I previously had the SkyJacker J40K "Softride" 3.5"-4" lift in my 84 CJ-7 and never liked the ride it gave. Also, the rear springs come with tapered wedges to rotate the rear axle but they have round bottoms that distort your spring pads when tightening the U-bolts down. I had to have the spring pads heated with a torch to fix the smashed pads for the new lift kit I purchased. The SkyJacker kit also had a TC drop spacer that I never used and after gaining knowledge of output yoke and pinion yoke to be parallel so as not to have the driveshafts vibrate, I would never use wedges or TC drop that came in anybody's lift kit. The ride in the SkyJacker kit was stiff and uncomfortable probably because of the Nitrous gas shocks it came with back in 1988. A good hydro-shock would have been a better choice but never bought them. Overall, the SkyJacker lift kit settled some but not much and I wheeled the hell out it back in the day. The front spring eyes on the front springs were also a little twisted from the factory and it would wear out bushings within a two year period.
I now have a Black Diamond 3" lift kit installed on the same 84 CJ-7 that is currently being restored so I can't comment on the ride quality yet. It came with Hydro-shocks so that will help keep the ride a little smoother over stiff gas shocks. The Black Diamond kit installed well without issues and they do not come with any wedges or TC drop kits and is probably why the price is cheaper than the competition. The only thing I do not like about the Black Diamond kit is the poly bushings they supplied for the shackles. They give you a mix of flat sided and tapered sided shackle bushings. The flat sided ones are for aftermarket shackles and the tapered ones are for OEM shackles that have a concave dish to them. The problem with the tapered ones is that they are not wide enough and leave a space between the bushing and the shackle sides when fitted into the spring eyes. I installed rubber OEM type instead. I still need to trim the U-bolts threads down as they are too long at the moment but I won't do that until it has been driven for awhile and will need to have the nuts torqued again after the springs settle in some.
I have pictures posted of the installation of the Black Diamond lift kit on my CJ and they can be viewed by clicking on the URL at the bottom of my signature if you care.
I wouldn't buy or use a drop pitman arm as they tend to increase your turning radius some. Do the tie rod flip instead, that's what I have done, but only for the drag link.
Stay away from shims IMHO unless you need to correct castor for steering problems that you may encounter after lifting the Jeep and adding larger tires.
I cut my OEM sway bar links and replaced the rods with a longer rod because of the added 3" inch lift. So, if your rods are currently 6" eye-to-eye, then lengthen them to 9" eye-to-eye.
Last edited by keith460; 01-18-2010 at 05:55 AM..