Black Diamond vs Skyjacker -
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-17-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Richmond, VA
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Black Diamond vs Skyjacker


Been researching lift kits and have it narrowed down between the 3" Black Diamond and the 4" Skyjacker Lift. I would like to run 33" and will do only minor--moderate off-roading, more street driving. Ordering them from Quadratec.

Just a few more questions--

Is the Skyjacker worth the extra $200?

Will a dropped pitman arm be needed for the 3" (I have seen where it's highly rec. for a 4")?

Will these lift require the drive line angles to be adjusted? Or doe the shims take care of that?

Will I need to get a longer sway bar link?

BTW-I asked the asked some of the same questions about a 2.5 inch lift, but have changed my mind to go a little higer.

Last edited by jpd1899; 01-17-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-17-2010, 07:22 PM
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1980 CJ7 
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I run a Black Diamond so I can't comment on the Skyjacker, but I do like my Black Diamond. My jeep is primarily for offroad and I like the flex and it does ride nice for the limited street use it has. For street you can run the 33" with the Black Diamond but don't twist the jeep much offroad with the sway bar disconnected or you'll be in the fenders. The driveline will be fine. You shouldn't need a drop pitman arm, but if you have to choose I would do a tie rod flip instead of a drop pitman arm. You'll lose turning radius with a drop pitman arm. The tie rod flip is very comparable in price to a drop pitman arm also. It's an easy mod and maybe cheaper. What backspacing are you plannning on running with those tires? I can't comment about the sway bar length since I have never ran one. Hope this helps.

1980 CJ 7--3" Black Diamond, 1" body, locked both ends, 4.56, 35x12.50x15 SS LTB, "family" cage

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post #3 of 3 Old 01-18-2010, 03:13 AM
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1984 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Doylestown, PA
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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.

1984 CJ-7 Renegade

Last edited by keith460; 01-18-2010 at 04:55 AM.
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