side because of the torque on it from it being pulled on.

The OP has an Unlimited.

The answer to the spring issue is to either buy shorter springs--i.e. RK 1.5" springs to net close to 2.5" on a 2 door--or to buy springs that are 2 door or 4 door specific.

That is an interesting issue with the trackbar bushing. How did the trackbar bushing twist any differently than it would have at no lift or an adjustable trackbar rubber bushing would with a lift?

Wouldn't the load on the bushing be mainly to side-to-side, with only slight tortional twisting as the suspension cycles, with regular on-road driving?


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