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Old 09-28-2010, 09:00 PM   #1
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3 inch lift spacer nightmare

I'm sure somewhere on here this has been posted already, but anyway... Stay away from 3 inch lift spacers for the rear of a TJ. I put some on an XJ I had once and they worked great so I thought I'd put them on my TJ. Holy crap. The front spacers seemed to work out fine. But the back ones required longer bolts for the bump stops. Found some after a few hours and 6 stores later. Then the "may require longer shocks" issue came up. This is not a "may require" but a "will require". I blew one out going over a speed bump leaving my house. While replacing those I broke a bolt off up between the frame and gas tank. After trying everything I can think of it looks like I am going to have to drop the tank to get it out. It's one of those you can sit and stare at but can't get any tools on it. So I finally hit the road and there is a loud vibration/roar in 1st - 3rd. Long story short, by raising the Jeep 3 inches it put too steep of an angle on the rear drive shaft. I had to drop the transfer case/transmission crossmember an inch to compensate. I don't know for sure, but I think if you drop the crossmember you should also install motor mount lift spacers. Anyway, after all the hassle and headaches the fun has pretty much left this little project and I am just going to take it all off and put it back stock for now. My so called budget lift has ended up costing nearly half what a Rough Country suspension lift costs. I think I'll just start over and save for one of those. This is probably old news for some of you guys. But I am hoping to catch the attention of some young person or somebody on a tight budget before they make the same mistake I did. Oh well. This is what happens every time I try a short cut. I should have known.....

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Old 09-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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I had a similar,although not as tragic experience with a 2"BB in July.No broken parts,but death wobble,followed by me removing it,and although I used to be able to do 80-85,I now get weird vibes anywhere over 55,even though I removed the BB!I am now researching all facets of everything,so that the next time I will have all my ducks in a row!I,like you,am leaning towards thinking maybe I should just forget the BB and just spend more on the front end!Many on here rave about BB,but my experience wasn't so great!Still sorting out options and accumulating parts,new tire coming soon!

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Old 09-28-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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It's weird how some Jeeps react to different mods. I installed a BB in my Jeep when I first got it and had NO problems whatsoever. I eventually removed it when I installed my Full Traction lift and sold it on eBay.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:44 PM   #4
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OOPS!just noticed that tire is singular in last sentence-I meant plural-TIRES!31x10.50x15,with zero lift,or I take my chances again with 2"BB and 1.25"BL,and run 33x10.50x15.Definately not doing 32's,because I don't want 12.50 width.What I really would like is Co-Op 9.00x 16,but can't find them anywhere!
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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OOPS!just noticed that tire is singular in last sentence-I meant plural-TIRES!31x10.50x15,with zero lift,or I take my chances again with 2"BB and 1.25"BL,and run 33x10.50x15.Definately not doing 32's,because I don't want 12.50 width.What I really would like is Co-Op 9.00x 16,but can't find them anywhere!
Make sure if you're going to be running 33s with that combination that you adjust your bumpstops so you don't go eating your flares.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:56 PM   #6
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Well,I trimmed almost 2" off the flares,and don't do any hard-core wheeling,mostly mild trails,and around construction sites for work!
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cavediverjc View Post
It's weird how some Jeeps react to different mods. I installed a BB in my Jeep when I first got it and had NO problems whatsoever. I eventually removed it when I installed my Full Traction lift and sold it on eBay.
another reason why when you by a jeep it truly is YOUR JEEP because every single one is unique, Jeeps today, Jeeps Tomorow, Jeeps Forever!
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:31 PM   #8
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Well,I trimmed almost 2" off the flares,and don't do any hard-core wheeling,mostly mild trails,and around construction sites for work!
Then you're good to go.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:01 PM   #9
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I am interested in hearing more about peoples experiences, I have a 2006 tj stock and was contemplating getting 2in coil spacers or saving up and buying the full lift kit. I was actually going to order them this weekend, your post makes me think twice now!
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:46 PM   #10
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I just installed a 2" skyjacker spacer lift last week and so far it is nice. I am just not oo happy with the skyjacker hydro shocks.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:13 PM   #11
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We put in a 2" spacer lift in our 2001 TJ and love it! Not a single problem. We are running 33x12.50-15s and still have the stock shocks and bump stops. So far, we haven't run into any situation where we needed to modify anything else, but the wife did trim the flares as much for looks as for clearance. It helps both.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clear creek View Post
Then the "may require longer shocks" issue came up. This is not a "may require" but a "will require".
You may have heard "may require longer shocks" when talking about 1.75" spacers (what people call 2" spacers), but that certainly does not apply to a 3" spacer. I'm sorry you had an issue with that, I'm not sure where anyone would ever say a stock shock will work with a 3" spacer or coil.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #13
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Those reporting no problems with theirs here seem to all have 2" budget boosts but the OP installed a 3" boost that extra inch can add a lot of issues where the short wheelbase TJ is concerned.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:06 PM   #14
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You know, Jerry... I clearly saw the 3" in the OP's post. I'm not sure now why I even replied. :/

Hey Clear Creek, just ignore me. Most folks do and it seems to work out well for them. ha!
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:06 PM   #15
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:43 PM   #16
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I,too saw that,but my bad experience was very similar,even though in my situation it was 2" BB.Just trying to be fair and present an objective view.Although I never made it 3 more days to get alignment done,I have checked,checked,and rechecked control arm bushings,ball joint play,totally removed track bar and inspected bushings,even replaced steering stabilizer.Except for the Death Wobble,I still have issues that never existed prior to BB installation/removal,such as weird vibration over 55 m.p.h. I have read every bit of info I can find on this subject,and numbers are skewed towards many who have had zero problems.I am part of the 2% who DID!There could be some 18 year old kid who tries as I did,and perhaps lacks the 30+ additional years of driving skills that I have developed.This could end in tragedy!..................Just sayin................O.K.,I'm jumping off the soapbox,now!
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:06 PM   #17
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In a TJ that has no other existing issues or problems, a 2" budget boost won't cause any problems. There is no telling, however, what can happen in the presence of previously existing issues or problems.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:26 PM   #18
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True,but after a year of riding smooth,with zero issues at all,whatsoever,it just seems odd that such issues would arrive without any provocation. The only mitigating factor that had any bearing was the fact that I installed BB!My tires are getting close to needing replacement,for now we will blame it on tires,and see what happens next go round!
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:26 AM   #19
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The other potential issue was...since you never made it far enough to get an alignment done, that alignment could have been the source of your problems since lifting your Jeep does affect your alignment (possibly enough to cause vibes, death wobble, etc). Although, not sure why it wouldn't have gone away once returned to stock.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:13 PM   #20
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Yes,I get the part where the alignment could have caused the DW,and totally agree that maybe that caused that.However,putting it back the way is was before,although the alignment could have been thrown out by raising/lowering,should have resulted in everything returning to the previous state.In theory,at least,I should have the exact product that I did prior to any alteration.I tried swapping rear tires to front,because I figured the DW probably shook the weights off,etc.But I still have some vibration that I never had before.My new plan is to put the BB back on,drop the transfer case 1",buy some caster adjustment bolts,then install all this on a Friday night.The next morning,I'm going to the tire/alignment shop,buying new tires,and having alignment done.Then if it happens again,I will probably abandon the idea and learn to live with 31" tires!

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