Thread: Suspension Lift

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Posts
    8,121

    Suspension Lift for Older Jeeps

    What's it take for a suspension lift? - ver.1.5


    Please note that this is for an older Jeep with leaf springs. If you have a new Jeep TJ or JK or any other vehicle with coils, take a look at the the TJ lift article (Lift your TJ - installing a Rubicon Express 2" coil spacer kit)


    When I went to lift my CJ7, I had to do some background research. I soon came to find that a suspension lift of about 2.5 inches on a vehicle with leaf springs is actually a pretty simple thing (in theory, if not in installation).


    The main concept is that the vehicle sits on springs, which connect the body to the axels. These springs are attached to the body at each end, and to the axle in the middle. As the axles move up and down because of bumps, the springs bow and flex, with the intention of keeping the body still. A suspension lift is nothing more than new springs (although because of these new springs, you have to replace some other parts). The new lifted springs will be arched more, and thus when attached to the axles they will push the body further up in the air.


    Once you install new springs, you will notice that when you go to attach you shocks, they no longer fit. This is because the axle and the body are farther apart, and since the shock attaches to both, and can only extend so far, the old shocks will be too short. You will need to buy new shocks that are specifically made for a lifted vehicle - I would recommend Rancho RS9000, because they are adjustable (you can make your ride softer or harder depending on the setting).
    Last edited by TerryMason; 03-31-2008 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Posts
    8,121

    Re: Suspension Lift

    I lifted my 1985 Jeep CJ-7 with used Procomp 2.5" springs, a new set of Prothene bushings, Rancho RS9000 shocks, and A LOT of time. If I were to do it again, I would recommend buying a new lift kit (as it is about the same price)


    First off, you will want to use air tools. I tried to do this by hand, and spent three days on only one rear spring. Make sure to jack up your Jeep securely and use common sense - there's no need to get hurt.


    Start with one wheel at a time, and after you finish that, move onto the next. You will want to first remove the shocks. Now, completely loosen the U bolt nuts.These are the nuts screwed onto the U shaped bolts on the axle, that

    hold the axle to the spring - The Jeep will fall on you here if it is not jacked up and secured properly. Once you get them free, then pull remove the spring eye bolts (theses are the bolts at each end of the spring). You may have some trouble here, but rest assured, these are just regular bolts, and with enough force, penetrating lube, and time, they will come off. Now, go back and remove the U bolts. and remove the spring.


    Now you must replace the bushings. Bushings are the spacers that sit between the spring and the shackle. You have two types of bushings to choose from - rubber or polyurethane. Rubber is stock, and seems to absorb more shock, but polyurethane will not deteriorate, so most people use poly. I bought my new bushings from JCWhitney. To get the bushings out, you'll want to drill holes in the old ones, then knock them out with a hammer, as the pictures below illustrate:


    Suspension Lift-springs1.jpg

    Suspension Lift-springs2.jpg

    Suspension Lift-springs3.jpg

    Suspension Lift-springs4.jpg
    Last edited by TerryMason; 04-18-2016 at 03:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Posts
    8,121

    The finished suspension lift

    before and after

    Suspension Lift-lift1.jpg

    Suspension Lift-lift2.jpg
    Last edited by TerryMason; 04-19-2016 at 11:15 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Suspension Lift

    wait.....is that really a before and after example? It doesnt look any higher. Thats with new shocks and add-a-leaf springs?!? Wow...I thought the change would seem more drastic. How much do you notice when youre driving? Im trying to decide on how much I want to lift my cj....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dayton Ohio Area
    Posts
    5,955
    Quote Originally Posted by johnatthebox View Post
    wait.....is that really a before and after example? It doesnt look any higher. Thats with new shocks and add-a-leaf springs?!? Wow...I thought the change would seem more drastic. How much do you notice when youre driving? Im trying to decide on how much I want to lift my cj....
    I think so it's 2.5 in lift so it's not going to be drastic. Look at the space from the tire to the fender.
    "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up" - Jesse Jackson

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in