where to start...

Discussion in 'Lift Kit Discussion' started by jeeperkeeper, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. jeeperkeeper

    jeeperkeeper New Member

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    I admit, I know jack shit about trucks and lifts... I have a million questions and lots of confusion. Where would be a good place to start to familiarize myself with suspensions and lifts to understand the basics before I start asking the "which lift" questions? I think I need to understand the basic terms for parts and what it all does before I can get into this and it's all a bit overwhelming.

    Anyone have advice on how to educate myself fairly quickly on suspension basics? Something with pictures of suspension parts and little cheesy arrows saying what the parts are and what they do would be perfect.

    don't laugh... I need to start somewhere!
     
  2. jeeperkeeper

    jeeperkeeper New Member

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    also any general advice on rollover risks and other general information I should be concerned with when thinking of lifting. I just want to fully understand the overall risks/vs improvements.

    thanks again...
     
  3. kj lad

    kj lad Full Access Member

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    Firstly, the KJ has independant front suspension. This limits your options when lifting. The maximum safe lift height is thought to be 2.5" at the front as anything else will destroy the CV's and upper ball joints.

    There are now three lift types available:

    1. Complete spring/strut/shock replacements. These are considered a great way to get a few inches but are usually more expensive than the spacer lifts.

    2. Spacer lifts. These are cheaper and are also effective (although the RRO OTT lift appears to be a poor kit, this is not to be confused with RRO combo lift that seems to be a good lift!).

    3. There is also now a lift that involves lowering the front suspension cradle which allows a greater than 2.5" lift. This is brand new and seems to be untested as yet.

    If you install a spring replacement or a spacer lift you WILL put extra stress on the suspension componants and so could result in damage. But that's a risk you have to take.

    Extra lift can be gained by a 'clevis' lift. This uses the protruding part of the clevis to produce extra lift.

    You will increase the vehicles centre of gravity and in theory could cause cornering problems, but nobody seems to notice much difference.

    I suggest you look read all the posts in this section and look at other KJ site message boards (the LOST site http://p087.ezboard.com/fkjjeepfrm3.showMessage?topicID=1227.topic
    has a good section that could help you). You'll find most KJ owners are only too happy to give you the benefit of their experience.

    Ian

    PS sorry to anyone who thinks I've over stepped the mark be recommending another KJ discussion board, but I think the link is well worth reading if you want to lift a KJ.
     
  4. jeeperkeeper

    jeeperkeeper New Member

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    thanks kj lad....
    looks like I have lots to learn. so, if I want to lift for actual off-road performance I want longer springs and shocks, correct? the spacer lifts are basically for aesthetics? I want actual ground clearance...
     
  5. kj lad

    kj lad Full Access Member

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    The spacers can and will give the same ground clearance as a spring change setup. You can run 31" tyres on either the spacer or spring lift kits (we're talking 2.5" lift and maybe involve minimal trimming).

    Therefore you should get about an extra 3.5" (i.e. 2.5" lift + 1" tyre radius) at the engine skid plate and about 1" extra at the rear diff.

    The key is the amount of flex you get on your lift. That tends to be down the shocks and strutts you use. Extra flex is difficult to get at the front because the IFS literally interefers with how far the wheels travel up or down. It seems that an 1/2" travel can be gained at the front. However, the rear is a kettle of fish! The rear is a traditional solid axle so improved flex can be gained by longer shocks.

    Longer shocks are usually part of the spring replacement kit. Spacer kits can be run without longer shocks but longer shocks are recommended for the best results. These need to be bought seperately.

    Ian