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Unread 06-28-2010, 12:06 PM   #1
Fargo
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My 2" BDS/Rancho lift review, comments and info

After numerous post on this forum, I finally got my 2" BDS lift installed along with the Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks. Overall I am pleased with the ride of the setup. The spring rates feel very well suited to the LJ. The bouncyness that I had experience before is gone and the rear end feels much more planted. The factory shock only had about 48,000 miles on them and they felt pretty good yet when I pulled them out. So I am attributing the lack of bounce in the rear to the springs and not the shocks. The Rancho shocks also seem to be a nice setup. I ran them out of the box on #5 to start with. This felt firmer than stock but not unbearable. I turned them down to #1 for a short period of time. This is a very soft setting and feels to loose and uncontrolled for most circumstances. I recently just set them at #3 and with only a short drive around the block this feels like a nice setting that is very close to stock stiffness. The LJ does feel a little bit looser than before, but at this point I am guessing that will be taken care of once I do an alignment.

As those who read my other post may recall I was very concerned about the BDS springs being enough for the rear of my LJ since they were designed for a TJ. As you can tell by my comments above the rate feels very good for the LJ and I am happy to report that I got a full 2" of initial lift from the rear. On the other hand I am very dissappointed to report that I only got 1 1/2" of lift from the front springs. This really surprised me because I don't recall reading that this was an issue with BDS springs. So I am very concerned that I may end up with only 1 1/4" up front if this thing settles at all. I don't know if BDS will replace the springs taller springs under their no question warranty or not. In all honesty I don't know if I want to go that high or if I should just put in a 1/2 spacer to get them to a full 2". What would you guys do?

Now the pictures

Before

After


Before



After



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Unread 06-28-2010, 12:17 PM   #2
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That's disappointing that they only gave you that much lift. You think 3 inch springs up front would cure that problem? maybe make it more level?
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Unread 06-28-2010, 12:35 PM   #3
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Weird... I got 2.5" initially and exactly 2" after settling. Mine's a ragtop, though, so that'll make a difference. I wonder how much height you would gain pulling off the hardtop? I also don't have steps / sliders but my back bumper and storage box probably make up that weight & then some.
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Unread 06-28-2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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The problem would be a 3" spring up front would then put the front 1/2 higher than the rear. I'd rather have my rear sit a little higher than the front. But I was just dissappointed that I didn't get the full 2" all around. If I was changing out the springs I'd probably have to change all 4. Which would put me at 2 1/2" up front and 3" in the rear. Its not so much the rake of the Jeep that bothers me but that I didn't get the full 2" of lift. I would have been perfectly happy with 2" up front and 2 1/2" in the rear. But coming up that half inch short was very disappointing.

(By the way how do I fix my photos. I uploaded them to the gallery and tried to link to another forum. I've since deleted the link but I still have the warning on them.)
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
...there's very little that is more permanent than a temporary solution
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Unread 06-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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unloaded, LJ's weigh more in front. more of the heavy stuff- transmission/t-case is resting over the front axle since the rear is moved back. Some add a 3/4" spacer in front to compensate, some use stiffer springs...like OME 934 vs OME 933+spacer. i'm pretty sure we already went throught all that....jeep looks good though.

Last edited by Unlimited04; 06-28-2010 at 12:57 PM..
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Unread 06-28-2010, 01:08 PM   #6
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Rubi OR - I looked at your thread a lot before I purchased mine. Thats why was really expecting a full 2" lift. I never expected to only get 1 1/2". But I knew I was in trouble when I measured my new springs and they were only 1" taller in the front and 1 1/2" taller in the rear than my stockers. But the odd thing is they measured exactly what the specs are on BDS website. I wonder how much the springs vary in length when new. Did you feel that your stock springs had sagged at all? I wonder how much that would affect things. If you still have your stock springs can you measure them for me. I'm trying to figure out if I got bad BDS springs or just had good factory springs.

Unlimited04 - The BDS front springs have nearly the same spring rate as the OME ZJ 934s (BDS=158 OME=160) So my rates should be good. It was just too short. I know you have been a great help in providing me with info. I appreciate all you have done for me. I'm sorry that I don't remember you saying the LJs weighed more in front than a TJ. If I did read it, I must have thought it was a typo or something. I just don't remember that. But if thats the case it seems odd that OME makes a stiffer rear spring for the LJ and not a stiffer front spring. Also when I spoke on the phone with OME, they said the LJ was lighter in front than the TJ because of the leverage of the longer length and rear overhang. So I got a lot of conflicting info here. But the oddest thing is that RubiOR got the full 2". Could my rock sliders make that much difference up front? What will happen when I put on a skid plate?

How long does it usually take for springs to settle in. I'd like to know where my lift is at when its all settled before I approach BDS with my complaints.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
...there's very little that is more permanent than a temporary solution
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oman Jeep
Go with quality and cry once. Go cheap and cry often. Take your pick ;)
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Unread 06-28-2010, 01:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fargo View Post
But if thats the case it seems odd that OME makes a stiffer rear spring for the LJ and not a stiffer front spring. Also when I spoke on the phone with OME, they said the LJ was lighter in front than the TJ because of the leverage of the longer length and rear overhang.
yea, they tried to tell me that too. i'm fairly sure they're wrong tho. i'd love to see somebody with the little scale pads on all 4 corners take some measurements, but based on what i've seen, i'm pretty sure the LJ's weight transfers more to the front. Most LJ's got the same front springs as every TJ Rubicon or Sport...either 129AB or 130AA. All 2004 Sport LJ's should have 129ABs in front and 5AA's in rear, and the front sags with high mileage. 2006 Sport LJ's got 130AA's/5AAs, in the same exact trim. My guess is Jeep started noticing the fronts sagging, and swapped to the stiffer spring in production. The increased leverage on the rear comes into play with tire carriers and especially towing, so the stiff springs in the rear are also well justified...but unloaded LJ's are more front heavy than TJs, definitely not lighter.

If you're still confused, think of it like a pickup truck. Which truck has more weight over the rear axle - The short bed single cab, or the long bed single cab?
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Unread 06-28-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear bout that Fargo. That would be dissappointing. I'd just throw some 1/2" spacers on the front to level it out and run em. Glad to hear the shocks turned out to your liking. I can't imagine they will settle much. Time will tell.
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Unread 06-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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yea, they tried to tell me that too. i'm fairly sure they're wrong tho. i'd love to see somebody with the little scale pads on all 4 corners take some measurements, but based on what i've seen, i'm pretty sure the LJ's weight transfers more to the front. Most LJ's got the same front springs as every TJ Rubicon or Sport...either 129AB or 130AA. All 2004 Sport LJ's should have 129ABs in front and 5AA's in rear, and the front sags with high mileage. 2006 Sport LJ's got 130AA's/5AAs, in the same exact trim. My guess is Jeep started noticing the fronts sagging, and swapped to the stiffer spring in production. The increased leverage on the rear comes into play with tire carriers and especially towing, so the stiff springs in the rear are also well justified...but unloaded LJ's are more front heavy than TJs, definitely not lighter.

If you're still confused, think of it like a pickup truck. Which truck has more weight over the rear axle - The short bed single cab, or the long bed single cab?

I just ran out and checked my springs they are the 130AA and 5AA. Your pickup example makes sense. From what I've experienced I tend to think that you may be right. There might be more weight on the front of the LJ. Had I understood you correctly before, I may have gone with OME TJ HD all around or even the ZJ LJ. But then again, I am glad that my BDS are a little heavier in the rear. The Jeep has a nice balanced feel to it. But it was just a lot of work to not get the full 2" I was expecting.

I'll be putting about 500 highway miles on the Jeep over the 4th of July. Will my lift be settled in by then or will it take more time to know where its final settling place will be? If I get ZERO settling I can probably live with it. But if I get even a 1/4 of settling thats just too much and I'll have to contact BDS.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
...there's very little that is more permanent than a temporary solution
Quote:
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Go with quality and cry once. Go cheap and cry often. Take your pick ;)
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Unread 06-28-2010, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargo View Post
Rubi OR - I looked at your thread a lot before I purchased mine. Thats why was really expecting a full 2" lift. I never expected to only get 1 1/2". But I knew I was in trouble when I measured my new springs and they were only 1" taller in the front and 1 1/2" taller in the rear than my stockers. But the odd thing is they measured exactly what the specs are on BDS website. I wonder how much the springs vary in length when new. Did you feel that your stock springs had sagged at all? I wonder how much that would affect things. If you still have your stock springs can you measure them for me. I'm trying to figure out if I got bad BDS springs or just had good factory springs.
I didn't think to measure the coils against stock before installation. That would have been interesting... I expect the rate probably has more to do with the final height than the length. That is, given two coils of the same length, the stiffer one will result in a taller ride because the weight of the vehicle will push it down less.

I don't feel that the stock coils had any sag. They only had 36k on them and I doubt the PO abused 'em very much. The front coils measure out at 17.5" and the tag on them says 129AB. The rears are 12.5" with label 5AA.

My BDS part numbers are 034204-1 (front) and 034206-1 (rear). They both also have "R: 1044239".

I doubt your sliders are much of a contributing factor. Either your stock springs were stiffer than mine, your new springs are less stiff or you've got a V8 tucked under the hood :-)
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Unread 06-28-2010, 02:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RubiOR View Post

I don't feel that the stock coils had any sag. They only had 36k on them and I doubt the PO abused 'em very much. The front coils measure out at 17.5" and the tag on them says 129AB. The rears are 12.5" with label 5AA.

My BDS part numbers are 034204-1 (front) and 034206-1 (rear). They both also have "R: 1044239".

I doubt your sliders are much of a contributing factor. Either your stock springs were stiffer than mine, your new springs are less stiff or you've got a V8 tucked under the hood :-)

That is interesting My Rubi has the 130AA and the 5AA. My fronts measured about 17 3/8. So pretty close to your 17.5 but I think mine are stiffer, so I may have been sitting taller than you upfront to begin with.

My rears are the same as yours but measured 12 3/8 So slightly shorter. So its possible that our final height is the same, but our starting points were slightly different. If your front springs are softer than mine you could have been sagging a 1/2" more than me.

I checked my boxes and my part numbers are the same but the R number is different I have:

BDS 034206-1 R:1052754
BDS 034204-1 R:1051839

My guess is that the R number has something to do with the lot number so they can track any build issues.


EDIT: Here is how my measurements stacked up. The BDS springs measured exactly as they did on their spec sheet.

Front Rear
Stock springs 17 3/8 12 3/8
BDS 2" Springs 18.5 13.75
Spring Height Difference 1.125 1.375
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2005 Rubicon Unlimited Sahara Limited Edition #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
...there's very little that is more permanent than a temporary solution
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oman Jeep
Go with quality and cry once. Go cheap and cry often. Take your pick ;)
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Last edited by Fargo; 06-28-2010 at 03:10 PM..
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Unread 06-28-2010, 03:00 PM   #12
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Yea, I've been following various coil-rate conversations and was surprised to see that stock fronts were 129 instead of the (presumably stiffer) 130. I'd bet a dollar that you got the 130's because of the hardtop though. At the end of the day the weight of that thing has got to be a contributing factor.

My front BDS part number is 034204-1 versus your -4. I have no idea what the trailing number indicates. I just called the guys I got mine from and they said they always order by the six-digit number so it's probably nothing significant.
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Unread 06-28-2010, 03:10 PM   #13
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Yea, I've been following various coil-rate conversations and was surprised to see that stock fronts were 129 instead of the (presumably stiffer) 130. I'd bet a dollar that you got the 130's because of the hardtop though. At the end of the day the weight of that thing has got to be a contributing factor.

My front BDS part number is 034204-1 versus your -4. I have no idea what the trailing number indicates. I just called the guys I got mine from and they said they always order by the six-digit number so it's probably nothing significant.
Oops- that was a typo on the -4. It should be -1. I fixed it now. But the R numbers are still different.

Your correct that the hard top is going to have an effect on things. I would think it would be primarily in the rear though. Not the front.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
...there's very little that is more permanent than a temporary solution
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oman Jeep
Go with quality and cry once. Go cheap and cry often. Take your pick ;)
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:16 PM   #14
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Ive been following your threads for a while and am curious what components you installed. Did you do just springs and shocks like whats available from bds in kit form (414$ on thier site) or did you do trackbar relocation and sway bar links etc? Im looking at the same bds kit with the same vehicle an 06 lj rubicon hardtop but i have a heavy bumper/winch on front and im somewhat discouraged your not getting great lift height in front as its causing my front springs to sag badly.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #15
Fargo
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Originally Posted by rusty79 View Post
Ive been following your threads for a while and am curious what components you installed. Did you do just springs and shocks like whats available from bds in kit form (414$ on thier site) or did you do trackbar relocation and sway bar links etc? Im looking at the same bds kit with the same vehicle an 06 lj rubicon hardtop but i have a heavy bumper/winch on front and im somewhat discouraged your not getting great lift height in front as its causing my front springs to sag badly.
I did the BDS 2" springs front and rear. I then added the Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks. I topped it off with some poly bumpstops in the rear and hockey puck bumpstops in front. Along with a few washers to bring the total bumpstop to 1 1/4". This is what I needed for the Rancho shocks. I did a test of the bumpstops by lifting the jeep without springs installed so the bumpstops were at full compression. The shocks had about 1/4" - 1/2" of travel left with this setup. I did not install any control arms or track bar. In fact, now that you mention it, I haven't even checked yet to see if my axles moved or not.

First thing I would recommend for you is to see if you can find which springs you have. See if they are the 129AB or the 130AA. RubiOR had the 129AB and I had the 130AA. If you have the 129s your springs are softer and likely sagging pretty good from a heavy bumper. I'll bet you would get the full 2" of lift or more from your perspective. From my perspective I had the stiffest springs Jeep made for the front and I had no weight on them. The BDS springs will handle your weight much better.

Secondly, lets find a common place up front to measure to the frame. I'll measure mine and you measure yours. I have a feeling that I will be more than 2" taller than you.

If you are really concerned you could get 3" springs up front and 2" springs in the rear. Then purchase whichever shocks you feel are best. With the Ranchos current $100 rebate on the 9000XLs I pieced together my system for about the same price as the BDS kit retails for. My local BDS dealer gave me a great price on the springs and matched online prices I found for the Ranchos.

Edit: I just checked your profile. I see you have the bumper and a winch. Going with 3" springs up front might be a very reasonable thing for you to do. Most people with a winch end up using 3/4" spacers no matter which spring company they choose. I'll bet with a winch and bumper the 3" spring would give you a nice 2.5" lift up front. Of course then you might need a spacer in the rear.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
...there's very little that is more permanent than a temporary solution
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oman Jeep
Go with quality and cry once. Go cheap and cry often. Take your pick ;)
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