Why is my Jeep Wrangler squatting? And how to fix it.
You’ve put a new suspension on your Jeep Wrangler and now the back end is sagging towards the back?
This happened to me after I installed a new 3.5-inch Metal Cloak lift on my 2015 Rubicon. Suddenly it looked like my Jeep Wrangler had squatted. The fenders were floating about an inch lower over the rear tires compared to the front tires.
I also noticed that when I was out wheeling that the rear tires had a tendency to rub when the suspension articulated on technical sections. I needed to replace the stock fenders, but I also suspected that the sag in the back end had something to do with it.
With a little research, I discovered that there are typically two causes for back-end squatting in a truck.
Too Much Weight on the Rear End
The coil-over springs that come with suspension lifts have different flex ratings, which determine how much the spring will flex under different weights.
When I installed my lift, I also upgraded to larger wheels (wider) and 35-inch tires. This meant my spare tire, which is mounted on my back tailgate, was heavier and putting more strain on the back coil-over springs.
I also carry a roof-top tent on my Jeep, which adds weight on the rear end – one of a number of reasons I’ve switched to an overlanding trailer.
Also, the bumper on my Jeep, a Smittybuilt Atlas bumper, was quite heavy. I liked it for its utility, as it had carrying cages for fuel cans and plenty of other places to add cargo. But it was made of steel and quite large–too large and heavy for my needs and my lift.
I’ll stop here to say that it’s important to understand your vehicle’s payload rating, as suspension sag is one of many problems that can result from carrying too much weight.
Since I wasn’t going to lose the spare tire, my solution was to replace the heavy bumper with a much lighter aluminum bumper.
If your rear end is squatting, take a look at how much weight the back end is supporting. Maybe try shedding some pounds. If dropping weight isn’t an option, take a look at the next issue outlined below.
The other major reason the back end of your Jeep – or any truck really – might be drooping is that your rear suspension springs need to be replaced.
If you carry a lot of weight on your Jeep, which is common among overlanding enthusiasts, you may need stiffer springs. This is something to consider when you are purchasing a suspension lift. Some manufacturers make suspension kits specifically designed for overlanding, where the springs are rated to higher weights.
Also, your suspension will age over time, so eventually, it may just be time to replace the springs. If your springs are old, you may notice that your Jeep is suffering from suspension sag in both the front and the rear.
While I’ve offered two reasons your Jeep Wrangler might be squatting in the rear, the problem could be a combination of both. If you’re carrying a lot of weight on the back for a long time, you may prematurely wear out your springs, causing the back end to sag. In that case, lightening your load and getting some fresh springs might be in order.
Another thing to consider is that a bit of rear-end droop is to be expected when you are loaded up for a trip. If you mostly use your Jeep for technical off-roading and rarely carry a lot of weight, then a suspension rated for a lighter weight might make more sense. Conversely, if you are planning to do a lot of camping/overlanding with your Jeep, the stiffer suspension might be in order.
If you noticed that your vehicle is squatting when you accelerate, it could be that you need new shocks. Work out shocks will compress too much as the weight shifts to the rear during acceleration.
Hope that helps you solve your squatting problems and get your Jeep’s butt off the ground.