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Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 05:43 PM

New jeep owner lots of questions! - what else is new?
 
Howdy,

I just bought an '03 wrangler sport with 48k miles and so far I absolutely love it. My first car was a 1990 Isuzu Trooper and while it was a good first car I always wished it was a jeep.

Anyway, I have some questions.

It has what I believe to be a 2" (I haven't actually measured it yet) coil spring spacer front and back, stock shocks, and it's sitting on 33x12.5 tires. Now, I know that this is not ideal and only really good for "mall crawling".

Seeing that ill honestly be 90% hwy driving and maaaaybee 10% dirt I'd like to keep what I have and make it work. So, my plan is to replace the shocks (I've read skyjacker hydros are the best bang for your buck), bump stop it correctly (forgot to mention that it does have lower bump stop extensions in the front that I've yet to measure and I'm not sure about the rear), add spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers (the rear tires are about 1/8" from the upper spring perch- kinda scary!), and depending on the bump stops ill prob add a 1" body lift to help clear the big 33's. Does this all sound logical? I'm also not super opposed to trimming the fender flares an inch but if I can get away with not trimming I'd like to bc once it's gone it's gone!

I've read about the importance of bump stops when dealing with a small lift/big tires and I've read about how to measure your shock mounts/bump stops to size new shocks to an existing lift.

Here's the threads I'm talking about:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/help...ft-177792.html the post by geiman

And this

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/corr...gth-70047.html the posts by UnlimitedLJ04

Thanks to both of you guys for helping without even knowing!

My REAL question is: do I really have to undo the springs and shocks to take these measurements or can I just support the frame on jackstands, disconnect the front swaybar, take off the passenger side tire, and jack up the drivers side axle until:

1) the bump stops impact correctly and the tire has plenty of space to turn without rubbing. Which is completely unlikely to happen. In which case I would just measure for the shock like geiman explained in the thread I linked to.

2) the tire hits the fender. Which is probably going to happen. In which case I would measure how much bump stop I would need to add (subtracting 1" if I add the body lift). And measure for the shock with my theoretical bump stop numbers.

3) the shock bottoms out without the bump stops impacting and the tire hitting the fender. Which I doubt will happen and if it does I really don't know what I'd do (well, I'd post here and ask :) )


My reasoning for doing this without taking the shocks and springs off is:

1) it seems like a lot of possibly unneeded work

2) if I was out wheeling the shocks and springs would obviously be on so isn't it better to get some "real world" measurements?

If I need to take them off I certainly will but like I said...seems like a lot of possibly unneeded work.

For the rear I would basically do the same thing but I'd leave the swaybar connected.

I plan on doing all of this on Wednesday bc I'm off from work. Ill post up some pics of what I find then.

Thanks in advance for all the help!

-Andy

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 06:18 PM

Actually, I just looked and never mind. There are no bump stop extensions on the bottom on the front or rear.

BLK00TJ 10-15-2012 06:21 PM

Skyjacker shocks are pure junk. No kidding there. It doesn't matter whether they are hydro or nitro. Look into Bilstein 5100, OME, or Rancho RS9000XLS (not 5000 series).

You'll want to setup your bumpstop after the BL. You'll want to do this without the coils in place so that you can fully articulate the axle to its extents without resistance. You'll need to check for clearance on tires and flares/fenders, diffs, steering, and shock compression. Measure without the jounce bumper in the bumpstop cup since the jounce can and will compress all the way into the cup when used. My advice would be to do all of the above with the shocks out too since you are looking to replace them. Get the bumpstop set for all of the factors minus the shocks and measure for compressed shock length you'll need to maximize your travel. I screwed up and ordered shocks specified for a 3-4" lift (I have a 3") and the shocks are too big so I'm bumpstopped to the gills limiting uptravel.

You can use spacers or maybe even get some wheels with the proper backspacing to clear the spring perches. With the spacers, you may find that the wheels stick out too far.


I hope my rambling made some kind of sense. It's hard to articulate with 3 girls in the house sometimes.

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 06:57 PM

Awesome. Thanks for the reply.

Your ramblings made since but to paraphrase:

1) install body lift

2) remove shocks, springs, and jouncers. Remove passenger tire and jack up drivers side tire until its like 1/4" from hitting anything then measure how much bump stop I need to add. After determining how much bump stop to add use that number to figure out what size shocks to get.

Question: the jouncers are pretty dry and cracked. Anything better than stock here? Also, couldn't I go ahead and do the measurements now and deduct an inch of bump stop for the body lift?

Would new wheels be less than the $200 I'd spend on spacers? If so have any recommendations? I really don't mind the tires sticking out a bit.

Thanks again.

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 06:59 PM

Oh, one more thing I forgot. Do I need to fully remove the shocks or can I just unbolt the bottom mount?

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 07:08 PM

Ok, ok...one more thing. If I'm going to go through all of this trouble would I be better off sticking with the budget boost I have now or should I do the "junk yard lift" of zj and crown Vic springs?

Thanks again!

BLK00TJ 10-15-2012 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893062)
Awesome. Thanks for the reply.

Your ramblings made since but to paraphrase:

1) install body lift

2) remove shocks, springs, and jouncers. Remove passenger tire and jack up drivers side tire until its like 1/4" from hitting anything then measure how much bump stop I need to add. After determining how much bump stop to add use that number to figure out what size shocks to get.

Question: the jouncers are pretty dry and cracked. Anything better than stock here? Also, couldn't I go ahead and do the measurements now and deduct an inch of bump stop for the body lift?

Would new wheels be less than the $200 I'd spend on spacers? If so have any recommendations? I really don't mind the tires sticking out a bit.

Thanks again.

Yep, that's pretty much it. As for the jounce bumpers, stock is perfectly fine from the stealership. I'm not sure what the going rate for them are. What you want to avoid are the daystar bumpers that don't use the cup. They can bend allowing for more compression than you want and that's how junk breaks.

You can get soft 8s for 50-65 or so brand spankin' new. I see them on craigslist all the time around my parts so keep an eye out there. Rust can be fixed. Bends not so much.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893069)
Oh, one more thing I forgot. Do I need to fully remove the shocks or can I just unbolt the bottom mount?

Yeah, I'm lazy too and that's all I do. I ziptie them compressed so they stay out of the way.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893097)
Ok, ok...one more thing. If I'm going to go through all of this trouble would I be better off sticking with the budget boost I have now or should I do the "junk yard lift" of zj and crown Vic springs?

Thanks again!

I can't speak to the Crown vic springs, but I used to run ZJ fronts and 2" BB up front.. Rode better than stock. The ZJ springs are the same uncompressed length but have a higher spring rate so they don't compress as much. They gave me an additional 1" of lift over the 2" BB I had up front and gave made me tighter in turns. If I were going with a 2" BB, I'd mix them as I did so you have more travel in front. Oh wait, I did didn't I? :D

It all depends on what you want to do. I have a tendency to mod between wheeling to tweak stuff if I can afford to. I needed just a little more and wanted more wheel travel in the rear for a few obstacles I had trouble with. Once they are conquered, there's new ones to deal with. It never ends.

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 08:22 PM

Awesome, ill look into the soft 8's. Glad to hear I can just undo the bottom shock mount, that'll save some time.

Dang, bummer to hear the zj springs only gave you an inch WITH the bb spacers...from what I've read others were getting 3". What gives? Why are some ppl getting 3 and others only 1?

If I change springs that'll throw off my shock measurements. Guess ill have to put those on, do the measuments, put the stock ones with spacers back on and order the shocks. Grr. I hate doing things more than once. Lol.

Thanks again for all your help.

BLK00TJ 10-15-2012 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893436)
Dang, bummer to hear the zj springs only gave you an inch WITH the bb spacers...from what I've read others were getting 3". What gives? Why are some ppl getting 3 and others only 1?

It could be spring sag. My Jeep was 10 years old when I did it. That's why I always give my measurement as the difference between the BB and the ZJ springs. I have no idea what a stock height is anymore.

Here's a post I made last month helping someone out with a ZJ spring lift. You can see the difference in height by comparing the Dr. Pepper cans.
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/zj-s...ml#post2792831

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893436)
If I change springs that'll throw off my shock measurements. Guess ill have to put those on, do the measuments, put the stock ones with spacers back on and order the shocks. Grr. I hate doing things more than once. Lol.

Thanks again for all your help.

Yes, but don't let that stop you. Bumpstops are cheap and easy to change out if you need to adjust them. I have hockey pucks epoxied to the spring pads to supplement mine.

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 08:52 PM

Tiny bit confused. Were you using zj springs with spacers in the front and got 1" or just zj springs...no spacers....and got 1"?

BLK00TJ 10-15-2012 08:55 PM

I replaced the front BB with just the ZJ springs (no spacers). I left the BB on the rear.

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 09:10 PM

Gotcha! That's why you only got 1" bc you were coming from a 2" lift. While others were going from stock to zj thus getting 3.

If I'm going to go through all this trouble (fun trouble! :) ) then I'm going to do the junk yard zj/cv lift. There's a wrench a part near by that sells springs for $7 a piece.

Will I need a rear track bar relocation bracket? More importantly, why?

BLK00TJ 10-15-2012 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893671)
Will I need a rear track bar relocation bracket? More importantly, why?

That's to re-center your axle. Your frame, trackbar, and axle create a Z shape. As the frame is lifted away from the axle, the axle needs to shift to the passenger side (front axle shifts to the driver side). A longer trackbar or relocation bracket corrects this. I still don't have adjustable trackbars or a bracket, but I don't notice enough of a difference to run out and get one. For 2" of lift in the back you should be fine without it. Looking down the side of my Jeep I doubt there's a 1/2" difference. It is on my list but I'm waiting until I have the cash for all new Currie CAs, SYE, driveshaft, tummy tuck skid, trackbars (front and rear), etc. My next upgrade is going to make the wife angry if she finds out how much I'm going to spend.

Alamo_Beer 10-15-2012 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BLK00TJ (Post 2893772)
My next upgrade is going to make the wife angry if she finds out how much I'm going to spend.

Isn't that true of any upgrade? Lol My wife is already giving me the stink eye for wanting to spend more money on the jeep seeing as we've only had it a week.

Ok, so if I do the cv springs in the rear (should be about a 3" lift) you think I'd be cool to skip the relocation bracket? For now at least...

BLK00TJ 10-16-2012 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer (Post 2893859)
Ok, so if I do the cv springs in the rear (should be about a 3" lift) you think I'd be cool to skip the relocation bracket? For now at least...

I can't speak to CV springs since I've never ran them and don't know anyone that has, but it would be worth a try. You know what they say, "all Jeeps are different". I think BDS has them for $60ish.


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