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Title: Suspension Upgrade
Description: input wanted

COPPERSWILLY - March 13, 2010 06:23 AM (GMT)
While playing with my jeep the other day I broke a spring. I loaded the bed with a semi full load of firewood for a friend across the creek from me. I've been wanting to get a new set of springs since there mostly original and very worn. This broken spring just pushed me towards doing an upgrade. Everybody on here knows my jeep has a spring over lift. I want to take it back to original (spring under) but want to keep running my 33x12.50 yokohamas...mostly because they are still like new and well there just cool looking on my jeep.
Aside from that the spring over lift is a job and a half to undo. There's the steering drop that needs to be undone axle perch flipping then finally the spring replacement I want to do. My jeep really sags like they all do and after three attemps at leveling over the years I'm done piecing spring packs to get a set. I want to get some ideas on a moderate lift kit that is complete with everything from springs to shocks. I want to still run my 33's but from time to time I want to run the stock set of rims/tires also.
I figured I would tap into the vast knowledge of my 3b brothers for advice and ideas plus a good spring kit.

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Chipman - March 13, 2010 08:20 AM (GMT)
Hi Chris, I have 2 1/2" Superlift springs and Black Diamond A/T shocks on mine and 32/11 tires.
Mine is not road worthy yet, but moving it in and out of the garage I see no problem with mine. It looks to sit about the height of yours or maybe an inch or so lower.

I have ProComp 2 1/2" lift spring and shocks on my 67 CJ5 with 33/12.5 tires and I have no clearance problems. But with the big tires you lose turning radius.

Your jeep looks good!

HOGHEAD - March 13, 2010 01:45 PM (GMT)
Every lift I have ever installed (all were leaf springs) after a week or two of driving they settle out to less than the lift started.. 4" would settle into 3 1/4 ,, Any time I planed on using 33s Id install a 4" lift with good shocks & real good wheel spacers to help with the rubbing on the frame,, Make sure they are top of the line spacers,,

I cant remember the degree of the spring mount ,, But it has to as close as possible. Or your asking for drive shaft problems,, Don't ask how I know.. :unsure: :blink:

COPPERSWILLY - March 13, 2010 02:22 PM (GMT)
Hey Jim, I sold you a 3b hood right did you ever get to use it? I was looking into the superlift last night. I have a ton of work ahead of me do to everything needing to be reversed back. I want to make it more original but I also don't want to damage anything ... mostly the steering drop the previous owner built. I should take pictures of all this so you guys can see what not to do with a steering...I'll also take a pic of my 62's steering drop from previous owner...very scary!!! I was a little scared of it when I bought it so I had it tested (looked over) by a certified welder, prognosis was good.

Dave, I thought about the drop that happens when a new set of springs settle in. My 91 wrangler got a 4" lift and it dropped after a couple weeks. I dont want to do any body damage from the tires rubbing like a friend of mine did with a 76 cj5...he ripped his rear fender/panels out wheeling. I'll be going over the driveline angles when I re-weld the spring perches. Right now the rear driveshaft angle is off anyway

oldtime - March 13, 2010 03:44 PM (GMT)
I want to still run my 33's but from time to time I want to run the stock set of rims/tires also.

What do 33 x 12.50 Yokohama's measure in actual height ?

Daryl - March 13, 2010 05:42 PM (GMT)
I have run a lot of Rancho springs over the years, that seem to keep most of there lift. If you can do a little bit of fab on the springhangers then go with early cj5 springs from BDS. Hands down the best springs I have ever run. Also the best warranty in the business.

COPPERSWILLY - March 13, 2010 06:40 PM (GMT)
Hey Ken, The tires measure 31 inches actual height while on vehicle. I have plenty of clearance on the front but the rear wheel well may be in a little danger which I dont want.
Daryl, What type of fab work are we talking about. I don't ever get to go off road with my jeep so she's a road queen. I would like to be able to go off road if I get the chance though without body damage from the tires

Daryl - March 13, 2010 09:47 PM (GMT)
BDS doesn't offer short springs for flatties. If you are able to move your spring hanger a couple inches fore and aft you can easily run the longer CJ5 springs. They are cheaper and the longer springs end up with a better ride. You already mentioned the spring over so it doesn't look like you are concerned about staying stock.

oldtime - March 13, 2010 10:41 PM (GMT)
I personally never recommend tires over 31" diameter.
Measure the rear wheel house opening diameter and you'll comprehend my reasoning.
That said you should be able to get by with a zero or perhaps a 1" lift.
Wheel "set" (inset / outset) is a seperate yet related issue concerning tire rub.

COPPERSWILLY - March 14, 2010 12:42 AM (GMT)
Ken are you saying I should be able to get away with putting the springs back to original setup (spring under) with possibly a 1" lift? I know I might have a challenge with the rear wheel wells and tire size but right at the moment im not running with any kind of body lift at all except cut tire side wall thats 1/2" thick

COPPERSWILLY - March 14, 2010 01:46 AM (GMT)
After many hours searching and reading about lift systems for old jeeps and what they offer it looks like Black Diamond is going to be the one I get for my jeep. At $525 its a good price it will bring my jeeps suspension setup back to original which is what I'm after and It requires no modification of frame or body or components.

This is what this lift allows:
Max. Tire Diameter 33"...Fender Trimming No...Max. Tire Width 12.5"...Min. Wheel Diameter 15"... Wheel Width 8"... Minimum Backspacing 3.5"...Maximum Backspacing 4"...Stock Wheels Yes

This is what my jeep already has onboard so it will be pretty easy job I hope. Also it will make my jeep safer and sit correctly. As it sits its a little hairy driving on certain roads because the old suspension is worn out the jeep leans pretty bad. I hope with an upgrade it will allow me to actually drive on the roads I stay away from right now

HOGHEAD - March 14, 2010 08:05 AM (GMT)
Check this out Cris unless your real good at cutting off the old spring perches that have been cut off one time before,, This is an upgrade that is easy to do for the perches.. Dont forget to drill the hole that keeps your springs alined,,,

Heavy spring perches..

COPPERSWILLY - March 14, 2010 03:45 PM (GMT)
Thats a great looking homemade spring perch. I was going to use a couple doner axles with original perches I have but I like the way his turned out. I have a metal shop not far from the house that I can get the square tube from. Thanks Dave for the info and the time to look it up

HOGHEAD - March 14, 2010 07:35 PM (GMT)
Thats 2x2x1/4 tube ,, you gotta make sure you make it the same as the springs,,, I dont think it was a 3b,,The one in the picture is a over the Axle set-up.. You have to make sure your U-bolts will fit it .. They make just about ever size tubbing out there,, I needed some 2 1/2x5x3/16,, & sure as crap the steel company I went to had just what I needed,, They sell that stuff by the a couple bucks a foot,, :unsure:

oldtime - March 14, 2010 08:12 PM (GMT)
Ken are you saying I should be able to get away with putting the springs back to original setup (spring under) with possibly a 1" lift?

Tires measuring 31" diameter or less will not rub the rear wheel well (aka wheel opening)
But tires over 6" tread width can rub on the sides of the rear wheel house or on the front springs.
This depends upon the OA tread width and the specific wheel they are mounted on.
This also depends on the front axle shafts being either Bendix, Rzeppa or Spicer.

I consider the absolute limit for all CJ's to be 31" tall (actual diameter) x 13.50" OAW.
OA tread width is around 11" for 13.50's.
Tires of this width wil compromise the steering angle so the wheels need to be outset, not inset nor centerlined.

Standard and optional wheels designed for the 3B are 3/4" inset.
I have some wheel set information stored somewhere if you need.

Oswald - March 14, 2010 11:54 PM (GMT)

Here's a set of 33 12.50 15's on my jeep with fresh one inch lift springs.

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Since I tried these on my Jeep in 2007, the springs have dropped a bit, but my Dad runs them on his 2A with the same springs. Superlift +1. The turning radius is bad, and he doesn't go off road anymore so rubbing isn't an issue. But It does look cool.

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p.s. these are bias ply tires.

HOGHEAD - March 15, 2010 12:31 AM (GMT)
Oswald I do like the dark green,, did you paint the windsheld black? :blink:

RamblinCJ3B - March 15, 2010 12:57 AM (GMT)
I had a rancho 2 1/2" lift on my CJ2A and also CJ5 body pucks instead of the thin rubber that came stock on the Jeep.With 33x12:50 BFG Mud TAs I had no clearance issues.And the Jeep did the Rubicon several times.

My Dad just installed the Black Diamond 3" lift on his CJ7 and had to go through 2 sets before he got a set that did not sag in just a few days.But from what I heard that is pretty uncommon for BD.Four Wheel Parts got his second set shipped in quick.

COPPERSWILLY - March 15, 2010 04:09 AM (GMT)
Now I dont know what to do again...

Oswald the red jeep looks to low for the tire clearance, do they rub?

Ramblin I'll lookinto the rancho lift havent been there, Thanks

Ken, I guess the best thing to try is alot of measuring just to figure out the geometry of everything. I need a lift that will accomodate my big tires. I know I'll never get rid of them there already over 12 yrs old and are still like new (garage kept). The bad thing is I really dont want the jeep higher I just want the spring under and to keep it the same height or a little lower. I haul people in the parades when I do them so I need enough lift so no rubbing occurs when thats going on and since I never get to 4 wheel the thing because its to squirly on old asphalt roads to get anywhere. I want to replace everything shackles, springs, shocks, and hardware. I'm hoping that when I'm done it will be able to go anywhere I want without worrying about the rut following and pot hole stear it has now

jeeper50 - March 15, 2010 02:36 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Oswald @ Mar 14 2010, 07:54 PM)

he doesn't go off road anymore so rubbing isn't an issue.

Sorry to hear that!! Looks good though.

oldtime - March 15, 2010 05:26 PM (GMT)
Tire manufactures are getting notoriously bad concerning specified sizes.
Super Swamper tires are a prime example with their designations being much larger than life.
Therefore actual measurement of the inflated tires are needed to determine proper fit.

Maximum OAH is 31"
Maximum OAW is 13.50"
Maximun tread width is about 11"

These maximums represent tire diminsions that will fit all CJ models of any year having standard suspension.
As stated fitment of tire tread beyond 6" wide are fully dependant on wheel set.

I seldom recommend lifts of any type because of multiple incurred effects.
A 1 inch spring lift is not an issue.

COPPERSWILLY - March 15, 2010 07:38 PM (GMT)
Back in the early days of me and my willys I would sneek it off road road to a place called lynhurst across the highway from me. It was great and it had everything. Hills, holes dry and water filled, part of the chesapeake bay to drive through (never did it) an open field, woods, boulders, an it had a U pick off road parts section. It was bought cleaned up and now there are houses on it. There was a willys panel van back there when I was younger but it is gone now. One other place we all went to was quad avenue. That place was awesome in everyway it had everything lynnhurst had and more. Nowadays if you even try to get a jeep or "off-road" truck on quad ave the cops are on you like white on rice. The last time my buddy and I tried to get his cj5 back there we were busted quick. Now, for me to get my jeep off road I will have to drive at least 70 miles...I have three kids and an old lady that works everyday. When I had my wranglers and was a single guy I didn't care where I was if I saw a trail or a group of jeeps I would go...I had some fun back then.

jeeper50 - March 15, 2010 08:07 PM (GMT)
Going offroad is becoming quite a struggle everywhere, here in GA lots of forestry roads have been closed and power line ROWs have been outlawed for the last several years. I'm on a hunting club with 800 acres that I can ride on in the off season, but other than that the closest legal place is about 70 miles away, so I can feel your pain.

I have a superlift 1" set of springs, the front settled a bit too low for my liking, so I used a Add-a-leaf kit to boost the front so when the Koenig goes back on maybe I'll be close to level. But I'm only running 700x16s

My center of axle to fender in the front is 21", 22.5" in the rear to give you an idea of where you'd be with a 1" Superlift kit.

COPPERSWILLY - March 15, 2010 11:07 PM (GMT)
Jeepers, We have a legal place to 4 wheel but it cost like 180.00 a year and you only get the summer months to use it...It's Greenridge State Forest in Western Maryland. I hunt out there and the 4x4 trails are crowded with 4 wheelers and weekenders that get scared if there all wheel drive minivan slides into a twig. Speaking of twig...Twig road in the state forest is the best for sliding from side to side and backwards on and actually needing 4 wheel drive from time to time. The state has gone in and put culverts and bridges and leveled alot of the road we all used to use and have fun on.

While reminiscing about days past I almost forgot this:
I did some measuring on the B today and came up with this
The tires - actual size
31 high at highest point
12 wide at widest point, tread is about 11.5 wide
I have 8" all around the front tire for clearance
I have 4.3/4" between the nearest sheet metal (bottom corners) and the rear tire
I think with a 2.5" lift I would be ok. The axles are roughly 2 1/4 in diameter and right now the tires dont rub anything turning from side to side or in articulation. I can get the front tire about 2.5 feet off the ground before the rear wheels start to lift off so to me that's pretty good. I think the 3" lift would after it settled put me right where I want to be. I did call Quadratec today and like usual the guy new nothing that would help and he said that the black diamond lift wont lose any of its sh*t is what I was thinking...they all do but I let him talk.
675.99 will get me everything springs, shocks, mounting hardware. The only thing they dont carry is the original biggie.
To run my original rimes I planned on getting a tire that was 30-31" inches tall but I haven't looked into any of that yet.

Oswald - March 16, 2010 12:52 AM (GMT)

There is only about 1.00 between the tire and the lip. With just my Dad cruzin' it never hits.

Don't feel bad his 2A has had quite a life as a racer years ago, with 7.50 16 extra grips on stock rims in this pick.

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Good luck with the new suspension. If you end up shy on the lift you could always do a little body lift for some extra until you decide to drop it back down and change tires.

COPPERSWILLY - March 16, 2010 01:32 AM (GMT)
Oswald, That looked like fun getting all muddy like that. My wranglers were both white and black...they came home brown alot...ha ha. My B came home brown a couple times to.
I think thats what Im looking for is owners jeeps that are like mine with lifts on them for measurements and what they look like. Thanks Oswald and everybody else that has chimed in on this

RamblinCJ3B - March 16, 2010 04:12 AM (GMT)
Another option is Alcan springs if you don't mind spending the $$$.They are SUPER guys to deal with and Charles can tell you exactly what you need to fit whatever size tire you decide to use.I have a set on my 72 and 73 Commandos.Unfortunately nobody makes an off the shelf lift spring for Jeepsters.But I would highly recommend their products.Just another option.

OZ-JEEP - March 16, 2010 12:01 PM (GMT)
Chris, heres a picture of my 3B with 3" lift springs, 1" hockey puck body lift and just about 1" worth of shackle lift. I run 33"x 12.50" tires.
If you go with a 3" spring lift you may want to install extended shackles so as to allow the springs to extend/flatten out when fully compressed. I've jacked my 3B up one side at a time without the shocks on (while measuring for the length of shocks that I needed) and I dont have any contact with the rear tire into the body opening. The front tires will make contact with the springs at full turn and has compromised the turning radius some but not enough to bother where and how I wheel it. I simply adjusted the turning stops on the knuckles to restrict the range of motion. It would be nice to have sharper turning in the tight woods trails but on the sand dunes and the street it is very acceptable. The rear tire looks as though it would hit the front corner of the wheel well opening but because the axle moves to the rear as the spring compresses and flattens out it clears just fine. The lift is about 25+ years old. Oz
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COPPERSWILLY - March 18, 2010 09:05 PM (GMT)
Good looking jeep OZ JEEP

I got my springs and shocks yesterday 2.5 ranchos...picked them up at Quadratec in Pa. Bought my shackles from Willys Overland UPS dropped them off today. I pulled out my doner axles and cut off the spring perches...came off very easy, bit of a shock. Cleaned up my garage and floor so now Im ready to go to work. I'm not going to do both at one time so I figured I would do the rear first then the front. The front is going to be more work for sure but I'm ready for it. I'll take pics and post if you all would like to see

scott - March 19, 2010 02:47 AM (GMT)

Hello Jeepers,

Could somebody tell me about the ride quality with new springs compared to my old worn springs. My jeep with 20+ year old springs rides pretty good in my opinion but its a far cry away from TJ coils. I guess what I'm asking is, are new springs a softer ride, better handling (if thats even possible in a Willys) or does it still ride like a wheelbarrow.



RamblinCJ3B - March 19, 2010 04:22 AM (GMT)
They all ride like a Sherman tank!!! I really noticed very little difference between the 200 leaf stock springs and my Ranchos. Well maybe a little difference.Not enough to get all excited about.

jeeper50 - March 19, 2010 11:43 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (COPPERSWILLY @ Mar 18 2010, 05:05 PM)
Good looking jeep OZ JEEP

I got my springs and shocks yesterday 2.5 ranchos...picked them up at Quadratec in Pa. Bought my shackles from Willys Overland UPS dropped them off today.

Did you get the poly bushings for your shackles? I used them for my new springs. FYI- the original C type will not work with aftermarket springs.

COPPERSWILLY - March 19, 2010 02:40 PM (GMT)
I started pulling the rear springs last night and redoing everything. I relocated the perches and started to install the new rear springs. The "C" shackles fit perfect on the new springs and the hardware that I got with them is alot beefier which I like. I was almost done the rear when I smashed my thumb and called it a night 12:30 am. Everything went together pretty good so far I'm very pleased with the rear setup.
I did find out that my rear springs were alot worse then I previously thought. The old springs are rusted very badly and three are broke. My guess is that they are rusted through in between each other so bad that they are brittle. Also upon the initial wrench turning everything in the rear was loose. Not loose loose but loose. Most likely this was do to the broken springs and rusting between the leaves. Ive never taken my rear spring apart until last night I've only worked the front. As a reminder and warning I would go take a wrench to your suspension hardware to be safe. It will be nice to have a new suspension and also to know that "everything has been gone through and seen".
I have a black thumb nail and its throbbing today so work may be a little hampered do to unecessary pain and anguish.

jeeper50 - March 19, 2010 03:27 PM (GMT)
Heat a sewing needle red hot using a lighter and plunge it into the thumb nail, it will melt right thru the nail and relaese the pressure causing the pain. Gonna squirt blood when it goes thru.

I've done this the past two times I've smashed the crapola out of my finger it's works great.

POst pics when you can

Here they use the side of a paperclip, I've always used the tip of a needle

COPPERSWILLY - March 19, 2010 06:50 PM (GMT)
I didnt need a pin because it broke the nail....OOOOOOOW!!! I've done the needdle trick which does work great...hurts a bit to do but afterwards its better.

Thanks for the tip are always welcome

RamblinCJ3B - March 19, 2010 07:33 PM (GMT)
A small drill bit in your Makita works good too!!!

Tay3440 - March 22, 2010 03:52 PM (GMT)
Hey Guys! I was wondering if anyone has used a Black Diamond 3" lift kit! I have used a lots of different kinds but I have never used Black Diamond. Any information or feed back would be greatly appreciated!

Here is a link to the lift!

COPPERSWILLY - March 22, 2010 09:56 PM (GMT)
I looked into Black Diamond it cost more and you got less. The Rancho kit I got had spring and hardware + shocks. The hardware was alot beefier also which I like

I'll be adding pics soon of everything I did. I'm not done the install yet. Undoing a spring over is alot of work.

COPPERSWILLY - March 26, 2010 02:13 PM (GMT)
Ok I figured it out it was on the photobucket side.
Since none of my install pictures worked out because it was to darkwhen I took them I did at least get these after the install pics.

my jeep with its first set of shock since I've owned it
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my jeep sitting with the new springs all around. lowered it near 1/1/2"
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shot of the rear with new spring and shocks
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left side
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right side
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COPPERSWILLY - March 26, 2010 02:25 PM (GMT)
Shot of the steering bracket the PO built that Im removing
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Bracket removed
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grinding off the original bracket
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its ready
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cleaned up the original bracket
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