We bolted up the bottom of the shock and then replaced the factory brake line with the supplied new Eibach/Goodridge braided stainless steel brake lines. These are not only longer but being braided and stainless steel they’re less prone to punctures or tearing, a feature that provides some peace of mind when off-roading.
Eibach provides brackets and all the other mounting hardware to bolt the new lines up to the chassis.
And here is what the finished passenger side looks like. Note that the ABS line isn’t extended and we’ve been assured that it is long enough to deal with the 3.5-inch lift. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the chassis and we’re almost done the front end.
Now is a good time to secure the upper mount of the track bar. You’ll most likely need to raise the axle up and adjust the length of it to make the bar fit.
Next up are Eibach’s adjustable sway bar endlinks. We installed these and only tightened the mounting points leaving the center section loose so once the front end is on the ground we can adjust the sway bar to where it needs to be.
Another optional yet recommended item to replace is the steering damper and that’s because the stock one may not be up to the task of handling all the added weight of the larger tires and greater articulation.
It removes rather quickly with easy access to both bolts.
Here’s a great comparison of the Eibach Pro Steering Damper versus the stock one. You can see why the Eibach unit is up to the task of handling the new suspension, wheels, and tires.
It’s a tight fit for the new damper and you may need to fiddle with the mounting bracket a bit to ensure ample clearance.
One of the last items we replaced on the front end were the lower control arms with Eibach’s new Pro Alignment Lower Control Arms. These are much stronger and more flexible than their stock counterparts.
The extra articulation is largely in part to the sealed flex joint that provides bind-free twist between the frame and axle during off-road articulation.
Here it is installed and ready for battle!
All that was left was to bolt up the new wheels and tires. The wheels are the stock 17-inch Rubicon 5 spokes finished in a factory black color.
So we did a lot of research before deciding on the Open Country M/T and our reasons for picking it were the reviews are all excellent, it seems to be the best M/T tire for on-road use with great off-road performance. That’s very important to Jeff since he uses his Jeep to drive to and from work.
But when he hits the trails, he’ll have plenty of grip and bite to get him to where he needs to go. Furthermore, the sipes are said to provide great wet weather performance in both the summer and winter months.
When you compare the stock Rubicon wheel and tire package to the new one, it quickly becomes apparent how much taller the new tire is which adds to the ride height clearance even further when you combine it with the Eibach Lift Kit.
Not only that though, the taller tire will fill out the fender well providing a much more aesthetically pleasing look versus sticking with the stock rubber which would look too small with the 3.5-inch lift.
Look are always important too and that was yet another deciding factor on our choice of the Open Country M/T. We both love the aggressive tread blocks and over the shoulder tread.
This tire looks like it’s ready to tackle anything that stands in its way.