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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all...


Been considering a winch on my 2 door JK. Of course, that will almost necessitate a new front bumper. I'm not a big fan of winch plates that sit over the stock bumper, and would prefer to have it mounted lower. However, in researching all this it looks like I'll be adding some considerable weight to the front. Aftermarket bumpers seem to weigh in around 100lbs on average, and a winch another 50-60lbs or so. What's a stock front bumper weigh? Maybe 40lbs or 50lbs? That's a lot of weight to be adding, I think! I'd prefer to keep the stock ride height - no lift is planned for this rig. I've seen front spring spacers that could probably compensate for the anticipated sag, but I'd still be dealing with a stock spring rate so I'm thinking this may be a bit of a band-aid approach. I've looked for stock height stiffer springs, but don't seem to be finding any. My JK currently has the "heavy duty" suspension according to the build sheet, but I can't determine if that involves higher rate springs, seems like just different shocks and maybe a slightly larger sway bar. Soooo... Am I I over thinking this potential mod? Can stock springs deal adequately with a aftermarket bumper/winch combo or is this really entering into the territory of a (slightly) lifted suspension in order to do it right?
 

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Get some take off 4 door JK front springs.Look at the tag on your front springs,its 12,13,or14.The 4 doors come with 16,17,18,or 19.For every # you go up you will get about a !/4 inch lift.The spring rates are the same,they just get longer for every # up.
 

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Here is what I would do. I would find out the amount of weight you are adding in relation to the stock bumper, then I would lean a piece of cardboard next to the bumper and mark a line where the bumper is. Then I would put a bathroom scale on the ground just in front of the bumper, and lean on it with the amount of weight you determined you're adding. (Quick math will give you what should be left remaining on the scale). See how far down the original line it on the cardboard, that's what your sag will be.

Next, find out the part number that is on the tag on your current front Springs. There are tons of stock OEM Springs that range in part numbers, which are different lengths / stiffness ratings. I believe I've read that each number increase from the last two digits (before the letter) is about a quarter inch or more increase in lift (more on a two door). Example, if it says 14, and you go to 18, you should see about an inch of lift or more. I read that someone went from a 13 or 14, all the way to a 19, on a two door Jk, and said they saw 2 inches of lift, but I think that was with stock bumpers still.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh wow! Great info guys! I ran out just now and looked at my front springs. The tags are still there and from what I can see the drivers side has a blue band, and the pass. side a yellow band. There is a bar code with about a 9 digit number ending with 2 letters. There seems to be some numbering in the colored bands that is also around 5-6 digits. I need to clean up the tags so I can clearly read them, but how does one decode the numbers to derive if the spring is a "13", "14", "15" etc?
 

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So many variables. Are the spring new/old, how many miles on them. I’ve heard everything from 1/8” per # up to 1/4”. There was a thread on here long ago where someone measured each # of front and rear spring and the unmounted heights were not consistent with any height pattern. Some were rated different and didn’t compress as much as others.
It’s a lot of extra work to swap springs to find out it’s not enough height change. Front 4door springs also squat a lot with a steel bumper and winch. A #19 on the front will carry the weight better but I doubt it will be enough height without an added spacer.


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Your other option is just to add spring spacers in front. Worked for me before I lifter.
Try 1/2” Teraflex spacers. Cheap, easy and effective.
 

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have someone who weighs 150lbs sit on your front bumper and measure how much it causes your rig to sag. For the record I think every jk wrangler will say hd suspension on the build sheet. A stock bumper is about 20-25lbs they are very light. Buy a set of low lift aftermarket coils ie something like Teraflex 1.5" performance coil kit like this.
https://teraflex.com/shop_items/jk-2-door-1-5-spring-leveling-kit
or rancho 2" lift
 

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It's possible to minimize front weight somewhat by choice of a bumper. For big $$, you could go aluminum. for less, a stubby bumper with a recessed winch mount. I went with a low cost stubby with the recessed mount, then chose a winch with synth line for both lightness and the fact that every time someone winches in my club with a steel line, everyone's scattering in case the line breaks and sends that 1.21 Giga Watts of stored energy in the line into someone's head. I'll weigh my setup when I get home as it's off the Jeep for the winter (I plow snow). I don't think it's over 100 pounds.

On the Jeep itself....I have a 14 JKU sport and all the numbers I see for stock and lifted, I'm seeing less. So the Jeep with stock springs without any added bumpers is about 1/2" below what all the measuring tools say. Also sort of disappointed that my 2 1/2" lift has only lifed my Jeep between 1 5/8" (measured at front spring perch) and 1 3/4" (measured at shock).
 

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In some cases a factory optioned Jeep may sit a bit higher then the average JK so adding the 2.5 “ lift may not give you the lift you expect. Measure the Jeep before lifting will give you a better idea of what to expect. Many people actually get 3” lift out of an average 2.5” lift.


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Discussion Starter #11
Cool. Thanks guys! Looks like I have 14's in the front now... I think I can plan accordingly and start looking for some 17 take-offs (a simulated weight test indicates I will need to bring the nose up about 1 inch to get back to the stock rake, maybe a bit more to level).
 

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Cool. Thanks guys! Looks like I have 14's in the front now... I think I can plan accordingly and start looking for some 17 take-offs (a simulated weight test indicates I will need to bring the nose up about 1 inch to get back to the stock rake, maybe a bit more to level).

Just an FYI, to show what replacing your springs will do for stock 2dr JK ride height.




<<<<<<< look to the left and clik on "Garage" to see my JK profile.


If you go to my JK Profile/Garage link, the FIRST photo is my JK with 19/60(19 front;60 rear) springs, and the SECOND photo is my JK with the original 14/56 springs that it came with. The EIGHTH photo shows a ride height profile of it, with BOTH my Mopar Off Road bumpers installed. The front Mopar Off Road bumper does have a winch mount, hidden under the OMIT cover. Approx. 85lbs front and 110lbs for the rear Mopar Off Road bumpers. Stock bumper weights are approx. 30lbs front and 15lbs. rear(nothing but a plastic milk jug with brass nuts embedded into it).


Flip back and forth between the photos, and you can see what the difference in ride height is.




NOTE: The FIRST photo with the 19/60 springs, does show my JK with the stock front bumper and a Mopar Off Road rear bumper with optional tire carrier. While the SECOND photo is stock bumpers front and back. So you will see a little more height in the rear, if you are still using your stock rear bumper. And my dealer charged me $40/spring, back in 2012, when I replaced them. I also replaced stock shocks with RS9000XL shocks at that time.




These pictures shows it with the optional Mopar Off Road skid plate installed. It adds another 30lbs. to that 85lb. front Mopar Off Road bumper.




 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for responding and directing me to your pics. Indeed, your JK sits handsomely on the road with your spring mods! I hope mine can come out as nice should I pursue the bumper/winch combo. I am surprised that Jeep doesn't offer something like a "winch ready" option with higher springs, maybe pre-run power leads, etc. Not like anyone's ever put a winch on one of these! The other thing that stuns me is the weight of the aftermarket bumpers (or maybe the lightness of the stock ones...). I'm taking my time and really researching this mod out and your pictures have been most helpful!
 

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Hi Michael,
When I had my 2013 JKUS I installed an ARB Bull Bar (on the heavier end of the aftermarket bumper spectrum) and a 9500 Superwinch with the synth line. To be honest I didn't notice a whole lot of difference in how it sat or drove. A few months later I installed a Rancho sport leveling lift with RS5000 shocks and it sat pretty much perfectly level.

The synth rope make a huge difference. Previously, I owned a Toyota FJ Cruiser that I had also installed a Bull Bar on along with a Warn M8000 with steel cable. With just the bumper I didn't notice a difference but with the winch, the difference was huge... due to the weight of the cable and the positioning of the winch out in front of the car instead of tucked between the front frame as you get in a Jeep. Also, I could one hand carry the box when it showed up with the synth line. When the Warn showed up with the steel cable, I'm sure the UPS man wasn't too happy.

Anyhow, something to consider. I'll see if I can dig up some pics.

 

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I lost about an inch when I added a winch and bumper on my JKU. Bout it in December new, and put the bumper and winch on 2 months later. I then put a Teraflex leveling kit on it, pictured.
 

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