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  #1  
Old September 4th, 2016, 19:27
zachtyler zachtyler is offline
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Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

I'm pretty new to owning a jeep, however I have been around jeeps my entire life with my dad's rigs. I have an 89 XJ Laredo with a Rough Country 4.5 Long Arm kit. I have been debating on the unibody stiffeners. Anybody have any experience using the stiffeners with this kit? I also am low on money and the install for these things looks pretty intensive in terms of how long it will take to weld. In the end, would I be okay without the stiffeners? The jeep is my daily driver and I really wheel only on the weekends, when I can. Also, rock sliders are one of my next purchases. Should I wait until after I get stiffeners? (If I do) Thanks guys.

Zach
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  #2  
Old September 4th, 2016, 20:46
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JohnX JohnX is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Short answer. Yes.

The first time I welded a set on my wife's cherokee we couldn't believe how much more solid it felt driving and how much quieter it got. Squeaks and rattles just magically disappeared. Not to mention the added peace of mind when dragging it over rock and flexing it hard.
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  #3  
Old September 5th, 2016, 06:16
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mcguyver_xj mcguyver_xj is offline
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Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

If you ever wheel yes do stiffeners they aren't as bad as they look to do they are actually quite easy


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  #4  
Old September 5th, 2016, 07:27
srb531 srb531 is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

unibody frames cant take much abuse w/o dents ,bending & cracks. so yes on stiffeners, best to do them first then put the sliders on them.
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  #5  
Old September 5th, 2016, 07:42
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

I doubt anyone here will tell you no. If you want the body to last, these should be at the top of your list.
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  #6  
Old September 5th, 2016, 13:04
tANNERRRR tANNERRRR is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Worth it. Made a huge difference offroad. No more doors popping open!
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  #7  
Old September 6th, 2016, 14:15
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POLAR_JEEP_04 POLAR_JEEP_04 is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

yes. I smashed mine pretty good without them
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Old September 7th, 2016, 07:58
1-tonxj 1-tonxj is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

They are not really needed for mild wheeling on stock axles the weight of the jeep is still about stock . The center frame stiffeners make welding on thicker stuff easy as 10g is easy to weld to 14g and you can easily weld real thick to 10g.

When I bought my xj it was on 38s and tons it was still leaf sprung and the previous owner did...nothing...for unibody plating , and he welded the sliders directly to the unirails this seemed to hold up for him and when I plated the raild we just notched out around them and welded around them welding the slider to the stiffener . They certainly are good to add , but the Jeep is not going to fall apart without them anytime soon .
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Old September 12th, 2016, 10:16
smokeyyank smokeyyank is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Coming from some one that just cracked their uni body from mild wheeling. I would suggest doing them prior to breaking sh*t rather than after.
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  #10  
Old September 13th, 2016, 01:58
1-tonxj 1-tonxj is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyyank View Post
Coming from some one that just cracked their uni body from mild wheeling. I would suggest doing them prior to breaking sh*t rather than after.

While they are never a bad thing...there is no way a healthy unibody just cracked from "mild wheeling"...that is like saying the steering box just ripped off the frame pulling out of King Soopers .
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Old September 13th, 2016, 12:49
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XJEEPER XJEEPER is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

I've owned 3 XJ's since 1995. My current XJ (2000 Sport) was purchased from a guy who used it to haul his buddies to the golf course and back, stock as stock. Using the experience learned from wheeling the 2 previous rigs and being around many other XJ's, the first mod that I made to my rig was to add TnT Customs and TMR unirail stiffeners plus JKS SBS, as the platform for my build. I later added stiffener plates between the rear spring hangers to complete the unirail reinforcement.
This was a move that I have never regretted, and over the past 9 years of wheeling this rig (and 100,000 additional miles) the body lines are still tight, I don't have the squeaks and rattles that my previous rigs had. I haven't experienced any “frame” cracking that many XJers have and I never had a steering box bolt loosen up on me.
Another consideration is that your RC LA suspension arms use bracketry that bolts through the unirail and include crush sleeves, but these are not welded in, merely sandwiched between much thinner sheetmetal. Will this relocated point of loading weaken the unirail over time? Time will tell, I suppose, but with the addition of unirail stiffeners, you will not only strengthen the rail, but also provide a base of which you could weld the sleeves in for added reinforcement. This is how my TnT Y-Link attachment is configured and it is rock solid as the day I installed it. Sleeves welded into the unirail plating for extra beef.
Unirail plating also makes a great base for rock slider attachment points.


Save for a bit and install them, you won’t regret it long-term.


My build thread - http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=913774
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  #12  
Old September 13th, 2016, 14:55
smokeyyank smokeyyank is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1-tonxj View Post
While they are never a bad thing...there is no way a healthy unibody just cracked from "mild wheeling"...that is like saying the steering box just ripped off the frame pulling out of King Soopers .
Never said it was a healthy unibody. Years of stress and the uni body will become weaker. All I was saying is I didn't have them before, over time and "mild wheeling" it eventually cracked.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 16:33
1-tonxj 1-tonxj is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyyank View Post
Never said it was a healthy unibody. Years of stress and the uni body will become weaker. All I was saying is I didn't have them before, over time and "mild wheeling" it eventually cracked.

I am not arguing against them I just want the OP to undetstand a few mild wheeling trips a year does not require frame plating it is a great supplenental to the strengh , but not an immediate priority...lol...boxing in or uograding the stock control arm brackets are a bigger first priorityasthey love to bend snd crack the welds even more so with stock or short arms as the flex likes to rip them off .
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Old September 13th, 2016, 19:25
my2monkeys my2monkeys is offline
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Re: Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Any suggestions on bolting or screwing steel pieces of L angle to stiffen my 2 door as I don't have a welder nor the funds to hire out at this time.
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  #15  
Old September 14th, 2016, 05:51
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GordoSmasho GordoSmasho is offline
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Are unibody stiffeners worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by my2monkeys View Post
Any suggestions on bolting or screwing steel pieces of L angle to stiffen my 2 door as I don't have a welder nor the funds to hire out at this time.


That will do nothing for your frame strength. I would recomend reaching out to your local chapter. There are always people ready to get together for a rig work party. Someone will have a welder.
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