Exchanging the capable stock suspension system (front-passenger corner pictured) of this Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited Rubicon for the even more capable Skyjacker 3.5–4-inch Suspension Lift Dual Rate Long Travel Lift Kit System with Skyjacker Black MAX shocks and Skyjacker 2–4-inch Single Flex Lower Links gave our rig a whole new set of powerful legs with which to climb over obstacles.
We’ve watched as the new Jeep JL Wrangler continues to conquer just about everything in sight. At the same time, the off-road aftermarket has been responding to Jeep’s new Wrangler by cranking out hundreds of new parts and accessories to upgrade and outfit one of the newest stars in the Jeep universe. We’ve been especially keen on all the new suspension and handling products for the Jeep Wrangler JL that have become available over the last year or so. Skyjacker jumped into that arena early on and has continued to refine its JL suspension system offerings, including one of its newest kits that’s specially designed for the Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited Rubicon— Skyjacker’s (skyjacker.com) 3.5–4-inch Suspension Lift Dual Rate Long Travel Lift Kit System with Skyjacker Black MAX shocks.
In this kit (PN JL40RBPBLT) you get dual-rate coil springs for front and rear, front and rear extended antisway bar endlinks, front and rear bump stop extensions, front adjustable track bar, rear track bar drop bracket, and four Skyjacker Black MAX shock absorbers. M95 Series monotube shocks are available as an optional upgrade. All the necessary replacement hardware is included, but much of the factory hardware is retained and reused. The kit also included front and rear eccentric cam D-bolts for rotating the axles to adjust pinion angle, which we didn’t need because we paired the suspension lift system with Skyjacker’s Wrangler JL (2–4-inch) Single Flex Front and Rear Lower Link Set (PN JL24LLX). The new lower links are hugely strong in comparison to the factory lower links and feature a single adjustable rod end (to the frame) that allowed for any needed pinion angle adjustments, improved suspension articulation, and took some stress off the brackets.
The Skyjacker Dual Rate Long Travel coils feature a tightly wound upper top half with a lighter spring rate that works to create a smooth and controlled highway ride, while the more loosely wound lower half has a higher spring rate that engages during heavy off-road suspension movement for consistent control and stability. The new coils are designed for maximum suspension droop to keep the tires on the ground and keep the coils from being pulled from their upper coil buckets. Dual-rate Skyjacker coils provide superior overall performance compared to the factory linear-rate coils.
Packed inside a Skyjacker Black MAX shock is a foam cell insert that compresses when the shock gets hot from working hard, compensating for oil expansion and maintaining consistent damping performance throughout a broad operating temperature range. This helps with increased heat dissipation and fade reduction, and it eliminates air inside the shocks so the shock body can be mounted in any direction. The pistons are sintered iron, end mounts are 360-degree–welded, and it’s packed with heavy-duty control discs. The shock valving is custom-tuned to match the specific vehicle application, so you’re not getting a one-size-fits-all product.
A few important details: The drag link must be adjusted to center the steering before the vehicle is driven. Failure to do so will cause computer errors, odd handling characteristics, and poor performance. If tires larger than 10 percent greater than factory are installed, speedometer recalibration will be necessary. After installation, a professional alignment is required to align the vehicle to factory specifications.
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