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Unread 03-26-2014, 08:28 AM   #1
PeterPatrickCJ7
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1981 CJ7 
 
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Shackle Lift to BDS Suspension Lift, FOX Shocks

Hello guys,

First post on here. I have a 1981 CJ7 4.2L that I bought last week. I am doing Spring Cleaning so it is ready to drive once the Sun gets here...

That being said, it has a 2 or 3" Shackle lift on it. Rides fine, looks ok and runs 33" mud tires with no rub. The wheels might be off set.

I want to get rid of the high shackle lift and go back down to stock or less than 1" shackle lifts. What is the best 0-1" Shackle to buy?

I am also going to replace the suspension with a 2.5" lift. Would anyone recommend or not recommend the 2.5" BDS?

Do the FOX Shocks make that much of a difference?

Thank you for the help and suggestions.

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Unread 03-26-2014, 08:35 AM   #2
CSP
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Which Fox shocks are you referring to?
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Unread 03-26-2014, 09:25 AM   #3
Spieg8
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I would recommend a YJ spring conversion (since you are already planning to replace the springs and shackles, the only additional expense would be new front shackle hangers and spring plates). There are several good threads on the subject of YJ spring conversions if you search a little.

As far as shackles go, there are plenty of good ones to choose from... I would look for something made of heavy gauge steel with a cross-brace support (if you do decide go with YJ springs I would get YJ size shackles which are an inch longer than stock CJ shackles).

Shocks can improve or degrade your suspension performance. It's pretty important to pick a set that are a good match for the other components. The fox shocks that BDS sells for their lifts are pretty good IMHO. For the money though I would recommend Bilstein shocks.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
PeterPatrickCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
Which Fox shocks are you referring to?
On the BDS Website, they offer a FOX 2.0 Performance Series upgrade. http://bds-suspension.com/kit-customizer?kid=405H

Wasn't sure if the $330.00 upgrade was worth it.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 10:17 AM   #5
Tigerjeep79
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I have a BDS 2 1/2" lift and am really happy with it. I used their standard shocks and am running stock shackles with Crabtree hangers.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 12:26 PM   #6
steff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spieg8 View Post
I would recommend a YJ spring conversion (since you are already planning to replace the springs and shackles, the only additional expense would be new front shackle hangers and spring plates). There are several good threads on the subject of YJ spring conversions if you search a little.

As far as shackles go, there are plenty of good ones to choose from... I would look for something made of heavy gauge steel with a cross-brace support (if you do decide go with YJ springs I would get YJ size shackles which are an inch longer than stock CJ shackles).

Shocks can improve or degrade your suspension performance. It's pretty important to pick a set that are a good match for the other components. The fox shocks that BDS sells for their lifts are pretty good IMHO. For the money though I would recommend Bilstein shocks.
+1
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #7
CSP
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I'd save the money on the shocks. On a leaf sprung CJ, especially with lift springs, there just isn't much rebound that needs to be controlled.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 06:30 PM   #8
jeepdaddy2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
I'd save the money on the shocks. On a leaf sprung CJ, especially with lift springs, there just isn't much rebound that needs to be controlled.
X2
Cheapest, softest shocks you can find. Car applications are usually the best.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 09:25 PM   #9
YJ8
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I have a 3.5" BDS on my YJ. It is still not broken in so... everyone raved about the ride, I think it is stiff. Front is fine (258 and a winch) but I removed a leaf from the rear because it was literally bouncing over bumps. To be fair it is the HD springs and my Jeep is light (No top or spare tire) and removing the bottom leaf did help so time will tell.

For shocks I have Fox 2.0 Emulsions. IMO Fox or Bilstein are equal if you compare apples to apples (easier said than done). It is my understanding that on a leaf sprung vehicle it is rebound dampening that we need, not compression. The leaf spring guys with Fox shocks recommend re-valving in the range of 30/90 (I think 40/60 is stock with the emulsions). Either way Fox will revalve free of charge (one time only after that you pay or do it yourself) their higher end shocks.

Once I get my rig complete I will video it running a rough dirt road and decide what needs to be done for valving but hopefully this information will help,

YJ8
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Unread 03-26-2014, 09:34 PM   #10
CSP
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If your ride is stiff the springs aren't compressing. If the springs aren't compressing there isn't rebound to dampen.


If these suspensions were soft it or the vehicles were heavy it would be a good idea to upgrade on shocks, but that just isn't the case. Not my money though....
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Unread 04-11-2014, 08:16 PM   #11
PeterPatrickCJ7
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I went with the 4" BDS and a heavy duty 3/4" shackle. Rides Rough now but looks and is a heck of a lot better than the gigantic shackles.

I've got what looks to be 4" of extra space in the wheel wells at least if not 6" now with the 33" mts.

With the 4" BDS and 3/4" shackle can I run a 35" mud terrain to fill the space of the wheel well?

Any suggestions would be great.
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Unread 04-11-2014, 11:10 PM   #12
Spieg8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterPatrickCJ7 View Post
I went with the 4" BDS and a heavy duty 3/4" shackle. Rides Rough now but looks and is a heck of a lot better than the gigantic shackles.

I've got what looks to be 4" of extra space in the wheel wells at least if not 6" now with the 33" mts.

With the 4" BDS and 3/4" shackle can I run a 35" mud terrain to fill the space of the wheel well?

Any suggestions would be great.
You probably have the height to fit 35" tires, but with narrow track axles, the front tires will probably rub the frame/springs when turning. Wheel spacers or new rims with less back spacing will give you back some of your turning radius.
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