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Old 10-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #1
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Help me decide, I have over researched..

Flip flopping more than a politician on my suspension upgrade and it is this forums fault for telling me to research and research some more. I already over research everything w/o being egged on. I have a stock 97 SE 4cyl with 31” tires. I do not plan on going larger. So help me get off the fence and buy something. I do have one question on the BDS, are there shocks decent or should I see if I can buy just the coils and purchase rancho rs9000sl or blistien 5100?

Option #1
2” BB. Front and rear $80
2” Bump stops spacers. F&R $40
Or RS9000xl $245 w/ rebate

Approx. $365


Option #2
2” BDS w/ shocks $400
2” Bump stops spacers. F&R $40
I should not need cam bolts or track bar, right?

Approx $440

In future
JKS MML $72, if needed to reduce vibration
JKS 1.25" Body Lift Kit , maybe in future $120
RC Quick Disconnects

I keep reading that BB is the way to go to raise you jeep on the cheap. Not sure how that plays out unless you keep your old shocks, which in my case, they need to be replaced. Any time you have to remove a wear item it only makes since to replace it when you have it off unless it is in perfect condition. Plus my coil springs have 120k miles on them also. So for $80 more option #2 seems to be the better way to go.

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Old 10-16-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Keep the suspension, at least in terms of height, stock. You don't need more and as it stands, your coil length, shock length, and bump stop positioning are perfect for 31's. You'd be better off gaining clearance in other ways--addressing the stock t-case skid is a good first step. By swapping over to a flat skid, you'll gain several inches under the belly. You can also tuck the gas tank up. Build smart, don't just look at suspension height. There are so many things that could be improved without going up.

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Old 10-16-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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True, skid plates and winch are on my non-suspension todo list. I am going to oil and steering skip plates first
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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Since your Jeep is a '97, it could probably benefit from some new springs, so I am going to vote for Option 2 for ya.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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I'd move that steering box skid down to 3rd place and move a gas tank skidplate right up there with the oil pan skidplate in terms of importance. Early TJs up through 2002 use a very thin piece of sheet metal to hold the gas tank in place and it offers next to no protection. Jeep finally beefed up the gas tank area in 2003 and installed a worthy skidplate which your '97 doesn't have.

One very good gas tank skidplate is from Savvy Offroad at Savvy Offroad. It's not inexpensive because it is made from an exceptionally strong version of aluminum but it also saves a considerable amount of weight.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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I will put it on the list. I like light w/ the 4 banger and I have not priced skids yet but $335 for a gastank skid plate seems spendy. Maybe I will look for an '03 in the a junkyard.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pne123 View Post
True, skid plates and winch are on my non-suspension todo list. I am going to oil and steering skip plates first
Smart. A V8 ZJ tie rod is also a good addition.
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Since your Jeep is a '97, it could probably benefit from some new springs, so I am going to vote for Option 2 for ya.
Lightly used factory take-offs are another good option.
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I will put it on the list. I like light w/ the 4 banger and I have not priced skids yet but $335 for a gastank skid plate seems spendy. Maybe I will look for an '03 in the a junkyard.
Go land that gas tank of yours onto a log or rock then tell me it's spendy. Check a Savvy gas tank skid out in person and you'll realize they're asking a very fair amount. Good parts cost money. Welcome to the offroad industry.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #8
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I can order just the springs from BDS w/o the shocks for $225. Are rancho rs9000xl or bilstein 5100 better than the BDS shocks? I guess the rancho's, with a rebate, end up only being $40 more but not sure if they are an upgrade or not.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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Rancho's R9000xl is tough to beat, especially since it has 9 user adjustable (by knob) settings of firmness from soft to extra-firm.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:42 PM   #10
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^^ Gonna agree with Jerry on the Rancho 9's. I sell the snot out of them to guys with rigs that range from TJ's to Land Rover Disco 2's and they all love them. The adjustability is a great feature and is a simple, quick adjustment. It's not like you're gonna go from "Corvette" ride to "Deuce and a half" ride, but a great shock. As for the bumpstops, I didn't put the extended ones on mine when I did my 2" BB, and I see/hear a lot of guys who don't. As long as your current ones are in good shape, and you're not planning on pounding the rocks, I'd say skip em and invest the savings towards the aforementioned skid plates. I've done some pretty heavy wheeling since I've done mine and never had an issue. As most of the guys have said so far, think about your rig and plan accordingly. All to many guys who spend twice and regret it. Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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On your list there I have both the RS9000XLS shocks and the Savvy GTS. The Ranchos are worth every penny. Don't get the 5000 series, get the 9000 series. There is a big difference between the two. I wasn't sure how I'd like my suspension. I was torn between firm and soft so I got them for their adjustability. I have the front set at 5 and the rear set at 3 since I have no back seat or gear most days. When I hit the trails I set them to 9 (firmest). I feel that the Savvy skid is worth it as well if you offroad where rocks tend to bash your tank. I do and have bashed it well without damaging it. My '00 stock skid was rusted pretty bad and the straps were in bad shape. Did I mention the Savvy skid comes with new straps?
Here are some before and after pics of the skid.






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Old 10-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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I am ordering parts for my suspension lift.

I am getting BDS 2” lift w/o shocks. Just the coil springs. I was going to get 2” F & R but I have been reading and there seems to be quite a few that add a .75-1” spacer in front to remove the jeep’s rake. I can order a 3” coil for the front and 2” for the rear. Is this a good idea?

Second question. Which shocks? I am buying Rancho RS9000xl shocks since rancho is have a buy 3 get one free sale. They have a shock for 0”, 2”-2.5” and 4”. Would the 2”-2.5” shock be the one to buy for the F & R even though I would have a 3” spring in the front?
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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How do you plan on centering your front/rear axles after you lift it?
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #14
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Everything i read was if you are only going 2" or so that a new trackbar will not be needed. the axle will be offset about 1/2-3/4" and it hurts nothing.

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