Advise a wanna-be modder -

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post #1 of 9 Old 10-07-2003, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Advise a wanna-be modder

Okay, I own a 95 jeep wrangler 4cyl automatic (At time of purchase was doing a lot of city driving, didnt want to deal with a stick ). I've always loved jeeps and want to keep this car for as long as I can, with some custom additions. I've never been a big car person, but due to the jeeps "open" build ive been learning alot just by taking things apart and rebuilding them. Ive done some custom things to it, but nothing heavily mechanical (Mostly electrical work, added a "lexus" type gps system ). So, I ask for your help on some more mechanical mods. Its all stock hardware still, shocks, wheels, engine, etc...but I dont want it to be.

What I would like to do is upgrade the shocks (I would like to offroad in "harder" areas, but still mantain its street-ability. Im thinking a 2.5" lift, is this good?) I would also like to re-build most of the vital pieces as well, its gotten really rusty under there over the years.

So what would you suggest for shocks/lift kits? What exactly would I need? I heard about those Black Diamond shocks, but would they be moot without new leafs? What other mods/additions/rebuilds would you suggest; regardless of size or difficulty. Thanks so much for any advice you can offer. If there seems to be interest, ill post photos of my gps mod too.

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post #2 of 9 Old 10-08-2003, 03:53 AM
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Well when it comes to this stuff if you ask 10 different people - you'll get 10 different answers.

Here's my two cents. First off it depends on how often and hard you plan on wheeling it. If you would like to "re-build most of the vital pieces", and money is not a concern. I would go with a premium 3" or 3.5" lift (from Rubicon Express, Skyjacker, Black Diamond, Old Man Emu, etc.) Then swap out all of the rubber bushings for poly and polish it off with 33"x11.5" (or 12.5"...woohoo!) tires on some 15x8 wheels with around 3.75" of backspacing.

Going up that drasticly in tire size (especially with a 4 banger) will defintley affect your on road performance and gas mileage, so you might want to do some exhaust/intake mods (muffler, high flow cat, K&N induction, etc). You also might want to look into regearing your axles as well. Since you've got an auto you most likely have 3.55 gears. I would go to at least 4.10's, preferably 4.56's

As far as shocks. I personally run Rancho RSX's but I'm thinking about making the investment in Rancho 9000's. The 9000's are adjustable so you can firm 'em up for the trail and soften 'em for the road.

You can see how quickly it gets expensive.

Rock On!
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-08-2003, 12:44 PM
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you have to think this through for yourself.. only you know how much money you want to spend, and your skill level...
decide what size tires you want to run, and how much money you want to spend on parts and we will be better able to point you in the right direction. also, what type of wheeling do you like to do. rocks, mud, boulders, dirt roads, sand? all of these things weigh into how you assemble your jeep.


What is all of this talk of Savvily designed products?
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-08-2003, 08:20 PM
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I agree with nailer. If you are still going to use this as your daily driver or is this your play toy now. The first decision is what size tires do you want to run. That will decide what size lift you need. the phantom listed some good companies. And I believe BDS has a 2" or 2.5" lift not for sure. But everybody I have heard really likes thiers. Check around on your gear ratio. I think that all 4 bangers come stock with 4.10 gears. But with the auto they might have thrown 3.54's in thier. I personally run 31" tires and still have alot of fun. I would like to go to 33" but I want to replace my rear axle and put lockers in before I go there.

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post #5 of 9 Old 10-08-2003, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, well heres what i have in mind.

a 2.5" or 4" lift. Im thinking 2.5" due to mostly road driving, I dont wwant to throw off its center that much. The offroading ill be doing is mostly dirt roads and mud/creek beds (of course the obvious rock will be run across). New wheels, , and the obvious tires. Unsure on exact size for those, that im hoping you can help me with.

Ive seens some really sharp Jeeps with oversized tires and lifts. They look nice on the road, and im sure can handle thier own offroad (nothing insane, but able to do what a stock jeep with normal tires couldnt). So...
  • Am i right on the lift size? Is 2.5 a good raise, or should I go 4", keeping in mind my desire to keep a nice ride on roads
  • Whats a good kit? Price isnt to big a factor, but I want a good value as well as a good kit. Black diamond and Skyjacker are names ive heard most
  • Tire size? is 33" too big, or is there a better middle ground? Saw a jeep with "Mud King XL" on it and it was what I was slooking for, failed to find thier size though. Protruded out from the side pretty far though.
  • Will I have to get new wheels to support the tires? This is on my list anyway, but wondering if I should look for a special size or something.

Thanks again for any help!

EDIT: I was writing this before the previous post. See, my problem is im still learning things like what "lockers" are and such. Is there a good site I could visit to learn the ins and outs of lifts, and the problems they might cause?

Last edited by kcmcg; 10-08-2003 at 08:30 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-08-2003, 11:17 PM
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For the sounds of what you will be doing I would go with 2-3" lift and run 31x10.50 on 15x7 rims. You will not need to regear but you notice a loss in take off power. If you go with 33" tires you need a combination of mods. Like a 4" suspension lift and a 1" body lift if you do not want to rub your tires on your fenderwells off road. Some people can get away with just a 4" suspension lift and be fine. But you will notice a significant change in power by going to 33" tires and one you will not like. If money is not a concern then I have heard Old Man Emu ( OME ) makes about the nicest 2.5" lift kit out there and you can get one at for about $900.

My 31's stick out about 2" from my fender flares

Lockers- they go in your front and rear differential and they positively lock your axles there fore if one tire is not getting traction or if one tire airborne then the other tire that is still on the ground will give you traction.

I would buy a jeep bible at the bookstore. They are loaded with alot of info and will definately help you learn the terminology.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-09-2003, 06:49 AM
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I am very pleased with my 2.5 and 31's.....Its a good DD, and is a blast off road....

Black 92' YJ 4 banger w/ a stick
Skyjacker 2.5"
31x10.50x15 Kumho MT's

White 02' GMC Sierra 2500HD
8.1L w/ Allison 5spd
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-09-2003, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by kcmcg
See, my problem is im still learning things like what "lockers" are and such.
Try this site for info on lockers.

'86 CJ7, 258 w/Mopar MPI, 4.56 gears, rear Detroit/front Truetrac, full cage, OBA, 8274, 4" lift via Alcans/Rancho, 35's on beadlocks, other stuff. Built for rocks, mud is a four letter word.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-11-2003, 10:18 AM
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Some of your questions have already been answered in the FAQ at the top of the YJ section.

I would always recommend a suspension lift as the first major off-roading mod to a Jeep as it will allow better travel of the axle to conform to the terrain - not just the fitment of larger tires.

After lifting the Jeep up with a suspension lift (and matching larger tires) I would look into a set of selectable lockers for street/trail units. E-locker (electric), ARB (Air) or OxTrax (Cable) units are some of the choices available to you.

Then it would be time to look into body/frame protection - rocker guards, skid-plates and such.

As always - recovery gear is #1 for any Jeep. Tow-hooks on the front and rear, tug-point on the rear, straps to connect the vehicles together (with no hardware permanently attached - ie: hooks)

Hello, my name is Vance and I am a Jeepaholic.
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