2003 Liberty Lift Help - Any Advice?

Jack Bryant

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In talking to someone today I was reminded of how small manufacturing companies work
Take JBA for example, they were doing industrial repairs/ manufacturing parts
Marlin bought JeepinByAl from Al Handy way back when and started doing UCAs for KJs
Then as time went on he added UCAs for Chevrolets, Toyotas etc
Now they are still a small company and things like UCAs can not be just whipped out in 5 minutes
So they sit the machines up to run a whole batch of say Toyota Tacoma UCAs one day
They still have 4 sets of KJ UCAs on the shelf
Next day they get an order for 3 sets of KJs UCAs but already set up to run for Chevrolets next two days etc
So someone may order a set for a KJ on Monday and get them 2 days later, but when you order a set they are Out of stock and need to make more
Plus with all the emails etc they get in a day it can get over whelming at times
I know, I have been there reading the emails , trying to answer questions from folks who do not have a clue
So if you think a company is slow, think of that small shop building quality parts for us that otherwise would not even be available without them
By the way Al Handy designed the first set in his home garage, and had Marlin producing them
The Blue KJ was also owned by AL and went with the original company to Marlin
So when can, Thank Al for coming up with them, which another company ripped off the design and made their own which are not as good
So little history lesson and why at times things do not fly off the shelf to you in a day , they are not made in China, but rather by Americans ;)
I had a set of the original designed ones from Al, and the ones we get today are far more refined for sure

JBA is a subsidiary company of Marlins main one
I just think it should be stated up front the time it might take. I don't know these people or where they came from. People and companies do things that are not normal for them inn times of uncertainty, I am sure that I am getting more skeptical of the integrity of people therefore I am guilty of putting the cart before the horse so to speak. Thanks for the history,it sounds like you have a lot of faith in this company and this product. I would have liked to have an explanation of what the hold up was, instead of extending shipping days with no explanation. Thanks Tom for your insight and coaching .
 

Doing10to20

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I just think it should be stated up front the time it might take. I don't know these people or where they came from. People and companies do things that are not normal for them inn times of uncertainty, I am sure that I am getting more skeptical of the integrity of people therefore I am guilty of putting the cart before the horse so to speak. Thanks for the history,it sounds like you have a lot of faith in this company and this product. I would have liked to have an explanation of what the hold up was, instead of extending shipping days with no explanation. Thanks Tom for your insight and coaching .

I agree with you..I order from small companies that build in house never have i had to wait so long let alone without knowing up front or some type of explanation..gotta say I usually get my parts sooner than later..hopefully you share some pics once your rig is done
 
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...measurements are 23" in the front and 21" in the back...
Yea I originally got 4" of lift from the 927s also. Its no good man, try measuring the wheel to fender with the front jacked off the ground. You'll have about 1" of downtravel when you should have had 5". Its not necessarily intuitive, but downtravel is equally important to uptravel. This is why a stock liberty (and most other cars) have equal up and down travel from the factory. All lifts have consequences of course, but overlifting you are really going to feel it. Anyway, all this to encourage you to keep working on the front instead of lifting the rear to match. Best of luck dude, sorry I can't help specifically. Your issue sounds mysterious and exactly like my own last year. After taking everything about twice and checking and measuring the shocks and bushings etc etc I never found anything wrong other than the springs. They were just way too long and stiff. I believe its a factory hicup but I can never prove it. Obviously the OME parts work great for many people on this forum.
 

mercdudecbr600

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Yea I originally got 4" of lift from the 927s also. Its no good man, try measuring the wheel to fender with the front jacked off the ground. You'll have about 1" of downtravel when you should have had 5". Its not necessarily intuitive, but downtravel is equally important to uptravel. This is why a stock liberty (and most other cars) have equal up and down travel from the factory. All lifts have consequences of course, but overlifting you are really going to feel it. Anyway, all this to encourage you to keep working on the front instead of lifting the rear to match. Best of luck dude, sorry I can't help specifically. Your issue sounds mysterious and exactly like my own last year. After taking everything about twice and checking and measuring the shocks and bushings etc etc I never found anything wrong other than the springs. They were just way too long and stiff. I believe its a factory hicup but I can never prove it. Obviously the OME parts work great for many people on this forum.

How's the down/up travel with the HHR springs???
 

JeepinMike

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Well it took a while, but it's done. New tires are on, alignment is done amongst a few other things. Thanks @tommudd the alignment definitely brought the front down and leveled her out pretty good. The rear is still a bit lower, but nothing compared to what it was, and I am still going to throw in those rear upper isolators, which should bring that up and add additional cushion. I've gotta say I was expecting after all of this to be ripping everything out and putting the "propper" OME kit in, but I was surprised to find it now rides great! Maybe it's because I'm coming from a '91 Wrangler as a daily driver to this that it feels great to me, or maybe a combination of replacing with good UCA's, lower moog ball joints and the new Monroe springs/struts that it just came together and I luckily find myself with a smooth ride and good handling. Either way, I'm happy for now, and I've only got 86k miles on her so I could always do the OME down the line. I will be going cross country hopefully this fall, and towing a homemade camper trailer that I am now finishing up. I will post some pictures here of my adventures. Thanks to everyone on this thread for your help.
 
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How's the down/up travel with the HHR springs???
Ha well... I've still got the standard 3" front bumpstop on, which is 2" longer than factory, which combined with the rest of the geometry reduces uptravel by about 3" at the wheel. But then again my lift with the H&R springs is about 2.5", so the total uptravel is only a little worse than stock while accommodating the larger tires. (Next Wednesday I'm getting the JBA UCAs installed - finally - and plan to cut 0.75" off the aftermarket bumpstops to gain some uptravel back. Its too bad you can't buy different length bumpstops to suit different wheel sizes.) As for the downtravel, I run without swaybar, which seems to allow a bit extra downtravel at the wheel (sry cant find the measurement right now, but think it was 0.75") At that droop, limited by the shock, the stock upper BJ looks stressed. It seems a bit riskey for the health of the shock and upper BJ but haven't had issues either yet. Time will tell.

Long story short, I have about 4.5" up and 3.5" down. Stock is 5"/5". Not bad considering its lifted over 2".
(I suspect all these measurements are exaggerated about 0.5" due to my wheel offset and center cap where I'm measuring to, compared to the standard offset and flat wheels. So stock might actually be 4.5"/4.5", I'm not totally sure, and again - thats without swaybar)

Downtravel is easily measured by jacking up the front end and measure the droop compared to static height. Uptavel is harder to measure, ideally you have a nice ramp to drive up (be careful?), but I did the measurements with the wheel on but coilover off, using a bottle jack to lift the knuckle until UCA met bumpstop. This is also a good way to find out how much you can trim the bumpstop before the tire contacts the fender. (tire contact isn't the only reason for bumpstop length of course, but in the context of increasing the bumpstop length, and in the range of motion I've seen on the KJ, I think its the main/only factor in this case) Please let us know if you measure, would be interesting to hear from others.

Stoked to hear your ride is working @JeepinMike , looks solid!
 

mercdudecbr600

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I don't know how you got such lift out of the 927 springs: Mine was sitting at 20.25" after installing. I had to add top spacers and a clevis lift to get a total of 2.5" of lift. My up/down travel seems pretty good at the moment, not significantly different than stock. *shrug*
 

tommudd

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I don't know how you got such lift out of the 927 springs: Mine was sitting at 20.25" after installing. I had to add top spacers and a clevis lift to get a total of 2.5" of lift. My up/down travel seems pretty good at the moment, not significantly different than stock. *shrug*
927s ALWAYS give 2.5 inches of lift, always, you got the wrong springs
 

mercdudecbr600

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927s ALWAYS give 2.5 inches of lift, always, you got the wrong springs
NO, I didn’t. I ordered a set of 927 from arb via 4wp and I installed the assembly myself. Springs have the 927 tags and the ome box has the same part number. It’s possible arb has changed something but that’s what I got.

Previously I installed (and still have) a set of the 926 mediums sitting in my garage and they only gave me about 20.0” of lift. Trust me, I wasn’t too happy having to take everything apart for a third time to add spacers to get the right lift amount.
 

tommudd

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Funny I just installed a full OME etc kit 2 weeks ago on a girls KJ
927s gave 2.5 inches of lift in front after alignment with nothing else added
 

mercdudecbr600

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Ya I can’t account for the difference. They are installed correctly, is it possible that my rancho front shocks are shorter than the bilsteins?
 

duderz7

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Ya I can’t account for the difference. They are installed correctly, is it possible that my rancho front shocks are shorter than the bilsteins?
Unless they're limiting uptravel, no. Have you looked at the condition of your spring iso's and/or confirmed they're existence?
 

mercdudecbr600

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Unless they're limiting uptravel, no. Have you looked at the condition of your spring iso's and/or confirmed they're existence?
I just replaced the destroyed front and rear isolators with new stock replacements. But I never got more than 20.5 - 20.75” from the 927 even after just installed so its not a overly compressed spring situation. After an alignment and a winch, more like 20.25”. And, my rear light 945 springs has the rear of my kJ sitting at 21.5”. I added the spacers and clevis lift to try to level it out. I think everything has settled now to about 21” front and rear.
 

duderz7

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Ahhh, must have missed the winch. Steel cable? Heavy bumper or bracketing can certainly have an effect.
 

tommudd

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Yep, there ya go adding a winch etc with 927s of course you will not get as much height
 

soewhatman

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The measurement is prior to winch install.
I recently installed a set of OME 927 front springs on an 04 Liberty and my results were the same as mercdudebr600's. Measuring 20.25" from center of wheel to underside of fender, after a small amount of driving and alignment. Boxed and labeled as 927 springs. No winch, bumper, or extra weight up front. Maybe OME changed something in manufacturing, or had a bad or mislabeled batch. If factory spec is 19" I'm not quite getting the 1.5" the 927's are advertised as. Springs were purchased new about a month ago. These are going on a vehicle I purchased used, and the fronts were so bad it was basically riding on the bump stops.
 

mercdudecbr600

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I recently installed a set of OME 927 front springs on an 04 Liberty and my results were the same as mercdudebr600's. Measuring 20.25" from center of wheel to underside of fender, after a small amount of driving and alignment. Boxed and labeled as 927 springs. No winch, bumper, or extra weight up front. Maybe OME changed something in manufacturing, or had a bad or mislabeled batch. If factory spec is 19" I'm not quite getting the 1.5" the 927's are advertised as. Springs were purchased new about a month ago. These are going on a vehicle I purchased used, and the fronts were so bad it was basically riding on the bump stops.
I also bought mine about a month ago. I'm wondering if ARB has changed something in the manufacturing. Because based on TOM's estimation of 2.5" with HD coils (easily), then the mediums (926) should have been more than sufficient for my needs. If anything it feels like they've slide everything down a notch - medium is now the heavy, light is now the medium. Can't explain it otherwise.
 

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