I've got free $$ and a stock ZJ... Suspension upgrade anyone? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
ItsTheDogs
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I've got free $$ and a stock ZJ... Suspension upgrade anyone?

I was just handed a check toward "repairs" on my '98 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4L stock stock stock with 199,200 miles.

I love this rig.
I will cry when it dies.

Initially, this thread was to be about suspension, so we will start there -- but I'll leave it open-ended for critical upgrades / fixes I should be thinking about.

The shocks and springs are original (hell, everything is, save a rebuilt rear end), and she's beginning to ride like a trampoline, and is super-sloppy when loaded.

I'm thinking: as long as I'm replacing shocks, I might as well upgrade... but I'm picky.

Driving Style:
-- 85% of my driving is on road/hwy: gas mileage is pretty important
-- 75% of my driving, I am LOADED: toys, bikes, dog(s), wife, camping gear, roof box, beer, and occasionally a trailer
-- 15% is off pavement (gravel, two-track, national forest dirt roads, possibly muddy, occasionally rutted, but generally considered passable by high-clearance vehicles) <--- I do this a lot.
-- <1% is anything anyone would call "off-road" (big rocks, steps, etc) -- but it does occasionally happen, usually unintentionally.

Tires:
-- I have 225 75R15 (what size is this?) Dueler A/T Revos on stock alloy rims that will be replaced before winter -- however my spare tire (same size) is in great shape, I'm probably too cheap to increase tire size...

Lift:
-- I would like to get a few inches under me since T-case rub is not uncommon on some of the forest roads -- and DEEP snow is very common
-- I like a more aggressive look
-- I don't want major hit on gas mileage
-- I don't want my lady to have to be on belay when climbing in

So... any recommendations?

I've read through these forums (long time reader, first time poster. Hi! ) It seems like Old Man Emu or Bilsteins are good brands... I know nothing about Iron Rock Offroad, but their "Foundation Series" (with the Bilstein upgrade) looks interesting...

OR... should I scrap the suspension upgrade since this beast has one foot in the grave, and use the cash as a down-payment on something else. (Please say no).


Last edited by ItsTheDogs; 08-29-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 05:29 PM
kg6mov
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OME and bilsteins would give you about 2.5" of lift and really help when you're loaded up.

A little over your $700 but not much. And well worth it. PM kolak.

1996 ZJ Green Laredo V8, 2.5" OME and Bilsteins, 33's, Holes drilled in the roof.
1998 ZJ 5.9 - Junked
1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 05:30 PM
stageninja
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I wouldn't worry about keeping the spare. Age takes a toll even on an unused tire. Upgrade tires, buy 5 new ones with your new rims & do a 5 tire rotation schedule. Then if you need the spare it has the same wear as all other tires in your mix. I see sooooo many Wranglers with brand new looking spares & old worn tires for the ride.

Mine '97 White, ZJ Ltd, 5.2, Up-Country Suspension, Kolak ignition, Kolak/Magnaflow Exhaust
Her's '98 Chargold ZJ Ltd. 4.0 2wd
Our 1st '97 White, ZJ Ltd, 5.2, The parts Jeep for 5 years...R.I.P. Sent to Pic-A-Part 5/17/2013

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post #4 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 05:51 PM
dnuccio
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IMO it will look silly lifted with stock size tires.

Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 05:52 PM
dnuccio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stageninja View Post
I see sooooo many Wranglers with brand new looking spares & old worn tires for the ride.
ive seen some with 35-37 inch tires on them with the stock spare hanging on the back
might as well put a decal across the windshield that says "i never go offroad!"

Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 05:54 PM
Kolak
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Did you do a hub/fender measurement to see if the stock springs have sagged? I'd like to see you get a set of OME springs, but if you stock ones haven't sagged maybe just get a 2" Budget Boost and some Bilsteins and put the rest of your money toward freshening up some bushing in the suspension.

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post #7 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 06:04 PM
dnuccio
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^what he said
stock measurement from the center of the wheel to the edge of the fender is 18 inches

Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 06:19 PM
jabba974
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I used to sell BDS suspension, and you could get a 3 inch kit with shocks fairly cheap...And it would clear a 31 inch tire.....
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
ItsTheDogs
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So on what I 'think' is mostly level, all 4 wheels come in at just approaching 18" center to fender... (possibly 1/8" shy... but I don't have a proper tape on hand right now)

So this means springs are fine? and I could get away with a budget boost and new shocks? What would
Quote:
freshening up some bushing in the suspension.
entail?

Also, I'm not opposed to upping the tire size, but fear the mpg hit...
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 06:47 PM
dnuccio
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hes talking about the control arm bushings, sway bar bushings, stuff like that

the mpg hit would be more drastic in a 4.0 i would think, since its already working too hard as it is.

Reliability is relative
R.I.P. Ratmonkey
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 06:52 PM
Kolak
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Your springs sound A-OK so I would suggest you inspect your control arm bushings, swaybar endlink & bar mount bushings, trackbar bushings, etc. for signs of degradation (cracks, missing chunks, etc).

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post #12 of 17 Old 08-29-2013, 11:15 PM
jabba974
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I run a 235/75/15 on factory rims..and it looks good...no lift....Someday I will add a small lift, probly 3 inchs max with 31's
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-30-2013, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
ItsTheDogs
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So, its sounding like a 2" Budget Boost and new Bilstein 5100s are the way to go. I'll think about tire size when I need to...

Which shocks do I need? I see a lot of different model #s out there and can't find a difinitive fit guide. So far I've come up with: Front: 24-185622, Rear: 33-151670

Can anyone confirm or deny?

Also, any recommendations for a quality 2" BB?
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-30-2013, 04:12 PM
kg6mov
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AFAIK they're all pretty much the same. Do new spring isolators at the same time.

1996 ZJ Green Laredo V8, 2.5" OME and Bilsteins, 33's, Holes drilled in the roof.
1998 ZJ 5.9 - Junked
1984 F250, 460 BB, T19, work truck/future tow pig
1987 Mercedes 300D Turbo, the diesel daily, 30mpg in style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-30-2013, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
ItsTheDogs
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Location: Portland
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Are isolators matched upper and lower? Does the BB replace the upper isolator? Or do I set the BB on it?
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