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Unread 06-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #1
WOOHOO
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1998 ZJ ..Lift..?

OK...I have a daily driver zj that is going to retired to toy. It has a 4.0l with 172,000 miles. Knowing motor is not going to last forever what would be the best bang for my buck lift.

I have been looking at a 3" bb with new shock and a set of 31"

or

3.5" rc budget lift with 31" (kind of figure better lift since it will eliminate some of the stock parts that might be maxed out with a 3"bb lift..)

also how do I figure out my gear ratio..?

I guess the problem is that I have been reading way to much and confusing the crap out of myself.

sorry also new here and figure that a seasoned vet could point me the right way. I'm also not opposed to other products but want to keep it under 4" since it will probably only be used to take my kids spotting deer and go for milk runs the backway..lol

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Unread 06-14-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
GCjunkie93
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The search function is very helpful. Stay away from 3" bb's. If you wheel at all, they are dangerous.

2" bb, 31's, and new shocks is perfect.

Also your motor can last forever is you take care of it. 172,000 is still low
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Unread 06-14-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
tucsonzj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCjunkie93 View Post
The search function is very helpful. Stay away from 3" bb's. If you wheel at all, they are dangerous.

2" bb, 31's, and new shocks is perfect.

Also your motor can last forever is you take care of it. 172,000 is still low
this

gear ratio is should be on a metal tab sitting on your rear differential, or you can email Chrysler and get a build sheet using your VIN. Odds are, you have 3.55 gears since it's the 4.0, unless it came with the tow package from factory then you'd have 3.73. But my bets on 3.55
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Unread 06-14-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
WhiteOut
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What is your total budget?

Both those options are too great really. For best ride and best performance I'd go with a set of OME HD springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks and a good round of bushing replacement. Give Kolak a call or PM and he'll set you up.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
OldManTan
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Currently running the 3.5" RC lift with their "upgraded n2.0" shocks and a rc steering stabilizer and 265/75/16's.
Not bad at all for the $$. the LCA's were beefier than I expected.
only complaint..
It's a f-r kit. would be nice to upgrade to an actual rear lift spring in the future. rear is kind of stiff.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
ZJMatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCjunkie93 View Post
The search function is very helpful. Stay away from 3" bb's. If you wheel at all, they are dangerous.

2" bb, 31's, and new shocks is perfect.

Also your motor can last forever is you take care of it. 172,000 is still low
Never understood everyone who said the 3" spacer lift is junk. I had one in my old jeep for about 2 years and wheeled that thing HARD! The only issue I had was that the rear coils would fall out if I flexed too much, which I fixed by welding a couple inches of exhaust pipe on to the upper retainers in the rear. Aside from that, I never had any issues. Had 3" spacers, longer Rough Country shocks (which people also talk bad about) and Skyjacker LCA's and a Rubicon Express adjustable front track bar. This past winter I also swapped factory Up Country springs into it.

That setup, with the sway bars disconnected, and a good set of 31" M/T tires was unstoppable. The only times I ever needed to be pulled was in mud and I don't go in the mud very often. And aside from that issue with the springs falling out, which I fixed, I never had any issues with the lift itself.

My new jeep has a 4.5" Rough Country spring lift in it and I haven't installed my quick disconnects yet but I can already tell that I'd prefer the lift out of my old jeep.

I do second what you say about 172k being decently low miles. I retired my old jeep (4.0) at 221k due to rust. My new one has 201k on it and a good body, so we'll see how long this one goes.


As far as checking your gear ratio. Grab a buddy. Jack up either the front or rear of the jeep, be sure to chock whichever set of tires is on the ground, and put the transfer case in neutral (only really necessary if you have the np249). Turn the driveshaft so one of the ears on the u-joint is pointed down directly at the ground at you, make a small mark on it. Also mark the top of the tire. Get under the jeep and have your buddy slowly spin one of the tires two full revolutions (assuming an open diff). Count how many times your driveshaft turns. It should make 3 full revolutions and then a partial. If the ear you marked ends up at the top (approximately 3.5 revolutions), you have 3.55 gears. If it ends up on one of the "sides", (approximately 3.75 revolutions), you have 3.73 gears.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 01:10 PM   #7
PolkaPower
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Coils over spacers any day. I don't know what you are smoking. But that's what you get for buying lower quality gear. Not even as good as a 3" BB.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
ZJMatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Coils over spacers any day. I don't know what you are smoking. But that's what you get for buying lower quality gear. Not even as good as a 3" BB.
I didn't buy low quality parts... I paid $700 for the jeep with the lift already installed and only 2k miles on it since installing it. Can't look a gift horse in the mouth.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
tucsonzj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZJMatt View Post
I didn't buy low quality parts... I paid $700 for the jeep with the lift already installed and only 2k miles on it since installing it. Can't look a gift horse in the mouth.
what does paying 700 for the jeep and only 2k miles on it since installing have to do with you buying low quality parts? 3" bb is notorious for being a POS lift. That was polka's point
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Unread 06-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #10
PolkaPower
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Actually I was bewildered that he said he prefers a 3" BB over a true coil lift but then I saw what brand it was and on top of that he bought it lifted so no telling how proficient the PO was at installing it or what condition it is in. To say that you like a BB over a coil lift says a lot about the RC quality to me since normally full coils are obviously better because you are not propping the truck up on stilts so to speak like with a BB.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 05:31 PM   #11
OldManTan
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was kind of thrown by that reply too.
IMO
RC>BB pucks lol
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Unread 06-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #12
ZJMatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonzj View Post
what does paying 700 for the jeep and only 2k miles on it since installing have to do with you buying low quality parts? 3" bb is notorious for being a POS lift. That was polka's point
I thought he was talking about the RC spring lift being low quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Actually I was bewildered that he said he prefers a 3" BB over a true coil lift but then I saw what brand it was and on top of that he bought it lifted so no telling how proficient the PO was at installing it or what condition it is in. To say that you like a BB over a coil lift says a lot about the RC quality to me since normally full coils are obviously better because you are not propping the truck up on stilts so to speak like with a BB.
It's all new parts. The P/O admitted it was his first time lifting a vehicle but it has all 4 adjustable LCA's and rear adjustable UCA's, track bar drop, longer sway links, etc. He even changed the speedo gear so it reads correct on 31s. Despite it being Rough Country, he didn't totally take the cheap route. I'll be putting front adjustable uppers on when I get the money. May take my adjustable front track bar off my old jeep but the axle seems centered and I don't have any issues with it the way he has it set up. Also have quick disconnects that I haven't installed yet. I'm sure once I can disconnect on the trails it'll be a whole different story and may totally change my opinion.

But for the record I was certainly not disappointed with my old spacer lift.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #13
tucsonzj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZJMatt View Post
I thought he was talking about the RC spring lift being low quality.



It's all new parts. The P/O admitted it was his first time lifting a vehicle but it has all 4 adjustable LCA's and rear adjustable UCA's, track bar drop, longer sway links, etc. He even changed the speedo gear so it reads correct on 31s. Despite it being Rough Country, he didn't totally take the cheap route. I'll be putting front adjustable uppers on when I get the money. May take my adjustable front track bar off my old jeep but the axle seems centered and I don't have any issues with it the way he has it set up. Also have quick disconnects that I haven't installed yet. I'm sure once I can disconnect on the trails it'll be a whole different story and may totally change my opinion.

But for the record I was certainly not disappointed with my old spacer lift.
You don't have to be disappointed, just the general opinion that floats around on here. I (and many others) aren't RC fans. Certain things I have no problem with, I ran their spacers, sold them to a JF guy when I got new wheels, 0 issues and no complaints and half the cost of spidertrax. I wouldn't put RC suspension on my jeep personally, but that's me and my jeep. People can do whatever they want with theirs, but if opinions are asked, I'll say stick with IRO, RE, OME, or Bilsteins. Don't get RC or skyjacker. Just my opinion
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Unread 06-14-2013, 06:07 PM   #14
PolkaPower
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AHHHH now we find you that you haven't even discoed the front sway bar yet hahaha I guess that is not a fair way to judge the BB vs The RC lift then.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #15
WOOHOO
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I love opinions they always piss someone off. Budget is as deep as can bs my wife. But within reason. Was planning on running stock wheels and painting black and I like 15in wheels so maybe just a set of steel wheels if stock look like crap. Still sort of draggin on the lift. Just to much info. Do this dont do that I did this but would do this.
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