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Commando Springs On A Cj?

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by colojeepguy, Nov 17, 2023.

  1. Nov 17, 2023
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Have you actually driven a vehicle with the Holbrook springs or is it all theory?
    That conversion does give quite a bit of body roll. Manageable on the street if you’re aware of it but will never be a slot car. In reality it smoothes out washboard roads, flexes quite well, and holds up well. It was designed as a kit that most people could install with careful measuring and basic hand tools without welding. At that it excels. Is it as good as a Wrangler conversion? Debatable. YJ is much more stable but typically doesn’t flex or ride as well off road. The Holbrook springs came with a wedge on the rear springs for pinion angle. The way they were designed there was no more mods needed (other than 4 spring mounts that could be bolted on) than any other 2 1/2-3” spring lift.
    I’ve driven and wheeled both conversions. I’ve actually installed both conversions. All depends on what you are looking for, what your skill level is, time frame is, etc.

    As far as how many vehicles have it? Are you talking factory? That would be something called liability. If you’re talking YJ springs, this system was designed before YJ springs were readily available and yet still works well with minimum work comparatively.
     
  2. Nov 17, 2023
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Ok, now how does a hay wagon corner?
     
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  3. Nov 17, 2023
    Jw60

    Jw60 Cool school 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    Depends on the corner and size of tractor.
    I'ld rate most at 80%.
    You arrive at your destination with 8 out of ten bales.
     
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  4. Nov 17, 2023
    HellaSlow

    HellaSlow Member 2024 Sponsor

    Burbank, CA
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    Would removing a couple of the leafs from the CJ springs help soften the ride?
     
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  5. Nov 17, 2023
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

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    I may try that but with 33s I can't afford to lose much lift.
     
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  6. Nov 17, 2023
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Spokane Valley, WA
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    You’re talking it up, then admitting it’s a liability? Odd.

    There’s no practical reason to run asymmetrical leaf springs backwards. Asymmetrical springs were originally created to put the stiff (short) end in front of the rear axle to prevent axle wrap, while still allowing a soft ride. Why would one elect to reverse that? It’s reversing its intended purpose. The swing of the axle will be away from the t-case, needing more driveshaft spline travel while increasing axle tramp and lift under acceleration.

    Even mounted forwards (traditionally), the actual travel of the axle will only have marginally more travel than if the leaf spring was symmetrical with both ends being the same length as the short side. The center of the spring is where the most travel is, and that’s not where the axle is attached.

    There’s more science to it than just longer = better. That’s great that people like them and they perform well. But there are better options out there these days.
     
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  7. Nov 17, 2023
    73 cj5

    73 cj5 Not ready for the junkyard yet

    Clinton, Mississippi
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    Are you SOA?
     
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  8. Nov 17, 2023
    vtxtasy

    vtxtasy oldbee 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor

    Tucson, AZ
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    In your OP you spoke of replacing all 8 spring hangers to use Commando springs.. Is not this the same amount of work as installing the YJ springs?:shrug:
     
  9. Nov 17, 2023
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

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    Unfortunately no longer made AFAIK.
    I could get custom springs made for $$$$ but I thought if the Commando springs were doable that might be an option.

    No
     
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  10. Nov 17, 2023
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

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    You have to extend the frame for yj springs, they're longer.
     
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  11. Nov 17, 2023
    vtxtasy

    vtxtasy oldbee 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor

    Tucson, AZ
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    From what I have seen, the extension can be made up mostly in the hanger design and positioning. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
     
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  12. Nov 17, 2023
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
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    Well - as someone who has run the Holbrooks for years I'll lay out what I have seen - first hand.
    Body roll - yup, but softer springs will do that no matter what your running. I've fixed mine with adjustable shocks. Stiffen them a bit for the road, soften for wheeling. Also plays into the air in the tires.
    Wrap or angle change on drive train - Nope - not seen it or had any issues. I do run long stroke drive lines from Tom Woods.
    Articulation is MUCH improved - and this is on a flatty.

    Would I hesitate to run then on a 5? Nope.

    Frankly - I don't see any difference in the change of running the Holbrooks vs what you need to remember on the nose dive with reverse shackle setups. Run them both over the years. Don't like the dive when I might run on ice and snow, so its a no go in my book. Same as lunchbox lockers.
     
  13. Nov 17, 2023
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
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    Doug - depending on your time frame, I could help you with fabrication if you wanted. I've even out boarded spring hangers for folks putting Scout 44s under jeeps in the past.

    Most of the time is spent designing and making sure things fit.
     
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  14. Nov 17, 2023
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    One big advantage to YJ springs over Hollbrook-style or Commando springs is that there are many suppliers selling many arches and stiffnesses of YJ springs in the current day. That gives you tons of tunability once the fab work is done and cheap/available replacement parts.
     
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  15. Nov 17, 2023
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    In ‘64, the Tuxedo Park came with softer 2-stage springs, 6 leafs up front, 5 leafs in the rear. Other Cj5’s could have the same rear springs up to the early 70’s.
    The fronts had 4 arched leafs and the shortest two leafs were heavier/thicker flat leafs. The rears were similar, only one less arched leaf. Driving down the road, you were riding on the softer arched leafs, then when pushed, would stiffen up as the thicker flat leafs came into play. I remember that my Tux used to corner way more confidently than other CJs, but it did have body roll. It felt very predictable when cornering. The Tux also articulated better offroad than regular CJ5’s, but when pushed, the chassis flexed like regular CJs.
    The 2-stage springs might be another option to consider. There are 5 leaf rears being made by a couple spring companies, but no fronts available that I have found.
    -Donny
     
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  16. Nov 17, 2023
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    :lol::lol:
     
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  17. Nov 18, 2023
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash More or Less in Line. 2024 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    I put on the RR kit when I first built the Jeep. I was very inexperienced and bolt-on with instructions was great. Now with a bit more experience and wanting the shackle reversal I’m more comfortable without an instruction manual.
     
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  18. Nov 18, 2023
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

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    I may take you up on that, once we are both healthy!
    The impetus behind this question has been the recent Utah trip. The CJ did GREAT, but me not so much. I had an awesome time but it really beat me up bouncing over rocks for 5 days. This is actually one of the reasons I bought the Commando, they ride SO much better. However, those long rear springs equal a ton of rear overhang that would be a problem on a rough trail unless you had a ton of lift (which would ruin that Cadillac ride).

    This is a fair point. The Commando springs I'm looking at are quite spendy ( I haven't priced YJ springs yet but I'm assuming less $)
    2' Lift Kit, 1971-1973, Jeepster Commando and Jeep Commando – The JeepsterMan
    And if I wanted Holbrook style springs that would mean a custom build from someone like Alcan. They're very expensive as well & my previous experience with them wasn't the best. Plus with a custom spring setup, if I bend or break one it'd mean getting a new one custom made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2023
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  19. Nov 18, 2023
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
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    Apparently Benz will still make the Holbrook springs on order. The wait time is about 6 months. A lot of valid comments here on those. My installation on the 3B was pretty straight forward for the fronts although I ended up moving the axle 3/4" forward along with building custom hangers on both ends. I also added a 1 1/8" Addco sway bar with JK quick disconnects to control on-road body roll.

    The rear? Ryan's comments are right on. Between my short driveshaft and the effects of the asymmetrical springs, getting that driveshaft set at an acceptable angle through the limits of the wheel travel proved to be a bit of a challenge. The double cardan joint long spline shaft (Woods) was absolutely necessary and it still needed a limit strap. It is likely going to need a torque arm too but that is still a bit of a puzzle as to where I can actually fit one under there with the really limited real estate available.
     
  20. Nov 20, 2023
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    The Rocky Road YJ spring conversion kit.... some pretty expensive brackets that you are instructed to install in all the wrong places.
    Herm's power steering kit is barley worthy of going on a trailer queen.... and has no business being on a Jeep that will actually be put into 4WD.
    My problem with the Holbrook springs is they are custom made and not quickly replaceable. If you wheel a spring under, front shackle Jeep very much you will eventually bend or break a main leaf. YJ springs can be had overnite from Amazon, Summit, Ebay, wrecking yard, ect......
     
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