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what all are the plans for the truck?  highway?  dd?  just-around-town truck?  trail-only?

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23 hours ago, Pete M said:

what all are the plans for the truck?  highway?  dd?  just-around-town truck?  trail-only?

going to be a daily driver/driving around town when finish. Probably won't see any real off roading. here's a link to a kit that I found, super lift https://www.superlift.com/2-5-inch-lift-kit-1986-1991-jeep-commanche-mj-with-superide-shocks. didn't know if anyone had used this kit and would recommend it ?

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definitely a cool lookin' tire :thumbsup: , but it's possible it might be too mud-oriented for street use.  do you get snow in your neck of the woods?  mud treads don't seem to do well in the frozen stuff.  I don't have any personal experience with that lift, but I see it has the longer lift leafs, which is much better than short ones.  

 

I can comment on tire size since I had a stock 4.0/stick way-back-when and the 3.07 gears in your axles are going to make driving around less fun since the bigger tires effectively reduce your axle ratio and make your engine feel less strong.  I  had 30" tires andt found it frustrating some times when pulling away from a stop.  later on, after my dana 35 ate itself, I upgraded to a 3.55 ratio axle and it was much better. :D with 31s, I'd suggest 4.10s if you can find the axles. 

 

be careful about 4x4s, as there is a slippery slop of upgrades where one begets anothe, which begets another, etc.  each inch of lift/tires seems to cost twice what the last inch did.  :doh:  but that mostly means that you need to have a plan and know what you're getting into so you don't get overwhelmed. :thumbsup:  planning is all free at this point.  :D  

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On 1/14/2018 at 11:10 PM, Pete M said:

definitely a cool lookin' tire :thumbsup: , but it's possible it might be too mud-oriented for street use.  do you get snow in your neck of the woods?  mud treads don't seem to do well in the frozen stuff.  I don't have any personal experience with that lift, but I see it has the longer lift leafs, which is much better than short ones.  

 

I can comment on tire size since I had a stock 4.0/stick way-back-when and the 3.07 gears in your axles are going to make driving around less fun since the bigger tires effectively reduce your axle ratio and make your engine feel less strong.  I  had 30" tires andt found it frustrating some times when pulling away from a stop.  later on, after my dana 35 ate itself, I upgraded to a 3.55 ratio axle and it was much better. :D with 31s, I'd suggest 4.10s if you can find the axles. 

 

be careful about 4x4s, as there is a slippery slop of upgrades where one begets anothe, which begets another, etc.  each inch of lift/tires seems to cost twice what the last inch did.  :doh:  but that mostly means that you need to have a plan and know what you're getting into so you don't get overwhelmed. :thumbsup:  planning is all free at this point.  :D  

Ok thanks for the tips pete. I going to try to went i get to point of buying wheels and tires see if quadratc can trade out the 265/75/16 micky thompson to an 245/75/16 bfgoodrich ko2 all terrain.

 

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On 1/14/2018 at 9:36 PM, Blaine.D said:

going to be a daily driver/driving around town when finish. Probably won't see any real off roading. here's a link to a kit that I found, super lift https://www.superlift.com/2-5-inch-lift-kit-1986-1991-jeep-commanche-mj-with-superide-shocks. didn't know if anyone had used this kit and would recommend it ?

 

If all you want is to make the front level with the rear (dunno why you would do that, but it's your truck) then why are you even looking at a kit that also lifts the rear?

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18 hours ago, Eagle said:

 

If all you want is to make the front level with the rear (dunno why you would do that, but it's your truck) then why are you even looking at a kit that also lifts the rear?

Well i was tossing around the idea of lifting it. I at point in my rebuild of it that it would be smarter and cheaper to get a lift kit now than later due to need of replacing shocks, brushing and etc. Just was trying to see if there was a reasonable price kit that anyone would recommend. 

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a budget boost (lift pucks and shackles) is under 100 and gives you a small bump to get it more 4x4-lookin'. :thumbsup:  

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Honestly, given the tire size you want to run, and the fact that you really just want to level the truck... 

 

My advice would be to take the $500 and buy a set of 1.75" pucks for the front (RE1334) and upgrade yourself to 4 reputable gas shocks ($200-300).  Forget the no-name hydros.  Good shocks are an OK area to splurge because they probably have the biggest impact on your perceived ride quality.  Don't do anything to the rear springs.  It's a good idea to measure your current rake before dishing out for the pucks, but I'd wager 1.75" should get you close without going over.  Personally, I like a bit of rake.

 

Tighten up your front suspension with stock replacement upper/lower control arms (MOOG CK620244 / CK660203) and front axle bushings (MOOG K3131).  Price them out on RockAuto.  I bet you could get all this done with cash to spare. 

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I'm fairly much with DesertRat1991 on this.  But I'd do it a little different.

 

I'd look at the condition your coil springs are in before buying spacers.  If the truck has any lean, or one is broken or has and uneven set in it, or they're super rusty and the truck has lots of miles, I'd say you're better off buying some V8 ZJ style coils.  Moog makes some variable ones for not much money ($50/pair or so): http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=201281&cc=1182057&jsn=2521   I don't actually know how much lift they will give you, its should be almost 2" or a bit less.  They actually list them as being a "Heavy Duty" option for the XJ, and they have about a 3/4" more free height and 20lbs more rate than their regular XJ ones.  Being variable rate they will be a little nicer ride.

 

Their regular XJ coils for comparison (they're also variable rate): http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=201281&cc=1182057&jsn=2521

 

For shocks I would say just buy some Bilsteins and get it over with.  I can dig you up the P/N for a rear that fits since Bilstein doesn't list it, if you want.  Maybe 5% of lift kits come with shocks worth running, the rest are complete garbage.  If you don't want to spend as much do the fronts at least, the rears will be less noticeable.

 

For the control arms the stock replacement uppers are fine.  Do the bushings in the axle too, I'll warn you they're a pain in the butt to change.  I'd get WJ arms for the lowers and mod them so they fit, they have a vibration absorbing bushing in them that does improve the ride.

 

Moog WJ arms: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3983961&cc=1381452&jsn=390

 

Something like $30/each.  (I didn't feel like switching the pricing on the site, I have it in cnd so it's a bit of a guess on the conversion).

 

Mevotech: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6115977&cc=1381452&jsn=398

 

$40/each, obviously a better product.

 

You'll also want some caster shims and maybe new forks (they tend to break when you go to put the shims in).  I think Hornbrod or Cruiser posted the p/n for these at some point, I don't know it and they may be dealer only.  Adding a couple shims will make it drive better.

 

Spend the rest of your budget on upgrading the steering to the V8 ZJ/later XJ stuff, a new steering stabilizer, swaybar bushings and end links, and replacing any worn ball joints or brake parts, or anything else that looks ugly when you get in there.

 

IMHO the end result of doing this will be much better than throwing an entry level lift kit at it.

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if a guy goes with a coil spacer 1.5" or 1.75" with the stock spring will stock front shocks fit just fine or will I need to get a shock that is and inch or two longer?

 

 

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On 1/18/2018 at 4:39 AM, DirtyComanche said:

I'm fairly much with DesertRat1991 on this.  But I'd do it a little different.

 

I'd look at the condition your coil springs are in before buying spacers.  If the truck has any lean, or one is broken or has and uneven set in it, or they're super rusty and the truck has lots of miles, I'd say you're better off buying some V8 ZJ style coils.  Moog makes some variable ones for not much money ($50/pair or so): http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=201281&cc=1182057&jsn=2521   I don't actually know how much lift they will give you, its should be almost 2" or a bit less.  They actually list them as being a "Heavy Duty" option for the XJ, and they have about a 3/4" more free height and 20lbs more rate than their regular XJ ones.  Being variable rate they will be a little nicer ride.

 

Their regular XJ coils for comparison (they're also variable rate): http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=201281&cc=1182057&jsn=2521

 

For shocks I would say just buy some Bilsteins and get it over with.  I can dig you up the P/N for a rear that fits since Bilstein doesn't list it, if you want.  Maybe 5% of lift kits come with shocks worth running, the rest are complete garbage.  If you don't want to spend as much do the fronts at least, the rears will be less noticeable.

 

For the control arms the stock replacement uppers are fine.  Do the bushings in the axle too, I'll warn you they're a pain in the butt to change.  I'd get WJ arms for the lowers and mod them so they fit, they have a vibration absorbing bushing in them that does improve the ride.

 

Moog WJ arms: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3983961&cc=1381452&jsn=390

 

Something like $30/each.  (I didn't feel like switching the pricing on the site, I have it in cnd so it's a bit of a guess on the conversion).

 

Mevotech: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6115977&cc=1381452&jsn=398

 

$40/each, obviously a better product.

 

You'll also want some caster shims and maybe new forks (they tend to break when you go to put the shims in).  I think Hornbrod or Cruiser posted the p/n for these at some point, I don't know it and they may be dealer only.  Adding a couple shims will make it drive better.

 

Spend the rest of your budget on upgrading the steering to the V8 ZJ/later XJ stuff, a new steering stabilizer, swaybar bushings and end links, and replacing any worn ball joints or brake parts, or anything else that looks ugly when you get in there.

 

IMHO the end result of doing this will be much better than throwing an entry level lift kit at it.

Excellent!! DesertRat as well. Good advice.

I may consider the V8ZJ coils for mine.. anyone have any experience with those coils on an MJ?

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2 hours ago, BareThrylls said:

Excellent!! DesertRat as well. Good advice.

I may consider the V8ZJ coils for mine.. anyone have any experience with those coils on an MJ?

 

Not on an MJ, but Jeep used the same coils for the Up Country suspension in the late model Cherokees. When I bought a 2000 XJ new with Up Country I pulled the part numbers off the front coils and went to the dealership to buy a set for my '87 MJ. The parts guy asked why I was buying ZJ coils for an MJ. They ride 1-inch higher than "stock." Ride is better than the standard springs (IMHO).

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Ive got used junkyard zj 8 coils in my 88 swb mj and a bastard pack rear with the main leaf swapped from I believe a 2005 ish durrango leaf. It worked out great. I also did some slight modding to some brand new shackles at autozone. I think they were the chevy style you find on the shelf any day of the week at all their stores. The combination of leaf/shackle and coil kept close to the same rake and lifted the truck about the same front and rear. I kept the shocks that were on it. I have a higher loading capacity. The ride is great probably the best of all my rusty mjs. It was done for about 100 bucks. Shackles were like 30-35, used coils at jy 30-35 a pair, I think they actually only charged me like 10 or 15 a piece for the leaf pack too. I took it home knowing I most likely just use the main but wanted the rest for future experimental building. You also will need longer leaf pack bolts. This is were I need a better source. I get charged 8 to 10 a piece on these. The last set I went cheap got grade 8 hardware regular hex head and took them to the grinding wheel. Ive been running a xj with about 5 inches of lift with those bolts going on 5 years and over 60000 street and mild wheelin miles and no problems yet. don't be afraid to be cheap and creative. Factory and store bought years ago was all I new. Life happened, bad accident, loss of job, income off jobs not paid to me, family to worry about. I became a mechanic quick as well as other professions. Soon I realized jeeps were easy to learn about and goodbye gas guzzling 454 chevy dually.  Goodbye 2500 3/4 ton chevy truck and goodbye z71. Sold all 3 trucks in less than a year and bought 3 xjs within a year all around 500 or less in good shape and drove em home. The jeep sickness began as well as learning and buying tools. Then learning I don't need all the tools and how to be creative that way. The fun comes in figuring out how cheap you can fabricate or fix it with what's laying around. I had a brand new stainless steel front brake line blow out on 465 on me here. Its the major highway loop around Indianapolis. I was on my way to work. I luckily had the stock line brake fluid and wrenches still in the truck along with my standar tool kit. I found a piece of angled aluminum that was scrap riding in back. I drilled a hole on one side and the other made a drop bracket and bolted in the new line and a quick one handed bleed. I was fortunite it was driver front. I limped it to work brakes were really soft. I was about 45 min late. I do side work odds and ends so luckly all that was in the xj since I removed the rear seat trim and carpet years back and made it my junkyard hualn and side job truck. The line blew from rubbing the tire the sunday before offroading at haspin. I have a i6 motor and transfer case with tools in back of it now as I'm typing this with room to spare. Its gonna be put in my mj after its painted. Ill switch the Renault over to H.O. and drop an ax 15 I got in it.

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On 2/11/2018 at 6:55 PM, Comanche mj said:

I have a set  31 10.5 I wanna put n my 89 but they catch my fender flairs when I turn if I spread the springs 1-2 inches will I be able to run them with no catch.

 

31s shouldn't hit the flares. What wheels are you running?

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I really hope "spread the springs" doesn't mean taking some of those cheap coil spring compressors and inverting them to stretch a coil apart for a small lift... I've seen it done but that goes well beyond sketchy to outright dangerous.

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On 2/11/2018 at 6:55 PM, Pete M said:

"spread the springs"?  

 

Coil spring spreaders or compressors - have been around forever.  I used them back in the day when I was a dumbazz kid and didn't know any better.  :crazy:

 

18-1201a.jpg?crc=4225124836       18-1201a%20springinstalled.jpg?crc=25000

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definitely don't do that! :crazy:   the safe cheap lift comes from poly spacers that go on top of the springs.  :thumbsup:  

 

513a2I2UdUL._SX355_.jpg

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Buddy of mine has a '76 Impala, and the guy he bought it from wa a drywaller and used it to pull his work trailer and boat and probably some other stuff, claimed he put "heavy duty springs" in for a little extra height in the back. We were underneath looking at a leak from the rear diff when we noticed those, bolts bent to crap, one of them about to pop out. We'd just been doing some real tight twisties down to the coast in Oregon or Northern California with massive drops off one side of the road, he claimed the handling was massively sketchy the whole way down, like, more sketchy than a massive old yatch normally should be. After we pulled those out (very gingerly with the rear end dangling as far as it could) it only lost about an inch of height but handling was massively improved. He was throwing that old boat pretty hard into some of those corners at first, so we're pretty lucky none of them popped out on him. My MJ on 300,000 mile original suspension still left him in the dust through those roads. ;)

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There hasn't been a lot of mentioning of just buying a kit and really if going from junk yard to junk yard is a little out of your league, a kit will do fine for a DD. I had the same idea about a year ago about getting a kit to fit 31s and I ended up going with the 3" add a leaf kit from Rusty's. http://www.rustysoffroad.com/rustys-mj-comanche-3-add-a-leaf-kit.html It comes with everything you need , although the add a leaf will not produce the advertised 3" on the rear. I've had no issues with this lift since I put it on. Making a kit yourself will get you better value and doing it now having more experience I would go that route but regular kits are nice when you don't know exactly what your doing. 

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We come back to the basic reality that you don't need ANY lift to run 31" tires, if you run Jeep rims. So now the question is, why do you really want to lift your truck, and how much do you want to lift it? Personally, I bought an '88 MJ that came with a 4-inch lift and I dropped it back to stock height -- with 31-inch tires. It rode better, handled batter, and was just as capable off-road.

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^^^this is one of the reasons I haven't been too thrilled about the Rusty's 3" lift. It's a good reference point for the basics of what you need in a basic lift in addition to just springs, but when they talk about needing 3" lift to clear 31's, or alternative to lift blocks, it's pretty clear they aren't really all that focussed on MJ stuff. 

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