June 6, 2022
Starting in 1997, all Jeep Wranglers use four control arms to isolate each axle and a track bar to center it. If your Jeep is still running the stock track bars, your axles may not be properly centered. This can create alignment issues which can result in poor handling and uneven tire wear. A quick fix for this can be had by upgrading to an adjustable track bar. Rough Country offers track bars for all-years of the coil-spring Wrangler platform, so you can dial in your front and rear axles precisely. Simply pick the lift height that your Jeep is currently equipped with and order the appropriate length track bar. This seeming simple solution can make a world of difference.
Another item that can sometimes be overlooked is the angle at which your control arms are operating. From the factory, the control arm angle is very little. As you lift your Wrangler, you increase the angle of the arms. This can make a significant impact on the ride and handling of the Jeep. One of the simplest and most budget-friendly ways to get your control arms back to a more neutral position is to bolt in a pair of control-arm relocation brackets. The JK relocation bracket kit shown here (RC SKU 110600) lowers the upper and lower front control arms, thus reducing the operating angle of the suspension members. This will get the arm angles closer to how the factory intended resulting in better handling and ride quality.
If your Jeep feels like a boat being tossed around on the ocean when driving over rough roads, it’s probably time for a new set of shocks. Adding on larger tires and additional accessories can quickly overwhelm your factory shocks. Just like your Jeeps brake pads, your rigs shock absorbers breakdown over time as well. While Rough Country offers a few tiers of shock absorbers, if you are looking for the absolute best way to dial in your suspension, we recommend Rough Country Vertex series. These will allow you to increase and decrease the compression dampening of the shock with the simple turn of a knob. This gives you ultimate control over how soft or firm you want your suspension to feel.
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Proper tire balancing can eliminate shake and smooth out small vibrations you feel fairly quickly. This is something we recommend having done at the same time as alignment when possible. Be sure to go to a shop that is experienced with larger tires as it can make a difference. If you are unsure of one that’s near you, you can use our dealer locator here on our website to find a shop in your area.
While the Wrangler is our core focus, many of these upgrades and proper-fix techniques can be applied to the Jeep Cherokee XJ and Grand Cherokee (ZJ/WJ) applications as well.