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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I know the leaf spring suspension is bad but I think my leafs are bad or something. When I hit a bump the Jeep jolts forward which from my understanding is normal but on a lot of bumps I'll catch air in the seat. Also sometimes if I hit a bump just right while accelerating I start feeling like I'm going over a bunch of waves (not death wobble as I've experienced that before)

I don't know when it was lifted so they may be bad but I wanted to see if it was normal before looking at replacements
 

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I would check your shackle bolts torques, don't go crazy on the bolts going through the spring bushings, maybe 50 ft lbs? Make sure you have some kind of locknut there! How old are the shocks? That would be next to look at. Important: loosen the frame and spring end bolts on the shackles WHILE JEEP IS ON THE GROUND, then bounce up and down on the bumpers to cycle the springs and shocks. Then tighten accordingly.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would check your shackle bolts torques, don't go crazy on the bolts going through the spring bushings, maybe 50 ft lbs? Make sure you have some kind of locknut there! How old are the shocks?
They look clean so I'd imagine new ish. I've had the YJ for about a month. I believe its lifted cause when i ripped the trac-bars off there were metal plates extending them up a few inches. The bushings in the leafs themselves are a vivid red so they look good but the ride is rough. I'll check the shackles tomorrow when I get back from work.
 

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Can you post a pic showing your shackle angles?
Most lifts are cheaply made and use overarched springs that started out factory length. This makes them shorter and the shackle angle changes from correct. This causes bumps in the road to transfer more directly to the frame instead of being fully absorbed by the springs. Its like jumping from a great height with your knees locked.

And the red poly bushings also cause more shock to be transferred instead of the soft rubber OEMs that absorb energy.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright I got around to this later yesterday. A mechanic buddy of mine came and helped me diagnose. We determined that the leafs them selves are extremely stiff. I will most likely go hit a few big bumps and hope it wears them down until I can afford to put a lift on her myself
 

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Alright I got around to this later yesterday. A mechanic buddy of mine came and helped me diagnose. We determined that the leafs them selves are extremely stiff. I will most likely go hit a few big bumps and hope it wears them down until I can afford to put a lift on her myself
I'm not sure if this is true for all leaf springs but the Old Man Emu springs I got had three different options:
Front heavy duty
Rear medium duty
Rear light duty


What I did was buy all four front heavy duty springs, since I typically have lots of tongue/cargo weight in my Jeep. I don't mind the rough ride, but you may be well off trying rear springs on your front.

The spring dimensions are the same, the only difference is the spring rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not sure if this is true for all leaf springs but the Old Man Emu springs I got had three different options:
Front heavy duty
Rear medium duty
Rear light duty


What I did was buy all four front heavy duty springs, since I typically have lots of tongue/cargo weight in my Jeep. I don't mind the rough ride, but you may be well off trying rear springs on your front.

The spring dimensions are the same, the only difference is the spring rate.
Thanks for the info. My ride is pretty equally rough, But I just might have to try this
 

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This may not help you but from the jeeps I have had they all typically ride fairly rough. Some worse and better than others. Have you noticed your suspension stops hitting or could it be bottoming out? I would check shocks first since the shackles appear to be newer. It's fairly easy to do. Also just for adding more information sake there is a few companies out there that offer super soft leaf and shock combos. It will offer a better ride but there will always be sacfarices, such as added sway in corners and abrupt stops. If you can find the specification there is always a spring rate for every spring (resting position, spring travel, full upper and lower range etc). Usually though at that point it's just cheaper to replace or take it to a shop.
 

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Do you know who made your lift?
There may be numbers painted on the tops of your springs. If so, research the manufacturer and contact them asking what the amount of lift is and what length shocks they recommend.

Attached pic shows what I found on a Jeep that I was considering buying. Wash the tops of the springs with plain water and a rag. any solvent or harsh soap could wash the markings away.

A cheap lift kit ($500.00)won't ride any near as well as a better kit ($1000.00). Old Man Emu is considered top of the line. Search the websites for the brand name of the cheaper kits. Here is one place where you get what you pay for.

Could your shocks be "frozen"?

YJs are riding on WW II military suspension with only a couple civilian improvements. They'll never ride like a late model 4 Runner or Tacoma.

I bought a '92 SR5 pickup brand new and it was a great truck. If you asked me today if I would rather have a good '92 SR5 pickup or my good '87 YJ, I'd tell you I would rather have the Jeep, rough ride and all.
If I want a soft ride, I'll drive my wifes car. If I want to go where no car can go, I take my Jeep.

Good luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you know who made your lift?
Could your shocks be "frozen"?/QUOTE]

I am leaning on the fact that they might be Skyjacker leafs as they have the red bushings. But I will look for a manufacture # when I get the chance.


it is also possible my shocks are busted/frozen however I have yet to bottom out on any of the big and bad bumps around my work or my house.


and I agree with you 100% I didn't buy the YJ in hopes for a smooth ride. I just figured a 240lbs man catching air in his seat on pavement is odd
 

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I don't weigh that much and I don't catch air on any bumps.
I ALWAYS wear my seat belt. (Seat belts are mandatory in Colorado).

How fast do you go and how big are the bumps. I slow down to 5-7MPH for speed bumps. Just a little harsh but no clunks or air.

I ran a rigid Harley in the late 70s, when I hit any kind of bump, my teeth would clack.
That may be why I now have hardware in my lower spine and quite a bit of discomfort.
I prefer the discomfort to feeling woozy.

If you drive around your neighborhood with the shocks disconnected you should be able to tell if the issue is with the shocks or springs.
You can buy red spring and shackle bushings without buying springs. Some folks install colored bushings because they think they look cool.

If your front shackles aren't at the same (or slightly greater) angle as the shackles in DREDnots post, you'll need new springs in order to improve your ride. Post a pic if you can.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't weigh that much and I don't catch air on any bumps.
I ALWAYS wear my seat belt. (Seat belts are mandatory in Colorado).

How fast do you go and how big are the bumps. I slow down to 5-7MPH for speed bumps. Just a little harsh but no clunks or air.

I ran a rigid Harley in the late 70s, when I hit any kind of bump, my teeth would clack.
That may be why I now have hardware in my lower spine and quite a bit of discomfort.
I prefer the discomfort to feeling woozy.

If you drive around your neighborhood with the shocks disconnected you should be able to tell if the issue is with the shocks or springs.
You can buy red spring and shackle bushings without buying springs. Some folks install colored bushings because they think they look cool.

If your front shackles aren't at the same (or slightly greater) angle as the shackles in DREDnots post, you'll need new springs in order to improve your ride. Post a pic if you can.

Good Luck, L.M.

Thanks for the info and ya I wear a seat belt all the time too (CO citizen as well :) ) When I start catching air I've hit bumps at 30 mph on dirt roads or bad pavement and up to 65 mph the interstates. Slower than that and I don't feel much. A little side note is that after hitting a bump I'll bounce 1-3 times after which is how I noticed I was catching air in my seat.


As for DREDnots post my shackles are pointed slightly out. probably about half way between 45 degrees and straight up and down. I have a couple things that I have to get done this week before I can get on the Yj but when I get the chance I'll take a peep for any manufacture numbers and see if I can remove the shocks and take it for a spin in the neighborhood and note a difference
 
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