Jeep Commander Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
These are my 1.5" spidertrax being put on the 3.7L. I was going to have my local tire shop do them but they declined due to their liability policies. So after 2 hours and a lot of shaving fenders they are installed! I did both front and rear sets.

1) Set of spacers in box


2) Using the factory jack lift each tire one at a time. I started in the front. Remove all lug nuts and tire from brakes. Apply Loctite (provided by Spidertrax) to threads.

A little goes a long way, use sparingly.

3) Place spacer over threads and use the provided lug nuts, tighten in a diamond pattern to 90 ftlbs with a torque wrench. The stock jack/wrench WILL NOT fit over the spacer lugnuts, I had to use an attachment from my brothers Honda Accord which was much thinner.


4) Load your wheels onto the spacer and again tighten in a diamond pattern to ~90ftlbs. Remove the jack and check clearance on full crank turns both left and right.

*FENDER TRIMMING!*
Depending on your lift/tire set up fender trimming will most likely be required and in some cases (like mine) frame grinding will be required. I'm running 265/70/17's Toyo open country rubber, very thick mud tire tread with a 2" poly lift (b.s. lift kit, but it did the trick) I have NO springs/shock upgrades which definitely does not help with clearance or scraping under steering load.

Anyways I started by jigsawing the plastic fender covers. BE CAREFUL on the passenger side, there are three main hoses that come out of the engine bay DO NOT CUT THESE LINES! use hand clippers or remove plastic fender completely before trimming. The drivers side does not have crucial lines, trim-happy. Once the plastic is removed (I only had to remove plastic towards the rear of the vehicle to prevent scraping) I had to begin grinding the frame of the vehicle. There is a large 1.5-2" flange of riveted steel that is about .2" thick where the door side of the vehicle was welded to the floor/cabin area. I loaded my 4.5" grinder with stainless/metal grinding plates (I went through one plate per side)


It took about 45 min to grind each side down fully.....

Here is the finished product installed, no scraping : )


Remember to check all lug nuts after 50 miles of driving, including the spacer lugs! these are the most important, and yes this does mean taking all of the tires off, again...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,559 Posts
Great write-up, I did stick it so all our new members can see how this project is completed as I am sure many will want to do this as one of their first mods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Do you have any pictures of the grinding results? I have the same issue. I hammered the joint as flat as I could, but I need to do some grinding. I just want to stay away from the welds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I'll go out and get a few pictures tonight or tomorrow. On my lower portion it is .2" away from the actual frame, I had to grind all of the extra I could off just to play it safe.
As a side note I got to take the Jeep out on our favorite local sh*t road (8" pot holes everywhere with a 2 foot x 12 ft deep mud pool) and the handling is dramatically better bouncing through the road. Although once I get above 40mph the steering is more sensitive and does take some getting used to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Here is a pic of the finished grind...I chose not to hammer/fold due to my ogre like nature of bashing things until they break
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,559 Posts
I hammered the passenger side today, should have just ground it off. Hammering was hard work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
damn i bet. I let my brother have a go with the jigsaw and he got a good chunk halfway out, and then the blade snapped at full speed and flew across our garage...we decided molten metal flashes would be better than shrapnel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
Do I need to put spacer on the back as well or just the front? Will it look even if I just put the spacers in the front? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,788 Posts
Do I need to put spacer on the back as well or just the front? Will it look even if I just put the spacers in the front? Thanks!
Will definitely look uneven if you only do the front.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,309 Posts
You do realize that those pinch welds were there for a reason and totally grinding them off like that was probablly not a good idea. You should have just used a hammer and bent the pinch weld over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
You do realize that those pinch welds were there for a reason and totally grinding them off like that was probablly not a good idea. You should have just used a hammer and bent the pinch weld over.
What would that reason be besides saving manufacturing time, money, and making painting more even? The frame behind that is riveted, bolted, and welded. I don't know the specific load rating on a 1" width, 1/4" thick, 12" length pinch weld but that's all that I ground off. :icon_confused:
I've driven over 6k miles on it with no issues of separating/cracking/rusting/shaking on and off road.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,309 Posts
What would that reason be besides saving manufacturing time, money, and making painting more even? The frame behind that is riveted, bolted, and welded. I don't know the specific load rating on a 1" width, 1/4" thick, 12" length pinch weld but that's all that I ground off. :icon_confused:
I've driven over 6k miles on it with no issues of separating/cracking/rusting/shaking on and off road.
Honestly I dont know. I just remember reading somewhere that its not a good idea to grind it totally off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,387 Posts
When lifting, surely some of the ride comfort goes away doesn't it? Also do you here alot of tread noise in cabin at highway speeds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
When lifting, surely some of the ride comfort goes away doesn't it? Also do you here alot of tread noise in cabin at highway speeds?
lifting didn't make any of my ride comfort change, I didn't upgrade struts, coils, or hardware. Bolt on lift kits add space away from your axle by metal plates/polyurethane discs, they do not affect the ride. I'm sure some may argue that because of the 2" higher center of gravity you CAN feel it on hard swerves/turns but the average person cannot differentiate these slight changes. (unless they race cars) If I drive in a straight line or take a slight corner I cannot notice a difference.

Wheel spacers however change the handling greatly. I notice at higher speeds I "wiggle" much easier than stock and any turn now feels like I'm driving an old El Dorado. I love them off-road because of the widened wheelbase. 3" total doesn't sound like a lot until you get on rough trails. more weight transfer is absorbed in the spacer and then to the frame reducing body roll/vibration, you float over boulders.

The only thing that affected my road noise/vibration were my tires. With 265/70/17's road noise is definitely louder, if I had gone wider I would call it an annoyance, but I don't notice these on the highway. I don't care about road noise because I have a flowmaster 50 series and a 15" sub in the back, between those two things I would only notice my tires if they had a flat.

All of ^^^these are just my opinions, I'm sure everyone has a different take on what they've done to their commanders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,387 Posts
Thanks for the info runit I'm highly considering lifting mine when I get new tires. I do not have 4X4 but would like it to look more Beefy:) I put alot of highway miles on XK and was worried loosing the comfort that I'm enjoying now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
the 1.5" spacers shouldn't rub a stock setup right? oem tire/rim without a lift kit.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,309 Posts
Nope, other have done it without issues!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,309 Posts
I just installed the wheel spacers today and it took all of 35 minutes to do so. I bought a bottle of red locktite gel from the parts store as I knew that spidertrax didnt supply you with enough locktite!
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top