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I got a chance to burn a trail this Saturday morning with a couple of local Jeepers. We met up, bought some coffee at the convenience store, and headed off to the trail at 6:00 AM (wanted to beat the summer Phoenix heat). A 15 minute drive down the freeway brought us to the turn off and unofficial air down spot. 10 minutes later, we were heading down the access trail and working our way back to Upper Tax Collector (also known as Firebird). I chose this trail because it is fairly short (we wanted to be done by mid-morning) and we have used it for similar shake down runs. Basically, it was an uneventful trip. No parts fell off, I didn't get stuck, the long arm lift exceeded my expectations (I really liked it on the rough access road), my lockers worked fine, the steering did everything it should have done, I didn't detect any rear steer (one obstacle on this trail has really emphasizes it on many vehicles), I drug the new belly pan across some rocks (it is no longer a virgin), the alumi-flex arms never touched a rock (did I mention they are magic?), I can unseat the front coils during droop, no death wobble at freeway speeds (not even a hint of it), and the new rear diff guard did its job. So, like I said, it was an uneventful run....BUT IT SURE WAS FUN! I picked some of the biggest rocks in the wash to play on and completely enjoyed doing so! Here are a couple of pics. If Joey, John, or Brandon send me some, I'll add them when they arrive.
Same rock as the above pic....yes, it was a climb to get the tire up on it....I had to turn on the front ARB! The low spot (I am standing in it) made it interesting, especially when I decided to climb back in!
OK, so this isn't really a suspension shot, but it had been a while since I had seen that much of a fold in my MT/Rs sidewall.
It was about here that I decided I need to loosen up the Currie Anti-rock front sway bar. I talked to a mechanical engineering friend of mine (who also happens to be a good Jeepin' buddy), and ran a couple of questions past him. He told me that it was OK to run the Currie links in different positions (on each of the arms). I need to do some checking but I think I have room to put the driver's side link in the softest position. Doing so will loosen up the front axle a bit and allow the axle to droop better. The fact that I was climbing didn't help a bit....the weight transfer to the rear allows the front end to unload and spring compression is greatly reduced.
We made it to the end of Upper Tax Collector just as the sun was burning through the morning cloud cover. Perfect timing....things were starting to warm up for a typical July day in Phoenix. I raided the cooler one more time for a bottle of ice cold water. We headed back to the air up spot, said our goodbyes, and headed for home.
Note: Here are a few pictures taken on 11/22/03
after we got off of the Upper Woodpecker trail. We were discussing springs
and flex and I parked mine on a rock to so we could see how close to the bump
stops I was. Basically, I don't have enough weight to fully compress the
springs. Warning, these are approximately 1 MB in size (high res camera
and not reduced in size.)
Alumiflex-1 - front spring is about 3" unseated
Alumiflex-2 - other side, same pose
Alumiflex-3 - yes, the Antirock does twist....you would be hard pressed to say it is limiting my flex (the other arm is sitting in the middle hole.
Alumiflex-4 - same view, just moved back a bit
Alumiflex-5 - gotta
love the ways those sidewall flex (driver's side rear)
And a few more pics taken on various trails during the months following the new lift install. As you can see, the springs are becoming much more compliant and my flex is getting to where I would expect it to be. A friend had told me it would take the better part of 6 months to get the Skyjacker springs to work well.....and he was right on the money.
Alumiflex-6 - first we twist it one way
Alumiflex-7 - then we twist it the other way
Alumiflex-8 - after about 5 months, the springs are compressing much better, but no change in static height (no spring sag)
Alumiflex-9 - same pic as the one above, just moved back a bit