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Discussion Starter #1
I took my Jeep to my regular mechanic for an inspection and to replace a wheel stud that had snapped. He replaced the stud along with two others that snapped when they tried to remove the lugnuts, gave me a list of parts that need to be replaced, and I still need to get an inspection. Along with the three studs the swaybar link for that wheel was damaged. I must have hit a massive pothole but didn't notice anything for a while. He informed me that the steering stabilizer is leaking and the mount for it needs to be replaced. The brakeline for the front passenger wheel is rubbing against the shock, while still holding it needs to be replaced. All of the brakes are pretty worn down, rears practically done fronts have a little more time. As I've been planning to step up to 37" tires I had been planning on upgrading the brakes and regearing, I already have the gears, so I've been doing some research into brakes. Since the swaybar link and stabilizer were parts included with my lift kit I haven't looked into them at all.

For brakes I'm thinking about Dynatrac or TeraFlex big brake kits. They bolt right on and don't require bleeding. I think the main difference is that teraflex includes in calipers vs. dynatrac only replaces the mounting brackets. They are roughly the same cost.

The swaybar link I can replace the broken one, replace both links, or upgrade the entire setup. I'm leaning toward the upgrade. The options for that seem a bit limited. Currie, Off Road Only, and Teraflex are the only ones I could find. All look basically the same. The Off Road Only has a dual rate function that you can adjust for on or off road which is appealing but it is significantly more expensive. Currie has different options for steel or aluminum.

The stabilizer has many options ranging from $60-600. Fox seems to be the most popular but they have lots of choices all over the price range. Old Man Emu has a decent looking kits that includes mounting hardware for about $120. There are also some from Bilstein and TeraFlex that are bands I would trust.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to do all of these at once before I can pass inspection. I'm thinking to take it to a 4x4 shop to get it done quickly and I'm debating having the gears done at the same time. Parts alone I'm looking at $1000 for the brakes, $50-1000 for the sway bar link, $60-300 for the stabilizer (I'm not going to spend more than $300 on it). I'm not one to cheap out on buying quality parts, but I also don't want to spend more than is necessary. I like brands that have very good reputations and prefer American made parts.

What do you guys think? Are the upgrades worth it? is a $250 stabilizer that much better than a $60 one?
 

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Is this a state inspection? If so, what is mandatory to fix? What is elective? To go in with one broken stud and come out with a grocery list seems suspicious to me.

It sounds like someone used an impact wrench to put your lug nuts on. That happened to a friend of mine. We both stood on a breaker bar to get them off. I don’t know how we didn’t break a stud.

I would suggest you learn to do this work yourself if you are going to 37s. In my mind it goes with the territory. I’m on 33s and have pulled both axles on my TJ. The wheel studs are easy too once you get a tool and know to ping them with a hammer when they’re under stress.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is this a state inspection? If so, what is mandatory to fix? What is elective? To go in with one broken stud and come out with a grocery list seems suspicious to me.

It sounds like someone used an impact wrench to put your lug nuts on. That happened to a friend of mine. We both stood on a breaker bar to get them off. I don’t know how we didn’t break a stud.

I would suggest you learn to do this work yourself if you are going to 37s. In my mind it goes with the territory. I’m on 33s and have pulled both axles on my TJ. The wheel studs are easy too once you get a tool and know to ping them with a hammer when they’re under stress.
It is a state emissions and safety inspection, so the swaybar link and stabilizer are must fix items, brakes had enough left to pass but the rears were pretty worn down. The studs and link were all on the same wheel which is why I suspect a pothole or something did some damage. But yes someone did use an impact wrench on the lug nuts, me. I didn't know better. I can and have done a lot of work on the Jeep, the issue is more with time. It would probably take me a week or two to get the parts after ordering them, and then probably two or three weekends to do the work myself, assuming it doesn't rain and I don't need special tools. Hopefully I can borrow a car for a week and drop the Jeep at a knowledgeable shop that has parts in stock or can get them quickly and get everything fixed and the inspection done.
 

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I can't imagine a $250 steering stabilizer - it must be silver plated. You sure have a long list of stuff to fix. I went with the Vanco big brake kit (Blaine - mrblaine), bleeding the brakes was fairly simple for two people or you can buy the bleed fitting with the check valve - you just need to push the brake until the fluid runs clear.
 

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Dan - Thanks for being transparent with the impact wrench thing. I think I would’ve said something like, “Uh, yeah. Probably so.” You’re a better man than I am 😀

I hear you on being busy.

State inspection...and I thought Nazifornia was bad!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
State inspection...and I thought Nazifornia was bad!
NY will now fail your inspection if you have tinted front windows. My local group gets tons of posts about getting inspected with the doors off and people asking to borrow mirrors for their inspections so they can keep their tints. FYI- you do not need doors to pass the inspections, just the side mirrors.
 

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For brakes I'm thinking about Dynatrac or TeraFlex big brake kits. They bolt right on and don't require bleeding. I think the main difference is that teraflex includes in calipers vs. dynatrac only replaces the mounting brackets. They are roughly the same cost.

What do you guys think? Are the upgrades worth it? is a $250 stabilizer that much better than a $60 one?
I just installed the Dynatrac brakes. Indeed you won't need to disconnect the calibers so no bleeding. Those brake rotors are massive. Make sure to check for wheel clearence as the caliber my be close to the wheel. My master cylinder is bad I think and I may have air in the ABS system as I broke a brake line on the trail and it pretty much drained the system.
But, even then I could tell the brake force is really improved over those smaller factory roters. I'm sure once they are bedded in proper like I'll really be able to see how much better these are.

I think many of the big companies have well over-hyped steering stabilizers. Just get a Monroe or Crown off the shelf at a auto parts store.
 
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