I've had my 98 TJ for a few years. Had a YJ and a CJ before that. While doing the last oil change, I noticed some nasty frame rust. I took it to an acquaintance that has a body shop. After an inspection, it was determined that I needed to replace the frame. We've located a good used frame and his shop is going to do the "move". (I don't have the time, nor desire to tackle it) Since this has shot my budget for "fun" fixes, I've had to back off on my plan. But I do think I should replace the worn shocks, and exhaust system while it's torn down. While I do go off road, it's not extreme. I've got 1.5 spacers and decent 31" Cooper tires on it. Any suggestions on suspension and exhaust are welcome, along with any ideas of other things to do while the body is levitated.
I may be totally wrong on this, but I suspect you are one of us who is, "too old to own a Jeep"....keeping that in mind...I would give serious consideration to an OME SL which will replace your shocks and springs...and give a ride better than stock and allow you to fit 33"s with a BL added.....If you are this far into it, and, "Gotta Keep it NOW"...may as well make it better than new...BTW x2 on spraying the undercoating while torn down.
I got the "basic" OME lift from a local shop installed for about $1100 about 3 years ago. (which includes everything you mentioned) IMO from different things I have read...talk to Dirk at DPG off road and supply the parts to the shop. I know that most people who ride in my TJ are surprised in how well it rides. IMO it rides as well as my wife's '12 JK (which is still stock)...but 33" x 12" Duratracs at 28psi help a lot as well...my only issue now for street use is I need to regear...my only issue off road is I need a TT
I tried contacting DPG Off Road today. They're closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Huh, Friday? I called my shop guy and he's in no rush...but I am. I'll try them Monday. So far I've found a $200 spread in prices on the OME 2.5 lift kit, so I'm hoping it's worth the wait to get a price from DPG. They don't list the price on their site; they say to call. I'm pretty sure I'm going with it though. Now, I've got to get some ideas on the exhaust system. $$$$$ adding up fast!
I went Flowmaster on mine with a high flow CAT...no it doesn't make it sound like a ricer or like a V-8 (no replacement for displacement) but it does make it sound good IMO....if you are not looking to change the "Sound" might just go stock?
I realize making a 6 sound "good" is a challenge. Not a big concern. Might check out Flowmaster, but no problem with stock. Considering doing away with the cat, since there are no emission checks in Illinois.
Understand emissions check thingy but I can't deal with the "idiot check engine light" that's how I ended up high flow exhaust...was trying to make it "better" for my CAI...nah don't want to talk about it...but I still like the exhaust.....
New standard length shocks and basic cat back exhaust will do for now. I really have no problem with the way the Jeep is set up now and realized I probably wouldn't use major lift mods much anyhow. Will concentrate on safety and rust issues, then cosmetic and ease of use things like fender flares and sticky tailgate hinges. Just want it back, on (and off) the road.