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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have searched and not found any answers on this yet? I currently have a RE 5.5" on the Jeep I just bought and am running 35" tires, the jeep drives fine IMO for a lifted jeep and has been built to run 35" tires.


Rubicon Express HD 5.5" long arm, 3.5" rear springs
Front Dana 30, upgraded axles, Detroit locker, 4:56 Gears
Rear 8.8, upgraded axles, locker, trussed, disk brakes, 4:56 Gears
Tummy Tuck, Rock Sliders, Rhino lined, SYE, ect. all the stuff to make it work right and all of the parts were installed professionally before I bought it.

My question is can i just ditch my 5.5" front springs and install 3.5" springs to get the COD down a bit? Also if i buy tube fenders from smittybilt will I gain any clearance or at least will they hold up to the tires rubbing on them or should I go with a hi-line fender? The main purpose of this jeep is to use to get me into a few areas I cannot get to for hunting without a serious crawler. (My Rhino i sold would barely make it and only did so one time do to clearance issues) The area has lots of deep ruts with flowing water down a lot of them, very big wet rocks, boulder fields and lots of muddy areas in the road and it is all very steep on either side of the road. Elevation goes from 3500' to about 8000'.

I also have a Garvin roof rack on the jeep to keep camping and hunting gear and my spare on which is another reason i want to get my COD down a bit. Does anyone have any experience dropping a long arm and how low can I take it, i know RE offers a 2" kit but I am not sure i could go that low without highlines? Any advice would be appreciated, maybe i am too concerned and should just try it the way it is first. I am not a big fan of having more lift than i actually need though.

How much will bump stops to keep rubbing effect performance vs keeping the bigger lift? It seems like as long as the opposite side is dropping and staying on the ground then it shouldn't make a ton of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyone? I am thinking my only possible issue will be my drop pitman arm? Possibly my front track bar if it wont shorten enough? I have 11" travel shocks so I may have to move the mounts on them also, I would think if the bump stops stay where they are all I will loose is a little up travel and my shocks should be OK? Also I will probably have to shorten my quick disconnects by a couple inches.

I have a couple more projects to do to the jeep first but i think i will eventually tackle this. Surely someone on here has done this before or something similar that could offer advice?
 

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With flat fenders, you'll be able to clear the 35s with an RE 3.5" spring. Like you mentioned you will need to probably readjust the track bars, and get rid of the drop pitman arm.

The shocks may still be fine. IIRC, there was one part number for shocks for a 3-6" lift for TJs. I know on my TJ 3.5" RE lift, I ran the OME LT shocks which were also sold with the 4.5 and 5.5" springs.


One more thing to watch for would be drive shaft length. Most likely, there will be enough slip still in your current drive shafts. (And your front drive shaft still may even be stock, so in that case no worries) But if the drive shafts bottom out, they will transfer the load to the transfer case housing and break it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With flat fenders, you'll be able to clear the 35s with an RE 3.5" spring. Like you mentioned you will need to probably readjust the track bars, and get rid of the drop pitman arm.

The shocks may still be fine. IIRC, there was one part number for shocks for a 3-6" lift for TJs. I know on my TJ 3.5" RE lift, I ran the OME LT shocks which were also sold with the 4.5 and 5.5" springs.


One more thing to watch for would be drive shaft length. Most likely, there will be enough slip still in your current drive shafts. (And your front drive shaft still may even be stock, so in that case no worries) But if the drive shafts bottom out, they will transfer the load to the transfer case housing and break it.
Thanks for the input. I thought about the drive line thing also, i figure if i don't move my bump stops from their current position then the only difference in the suspension will be the up travel.
I would think that as long as the drive line and shocks don't bottom out now when hitting the bump stops they shouldn't when i drop it.I will make sure though, I would think if it is close to being too long then I could possibly push the front axle forward slightly by adjusting my control arms?

I think i will order a set when I get my taxes back in a couple weeks and try it, I talked to a friend who has a 03 TJ with a 2" lift on it and he says it is close to needing a drop arm so i may be good. I really shouldn't be running the suspension in any other position than it is now, it will still be within the range that it is moving in now just closer to the bumps.

The back of the jeep already has 3.5" RE springs so it sits slightly lower than the front. Flat or tube fenders are in the plans for the future as well.
 

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Thanks for the input. I thought about the drive line thing also, i figure if i don't move my bump stops from their current position then the only difference in the suspension will be the up travel.
I would think that as long as the drive line and shocks don't bottom out now when hitting the bump stops they shouldn't when i drop it.I will make sure though, I would think if it is close to being too long then I could possibly push the front axle forward slightly by adjusting my control arms?

I think i will order a set when I get my taxes back in a couple weeks and try it, I talked to a friend who has a 03 TJ with a 2" lift on it and he says it is close to needing a drop arm so i may be good. I really shouldn't be running the suspension in any other position than it is now, it will still be within the range that it is moving in now just closer to the bumps.

The back of the jeep already has 3.5" RE springs so it sits slightly lower than the front. Flat or tube fenders are in the plans for the future as well.

You're right, as long as the bump stops aren't changed, you will be ok with the drive shafts as is.

As for the drop pitman arm, TJs *usually* don't need them, due to the angle of the track bar. Basically, what you want - no matter the height of the lift - is the drag link (the steering link which attaches to the pitman arm) to be parallel with the track bar. If these two links are not parallel, the Jeep will want to steer left or right when you hit a bump in the road (known as bump steer).

If the track bar still mounts in the factory locations, then the Jeep will probably drive better with a factory pitman arm. On a TJ, the drop pitman arms really only come into play once the frame end of the track bar is lowered, or the axle end moved up.

If you're unsure about your Jeep, feel free to post a photo of the front of your Jeep (close enough to see the steering system) and I'll let you know how yours looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks I will check it out tonight after work and try to snap a picture. The parallel alignment is good to know!
 

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From where you are I'd do the following..(please keep in mind I had some of the same parts at one time.. 4.5in. LA)

Get rid of the track bar drop bracket and RE bar. Order a Metal cloak front bar. Best there is for the $$. ( I have one)

Get rid of the drop pitman arm and go back to stock. (I did this too)

Swap to 4 in springs like the Curries for instance and add a 1 in body lift. This will lower your COG and clear 35s nicely.

You can keep your current shocks for now but I HIGHLY recommend replacing them with better stuff. RE shocks basically suck..

Check your bumpstops on compression and consider adding limiting straps to the front. It'll drop enough during articulation to let the front springs almost fall out. (RE springs anyway..Curries may not.)

Align it and you'll be surprised how much better it will handle with shorter springs, better TB, and the OEM pitman arm. The back will be fine with a spring swap. Check the bumps there too..
 
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