The main problem with the standard Jeep Wrangler
is that it promises more than it delivers. It
looks aggressive and off-road capable, but it’s
got the wrong axle ratio to perform as it could
on-road, while suspension and ground clearance
compromises limit its off-road ability. John
Agostino, of tough Dog suspensions (ph (02) 9689
3166), can’t change the gearing, but he’s sure
as hell improved the ground clearance.
The Tough Dog kit for the Wrangler consists of
four new coil springs and matched gas-filled
dampers. The net result is a 50mm lift in
clearance underneath. That’s as far as Ago’s
prepared to go with the Wrangler, because its rear
propshaft is very short and he doesn’t want to
induce driveline problems through too much
angularity in the shaft.
it was, we noticed slight driveline vibration when
we first started off, although there was no sign
of it through the normal operating range. From the
driver’s seat, the Wrangler didn’t feel any
taller than standard and, if anything, had less
body sway than the stock vehicle. Pitch control
over short bumps was noticeably better than
standard, as was the ride over corrugations.
Off-road, the extra height was appreciated,
because the standard vehicle’s belly clearance
is no better than a Cherokee’s, despite the
Wrangler’s more pugnacious appearance.
Sydney’s Parramatta Chrysler Jeep must like the
end result, because they’ve put a modified
vehicle on as a demo. The Wrangler kit costs $1000
John Agostino approached the grand Cherokee from
different perspective, figuring that the standard
set-up was a pretty good compromise for normal
on-and off-road driving. The kit he worked up for the Grand Jeep has been biased towards flat
handling on made surfaces, but with a useful 50mm
lift for improved off-road clearance as well.
The extended coils were matched to substantial
foam cell shockers, for a ride quality that was
considerably firmer than boulevarde-stock. It felt
almost like a rally car and handled like it was on
rails. The Grand Cherokee kit is $1060 all up
For those who want their Grand Cherokees to
sit flatter through corner and be more responsive
to steering and throttle inputs, the Tough Dog
Suspension kit could well be the answer. The
firmer rear springs should also resist townball
loading better than the standard coils.