Any pics of cj's with 4 inch suspension, 3 inch body, and reverse shackles?? just to get an idea... and how much lift do reverse shackles give you and can you really tell a difference in handling improvement??
3 inch body lift = bad idea. Beyond looking fugly, it puts a lot of strain on the body mounts. Pretty much only useful for a quick lift for a mall crawler.
Shackle reversal - been covered several times so you might want to avail yourself of the search function. There are trade-offs in the handling; great while driving, not so great under hard braking. Lift amount varies from 0" - 2" depending upon what kit you use (and it only lifts the front).
'86 CJ-7 Laredo: 4.2,T-999,D300,D30/D44,'94 YJ tub, full cage, Shrockworks rockers, OYR corners, AC,cruise,restored seats,3 tops,2.5" Superlift,F-T shackle reversal, RS9000x's,35" Dunlop Mud Rovers.
'83 Scrambler: time & money pit under construction with parts from CJ's,YJ's,TJ's,FSJ's,GM,Ford,IH,Honda,Toyota and a whole lotta aftermarket & custom stuff. http://www.jeepskate.net
Well i have a 3 inch body lift, tightend torsion bars and shackles on my 88 toyota pu and everything works fine? little extra lift for bigger tires. im not Too worried about handling but if the reverse shackles do help, then why not... but im still learning alot. only had my cj for 2 months now and i have been searching.. ALOT.. about anything and everything about jeeps. but after spending hours on dial-up internet it still feels like i never get anything done... im just trying to find the most lift without going SOA. and its not an everyday driver.... and id like to get the RE 4.5 inch suspension. but its pretty much double the price of a 4 inch suspension. why is that? just bcuz of the brand name?? a half inch doesnt realy seem worth the extra $$$ or is it??
In a Jeep, tall body lifts screw up a lot of stuff. It will interfere with the clutch linkage and make it harder to disengage. You might not notice this until you are off-road in a really twisted up condition and need to reach for reverse. The floorboards might also interfere with the t-case or even trans shifters after it's done. If it's an automatic with column shift, it will definitely need modification. It will stretch the E-brake cable, brake lines, rear fuel vent lines, ground strap, etc. Oh yeah, the fuel filler hose won't be long enough and will have to be replaced or extended.
Because of the increased leverage between the body and body mounts, you can almost guarantee broken mounts (or worse) in the event of a roll-over or wreck. I used a 1" BL on my first CJ and it actually helped make room to work and clean stuff but it also caused some of the above problems. I wouldn't do it again unless I had to and then I wouldn't go over 1".
Tall shackles only net you 1/2 of the difference in length (because you are only lifting one end of the spring) so a 2" taller shackle will only be 1" of lift. It will seriously affect the caster angle which will affect steering. Lots of guys swear by the shackle reversal for improving handling. Coupled with stiff front springs and a sway bar, it would probably be great. With flexy springs and no sway bar, it will probably be downright scary when braking and turning. JMHO since I've never done either one. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone combining a SR with tall shackles though so I can't comment on that.
The RE suspension is twice the $$ because of the reputation they have earned. The consensus among the hard-core crowd is that RE makes a very high quality product and the difference in ride quality, durability, flex, customer support, etc. is unmatched. In many cases, you get what you pay for. Cheap lift kits are just that. The ride is often very stiff, the flex isn't very good and the steel is of lower quality which means that the springs sag quicker with repeated abuse or might even break. Customer support is non-existent.
If you want to build a rig to wheel occasionally in moderate conditions and look good around town then it probably doesn't matter. If, on the other hand, you want to build it to perform extremely well in all conditions, then have to spend the $$ on the best components you can find.
Last edited by lockedcj7; 03-29-2010 at 08:56 AM..
3" body lifts look like @$$. And they are dangerous. As another poster said one inch is nice becasue it does make room for you to reach stuff that you didn't have access to before but anything over that is no good.
If you look at my profile I have the 4.5" RE lift, no body lift and no shackle reversal. I am soo glad I paid more for the RE lift. It really does make a huge difference. This is my second Cj7 and on my first one I had a cheaper lift kit. #1 Most cheap lift kits don't come with as many parts; for example stainless steel brake lines, sway bar quick disconnects, shims, greasable schackles, transfer case lowering kit, and very importantly 2.5" wide friont springs. Look at everything in the kit and price out each individual part you would have to add to a cheap lift kit then see if it is still that much of a better deal. #2 the ride and performance off road is incredible. The springs feel soft and handle well on the roads and highway, as well as being very flexy and track awesome off road. My old cheap springs were so stiff that driving it was miserable and then what was worse it would suck off road because you couldn't get any flex out of them.
I put a the full traction 2" shackle reversal kit on before I put the 4.5" lift on... and hated it. They don't tell you anywhere but it only lifts the front end 2", so your Jeep looks stupid pointing up all the time. I didn't notice any better handling (still hand bump steer etc.) and that was with 31" tires. I have still heard a lot of good things about shackle reversal kits, I just didn't see it so I chucked them and sprung for the RE 4.5" kit.
As far as a body lift goes I may try a 1" some day, but I think I would rather get some flat fenders and run 35's. I can tell you I could run 35's right now, it would be close to rubbing but it would be doable. I need to re-gear my axles first though, 33's are almost too much for the 3.31 ratio I have now.
Okay, sorry. I'm trying this picture thing again. I've had no problem with the shackle reversal. I think the biggest thing for nicer driving manners with a lift is making sure the caster is set correctly (I had the front axles shemmed), and the toe-in is correct. That along with a HD steering dampner. I also just rebuilt the steering gear and replaced the PS pump.
Awesome cj5. thats wat im looking for. maybe 38's though. iv read up on bushwhacker cutout fender flares. but when i google image it all i ever see is that same green cj with the bushwhacker cutouts. anyone got any pics of theirs with the cutouts?? Im thinking maybe the RE 4.5" suspension and i think it comes with 1" shackles right?? and maybe the 1"body lift and the fender flares. but i dont want to cut ALL the fender out. i like the original look not the "rockcrawler" look. but id like to see some pics to make sure. Anyone know if 38's would fit ok with the lifts i just mentioned??? And thanks for all yalls help. im learning more here on this forum than anywhere on google lol
Oh and by the way im in the process or restoring it. i just like jacked up trucks and jeeps. and i know someone heres gunna say well if your restoring it and want big tires just go with 33's or 35's. but in my opinion. bigger is better. iv already got the chassis sandblasted and powercoated and this weekend im having the Dana 30 and AMC20 powdercoated. and found out the owner befored me had 1 pc axles installed in the amc20! the chassis looks ok but this is my first rebuild. and didnt know that when u take it to get sandblasted and powdercoated make sure u grind all the bumps or slag off before hand. bcuz powdercoating doesnt cover that up lol. but like i said b4 im still learning alot.