Reduce PO’s Lift? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
Hoffy02
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Reduce PO’s Lift?

Hello all, newbie here. Working on a 1985 CJ7. Lots of metal work but frame engine and suspension all in great shape. This thing handles like a dream, tracks straight and can steer with a pinky, but it’s a kidney beater and just too high for me. I have a very bad back. It has a 4” lift and 33” tires. Would like to lower it as cost effectively as possible. Is it as straight forward as buying a 2.5” lift and swapping the components out? Or is it more involved than that?
Can I reuse some components and swap the spring packs?
I’m assuming lower arch in shorter springs will improve ride quality correct?

Search function didn’t help much but I did enjoy seeing some guy get flamed for wanting to make is Jeep a low rider... lmao

Not sure if this matters but my plan is 100% street, or Mall crawler, trailer queen, whatever the correct nickname is. Lol! I’ve always wanted one but never for the off-road aspect. Driving up and down the beach or down to the lake will be about the most this Jeep ever see’s off the pavement.
Thanks in advance

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post #2 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 04:36 PM
RiverandSand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoffy02 View Post
Is it as straight forward as buying a 2.5” lift and swapping the components out? Or is it more involved than that?
Can I reuse some components and swap the spring packs?
I’m assuming lower arch in shorter springs will improve ride quality correct?

Thanks in advance
Yes pretty much, as long as a PO didn't use some crazy long shackles or other lift devices i.e. body bushings. You can just buy 2.5 spings and new u-bolts and be GTG. However, this a jeep and things never go as planned, there is always something else that will pop up. The 33's may rub and need to be swapped to 31's. The ride should be better but that's also subjective. Oh welcome, and good luck.
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
Hoffy02
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Thanks for the welcome and the reply. I think it was done correctly but I’ll do some more research on what should have gone on for a 4” lift and make sure it matches. Thanks again
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 08:57 PM
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You can get 31" x 10.5 on stock suspension without rubbing and with 7% change in gearing. They are a bit bigger so you have to look at the stops on the front and just make sure they do not rub on full lock. They will of course make the turning circle a bit larger but that is not too bad.

When you go to 33" tyres you will have to adjust the stops further but the problem is at the back with clearance to the wheel boxes.

The 2.5" lift may not be enough at the back to stop the tyres rubbing on the boxes at full compression. Before you take off the lift just have a look at what bringing the tyres up 1 1/2" will do. Not all owners report an issue and not all 33" tyres measure 33".

Of course you also have a 14% change in gearing, and on a late model with its low gearing, it can cause problems with performance.

Have you Nuttered and Teamrushed your engine or is it stock? It is possible to wake up a 1985 a bit so it can cope with larger tyres.

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post #5 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 09:43 PM
Capt_Drake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverandSand View Post
However, this a jeep and things never go as planned, there is always something else that will pop up.
Any easy 2 hour job is one broken bolt away from a three day ordeal.


And I concur, "should" be easy enough to get new springs and put 'em in.

And since it will only be down to the beach and lake you don't really need to worry about tires rubbing during "full compression".

Welcome to the club!


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post #6 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 10:11 PM
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If "This thing handles like a dream, tracks straight and can steer with a pinky, but it’s a kidney beater and just too high for me." you may want to keep what you have. a CJ7 is not a Cadillac.

If it drives good now (has plenty of power), the gears may have been changed for the 33" tires. Changing to a smaller tire (if the gears were changed) may make the engine run at a higher RPM on the highway. This will cause more engine wear, and more noise.

When a lift is done properly, the pinion angles have to be adjusted. Sometimes this is done with shims (wedges ...the best being made of steel and not aluminum). Sometimes when someone really does a lift correctly, they cut the spring perches off and weld them on at the correct angle so that wedges are not needed. To get the steering to work well, sometimes the weld on the inner "C"s on the front axle are cut, the "C"s are rotated to the proper angle and welded back on at the proper angle for the new lift so that the Jeep has the proper caster setting.

Drive line lengths can also need to be adjusted. Going with less lift may require them to be shortened.

What I am saying is you may spend a chunk of money and spend a lot of time and not be happy with the results. A CJ7 with 33's and a 4 inch lift looks really nice. You may want to look at some steps for the sides which will make it easier to get in and out. You might also look at a better quality seat.

Good luck.
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-08-2020, 10:52 PM
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Some really good advice above.

As alluded to above, you need to know what you have. Especially, what gears.

Easy to check. Jack it up so one wheel is off the ground. Turn the wheel while counting the turns of the driveshaft. Because one wheel is not turning, your ratio will be double. For example....if you had a 3:1 ratio (does not exists....just an easy number), for every full turn of your tire, your DS (driveshaft) would turn 6 revolutions. If both wheel were off the ground, it would be 3 turns.

I'm betting you have 3:08. Which means those 33's are too big. It's about par to starting in 2nd gear.

I'm also betting your 'kidney beater' is a combination of cheap stiff springs and poly bushings.

Since you don't want to go off road......I'd suggest going back to smaller tires (31" is good) and stock springs.

If you are trying to save money....look for a set of stock Wrangler springs. An easy and cheap mod....remove the front spring hanger and replace it with a stock rear hanger. Your front springs are more narrow than the rear or stock Wrangler springs. Going to stock Wrangler springs makes things a little simpler. To use the Wrangler springs you will need to drill out that rivet in front of the existing spring hanger. You then bolt the new spring hanger 1" forward. It's cheap and works well.

If you want a 'little' lift...new shackles that are maybe 1" longer will give you about 1/2" of lift without killing the ride or handling.

And stick with stock rubber bushings. Poly is really dense and transfers a lot of vibration. AMHIK


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post #8 of 26 Old 07-09-2020, 06:02 AM
ADDZ71
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Before you go to all of the effort listed above you might first check your tire pressure. On light CJ's you could probably run 20 psi depending on the stiffness of the tire. I would start with playing around with the things you have before replacing springs etc. Make sure the shackles are greased, not too tight (i.e. so they flex) and make sure if you stand on a bumper that your vehicle is actually capable of springing.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-09-2020, 09:33 AM
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And after checking your tire pressure, take a good look at your shackle/ and bushings.

I can't count the number of times I've seen them put on with an impact, and or over-titghted. They have to move, or your suspension won't.

Finally, what type (make/ model ) of shocks?

I'm not saying you can't change everything, but properly setting -up your suspension is important and matters as much if not more than the actual lift itself.

You may not need to buy anything, just fine tune what you have. (Especially if it drives fine but rides rough)

Is free, and an easy way to start.

Hoss

Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-09-2020, 04:07 PM
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And the shocks.....make sure they are the right length. Easy to check. With the jeep level....disconnect the bottom of one. See how far down it goes and how far up.

If they did a lift and didn't change the shocks, then every time it goes up, the shocks will hit full extension.....it doesn't feel good. AMHIK


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post #11 of 26 Old 07-09-2020, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
Hoffy02
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Wow. Thanks for all the info and insight. The Jeep is at the shop getting an inspection and oil change but when I get it back I’ll start running through these suggestions and trying to find exactly what I have. Down to manufacturer etc.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-09-2020, 09:00 PM
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pictures????
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-10-2020, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Pics of what is there.. I didn’t see anything that specifically noted a manufacturer
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-10-2020, 07:29 PM
RiverandSand
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The springs have a military wrap on the ends, could be BDS as they do that. The shackles look to be possibly Confir, a very popular brand a while back, looks close to stock length. The steering gear has the heavy duty one-piece mount. The suspension looks to be well done, no real, what were they thinking, that I see.
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post #15 of 26 Old 07-10-2020, 09:12 PM
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You can try removing the bottom leaf from each spring pack. That should soften things up some.
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