OK, so onto the lift. We put the 3/4" spacer in the front, and of course, luck ran out again and I snapped the trackbar axle mount bolt, but that was an easy fix. I also relocated the front brakelines down to get an extra 2-2.5" of slack. For the rear, I started by added a 1995 YJ Wrangler Non ABS rear brakeline, then we installed the RE 1.25" shackles, and set the jeep back on it's tires to get an good idea how much more lift we needed in the rear to even out with the front. The initial rear measurement was 18", which is 1" over stock. After the 1.25" shackles, we were at 19.25". This is 2.25" overstock. The front was sitting exactly 3" over stock at 20.5". So we needed atleast 3/4" more lift in the rear. Well, we took the rear spring pack back apart like the first time we added the donor main leaf, but this time we were adding a 4* shim and the long leaf just under the main leaf of the donor pack. To make this work, I took a hacksaw to the bottom clip of the teflon pads at the ends of the second leaf and sawed them off, but the pads stayed in place, which was good. This allowed the leaf to sit flush in the pack. Here is a picture of the pack before install with the new second leaf and the stock main leaf that was added in the original budget boost:
Man, talk about beefy, this was a thick pack when all bolted together. Once everything was bolted back up and the jeep was back on it's feet, I was dying to take it for a ride to see just how back adding this leaf would make the ride. In all honesty, of all the cherokees I have been in, with just about every configuration and manufacturer of lift kit that I have test driven, this is by far the best riding jeep I have been, and probably ever will drive. I was extremely please with the ride. It was unbelievable how well it rode even with adding the extra leaf. My thoughts are that because the two new leafs that were added to his stock pack came from a stock pack with the same spring rate, which complimented and worked together very well. Oh, almost forgot and I am sure you are dying to here the end lift result by adding this second leaf. Well, before the second leaf with the 1.25" shackle, it was sitting at 19.25" (2.25" over stock). With the second leaf: 20.5" (3.5" lift over stock). So, now his jeep was sitting 3" lift front and 3.5" lift rear and the ride quality beats the snot out of even the 3" OME kit. Absolutely incredible! OK, here are some pictures of the final setup:
I will be adding this writeup to my tech section over the next week. It will be the Home Brew 3" Lift. I could call it a budget 3" lift if it was just adding a spacer, shackle and leaf, but my buddy wanted the jeep setup right so it could be used offroad without any worries, so we spent the extra money on the SYE/CV driveshaft, shims, discos, and of course the other nicknacks that didn't really have anything to do with the lift like the lights and hitch. If you have any questions or comments about anything I have done, please ask. I have had a number of people setup their XJ's using my homebrew budget boost writeup with nothing but praise, and I am sure when they are ready to lift some more, they will be very happy to take advantage of this new writeup.
Oh, and to finish up is offroad machine, this week we are installing a TCase and Gas Tank skid, so he will be able to tackle just about anything.
Special thanks to my boy Andy Clifford who helped me out a lot getting this jeep together.