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Old 04-04-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Return of Frankenlift: Son of Rancho

Iíve been running my Rancho 2Ē Sport lift for over a year and about 25k miles now both daily commuting and off-roading and I really have no complaints. See this thread which grew way beyond my expectations.
Rancho 2" Sport Lift Installed

But part of the reason that I picked that lift was it seemed to be easily upgradeable, without having to throw away everything and start over. I finally decided itís time to get on with the upgrade. Plan was to try and salvage as much of the Rancho kit, source high quality parts, and maximize articulation while staying within the 2-3 inch realm and keeping the stock control arms.

So hereís the parts list that I came up with. I researched the rear springs and came out with two on top, Synergy and OME. I was all set to go with the Synergy, when I found someone on another forum who had actually run both and had kept the OME springs. The OME were also a tiny bit ($20) cheaper so I figured lets give them a shot.


Description-Manufacturer-Part No.
Rear Coil Springs-Old Man Emu-2618
Rear Track Bar Bracket-Teraflex-1954777
Adjustable Sway Bar Links-JKS-JKS2943
2" Rear Bump Stops-Rubicon Express-RE1387
Adjustable Front Track Bar-JKS-OGS121
0.75" Front Coil Spacer-Rancho-RS70082
Front Control Arm Brackets-Rancho-RS6250B
Exhaust Kit-Rancho-RS72003
Longer Travel Front Shocks (9000xl)-Rancho-RS999329
Front Brake Line Extension Brackets-Rubicon Express-RE15071
High Clearance Steering Stabilizer-Rancho-RS97356


So far the back is complete, and Iíve installed the front drop brackets and moved the rear sway bar links to the front. I still need to add JKS removable front links to my list and order them as well. I drove the Jeep for about a week with just the rear components installed and had no problems.

I was concerned about the Rancho Brackets not working with less than 2.5 inches of lift in the front. My initial plan was to move the .75 rear spacer from the Sport kit to the front, but it doesnít fit over the bump stop. So I have new spacers on the way. I measured my front before I started and it looks like Iím at 1.75 inches over stock after 25k miles of carrying a 95 lb winch, so the new spacers should bring it up to 2.5 inches. I wonít take it off road again until I have the front finished.

Iím about 2.75 inches over stock in the rear, but I think some of that will settle out. Surprisingly the rear OME springs seem to ride a bit softer then the original 59 series springs.

Itíll be over $1,100 (not counting the initial kit) by the time Iím done, but thatís comparable to what it would have cost for a similar kit with all the little pieces. I didnít consciously choose lots of Rancho parts, but much of my decision making was driven by shipping costs to Alaska. Iíve purchased most of this off Amazon with Prime free shipping.

Iím very happy with the way it is turning out, and the ride is great. The brackets made a big difference in how the bumps are transmitted to the driver and the rear OMEís just float.

Only problem Iíve had so far is I had to buy a new drop hitch for my trailer as the trailer jack doesnít go high enough.

Iíll take some pictures later this weekend and add them to the post.

Mike

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Old 04-04-2014, 06:12 PM   #2
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Here's a picture.

Before & After.

It's a pretty subtle difference.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:20 PM   #3
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Nice work!

I share your concern with the correction brackets. It's fairly easy to tell if they are working properly or not. Put a level on them. If they are below plane (front higher than rear) than you should consider removing them.

Time will grade your Franken design.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #4
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Very nice man. Better yet ... Jeep Jk, Caster and lifting.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:10 PM   #5
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Mike,
I've been following your original thread and doing my own research. At one point in the thread you mentioned that you would of liked to have the 1.75" spacer in the back. Is that because you had more lift in front than back and it was sitting higher in the front? Just looking at this from all angles and its cool to see what you've done since update/upgrade it. I am definitely going to purchase the 2" sport lift, just waiting for some extra funds. I just wondering about the 3/4" spacer in the back and I don't want to end up with the nose sticking up. I don't have the winch as you do so thats also a deciding factor to the overall stance. Thanks for taking the time to post pics and explain in detail what you have done.... it certainly has helped me.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:19 PM   #6
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Jaker,
Glad you are enjoying the threads. I'm happy to share what I know, especially if it'll help others.

My Jeep sat level after installing the 2 inch kit. I'm just one of the minority that likes the look with a slight forward rake. I also suspect that the Jeep engineers put it in for a reason. There may be some aerodynamic benefit to the rake, but that's purely speculation. At the very least, you end up nose high when towing a heavy trailer or with a heavy load in the back if you are level to start.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mike
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by onetraveller View Post
Jaker,
Glad you are enjoying the threads. I'm happy to share what I know, especially if it'll help others.

My Jeep sat level after installing the 2 inch kit. I'm just one of the minority that likes the look with a slight forward rake. I also suspect that the Jeep engineers put it in for a reason. There may be some aerodynamic benefit to the rake, but that's purely speculation. At the very least, you end up nose high when towing a heavy trailer or with a heavy load in the back if you are level to start.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mike
Your Jeep sat level after the 2" kit but you also had the winch on, right?

I also like a slight forward rake but I'm ok with a level look knowing that when I add winch and bumper it may sag a bit. Still looking at all my options, taking it slow. Dont want to go higher than 2" so I'm considering many options. I may do 1.5 RK coils in front and spacer in back. Need new shocks though, so the Rancho kit is a good deal.

-Jake
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:20 PM   #8
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Yes, it sat pretty level with the winch. I only ran the Sport Kit without the winch for about a week, so it may have been a little nose high at first.

I've got my Frankenlift almost complete, everything is installed but the new longer front shocks and the exhaust adapter. The shocks seem to be on back order and I'll do the exhaust adapter next week.

The front had sagged down to 1.75 inches over stock with the winch. I added the Rancho 0.75 inch spacer to the front to bring it back up to 2.5 inches over stock.

I still think the Rancho 2" kit is a great way to start. The only things I'm not reusing are the rear spacers and the front shocks. I could keep the front shocks, but wanted the longer travel length of the 29xl.

Mike
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:42 AM   #9
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by onetraveller View Post
Plan was to try and salvage as much of the Rancho kit, source high quality parts, and maximize articulation while staying within the 2-3 inch realm and keeping the stock control arms.
Mike, do you have any updates on how this Frankenlift is working out for you, especially in terms of the goals above? Any new photos? Are you satisfied with all the components you used or are there some you would not choose if you were doing this again?

Thanks in advance for your response and all you have contributed.

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Old 06-12-2015, 11:41 PM   #11
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I am very satisfied with the performance, I have no problem keeping up with our group and often run either lead or sweep, with most of them on 35s. I'm a little less satisfied with a couple of components. The Rancho springs ride fine, but I do have a good case of the JK lean. I also know that my Jeep is on the heavy side. I've had it on the scales with just me in it and it's pushing 5,200 lbs. I have a set of OME springs that I'm going to swap into the front to see if that fixes it. They are also a heavy duty coil and should give me a little more front lift. OME part no. 2619.

I ended up with Teraflex sway bar disconnects. I've had two problems with these. The bolts tend to come loose, even torqued down beyond spec with red loctite. Also, I have a rubbing issue with the sway bar disconnected and the links in the parked position. The holder that Teraflex uses puts the link too close to the tire and they rub at full stuff. With the spacers I have about 4.75 inches of backspacing, but I'm only using an 11 inch wide tire. I suspect that anyone using a similar setup with 33x12.5 tires would have severe rubbing at full stuff. I'm working through a solution for this, but if I can't make it work in the next couple of weeks, I'll spring for a different set of discos, either Metalcloak or JKS.

Otherwise the lift articulates very well. The only other change I'm considering is moving to a set of OME long travel shocks. They have a set that'll gain me an inch or more of travel over the Rancho 9000s. But the Ranchos do ride well. OME 60066L (front) and 60067L (rear).

These are the same shock part numbers that Northridge 4x4 uses with their in-house long travel kit and the shocks that Metalcloak uses with their ARB Gamechanger lift. The only change I might need to make would be different bump stops as the ARBs are longer then the Ranchos when compressed.

Mike
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:06 PM   #12
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this is amazing i asked the question in yur thread if i can add ome rear springs and no one gave me a straight answer.. now i know you can but dont you think its best/cheaper if you just go with front and rear ome springs and rancho shocks? from the beginning
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:40 PM   #13
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It is certainly a better option financially to buy the kit you want to end up with first. But it's also true that many people don't know where they want to end up when the first start doing mods to their Jeep. So for them, a slow piece by piece build may be a better option.

It's also important to note that very few kits include all the components that I've put on mine. So you end up adding pieces to most kits anyway. It's very challenging to stay under $2k for a complete kit, and many that are over $2k still aren't complete.

Mike
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:26 AM   #14
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So I swapped in my OME 2619 front springs yesterday. I've driven around a bit to settle them in, and currently they've given me back about 3/4 inch over the Rancho springs. The free length of the OME vs Rancho springs was the same, but the OME springs are definitely stiffer. Not in a bad way, but it is certainly noticeable. I also have a 3/4 inch spacer on top of the front springs. Combined with the 2618 rear springs, my Jeep is now almost perfectly level. I have 1/4 inch difference front to rear between the measurement from the rock rail to the ground, with the front being just slightly lower.

I have the soft top on, so I'll probably add a 3/4 inch spacer to the rear springs as well, so it doesn't sit nose high when I put the hard top back on. For the moment, I'm very happy with my switch to the OME springs.

Mike
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:32 PM   #15
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I've been running the lift now for about a week, and I also installed the rear 3/4 inch spacer on top of the OME springs. I measured the front between the lower spring mount and the edge of the upper spring bucket like is shown in this figure. My measurement came in at 12 1/2 inches, giving me 3 1/8 inches over stock in the front. I had 2 1/2 in the rear plus the 3/4 inch spacer gives me about 3 1/4 inches of lift in the rear. It looks surprisingly good with the 33s, and will probably clear the smaller 35s.

Mike

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Old 06-23-2015, 11:35 PM   #16
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Here are a couple of pictures from our local annual 4x4 Meet and Greet.

Mike







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Old 06-24-2015, 01:13 AM   #17
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Looks great Mike! So you are running OME springs at both ends now, correct? Are you running the 3/4" spacers at both ends or only on the rear?
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:33 AM   #18
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Yes, OME springs and 3/4 inch spacers on both ends.

Mike
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #19
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Yes, OME springs and 3/4 inch spacers on both ends.

Mike

Looks great, I'd add that the RK 2.5 springs would give you basically the same measurements as the OME and spacers and would be less $$ if you were to do it again...

And props for doing the mud... I pass when I can.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:06 AM   #20
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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of mud either. It was fun to drive through and prove to everyone that you could do it with 33s and a little bit of articulation. I spent 2 hours the next day digging tiny stones out of my front brakes. They were screeching like mad. The property owners had allowed some overburden to be dumped into the pit and the event organizers didn't know it. At least two people destroyed their alloy rims when rocks got wedged in between the rim and the brake calipers. One guy lost 3 rims at once. Makes for an expensive day.

Mike

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