So after much waiting I found a smoking deal on a brand new skyjacker 2.5" lift kit, just needed to buy the u-bolts and bushings. The install went pretty well, ran into no issues that could not be overcome with pb blaster and a hammer. I ran into my issues when I started to drive around with it.
My current setup is:
The already mentioned 2.5" skyjacker kit with hydro shocks
1/2" shackle lift
1" Transfercase drop (was installed on the jeep with no lift by PO, dunno know why)
My current issues are:
Low speed Vibrations - only occur below 20ish and go away with speed increase
Wandering/loose steering - The steering will randomly do whatever it wants, not so bad that I would lose control but bad enough to give you a scare - have been reading about caster issues causing this. I purchased a angle finder, and when I read the angle from underneath I got > 8* on the driver side and < 5* on the passenger side. I do not know how to adjust side by side
I believe those are the biggest issues I am having right now, any help would be great as I have been searching the forum non stop and have not found a good answer.
Let me know if anymore information is needed to help diagnose.
Lifts amplify other issues. A slightly bent dirveshaft will be amplified after a lift and may cause your vibes. Also the steering issues could be loose ball joints, tie rod ends etc. I'm not really sure about the alignment issues because mine changes so often I gave up on it but if you do a search for alignment there are usually how-to threads that may help you or try a chilton/haynes manual.
'88 YJ, getting newer one part at a time. Details on my profile, you should fill out your profile too.
Install new u-joints is probably going to help. U-joints develope wear patterns in the needle bearings when driven for a long time at a certain angle, change the angle, and bam, vibration, play, etc. Get spicer uj's. Do not buy junk. (This may or may not fix the vibration issue), but I would be tempted to replace them if I suspected it was a causitive factor.
The only other thing I can add is by asking the obvious questions; are there shims in the rear springs, are they placed correctly, just by looking at the driveshaft, how do all the angles look, does the pumpkin angle look right, a visual.
a dropped pitman arm will fix the wander. had the same problem. 4* shims should allow you to take the tc drop out. I ended up doing a sye and new shaft, but $$ you dont have to spend if you dont wont to.
are you sure your steering woes aren't just bump steer? Bump steer is caused by the drag link.
The lift increased the angle of the drag link, therefore, when you hit bumps in the road the distance between the axle and the pit-man arm (the two points the drag link is attached to) will lengthen and shorten as the axle moves. Since the drag link is a solid bar that cannot adjust itself, it will actually pull on or push the tie-rod as your suspension cycles thus causing the wheels to turn as you drive over potholes and bumps. Higher lifts (4" +) come with drop pitman arms to cure this, since you want the drag link as horizontal as possible to prevent bump steer.
You will also notice your steering wheel does not point straight when your wheels do, this is also caused by the drag link.
Jeep garage: 2011 Jeep Wrangler JK - 33" BFG KM2s, 2.5" RC BB, ARB bumper, IPF 900XS, Superwinch EPI 9.0, AEV Snorkel 1995 Jeep Wrangler - 4 cyl, 2.5" lift, BFG AT 30s, Ford 8.8, SYE+CV, AX15 swap, ARB snorkel, Aussie locker + loads more - sold 1978 Jeep CJ-7 - 304 V8, TH400 auto and quadratrac 2007 Jeep Liberty - Mother's Jeep, BFG ATs and....mud?
I still have not adjusted my drag link for my 2.5 emu lift. It is a good point, my steering wheel is still off center due to not adjusting it yet. That should make the wheel look on center anyways. For me, no problems with bumpsteer thankfully.