OME 1.5" Lift before and after. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-23-2021, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
blkdrgn42
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OME 1.5" Lift before and after.

Hey all, this is for those trying to decide how much difference a small 2" lift can make. I realize there are pictures in the stickied thread, but those all show the lift with bigger tires already and it's tough to judge how much of a difference the lift can make because the gap between tire and fender is typically eaten up by those larger tires. So it all looks proportionally correct and is difficult to tell how it differs from factory. This is a comparison of the components from stock to lift, along with the stance difference, but on the same, factory option size tires so you can really see the difference.

https://imgur.com/gallery/qNKLKsa

So this is a comparison of the OME 1.5" lift from Kolak here vs what came off a factory 27-year-old, 145k mile ZJ. The parts installed are obviously the springs from OME, new spring isolators (Kolak was right, those were pretty worn out), new bump stops (not pictured, don't change the ride), sway bar extensions out back and disconnects up front (forgot to take pictures of the front), steering stabilizer (again not pictured), and Bilstein 5100 series shocks. I forgot to get pictures of the factory/OME front springs. Unlike the rear, the fronts were different in height side by side. Wheels are stock and the tires are the same LT235/75-15 in both before and after pictures. Height measurements were taken from the floor to the wheel arch through the center of the wheel after shaking the vehicle to get it to settle a little, but no miles on the new installation pictures.

It ended up being almost 2.5" lift in front and right at 2" on the rear. This is the standard Old Man Emu 1.5" lift without the extra 1" spacer. I'm betting the spring isolators and just the old springs having slight sag made up the difference.

As you can see, the difference is noticeable, but not extreme. That's kind of the point here. Honestly, I just wanted the quick disconnect sway bars on the front, but everything I saw said it needed at least 1-2" of lift to be installed. So I lifted just to get the disconnects. Probably unnecessary, but I now have room for larger tires next time and the disconnects I wanted, so totally worth it. I have a little more clearance and breakover, but I haven't made too much change to this unique vehicle. I'm trying to only do tasteful mods since it is a factory 5-speed vehicle in incredible condition for it's age.

Installation was done in my garage with a couple of jack stands, 2 hydraulic jacks, and tools that most people will have. A couple of specialty tools needed were a T55 socket for the front sway bar factory bolts, spring compressors to get the front springs out, a claw-foot socket adapter for the front shock upper mount, and a ball-joint separator for the steering stabilizer. 2-day operation, with the rear done by myself on Sunday and the front done with my dad's help on Monday. If you have more know-how, organization skills, and time in the garage instead of with the family, it could all be done in one long day.

There is a significant difference in ride, and it's 90% better, 10% not. Because the rear springs are slightly stiffer, sudden bumps, such as the transition into my driveway hit a little harder. But the overall ride is so much better, smooth, and less noisy. I have no doubt the spring isolators are a huge part of the noise reduction. But washboard on a dirt road is a lot less butt-clenchy. Road undulations are soaked up and damped nicely. You sit a little higher, but not so much that you feel afraid to take a corner at more than a crawl. If you want to make your Jeep ride better, I'd recommend doing this lift to your ZJ instead of going with factory replacement, or even the Bilstein upgrade I did immediately after purchasing the Jeep. I haven't had a chance to get flexy with it yet because I had COVID symptoms the night I finished installation and am now in quarantine due to a positive test result. My dad got tested yesterday and we are waiting on results. When I get a chance to hit an off-road park, I'll show off.

Kolak: thank you for the awesome kit and putting up with my indecision for over a year! I'm incredibly happy with the result and the purchasing process and price.

Everyone else: Those old shocks only have about 15k miles or less on them and are perfectly fine. I just went with longer ones for the purpose of lift. If you are interested, I'll sell them for $100 +whatever shipping is to you. I'm going to post them locally once I'm done with my COVID quarantine, but forum members get first dibs. I'll lysol them before shipping.

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post #2 of 29 Old 01-23-2021, 04:59 PM
PolkaPower
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Add front and rear Addco swaybars and it will handle even better. Kolak sells those too.

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post #3 of 29 Old 01-24-2021, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
blkdrgn42
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Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Add front and rear Addco swaybars and it will handle even better. Kolak sells those too.
What would the benefit of the sway bar be if I don't drive aggressively enough to get hardly any body sway in corners as it is? Also, if there is body sway that would be corrected with new sway bars, would the sway bars in the rear still give me good flexing off road? I've always associated aftermarket sway bars with stiffer handling characteristics to increase sporty handling. Nothing about my 4.slow is sporty, I drive like an old man, and want max traction off road which to me would mean a less-stiff sway bar in the rear to allow both wheels to touch the ground in off-camber situations.

Genuine question, not trying to be argumentative. If I get the same or better off-road performance while increasing on-road comfort and driveability, I'll seriously consider it. But if I have to give up off-road capability to get marginal on-road increase in handling, well, I'm fine with the on-road manners it has now.
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkdrgn42 View Post
What would the benefit of the sway bar be if I don't drive aggressively enough to get hardly any body sway in corners as it is? Also, if there is body sway that would be corrected with new sway bars, would the sway bars in the rear still give me good flexing off road? I've always associated aftermarket sway bars with stiffer handling characteristics to increase sporty handling. Nothing about my 4.slow is sporty, I drive like an old man, and want max traction off road which to me would mean a less-stiff sway bar in the rear to allow both wheels to touch the ground in off-camber situations.

Genuine question, not trying to be argumentative. If I get the same or better off-road performance while increasing on-road comfort and driveability, I'll seriously consider it. But if I have to give up off-road capability to get marginal on-road increase in handling, well, I'm fine with the on-road manners it has now.
I'll have to say replacing both front and rear sway bars with Addcos has impressed the heck outta me for stability on the road.
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post #5 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 11:05 AM
jeepjeepster
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Wonder whats up with the one measurement of 33.5"?

Sure wish my 94 still looked that good :/

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post #6 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkdrgn42 View Post
What would the benefit of the sway bar be if I don't drive aggressively enough to get hardly any body sway in corners as it is? Also, if there is body sway that would be corrected with new sway bars, would the sway bars in the rear still give me good flexing off road? I've always associated aftermarket sway bars with stiffer handling characteristics to increase sporty handling. Nothing about my 4.slow is sporty, I drive like an old man, and want max traction off road which to me would mean a less-stiff sway bar in the rear to allow both wheels to touch the ground in off-camber situations.

Genuine question, not trying to be argumentative. If I get the same or better off-road performance while increasing on-road comfort and driveability, I'll seriously consider it. But if I have to give up off-road capability to get marginal on-road increase in handling, well, I'm fine with the on-road manners it has now.
I am also a firm believer in the addco sway bars front and rear. They compliment the OME / Bilesteins perfectly.

Whether you drive aggressively or not, you have raised the center of gravity and roll center by lifting your ZJ - even if it’s only 1.5”-2.5”. This increases body roll there is no way around it. The sway bar is made of spring steel and works in conjunction with the coil springs and a thicker (stiffer) sway bar brings the handling characteristics back closer to stock.

As far as off road capabilities, most people who off road regularly have front sway bar disconnects of some sort so the thicker front bar is irrelevant off road to most. The thicker and stiffer rear bar is still flexible enough to flex the suspension but aids in controlling body roll with the front disconnected.

I have been running this combination with JKS Quicker disconnects for about 5 years and wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve even done quite a bit of towing off road with the front disconnected and the stability that the rear addco provides is simply impressive.
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 04:05 PM
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You should wheel with the front bar disconnected on anything more than dirt roads anyway because it's fairly easy to bend the axle and mounts.

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post #8 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 04:16 PM
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I popped a front sway bar link out of the ball socket on the trail a couple of years back. I disconnected the links and zip tied the bar out of the way. It doesn't handle on the road as well as my other two ZJs with sway bars intact, but much better than either off road. I may get some QDs this spring to go in along with my new adjustable front control arms.

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post #9 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 04:46 PM
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I use velcro straps and a loop I made from some cable to keep it out of the way. Cable hold the bar and link on one side and the velcro hold the link to the bar on the other.

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post #10 of 29 Old 01-27-2021, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
blkdrgn42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepjeepster View Post
Wonder whats up with the one measurement of 33.5"?

Sure wish my 94 still looked that good :/
Thank you! I got lucky finding it and winning it on Ebay. I think the one measurement, only being 1/4" from the other side, is probably due to weight distribution, tire air pressure, or just not being evenly settled since I took that measurement immediately after setting down. I'll measure again this weekend once I'm out of quarantine and check everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996maroonzjf View Post
I am also a firm believer in the addco sway bars front and rear. They compliment the OME / Bilesteins perfectly.

Whether you drive aggressively or not, you have raised the center of gravity and roll center by lifting your ZJ - even if it’s only 1.5”-2.5”. This increases body roll there is no way around it. The sway bar is made of spring steel and works in conjunction with the coil springs and a thicker (stiffer) sway bar brings the handling characteristics back closer to stock.

As far as off road capabilities, most people who off road regularly have front sway bar disconnects of some sort so the thicker front bar is irrelevant off road to most. The thicker and stiffer rear bar is still flexible enough to flex the suspension but aids in controlling body roll with the front disconnected.

I have been running this combination with JKS Quicker disconnects for about 5 years and wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve even done quite a bit of towing off road with the front disconnected and the stability that the rear addco provides is simply impressive.
This is a fair argument. I am planning on eventually getting a locker for the rear, so I guess a stiffer sway bar won't make much difference then. And I'll have the front sway bar disconnected since that was the whole point of this whole project. I guess I'll start saving up spiffs at work again and get the sway bars next. Kolak, how much am I looking at here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
You should wheel with the front bar disconnected on anything more than dirt roads anyway because it's fairly easy to bend the axle and mounts.
That's pretty much the plan anyways for the front. My biggest concern is always cost/benefit. I don't see the on-road handling as being bad right now in the limited time I got to drive it before being quarantined. However, enough people saying that even at this lift height it makes a noticeable difference, and the fact that I'll be wheeling disconnected up front, I guess it might be worth it. Time to start saving again!
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post #11 of 29 Old 06-23-2021, 03:39 PM
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I have this exact setup, minus the bumpstops (which are stock), and I have the stock non-swivel links. I am getting some kind of contact noise when I make a very hard turn up a hill/ramp. I think it might be the corner of my front Addco bar bumping up against the spring but I have not yet figured it out. Does anyone else have this issue?

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post #12 of 29 Old 06-23-2021, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloWatts View Post
I have this exact setup, minus the bumpstops (which are stock), and I have the stock non-swivel links. I am getting some kind of contact noise when I make a very hard turn up a hill/ramp. I think it might be the corner of my front Addco bar bumping up against the spring but I have not yet figured it out. Does anyone else have this issue?

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If you don't have an adjustable track bar your axle will be off center and that can happen. Put the swaybar where you want it and put some hose clamps on it to keep it from moving.


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post #13 of 29 Old 06-23-2021, 05:25 PM
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Are you sure it's not the stock sway bar links being slightly too short?

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post #14 of 29 Old 06-23-2021, 05:26 PM
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OME 1.5" Lift before and after.

I don't know I can't see it. Does one side look more pushed over? It could be a combination. My stock links broke fairly quickly so I got some JKS.


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post #15 of 29 Old 06-23-2021, 05:35 PM
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Yeah it does look a little further over on the driver's side. Guess I need an adj trackbar.

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