By Jon Maib
With the introduction of each new Wrangler class of Jeep, passenger comfort level continues to increase. Today's consumer wants a comfortable everyday ride that can handle the punishments of off-road driving. The new JL is no exception to this and Jeep has designed the JL to have a smooth ride to enhance its passengers comfort. One of the ways they have accomplished this is by designing an all new coil spring that is probably one of the lightest spring rates on any modern Jeep to date. This new spring rate has caused many aftermarket suspension companies to look at redesigning their coil springs in order to maintain that passenger comfort while giving their customer the height and articulation they are looking for in an aftermarket suspension.

Skyjacker decided to take that new JL spring design to the next level by coming out with their first dual rated coil spring that combines the new ride quality of the JL with maximum off-road ability and articulation. The trick to this new coil spring was to ensure that the spring rate was low enough to provide maximum comfort without causing the spring to bow or buckle while sitting in the spring bucket. Utilizing a dual rate spring helps with this issue as the first stage of the coil flattens upon vehicle weight allowing the second stage of the coil to control the buckling. The dual rate spring allows for better articulation while off road as well as maintaining the spring in its bucket when flexing. The first stage of the coil, which is normally collapsed at ride height, will open to keep pressure on the axle while retaining the spring in its position. With this new dual rate spring, Skyjacker was able to keep the ride quality of the JL while providing extreme articulation off-road. After designing the spring, Skyjacker put the new dual rate coils through safety testing provided by independent FMVSS 126 testing, which is the same Federal safety requirement that all vehicle manufacturers have to pass.

Not willing to leave it at that, Skyjacker began to look back to their JK springs. When those were originally designed for the JK, they were based on the coil rates of the Rubicon model because it was the 'official' off-road package designed by Jeep. In 2012 when Jeep revised the Wrangler platform with a newer engine and suspension, Skyjacker looked at redesigning their coil springs again and came up with their 'Softride' spring for the JK's while still offering the stiffer 'Rock Ready' coils for those that wanted it. With the JL spring revisions, Skyjacker decided that they wanted to provide the JK with the same dual rate coil comfort while providing maximum articulation. Looking at the JK springs again, Skyjacker took the JL springs and tweaked the front coils so they would fit the JK and then developed complimentary dual rate rear coils to provide JK owners with the comfort that the JL has provided.

Our Project Vulture has been running the Skyjacker 4" long arm kit with their Hydro shocks for about a year and that kit has not let us down. We have wheeled the JKU many times, including a Jeep Jamboree a week after installing the kit. It rides smooth and functions extremely well off-road. With the introduction of the new JK dual rate springs, Skyjacker asked if we could test them out and let them know what we thought. They shipped us out a new set of dual rate front and rear coils along with their Black MAX shocks and some extended brake lines because the new coil springs allow for additional flex.

We did the installation of the new springs and shocks in our driveway. The trick here is ensuring you can get your axles to drop far enough to get the new springs in. The new dual rate springs are larger than the 4" springs we were replacing and we had to let the axles drop as far as they could in order to get the new dual rate springs in. Removing the old Hydro shocks and the old brake lines, we were able to just barely squeeze the new springs in. With the new springs sitting in the buckets, we installed the new Black MAX shocks and the new steel braded brake lines and buttoned everything back up. With the new suspension in place, all we needed to do was bleed the brakes and were ready to test it out.

Upon installation, first thing we noticed was that the new springs had removed the front 'rake' of our JKU. The Jeep now sat level and in fact, looked a bit taller. Measuring the Jeep, we learned that we gained about ¾" in the front and about a ¼" in the rear! The new dual rate springs will give you a bit more height than the standard Skyjacker coil springs. Driving the Jeep with the new dual rate springs was unreal. It rode so very smooth, it was like driving a whole new Jeep and we have commented many times while driving and testing the new springs that we can't believe how well the Jeep now rides. Even at speeds on the highway, it is like cruising along in a high end luxury car, well, if a luxury car had a 4" lift and 37's.

These new dual rate springs are amazing and available today from Skyjacker! They are still offering their standard rate coil spring, their Softride springs and of course the LeDuc Coil overs, but you are going to want these dual rate springs for everyday driving and off-road. Rumor has it that they are currently testing out dual rate coils for TJ's and XJ's which should be ready June of this year, so even the older rigs will receive the benefits of the new dual rate coils from Skyjacker (We may need to pick up a set for our TJ now)! Be sure to check back next month as we show you what these new dual rate springs are capable of off-road and be sure to check out the all new dual rate coil spring line up at Skyjacker!