I bought my 1980 CJ5 two years ago, and slowly getting to all the repairs. My next project involves solving the terrible handling issues, that I think is caused by the lift shackles. They measure 5 7/8" from bolt center to bolt center, which leads me to believe they are giving me about 1 1/2" of lift. In addition the rear springs are shot as they are sagging as well. I believe the Jeep has a 2" spring lift in addition to the shackles, thus bring the total current lift to approximately 3.5".
I'm looking for a good lift that will give me adequate clearance, decent road manners/ride (by CJ standards), and good off-road capabilities without breaking the bank. In addition, I will need new heavy duty shackles, but everything I see is for a lift shackle. My tires are 32x11.50x15, but this size is getting more difficult to find, so I may need to plan on something that will clear 33's.
With the budget being $700 or less, what would you guys/gals reccomend? If I had to get aftermarket shackles, what is a safe lift from those that will not affect handling?
1980 CJ5 w/1985 258 I6
T176 Tranny/Dana 300 Transfer
3.5" Suspension Lift
OEM ACME Hardtop