Jeep Wrangler JK has been around since 2006 as a vehicle of the 2007 model and has significantly changed and expanded the Jeep world on several fronts. This Jeep, with its coil-sprung, solid axle suspension, was a further development of the Jeep Wrangler TJ, and although TJ is known for having a smooth ride in its own right, the JK was a clear improvement. Yet, like most jeeps, enthusiasts have modified JK’s since its inception, and the development of new parts to modify them has been constant since 2007. One of our favorite suspension companies, Skyjacker, has kept its suspension designs particularly fresh despite the passage of time. . A few years ago, Skyjacker redesigned most of its coil-based suspension kits and upgraded the company’s coil springs from single speed to double stroke (the benefits of using a double spring are several, and we’ll touch on some of those benefits later). However, this change is not all that the company has done. The shock technology is changing rapidly in the aftermarket, and in line with that, Skyjacker has introduced several different optional shock absorbers for use with their suspension system, the latest being the new ADX 2.0 Adventure Series line. We recently got a chance to upgrade a friend’s two-door JK Sport 2013 with Skyjacker’s double coil springs and a set of ADX 2.0 Adventure Series dampers. Here are the details.
What’s new with Skyjackers dual speed coil springs?
The truth is that Skyjacker has had these dual coil springs for the Jeep Wrangler JK for a while, and we have known about them but we have not had a chance to use them yet. Still, we love the idea of coils with double speeds and long movements on almost all 4x4s that use coil springs. Here’s how it works: The more tightly wound spirals at the top of the spring give the softer first degree that gives the vehicle a smooth ride over small bumps (like when you are on the highway), and also allow the spring to stretch when the vehicle is bent or articulated, which keeps the spring longer in the spools at both ends; Once these top coils have been completely compressed during a bump or turn, the second speed enters the lower, wider coils, giving a firmer feel to absorb larger shocks and helping to keep the vehicle in control and stable in turns. This is a stylish design that gives results on and terrain.
What’s new with Skyjackers ADX 2.0 Adventure Series Shocks?
Brand new to the market are Skyjackers ADX 2.0 Adventure Series dampers. Most details are here. These shock absorbers have an impact-extruded and CNC-machined T6061-T6 monotube body made of aluminum with a remote-mounted reservoir and a durable, clear anodised and polished aluminum finish. The aluminum body and the reservoir help to dissipate heat, which is the enemy to shocks on terrain. The completely offset valve system is inspired by off-road racing shock absorbers. Inside the shock tank, high-pressure nitrogen gas provides IFP (internal liquid piston) performance. Each shock absorber is a custom valve for your specific vehicle. The end result is a shock that provides consistent control with excellent heat dissipation. The front shock absorbers for the Jeep JK wrangler also come with large rubber bushings and easy-to-assemble lower rubber bushings, as well as brackets to hold the remote container. The rear shock absorbers are also easy to install.
Installation of the lifting kit
We took part in a day to install Skyjacker’s 2- to 2.5-inch Dual Rate suspension with the new ADX 2.0 Adventure Series dampers on our friend Kenny Garcia’s 2013 two-door Jeep Wrangler Sport. The job is quite simple and basically consists of replacing the coil springs, the new shock absorbers, bumpstop extensions front and rear, and a bracket to even out the rear track bar after the suspension lift has been added (this minimizes the rear end shimmy when going over quickly large bumps). We also added a steering stabilizer to replace the factory unit. Kenny has removed the rear anti-sway bar from the factory and developed a smart way to disconnect the front anti-sway bar by welding small tabs to the spring coil bucket. He then loosens the links to the swing bar, turns them over and screws them into the tab when not in use.
Installation of lifting kit at the front
Following the instructions provided, we started with the front suspension by loosening the shaft end of the track bar and removing the drawbar end of the drawbar from the guide spindle. We also opened the metal bracket that holds the factory brake line under the spool bucket. This allowed the brake line to move, allowing more movement as the vehicle bends.
We stapled a washer on the spool bracket so that we could tie the brake line in place.
With the axle supported and the factory dampers and springs removed, we drilled holes and installed the front bumpstop spacers, according to the instructions.
We then installed the new Skyjackers coil springs with double speeds and the new shock absorbers.
The hole for the shaft end on the rail was slightly enlarged due to wear, so we made a few tabs of eight-inch sheet steel to weld over the front and back.
When that was done, we reinstalled the rail and guide, and turned the bolts according to the factory specifications.
Lift kit installation at the rear
With the front buttoned up, we moved to the back of the jeep, where the installation is similar and quite simple.
Again, support the shaft and remove the springs and factory dampers. We detached the factory brake lines from the outside of the frame rail to allow the shaft to fall sufficiently to remove the springs without damaging the brake lines and the ABS lines.
We then installed the new springs, the rear bumpstop spacers and then the new ADX 2.0 dampers.
The last step is to install the strap bar bracket, which keeps the strap bar level with the newly added suspension lift. The bracket bolts in place, but requires drilling a hole for another bolt. We then added some small seam welds to the bracket to keep it from moving.
Since we plan to drive this Jeep hard terrain in the coming years, we also took some 3/4 x 1/8-inch steel straps and made some drop mounts for the brake lines. This ensures that the brake lines are not stressed when the jeep bends terrain. It is probably not necessary on jeeps that will not go off-road much, but gives us a little more peace of mind when we are on the trail. Finally, we tightened the bolts according to the factory specifications and installed the tires and wheels.
Time to ride a quad bike
With the new lift complete and a set of 35×12.50R17 tires installed, we headed to our local terrain area to see how Skyjacker Dual Speed Coils and Skyjacker ADX 2.0 Adventure Series Shocks performed. The results were everything we could have hoped for.
The coils allow lots of flexibility (especially with the front anti-sway bar disconnected) and the dual-speed coils offer a smooth walk on the sidewalk, over a dirt road or in a washroom. The shocks also felt fantastic and sucked up the washboards and the hops in the dry laundry we blasted down.