crashed my 2007 KJ - should I get another KJ or KK?

jagyuma

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What the hell kind of roads are you driving on that you constantly scrape the middle of the bottom of the KJ? Must be some seriously deep ruts in that two-track.

Depending on the source, ground clearance for my '03, for example, range from 7.9" minimum, up to 8.9 inches.

From autoblog.com:

EXTERIOR
Length 174.4 "
Body width 71.6 "
Body height 70.2 "
Wheelbase 104.3 "
Ground clearance 8.9 "
Curb 4,070 Lbs.
Gross weight 5,600 Lbs.

From 2003 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4WD - 4x4Review Off Road Magazine:

They state 9.6 for an 03 Renegade.. but I'm not sure I'd believe that. Realistically, with non-sagged suspension, the KJ should be at about 8.0" or just above.

The ruts weren't that deep, and I was surprised that I heard gravel sliding on the underside because I thought the KJ clearance was supposed to be good.

My 9-year old KJ had about 90k miles driving on it with another 90k miles km being towed behind our motorhome. Everything (shocks, springs, etc.) was the original. Is it possible that the suspension was sagging. When it was in for service, I asked the tech about the springs/shocks. He inspected and said they were fine. I found that hard to believe that the shocks were still good after all of that driving and towing. Anyway, maybe that's why I was dragging?
 

jagyuma

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The 2" Daystar lift wouldn't give you 2" of lift since it reuses stock, worn out parts. Get OME springs and your choice of shocks, you'll probably be sitting at 10-11" under the front skid without adding extras to the lift.

Sounds like you might want to get another KJ. I don't think you can get the same ground clearance under a Rene or KL yet.

I asked the guys who did the lift if I needed new shocks/springs and they "checked" them (I have no idea what that means) and they said they were ok. You would think they would seize the opportunity to sell me more stuff, but they said they were fine.

As I said in my response above to another post, my shocks & springs were original after 100k miles of driving and another 100k miles of being towed. So I guess they were worn out. I'll take you advice and if there's a next time for a lift, I'll change springs & shocks too.

Yes, I think I'm leaning back towards the KJ and away from the Renegade.
 

JasonJ

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The ruts weren't that deep, and I was surprised that I heard gravel sliding on the underside because I thought the KJ clearance was supposed to be good.

My 9-year old KJ had about 90k miles driving on it with another 90k miles km being towed behind our motorhome. Everything (shocks, springs, etc.) was the original. Is it possible that the suspension was sagging. When it was in for service, I asked the tech about the springs/shocks. He inspected and said they were fine. I found that hard to believe that the shocks were still good after all of that driving and towing. Anyway, maybe that's why I was dragging?

The KJ DOES have good clearance, approach and departure angles aren't half bad either.

180K miles on those shocks and springs, they for sure were worn out, sagged and sitting much lower than originally. It only took about 20-40k miles for the OE springs to lose their height.

My 03 I had bought at 60,630 miles. It was already 3/4" lower than when new, and today, at 131,140 miles, it sits a total of 1.5" lower than new, so low that it changed both my wheel alignment and started chewing up the inside edges of my tires, AND it threw my headlight alignment off as well!

When those guys "checked" your shocks and springs, they were likely just looking for leaks in the shocks, saw none and said good to go. Not so. It's more the springs that are the issue. The OE springs were/are easily 25% weaker than they should have been for this vehicle.
 

tommudd

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The ruts weren't that deep, and I was surprised that I heard gravel sliding on the underside because I thought the KJ clearance was supposed to be good.

My 9-year old KJ had about 90k miles driving on it with another 90k miles km being towed behind our motorhome. Everything (shocks, springs, etc.) was the original. Is it possible that the suspension was sagging. When it was in for service, I asked the tech about the springs/shocks. He inspected and said they were fine. I found that hard to believe that the shocks were still good after all of that driving and towing. Anyway, maybe that's why I was dragging?

At that many miles you were WAY past due to new springs and shocks, common sense , actually I've seen them at 65,000 be worn out sitting lower than stock. So yes totally possible.
Techs.....we have good ones and bad ones , some are just too lazy to do more than needed. I used to manage Tire and Auto repair stores for Goodyear and others. Took over one with 7 techs, only two of them would actually look for bad parts. fired 5 , got new ones and sales went through the roof. Not selling unneeded parts but parts that were completely worn out
 

jagyuma

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Ok, that's good information about shocks and springs. I'm a bit embarrassed that I drove it for so long with the original shocks & springs. If I get another KJ, I'll definitely replace them. Heck I might not even need the lift kit, but I would probably do it anyway at the same time.
 

HoosierJeeper

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OME springs will give you lift anyway, about 2" over new height, or 2.5" over what most are sagged out at. You can add extras (top plates, clevis lift, extra rear isolators etc) to get more height. I didn't do anything extra besides a bit of clevis lift and I've followed slightly higher KJs over everything they did offroad.
 

tommudd

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Ok, that's good information about shocks and springs. I'm a bit embarrassed that I drove it for so long with the original shocks & springs. If I get another KJ, I'll definitely replace them. Heck I might not even need the lift kit, but I would probably do it anyway at the same time.

OME 925/947 combo gives you about 1.5 inches of lift over new stock with front springs rated at 350 lbs, new stock 310 lb
OME 926/948 combo gives you about 1.75-2 inches over new stock, rated at 375 lbs
927/948 combo gives you 2.5 inches of lift over new stock, front rated at 400 lbs
Most everyone uses the 927/948 combo, from over 50 KJ lifts only installed one 925/947 combo for an older gentleman who just wanted better ride than stock
 
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