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Old 09-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Best way to fix sagging suspension from winch/new bumper

I am installing a winch (Q9000) and a new Warn Elite front bumper this weekend. From what I can tell, this will add around 150lbs to the front end of my jeep (new bumper is ~50lbs more, and ~100lbs for the winch). I expect this will cause my front end to sag.

I know there are spring spacers available to fix this, as well as leveling kits. A few questions:

1) Are there any good options other than spring spacers to bring the front end back up? New front springs?

2) Will a standard leveling kit still work with the extra weight up front, or will the kit need bigger front spacers than normal?

3) I *may* upgrade to 33s in the future, how should that affect my decision?

Edit: I have a 2012 2-door Sport S that is otherwise stock. Located in Kansas City.

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Old 09-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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Your springs have tags with part numbers on them, post the numbers here. You may be at the lower end of the spring range, so a stiffer spring will bring it up to snuff. Also is this a 2 door or 4 door?

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Old 09-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 5JKs View Post
Your springs have tags with part numbers on them, post the numbers here. You may be at the lower end of the spring range, so a stiffer spring will bring it up to snuff. Also is this a 2 door or 4 door?
See my edit re: my model (2012 2-door). I'll take a look at the springs during the install this weekend.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #4
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You'll be able to use a set of stiffer springs off a 4 door rubicon. There are takeoffs here in the classifieds. I'd go that route instead of adding spacers.

Edit: Post your city/state, someone local may have a set.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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I installed the teraflex performance leveling kit on my 2 door. Then installed about the same weight as you with bumper/skid/winch combo. I've still got 1 -1.5" of lift in the front after all that weight. It might have regained a slight rake, but you really have to look to notice.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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I installed the teraflex performance leveling kit on my 2 door. Then installed about the same weight as you with bumper/skid/winch combo. I've still got 1 -1.5" of lift in the front after all that weight. It might have regained a slight rake, but you really have to look to notice.
I got everything installed this weekend, and there is a noticeable sag in the front. Considering the TeraFlex 1.5" Performance Leveling Kit. Anything else I should be looking at? Looking to stick with stock 31" tires for now (I have 3.21 gearing w/ an auto tranny, don't want to re-gear right now), so I don't want to lift very high.

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Old 09-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #7
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Good looking bumper.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:39 PM   #8
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Did you get a number on the springs?
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
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Did you get a number on the springs?
The Tag Reads:

52126341AC
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
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I think you transposed those last 2 digits, I think yours is 14AC

My JKUs are ...17AC and the JKUR is ....18AC

A heavier spring will lift it up and keep it there, a spacer on a lighter spring (like a 14ac) will lift it up - but that spring will sag over time.

I'd look for some JKUR takeoff springs.
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 5jks View Post
i think you transposed those last 2 digits, i think yours is 14ac

my jkus are ...17ac and the jkur is ....18ac

a heavier spring will lift it up and keep it there, a spacer on a lighter spring (like a 14ac) will lift it up - but that spring will sag over time.

I'd look for some jkur takeoff springs.
x2
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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I think you transposed those last 2 digits, I think yours is 14AC

My JKUs are ...17AC and the JKUR is ....18AC

A heavier spring will lift it up and keep it there, a spacer on a lighter spring (like a 14ac) will lift it up - but that spring will sag over time.

I'd look for some JKUR takeoff springs.
You're right, it is 14AC. So if I want to lift it a little, is the performance leveling kit with the new springs a decent option? I assume the 17AC or 18AC will only bring me back to where I was?
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:17 PM   #13
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Find some JKU takeoffs on eBay for ~$90, problem solved. I found some 17 front/59 rear springs that lifted our JK enough that it is still higher than OE after front and rear steel bumpers and a winch.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:18 PM   #14
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You can do the springs in about 45 minutes. I'd consider a set of 18s or 19's and see where it stands. Measure first to see what you gained. The heavier springs support the slightly heavier 4 door. You can add a spacer after that (or new Teraflex or other aftermarket lift springs). Since you tackled a bumper and winch, the springs are real easy.

Nice look btw. Did you have to relocate the vacuum pump?
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #15
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You can do the springs in about 45 minutes. I'd consider a set of 18s or 19's and see where it stands. Measure first to see what you gained. The heavier springs support the slightly heavier 4 door. You can add a spacer after that (or new Teraflex or other aftermarket lift springs). Since you tackled a bumper and winch, the springs are real easy.

Nice look btw. Did you have to relocate the vacuum pump?
Should I do the rears too, or just the front springs?

I did have to relocate the pump, which was a bit of a bitch. I think I may get a different relocation bracket (one that brings it up into the engine compartment). Biggest problem was the original vacuum pump bracket. Trimming it wasn't terribly difficult (just used a manual hacksaw), but enlarging the hole for the bumper bracket was tough.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:25 PM   #16
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I was exactly were you are, (14's and TF kit). I ended up installing 19's with the TF kit. However, at that point it lifted the front end a little too high. But, I originally had not used the rear spacers. So...I had to install the rear spacers and now we are happy!! Now my wife says my tires look too small!! It never ends! LOL.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:07 PM   #17
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I just bought a cheap set of 0 mile 17ACs off eBay. Hopefully they will do the trick for now.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:28 PM   #18
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Should I do the rears too, or just the front springs?

I did have to relocate the pump, which was a bit of a bitch. I think I may get a different relocation bracket (one that brings it up into the engine compartment). Biggest problem was the original vacuum pump bracket. Trimming it wasn't terribly difficult (just used a manual hacksaw), but enlarging the hole for the bumper bracket was tough.
I cut a piece of stainless steel to make the engine bay bracket, easy if you have a scrap stainless and a plasma cutter laying around.

You just have to lengthen the wires (a pair) about 2'. You remove a 2' (don't even need to cut) the vacuum line.

I did this on my '12 and made a pattern of the my bracket before I traded it in, so it was easy the second time around.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bradg33 View Post
Should I do the rears too, or just the front springs?

I did have to relocate the pump, which was a bit of a bitch. I think I may get a different relocation bracket (one that brings it up into the engine compartment). Biggest problem was the original vacuum pump bracket. Trimming it wasn't terribly difficult (just used a manual hacksaw), but enlarging the hole for the bumper bracket was tough.
I hear ya! It took me an entire weekend to do with my friend from beginning to end. What a pain in the ass, indeed. How long did it take you? If you find a different bracket to get it under the hood, post it here. I'd love to get some ideas. I have a '13 JK and have the exact same setup as you (but with a Warn M8000 winch). Great job!
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:09 PM   #20
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I started around 1030am, we wrapped up around 4pm. I wasn't working at much of a pace to begin with, and that includes a 1hr "break" to buy a drill bit to enlarge the hole in the lower part of the bracket and for lunch.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:29 PM   #21
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I switched out my stock 14-56 springs for some 19-60 and then added a teraflex 3/4 puck to level it. And then added Rancho's XL 9000 shocks. Mine has been like this for a year and had the piss pounded out of it. No sag it's still level. Same bumper as your's
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:04 PM   #22
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I switched out my stock 14-56 springs for some 19-60 and then added a teraflex 3/4 puck to level it. And then added Rancho's XL 9000 shocks. Mine has been like this for a year and had the piss pounded out of it. No sag it's still level. Same bumper as your's
Was the puck in the front or back to level?
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:13 PM   #23
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I went with a 3/4" puck in front after adding a warn Zeon the rake is gone (18&59)
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:09 PM   #24
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Have 2013 Rubicon. Installed AEV bumper and Warn 9.5 CTI with synthetic line so about 150 lbs more than stock. After installing both i was surprised at how different the front end felt. Reluctant to turn with all the extra weight, almost like turn first and then feel the front end following, and obviously more of a droop than before. I installed the AEV 2.5 lift and the difference is truly amazing. The front end steers even better than stock and I don't feel the winch or bumper up front at all. The control arm drop brackets are the best - no dive when braking. It's now a 1000 or so miles since install and everything feels like it's softened up just a little where the ride is quite comfortable - but still firm. I corner with the Jeep at speeds that i probably shouldn't and it rides nice and flat - i'm more worried about rolling a tire off the rim than anything else but at 30 psi that's not likely.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:18 PM   #25
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Here's a bracket. Stainless steel - that paint color was the closest can of spray paint I had.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:22 PM   #26
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Have 2013 Rubicon. Installed AEV bumper and Warn 9.5 CTI with synthetic line so about 150 lbs more than stock. After installing both i was surprised at how different the front end felt. Reluctant to turn with all the extra weight, almost like turn first and then feel the front end following, and obviously more of a droop than before. I installed the AEV 2.5 lift and the difference is truly amazing. The front end steers even better than stock and I don't feel the winch or bumper up front at all. The control arm drop brackets are the best - no dive when braking. It's now a 1000 or so miles since install and everything feels like it's softened up just a little where the ride is quite comfortable - but still firm. I corner with the Jeep at speeds that i probably shouldn't and it rides nice and flat - i'm more worried about rolling a tire off the rim than anything else but at 30 psi that's not likely.
I have noticed a handling difference. A lift is in my future, just not immediate. Maybe spring.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:59 PM   #27
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I have a '12 Sport 2 door soft top.

I added Rubicon rails + a Rockhard trans/oil pan skid + Rubicon wheels/tires. oh, and a hitch and a little subwoofer. After (just?) that, my suspension went to crap. My ride went soft and I was bottoming out on green trails that I wasn't even with when I wheeled bare stock with the steel 29's. Even speed bumps went from bumpy to mushy.

My Sport came with 14/55 springs. I got a set of 18/59 springs and Rubicon shocks and my ride is better both on and off road. I keep 37psi in my Rubicon wheels, but my ride is stiff, responsive, and comfortable.

Adding weight can really mess with your ride, in my experience. If I add more weight, I'll either be looking for 19/60 springs or an aftermarket suspension. I still plan to add 3/4" pucks to give just a touch more height, even if I don't add more weight. I got about 1.5 inches of lift from the change from 14/55's to 18/59's with my rails and skids installed.

Based on this, I think that if you're adding 100lbs+ of sprung weight, you need to do something for your suspension.

I just went wheeling this past weekend and truly tested my rig (lol, on greens) and my 18/59's and shocks. I can't begin to say how happy I am with my upgrade. I'm not sure I'm ready for blues yet, but my Sport+upgrades can now tackle greens with confidence.

That's my experience, YMMV.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #28
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I have a '12 Sport 2 door soft top.

I added Rubicon rails + a Rockhard trans/oil pan skid + Rubicon wheels/tires. oh, and a hitch and a little subwoofer. After (just?) that, my suspension went to crap. My ride went soft and I was bottoming out on green trails that I wasn't even with when I wheeled bare stock with the steel 29's. Even speed bumps went from bumpy to mushy.

My Sport came with 14/55 springs. I got a set of 18/59 springs and Rubicon shocks and my ride is better both on and off road. I keep 37psi in my Rubicon wheels, but my ride is stiff, responsive, and comfortable.

Adding weight can really mess with your ride, in my experience. If I add more weight, I'll either be looking for 19/60 springs or an aftermarket suspension. I still plan to add 3/4" pucks to give just a touch more height, even if I don't add more weight. I got about 1.5 inches of lift from the change from 14/55's to 18/59's with my rails and skids installed.

Based on this, I think that if you're adding 100lbs+ of sprung weight, you need to do something for your suspension.

I just went wheeling this past weekend and truly tested my rig (lol, on greens) and my 18/59's and shocks. I can't begin to say how happy I am with my upgrade. I'm not sure I'm ready for blues yet, but my Sport+upgrades can now tackle greens with confidence.

That's my experience, YMMV.
I know I'm bringing this back from the dead, but I'm in this boat right now. I have 14/55 with 2.5bb spacers. I just added a front bumper and I now it has a slight rake look again. I found a set of 18AC springs for a good price, but my question is, will the rear look like its sagging if I just change out the fronts, or should I get 59 or 60 rear springs as well?? Thanks!

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