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Unread 11-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
Nelson88
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1987 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: York, PA
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What to upgrade while lifting

Hey there,
I have an 87 grand wagoneer, and I just received my BJ's 6 inch lift an plan to put on some 33x12.5's. I was just wondering if anyone had any recommendations to upgrade the steering and brakes, also if there's anything else I should do while I'm working on it. Thanks for any info you can provide.

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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
strvger01
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if you plan on going off road much, might want to look at skid plates for underneath all the important parts: oil pan, tranny, tc, converter/muffler, etc.
also, going to larger tires, might want to check out what gears are in the axles. i'd be wanting 3.73's at least, if not 4.10's again depending on where you plan on driving your jeep. and maybe a locker?
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Unread 11-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
ghcoe
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Longer brake lines, Longer shocks, drop pitman arm, steering box stabilizer. Going that high and with those tire sizes you will want at the very least these items. Lifting trucks makes them look cool, to some, but they bring on a whole lot of problems with them unless done right. You can usually get away with 10% above stock. Any thing above that it starts costing lots of money to be done right and be safe. Vehicles are designed with certain limits in mind then plus a bit more for dependability.

So lets start with just lifting a vehicle past 10%. Now you need longer brake lines, longer shocks, lowered pit man arm. Being that you have a longer pitman arm it adds extra stress to the steering box and mounting point, so now you need a steering box stabilizer arm. If you go too much higher then you need to think about driveshaft lengths as well as angles and you may have to address this too. Now you have lift and of course you will want to put bigger wheels under there, right? So you get tires over 10% stock. Now you are trying to move more mass and stop more mass. So now we have to look at beefing up drive train, again with the driveshaft, transmission yokes, axle yokes, bigger brakes, maybe upgrading to bigger axles that are designed for bigger burdens. The list goes on and on.
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1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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Unread 12-01-2013, 05:40 PM   #4
olliehopnoodle
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Greetings. I have done a 4" spring lift on a waggy as well as a soa/sf on a FSJ Cherokee. (Did the work myself). So some real world advice.

As noted, brake lines, shocks, drop pitman arm are a must. Steering box stabilizer is a big plus but if you lack funds it can wait a bit. Since you are going 33's you won't be stressing it too much. I ran 35's for a while before I installed a steering box stabilzer (search the web for tt fab works).

At 6" you will need longer drive shafts While the stock shafts may stretch out and 'work' they are too short and will be the limiting factor of your suspension. This is both hard on your u-joints as well as your transfer case. If you are lucky enough that they work (and I bet they won't) then you can drive it around a bit but don't put off getting them lengthened.

I ran 31" tires on stock 3.31 gears and it worked 'pretty good'. On my year wagoneer 3.31 was used if you had the towing package. With 33 inch tires the 3.31 will seem a little sluggish. If you don't have the 3.31 and are running sometihng closer to 2.7x (I forget what came stock) then it will be really sluggish off the line. You will have to see what you think and what you can live with.

If you expect you are never going past 33 or 35 inch tires your stock D44's are good axles and can handle this if you don't do stupid things. So if you regear it would be worth the investment to put some kind of lockers in at the same time. If your truck is full time 4 wheel drive you will want a selectable locker up front (ox/arb) this is rather pricey and may not be worth it. If it isn't you can get away with a lunchbox locker or a nice detroit. In the end you should shoot for at least one axle that has some type of locker.

If you think you might go bigger than 35 now you have to decide if you want to spend the money on the d44. If short term you plan on re-gearing the d44's with an eye on bigger tires in the future (and upgraded axles) then go with a less expensive locker.

I ran an Aussie up front and ARB in the back on my D44/AMC 20 setup with both 31 and 35 inch tires. I wheel it pretty hard but not extreme or crazy on the as pedal. I have a part time TC. The only thing I don't like about the aussie up front is the steering is different when you are in 4wd. It pulls. If I had to do it over I would have put the ARB up front and an automatic in the back.

Finally, that is what I am up to now. I just aquired a d60 for the front that has and ARB. (I am going with bigger tires). I am still looking for a deal on the back. Either a D60 or 14 bolt are the most likely choices. If I find one with the ARB already it in I will go that route, otherwise I most likely will go detroit. One nice thing about the detroit is it just works.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
CSP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghcoe View Post
So lets start with just lifting a vehicle past 10%.
There's some validity to what you say, but damn, you make it sound like adding a lift equates to a doomsday. The OP is talking about adding 33s, not 53s.
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Unread 12-02-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
ghcoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
There's some validity to what you say, but damn, you make it sound like adding a lift equates to a doomsday. The OP is talking about adding 33s, not 53s.
You would be amazed at the mechanical leverage a wheel has on all the other components. Vehicles are designed with components that work in harmony with each other. Once you start going larger with the wheels it starts to tax the other components. Original tire size for the Wagoneer is a 235/75/15 a wheel diameter close to 29". Going to a 33/12.5/15 is a 4" difference in height which is about 20% over stock. Not to mention typical weight difference of 24 lbs. per tire.
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1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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Unread 12-02-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
CSP
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Trust me, that's well understood.

I also know that there are countless thousands of vehicles out there that have gone from 235s and smaller tires to 33s without causing needless deaths of buses full of nuns.

The axles/brakes/steering aren't what determined the size of tires the FSJ was capable of handling when they were built.
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Unread 12-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
Nelson88
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I appreciate all the advice. Thanks
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Unread 01-15-2014, 08:09 AM   #9
Gante
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Post a few pictures of your project! It would be great for some of us that will be looking into this in the near future. For the same reasons listed, I am really debating between a 4" lift vs. the 6" lift. Also let us know what challenges you came into during your project.
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Unread 01-15-2014, 08:58 AM   #10
780406jeeper
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Having run that lift on my brother's '88 Wag, it is going to ride pretty firm. The front springs are longer eye-to-eye than stock and will require longer front shackles to properly work. First good bump at speed and the front shackles will get wedged between the front bumper and stay there. Problem with the longer front shackles is they lift the front end even higher and at the same time lower your caster angle.

Front drivshaft angle at ride height will be your bigger problem. The front constant velocity joint isn't meant to operate at that steep angle. Couple that with an already aged part and it will wear out pretty quick. Once assmebled, check clearance front the underside of the front driveshaft tube and the tranny/transfercase crossmember. Many have had to clearance the crossmember for the driveshaft to clear, especially when flexing. Also, drop the suspension down and check to make sure the front drivshaft cv isn't maxed-out in it's operating range. We had to utilize a high-angle cv.

Last thing I can think of is the rear emergency brake cables. Ours ended up too short. We ended up cutting the frame side mounts off, and moving them back 2-3 inches. This gave us enough slack in the cable to work. Others have used J-10 cables as they are much longer. These are what I am running on my '78 Cherokee.

If I think of more I will post up.
Kevin
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Unread 01-15-2014, 11:09 AM   #11
strvger01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghcoe View Post
You would be amazed at the mechanical leverage a wheel has on all the other components. Vehicles are designed with components that work in harmony with each other. Once you start going larger with the wheels it starts to tax the other components. Original tire size for the Wagoneer is a 235/75/15 a wheel diameter close to 29". Going to a 33/12.5/15 is a 4" difference in height which is about 20% over stock. Not to mention typical weight difference of 24 lbs. per tire.
ok, i have a little ford ranger, 1983, 4x4, bone stock when i got it. 205/75x15 tires on it, 27" diameter. 2" body lift and explorer springs were added. about 4" total lift. then i put on 235/85x16 tires/wheels, 32" diameter. yep, 5" difference. no drive line angle, u-joint, brake line, pitman arm, drive shaft length, etc. issues. all i had to get were longer shocks. that's it. that was 6 years and over 45k miles ago. no issues with it whatsoever. perhaps i'm just lucky.
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Unread 01-15-2014, 05:21 PM   #12
Nelson88
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I'll be sure to post some pics once the lifts on. I get out of the service in 2 months and hope to put it on soon after. Thanks for the tip for shackles jeeper I didn't even think of that, also I'm probably going to get custom driveshafts made next. Again thanks for the advice.
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Unread 01-16-2014, 07:31 AM   #13
Little Green
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Nelson, good luck on your lift. I lived in Mt. Wolf just north of York for several years and I miss the smaller feel of york compared to crappy Philly.

Last but not least Thank you for your service and get home safe.
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Unread 06-07-2014, 10:17 AM   #14
Nelson88
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Sorry to reply so late but I finally got the lift done. I tried attaching a pic but the file size was too big, but I have a pic of it set as my profile pic. I've already gotten a ton of compliments just driving it around a few days lol. The ride quality is horrible to say the least lol but I really can't care about that lol. Next on the to-do list is to get my locking hubs on and tow hooks on oh yeah and the oil pan gasket (it leaks about 1/2 quart a week). Hey Little Green just a heads up the All Breeds Jeep Show in York is July 19-20, hopefully you can make it out.
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Unread 06-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #15
super98lsc
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Quick trick for sizing the pix just txt to yourself then attach the texted version. It downsizes I to the fly.
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