OME $$$ in Canada; RC mech issues; and Dobinsons height...

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Hey All,
Another first time poster here. Firstly, thanks so much to the contributors on this forum, its incredibly helpful. I've been reading this forum for days and days. But looking at my options here in Canada puts a slightly different spin on things...

My 03 KJ (3.7L) is all stock with sagging springs needing new gear all-round. OME 927+948 is obviously the preferred choice. Only problem: these springs are $300 in Canada. Front struts also $300 ea and rear shocks $200 ea. So I'm looking at $1600 CAD plus tax (12%) plus strut assembly, plus installation, plus bumpstops, so about $2500 CAD total. ($1800 USD)
[edit: revised above costing]

This is too much $ for me and I need to find a lesser solution with better value. Stock replacements with no lift would be a minimal upgrade, so I'm considering this to be my lower bound of options and the full OME kit the upper bound. Is there something in between?

My objective is to access the mountain logging roads here in Squamish (Canada) including the occasionally severe waterbar. I'd like to be on 245/75 tires with a 2-3" lift over stock height.

The RC 3" kit is $450 CAD. (Yes, I understand why this kit *****.) I could pair this with stock-length Monroe QuickSruts (assembled coil+strut) for $110 ea making $750 CAD total plus install. I totally understanding that the driving experience would not be the same as the nice full OME specs, but seriously, would it really be so awful? Seems like it would replace springs with new stock equivalents (not high performance, but at least new) and be an improvement by adding lift to allow larger wheels. If the weak rear springs sag out in the future, or the Monroe struts wear, I could replace those with the OME parts as needed. I'm open to other options if anyone can suggest something less than "the best" (=OME=$$$).

I guess I'm not clear on the specific mechanical/maintenance risk associated with the RC lift in terms of the spacer which goes under the front strut/springs. It seems to me like the CVs and control arms are in the same angle/position as with a new/longer strut/spring. Also, when you add the Teraflex bumpstop, does that not also reduce the suspension travel to the same? I know people are going to yell "RC is crap, spend more money." But can we unpack this a little please. Its 1/4 the cost for all new equipment. So if its also 1/4 the ride quality and offroad capability, maybe thats a reasonable approach for someone on a budget or looking to ease into the investment. This kit is more attractive to me than the Daystar given that I want to replace springs allround regardless of quality and lift.

Last sub-question: Anyone used these Dobinsons springs+struts/shocks? Some folks tout them as OME equivalent in quality, and I may be able to get them at almost half the cost of OME here in Canada. The website says 35mm lift though, which would be a shame. Also not clear on the spring rate (if the front springs equal OME 925 or 927 for example).

So those are my main questions:
1) Mechanical issues with the front end of the RC kit considering new stock-length springs+struts
2) Dobinsons spring stiffness and ride height.
3) Do the new bumpstops reduce travel to stock?

Thanks in advance!
 
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duderz7

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What about working with a 4X4 shop just over the border in the US, and working a road trip into it?
 

Brendon Holt

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I'm not getting the same totals from the site you've linked.

$900 for front OME springs and struts ($300 is for the pair of springs)
$660 for rear OME springs and shocks (Same as above, $300 gets you the pair, not a single spring)

So you're at $1560 CAD for the parts, or about $1130 USD which isn't far from what it would cost to part out the same set of parts down here in the US if I piece together the kit off of Amazon or something. Still not cheap by any means but also not $2400.

As to going with the cheaper lift option I think the general line of argument against is that you'll end up paying more in the long run instead of the old "buy once, cry once" philosophy. Let's say you spend the $750 CAD on the RC lift and down the road the springs start to sag and the shocks and struts shit out on you. Now you need to start replacing parts and even if you replace it with another RC setup you're at basically the same price of just doing a good suspension lift in the first place. Or if you decide to transition to OME later down the road you've still spent more than if you'd just gone with OME in the first place.

[EDIT: Incorrect information redacted. See Tom's commentary on spacer lifts and stress on front suspension components below]. It's really mostly about having to pay more in the long run because poor equipment that wears out prematurely forcing you to then have to pay again down the road. Tom might have more to say about potential wear/stress issues with spacer lifts but that's what I've gathered in my research.

One thing you can do to bring the price down of the OME lift is to run Bilstein shocks and struts instead of the OME. Lots of people here have done that and it seems to work pretty well. There's also the H&R springs that you could pair with Bilsteins or something. They give you less lift but you could add extra isolators in the rear and add a clevis/strut mount spacer to try and pull 2" of lift out of it. I've been going back and forth between H&R and OME for my own purposes honestly because my planned use is very similar to yours, don't need much too crazy in the way of lift.

Can't really comment on the Dobinsons stuff.
 
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tommudd

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I think someone is thinking each spring instead of per pair
Also I would never-ever install a spacer lift on anything
I'd sell whatever I had a walk before destroying a vehicle
Bumpstops are a must , well unless you like blown shocks

You really need to read more
Any spacer lift is junk basically just in the way they make them then combine them with either weak stock springs and shocks or, well even new Monroes etc are basically stock junk
Front springs should of been at least 340-350 lb rating from the factory, they are 310 and even brand new rode like doo doo.I know bought my 04 brand new and hated the ride from the get go, few months later it had full OME spring set up and way better shocks than stock ever was
 
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tommudd

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I'm not getting the same totals from the site you've linked.

$900 for front OME springs and struts ($300 is for the pair of springs)
$660 for rear OME springs and shocks (Same as above, $300 gets you the pair, not a single spring)

So you're at $1560 CAD for the parts, or about $1130 USD which isn't far from what it would cost to part out the same set of parts down here in the US if I piece together the kit off of Amazon or something. Still not cheap by any means but also not $2400.

As to going with the cheaper lift option I think the general line of argument against is that you'll end up paying more in the long run instead of the old "buy once, cry once" philosophy. Let's say you spend the $750 CAD on the RC lift and down the road the springs start to sag and the shocks and struts shit out on you. Now you need to start replacing parts and even if you replace it with another RC setup you're at basically the same price of just doing a good suspension lift in the first place. Or if you decide to transition to OME later down the road you've still spent more than if you'd just gone with OME in the first place.

And as to the mechanical issues, I think you're right that the lift doesn't place any more stress on the CV, control arms, etc than the OME lift does. It's really mostly about having to pay more in the long run because poor equipment that wears out prematurely forcing you to then have to pay again down the road. Tom might have more to say about potential wear/stress issues with spacer lifts but that's what I've gathered in my research.

One thing you can do to bring the price down of the OME lift is to run Bilstein shocks and struts instead of the OME. Lots of people here have done that and it seems to work pretty well. There's also the H&R springs that you could pair with Bilsteins or something. They give you less lift but you could add extra isolators in the rear and add a clevis/strut mount spacer to try and pull 2" of lift out of it. I've been going back and forth between H&R and OME for my own purposes honestly because my planned use is very similar to yours, don't need much too crazy in the way of lift.

Can't really comment on the Dobinsons stuff.


Spacer LIFTS DO IN FACT place more stress on front end parts
Please do not spread false ideas/things to newbies
 

Brendon Holt

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Spacer LIFTS DO IN FACT place more stress on front end parts
Please do not spread false ideas/things to newbies

I wasn't sure, that's why I said to wait for you to come along for the definitive answer :) Wasn't meaning to spread false information! For my own curiosity and for the sake of the OP, how do they put more stress on front end components than a suspension lift?
 
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Hmm, if the coils are sold as pairs I've made a mistake which changes things a bit, making the OME route 2x$ instead of 4x$. My apologies.

I'd love to learn more about what to watch for if I went the RC route. Would it wear the CVs, ball joints, front struts??

I spoke to the Dobinsons rep; he said yes 35mm is real lift with the C29-020 front springs, and the C29-022 (the HD version) would probably yield >2" without steel bumper+winch. So that sounds similar to the OME 927, though he didn't want to comment on spring rate specifically.
 

Brendon Holt

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Weird to me that he wouldn't talk about spring rates since it's kind of a huge piece of how the suspension system works... Weak spring rates are a big part of the problem with a lot of the cheaper lift kits, I believe.
 

Doing10to20

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I cant argue that a full lift kit is always the best way to go if you can afford it..I personally went with day star spacers, I added the 99 dodge dakota 4x4 rear shocks, rr upper control arms and rr front strut trim packer i bought the jeep with 112k miles on it and now have 203k..I beat my kj I enjoy the hell out of it and I go everywhere with it and I live in Az so you know we have trails out here and daily drive it. To date I've only spent maybe 600 on the suspension...the ride isnt buttery smooth like a full lift kit, but my ride is comfortable..oh yeah and my 4yr old goes with me on the trails and hes fine with this set up during the ride. I also ride on 255/75/17 so I'm sure if I used a smaller tire the ride might improve. My set up bugs people on the forum but it works I've tested on the trails over the years
 

tommudd

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If you want less suspension travel in front by all means install a daystar, think about it a bit, yes it may hit you but then again most do not fully understand how a IFS works
But a spacer lift bugs no one on here, we have all heard and read the stories about them, what they cause over the last 15-16 years
So go ahead now with the name calling, just shows your age IQ
 

Doing10to20

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♂️ Anyways dude hope you find what works for you,then go out and hit them Canadian trails,seen them on YouTube and they look amazing.
 

Brendon Holt

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If you want less suspension travel in front by all means install a daystar, think about it a bit, yes it may hit you but then again most do not fully understand how a IFS works

Ah, the lack of suspension travel makes sense now as far as spacers causing more front end wear and tear. I didn't think of that one. Less suspension travel means the suspension is less capable of dealing with jarring terrain so instead of those forces being absorbed by the suspension it's transferred to the other front end components when the suspension runs out of ability to dissipate forces, right?
 
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Just heard from Dobinsons that their front HD spring (C29-022) is 405mm free height and 448 lbs/in spring rate.
Comparing that against ~310 stock and 400 of the highly regarded 927... 448 sounds like it might deliver an unpleasantly firm ride at low speed. Any thoughts?
 

LibertyTC

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Yes The 927's are at 400 lbs.
The OME 790 Diesel (heavy duty) is for someone with an ARB heavy front bumper and winch, they are rated at 500 lbs.
So yes I believe you may want a more compliant or softer ride ?
The 927's do perform well on rough roads.
I don't think I would want anything more firm myself.
You must be registered for see images attach

& I have an additional 60+ Lb re-enforced push bar up front with 927's.
 
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http://www.bilsteincanada.com/index.php?cPath=306_307_505_645

alternative bilsteins pricing for fronts in canada, dont' buy the rears won't work for lifted.

Thanks for the link, but I think these are actually cheaper at PartsEngine.ca

Front strut Bilstein 24-139168 $150/ea
https://www.partsengine.ca/24-139168-vp-bilstein-265.aspx?

Rear shock Bilstein 24-185660 $131 ea
https://www.partsengine.ca/bilstein-b8-5100-shock-absorber-p-74246.aspx
(this rear is correct for 2.5" lift right?)
 

LibertyTC

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Front shocks are standard KJ shocks 02-07.

Part# for the rear- you can use any "2004 Dodge Dakota Club Cab shocks" they have the correct travel.

I used 04 Dodge Dakota- Monroe coil overs # 58649 cause my 948's springs had sagged a lot after 6 years.
 

tommudd

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Front shocks are standard KJ shocks 02-07.

Part# for the rear- you can use any "2004 Dodge Dakota Club Cab shocks" they have the correct travel.

I used 04 Dodge Dakota- Monroe coil overs # 58649 cause my 948's springs had sagged a lot after 6 years.

99-04 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 4X4 shocks
 
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