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Unread 02-24-2005, 11:06 AM   #1
killamike
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston
Posts: 36
Noobie with tons of questions:Suspension/Lifting

I know nothing about cars and need advice on modifying my YJ '95. My jeep has 81k miles. The only thing i replaced on it was new cheap 15'' tiger paw tires. Everything else it stock. I want to do as much as i can to my jeep to make it nicer, i want to improve the feel and looks. I have noticed ever since i first bought it that it was extremely bumpy. Every time i go over bump my car makes loud thumps. i assume this has something to do with shocks. What can i do, replace the shocks? What kind should i buy and where? Can i do it myself or do i have to have a mechanic do it. In addition, when i look under the body i see these black rubber things that connect to the body and frame. What are they because mine look very warn and cracked. Do i need to replace them for better suspension or whatever they do? Also i i would like to lift that sheisse up and get bigger tires. I see a lot of wranglers with wheels that come out far from the body . How do they do that? Do i have to get a longer axel or something? Am i a fool or do they just have wider tires that make it look like they stick out so far. It looks so bad *** and i would like my jeep to look like that.

I would really appreciate your help,
Thanx A lot

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Unread 02-24-2005, 12:41 PM   #2
92 Green YJ
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Spring Valley, San Diego, CA, California
Posts: 3,835
Quote:
Originally Posted by killamike
I know nothing about cars and need advice on modifying my YJ '95. My jeep has 81k miles. The only thing i replaced on it was new cheap 15'' tiger paw tires. Everything else it stock. I want to do as much as i can to my jeep to make it nicer, i want to improve the feel and looks. I have noticed ever since i first bought it that it was extremely bumpy. Every time i go over bump my car makes loud thumps. i assume this has something to do with shocks. What can i do, replace the shocks? What kind should i buy and where? Can i do it myself or do i have to have a mechanic do it. In addition, when i look under the body i see these black rubber things that connect to the body and frame. What are they because mine look very warn and cracked. Do i need to replace them for better suspension or whatever they do? Also i i would like to lift that sheisse up and get bigger tires. I see a lot of wranglers with wheels that come out far from the body . How do they do that? Do i have to get a longer axel or something? Am i a fool or do they just have wider tires that make it look like they stick out so far. It looks so bad *** and i would like my jeep to look like that.

I would really appreciate your help,
Thanx A lot
ok, here we go. first let me say welcome to the addiction. You can look forward to the days of maxed out credit cards and overdrawn bank accounts starting now.

now to your questions:
1. Its a Jeep, you better get used to the bumpy ride now. while it can be softened with a good suspension and good shocks, it will still not ride like a sports car.
2. you can easily replace the shocks yourself with basic hand tools, but if you plan to lift your Jeep, i would hold off on the shocks as most quality lift kits will come with new shocks when you purchase them. these shocks will be the proper length for your new ride height.
3. I am assuming that the black rubber things you are reffering to are your body mounts. they connect the body of your jeep to the frame. as far as replacement goes, you have two options here. one is just straight up replacing the bushings with new polyuerethane ones. you can get the full kits from quadratec, or 4 wheel drive hardware. your second option, is to add a body lift while you are replacing the worn mount bushings. i recommend not going with more than a 2" body lift as you could run into stability problems with anything more than that. you should be able to get a 2" bl for around 100 bucks.
4. the wide tire thing. part of that is out of necessity. when you lift a vehicle, it raises the vehicles center of gravity. now if you go taller and do not go wider, the vehicle will be much more unstable, increasing the likelyhood of a rollover greatly. So, when we lift our rigs, we go wider as well to counteract the higher center of gravity. this is accomplished by A) going to a wider tire, such as a 12.50. B) going to a wheel with a different backspacing. i think the stock rims run something like 8 or 9 inches of backspacing, i run rims with 4.5"s of backspacing. now the bad news, most states have tire coverage laws which state that the tire can not stick out past the body, this can be remedied with larger fender flares.

now, do you plan to go offroading? do you plan to go wheeling often? or just every once and a while? have you gone wheeling before?

answering these questions will help determine the best route you can take. If you have never gone wheeling before, i recommend wheeling stock for a while, get some tow hooks mounted, find some buddies and go hit the trail stock and learn your vehicle and what it can and can't do. then when you lift it, you will be better prepared to handle the different responses you will get from your rig. and trust me, a lifted jeep handles MUCH differently than anything else out there.
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Unread 02-24-2005, 12:57 PM   #3
Yoink
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Simi Valley
Posts: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by killamike
I know nothing about cars and need advice on modifying my YJ '95. My jeep has 81k miles. The only thing i replaced on it was new cheap 15'' tiger paw tires. Everything else it stock. I want to do as much as i can to my jeep to make it nicer, i want to improve the feel and looks. I have noticed ever since i first bought it that it was extremely bumpy. Every time i go over bump my car makes loud thumps. i assume this has something to do with shocks. What can i do, replace the shocks? What kind should i buy and where? Can i do it myself or do i have to have a mechanic do it. In addition, when i look under the body i see these black rubber things that connect to the body and frame. What are they because mine look very warn and cracked. Do i need to replace them for better suspension or whatever they do? Also i i would like to lift that sheisse up and get bigger tires. I see a lot of wranglers with wheels that come out far from the body . How do they do that? Do i have to get a longer axel or something? Am i a fool or do they just have wider tires that make it look like they stick out so far. It looks so bad *** and i would like my jeep to look like that.

I would really appreciate your help,
Thanx A lot
First off, the search feature is your friend. If it seems like a newbie question it's probably been discussed, try searching for it. Read the newbie faq. Use google. After that search for it again.

Second, some will say it's a Jeep and a "car" are not the same creature. Semantics but still choose your words wisely.

Third go to your local shop and pic up a Haynes or Chiltons guide. If you honestly plan on doing all the work on your Jeep you'll want a Factory Service Manual too. Those two books will get you anywhere on the repair side of your Jeep. Jeeps are extrememly easy to work on but you end up working on them alot, especially if you get the bug. Remember that everything Can be done on the jeep yourself and if you get half way through the project and decide it's over your head you can tow it to someone who can fix it. If you get the bug you will have no more money. 100% Fact.

Moving on ,15" is most likely the rim size of your tire. I would laugh hysterically if you were actually running 15 inch tires. Most likely you are running twenty something inch tires. Indicated by the 2XX 75 R15 or something along those lines. I believe that's height, width and rim size in millimeters or something like that.

Jeeps are bumpy by nature, and loud. But that doesn't excuse all issues. If it thumps you want to go under the rig and look for look things. I would start with letting someone else drive it and try to ID where the thumping is taking place. Work from there. There are tons of aftermarket shocks available for all sizes of jeeps. Search for opinions and decide what you want. Old Man Emu and Rancho are on the top of my list for Shock choices.

The bits that attach the body to the frame are most likely body mounts. Cracked and worn is pretty much their status in life. There are Body lift kits that you can buy that will replace the bushings and raise the body off the frame to allow for bigger tires to fit. Opinions differ on body lifts. You can also find stock bushing kits that will allow you to replace all of them and maintain stock body placement. Again this is something that is your choice to evaluate and decide on a solution. The do not affect your suspsension and mostly only dampen vibrations from the frame to the body. Replacing them is a good idea if they are horribly worn or missing.

Lifting there are many options. Again search, research and evaulate. The web is your friend and so is the search feature. There are a lot of good sites including this one with a wealth of information. Research it.

Wheels sticking out are the result of Wider than stock Axles, Really Fat Tires, RIm Backspacing or Wheel Spacers. Bigger tires will nearly always make your rig look taller and meaner. On stock rear YJ axle just remember that you probably don't want to go bigger than 33" tires.

Oh yeah and welcome to the family.

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Unread 02-24-2005, 02:39 PM   #4
erickpl
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Just so you know, factory wheels are generally 5.5" of back spacing, not 8 or 9"
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Unread 02-25-2005, 12:16 PM   #5
350Jeep
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[QUOTE=Yoink] Indicated by the 2XX 75 R15 or something along those lines. I believe that's height, width and rim size in millimeters or something like that.

Actually Yoink, The 2XX is the wheel width in millimeters, the 75 is the aspect ratio of the sidewall to the width (in this case, the sidewall measurement is 75% the width measurement) and the R15 is the rim size (meaning you have a 15" rim)
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