During my research for a better balance between up and down travel, I took a closer look at Metalcloak's 3.5" springs. What really caught my attention was the unsprung length, because after I out boarded my rear with Bilstein 14" travel shocks, I had a problem dropping my rear springs on the trail.
For a little bit background, I started off with an OME 2.5" kit, then later out boarded the rear and installed a .75" spacer in the front and a 1.25" spacer in the back. At the time, I was going for low center of gravity, but quickly realized that I lacked ground clearance and the necessary up travel navigate trails in my area. I frequently bottomed out the suspension, was thrown off camber due to a lack of uptrave and drug everything under the Jeep across rocks trying to keep up with my friends with "bigger" builds than I have.
From a numbers standpoint, the OME system provided the following statistics:
Rocker rail height - 23" front / 25" rear
Frame - 20"
TC pan - 18.5"
Front travel - 3.5" up / 6.5" down
Rear travel - 4.5" up / 3.5" down (weight limited)
Bump stop - 3.5" front / 4" rear
With the Metalcloak 3.5" of shock, I was expecting to have about the same ride height in the back with about 3/4" more in the front. The system probably has not fully settled yet, but I am very happy with the results. Keep in mind, I have a very light Jeep; e.g., suspension seat, no rear bench, extensive use of aluminum, etc.
Rocker rail height - 24.5" front / 25.25" rear
Frame - 21.25"
TC pan - 20"
Front travel - 5.5" up / 4.5" down (shock limited)
Rear travel - 6" up / 8" down
Bump stop - 2.75" front / 3.5" rear
Needless to say, I am pleased with these results. Two more inches of up travel in the front and an inch and a half more in the rear with substantially more useable down travel as well. As I mentioned in the beginning, the unsprung length caught my eye, as the Metalcloak springs offer 22.5" open fronts and a whopping 19" in the rear. This is compared to the 19.5" fronts and 11.25" rear OME's.
I was able to go for a quick ride last night after setting up my caster and pinion and did not notice much difference in the ride quality, but after a quick test stretch in my driveway, I can tell that I have a lot more useable stretch with these coils.
My next two weekends are already booked, so I will not have a chance to test them out on the trails until the first week in May, but I will be sure to provide an update.
The OME's were at full bump here prior to the swap.
You can see that the shock is limiting my front down travel and have lots of down travel to go when I get around to upgrading shocks. To put it into perspective, I was able to spin my front OME spring in this same spot.
Here is a full stuff picture in the garage when I was setting up the bump stops
Lot's of down travel to go in the rear as well. I was able to easily remove my OME rear springs in this position.
Still have a lot of rear up travel left as well.
20130418_143431_zps08005066.jpg Photo by john_sblendorio | Photobucket
To Will and Matson, thank you for answering all of my questions.