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theksmith

Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon (Gadget)

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beautiful sunrise yesterday

 

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oil change and hit all the grease points this past weekend as Gadget rolled over the 156k mile mark!

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i recently switched from Apex AutoLYNX sway bar disconnect system to the ORO SwayLOC. there was nothing wrong with my AutoLYNX, they just didn't have quite as much travel as my shocks, and so i wasn't able to take advantage of all the potential articulation. 

 

the SwayLOC mounts to the factory locations but is a selectable dual rate system. it has one really light bar for off-road and then a stiffer bar for on-road. the on-road setting is supposedly a bit stiffer than the OEM sway bar, which is a nice bonus for a lifted rig on the highway IMO.

 

the off-road bar is so small that with a heavy rig, i don't really think it does much. i certainly doesn't limit my articulation any when fully flexing out for a poser shot!

 

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to switch on/off-road mode, you simply flip a spring loaded lever. you don't have to be perfectly level, just flip it then drive and the latch will engage or disengage as soon as the axle hits level for a split second.

 

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note the 2 black "arms" here pointing different directions. this is what happens when the system is in off-road mode (unlatched). basically the 2 sides of the axle are only connected by the internal small torsion bar at that time. when you flip to on-road-mode, the arms latch together and both the small inner and large outer torsion bars are then connected.

 

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this system took a fair bit longer to get installed and dialed in than the AutoLYNX. most of that was because of my rig's aftermarket complications. i had to shift everything to one side to clear my Synergy track bar brace, install some spacers to clear the VKS Fab frame chop bumper, and get the links adjusted just right to clear my flipped drag link but not let the arms hit the front-most body mount brackets. 

 

the AutoLYNX just worked without any modifications and i think they are still the best solution for most people.

 

of course after it was all dialed in, i eventually painted most of the new components black ;)

 

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anyway, i'm happy with the new system. it was an expensive way to get just a little more articulation, but the SwayLOC can still grow with the rig (like if i ever go to coilovers)!

 

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Edited by theksmith
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messin around in the desert the other morning.

 

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Edited by theksmith
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i swapped my 1st gen Synergy front trackbar & sector-shaft brace for their new version. the new one can work with my PSC big-bore steering box (with the additional purchase of a $40 nut and a $100 bearing block!). this one also mounts the sector-shaft brace portion differently so it doesn't stick out away from the frame as much - which means i can better center the SwayLoc without it hitting this bracket.

 

new one on left:

 

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i was also able to trim a little metal from it to give the SwayLoc arm even more clearance.

 

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this almost turned into an all-day project as i cross-threaded one of the steering box bolts while trying to put everything back together! there's no way to get a tap in there to fix it without completely removing the steering box, which would have been a giant PITA.

 

fortunately i found a workaround to not remove the box. i was able to use a die to clean up the bolt threads, start it correctly, tighten just a little bit at a time, then remove and clean up with the die and insert a little further over and over again till it had fixed the box's threads. 

 

these giant tap & die sets from Harbor Freight have saved the day for me several times!

 

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here's the new brace installed. i don't have the sector-shaft part in yet because i'm still waiting for Synergy to send me that additional nut and bearing block.

 

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you can see i also swapped the lowest bolt for an allen head and flipped it so only the head sticks out - again for clearance with the SwayLoc arm.

 

after all this i was only able to slide the SwayLoc towards the passenger side just over 3/8". however, it appears that was enough to stop the driver side tire from rubbing the arm at full lock - which was the goal!

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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another little change with the SwayLoc...

 

after the heims on the links loosened up a bit, then when the links would twist the heim bodies would smack the end of their travel and make a "TONK!" sound. it wasn't horrible, but still annoyed me.

 

i found that JKS Part #2035 works well as complete replacement links to get rid of the heims and did eliminate that particular noise. there's still a small clunk that i think is coming from the latch mechanism itself - but i have an idea for how to fix that as well, so stay tuned!

 

the new JKS links:

 

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Edited by theksmith
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a while back i changed one end of my trackbar from a Synergy DDB that kept wearing out too fast, to a custom Johnny Joint end. i needed a 12* offset stud on the joint which no-one seemed to sell, so i had to make one by cutting, bending and re-welding a joint with a straight stud. @ob1jeeper saw my post and let me know that welding on that forged joint wasn't ideal because it would likely cause the forged steel to become brittle and then this rather important joint could fail completely.

 

the correct weld-ready Johnny Joint to fit a track bar bracket was readily available. and after a little searching, i found a stud with the correct 7/8-14 LH threads in regular mild steel. i've had those 2 parts sitting on my workbench for months...

 

today i finally got around to die grinding the end of the new stud to mate to the joint at the required 12* angle and welding it up:

 

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here's the final part with the Johny Joint assembled:

 

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thankfully my previous custom end based on the forged part had not yet failed. regardless, i'm much more confident in this one knowing everything is made of mild steel that was intended to be welded. thanks for looking out for me Steve!

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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on the way to the eclipse, i stopped at a big tunnel to play around with some photos...

 

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Edited by theksmith
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