H&R Spring Review

Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
69
Reaction score
17
Location
Squamish, BC, Canada
Hey folks,

I recently purchased and installed a set of H&R springs for my KJ and decided to capture some photos and notes about my observations to share here. For the ease of formatting I put this info in a Google Doc, and then exported to a pdf which is attached here.

I'm super curious what other think about the spring data and comments I've made. Also about the stacked coils in front. I don't have a horse in the race other than wanting my vehicle to work.

Cheers!
 

Attachments

  • H&R Springs Review for Jeep KJ (2020 v1).pdf
    906.2 KB · Views: 135
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
69
Reaction score
17
Location
Squamish, BC, Canada
What made you want to change the Old Man Emu springs so quickly?
A couple of things combined, but generally all relating to too much lift...

1) The sway bar geometry was out of tolerance. Even after replacing the endlinks and bushings and playing with the bolts etc it was always just kinda binding and not allowing a natural movement. The ride quality with the sway bar on was completely unacceptable.
1b) With the sway bar off things worked much better, but it still suffered from a severe lack of downtravel and would regularly top-out the shocks. So the performance was still missing even tho it was very comfortable on paved roads.
2) Dramatic CV angle worried me. The inner boots had 4 ribs totally stacked and I was advised by several clever folks that it would certainly not be long before the boots tore, or worse.
3) I had terrible offroad traction. You could feel the difference in any turn above 30kmh on a dirt road. I would later learn it was because I had almost no downtravel left. By increasing the coilover preload that much, you basically trade downtravel for uptravel. Great for hitting big bumps, bad for coming down the other side of them.
4) They were too stiff. It was ok with the sway bar off but still lacked the sensitivity I was looking for.
 

uss2defiant

Full Access Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
3,574
Reaction score
143
Location
Tucson, Arizona
have you asked HR about the upper part of the spring being so stacked under static load? Thanks for the review.
it's one of the spring im considering.
 

kmitch

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
27
Location
Noblesville, IN
Reading through your review, you are asking why the coils when loaded seem to have no space between them.

One question I have in general, what is the weight difference between the V6 and the diesel, also between automatic and manuals. Greater weight on the front end could cause those coils to preload like that. I believe the manual is lower weight then the automatic though.

Another question is, could there be different length clevis?

Could the shock not be seating correctly in the clevis?

Since you've had similar issues between 2 different spring sets, I'd look at your other parts to narrow down the problem.

I'll be interested in your on/off road results. I'm looking for a little extra ground clearance without breaking the bank.
 
Last edited:

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
22,206
Reaction score
3,405
Location
Southeastern Ohio
Might want to find your manufacture date...

https://www.jeepkj.com/threads/liberty-lift-confusion.69489/page-3#post-771678

NOTHING, repeat nothing at all changed in the suspension from 02-07, nothing

Only thing the first few KJs that were built prior to April 12, 2002 were 3/4 of an inch taller


But when you remove the sagged out front springs from a KJ that was built prior to April 12, 2002 there is nothing at all there then to change anything
The front springs is what gave the 3/4 of an inch more height
 

WheelNut

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
85
Reaction score
54
Location
Vancouver, BC
Awesome review!! Great work. Well summarized points and very thorough. Your KJ looks great! Love the black wheels and black fender flares with the fully smooth roof. Hoping to maybe spot your truck one day out in Squamish.

Overall this sounds like a slightly better setup than the OME 927/948. When I replace the suspension on my KJ perhaps I will follow suit and give the H&R a try. The OME looks too jacked up IMO. The H&R stance seems more in proportion with the rest of the truck.

How is the tire rub situation with the 245/75R16s? Did you pound down the pinch welds? Any big increase in body roll on the highway with the rear sway bars removed?

Also, the tightly spaced coils at the top of the spring are a softer rate and typically they are intended to be "helper springs" that stop the the coil from ever becoming unloaded at full suspension droop. Its really just a safety thing. They stay fully compressed all the time as long as there is a bit of weight on the suspension.
 

mercdudecbr600

Full Access Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
250
Reaction score
65
I agree with you: looks better than the OME setup and sounds just about perfect for what I'd want. The HD OME setup looks kinda ridiculous.

That said, I kinda think this is an apples/oranges comparison because you didn't compare the H&R setup to an equal OME setup. You overloaded the spring rate with the HD OME coils but not on the H&R. I think a better comparison would be H&R to the light duty 925 (or medium duty 926) OME.

That said, I get that's what you compared because that's what you had previously installed. All good. I found this super informative, thanks for posting this!
 
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
69
Reaction score
17
Location
Squamish, BC, Canada
How is the tire rub situation with the 245/75R16s? Did you pound down the pinch welds? Any big increase in body roll on the highway with the rear sway bars removed?

Also, the tightly spaced coils at the top of the spring are a softer rate and typically they are intended to be "helper springs" that stop the the coil from ever becoming unloaded at full suspension droop. Its really just a safety thing. They stay fully compressed all the time as long as there is a bit of weight on the suspension.

Getting the pinch weld flat and molding the plastic as flat as possible is a must for this size/lift/offset combo. I needed to remove and mold a lot in front of the tires too. I suspect you wouldn't have quite the same rubbing in front with a lesser offset rim.

Removing the rear swaybar was slightly noticeable on the initial comparison test right after I took it off. But after that first drive I never noticed it at all. Removing the front swaybar yields a massive difference that you cannot forget about, however.

Ya I've come to understand the same about the stacked upper coils; that they act as a "tender" spring basically. Its actually smart how that works because it really reduces top-out force on the shock. That said, I don't see how that is better than a linear spring simply sized correctly to provide a reasonable preload. As discussed at length above, the 927 was giving me crazy high preload causing problems.
 
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
69
Reaction score
17
Location
Squamish, BC, Canada
I should actually share that after really breaking the H&R springs in (3+months), I have to conclude that they are too soft for running without the front swaybar. It was good for a while, but increasingly I'm bottoming out and rolling around a bit too much. I still think its a great product but one that is suitable to combine with the stock swaybar.

Since I stubbornly enjoy the independent articulation of the no-swaybar setup, I'll need to make another change. I need the spring rate of the 927s with the preload of the H&R's... hmm, cut 1.5" off the 927's? Yes I have :) Update in 3 weeks.

You'd laugh at me if you saw the spreadsheets and diagrams I have created to model all the suspension geometry. Its all so fascinating and so poorly explained in any resource I've been able to find.
 

mercdudecbr600

Full Access Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
250
Reaction score
65
I should actually share that after really breaking the H&R springs in (3+months), I have to conclude that they are too soft for running without the front swaybar. It was good for a while, but increasingly I'm bottoming out and rolling around a bit too much. I still think its a great product but one that is suitable to combine with the stock swaybar.

Since I stubbornly enjoy the independent articulation of the no-swaybar setup, I'll need to make another change. I need the spring rate of the 927s with the preload of the H&R's... hmm, cut 1.5" off the 927's? Yes I have :) Update in 3 weeks.

You'd laugh at me if you saw the spreadsheets and diagrams I have created to model all the suspension geometry. Its all so fascinating and so poorly explained in any resource I've been able to find.

Can you explain more about the ride? And have the springs sagged?
 

WheelNut

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
85
Reaction score
54
Location
Vancouver, BC
Can you post your suspension geometry diagrams? Please? I would be really interested in seeing those! There is some article floating around with a former Chrysler engineer going off about how the suspension guys set the front roll center too high and it didn't match the rear roll center nicely. Anyway, it would be interesting to see how the front end measures.
 
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
69
Reaction score
17
Location
Squamish, BC, Canada
Can you explain more about the ride? And have the springs sagged?
The springs haven't sagged measurably at rest. They just softened up a bit more since the initial break-in period of about 3 weeks. Not sure what to say about the ride that I haven't already described.

Its really tough to publicize technical data because it largely makes you accountable for its correctness. I'm an HVAC engineer, not a vehicle engineer. I want to give back to the community that has helped me so much but also feel it would invite endless scrutiny and provoke contention. Its not really a good story in terms of the geometry and performance metrics, unfortunately, and I'm not convinced the negative chatter is worthwhile.

I don't know anything about the vehicle weight distribution or roll centre btw.
 

mercdudecbr600

Full Access Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
250
Reaction score
65
The springs haven't sagged measurably at rest. They just softened up a bit more since the initial break-in period of about 3 weeks. Not sure what to say about the ride that I haven't already described.

Can you describe how: the vehicle drove on highway, on low speed roads, around bends, i.e. braking dive, corner control, NVH transmission, passenger comfort, wheel alignment, etc. and how it worked offroad, i.e. lift clearance, compression/rebound effects, etc.
Thanks!
 

SamAir77

New Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
hello Buddy
im very intrested in this set up of h&r coils.
shocks though its another story.
did you mentioned if the Travel of the stock is the same as bilsten or other shocks??
thanks
 

Dirtyduck

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hey bud, just doing a check in on how the coils are holding up now? Just about to order the h&r coils but would like an update on how yours are holding up. Thanks in advance
 

tommudd

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
22,206
Reaction score
3,405
Location
Southeastern Ohio
Just sitting back waiting for you guys to get 30-40,000 miles and have sagged /stacked coils
Ive ran OME 100,000 miles and then sold them to another member and he still got almost same height as I did when I installed them
 

WheelNut

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
85
Reaction score
54
Location
Vancouver, BC
I’ve got a set of these springs coming along with Bilstein 4600s. Also ordered from Essex. Good guys to deal with! I just Bilstein would provide more technical info on the dampers. I asked the guys at Essex and they don’t have much mor eof anything to add the what the Bilstein site has. The 4600s definitely do have digressive compression valving, but no details on what style of valve they are using.

Will let you all know how it goes. It’ll be a month of so for sure before everything arrives and then is installed and aligned. I’m in no rush anyhow as all of the back roads are under snow right for the next three-four months.
 

WheelNut

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
85
Reaction score
54
Location
Vancouver, BC
I had my H&R springs and Bilstein 4600s installed about 3 weeks ago. Front ride height immediately after the install was 22.5" (wheel center to fender flare). I haven't actually had it out in the dirt yet, but I'm hoping to soon. These springs are definitely a bit stiffer than the factory springs, so the ride isn't much better than it was before (my old shocks were in decent shape). The body control over large heaves and dips is definitely better though, so that is nice. My previous ride height was about 18-18.5". I will report back in a while with 'settled' heights.

I had the springs and shocks installed at the local Jeep dealer and they were great about it! I even brought my own parts and they didn't try to screw me over because it. I was very happily surprised! That's Ensign Pacific Jeep in Vancouver for any BC'er reading this. Much lower labour charge than what the guys at the off-road specialty shop across town wanted too. No alignment issues either.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Members online

No members online now.
Top