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ZJ rear suspension noise after long arm 6" lift installed.

Old 04-15-2017, 02:27 AM
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Default ZJ rear suspension noise after long arm 6" lift installed.

I had a Rubicon long arm lift installed on my 1998 ZJ. The overall lift was 6 inches. After installation the Jeep performed very well off road and I was pleased with the performance. However, after just a time or two on trails I began to hear a creaking or groaning type of sound coming from the rear suspension area. The installer suggested the noise was caused by unibody frame twisting/flexing but I have doubts that the noise is caused by that for a couple of reasons. One is that the noise seems to occur when driving on the street rather than off road. When driving off road and really causing the suspension to flex the noise is minimal or gone completely! Often the noise happens when backing up out of my driveway when very little flex occurs or off road when minimal stress is occurring like when cornering.

The rear sway bar is functional and in good condition. The links appear to be the stock units. A friend suggested that I do away with the rear sway bar as he felt the 6 inch lift is putting stress on the sway bar and causing the noise I described. My question is do other ZJ builds have a similar problem or do owners simply remove the rear sway bar to gain off road performance? Or, are there other suggestions in regard to what the noise might be and how to eliminate it?
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Old 07-08-2017, 03:23 PM
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In my opinion and experience, stock configured swaybars are not compatible with a six inch lift. The geometry will be off which will interfere with articulation of axle.
The swaybar needs to be at a specific angle at ride height. With it being drooped six inches it can definitely put added stresses on chassis that will cause strange noises. Also the swaybar bushings/connections will be out of whack and likely to make noise.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:30 PM
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A swaybar's function is to twist and transfer body weight to the opposite wheel in a turn, thus keeping the body roll minimal. I'd first of all try adding 6" to the length of the links. The bent ends of the bar should be about parallel with the ground.

I added a 7/8" Addco swaybar to the rear of my 67 Camaro for autocross and gymkhana. I was constantly snapping the links. After I found links that didn't break, the frame end mounts ripped out of the body. That shows you how much force is involved when trying to drift it around corners.

Last edited by dave1123; 07-12-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:17 PM
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On the XJ and WJ the rear swaybar links are short and end before rim of wheel for clearance. Extending them will cause contact with carcass of tire.
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