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Old 04-12-2008, 09:57 AM   #1
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When we bought the new Wrangler I knew there would be some aftermarket goodies to put on to make it serve our needs. We are a big fan of hitting the trails and back country roads when as we travel around this great country.

I added the Blue Ox base plate, a Rough Country winch mounting plate, and a Warn Ti9500 Winch. All told that comes to nearly 200 pounds of weight added to the front springs. That compressed my front coils 7/8 inch from the factory level, which is already raked from front to back as it comes new.



Rather than just add some spacers to the coils that would lift the front end back up but would do nothing to get back any of the lost spring rate, I opted to have some Rancho leveling coils installed. I not only got back my lost spring rate, but it leveled the Wrangler from front to back, a look I really prefer.



Now with the new springs I get a really comfortable ride, a little increase from the factory rake, and good support for the new added equipment. The total change from stock was an increase of about 1 1/2 inches, and almost 2 1/2 inches from the sag from the new equipment install.



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Old 04-12-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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When we bought the new Wrangler I knew there would be some aftermarket goodies to put on to make it serve our needs. We are a big fan of hitting the trails and back country roads when as we travel around this great country.

I added the Blue Ox base plate, a Rough Country winch mounting plate, and a Warn Ti9500 Winch. All told that comes to nearly 200 pounds of weight added to the front springs. That compressed my front coils 7/8 inch from the factory level, which is already raked from front to back as it comes new.



Rather than just add some spacers to the coils that would lift the front end back up but would do nothing to get back any of the lost spring rate, I opted to have some Rancho leveling coils installed. I not only got back my lost spring rate, but it leveled the Wrangler from front to back, a look I really prefer.



Now with the new springs I get a really comfortable ride, a little increase from the factory rake, and good support for the new added equipment. The total change from stock was an increase of about 1 1/2 inches, and almost 2 1/2 inches from the sag from the new equipment install.



Sarge
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:38 AM   #3
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Absolutley beautiful rig. DW wants me to get a new Jeep but I am reluctant to part with an old friend. The Wrangler (4 door) is the only thing that interests me in the least. Your set up has peaked that interest.
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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I know what you mean Tom. I really loved my 01' TJ, but when it came down to getting a lot more space and some new features in the JK, it changed my mind as well. Funny, the same as you, it was my wife bumping me to look at the new Jeeps

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Old 05-09-2008, 07:43 AM   #5
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We love our 4 door as well. Didn't go with a lot of aftermarket stuff but did a few mods that I found a must. I added a gas strut to the rear door.
Also added grab handles front and back. Wind / bug deflector on the hood, and a dash cover to keep the cheap looking plastic in good shape. The JK is barely noticeable while under tow but people sure to ask a lot of questions about it everywhere we travel.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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Hey Rick,

At Cool Tech, we've been working on a VERY similar strut package to add to the catalog. What we did is to extend the ball bracket on the inside of the Jeep about another 3/4" outward so that the tailgate can move past 90 degrees without breaking the strut. This eliminates the need for a strap. We should have the kit available within the next few days.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:42 AM   #7
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What I didn't want was to have the door go past 90 degrees, there's no reason for it to. If it does the shaft on the gas spring pinches the door seal and puts a little bend in it. Your idea to protrude the inner bracket out a little further would solve that. I could of moved the end that mounts to the tailgate out another .5 to 1.0 but then there would be no place to drill one of the holes to mount the bracket. The tailgate is made of very thin metal and it won't be long before you start to pull out the screws for the bracket. If you gotta live with the Jeep for a long time, add the strap. If you are just selling kits and not worrying about the future, sell them with out. There is a fella on an other site that sells a kit much like the one I developed and you apparently are too, difference is mine is a little more solid and worth the very little extra effort. All the parts for mine where under $40.00. Thanks for the heads up on your kit. No worries though, I'm not putting mine on the market. If anyone would like to gets a parts list, I'd be happy to send it.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:06 AM   #8
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Don't know how safety conscious you are but the gas strut and the rear attaching bracket looks like it could be a problem in an accident.

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Old 05-10-2008, 12:20 PM   #9
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Coming in contact with the strut bracket or the strut coming lose and impaling a passenger.

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Old 05-10-2008, 03:52 PM   #10
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How so? They've been using gas struts on tailgate for ever.I'd be worried about a 32" tire and rim as well but the are there too. I got tired of the door hitting me in the butt and back of the legs, I'll take my chances with impaling guests riding in the back.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #11
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I like your set up Rick, I'd be interested the parts list for your mod.........

Sarge
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:18 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by nota4re:
Hey Rick,

At Cool Tech, we've been working on a VERY similar strut package to add to the catalog. What we did is to extend the ball bracket on the inside of the Jeep about another 3/4" outward so that the tailgate can move past 90 degrees without breaking the strut. This eliminates the need for a strap. We should have the kit available within the next few days. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You've got one sale here. Rick's idea looked great to me but my first thought was I don't need another project figuring angle and mounting points, etc. A pre-made kit is the ticket for me.

BTW, I'm not at all concerned about being impaled by the strut right before the spare tire takes my head off in an accident
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:18 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SargeW:
I like your set up Rick, I'd be interested the parts list for your mod.........

Sarge </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here's the parts list from mcmaster.com.
1 9416K182 1 Each Gas Spring With Threaded Ends, 30 Force, 18.22" Extended Length, 7.87" Stroke
2 9416K86 2 Each Nylon 10 Mm Ball Socket End Fitting For, Gas Spring With Threaded Ends
3 9512K12 2 Each Ball Mounting Hardware, 304 SS 90 Deg Angle Long Neck Ball Bracket
Total delivered was under 40.00, including the stuff for the lower strap. It took about 1 hour to install. The door strap and brackets are off the shelf parts from any Jeep dealer online. I don't have that info but it's not hard to put together. If you need close ups on the strap and brackets, just ask. Otherwise they come from a 2005ish Wrangler.
I added a door stop strap so the gas strut didn't bottom out with the door open. The steel that the tailgate is made out of is "El Cheapo". I'm not sure how long the strain from the gas strut would make the screw holes rip out of the bracket. I think the lower strap will help with that.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:36 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If you gotta live with the Jeep for a long time, add the strap. If you are just selling kits and not worrying about the future, sell them with out. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Every product we've come out with at Cool Tech has been a product for the long haul. We have not cut corners on products in the past and don't want to start now.

The gas strut is at its most extended position when the gate is at 90 degrees. The highest stress on the mount will come when the tailgate is moved off of 90 degrees. As long as there is no binding between the body and the strut, the addition of a strap does not in itself reduce stress or add to the longevity of the mount. As you accuartely point out, there is typically little need to go beyond 90 degrees with the gate, and the strut action makes 90 almost a "detent" position. Moving the gate beyond 90 degrees or starting to close the gate both serve to try to compress the strut.

Regarding the potential danger of this strut to passengers in an accident - I suppose anything can happen but I sure don't see how this would even be a concern. The strut is behind and below the rear seat and there's not *that* much pressure in a strut so as to harm someone.
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