Leveling kit and 1" lift advice - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 6 Old 03-31-2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Hanahan
Posts: 28
Leveling kit and 1" lift advice

Long time lurker, first time joiner. I have 2 Cherokees:

1996 Country, all stock, in pretty good shape, that my daughter drives daily.

1997, all stock, 4x4, 2 door, 5 speed, just bought it for my son and me to fix up together and it will be his daily driver when he turns 16. I wanted both my kids to learn to drive stick so I needed a low-cost option to add to the family fleet.

First question: the 1997 sits low on the back, springs are sagging a little. I want to get new rear springs, shackles, and bolts and level it out. I also would not mind lifting it very conservatively, maybe an inch all around and leveled.

Any recommendation on kits, brand names, installation tricks? I am a good home mechanic and have done plenty of engine and some chassis work in the past on non-Jeep vehicles, so the job doesn't scare me.
I saw some kits from SD Truck Springs that look pretty good, but it seems like there are so many out there. I don't want to go Add-a-leaf, the old springs and shackles are so beat and rusty they aren't worth saving.

Also: if I left it about 3.4" to 1", and I keep the stock rims, what are the biggest tires I can put on the rims that will fit and ride OK? We won't do much off roading, mostly just around town.

EDIT: Just searched around the forum here, found a link to Rough Country, and saw an adjustable shackle kit. What is the down side of just bumping up the height with the shackles? Might do the trick for cheep, but is there any other downside to it? I jacked up a 67 Ford with shackles when I was in college years ago. Worked alright as far as it went.

Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

BTW, where is the "give beer" icon on this forum? The Chainsaw forum has one! Guess I'll have to use the cheers icon instead.

Last edited by kogafortwo; 03-31-2013 at 05:18 PM. Reason: added information
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-01-2013, 02:31 AM
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles / SFV
Posts: 3,305
If all you want is about an inch, get OEM style springs and shackle relocation brackets. Depending on the shackles you use (stock vs extended) you'll get 1 to 2 inches of lift and a better shackle angle.
After this is installed, measure the new ride height and get an appropriate coil spacer for the front.
(Ride height as measured from the center of the axle to the bottom lip of the fender flair. Stock is 17.5" front, 17" rear.)

If you want actual lift springs, check out Morris 4x4: http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-li...e-xj/index.htm
They have a very robust selection of kits.

As for tires, the stock rim is 7" wide. I've been told (by sales people!) that you could go up to 10.5", but I wouldn't.
And a 235/75r15 (28.8x9ish") is about the biggest tire that will fit w/o any mods, so it or the next size up (?) would probably be a comfortable fit...

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-01-2013, 07:42 AM
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2004 WJ 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 153
There are many lifts out there. On my old 92 (RIP) I used an add a leaf with new 2" coils and ran 30/950/15 BFG AT's on stock wheels. No rubbing. That lift is now on a buddies 96. sAe23 makes some good points about shackle angles but I have not had problems with rear shackles on mild lifts and we wheel sw colorado.

2000 XJ Limited, 4.5 Rusty's All spring lift; 265/75/16 BFG KM2's; 4.0, aw4, 242.
2001 XJ Sport, 4.5 Rusty's lift, 32x1150x15 Hankook Dynapro MT's. 4.0, aw4, 231, 8.25 rear with power trax locker.
08 f 150 2.5 lift, 33's, arb.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-01-2013, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Hanahan
Posts: 28
Thanks guys, I think I will go stock springs - the 745 ones - and check ride height with stock shackles and go from there.
Now I need to see what a local shop will charge me to install them vs. me fighting the rusty old bolts and losing a whole day out of my weekend.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-01-2013, 04:01 PM
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CharlottesHELL
Posts: 33,837
Originally Posted by sAe23 View Post
As for tires, the stock rim is 7" wide. I've been told (by sales people!) that you could go up to 10.5", but I wouldn't.
I ran 12.5" wide tires on a 7" rim with no problems.

Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
If you can tolerate the Bilsteins, that will invalidate any discussion you and I may have from now on.They are real handy at determining if a quarter is heads or tails simply by passing a tire over it.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-01-2013, 05:44 PM
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1990 XJ Cherokee 
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Originally Posted by TheBoogieman

I ran 12.5" wide tires on a 7" rim with no problems.
X2. I have not but know many people do it without issue

Completely stock, and keeping it that way...

Originally Posted by Joe Dillard View Post
Yea, and I thought it was one of the 11 Commandments:
11) Thou shalt love, cherish, and honor till death, thine square headlights above all other earthy things sayith the Lord.
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