3.5" Econo lift hits rock bottom on the rear

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
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! :)

You must be registered for see images attach


You must be registered for see images attach
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
1,651
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
 

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
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
 

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
This is what it looks like - notice the bump stop on wrong side

You must be registered for see images attach


You must be registered for see images attach
 

lfhoward

Full Access Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
947
Reaction score
669
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!

You must be registered for see images attach
 

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
Yep... *****

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
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
1,651
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
 

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
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
 

lfhoward

Full Access Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
947
Reaction score
669
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.
 

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
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!
 

Chandler Solon

New Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
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.
 

Attachments

  • 20200221_2111152.jpg
    20200221_2111152.jpg
    220.4 KB · Views: 12

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
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
You must be registered for see images attach
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
1,651
Location
Southeastern Ohio
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
You must be registered for see images attach


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

next thing I truly hope you are joking about using loctite
 

Hunter Toth

Member
KJ Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
26
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
 

JJam2112

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
92
Reaction score
8
Location
Port Angeles, WA
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


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?
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
1,651
Location
Southeastern Ohio
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?
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)
 

JJam2112

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
92
Reaction score
8
Location
Port Angeles, WA
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)

Very nice, Would love to see a pic of the set up. How is the ride quality compared to the jba 4in set up?
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
1,651
Location
Southeastern Ohio
Very nice, Would love to see a pic of the set up. How is the ride quality compared to the jba 4in set up?
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
 

JJam2112

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
92
Reaction score
8
Location
Port Angeles, WA
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

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?
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
1,651
Location
Southeastern Ohio
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?
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
 
Top