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Unread 02-04-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
black954
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Long travel leaf spring suspension questions

I was hoping this is the right place to ask, as I am basically shooting from the hip at what I think will work the best. Here's a real quick background on my build.
I'm building a 1978 CJ7 for the dunes. I'm going to use a mildly built 304 with the 3 speed manual and d20 transfercas. I'm also planning on running a small plate nitrous kit that will see limited use. I have a full fiberglass tub, hood, and grill and flat front fenders with cut rear wheelwells and stock wheelbase. The main purpose for this jeep is for the sand dunes in Silver Lake, MI. I'm building it on the cheapish, hence the leaf springs.
As of right now, the direction i'm going with the suspension is a shackle reversal up front and YJ springs under the axles front and rear. I'm thinking of using the superlift superide 3.5" springs and stock length YJ boomerang shackels. I was thinking of using the ProComp adjustable remote resivoir shocks in the 10-12" travel range. I am going to make front shock hoops with a crossover bar in the front and the rear shocks will protrude through the floor and mount to a cross bar between the cage. I was also considering using a front swaybar with poly busings for stability.
Any input would be appreciated since this is the best I could think of using inexpensive off the shelf suspension parts.

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Unread 02-04-2009, 11:04 PM   #2
ChiliPalmer
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Not sure if it's even option due to wheel base, axle center pins, etc. but you might want to look into some Chevy 63" leaf springs.
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Unread 02-05-2009, 07:19 AM   #3
black954
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what are the advantages of the chevy springs besides being longer?
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Unread 02-15-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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That's exactly it, they are longer.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
BESRK
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My Rubicon Express YJ 4" Standard lift springs will just about max out my 12.5" travel shocks (RS9000s) on my CJ5. Thing rides like a Caddy..

I assume you've already got the 304 and that's why you're not going with something bigger.. like a 360 or 401? Might hit CL or some local papers for a Waggy with a 360.. they're usually pretty cheap. The 360 would be stronger than the 304 without the hassle of setting up a (momentary) Nitrous system.

Might also want to check into a 4 or 5 speed to help keep the engine in its power band a little better in the sand.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
black954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BESRK View Post
My Rubicon Express YJ 4" Standard lift springs will just about max out my 12.5" travel shocks (RS9000s) on my CJ5. Thing rides like a Caddy..

I assume you've already got the 304 and that's why you're not going with something bigger.. like a 360 or 401? Might hit CL or some local papers for a Waggy with a 360.. they're usually pretty cheap. The 360 would be stronger than the 304 without the hassle of setting up a (momentary) Nitrous system.

Might also want to check into a 4 or 5 speed to help keep the engine in its power band a little better in the sand.
I'm not dead set on the 304 yet, but I can get one in good condition for free which makes it easier to swap it in. Plus i'm on a pretty tight budget for the entire build and I don't want to spend all the money on the motor. I actually have a 401, but it needs a full rebuild including cylinder boring, pistons, crank machine work, full valve job which brings the rebuild to around $2K not including intake/carburetor/ignition/headers. I'm going to be running 4.56 gears with detroits front and rear and 33" tires, so I would think the motor can rev pretty freely.
As of right now, i'm going towards a 2.5" YJ springs under the axle just to keep the CG as low as possible when jumping it and side hill climbs. How do you like the Rancho 9000's? I've thought about using them as well.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 10:59 PM   #7
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if you want travel then soa is really the only option with yj length leaf springs. just by design they will droop much farther. most important is what you do with them rather then who makes them.
-new bushings
-pull the clamp ears upwards or cut them off all together.
-round off the ends of the leaves.
-increase the size of the ubolts
-cut off the useless military wrap if they have them.
-use slightly longer shackles... nothing insane, 5" is good.
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Unread 02-16-2009, 07:39 AM   #8
BESRK
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I like the 9000s but mine is a typical street/trial/rocks/mud rig. Don't know how they hold up to high speed action with regards to fading..etc.

You mentioned jumping.. what's the plan for axles and bumpstops?
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Unread 02-16-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
black954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratis View Post
if you want travel then soa is really the only option with yj length leaf springs. just by design they will droop much farther. most important is what you do with them rather then who makes them.
-new bushings
-pull the clamp ears upwards or cut them off all together.
-round off the ends of the leaves.
-increase the size of the ubolts
-cut off the useless military wrap if they have them.
-use slightly longer shackles... nothing insane, 5" is good.
I would like to SOA, but I don't want to lift it that much. I know flat springs are ideal, but 5" is too much lift. Plus the axle wrap issue in the rear with all the traction and decent HP, I think the spring under will be better with small lift springs.
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Unread 02-16-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
black954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BESRK View Post
I like the 9000s but mine is a typical street/trial/rocks/mud rig. Don't know how they hold up to high speed action with regards to fading..etc.

You mentioned jumping.. what's the plan for axles and bumpstops?
I have wide trac 30/20 axles that will get trusses welded above the axle, from spindle to spindle on the front. I would like to see how well the 1" longer poly bump stops hold up, or I might have to bite the bullet and get air bumps.
I wanted to use the Bilstein 5150's, but they aren't adjustable and I don't want to have to buy shocks twice. That's why I considering the ProComp external res. adjustable 12" travel shocks.
This isn't going to be a trophy truck, but I would like to air it out on occasion and not break everything. Suprisingly, most of the cj's I see at the Silver Lake dunes have relatively stock drivetrains with big HP motors and seem to last just fine.
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Unread 02-16-2009, 04:11 PM   #11
black954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratis View Post
if you want travel then soa is really the only option with yj length leaf springs. just by design they will droop much farther. most important is what you do with them rather then who makes them.
-new bushings
-pull the clamp ears upwards or cut them off all together.
-round off the ends of the leaves.
-increase the size of the ubolts
-cut off the useless military wrap if they have them.
-use slightly longer shackles... nothing insane, 5" is good.
I do like the idea of rounding off the corners, larger Ubolts, and opening up the clamps.
I appreciate the input from everyone, cause i'm going at this basically on speculation of what I think will work best. The more I think about it, I might use longer rear leafs if I can find a way to keep the rear axle in the same spot with out lengthening the rear frame horns.
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Unread 05-28-2014, 08:44 PM   #12
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what do you have to do to slap chev springs on the cj
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Unread 05-28-2014, 08:45 PM   #13
Austforfb
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what do you have to do to slap 63' chev springs on a cj 5
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Unread 05-29-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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For the use you're talking about, you'll probably get more informed suggestions, here.
http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/
Going fast in the dirt is their specialty.
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