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Unread 03-19-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
awalp
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2004 Rubicon, questions about 2" lift, 32" tires, safe? no uneven tires? what kind?

I just bought a 2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon. It needs its tires replaced.

If I can safely run 32" by 10.5" tires, by lifting it 2", and not create uneven wear on the tires or have any other issues, that's what I want to do.

So basically, I want 32" tires on stock Rubicon wheels
-AND- a 2" Lift, while keeping stock ride quality or better.

Question 1: Is a 2" Spacer or Suspension lift and 32" by 10.5" tires safe, and will not cause uneven tire wear, or inability to align tires?


Using Quadratec's lift adviser, it seems I could get away with doing as little as installing 2" spacers for $150, but I do have 80k miles, and figured I might as well replace the strut/shocks while I'm at it.
-- So since I'm at 80k, get a kit including strut/shocks

Does that make sense, or would a 2" spacer kit do the job, and anything else be a waste of money?

Question 2: Based on research I've done, Would a 'Old Man Emu 2" Suspension Systems' lift kit be a good choice?
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16090_01X_PG.htm
--Parts Included
Front and Rear Coil Springs
Front and Rear Coil Isolaters
Bump Stop Kit
4 Shocks
Rear Track Bar Bracket
Transfer Case Lowering Kit
Installation Hardware

Question 2B: IF 2 = Yes, Which kit do I want, Light Load, Medium Load, or Heavy Load?

-- My goals
Retain stock ride quality or better
Create no additional stress or wear on any part of the Jeep
Safely Fit 32" by ~10.5" tires on stock Rubicon Wheels

---------------

That kit comes with shocks and springs (and some extras), at $800.

Is all of that necessary? or is it not enough?

Again, I want to safely lift it 2" without creating any additional stress on the Jeep including shocks, axles, driveshaft, any suspension components, or drivetrain.


If that kit is more than I need for 2" of lift, would a 2" lift kit, containing only spacers and shocks, averaging $350, work just as well?

On the other hand, if that kit is not enough for 2" of lift, what is recommended for a safe 2" lift?

------

Summary: Is the Old Man Emu 2" kit a good fit for my purpose, if so, which do I need? Light, Medium, or Heavy load?
- OR -
What would you recommend for a safe 2" lift? less or more?
(that retains stock ride quality or better, and creates no additional wear on any part of the Jeep)

I don't want to change anything that isn't needed nor spend money that isn't needed.


I know a lot of the problems that need corrected by lift kits, occur as the amount of lift increases... but not sure what a 2" lift is considered.

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Unread 03-19-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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The 2" spacer will be fine. No problems. Mine came with one of those on it from the previous owner, and I've had no problems. I'll be swapping that out as soon as finances allow, however, because all the 2" spacer does is allow the larger tires...it doesn't really do much else for you.
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Unread 03-19-2011, 04:43 PM   #3
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I'd go for the OME 2" in the medium load unless you have heavy bumpers/winch, it will ride better than stock. You can fit 32s fine, and as long you align the front end after the lift you won't have any tire wear problems.
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Unread 03-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #4
awalp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstew417 View Post
I'd go for the OME 2" in the medium load unless you have heavy bumpers/winch, it will ride better than stock. You can fit 32s fine, and as long you align the front end after the lift you won't have any tire wear problems.
The Jeep came with aftermarket bumpers, they don't look heaver than stock.
There is a Winch on the front bumper, which is aftermarket, but almost the same looking as stock, maybe slightly smaller.

--------

What is the purpose of the different options, light, medium, heavy?
A Winch can't weigh more than the weight I add to the Jeep when I get into it.

Would a 'light' be for a 4cyl, medium for a 6cyl, and heavy for a V8 swap?

------

My 2004 Rubicon, the only extra weight is a front Winch, which can't be much.
I want it to ride as good or better than stock, without having such soft shocks that they blow, or sag with weight, or bottom out...

-----

Does the OME 2" lift add ability that 2" spacers do not?

Will my axles / driveshaft / tire angle, be safe and not have additional stress?


EDIT: I also forgot, I sometimes pull a small trailer with a 32" zero-turn mower.

----

I'm worried about getting 'heavy' springs, as when I put 'firm' motor mounts, and 'strong' springs on an eclipse, it went from being comfortable to like ridding in a horse drawn wagon.
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Unread 03-19-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awalp View Post
The Jeep came with aftermarket bumpers, they don't look heaver than stock.

There is a Winch on the front bumper, which is aftermarket, but almost the same looking as stock, maybe slightly smaller.

--------

What is the purpose of the different options, light, medium, heavy?

A Winch can't weigh more than the weight I add to the Jeep when I get into it.

Would a 'light' be for a 4cyl, medium for a 6cyl, and heavy for a V8 swap?

------

My 2004 Rubicon, the only extra weight is a front Winch, which can't be much.

I want it to ride as good or better than stock, without having such soft shocks that they blow...

the winch adds weight to the very front...it makes a difference...take a 15lb weight and hold it in front of you (it feels heavier than holding it center by your side, right?...apply the same principle to your suspension)

light=no extra load (stock bumper, no winch)..and you can use your brain to figure out what medium and heavy would be for.

you'll get a good ride with OME, but offroad shocks are just that...meant to handle off road.
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Unread 03-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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from what I've research, there is only light and heavy, medium is just a combination of heavy in front and light in back.

From what I've read, people with light load springs in back, have commonly reported bottoming out.

If I go with heavy/heavy, 32" by 10.5" tires, w/ a full sized spare on the back, soft top. Will the ride quality be as good or better than stock?
-- I would think a larger 32" tire would add a least a couple lbs to the rear. I believe I also have aftermarket skid row skid plates all under the bottom of my Jeep. That either reduces or adds a tiny amount of weight.

I also saw threads were 'light' springs produced less than 2" of lift, and heavy springs produced up to 3+ inches of lift.
-- And where 'light/light' worked w/ a snow plow...

The main thing I'm worried about is having too much lift, and the related problems, and ride quality.

I want 2" of lift, not 3" of lift... those threads were very old though, maybe they were wrong?
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Unread 03-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesaros View Post
the winch adds weight to the very front...it makes a difference...take a 15lb weight and hold it in front of you (it feels heavier than holding it center by your side, right?...apply the same principle to your suspension)

light=no extra load (stock bumper, no winch)..and you can use your brain to figure out what medium and heavy would be for.

you'll get a good ride with OME, but offroad shocks are just that...meant to handle off road.

Would it be wise to guess that 'off road shocks', will ride better than shocks with 80k miles?
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Unread 03-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awalp View Post
from what I've research, there is only light and heavy, medium is just a combination of heavy in front and light in back.

From what I've read, people with light load springs in back, have commonly reported bottoming out.

If I go with heavy/heavy, 32" by 10.5" tires, w/ a full sized spare on the back, soft top. Will the ride quality be as good or better than stock?
-- I would think a larger 32" tire would add a least a couple lbs to the rear. I believe I also have aftermarket skid row skid plates all under the bottom of my Jeep. That either reduces or adds a tiny amount of weight.
Weight adds up faster than you would think. I recall either from a Extreme 4x4 episode or a Crawl Mag article that merely swapping out the stock steal winch cable for the synthetic type lightens the front load by @ least a 10 or 12lbs. The winch itself weighs more than that & any bumper made to safely mount/operate a winch is sufficiently heavier than an OEM bumper (unless its a Savvy aluminum stubby ).

That said, I would @ the very least go w/ the MEDIUM set up as your Rubi is presently configured. That would account for the heftier aftermarket front bumper & winch.

Now as far as if a HEAVY setup is concerned, that all depends on what the future evolution of your Jeep entails. Do you ever envision getting a hardtop? An after market rear bumper w/tire carrier?
If your answer is yes, then I would consider the heavy. But probably only if your going to venture down that path in the near future, i.e. a year or two. The HEAVY setup would be suitable then. If not, it would be overkill & cause a harsher than normal ride.

As for shocks I would recommend the Old Man Emu for a softer, closer to stock feel/performance. Or someBilstein 5100's for hit'n the rocks-- albeit a tad stiffer daily ride. Nevertheless, the Old Man Emus are by no means dogs in the trails. Both are top quality products but the Bilsteins are just honestly little cheaper & a slightly different ride.

One last thing I would definitely purchase regardless, is a fresh new steering stabilizer to handle the added weight of the tires . . . Old Man Emu once again.

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Unread 03-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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BTW,
As far as the T-case drop goes, you would NOT need it--being that you have a Rubi.
The Rubicon models already come complete with a fixed yoke & CV equipped rear drive shaft.

Essentially, non-Rubicon models have what is called a Slip-yoke T-case/Drive shaft system. When you perform a suspension lift on these models you sufficiently change the drive line angle & length. Not resolving this problem can & usually cause unwanted vibrations problems & possible failure of the rear drive line.

There are a couple ways to resolve this issue:

The most economical way is by the aforementioned T-case drop method. It is the most cost efficient method but you sacrifice your belly clearance as it shims/lowers your belly skid that holds your tranny & t-case.

The second is more costly & labor involving Slip Yoke Eliminator kit (SYE). This method essentially modifies the T-case/drive shaft setup to where your Rubi already resides. More costly, but it allows the vehicle to retain its belly clearance-- after all in most cases greater clearance is one of the main reasons we lift our big kid toys in the first place.
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Unread 03-19-2011, 10:07 PM   #10
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I went with the heavy springs front and rear. I have after market bumpers, but they are not overly heavy. I got @ 2 1/2" of lift with the OME shocks and springs and like the ride. It is firm but not harsh. I use my hard top in the winter and a safari top the rest of the year.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 12:33 AM   #11
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First of all, it seems like you are overthinking a 2" lift. The Rubicon came with 31" tires. 32's should not be a big deal. The spacer lift with new correct length, quality shocks will give you room for 32" tires and a stock ride. You DO NOT need a transfer case drop for a TJ with a 2" lift, especially for a Rubicon. The OME kit is top quality and I'm sure you would be happy with it, but it is expensive. A spacer kit shouldn't be more than a hundred bucks plus shocks. You really don't need anything else for 2" of lift except an allignment afterwards. The next issue is mounting the 32" spare on the tailgate. People will tell you tales of gloom and doom about that too. If you adjust the rubber spacers to fit against the tire, you will be OK. Not the best plan, but it will work. Quit over analyzing everything and just do something. Have fun!
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Unread 03-20-2011, 12:40 AM   #12
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I went with,












<<<<< Old Man Emu HD 2" lift, 265/75R16's.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdcat01TJ View Post
Quit over analyzing everything and just do something. Have fun!
Cut the guy some slack! This is most likely his first (substantial) mod to this particular TJ & like EVERYBODY else on this forum wants to get it right the first time, w/out having to spend more $$$ to do it a second time. Yes, he was a bit wordy but if you don't like reading through it then don't.

Nonetheless, your info is valid & spot on. & fun is indeed the reason we do this . . . it just takes a lot of four letter words to get there!
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by briguy3030 View Post
BTW,
As far as the T-case drop goes, you would NOT need it--being that you have a Rubi.
The Rubicon models already come complete with a fixed yoke & CV equipped rear drive shaft.
This is not actually true. Rubis do come with a fixed flange output on the 241so no SYE is necessary, but the rear driveshaft they come with is not a CV shaft. So TC drop, MML or replacing with a CV shaft is something you need to consider based on height of lift and driveline vibes created.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:21 AM   #15
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I've got a 1" body lift and 3/4" coil spacers and I clear 32"s. Every now and again I will get some rub on the lower control arms, but that's it using stock Rubicon 5" backspace.

As for mounting the spare like another person mentioned, I just used two 1/8" wheel spacers to set the tire outboard. Also shimmed the brake light up 1/4" by stacking washers between the mount.
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