OME/Bilstein lift - it's time

Discussion in 'Lift Kit Discussion' started by dchadjohnson, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    Since I first started researching lift kits over a year ago, I've relocated from DC to Charlotte area and finally decided that it's time to replace my worn out stock suspension on my 07 KJ as the stock springs are currently sagged about an inch all around, perhaps due to additional weight from adding my skid plates and rock rails.

    So after much hemming and hawing, I'm going to do the fairly standard OME/Bilstein 2.5" lift setup. As best I can tell from my research (I've read so many forums now that my head is spinning) these are the parts I will need (with a couple of questions that I would appreciate any input/confirmation from those with more experience than me):

    • ARB 2927 Old Man Emu Front Coil Spring (2)
    • ARB 2948 Old Man Emu Rear Coil Spring (2)
    • Bilstein 24-139168 Front Shock Absorber (2)
    • Bilstein 24-185240 4600 Series Shock Absorber (2)
      (any advantage to go with the Bilstein 5100 series in the rear versus the 4600?)​
    • Teraflex 1903200 Front Bump Stop for 02-07 Jeep Liberty KJ (2)
      (any other recommended options for front bump stops?)​
    • Rear Bump Stops: 4 hockey pucks, 2.5" 3/8" bolts, washers, nuts
    • JBA Bilstein bushing kit

    As much as I'd love to get the JBA UCAs, those just aren't in the budget currently...though I'll start saving now :) I've read about people adding a top plate or clevis nuts in the front and additional isolators in the rear to get a little bit more lift - is that worth it with this OME/Bilstein 2.5" setup on my otherwise stock suspension? I don't want to stress my UCAs or ball joints too much.

    Gotta start calling around to local shops to see if I can get a deal on having the front springs compressed in return for an alignment...plus try to twist somebody's arm to come help with this project :) Thanks all - happy trails!
     
  2. ish_master

    ish_master New Member

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    Frankenlift / Tommudd Special

    I actually just finished installing my lift yesterday! Same setup that you are planning, with the addition of the JBA top plate and the extra upper isolator in the rear. I figured that since I was already in there, I might as well add them. Also Tommudd said that’s the way to do it. :-D Heading off to the tire shop for an alignment this afternoon.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    I didn’t use the hockey puck for my rear bump stops, I used the one that is sold on JBA’s site. I trimmed it down to the 2” mark, and then bolted it directly to the spring perch (with some red Loctite) after drilling and tapping.
    I also bought the upper mounts, and extra isolators for the struts so that I could swap out the complete strut package without have to have it built in the middle of the install.
    Honestly, the project was fairly straight forward. I used the how-to uhttp://www.jeepkj.com/forum/f202/how-install-frankenlift-*lots-pictures*-complete-29193/ by jfortier777. I would recommend reading through the whole write up as well as the comments, as there are a few things that folks did differently (such as not disconnecting the tie-rod ends).

    Best of luck to you with your lift! It was definitely an exciting endeavor for me!

    -Shua
     
  3. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    thanks for your detailed post about your lift kit experience. So you got one extra upper rear isolator for each side and the JBA front strut space plate kit? Is there any advantage/disadvantage that you know of between the front strut spacer plate kit and doing a clevis lift with rigid conduit locknuts? Also noticed you went with the Bilstein 5100 series rear shocks - do you know of any reason to prefer those over the 4600 series? Any other advice you can think of before I start ordering parts? Planning my install for mid to late next week. Hoping to keep total costs under $1000, but we'll see...not sure what a shop will charge to compress the front coil springs onto the new front strut assembly. Anyway, thanks again!
     
  4. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    following LOL
     
  5. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    thanks?
     
  6. ish_master

    ish_master New Member

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    My reasoning (right, wrong or indifferent) for the top plate in lieu of the clevis spacer, is so that the strut can still be fully engaged in the clevis. It makes sense to me. I have no reason to choose the 5100 series over the 4600 series, other than the fact that others have done the research and that’s what they’ve called for. My advice is to spray some penetrating oil now on the pieces that you’re going to have to manipulate later.

    Side note (not to jack OP’s thread), Tom any issues or anything that I may have missed that you can see in my photos? :-D
     
  7. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    Finally got the OME/Bilstein suspension lift installed this past weekend. Happy with the way things turned out. Pre-lift measurements (center hub to fender): 17" front, 18" rear. Post-lift (center hub to fender): 22 5/8" front, 22" rear - this will go down some after my alignment today, will update as necessary.

    BEFORE:
    [​IMG]

    AFTER:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    took my car to Firestone for a post-lift alignment...not very happy with the results though. i paid extra for their lifetime alignment thinking it would be a good investment - looks like i may be utilizing it sooner than i thought. not sure what they mean by "camber and caster measurements not accurate" - is that because of the lift? can anybody tell me if i should go back tomorrow and tell them to try again or will these numbers correct as the springs settle?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Simple means they do know jack about aligning a lifted KJ
    Which is simple if they know what they are doing.
     
  10. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    that's what I figured. guess I'll be going back tomorrow to talk to them (didn't have time this evening as they were closing when I picked up the Jeep)

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
     
  11. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    just dropped it off...told them to set camber and toe to spec and to get caster to 2.75+-.75. they said they would give it another shot

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  12. wlfpck

    wlfpck New Member

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    Did you make a bracket to lower the rear brake lines? If so, any pictures?
     
  13. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    yep not the greatest but they are functional[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  14. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Very simple to make , 5 inch piece of flat stock , bend in one inch from each end, drill two holes, one on either end. Bolt it up
     
  15. dchadjohnson

    dchadjohnson Full Access Member

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    well this is after alignment #2...I told them the alignment specs I wanted (OEM spec for camber and toe, 2.75+-.75 caster, no more than .5 cross caster) and this is the best they could do. the guy said at least it evened out side to side so it should ride ok. Ahhh frustrated...[​IMG]

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  16. NewIn4x4

    NewIn4x4 New Member

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    Hello, I am another newbie. So ill try my best not to ask too many dumb questions:)
    I got 2007 Limited Liberty. My stock height was about an average between 17-18". I installed a BDS kit (BDS442H) and i did also got new 4600 Bilsteins to replace the front shock. I had to straggle to put the "lifted" struts back in. Couldn't do it without loosening the LCA's a little bit to have more play. BDS lift is advertised as 1.5-2" lift. Now I'm sitting at 21-21.5" on the back and 22.5" front and thats 4+! Basically when i put the car on the ground it compresses the strut only by 1". Is that normal?
    Reading this thread i see that I'm not sitting too high as dchadjohnson got about the same. But my issue is that i barely have any down travel. Its about 1" before UCA's hit the coil with a big bang, when i go down a smallest curb! I did not aligned it yet. Can that be my issue?
    Spent one month with BDS support. They couldn't resolve it. My CV joints are also at there limit i think. Ill add some pictures later.

    Please let me know what are my options. Or what am i doing wrong?
    Even if i go with the OME lift i will and up at the same height as now so basically have the same issues.

    Thank you very much!
     
  17. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    First thing is get an alignment !!!!!!!
    Then report back, you can NOT measure before you have a good alignment done since that will change the height some
    Next 21 inches is only 2 inches of new height over stock height , you have a LONG ways to go before it is too high.
    I ran 4.5 inches over new stock height for over 100,000 miles ( 23.5 inches )
    As far as the springs hitting the UCAs , well again alignment
    I always do first alignment about 10 minutes after installing the lift, next in 750-1000 miles depending on how you use it and break it in
     
  18. NewIn4x4

    NewIn4x4 New Member

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    Thank you very much for your replay!
    I will try to find somebody to align it. The last place i went didn't want to do that because my lower ball joints have a play.
    I got a pair of Moogs and will try to press them inn. I also got JBA UCA's. Hope they will make a difference.
    Also, is it normal to have a hard time with getting lifted strut back inn? And is there a way for me to achieve good enough alignment to be able to drive it to a shop? After installing UCA's and ball joints.
     

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  19. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Throw those LBJs in if they have play then off to alignment
    drive it slowly and just get it to a good shop.
    I have seen people try and align one their selves. if nothing else it was comical
    It is easy to get the coilover back in if you have everything disconnected, and you do it right.
     
  20. NewIn4x4

    NewIn4x4 New Member

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    Then I either have some issue with the set up or doing something terribly wrong. The only thing left connected to the LCA was the nucle. And we barely got it in with 4 arms. No way I could of done it by myself.
    Not sure if you have anything to compare it to, but in the picture is my lifted strut. Is it what it should be, or it needs to be shorter?
    Thank you!
     

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