Repairing Your Suspension On The Trail
So you are driving down the trail with your sway bar disconnected on your coil- sprung Jeep, you hit a seriously twisty section and boing, pop, clang, and all of a sudden your Jeep is leaned awkwardly to one side. Your spring just fell out. We’ve seen this happen on the front of XJs, and front and rear of TJs, JKs, and ZJs. We’ve also experienced it in our WJ. So what to do, now that your Jeep is leaning uncomfortably to one side and your coil is laying in the dirt taking a nap? This time in “What Now!”-land we will talk about a few ways to get your Jeep going again with all four springs.
It happened to us on one of our off-road adventures. The WJ was all loaded up with dogs, a canoe, camping gear, the wife, and other stuff. We were headed up one of our favorite local trails over a flexy section, when one of the front coils fell out. This sucks, but it’s a fairly easy fix if you know what you are doing. Usually Jeep coils are retained by an upper stem and a lower clamp on spring retainer. If the lower clamp is missing, or your Jeep does not have an upper stem (like on our WJ) the spring can fall out more easily.
The best thing to do is to back up to where the spring fell out. Hopefully the suspension will flex back to the exact position in that spot on the trail, and you can simply pop the coil back in place. If that won’t work, or it involves putting the Jeep in a position where it is not balanced (like a side hill where the Jeep is leaned over to one side), use your Hi-Lift Jack to lift the side of the Jeep where the coil fell out until you can replace the coil.
We could not quite get the Jeep to flex enough to get the coil back in place, and despite bringing everything but the kitchen sink on our trip, we did not have a Hi-Lift. Instead, we backed up a touch and put a flat rock in front of the rear tire. We then drove up on the rock and the Jeep was flexed enough that were able to reseat the coil. Once the coil was back in place, we re-attached the sway bar. This limited the flex and kept the springs from falling out. Once you get home, you will need to address the problem and add a lower coil retaining clip, limiting strap, or add an upper stem to the suspension so the spring won’t fall out on the trail next time.
From JP Magazine by Verne Simons