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John Stewart

4x4 Tech: A look at axle wrap prevention devices

Don't let this happen to your springs. Springs can deflect to take this shape under load, when the pinion has rotated up in reaction to the torque applied to the tires

Axle wrap is a problem that plagues leaf sprung vehicles with soft springs, particularly those that are set up SOA (Spring Over Axle). Axle wrap is something different than wheel hop. Wheel hop is when an axle on your 4x4 rapidly hops up and down. Axle wrap is unwanted suspension movement that allows the pinion angle to change. Wheel hop is annoying and could cause drivetrain breakage, but usually it's not the actual hopping that breaks parts, it's the axle wrap that results from the hop that causes drivelines to bind and breaks yokes, drive shafts, and sometimes even pinions.

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John Stewart

Jeep Tech: All About Frames


The Jeep Technical frame pages are all about frames for Jeep vehicles. Jeeps used regular channel frames, boxed frames, and tube frames. Later Jeeps use a frameless uni-body construction in the XJ, ZJ, and WJ. Your frame might not be up to the task of hard use, especially if it is old. Frame boxing and gusseting can prevent frame cracks. Skid plates and cross members are also covered in the frame section.

Read more about Jeep Tech: All About Frames in the 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

Tube It Out!

Tube It Out! Building a tube rockbuggy

There are many ways that tubing out portions of your four wheeler can improve it's off road performance. It can improve departure and approach angles, allow more engine cooling, protect the engine and radiator in case of roll over, allow larger tires with no lift, and improve visibility. Maybe the best reason is it just looks cool.

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John Stewart

Need Clearance? Relocate shock mount brackets

Rubicon Express Shock Mount BracketsEveryone needs a little extra ground clearance and what better way than a simple shock mount relocation?

Spring lifts provide a combination of ground clearance and space for axle/tire articulation to accommodate travel over rough terrain.  However, the spring pack hanging below the axle has always been a problem to overcome.

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John Stewart

When Springs Break (Part 4)

Front spring installedWas it the springs?  Was it the installation?  Was it the combination?  Within a two week period, I had experienced two emergency repair situations with leaf springs; overall, two broken and two bent springs.  The suspension was a not performing as it should.  4x4 isn't much good without a functional suspension system.

The “Spring Saga” began with “Options for the height challenged” which was a spring-over lift for my 1994 Jeep YJ.  As I was replacing a 4 inch spring lift, new springs were necessary.  The basic lift components were Rubicon Express and I opted for Rubicon Express springs which provided 1.5 inch of spring lift in addition to the spring over lift.  And, I was able to remove the two inch body lift and still clear 35 inch tires.  

While the combination was a great performer on the articulation challenges of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, a major deficiency was soon apparent.  After the breaks and emergency repairs, serious questions were in order.  Why should brand new springs break and bend that easy?  What is it about a spring-over that created this situation?

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