This is my current project
A full redesign of my 98 ZJ suspension.
If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it again...
Now any one of these designs would work and could have been just modified to fix the one or two issues that they have. It just took me a while to figure that out.
I wanted to take my time and research suspension design before I did it again. For some light reading might I suggest these posts on Pirate4x4. They will make your head hurt, I read them all at least 5 times until I knew what they were referring to.
Gen3 has begun - Third time is the charm, it's either that or three strikes and you're out.
Random notes about the setup so far.
If you run front LCA mounts on the sub-frame rail, you will limit your turning radius with the tire hitting the control arms. If you run a small offset wheel like 3.25" you may not rub. I have TJ canyons and 1.25" spidertrax wheel spacers, netting me 4.25" backspacing, and I rubbed. I thought no big deal I will just adjust the steering stops. They would not adjust big enough to stop the rubbing. After 1 year of driving that way, I ripped the LCA off the axle by pushing the tire into the control arm.
I don't remember the number but I think that a stock ZJ had a 33' turing radius and mine was 39', that is a big difference, my new one will be tighter than stock. My rear setup will also allow for a mild rear steer setup with the double triangulated 4-links.
I have fully welded front and rear x-members. I had the sides built already; I modified them and then built the new x-members. With the sides in place, I clamped the x-members and tacked in place. Then I lowered the whole thing down and welded it. It is easy enough to install, with 2 jacks and 2 people. I installed it myself and 30 mins later I had it bench pressed in place and swore not to ever do it again. It weighs about 120 lbs. After finishing it, it now weighs 200lbs.
It would be very hard to mass produce it that way, unless people were willing to weld the x-member in place. Every Jeep is different. I could not expect to take my sub-frame off and install it on another ZJ.
I can drop my TCase down through the 2 x-members and slide the tranny back, then down and out the front. All with the full suspension intact. I will have a full skid plate from the front x-member to the rear x-member. I built it with a modification to this. I have a single post through the center, I can easily cut it out and re-weld it if I need the TC out.
I do not weld my sub-frame on either. I drilled holes through the uni-body frame rails and welded in sleeves to run bolts through. I used 3/4" .120 and 1/2" grade 8 bolts. I chose .120 wall because of its similar thickness to the uni-body.