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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang,

I'll be tackling this install on my 1981 CJ7 258, today, and would appreciate any tips I can get. I got it from 4WD.com

It appears the rear end is pretty simple....space the brake line and bolt everything on.

The fronts are more involved, since I have to do some grinding to install new shackle hangers, but I've got a fair handle on that.

I'm most concerned about drivability issues, afterwards. I went with the 2.5" package because I wanted to avoid castor and driveshaft problems. I know shimming to create the correct angles isn't difficult, but it seems kinda band-aid-ish to me.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from any of you with experience with this kit.

Matt
 

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I didn't use the conversion kit, I parted it out myself. Install is straightforward like any other leaf suspension. Taking old stuff off is the difficult part. Soak everything with PB blaster a couple days before you start.

The only thing that isn't bolt-on would be the front shackle hangers, which involve removing the front cross member rivets and using the holes to relocate the new hangers forward of the stock locations.

Ride height is perfect imo, and it looks like you got 4 of the rear heavy springs. I have the medium front springs and the rear heavy, so on my CJ the rears sits slightly higher than the front(maybe 3/4")so with it loaded up it will sit level.

The difference in ride and handling is profound, I also did not want so much lift that my various steering and alignment angles etc would be negatively affected, and this setup does not. YMMV.

Good Luck, post pictures of your progress if you have time. This is a terrific upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks, Erik!!

Yeah, Les at 4WD recommended the 4 heavy rears because I run a heavy winch, hard doors, and a hard top in the winter.

So you had plenty of castor, afterwards, without shimming? And no vibrations in the driveshaft?

Also, will the stock dropped Pitman arm work with this setup?

Thanks,

Matt
 

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I haven't had an alignment done to know exactly what I ended up with, but I have no vibrations or wandering etc. Rides perfectly. I think this lift is just toeing the line where it's mild enough to not cause any issues. Again your mileage may vary though, every rig is a little different.

I went from a 4" Rough Country which was horrible and had all kinds of handling issues, down to this, which has been perfect.

I went back to a stock pitman arm and it's fine. I actually have greater turning radius now.

Here's a pic of what I ended up with, just the right amount of lift imo:

 

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[/QUOTE]

I love your jeep bro!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Erik,

Dang, that's a fine looking ride!! I hope mine has a similar stance, afterwards. Are those 33s?

Chris, you may have hit on my only snag. The salesman told me I could use the existing hangers once I replaced the old frame mounts with the wider ones. Was he mistaken?

Here are a few "before" pictures of the ol' girl. I'm going to tackle the body, when I complete the suspension.

Matt
 

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My understanding is that you need YJ shackles due to the front springs now being 2.5" instead of 2" wide.
 

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Erik,

Dang, that's a fine looking ride!! I hope mine has a similar stance, afterwards. Are those 33s?

Chris, you may have hit on my only snag. The salesman told me I could use the existing hangers once I replaced the old frame mounts with the wider ones. Was he mistaken?

Here are a few "before" pictures of the ol' girl. I'm going to tackle the body, when I complete the suspension.

Matt
Yes I have 33's. No rubbing, but I don't do much heavy wheeling.
 

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If you don't mind me askin what did the setup run you from 4wd? I will be trying to put together a lift with YJ springs soon and was wondering how much begging I will have to do to get the funds from the wife. I plan on using the hangers made by Jim.
http://www.crabtreetool.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
CJFF29, expect on about $1500.

Well, I didn't get as far as I wanted to (no surprise :mad:):

The old rear springs and shocks came off easily. Unfortunately, one of the bolts holding a rear shackle mount snapped, causing a lengthy drill-punch-tap remedy.

The CJ rear shackles and bolts worked fine with the YJ springs. Of course, I couldn't re-use the shackles without giving them a little touch-up paint.

The rear springs are on.

Unfortunately, I'm dead in the water. My buddy, Les, at 4WD, assured me the shocks he was sending me were correct. Unless I'm missing something, it appears Les f**ked up.

Matt
 

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I'm in the process of installing this very same lift on my CJ and I found out that OME DOES NOT make shocks that will work well with a CJ. Also I went ahead and got stock length YJ shackles (thats what the tech guy at 4wd recomended). I'm kinda hung up right now trying to install my front springs because the spring hangers (back side of the spring) are bent towards the driver side. Apparently the PO hit something sideways and knocked the axle to the left so I'm dealing with that fun. Good luck to anyone that takes this project on, the instructions make removing those rivets sound easy but it really wasn't. I'm not sure yet but I think I'm gonna have to do some grinding on the front differential so the inner passenger ubolt can go on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rojo,

You should have received one U-bolt that's about a 1/2" wider than the rest. That's the one that goes on the differential side of the front passenger spring. You shouldn't have to grind the diff.

If what you say about OME shocks is true, I find it ironic that OME markets their kits as a "suspension system". You know, all that hype about matching the springs and shocks to the specific vehicle...blah blah blah...

Apparently, they're still refining their "system" for the CJs.

On the bright side, I think I'm going to enjoy this setup when it's done. I put the wheels back on my rear-end and lowered the Jeep off the jack stands. Even without shocks, I can tell these springs have more flex and will deliver a smoother ride.

Of course, I haven't started on the fronts, yet, so my jeep looks like a 70's muscle car with the rear all jacked up and the nose almost touching the ground. :D

Good luck, and post pics when you get her put back together.

Matt
 

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I do have that U-bolt thats wider than the others but there's a... I don't know how to describe it, brace or rib that is part of the differential that might be in the way. I don't know that for sure yet, I'm going to wait till I straighted out the spring hangers before I do any grinding.

I see what you are saying about the OME "suspension system" (they are quite proud of that), but I don't think they have made a suspension for the CJ's. I've looked all around and I can't really find anything difinative saying there is a CJ specific lift. Sorry, I just read that back and it sounded a little ******y but I swear I'm not trying to be, a ****** that is. I'm just wanna pass on whatever information I have learned.

//EDIT// Wow I can't believe they censored dush

I'm going to attempt to post a picture of the rear, I'm with you on that I think it looks B/A like a muscle car.
 

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I am planning on doing the same work on my CJ-5... so been keeping up with this thread. I have a question though... since rear CJ and YJ springs are the same width and length, are they the same springs? Or do the rear YJ springs flex better than the stock rear CJ springs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
commadore64,

The YJ springs made by Old Man Emu are suppose to have superior flex over the stock CJ springs.

I can't confirm that, yet, as I'm still working on it, but that's their claim.

I'm still waiting for my ex-buddy, Les at 4WD, to determine whether, or not, OME makes a shock that will work on the CJ.

What's funny is Les claimed to have "sold hundreds of these kits" and really tried to impress me with his knowledge about CJs. This morning it became clear he's BSing when he tried to tell me my shock mounts had been altered because my shocks "shouldn't require an eyelet at both ends". OK......

Anyway, I'm trying to get the fronts as far as I can go, today. Hopefully, I'll have a set of shocks that will work in a few days.

Matt
 
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