Dynatrac EnduroSport JL Suspension Review
One of the biggest selling factors of the JL platform was the fact that if you opted for the Rubicon model, you could get a highline fender system direct from the factory. This meant when were ready to lift our 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, we could squeeze on a larger tire without an excessive amount of lift. While we’ve enjoyed our no lift and 35-inch-tall tire setup for over a year now, we were finally ready to get a little more ground clearance between our long wheelbase belly and the ground below.
While there is no shortage of excellent suspension options for the JL, we were looking for one that would allow us to run a 37-inch-tall tire with the absolute least amount of lift. Another critical factor? We wanted to preserve our plush factory ride. After all, we’re going to spend way more time on the highway than we are bashing over boulders. After doing a good bit of research, we landed on a 2-inch EnduroSport suspension system from Dynatrac.
Primarily consisting of springs, shocks, brake line brackets, and bumpstop spacers, the EnduroSport suspension is pretty basic. In fact, Dynatrac is able to squeeze all of the DIY friendly kit in a very handy OD green duffle bag that is included with each kit. The good news is that since it’s a true-to-size two-inch lift, there really isn’t a huge need for additional components. The concept behind the suspension is fairly straight forward—get two inches of lift, while maintaining the excellent ride that Jeep nailed right out of the gate.
While you can watch our entire installation and review HERE, we’re diving further into everything you need to know about running 2-inches of lift and 37-inch-tall tires in the article below.
One of the biggest indicators of how well a suspension will perform can often be found by the type of shocks that are included with the kit. Standard with the EnduroSport suspension are nitrogen-charged Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks equipped with an internal floating piston. This IFP is what separates the oil from the gas charge, allowing the Dynatrac-specific valving to deliver consistent suspension control on-road and off.
Raising the Jeep are 2-inch lift coils that are paired with bumpstop spacers to ensure up travel is properly moderated. We had heard the EnduroSport coils were on the softer side and were pleased to find that this was true. In fact, we’d venture to say this setup is softer over what the JL came from the factory with, which has equated to less head toss and a smoother overall ride.
We knew that we wanted to end up with a 37-inch-tall tire as it’s the limit at which we were willing to push our stock drivetrain. For treads, we opted for a mud-terrain radial that we’ve had thousands of trouble-free miles on in the past, the Nitto Trail Grappler. The Trail Grapplers are one of the more true-to-size 37s, so we knew we were getting a tall tire when we opted for the Nitto. We wrapped the 37x12.50R17 Grapplers around a set of 17x8.5 KMC XD231 beadlock wheels. More on why below.
Keeping Down The Scrub
While the excellent on- and off-road performance of the Trail Grappler is what drew us back to that tire, the XD231 got the nod for two specific reasons. First, we’ve found over the years that a true beadlock wheel will give you the absolute best performance and ride quality on the trail as it will allow you to confidently run into single digit air pressure range without the fear of loosing a bead. The second critical factor was the fact that this particular wheel set was fit with 4.75 inches of backspacing. This amount of backspacing not only tucked the tires nicely under the flares of the Jeep, but helped with our scrub radius up front. This equates to easier steering on the trail and down the road.
On The Level
With an assortment of aftermarket parts on the Jeep, we were curious just how level our Wrangler would end up. Thankfully, we found it to perfectly level front to back. Something we actually checked by putting a level on the bottom of the framerail and re-checking it with the slider. Another before and after measurement we took was at the bottom of the framerail. With our Jeep on 35s with the stock suspension, we measured 13½ inches from the bottom of the framerail to the ground. Our new setup is now at 17½ inches, a full 4 inches higher than before.
With the sway bar disconnected, we heard a little rubbing on our first off-road outing. To get a better idea just where this was coming from, we put the JL on the RTI ramp at our local off-road shop, Low Range 4x4.
What we discovered was that the tires were indeed rubbing on the inner plastic wheelwell liners at the very front of the front fenders and at the top of the rear fenders. This was the same spot that it was rubbing previously when were running 35s and no lift. While it’s not ideal, it hasn’t been so much of an issue that we feel that we need to modify our fenders liners at this time.
We had previously upgraded our tire carrier with a full bumper and carrier combo from Expedition One. This setup handled our 35s with ease, and so far, we haven’t experienced any rattles or trouble with our new 37 and beadlock combo.
Without question, the Jeep rides great. However, that’s only part of the whole picture. Moving up to a 37-inch-tall tire has definitely put a dent in our fuel economy and power a bit. Our JL is fit with the 3.6L V6, which is backed by the 8-speed automatic. Aside from having a Taser JL to properly adjust for the new tire size, our powertrain is stock. This includes the 4.10 differential gears that came standard in our Rubicon.
In terms of power, it has less snap right off the line, but it’s no slug. The biggest difference we found is that we rarely see 8th gear above 55 mph. This has also equated to us loosing around 1.5 MPG over the 35s we were previously running. The overall setup is still very livable for a daily driver, but we wouldn’t rule out going with a higher numerical gear ratio (maybe a 4.88) in the future.
Want to know more about the JL Rubicon? Be sure to watch our entire real world review.