3.5" Econo lift hits rock bottom on the rear

Discussion in 'Lift Kit Discussion' started by Hunter Toth, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Hey guys,

    It has been 8 months now with what was the JBA/Tommudd's econo lift for the KK Liberty.

    My initial thoughts: WOW this thing rides great!!

    And it rode great, for some time - but now I'm having some issues with the rear.

    My post here shows all the components included in the kit (and some extras), but I think my root cause is either blown shocks or a spring issue.

    When hitting bumps too fast, especially combined with passengers (i try not to offroad with passengers), the back end likes to bottom out - it feels stiffer than the bump stop though.

    The rear springs sent by JBA seem to be tightly coiled compared to other Liberty springs I've seen, and it certainly seems like there would not be much space between the coils (if any) when I hit the bump stop.

    Another important thing to note - I have a decent amount of weight hanging off the back. I have a hitch-mounted tire carrier (Wilco Offroad), with a full side 32" spare, 5 gal gas can (filled) and a hi-lift jack. In total, I couldn't imagine it being much more than 300-350 lbs

    Here is a comparison of my springs (red ones on bed) and other Liberty springs. Does the spacing of the coils seem odd? or am I completely barking up the wrong tree?

    If the springs arnt it, what do you guys think it could be? I appreciate any help! :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,827
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Ohio
    Well first, what kind of bumpstops are you running in the rear?
    Next did you install a longer trac bar when you went that high?
    I see you mention it but not shown so reason for asking
    with the extra weight yes that would contribute to springs not lasting as long
    I went to a coilover type of shock in the rear of my 04 at 4 inches, but then I had aftermarket rear bumper, Kilby gas tank skid, 32 inch spare, 5 gallon of gas etc
    may want to look into that
     
  3. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Thank you Tom so much. They are JBA 4" stops. And I've figured out what's wrong

    Damnit I cannot believe how stupid I am

    In the beginning I felt more comfortable letting professionals install the lift. I was probably capable, but it seemed that it was better that way

    I also neglected to fully inspect that portion of the springs, it never occurred to me what was wrong because I had never seen how it was supposed to look

    They installed my bump stops incorrectly, instead of placing it on the bottom (axle side) they replaced the bumper with the JBA bump stop. The bumpstops are useless, it has nowhere near enough length to contact anything.

    So moving on, what do we think this means for damages? Shocks are blown? Or could the springs be bad now?

    Ultimately my fault, but I just want to fix it to get past these issues

    Thanks

    Edit: yes I did install the JBA track bar
     
  4. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    This is what it looks like - notice the bump stop on wrong side

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. lfhoward

    lfhoward Full Access Member

    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    You're right about the problem. The JBA bump stops go on the lower spring perch in the same manner as hockey pucks. They should contact the OEM bump stops which are at the top. You'll need to find some OEM bump stops and reinstall them!

    Chances are your springs are prematurely worn out AND your rear shocks are blown. :eek:

    Here's a pic from 2014 of my KK in Tommudd's garage in northern Ohio! We installed JBA bump stops that day and he replaced the OEM sway bar links with extended ones. In the pic you can see the old short sway bar links before he cut them off with a sawzall. I don't think we had installed the lower JBA bump stops yet in the pic either. It's blurry, but I think the red color would have shown up. Sorry I don't have a corresponding "after" pic!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Yep... Sucks

    How high is your lift? Again, you can see your springs have significantly more space between the coils than mine. I wonder what's up with that. And it's not like they are just sagged that much, my upper pic shows them with way more windings than yours before installation

    If I need springs, anyone have recomendations on rear springs? These are 4" lift springs from JBA

    For the shocks, I took one off today and it seemed to function alright. I'm not entirely sure how much force the shock should take to slide, but it definitely took some force
    Also, my shocks were mounted the reverse direction from yours, seems like the way yours are mounted is better

    Thanks guys for any help
     
  7. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,827
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Ohio
    You'll need stock bumpstops like has been mentioned
    then drill lower spring perch and determine how long you want the lower bumpstops, You may get by with 2-3 inches
    Next you are stuck on rear coils, since JBA quit no one has the 4 inch now
    Shocks,....well they have been abused more than normal in a way so would be looking at replacing them near future
    only option on springs is to go OME 731s with 2 extra upper isolators and if you need more, well there are a couple tricks you could do
     
  8. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    I feel like i dont really need 4" of lift
    with all the weight on there I think if I had a 3-3.5" with heavier springs it would be great

    What i think i will do for now is fix the bump stops and offroad it and see how it goes

    The shocks feel ok and although 8 months seems like a long time, i really haven't offroaded it very hard

    Thanks guys, if you have any more ideas about springs and shocks please keep em coming because i will need the someday
     
  9. lfhoward

    lfhoward Full Access Member

    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    185
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    ^^^ agree with Tom, OME springs would be the way to go if you needed to replace them. Since you have the Tommudd kit, you already have OME springs up front?

    My lift is an early edition JBA 4” kit, before there were silver, gold, or platinum levels offered. They are 4” springs but Marlin probably refined them a bit over the years, so the coil spacing is different. Also I just have plain Bilsteins without any fancy reservoirs etc.

    I tow a trailer with my rig, and so I have thought about what I’d do if I needed to replace the rear 4” springs. I think I’d come down to maybe 3” or 3.5” using OME springs & extra isos, then center the rear axle with the adjustable track bar and lower my adjust a struts up front to match the height.

    I hope everything works properly once you get the correct bump stops installed. It would be great if you didn’t have to replace shocks or springs.
     
  10. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Thanks! I hope so too. Yes, i have OME up front. I regret not getting the platinum level

    I just bought the bump stops and isolators so we will see how it goes!
     
  11. Chandler Solon

    Chandler Solon New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    IfHoward,

    I notice your Bilstein shocks have the dust cover down. Is that the correct wat to install them? I'm wondering if I put mine in upsidedown.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    I am wondering the same thing
    Mine were installed just like yours Chandler

    One thing I did notice, I had a tear in the top of the boot and when I took the boot off it was full with water. So it might be best to flip it around

    Also, an update on my situation:
    I fixed my lift installation today. It was my first time removing springs and it seemed to go pretty well. I did not trim the bump stop, I want to see how it goes with it at full length for a while
    For installing the lower bumper I drilled and tapped the lower plate and bolted it on with locktite

    Thanks for all the help!

    For future information: this is how it should look after the stops are in place
    [​IMG]
     
  13. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,827
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Ohio

    I do not run boots, hate them keep junk trapped in there

    next thing I truly hope you are joking about using loctite
     
  14. Hunter Toth

    Hunter Toth Member KJ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Just blue loctite on the bump stop bolt. I did not use a nut, I tapped the lower isolator plate. Have not interest in that thing vibrating off
     
  15. JJam2112

    JJam2112 Full Access Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA

    Tom i'd be interested to hear about this coilover type shock you have in the rear. what combination for you have and how did they mount?
     
  16. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,827
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Ohio
    Monroe load levelers for a 99-04 Dakota 4x4 clubCab , they have a spring over shock arrangement that allows you to carry extra weight
    I've been through 3-4 sets of them, Lifetime warranty ( or did have)
     
  17. JJam2112

    JJam2112 Full Access Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Very nice, Would love to see a pic of the set up. How is the ride quality compared to the jba 4in set up?
     
  18. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,827
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Ohio
    No different than a regular shock, bolts on the same, on 04s you have to trim the spring perch a little but bolts onto 02-12 KJs and KKs
    ride is no different until you put a lot of weight on and then no sag
    I started using them ( with people telling me I was stupid and they wouldn't work LOL) because of the RL rear bumper, extra gas, kilby gas tank skid, all the tools I carry etc, plus pulling trailers
     
  19. JJam2112

    JJam2112 Full Access Member

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    okay gotcha good to know. im guessing you use them alongside the rear springs and they just help with the weight, or just these and no springs?
     
  20. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,827
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Ohio
    LOL no you have to have rear springs or there would be nothing to hold the Liberty up, these provide additional support when loaded down is all
     
    JJam2112 likes this.