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post #1 of 94 Old 07-12-2014, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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The Modified Superlift Thread

Edit: I added more information for those looking at installing 37's

Possible sticky or at least an addition to the write up thread? I’ve seen quite a few questions recently about this subject so I thought it would be a good idea to get everything in one place. This is a work in progress so expect to see some changes. I’ll eventually add links and possibly prices.

Why? Those looking for greater than 4” of lift should go the route of a modified Superlift. Stacking budget boosts or a spring lift (OME etc.) and a budget boost is not recommended as it will force the drivetrain to operate at extreme angles which will greatly reduce longevity of just about everything in the dreivetrain. This can be dangerous because if for instance a ball joint fails… the results can be deadly! That and the ride will be horrible to say the least.

How? The modified Superlift avoids these complications by creating a new “baseline” for the suspension. The Superlift drops all control arm mounting points down 3.25”. Thus when you add additional lift to the Superlift, it is essentially like adding a budget boost to the stock suspension. Factory ride can be retained for the most part and suspension components life will be reduced to what a normal budget boost would do to the stock components. The Superlift will (in short) drop the lower control arms 3.25”, provide 3.25” taller spindles and a 4” spacer for the strut in the front. Drop the front axle 3.25” in its cradle. In the rear it will drop the axle 4” with the use of 4” taller springs and 4” drop brackets (ver. 2 of the lift uses drop brackets for the upper control arms and track bar but uses longer lower control arms instead of drop brackets). This brings all control arms back to their factory angles.

FRONT: In the front you have 3 choices. You can either lift via taller springs, adjustable struts, or a coilover setup. Obviously the coilover setup is going to be the most pricey by far and the cheapest will be using new taller springs with stock (or OME ect.) struts. I’m a big fan of the Bilstein 5100 adjustable struts (unfortunately somewhat hard to come by currently due to being on backorder) as they have the option for .75/1.5/2.0” of lift. The downsides of the Bilstein struts is the fact that the shaft itself is of a smaller diameter than the OME (1/2" vs 11/16") and it has less travel (5" vs 5 5/8"). Coilovers have the benefit of adjustability, more robust shafts, and more range… the downside once again is cost.



REAR: The rear is straight forward. You can either use taller springs or add a spacer to the Superlift 4” coils. Either way, taller shocks are highly recommended.



What NOT To Do: DO NOT stack another spacer lift in the front. The Superlift utilizes a 4” spacer to drop the front struts and ride height. Adding another spacer is unsafe and will limit uptravel.



Limiting Factors: In the front, your limit to downtravel is going to be related to the strut, either by its full extension length, or by the fact that the spring cup contacts the spindle. OME struts will provide a slight bit of length but contact the spindle like the factory strut. Bilstein struts are stock length but have an adjustable cup (obviously adjustable for lift height also) that can be rotated to avoid the cup-spindle interference. The front sway bar will also hinder downtravel and articulation with the standard Superlift links. The sway bar can either be removed all together or a link can be removed for offroading (see recommended additions).

In the rear your limiting factor can be a number of things. With the standard Superlift links in the rear, the sway bar will stop down travel before anything else. Some have found that the sway bar will eventually shear and that running without the bar installed may be preferred. If longer links are installed or the sway bar removed, your next hurdle will be the driver side upper control arm contacting the fuel tank skid plate. This is easily remedied by cutting a notch into the skid plate to make room (CAUTION: making the cut with the gas tank installed takes precision. The gas tank is PLASTIC and easily cut into). With both of those modifications, your final limit will be shock length. It is always recommended that you use limiting straps to prevent the shocks from bottoming out as shock damage can occur.

Uptravel with the stock bumpstops up front and Superlift bumpstops in the rear should be sufficient for up to 35” tires. This is assuming a properly adjusted axle in the rear (see recommended additions). Larger tires will most likely require some modification to the stops.

Other Considerations: If you have factory HID’s you’ll need to modify the ride height sensors to accommodate the larger range of motion of the modified suspension. I did this simply by adding some length to the armature on the sensors.



Trimming will be required. At the very least, the front pinchweld mod will need to be done to run larger tires. You will need to get aggressive with the sledge hammer to fit 35’s and additional trimming may be required to go larger. You may also need to trim the forward edge of the rear wheel well. With a properly adjusted rear axle (see recommended additions) this may be avoided until over 35” tires. Trimming will be trial and error. Trim what you think will be required but be ready to do more after you try flexing it out.




Omelets photo and Jeep

Common Problems: Spring warpage (JBA 6” coils) is pretty common. The JBA springs also have a smaller diameter than the Superlift coils. Both of these factors may cause the spring to contact the bumpstop tower and cup. This has no impact on performance but will cause an annoying vibration and sound. This can be fixed by turning down the bumpstop cup on a lathe (that or just using a grinder) or rotating the spring.

The rear driveshaft contacting the gas tank skid plate is also common. This is easily remedied by the installation of an adjustable track-bar.



Recommended Additions:
New upper A-arms (RRO or JBA) that are specifically designed for lifted WK’s. As an added benefit they have larger ball-joints. This will help guard against premature failure of the ball-joint. Also, this is a good time to replace the lower control arms (that or just replace the ball-joints if you have a press).



Trim the front lower control arms for more turning radius. I took approximately 1/4" off the stops and get no rubbing on the frame.





Adjustable upper and lower control arms and track-bar for the rear (Rustys or custom). This will allow you to re-center the axle to prevent the tire coming in contact with the wheel well.



Removable sway bar end links (JBA or JKS). Unlike solid axle Jeeps, only one link needs to be removed for wheeling. Removing an endlink will greatly increase the ability to articulate on the front end!



New front driveshaft (Carolina Driveline or custom). 3.0L’s and 3.7Ls will burn through front driveshafts faster with the Superlift because they have a shorter transmission and consequently have a shorter front driveshaft, so this is probably a must if you have the 3.0L or 3.7L. If not, a double cardan front driveshaft will eliminate the weak CV (transfercase end) out of the driveshaft and add strength.



Chromoly front axle shafts (RCV). When running a 35” or larger tire (or even when wheeling hard with 33" tires), the front half shafts are a possible failure point. RCV warranties up to a 40” tire and 1000 HP… These things are bulletproof!



New gears (Nitro). Plenty of companies make gears for the rear 8.25 axle, however only Nitro currently makes a gear set (4.10 ratio) for the front. Thus currently this is the only option. You will also need a programmer that can actually recalibrate for the new gears. At this time the only combination I know of is the AEV EGR module (set for 4.10 gears) on vehicles with the 5.7L and 545RFE transmission. I’ve also heard you can send your computer straight to AEV for a reflash… this is a possible solution for those with other engine/transmission combinations. Without a computer workaround, you run the risk of the vehicle going into limp mode with new gears.



Personal Oppinion: I personally think 25” hub to fender (+6” of lift) is the sweet spot. You can (with proper trimming) run up to a 37” tire at this height! The factory ride is still pretty much retained yet the offroad abilities are greatly increased.

Pictures of Lift Heights and Tire Combinations:

Stock:



Standard Superlift with 285's (33"):



Standard Superlift with 305's (34"):



Modified Superlift +5" (1" spacer on SL coils and Bilstein strut +1.5") r24-f25" hub to fender with 305's (34"):



Modified Superlift +5" (JBA 6" springs and Bilstein strut +1.5") 25" hub to fender with 305's (34"):



Modified Superlift +5" 25" hub to fender with 315's (35")


Camps picture and Jeep

Modified Superlift +5" (JBA 6" Springs and Bilstein 5100 struts +0.75" with cut down OME HD coils) 25" hub to fender with 37's:


Omelets photo and Jeep

Modified Superlift +5" (JBA 6" Springs and King coilovers) 25" hub to fender front 26" rear:



Modified Superlift +8" (JBA 6" Springs + 2" spacer and 6.75" lift on front) with 37's:


Jayloops photo and Jeep

So you want to run 37's?

The Basics: It goes without saying that the majority of “optional modifications” to run a modified Superlift are now highly recommended. You can run 37’s on anything over 6” of lift (25” hub to fender) depending on how extreme you're willing to modify your pinch weld in the front. The only difference between running 35’s at 6” of lift and 37’s is strengthening and adjusting everything to allow for seamless operation of the larger tires. The offroad benefits in an increase from 35 to 37” tires are pretty minimal… So I highly recommend sticking with 35’s or smaller if you’re on a budget or attempting to drive the WK daily. Gas mileage will decrease greatly! I'm currently getting 13 highway and 9 city with 4.10 gears.

Front pinch weld: That’s not a pinch weld mod; this is a pinch weld mod! Use a large sledge hammer (I recommend either an 8 or 10 pounder) and concentrate your blows on the pinch weld itself. Work until it’s even with the fender (or in my case 4XGuard rockers). Don’t be discouraged if it looks like you’re not making progress… It took me around an hour of work on each side! I gained another 1.25” of clearance over my previous pinch weld mod and over 2.5” of clearance over the original inner fender as it came from the factory.





Front suspension options: There are quite a few ways to achieve 25”+ hub to fender as covered above (stock strut/OME spring, Bilstein strut/stock spring, Bilstein strut/cut OME coil, Coilovers) but beware that anything stock related is going to wear quickly as the unsprung weight has greatly increased (37” tires are over 80 lbs per tire alone!). I recommend either some sort of heavy duty strut and spring or coilovers.

King coilovers w/ Eibach 600# springs:



Rear suspension: You’ll need to adjust your rear control arms such that the tire will be centered in the wheel well at full stuff while maintaining the factory pinion angle. This will most likely take some trial and error. Centering the axle at ride height will force the tire into the rear fascia at full stuff so be sure to check your work.



Extending your bumpstops: The standard Superlift bumpstops will no longer be sufficient (if you enjoy having fenders that is). I opted for JKS adjustable bumpstops in the rear. The set comes with a few different puck heights and allows you to mix and match to fine tune. The JKS bump stop extensions are only listed for WJ, XJ, TJ ect. but they are pretty much universal. I also ordered some JKS rubber bumpstops (installed on the standard Superlift bumpstop tower) to get rid of the cumbersome stock cups (they were interfearing with my JBA springs).

You may need to add a custom bumpstop setup to keep the tires away from your fenders in the front also, depending on your suspension setup. My King coilovers bottom out before the tires contact the fenders negating this in my case.

Trail and error:



Wheel backspacing and local laws: With 37x12.5 tires, you'll need to run a higher than stock offset wheel. My AEV Savegres with 5.2" of backspacing allow for just under 0.5" of clearance between the tire and spindle in the front. I wouldn't recommend anything greater than 5.2" of backspace. You'll need to either run 1.25" spacers with stock wheels or shop for aftermarket JK wheels (the majority of them should provide adequate clearance). The tires are going to stick out from the fenders. Keep in mind that currently there are NO aftermarket fender flares so check your local laws.



Lastly, if anyone with a modified Superlift wants to add anything to this writeup (or sees anything wrong), PM me and I’ll throw your inputs right into the main body. I’ve also borrowed some pictures from few fellow members… if you’d like me to take down pics let me know. If you have anything to add about your lift for above that would be great. Please post up some pictures of your modified Superlift with hub to fender measurements and exact modifications to achieve the lift. Thanks!

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post #2 of 94 Old 07-12-2014, 06:51 PM
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Brilliant thread. +1 vote for sticky.

I've been jumping between yours and Omelets and a few other guys threads studying your lifts. Thanks for this.

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post #3 of 94 Old 07-12-2014, 08:43 PM
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Amazing thread! Thank you! I will be bookmarking this and start putting together my parts

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post #4 of 94 Old 07-13-2014, 06:42 AM
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This is awesome. Been planning this for myself and this helps a lot!

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post #5 of 94 Old 07-14-2014, 09:54 AM
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Awesome thread! The only thing I might add is that Bilsteins for the front are not available and haven't been for a while.

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post #6 of 94 Old 07-14-2014, 07:38 PM
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With the Mod SL, what is the max hub to fender after the cradle drop? These are all well over the 23" without the drop

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post #7 of 94 Old 07-16-2014, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcolin2351 View Post
With the Mod SL, what is the max hub to fender after the cradle drop? These are all well over the 23" without the drop
All WK's shown above do have the cradle drop as it is part of the Superlift suspension system. There are XK/WK's with 8"+ of lift out there, however downtravel at that height is severely limited. This is due to the fact that with an independent suspension (short of twin I-beam setups) there is only a finite amount of travel before one or multiple components reach their travel limit or come in contact with another suspension component. Does that answer your question?


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post #8 of 94 Old 07-16-2014, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttusqrl View Post
Awesome thread! The only thing I might add is that Bilsteins for the front are not available and haven't been for a while.
Done! Thanks.


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post #9 of 94 Old 07-20-2014, 05:23 PM
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I like the SIU plates on the Red WK!

Interesting to see another Saluki!
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post #10 of 94 Old 07-21-2014, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USN_BlackWK View Post
All WK's shown above do have the cradle drop as it is part of the Superlift suspension system. There are XK/WK's with 8"+ of lift out there, however downtravel at that height is severely limited. This is due to the fact that with an independent suspension (short of twin I-beam setups) there is only a finite amount of travel before one or multiple components reach their travel limit or come in contact with another suspension component. Does that answer your question?

It does. Kinda what I was thinking too. Thanks a lot. This thread is just what we needed here

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post #11 of 94 Old 02-20-2015, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I added more information for those looking to run 37's. Once again, anyone with anything to add just let me know!


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post #12 of 94 Old 02-21-2015, 06:56 AM
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"Removable sway bar end links (JBA or JKS). Unlike solid axle Jeeps, only one link needs to be removed for wheeling. Removing an endlink will greatly increase the ability to articulate on the front end!"

Ahhh! I was wondering about that. I removed both and was like, ok...now what do I do with my sway bar just hanging here. lol

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post #13 of 94 Old 05-29-2015, 07:49 AM
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I have the OME HD lift right now and will start working on the modified superlift sometime next week. Would I have to cut a coil from the HD spring in order to make it work or can I just toss the superlift spacer on top and achieve the 6" that way?

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post #14 of 94 Old 06-01-2015, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nyland19 View Post
I have the OME HD lift right now and will start working on the modified superlift sometime next week. Would I have to cut a coil from the HD spring in order to make it work or can I just toss the superlift spacer on top and achieve the 6" that way?
It depends on how much lift you're looking for and how much extra weight you have on the front. Omelet is running a cut OME coil with Bilstein 5100's set to .75" netting around 5-6" with a winch an bumper. Without the winch or bumper I think you'll probably have to cut a coil off for 6" (OME is usually around 3" to begin with and SL is exactly 4").


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post #15 of 94 Old 10-07-2015, 05:27 AM
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Do I need to cut OME HD spring if using OME front strut

XK HEMI, 4xguard Matrix Brush Guard and all skid plates, may add rock slider and winch later, will use a 6'' JBA spring at rear. Only looking for a 6'' inch lift. Current have OME MD lift (hub to fender front 20 3/4'', rear 20 1/2'')

To archive 25'' hub to fender with modified superlift, should I just use OME front strut with MD spring or switch to HD spring (both without SL preload plate), or OME strut with HD spring cut a coil? Just not sure whether OME front strut archive same effect as "Bilstein 5100's set to .75", also there are weight difference between XK and WK.

Thanks for any advice.
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