Hey guys, new to the site and new to Jeeps. I have a 1969 CJ5 that was built in canada that I'm wanting to restore. Has the soft top and the stock hard top. It has the V6 and drives great. It does have some rust in the floor pans which I am going to fix while I have the body off for paint. I have a few basic questions that I wanted to ask you guys before I start ordering all of the parts in.
This jeep will be used for mostly city driving. Might take it off road a few times a year but nothing crazy. Mostly looking for the look.
I would like to lift it up and run some 33" or 35". Should I go with a 2.5" or a 4" lift?
What's my option for a affordable lift kit? Can I get one for around $500?
I think most of the kits I've seen come with the shocks, lift springs, and hardware. Will I need to order anyother parts to make a 2.5 or 4" kit work on my 1969?
Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the new purchase!
If you plan on running the 35s I would definitely say go for the 4" lift. One of the best (quality) lifts that you can get is the 2.5 from BDS, but they cost over 740$! However they come with an awesome lifetime warranty. Black Diamond makes a 3" lift kit for jeeps like ours that is supposed to be pretty good quality. I purchased one for mine and paid al little over 580$ total from Quadratec. It looks like a good kit, it has anti friction pads, tapered leafs, and full military wrap on one end and 1/4 wrap on the other. I honestly can't comment at this time on how good it really is because I haven't had time to install it, but that seemed like the best for my budget. If you can afford it though would suggest the BDS 2.5" and get shackles for 33s. Just my .02.
Go with a 33" tire, max.
The Dana 27 front axle is marginal with 33's and 35's are not a good idea.
Unfortunately, the stock steering will not last long with bigger tires. Your going to be looking at modifying it anyway in order to get a 4" to run properly. I would suggest a Saginaw steering swap.
The stock 9" brakes are going to be marginal for larger tires anyway. I would suggest a swap to Waggy brakes or disks for tires in the 33" plus range.
Insure your shackle bushings are good. If your replacing them be sure to run either stock or a quality poly that has a sleeve. Cheap poly's will be just a plastic tube and they are worthless.
Unless your running military wrap with a stock shackle reversal, stay away from any shackle lifts.
Guys thanks for the detailed reply's! Just what I was looking for. I'm trying to keep the built as cheap as I can get but still be a nice build.
Would 31's look ok with the 2.5" lift? Or would they look to small for that kind of lift? Right now mine has 30's and what I believe to be a stock suspension.
I don't want to spend more than $2000 into this build as I don't want more than what it is worth into it. It drives great the way it is but the steering does have a LOT of play in it which I thought was just how it was back then. Would the Saginaw swap fix that problem? Will do a search on it and see how much that would cost and how much time it will take me.
The Saggy swap will eliminate all your steering woe's and the 225 is set up for a power steering pump. earlycj5.com has some excellent writeups on the conversion (brake conversions as well).
If you look at my profile picture (not very detailed), I'm running 31's with a 2.5" lift. It looks good and the 31's are a great all around tire size.
The lift and tires are easy to price out, especially if you install the lift yourself.
The steering conversion will require some welding and fabrication. If you are unable to do this yourself, then you may wind up shelling out some cash. Do your homework, round up all your parts (used parts from the u pick yard are perfectly acceptable), have a good grasp on how it goes on there, and then get an estimate.
i'm running 30/9.50x15 tires on my stock 1966 cj5a with lots of room left. i'd be able to clear 32" tires for sure with no lift at all. just check the back spacing on your wheels so you don't rub anywhere on full lock turns.
1966 CJ5A, mods are coming
1966 Wagoneer, bone stock
agree, 33"s are all you want with a old 69, i have a 1955 and have been running 33" for 20+ years with out any problems. + on the 4" lift. i had a 2&1/2" form rancho on the front and shackles on the back but waited so long to get the backs that the price went way way up and i found a set of trailmaster 4" for front and rear for under $300.00, glad i did. not sure if you have the 5:38 gears i have but if you do then saturn overdrive is the best upgrade you can do. i can do 80mph+ with it. next thing to upgrade would be power steering. i got mine out of a 84 camero. best thing i ever did.