By Jon Maib
It's hard to believe that it has been 24 years since we started C4x4. Looking back to the beginning, we still have and use one of our very first project vehicles, a 1997 Jeep Wrangler. It was purchased used in '98 or early '99 and the day we took ownership of it, we had it off-road on a snow run. Nothing hard core, but it was on the trail day one. That was when we knew we needed to build the Jeep and see what it could do. Back then, there wasn't YouTube or Instagram to gather millions of followers, it was simple web page. We put together a project page and began working on the TJ. We reached out to companies to see if anyone wanted to partner with us on the build. Skyjacker was one of the first companies to reach out with interest in helping us build our TJ. They sent us one of their 6" Rock Ready long arm kits for the Jeep. We did the install and did a write up on the install process. In fact, we still have the archived article you can see HERE. We installed the lift and then took the Jeep out for some pics (As you can see, even camera technology has improved since '99).

This Jeep has been everything from daily driver to dedicated trail rig and everything in between. We have thrown all sorts of stuff at it and it has never let us down. The Skyjacker suspension has worked flawlessly with no issues. Over the years, we have had to replace heim joints and bushings, but those are normal wear and tear items. We have beat the long arms over rocks and they have held up tremendously, they are pretty beat up now, so those may be on the list to replace soon, but they still are working as designed, so no rush to replace.

Over the years, we have also added all Skyjacker skids to protect the vital areas of the Jeep and they have held up over time as well. After 24 years of use and abuse, we began noticing that the Jeep had a slight lean to the passenger side. Measurement of the corners confirmed that the passenger side had dropped about an inch and a half. Let's be honest, 24 years of abuse and one spring began to sag, that is some awesome engineering! We have been using the same shocks as well for the past 24 years. While we know everyone has a preference in lift companies, Skyjacker's equipment on our Jeep has stood the test of time, so naturally, as the springs and shocks began to fade it became time to uprade the TJ. We wanted to stick with the suspension that has never let us down, so went back to Skyjacker!

Over 24 years, technology has vastly improved and not to long ago, Skyjacker designed a dual rate spring for the Jeep TJ. While the concept of dual rate springs is not new (Our JKU had them), Skyjacker began producing them for the older Jeeps. The dual rate springs expand during articulation allowing the tires to stay better planted on the ground while helping keep the spring from falling out of its bucket. The dual rate springs just provide better on and offroad performance than a standard coil spring.

With upgraded coil springs, we needed upgraded shocks as well. Enter Skyjacker's all new ADX 2.0 Adventure Series remote reservoir aluminum shocks. As with the dual rate springs, the concept of remote reservoir shocks is not new. Trophy trucks have been running them and several companies have had these out for a while, Skyjacker however, took their time ensuring that these were perfect for all their suspension applications (They got to last at least 24 years, right?). After the shocks were released for newer vehicles (like JT/JL), they began producing them for the older group of Jeeps. The impact extruded CNC machined aluminum montube shocks have a full displaced valve system; inspired from offroad racing; are filled with high pressure nitrogen gas and are specifically tuned to each vehicle application. All of this allows for cooler running shocks when hitting bumps at higher speeds, allowing better control of your vehicle and giving you a more comfortable ride.

This won't be an install article, as we are merely replacing our old Skyjacker springs and shocks with their new technology. Replacing springs and shocks is a fairly simple process and there are probably a million YouTube videos out there on "How To". We did our TJ in stages as time permitted with everything else going on. Starting with the rear of the Jeep, it took 1 person about 4 hours to replace the springs and shocks. While this may seem like a long time, we ran into an issue with the ADX hitting the exhaust. Our exhaust is an aftermarket Borla cat back system, so there was a little modification needed to ensure the shock reservoir was not hitting the exhaust, nothing a cut off wheel didn't fix! Also, we struggled to get the axle to drop low enough to get the rear springs back in, so we ran to Autozone and rented a spring compression tool to make it a bit easier to pop those in.

The front took less than 2 hours to complete. In fact, it was pretty simple to pop the old springs and shocks out and get the new one back in. Ran into one small problem, but it was very easily remedied. The new ADX shock would not fit into the hole in the axle housing because the new shocks have a larger rod end than the older ones, but a quick grind of the hole and it's now a perfect fit. With the new suspension installed, the Jeep is once again sitting level and has a new lease on life! With 24 years of a solid base provided by Skyjacker; we are looking forward to another 24 years of a quality suspension!

At the time of this article, we have not been out on a trail with it yet, but we were able to take over to some property to test out. The flex on this rig is ridiculous for a bolt on suspension! In fact, the picture below of the front stretched out isn't even full flex. A quick crawl through some dirt moguls showed what this suspension is capable of. The TJ remained almost perfectly level as the suspension moved up and down making it feel stable and smooth. The ride in the Jeep feels better and is performing better than the original suspension. Isn't technology awesome!

If you are looking to replace your old worn-out suspension or are looking to lift your vehicle for the first time, yes, there are a lot of good companies out there that sell great suspensions, but take it from us, Skyjacker Suspensions have stood the test of time and is one of the best suspensions we have ever used for our Jeeps... and it just got better!