YJ to CJ suspension conversion kit - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
JeepGirl-86
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YJ to CJ suspension conversion kit

I've read old forum posts on the Old Man Emu 2" lift kit for CJ's but am wondering if anyone has tried the kit more recently. If so, where did you buy it? I'm considering Rocky Road-they seem to be the cheapest.

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post #2 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 12:46 PM
Shadow86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepGirl-86 View Post
I've read old forum posts on the Old Man Emu 2" lift kit for CJ's but am wondering if anyone has tried the kit more recently. If so, where did you buy it? I'm considering Rocky Road-they seem to be the cheapest.
I plan on doing a CJ to YJ conversion in the near future (not OME) and I have decided to purchase everything outside of a kit. It may not necessarily be the cheapest but morris has discounts fairly regularly as does quadratec and the like. That thread you mention has complete parts lists along with prices. I have not personally dealt with Rocky-Road but I have read a fair bit of their reviews and they are not positive to say the least.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
JeepGirl-86
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I meant I'm putting YJ springs on my CJ. Thanks for the suggestions-I'm considering piecing together a kit but it's a few hundred more than Rocky's kit. I'm fairly sold on getting the OME springs and shocks to smooth out the bumps. I have a 4" RE lift on now that's a bit much-making it squirrelly. We're fixing my steering shaft next in hopes it will stabilize something.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 03:30 PM
tsanchez23
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I bought two (IIRC) lift kits for my Samurai and one for my Commander from RR. They make good stuff in my opinion - and when I had an issue with the rubber spring spacers on my Commander, they replaced them without question. I know other people have had problems with them of various nature - usually customer service related - but I have personally never had a problem with them.

I am piecing together an OME 2.5" YJ kit right now though rather than buying from RR because an e-mail to them revealed that the front shackle mounts on the RR kit *have* to use the shackles in the kit - you can't use another brand. I'd rather be able to upgrade/change later so I went with buying the pieces. I will be buying the u-bolts, skid plates, and shackle mounts from them...

And I got the OME springs, but then had a financial issue that burned up the rest of the money I had for parts so I had to ditch my idea of all "bulletproof" stuff in favor of some stuff that "will work in the meantime" and then I can bulletproof it later piece by piece.

Even still, my final cost is going to hit around $1200 including springs, shackles, bushings, u-bolts, u-bolt plates, steering stabilizer, shackle mounts, and shocks. Of course doing all that will lead (quickly) to having to re-do the steering and ball joints and replacing the entire front brake system as well - all of it is quite rusted and worn...

This guy has a great write-up with pics: http://1983cj7.blogspot.com/2014/12/...tall-w-25.html - and I believe he's a Jeepforum guy as well - I just don't know his handle.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
JeepGirl-86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsanchez23 View Post
I bought two (IIRC) lift kits for my Samurai and one for my Commander from RR. They make good stuff in my opinion - and when I had an issue with the rubber spring spacers on my Commander, they replaced them without question. I know other people have had problems with them of various nature - usually customer service related - but I have personally never had a problem with them.

I am piecing together an OME 2.5" YJ kit right now though rather than buying from RR because an e-mail to them revealed that the front shackle mounts on the RR kit *have* to use the shackles in the kit - you can't use another brand. I'd rather be able to upgrade/change later so I went with buying the pieces. I will be buying the u-bolts, skid plates, and shackle mounts from them...

And I got the OME springs, but then had a financial issue that burned up the rest of the money I had for parts so I had to ditch my idea of all "bulletproof" stuff in favor of some stuff that "will work in the meantime" and then I can bulletproof it later piece by piece.

Even still, my final cost is going to hit around $1200 including springs, shackles, bushings, u-bolts, u-bolt plates, steering stabilizer, shackle mounts, and shocks. Of course doing all that will lead (quickly) to having to re-do the steering and ball joints and replacing the entire front brake system as well - all of it is quite rusted and worn...

This guy has a great write-up with pics: (removed link) and I believe he's a Jeepforum guy as well - I just don't know his handle.

Good luck!
Thanks for the write-up link! That's really helpful. Now I need to decide about the shackle issue-thanks for the heads up.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 07:21 PM
60Bubba
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I used Rocky Road parts for my YJ spring conversion, along with OME springs. I bought the RR kit along with their rear shackle mounts and rear U-bolt skid plates. Here's what I'll say about them:

Their parts are VERY robust. I did a frame up restoration on my Jeep, so most of the parts were easily removed because they had been apart recently. Because of that, the conversion process went very smoothly. Everything supplied by RR fit very well. After the conversion, Ihad some difficulties with handling due to caster in the front axle. I used 6 degree shims and still didn't like the handling. Ultimately, I replaced the RR shackles that came with the kit with some from Currie enterprises that were closer to stock length.

I can't say whether my issues were the RR shackles or just a quirk of my CJ. Quite honestly, I didn't buy the kit for the shackles anyway. Any YJ compatible shackles will work fine.

Several months after the YJ conversion, I attempted to buy some CJ rock sliders from the company. After ordering, I waited about 6-7 days for shipping confirmation which never came. Over the next 5 weeks I contacted the company three times. On the first contact, I found out that those rock sliders were built to order and that it would be about 2 weeks before they shipped. 2 turned into 4-5 weeks, which turned into 6-8 weeks, at which point I cancelled the order.

My take is that they make great parts, and things that they stock ship quickly. I wasn't happy with the lack of transparency about the rock sliders I ordered, but they canceled when I requested it, so I can't complain.

I only say all of this because I think many of the critical reviews of Rocky Road are as a result of situations like my second purchase from them. After all that, I would not hesitate to buy the YJ conversion kit from them again.

Here are a few pictures of the parts.
1. Comparison of stock vs. Rocky Road front shackle hangers

2. Underside view of RR front shackle hanger mounted--the side reinforcement is a big plus with off road articulation

3. Front setup showing RR U-bolt skid plates (need to trim my U-bolts) as well as the RR shackles that come with the kit. Those are what I later chose to replace with Currie Enterprises parts.

4. Rear shackle hanger from RR. Not part of the kit, but for the price they are a no-brainer, considering you will have you rear springs off for the conversion anyway.

Let me know if you have any specific questions. I completed this project in spring of 2016.
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Rust-free 1983 CJ-7. 4.0L, T-5, OME YJ springs, frame-off resto in 2014. Rhino Liner on all non-painted surfaces and 2012 Jeep Cosmos Blue paint.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsanchez23 View Post
I am piecing together an OME 2.5" YJ kit right now though rather than buying from RR because an e-mail to them revealed that the front shackle mounts on the RR kit *have* to use the shackles in the kit - you can't use another brand. I'd rather be able to upgrade/change later so I went with buying the pieces. I will be buying the u-bolts, skid plates, and shackle mounts from them...
In re-reading this thread I just noticed this comment. Unless they've changed their design in the last 8-10 months, this IS WRONG. Given some of the clueless folks I talked to on the phone, I can't say I would be surprised if they gave out bogus information.

As I mentioned in my first post, I actually ditched the Rocky Road "boomerang" style shackles in favor of stock YJ length (4" hole to hole = 1/2" shackle lift compared to stock CJ length) shackles from Currie Enterprises. I'm quite pleased with the ride and handling of the OME springs and the 4" shackles.

Here are the Currie shackles I used on the front--these even have provisions for tow bar mounting for RV towing. I also used the matching set for the rear.
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Rust-free 1983 CJ-7. 4.0L, T-5, OME YJ springs, frame-off resto in 2014. Rhino Liner on all non-painted surfaces and 2012 Jeep Cosmos Blue paint.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 09:12 PM
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Hey, sorry but I'm new here. What are the advantages to switching to the YJ springs??
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
JeepGirl-86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60Bubba View Post
In re-reading this thread I just noticed this comment. Unless they've changed their design in the last 8-10 months, this IS WRONG. Given some of the clueless folks I talked to on the phone, I can't say I would be surprised if they gave out bogus information.



As I mentioned in my first post, I actually ditched the Rocky Road "boomerang" style shackles in favor of stock YJ length (4" hole to hole = 1/2" shackle lift compared to stock CJ length) shackles from Currie Enterprises. I'm quite pleased with the ride and handling of the OME springs and the 4" shackles.



Here are the Currie shackles I used on the front--these even have provisions for tow bar mounting for RV towing. I also used the matching set for the rear.


Excellent info, thanks for the shackle advice. I'm pretty sure I'll go with the RR conversion kit. I emailed them 3 times with questions and they responded quickly.

What size tires are you (and everyone else) running? I have 35's on which are bigger than I want, but with my tube fenders should be fine. I hope.


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post #10 of 16 Old 01-11-2017, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by moparmagic View Post
Hey, sorry but I'm new here. What are the advantages to switching to the YJ springs??


YJ springs provide a much smoother ride. Not Cadillac-smooth but I-care-about-my-kidneys smoothe. I've read a ton of positives about the YJ springs improving the ride. But the YJ springs are wider and longer than CJ springs, hence the necessary conversion kit.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-12-2017, 12:33 AM
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i did my OME kit about 8 months ago and then again for my buddies cause he was so blown away by the ride quality in mine. Great kit. I did my whole kit through rocky road.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-12-2017, 08:11 AM
tsanchez23
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Originally Posted by 60Bubba View Post
In re-reading this thread I just noticed this comment. Unless they've changed their design in the last 8-10 months, this IS WRONG. Given some of the clueless folks I talked to on the phone, I can't say I would be surprised if they gave out bogus information.

As I mentioned in my first post, I actually ditched the Rocky Road "boomerang" style shackles in favor of stock YJ length (4" hole to hole = 1/2" shackle lift compared to stock CJ length) shackles from Currie Enterprises. I'm quite pleased with the ride and handling of the OME springs and the 4" shackles.

Here are the Currie shackles I used on the front--these even have provisions for tow bar mounting for RV towing. I also used the matching set for the rear.

I was going to ask about this today. I read the other post last night about switching shackles and was like "WTF"?

Here is the exact words I received in an e-mail question:

"...you cannot run the BONZ shackles on the front with the YJ springs. The shackles for the conversion kit are a special set and so a standard shackle kit won't work."

My e-mail had asked about the BONZ shackles that RR sells because I was just going to buy everything from them and I wanted an extra 1" of lift from the shackles. Later I called and was told that no, you can't use any other shackles. The only shackles you can use with the conversion kit are the ones that come with the kit...

So - it is unfortunate for them, but because of this misunderstanding they lost a sale.

Guess this becomes my first bad experience with their customer service
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-12-2017, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60Bubba View Post
In re-reading this thread I just noticed this comment. Unless they've changed their design in the last 8-10 months, this IS WRONG. Given some of the clueless folks I talked to on the phone, I can't say I would be surprised if they gave out bogus information.



As I mentioned in my first post, I actually ditched the Rocky Road "boomerang" style shackles in favor of stock YJ length (4" hole to hole = 1/2" shackle lift compared to stock CJ length) shackles from Currie Enterprises. I'm quite pleased with the ride and handling of the OME springs and the 4" shackles.



Here are the Currie shackles I used on the front--these even have provisions for tow bar mounting for RV towing. I also used the matching set for the rear.


Did you use the conversion front hangers from the RR kit with the Currie shackles or without the kit hangers?
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-12-2017, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JeepGirl-86 View Post
Did you use the conversion front hangers from the RR kit with the Currie shackles or without the kit hangers?
Jeep Girl,

I used the Rocky Road kit EXCEPT for the shackles (used then changed out due to caster issue.) As I mentioned, I can't rule out that RR has changed their design in the last 8-10 months, but my set of their front shackle hangers worked fine with the Currie shackles.

Here's what I know about CJ/YJ shackles: There are some designs like Warrior Products (what I used to have) that have the side plates welded to a center support. These look like a letter "H" Other designs like the Currie shackles use bolts to connect the left and right shackle plates.

It's POSSIBLE that the Rocky Road shackle hangers might not work with designs like the Warrior Products shackles that have a set width due to the welded-in center support. My Currie shackles (like the stock CJ design) use two separate plates that would allow for some width variation within the limits of bolt length.

I'm not going to claim to be an expert on every combination of shackle and hanger, but I can say conclusively that an early 2016 Rocky Road shackle hanger works just fine with the Currie Enterprises Rock Jock shackles. Here are pictures of my front and rear shackles and a comparison of the plate style and welded style shackles.

Some people prefer the Warrior Products style, perhaps because the welded center section is perceived as reducing loads on the suspension somehow. I have used both, and I can't really say I've seen any problems with either style.

Standing by if you have further questions.
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Rust-free 1983 CJ-7. 4.0L, T-5, OME YJ springs, frame-off resto in 2014. Rhino Liner on all non-painted surfaces and 2012 Jeep Cosmos Blue paint.
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-12-2017, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60Bubba View Post
Jeep Girl,



I used the Rocky Road kit EXCEPT for the shackles (used then changed out due to caster issue.) As I mentioned, I can't rule out that RR has changed their design in the last 8-10 months, but my set of their front shackle hangers worked fine with the Currie shackles.



Here's what I know about CJ/YJ shackles: There are some designs like Warrior Products (what I used to have) that have the side plates welded to a center support. These look like a letter "H" Other designs like the Currie shackles use bolts to connect the left and right shackle plates.



It's POSSIBLE that the Rocky Road shackle hangers might not work with designs like the Warrior Products shackles that have a set width due to the welded-in center support. My Currie shackles (like the stock CJ design) use two separate plates that would allow for some width variation within the limits of bolt length.



I'm not going to claim to be an expert on every combination of shackle and hanger, but I can say conclusively that an early 2016 Rocky Road shackle hanger works just fine with the Currie Enterprises Rock Jock shackles. Here are pictures of my front and rear shackles and a comparison of the plate style and welded style shackles.



Some people prefer the Warrior Products style, perhaps because the welded center section is perceived as reducing loads on the suspension somehow. I have used both, and I can't really say I've seen any problems with either style.



Standing by if you have further questions.


Thank you for the info and pics. Makes good sense. I'm going to check out the Currie shackles. I'll update when I go through with the lift kit. Probably won't be for a month or two.
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