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Energy Suspension HYPER-FLEX Master Kit

 

Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepAfter 20 years, things tend to fall apart. When we bought Project Over Easy (our ’81 Jeep CJ8 Scrambler) it was in excellent condition. The bushings around the Scrambler had aged about as well as Joan Rivers without the plastic surgery though. So, we kick off Project Over Easy Scrambler with a focus on the suspension.  Nope, we’re not installing a lift kit…  yet.  Instead, our goal is to improve the drivability of the Jeep’s current suspension and address the aged and cracked 29 year-old body mount bushings.

In researching various options, I contacted the good folks at Energy Suspension and learned that they offer a full suspension bushing and body mount kit – the HYPER-FLEX™ System – designed specifically for the tail-dragging Jeep Scrambler.  Energy’s special formula for the HYPER-FLEX™ performance polyurethane components are manufactured of higher durometer-rated (firmness) material, assuring greater control and longer-lasting performance than that available with factory bushings.

When they call the HYPER-FLEX™ System a master kit, they mean it. The kit includes replacements for every rubber suspension component as well as the full body mounting kit, sway-bar bushings, transmission mount and enough poly-lube for the entire Jeep. Additionally, each major component was packaged separately in the master kit, with an individual set of instructions.

Installation – Energy Suspension Poly Bushing Kit
Time: 5-6 Hours
Tools Needed: Floor jack, jack stands, pry bar, wrenches, sockets, ratchet, vice, rubber mallet
Difficulty:
 

Energy Suspension Poly Bushing Kit for Jeep CJ8 Scramblers

Installation

As with any project, take stock of the parts you have and the tools you need. We began by reading the instructions and setting aside all of the tools that we would need for this project.

Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepEnergy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepReviewing the kit: When I opened the HYPER-FLEX™ System box, it became immediately clear to me that the Energy Suspension team did their homework in the development of this kit. Case in point… This HYPER-FLEX™ kit included the extra body mounts found only on the Scrambler. This was not a warmed-over CJ5/CJ7 kit, repurposed for a CJ8. Rather, it was a Scrambler-specific suspension upgrade kit.  
Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepEnergy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepPrepping Jeep for bushing removal: The suspension system of your 4×4 needs to be relieved of the weight of the vehicle but not fully lifted off of the ground. The best way to do this is to lift the vehicle slightly off of the ground and then let it settle back down to the point where the tires are touching the ground again. This will reduce the potential energy in your springs and reduce the effort required to move the springs out of their mounts. Your vehicle should be supported by jack-stands, rated at a minimum of the weight of that section of your vehicle. 
Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepEnergy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepRemoving the existing bushings: The first thing to do in preparation for removal of the existing bushings is to drench all suspension mount and body mount bolts/nuts with WD-40 or your favorite lubricant to penetrate and loosen your fasteners (Wow, I used the words, “lubricant, penetrate” and “loosen,” in the same sentence). Once the lubricant has had time to penetrate each fastener, you may begin to disassemble.Note: It is recommended to perform the bushing swap on the fixed spring mount side of the leaf spring (the opposite side as the shackle) as this will help keep the spring in relative alignment with the mount and ease the spring reinstallation effort. Once these sides are complete (front and rear) you may move on to the shackle bushings.

 

Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepEnergy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepSuspension bushing installations: This section covers the individually packaged major suspension bushing components including:
• Front leaf spring bushings
• Rear leaf spring bushings
• Sway-bar bushings
Installation of the Energy Suspension bushings was a straightforward process. The prepackaged bushing kits make this a plug-and-play installation with each major component packaged separately. For the purposes of the Project Over Easy suspension bushing installation, I began with the leaf spring bushings followed by the sway bar kit.

The Energy Suspension, HYPER-FLEX™ urethane bushings are fully fluted, with slits running the length of the inner diameter of key bushings. These valleys hold a reserve of poly lubricant that will reduce friction and increase bushing life-span. This was an immediate improvement over the existing Scrambler urethane bushing kit of unknown origin.

 

Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepInstallation of the Energy Suspension bushings was a straightforward process. The prepackaged bushing kits make this a plug-and-play installation with each major component packaged separately. For the purposes of the Project Over Easy suspension bushing installation, I began with the leaf spring bushings followed by the sway bar kit. 

The Energy Suspension, HYPER-FLEX™ urethane bushings are fully fluted, with slits running the length of the inner diameter of key bushings. These valleys hold a reserve of poly lubricant that will reduce friction and increase bushing life-span. This was an immediate improvement over the existing Scrambler urethane bushing kit of unknown origin.

 

Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepEnergy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepEnergy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepBody-mount kit installation: The Scrambler (CJ8) body-mount installation process began by loosening all fasteners (but not completely removing them) to allow the body to be lifted gently from the frame, one side at a time. Again, having used penetrating oil before I started made loosening the bolts much easier.I performed the swap on the driver-side first by fully removing the mounting bolts and then lifting the Scrambler body off of the frame, just high enough to replace all driver’s side body mounts as well as the front center mount, beneath the grill. Installation of the passenger-side was just as simple and completed within a matter of minutes.

 

Additional components: The HYPER-FLEX™ master set also contained a polyurethane transmission mount and tie-rod grease caps. Since Project Over Easy has a Chevy 350 / 4L60E conversion, we were unable to use the supplied transmission mount. The steering dust caps will be used in an upcoming article, in which we plan to install several steering components. Stay tuned for that article. 

The Verdict

Energy Suspension Poly bushing kit for CJ8 Scramblers JeepI am extremely impressed with the completeness of the Energy Suspension HYPER-FLEX™ master kit. The Energy Suspension kit included every part necessary to improve the drivability of the Scrambler (without having to make a single trip to the parts store for missing components).The build quality was excellent with no product defects. With previous urethane bushing kits, I’ve often fought with production irregularities forcing me to resort to hydraulic presses to install each component. The Energy Suspension team clearly adheres to close production standards as each component went into place smoothly (with help from the supplied lubricant, of course). Additionally, the installation instructions provided for each major component were thorough and tailored specifically to the build vehicle, in this case a Jeep Scrambler, CJ8.

Most importantly, Project Over Easy now drives and handles like new (perhaps better). The ride provided by this kit is stable, smooth and well controlled. The Jeep has responsive turn-in reactions, zero wander and well controlled braking. On road, the Jeep’s handling and highway speed stability is drastically improved. (Stay tuned for off-road testing.)

Overall, the Energy Suspension HYPER-FLEX™ master kit has been an excellent upgrade, worth the investment in the handling of this classic Jeep. Two thumbs up!

Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente, California 92673-6230, USA
Toll Free: (888) 913-6374
Phone: (949) 361-3935
Fax: (949) 361-3940
Web: http://www.energysuspension.com
Email: hyperflex@energysuspension.com

 

 

About Rick Webster

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