Parts needed to return to stock suspension/height?
Got this 79 CJ5 a couple years ago-- had 33" tires & evidently a lift to accommodate. I want to get back to stock height-- swapped the 33s for 32s (pictured), hoping this would head in the right direction without breaking in to the suspension or looking too goofy (tires too small for lift). Well, didn't do much and I'm still not happy...
Years ago I had a cj5 with stock suspension (I guess) and 31s that I thought looked good and I could slide in and out of without climbing a step-- that's what I'd like again (this thing's just used around neighborhood and playing on farm..).
Can anyone tell me what parts I need and where you'd get them? Is the current lift simply bolt on; maybe accomplished in the springs/shackles (I don't see anything in the way of spacers between leafs and axles..)? If so, should I just order what pops up as replacement spring/shackle kits for a 79 cj5? Looks as though some places have a choice of standard or "heavy duty"; would heavy duty change the height?
Oh, shocks also?
btw- in one photo you'll see where I slid a brush handle through the shackles in case that helped you see something about a clearance or the spring radius..? Also, you'll see bottom leaf on rear springs flipped over-- someone told me that would drop rear a little (jeep looks jacked in back)-- also didn't work...
Those appear to be stock shackles. Can't really tell if the springs are lifted or not. The other possibility that isn't really shown in your photos would be a body lift (look where the frame is bolted to the underside of the body for thick "pucks"... stock should be about half an inch thick). If there is no body lift, then all you should need are some stock height springs, standard length sway bar links, and a standard pitman arm (it looks like you have a dropped pitman arm currently). BTW 32" tires are also larger than stock and will increase the step up into the tub..
Looks like just your springs and sway bar links. The shackles are stock 3" shackles (not a bad idea to upgrade them to a heavier duty). I can't see the pitman arm to tell if it's a dropped one or not.
It's a pretty simple job to return it to stock.
Four new leaf spring packs, new U-bolts, new shackles(not needed but recommended), stock size sway bar links, and possibly new shocks depending on the length of what's on there now.
78 CJ7.. 258.. TH400/Dana18.. SOA/stock YJ springs.. 35" General Grabbers.. Waggy 44s.. 4.88 gears...Spartan/Lockright...Fiberglass front to rear
Based on the pictures that I see, your Jeep had at least a 4 inch lift at one time. The current springs are not stock and look to be about 2 to 2.5 inchers and with matching shocks?. As stated the shackles are stock as is the spring plates.U bolts are from the lift as well. Left over and not removed from the 4 plus lift are the sway bar links and dropped pitman arm. Your drag link and tie rod should be parallel to each other at rest.....yours are not.
What you need: Stock or OEM type springs, power steering pitman arm (it will be straight), and shorter /stock swaybar links. The side sections of the sway bar should run in line with the frame. I found 31s rob a little too much power from a stock geared Jeep and went with 265 70 R 15s and was very pleased. Its inbetween a stock 235 75 R 15 and a 31 10.50 R 15.
I did the same thing to my '79 CJ, returned it to stock springs from Morris 4x4. I ordered the Crown OEM springs didn't get the HD, and was very pleased with the much smoother ride. I have 30 x 9.5 Falken tires.
The stock tyre size equates to 29", though 31" would be the maximum on stock suspension. You may squeeze 32s under there with stock suspension but it depends on what the actual tyre height is. You may want to measure them before fitting stock suspension an dthen finding they rub.
Light or heavy duty is related to the leaf pack rating which in turn is related to the total vehicle weight but seems to have become a marketing saying.
Your CJ5 is pretty light for a CJ with no winch, hardtop or big bumpers so it would have come with a light duty set of leaf packs, probably 5 leafs in number. If you fit Heavy Duty packs, say with 7 leafs, it will not lean enough.
Another quick question; just put together a shopping cart at morris4x4... They show "oem" front springs(4leaf),and then rear springs(6leaf,doesn't say "oem"). I'm assuming this heavier spring in the rear would be to allow for payload. Since these things are surely front-end heavy already, would it not continue to look jacked up in the rear to use heavier rear springs? Would it be ok to just put the 4 leaf springs all the way around? Just want it to look level, definitely don't want to look lowered in back...
Actually CJ's are not as front heavy as you might think (a hard top can weigh quite a bit too). Remember the front springs are narrower (2") than the rear (2.5"), so you cant use the same springs all the way around. You can't really tell how stiff a spring is by the number of leaves in the pack. There is a lot of science that goes into spring manufacture (metallurgy allows all sorts of different properties). Two springs that appear identical in size and shape may perform very differently depending on the type of metal used. The 4 spring pack may use thicker stronger leaves and the 6 spring pack may use thinner softer leaves. I'd contact Morris and ask what the spring rate is for each of the springs you're looking at to make sure they'll work okay together.