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I'll agree that SOA would be more expensive. But comparing similar lift heights, SOA will blow SUA out of the water in ride quality. SOA with stock springs gives 5.5" of lift, and it rides like stock. 5.5" SUA springs are arched so much, you'll never get as good of ride quality. Unless you go Alcan or Deaver or other customs. My 5" BDS springs were good, better than other SUA springs by far. But didn't compare to when I went SOA.

Is your YJ a 2.5L or something? I very rarely had to downshift my 4.0, only on big hills on the highway.
 

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4.0... runs strong... just a difference of opinion.

My 4.5" rubicon extreme duty springs ride nearly as well as my tj on stock springs....
Bds is decent but not the best....
Comparing apples to oranges tho....
As I said both soa and sua can work and work well.
Both have their place....
I am not suggesting 5, 6, 12" of lift sua OR soa....
I'm trying to get a feel for what will suit the OP best...

If he decides he wants sky high then it may be worth it for him to build a proper soa....

Let's work on nailing down how he wants to proceed and then we can figure out how to help him get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I was looking at the lift kits for SUA and with all that goes into it with body spacers as well it looks like I would come out cheaper with a SOA. I already have a quote on the SOA from 4 wheel parts and it comes in cheaper than the 4.5" lift kit with shocks.

I want to do it right either way I go. Again, I am not trying to build a rock crawler, but I do want to maintain the 35's. I live a few hours by interstate away from the mountains and I would like to go on some moderate trail rides but nothing extreme. This is more of an adventure type Jeep that I won't be scared to put into some mud holes or climb a mountain to find a stream to fish.

I appreciate the discussions and keep the ideas flowing, it is helping me figure out what I need to start looking for. I will probably go to 4 wheel parts to get my stuff since they are close to the house and I don't want to order the wrong things on line.
 

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Lets explore just exactly 4wp is quoting you and what they are doing for that price.... I find it very very unlikely that you can end up with a proper soa for less than sua
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I have the quote at the house. I will update this post later this evening. I am going to do all the work myself with my fathers help/instruction. He has been working on cars/trucks, or anything with a motor for forever now so I feel confident in what we can accomplish.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
So this is based on a look at my YJ in the parking lot and what they thought I needed. I know there will be a few odds and ends to go along with it especially if I am getting a 8.8 for the rear.

the quote:
All the parts listed are Rubicon Express
2 spring over 5-leaf
2 spring over 6 leaf
bushing kit
pair of axle weld shock mounts
shock adapt bracket with hardware
all 4 shocks
front stabilizer bar
swaybar bushings

Total $1275
 

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Don't forget about axle wrap. My rear isn't much of an issue but I'm getting a ladder bar. My front was hopping like a MF trying to climb a rock.

Also, I haven't read through your thread but you'll definitely need a SYE and driveshaft. Do the SYE first then get the springs resting on the axles. Point the pinions at the yokes of the transfer case them lower them a degree or two.

The reason you want the angle lower is because the springs will settle and you also want room for when the axle wraps.

 

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Actually it does. "ladder bar"
 

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Come on work with me here.....
I was talking to the OP and I even gave you credit when I said "as mentioned"
 

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Yeah, for proper steering you'll be looking at high steer kits, crossover steering, or (not as preferable) an S drag link.

The steering and the axle wrap are the most expensive fixes. Or do like I did, SOA up front and SUA in the rear. That Jeep felt planted and had no axle wrap at all.
 

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And since we're talking proper... S link isn't even an option... high steer is the only way to go
 

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The Rocky Road OTT kit seems to be well liked for full high steer. Or Blue Torch Fab makes a nice crossover bracket if you don't mind going to heims.

I had WFO concepts crossover steering on my 8 lug D44, but that's a whole nother animal. I never had a problem with crossover, and it was a hefty savings over full high steer.
 

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Come on work with me here.....
I was talking to the OP and I even gave you credit when I said "as mentioned"
Simple misunderstanding, all good now.

As far as steering I am running "stock" steering. I do have a drop pitman arm. I'm not sure how much of a drop it is. I bought a 00 XJ for parts and found a drop pitman arm on it, pulled it in case I needed it (and I did).

My steering angles aren't too bad. I have a stock tie rod, under the knuckle. My drag link is aftermarket but is set up in the same way as stock steering.

I was planning on doing over the knuckle steering but didn't know how I would clearance it when I went SOA. No way it'll clear without a hi-steer kit as mentioned. Haven't looked into it since the drop pitman arm is doing just fine for now. I have the knuckles from the XJ so I can play with drilling and all that for heim steering.

However, I've learned that through-bolts are not very strong for moving suspension components... The taper in tie rod ends along with the castellated nut and a cotter pin keeps it from coming loose. I used grade 8 bolts for my sway bar links (temporarily) and even used lock nuts. Had to tighten them every few trips.

I'm going to say that nobody has come up with an affordable steering option for SOA YJs, but then again I haven't searched much and I'm a broke-ass with lots of tools so I make everything myself. That Bluetorch thing looks mildly affordable. I may make something like that for myself, or machine it at school or work.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
So y'all are saying that when I change out the springs that I will have to rework the steering as well? It works well right now, although the steering wheel install is not great by the previous owners. The sales guy at 4wp said that the Jeep would lift up about 1.5 to 2 inches so I wasn't sure if that would affect the steering and I would have to adjust it or rework it all together. This is getting a little confusing.
 

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You would find that the steering doesn't work all that well now if you had longer shocks and did some testing... hit some bumps at higher speed and get the suspension twisted up offroad....
That S link does absolutely nothing for geometry... draw a straight line from one end to the other and that is your drag link angle....
You will have a lot of bump steer and at certain angles of articulation wou will have greatly reduced steering. And yes raising it taller absolutely will make it worse.

You CAN run it without doing the steering but you will end up w a squirrelly mall crawler....
 

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When changing the suspension height you will have two issues with the drag link:

1. Length. This is simply an alignment. You need to adjust the drag link length to the new suspension height.

2. Angle. This is what Gottagofast is talking about with "bump steer". How good are you with geometry and trigonometry? It's just the basic concept of a circle.

The drag link moves the tie rod left and right. Well, when you hit a bump, the drag link doesn't just move upward. It moves in a radius. Let's say it has to move one inch upward. If the drag link is parallel to the ground, that inch translates to hardly any horizontal movement.

If the drag link is at a 20° angle with the horizontal, and it moves upwards an inch, the horizontal component of that radial swing will be enough so that your wheels will turn to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Gotcha. That makes some sense, but I still have a good bit to learn. So my next questions would be: Is it easier to get the steering correct going with SUA suspension and body lift kits since that is a more common way to go? Are those parts/supplies more readily available than ones for a SOA?
 

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If you go sua 4-5" lift then all you need is stock steering, plus drop pitman arm, and trackbar relocation bracket to end up w perfect steering....

If you have 3.5" or less stock steering is fine.

The RE 4.5" extreme duty springs I mentioned before w 1" shackles are absolutely great.... i wish I could let you ride in my YJ...
 

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To save money and headache, I'd almost just go with SUA. I'd recommend 5" BDS springs, 3/4" shackles, drop pitman arm, and just ditch the front track bar.

You can find 5" BDS springs for $135 each. Part number 004500. Match that with BDS hydro shocks, ditch the track bars, and get 3/4" shackles to clear the military wrap on the springs, and you'll have a stable setup that'll flex great for SUA, and ride almost as good as stock while clearing 35s. I can post pics of this setup if you'd like
 
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