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Old 03-28-2017, 08:17 PM
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2" lift for a worn out TJ

Howdy y'all. I feel like I've researched to my wits end, even contemplated staying stock. But to replace all the components and in the end still be stock, seems counterproductive to me. Sitting at 14 years old and 232,000 miles, most stuff is wore out.

Its a 2003 Sport, 2 door, soft top, 5 speed, 4.0, dana 30 front and dana 44 rear with 3:73 gears. No extras on the bumpers front or rear. Currently running 31x10.5 BFG ATs KO2s.

I talked to Dirk nearly a year ago (I've prolly thought on this for well longer lol), and while the Ultimate Old Man Emu lift sounds so great, the price gets me. I also mostly want to stick with a 2" lift I think. The Ultimate was 2 1/2" plus 1.25 body. Heres my thoughts so far....

BDS 2" lift springs. Do the ones that come with the kit do great, or should I get some Rancho RS5000X? I hear they are real good. Another question on those, Im seeing a "0-2" lift" and a "2-3" lift on the shocks, which would be the one to go with?

Im hoping the lift will not give me vibes. If so, I may just do a few washers on the skid temporarily. Will I need new bolts if I do that? My plan is in the fall, to either keep running 31s, or bump up to a 33. The KO2s measure out 32.5 I believe. Prolly sticking with 10.5 no matter what. If I go up in tire size, I will get rid of the washers, and add a body lift and motor mount lift. I kinda dont wanna do all that if I might stick with the 31s.

When doing the lift, I may do the drive up on opposing ramp idea someone posted.

All the sway bar links are shot. Thinking JKS quicker discos in front, hear good things about 'em. Not sure of a brand in the rear.

Thinking Metalcloak track bars front and rear. I hear I have to drill a bigger hole?

I just ordered all new Moog control arms last week. Putting those in first. So when I do the lift I can loosen em quicker. You have to loosen em right?

Then there is bumpstops, this part confuses me a lil. Cycling the suspension, is that like jacking up each corner, turning the wheel back and forth and stuff? Trying to figure out measurements. Or is there a standard for the BDS 2" lift?

I've only replaced a strut on a car once, so this is my first lift install. Nervous as hell lol. I've broken one bolt replacing a motor mount already, so the rear upper shock mounts scare me. I plan on ordering some Kroil, and soaking them good for a week or two. Im using simple hand tools for this project. Any certain bolts and lock washers y'all use for the upper rear if they break? Any others that might break?

In the near future, possibly while doing the lift, I will prolly also go ahead and replace the tie rod with a ZJ, replace the drag link with a TJ, Moog stuff.


ANY input y'all can give or tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated and helpful. Or anything you would recommend vs what I have proposed. Hoping creating this thread will finally push me over the edge to get started lol.

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Old 03-28-2017, 08:40 PM   #2
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You could always do the Ultimate and just leave off the body lift. Save it for later if you go with 33s. I currently run the BDS 2" and I like it. I am running the BDS shocks and they are said to have some of the best travel for their size. I don't have Ranchos so I can't chime in there. I did get some little vibrations from the lift and I dropped it down with a few washers and it seems to be pretty good now. I plan to do the low profile transmission mount mod to take care of the vibes/allow me to remove the drop washers (you can find that on this forum I believe). With the BDS kit on my Jeep I think I could easily fit 32s on her and still have full flex, but 33s would need additional lift. Also, 33s would necessitate a regear for your axles, so keep that added cost in mind (~$1,000-$1,300 for a basic one). I run Teraflex quick disconnects and some longer Zone links in the rear. The rear may not have been necessary, but at full droop the brake lines were being pulled by the sway bar. Metalcloak is great for the front and that is what I run. You have to drill larger holes. Take your time To make sure you don't englarge them/make them oval because it could cause you another headache someday. I don't have one for the rear though and have heard of some slight clearance issues. The stock track bar really is fine in the rear though. Looking at the Jeep you can't see that the axle is shifted and my drivers rear tire (31x10.5) still has plenty of room between the top and the spring perch. Yes, you have to loosen the track bar and control arms when doing the lift and then retighten them at the new ride heigh. You could cause some bushing bind if you don't loosen them first. You NEED to add bumpstop. It really isn't that hard. You will remove the springs and add the shocks and then jack up the front end til it is almost fully compressed (1/2" of shock compression left). Measure between the bump stop cup and lower perch and there is how much you need. Also you need to check and make sure that your trackbar clears your front differential (metalcloak definitely should) and that you don't have any other kind of interference. Then you do a full flex test (one side full stuff, other full droop) and turn the steering wheel lock to lock. This will tell you if you have enough room for your tires. Lastly, you check full droop for driveshaft bond and to make sure your brake lines are long enough (again they should be). In my recollection I added 7/8" bump stop in the front and 1-7/16" in the rear. I am lucky and my Jeep is rust free, so I can't help you there but to say soak it in penstratin oil and pray. If you break replace with grade 8 because it's a very strong bolt. May be overkill but better safe than sorry.

@Water Dog has a good write up on removing springs and @UnlimitedLJ04 has some great posts about suspension geometry and adding bump stop so search the forum for those!

EDIT: Check this thread out and pay special attention to Unlimited's posts.
Correct Bumpstop Length
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by T.Wagner View Post
You NEED to add bumpstop. It really isn't that hard. You will remove the springs and add the shocks and then jack up the front end til it is almost fully compressed (1/2" of shock compression left). Measure between the bump stop cup and lower perch and there is how much you need.

Thanks so much for the long reply T.! You point out a lot of things that help.

I've honestly read and read over the years. I think this stuff is more confusing cause so much is involved at once that I dont have experience with. This forum has taught me so much, way more than a manual can lol.

Installing springs, I feel I can do that no problem, shocks, as long as none break. I've done a couple sway links before, that wont be any problem. Doing control arms next week, those seem easy to do. Tie rod, drag link, as long as I measure and get it close, I may be fine til I get it to an alignment shop. Though I hear its so easy, I may study on here more. Same with track bars, I need to study better how to get that into spec. I think with a 2" lift, and Metalcloaks, you have to dial em to the lowest setting from what I read.

Im currently reading the link that Unlimited did on bump stop. Cant remember if I read that once before, but its making a lil more sense. It also took me to other threads which Im reading as well lol.

My Jeep isnt THAT rusted as some of the videos I've seen, actually looks good for the most part. I still worry though. I did a rod and hammer to beat out the tack welded nut on the last broken bolt on my motor mount, thinking that may work if it does break.

Thanks again! Gonna order some parts within the next couple days
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:29 AM   #4
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Centering the track bar is easy! Once you get everything set up put the Jeep on the ground and keep your control arms loosened. Then shake the Jeep around up down left and right and it will center itself more or less
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:25 PM
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I still havent went forward with this yet lol. Had to have another transmission put in and that ate up the funds. EVERYTHING is so wore out, it needs replacing ASAP, and inspection is next month.


Here is what I have come up with so far for a parts list....

Old Man Emu 2 - 2 1/2" Light Duty springs
Front 2932L
Rear 2941L

Rancho RS5000X shocks
Front RS55239
Rear RS55241

Zone Rear Sway bar links
J5200

Teraflex Front quick disconnect sway bar links for 2-6" lift
Driver side 600491
Passenger side 600492

Metalcloak track bars
Front 7035
Rear 7046

Dont know which bump stops to get yet, but would like to have them on hand when I do the install.

I need to turn into Shia Labeouf and "Just do it!" lol


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Old 06-04-2018, 02:11 PM   #6
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sounds like me 2 years ago !
I did a BB only to find out my jeep needed some major TLC
what I spent on a COMPLETE kits has saved me the cost of a therapist!

my major concerns where
1. replacing parts that where worn and damaged
2. installing replacement parts that I only have to buy once
3. parts that will work together and not require modification
4. parts that will repairable years from know

with my limited knowledge, I spent the cash n bought a kit that had everything I needed and ask dirk to leave out the things I didn't (body lift)
just like I bought front and rear wood drive shafts rather than rebuild them only to find out they where to short
I did the curry link rather than ZJ same reasons bolt it on and drive (sort of)
stereo samething used crutchfield and got everything I needed

id price your parts and compare them to a kit



some enjoy experimenting with parts, sometimes its the only way to find something that works, that's basic what your asking
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wanab offroad View Post
sounds like me 2 years ago !
I did a BB only to find out my jeep needed some major TLC
what I spent on a COMPLETE kits has saved me the cost of a therapist!
Haha, yup, sounds like me. I been bashing my head for a few years now on this. Dont know why its so intimidating to me. I think its all the broken upper shock mount bolt stories I've read haha. I plan on Kroiling it up for a couple weeks!

I did talk to Dirk a year ago or so. I really "wanted" to do the Ultimate, eyed it for years haha. As it did seem like the complete option, and the easiest. But after recent reviews I'd rather go with the new Rancho 5100x shocks instead of OME ones. For the longest time I told myself I would get OME shocks, but I hear they are stiff lately. I think its because they are phasing out one of the two models, and the only model left is the stiff one. I also would like to skip the motor mount and body lift for now if I can help it. Also the Metalcloak track bars instead of JKS lol. I hear mixed on the JKS one, one that it hits the diff, and then Dirk tells me they made it better and its not an issue anymore. So I prolly could of went with either track bar.

I did price it out, think I'll include links when I go to ordering stuff. All the parts I listed with the exception of the bumpstops came to $980 (after $50 Rancho rebate). The Ultimate is shy of $1500. The big savings is the Rancho shocks. I think the trackbars are slightly cheaper too. The front sway bar links are cheaper, would like to go Currie Antirock when the money allows.

If I do the Ultimate, I KNOW I will go 33s lol, and that will make me Just Empty Every Pocket haha. The most important thing to me right now is getting it repaired, while making some headway, which is similar to your major concerns list haha.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by T.Wagner View Post

@Water Dog has a good write up on removing springs and @UnlimitedLJ04 has some great posts about suspension geometry and adding bump stop so search the forum for those!

EDIT: Check this thread out and pay special attention to Unlimited's posts.
Correct Bumpstop Length

Im reading over Unlimited's thread again now lol.

Since Water Dog is in the Jeep in the sky, I'll repost it here for others.
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File Type: pdf Spring Removal.pdf (642.3 KB, 36 views)
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:15 AM   #9
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2" pro comp spring lift, stock shocks. Didn't need anything else replaced at the time. I bought this Rubicon new so it's been maintained.

I bought the springs and had a local Pep Boys install them ($300 front & rear)

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Old 06-07-2018, 01:24 PM   #10
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I ran both BDS and OME 2" lifts and in my opinion, BDS would be the one I'd recommend vs. OME. Both are good lifts but what pulls me to the BDS side is the lower cost factor. From a quality and performance perspective both are equally comparable (the OME has anedge. Note, with the OME lift I ran their HD setup.
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Edit: "Now jeepin in Oregon"
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:17 PM
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I ran both BDS and OME 2" lifts and in my opinion, BDS would be the one I'd recommend vs. OME. Both are good lifts but what pulls me to the BDS side is the lower cost factor. From a quality and performance perspective both are equally comparable (the OME has anedge. Note, with the OME lift I ran their HD setup.

Thanks! This is good to know, as I was debating the BDS for cost effective reasons, but was leaning towards OME for the "better" factor. If they are close to the same, I think I would save a lil over $100 going with the BDS route. Hmmmmmm, more decisions lolol.

Did you get vibes with either, or 1 more than the other?

I think I've almost got the whole bump stop thing figured out. Been reading here and there. I think proper bump stop seems to be the most confusing thing for me currently, but Im getting there!
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:35 PM
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From what I gather from Unlimited's thread on bump stops, I subtract 13.5" from the compressed shock of 14.43" up front, and subtract 12.5 from the compressed shock of 13.688 in the rear, leaving me with needing a 1" bump stop extension in the front and 1.25" in the rear. Does this sound right? Of course I would need to cycle everything to be sure when the time comes.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:04 AM   #13
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I ran both BDS and OME 2" lifts and in my opinion, BDS would be the one I'd recommend vs. OME. Both are good lifts but what pulls me to the BDS side is the lower cost factor. From a quality and performance perspective both are equally comparable (the OME has anedge. Note, with the OME lift I ran their HD setup.
I miss Kourtney on JF. I never see you there anymore.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:18 PM
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I miss Kourtney on JF. I never see you there anymore.
Boogie! Hey you're not far from me. So when I go to put this on am I to come to your place with a case of beer lol?

Only messin' lol.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:11 PM   #15
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I miss Kourtney on JF. I never see you there anymore.
LOL, I haven't been active since I was involved in a transition build, going from 33's to 35's. My Jeep is practically a different Jeep on a custom mid-arm suspension.
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Edit: "Now jeepin in Oregon"
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:20 PM   #16
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Thanks! This is good to know, as I was debating the BDS for cost effective reasons, but was leaning towards OME for the "better" factor. If they are close to the same, I think I would save a lil over $100 going with the BDS route. Hmmmmmm, more decisions lolol.
I highly reccommend saving $$$ and going with BDS.

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Did you get vibes with either, or 1 more than the other?
With the BDS, I did get vibes around 35-40 mph, but I was able to rid them initially by lowering my transfer case skid a washer at a time until I dialed them completely out, I recall having 4 washers per bolt to eliminate the vibes. Later I installed a JKS motor mount lift, and was able to remove the washers and bring the skid back up.

When I later changed over to OME, I installed a SYE and changed my pinion angle, so I no longer needed the other methods for proper drivetrain alignment.

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I think I've almost got the whole bump stop thing figured out. Been reading here and there. I think proper bump stop seems to be the most confusing thing for me currently, but Im getting there!
Nice.
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Edit: "Now jeepin in Oregon"
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:40 PM
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LOL, I haven't been active since I was involved in a transition build, going from 33's to 35's. My Jeep is practically a different Jeep on a custom mid-arm suspension.
So much flexy!!!
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:55 PM
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I highly reccommend saving $$$ and going with BDS.



With the BDS, I did get vibes around 35-40 mph, but I was able to rid them initially by lowering my transfer case skid a washer at a time until I dialed them completely out, I recall having 4 washers per bolt to eliminate the vibes. Later I installed a JKS motor mount lift, and was able to remove the washers and bring the skid back up.

When I later changed over to OME, I installed a SYE and changed my pinion angle, so I no longer needed the other methods for proper drivetrain alignment.



Nice.
BDS only has one spring rate right? Also, do they have an A and B spring like OME? One being higher than the other?

If I get vibes I'll prolly do the washers too unless I go with 33x10.5s, then I'll go with a motor and body mount lift instead. 33s are so tempting lol, and yet 31s are so capable for the most part. Longer bolts are needed when you add washers right?
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:52 AM   #19
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BDS only has one spring rate right? Also, do they have an A and B spring like OME? One being higher than the other?

If I get vibes I'll prolly do the washers too unless I go with 33x10.5s, then I'll go with a motor and body mount lift instead. 33s are so tempting lol, and yet 31s are so capable for the most part. Longer bolts are needed when you add washers right?
Correct, BDS offers only a single option. The ride is comparable to the OME HD version. If your Jeep isn't that heavy with modifications and ride quality is a major factor, the BDS ride will feel "sporty", not kidney jarring but it won't be a plush ride. OME does afford you options on ride and weight. The BDS springs do not differ like the ABBA setup on OME.

I had so much fun when I was running 31's . I learned so much running that size. I think the 33x10.5 are the perfect size for the Jeep. If you look at my vids, most are when the Jeep was on 33x10.5's.
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Edit: "Now jeepin in Oregon"
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:06 AM   #20
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I too was where you are now three years ago. I had read all the information I could find on LCG kits. I wanted to run 33" tires with stock fenders and no rubbing but I did not want to lift the jeep more than I needed to accomplish the 33" tires.

I really did not want to spend the money on the lift I kept returning to... Super Ultimate from DPG. I had read post from many people stating they really liked the other lifts they had purchased BUT, they needed this or that to make it work. Something was either missing or they had some new found problems. I really wanted a well built kit that was complete, tried and works as sold without needing additional parts to make the kit function as intended. I wanted to install the kit myself without any prior suspention experience.

I called Dirk. After a long talk I pulled the trigger on the Super Ulitimate long travel kit with 1 1/4 body lift, 1" engine mount lift, bump stop kit recommended and the extended braided brake lines.

The directions were complete and straight foward, with the exception of installing the bushing for the rear track bar which I was able to figure out. I installed everything on the floor of my garage in three days. I followed the directions and things went together well.

The jeep turned out to be much better than I was expecting. It rides smooth, it has no vibrations, it was no trouble aligning and most people that own and drive lifted jeeps comment on how good the ride is compared to theirs.

Bottom line... I have no regrets! My advice would be, buy what you really want and don't look back.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:13 AM
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Correct, BDS offers only a single option. The ride is comparable to the OME HD version. If your Jeep isn't that heavy with modifications and ride quality is a major factor, the BDS ride will feel "sporty", not kidney jarring but it won't be a plush ride. OME does afford you options on ride and weight. The BDS springs do not differ like the ABBA setup on OME.

I had so much fun when I was running 31's . I learned so much running that size. I think the 33x10.5 are the perfect size for the Jeep. If you look at my vids, most are when the Jeep was on 33x10.5's.

Ah ok, thanks for the clarity! My Jeep is light, so maybe the OME LD is what I need to lean towards.

Honestly, a 32x10.5 would be ideal, not needing a body lift, but they dont make that size. BFG ATs measure out at 32.5 x 10.5 for their 33s, so that is pretty close.

You would still need a rim with 3.75" backspacing with the 33x10.5s wouldnt you?

I'll check out some of your vids tonight!
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:16 AM
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My advice would be, buy what you really want and don't look back.
Haha, good advice!

Thanks Cato!
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:17 PM   #23
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Ah ok, thanks for the clarity! My Jeep is light, so maybe the OME LD is what I need to lean towards.
You'll be happy with OME . Make sure you bumpstop, I had to with the OME suspension. Also don't forget an OME rear track bar relocation bracket to avoid binding at the axle end.

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Originally Posted by Blazor View Post
You would still need a rim with 3.75" backspacing with the 33x10.5s wouldnt you?
When I ran 33x10.5's, my backspacing was 4.25 with no issues. I even think one could go to 4.5 backspacing with 33x10.5's.

3.75 backspacing is what I'm currently running for the 35x12.5's.
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Edit: "Now jeepin in Oregon"
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:00 PM
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You'll be happy with OME . Make sure you bumpstop, I had to with the OME suspension. Also don't forget an OME rear track bar relocation bracket to avoid binding at the axle end.



When I ran 33x10.5's, my backspacing was 4.25 with no issues. I even think one could go to 4.5 backspacing with 33x10.5's.

3.75 backspacing is what I'm currently running for the 35x12.5's.

Instead of the relocation bracket, Im gonna get a Metalcloak rear track bar. Practically anything with a rubber bushing is bad on this Jeep. All control arms have been replaced with the exception of the front upper arms. I got the arms, but need to get the bushings on the axle side. I noticed on the front track bar there is a smidge of play, from the rubber wearing out. So rear is prolly in the same condition. Seems like so much went bad all at once!

I wont forget to bumpstop! I know I gotta measure from the perch to the cup, got that much figured out lol. Just gotta figure out which ones to get.

Thank you for the backspacing clarity! Couldnt find a for sure answer anywhere, believe me I looked. Most said 3.75. I honestly didnt want to backspace that far out if not needed. I dont want 12.5" wide tires.

Hoping to start ordering stuff this week, hoping haha.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:47 PM
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Well shortly after my last post I started having health issues. Started as an arm injury, then started feeling like crap. Went and had some blood work done today. Hell Im mostly healthy so Im curious lol. Maybe its all the

Stuck with the 31x10.5 BFG KO2s for now so I could pass inspection.

Kroil came in today.

Also ordered a TJ drag link, 2 tie rod ends, 2 adjustment sleeves, and a ZJ tie rod. Oh and the bushings for the upper front control arms at the axle. All Moog.

Trying to work up the bravery to call Dirk tomorrow. Prolly gonna hold off on the motor and body lift for now, focus on the wore out stuff. Prolly gonna ask him to leave out the shocks, as I think I wanna go with the Rancho RS5000X shocks since they are getting a lot of hype.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:20 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Blazor View Post
Well shortly after my last post I started having health issues. Started as an arm injury, then started feeling like crap. Went and had some blood work done today. Hell Im mostly healthy so Im curious lol. Maybe its all the

Stuck with the 31x10.5 BFG KO2s for now so I could pass inspection.

Kroil came in today.

Also ordered a TJ drag link, 2 tie rod ends, 2 adjustment sleeves, and a ZJ tie rod. Oh and the bushings for the upper front control arms at the axle. All Moog.

Trying to work up the bravery to call Dirk tomorrow. Prolly gonna hold off on the motor and body lift for now, focus on the wore out stuff. Prolly gonna ask him to leave out the shocks, as I think I wanna go with the Rancho RS5000X shocks since they are getting a lot of hype.
If you can wait until October (Shocktober), you can save another $50 on Rancho shocks.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:36 AM
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If you can wait until October (Shocktober), you can save another $50 on Rancho shocks.

This is my first lift, Im gonna need more daylight lol.


Thanks for the heads up! I should've ordered them when they were on sale a month or two ago.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:44 AM   #28
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This is my first lift, Im gonna need more daylight lol.


Thanks for the heads up! I should've ordered them when they were on sale a month or two ago.
Your health is the most important thing. I hope everything turns out good. I just had blood work done yesterday because I haven't had any done in 20 years. They called me twice yesterday and didn't leave a message. That's never a good sign when they won't tell you the results over the phone or in a voice mail.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:41 PM
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Your health is the most important thing. I hope everything turns out good. I just had blood work done yesterday because I haven't had any done in 20 years. They called me twice yesterday and didn't leave a message. That's never a good sign when they won't tell you the results over the phone or in a voice mail.
Right on man! Hope you turn out ok as well lol, prolly just a privacy thing on not leaving a message. Im normally healthy and never go to the doc. Seems I have almost all the symptoms of chronic dehydration, but dont seem dehydrated I dont think.

DPG was closed today, so I'll be calling on Monday.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:43 PM
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That Dirk can sell a popsicle to a snowman lol. I ordered the Ultimate kit a few weeks ago, just waiting on the OME stuff to arrive. All the JKS stuff and DPG stuff came fairly quickly.

Looking like rain this weekend, so I dont know if I'll get to it this weekend. Still waiting on the core components anyway. Still spraying Kroil.

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