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Hard Ride Differencs Cj's

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by juffer, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Sep 4, 2018
    juffer

    juffer Juffer 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    Jun 16, 2007
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    Hi can anybody tell me why do the early cj's ride zo stiff compared with the latest model cj5. What should be adapted. And do the 1973 models ride the same as the 1969 shorter types. Maybe a stupid question, but like to know
     
  2. Sep 4, 2018
    Rozcoking23

    Rozcoking23 RUN & GET BIT!

    Stockton, CA
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    Mar 29, 2008
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    412
    the spring packs are usually 10 individual springs making the suspension very stiff on the earlier models.
     
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  3. Sep 4, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    We have discussed this a lot in the past. Many pages of posts to read if you search.

    The longer 84" wheelbase does ride a little better than the earlier 81" wheelbase.
     
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  4. Sep 4, 2018
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    The springs are what makes the ride stiff or soft. As mentioned, the Heavy Duty springs with many leaves ride like a buckboard.
    I have a Tuxedo Park CJ5a that had soft 2-stage springs. The fronts are a 6 leaf pack with four arched leaves and 2 the shortest leaves flat "overload" leaves. The rears are a 5 leaf pack with 3 arched leaves and the 2 short bottom overload springs. These rear springs were common on many regular CJ5's with standard suspension up through the '70s.
    These two stage springs allow the Jeep to ride on the arched soft leaves normally for a compliant ride, but when compressed a bit more, bottom out on the heavy flat leaves which are quite firm. Kind of the best of both worlds, and they actually flex very well off road. It seems everyone pulled them out from under their Jeeps early on and threw them away. Too bad, I think they were the best option from the factory.
    Does anyone have any of the original grooved 2-stage springs kicking around they want to part with? I might be an interested buyer.
    -Donny
     
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  5. Sep 5, 2018
    70cj5134f

    70cj5134f Member

    East Tn
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    Aug 18, 2018
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    Consider a YJ spring conversion?
    20180904_145036.jpg
     
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  6. Sep 5, 2018
    juffer

    juffer Juffer 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    Jun 16, 2007
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    Yes, I also adapted to a 2 leaf spring up front. But I can remember my 1979 CJ riding much softer. So I like to know is a 1973 rides like a 1979?. it is both 84 inch. Leafsprings to buy are the type 55-75 jear. But the 84 started at 72 I think. So the 72 uses the old spring type. Would it give the same harch ride as the old type CJ.
     
  7. Sep 5, 2018
    NCRenII

    NCRenII yellow fever

    Far Nor Cal
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    Sep 22, 2017
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    I've often thought about this and think it was the manufacturers means to prevent roll-overs.
    On several vehicles I've modified springs and shocks to soften ride.
    Multi-leaf spring packs of "softer steel" along with new technology shocks can provide softer ride while reducing "roll over" tendency and choppy ride of short wheelbase vehicles.
    I have not investigated sway bars (disconnectible for off road) for use on cj5's.
     
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  8. Sep 5, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    This is correct. With the springs mounted as far inboard as they are, soft springs would generate a dangerous amount of body roll. We have discussed this many times in previous posts.
     
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  9. Sep 5, 2018
    70cj5134f

    70cj5134f Member

    East Tn
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    Yes, that's me, great off road but (dangerous amount of body roll. )
     
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  10. Sep 7, 2018
    juffer

    juffer Juffer 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    Thanks, thats an answer to the "Why" question. Helpfull.
     
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  11. Sep 7, 2018
    juffer

    juffer Juffer 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    can you five me how you did it? What YJ leafs did you use , and what should be adapted?
     
  12. Sep 7, 2018
    70cj5134f

    70cj5134f Member

    East Tn
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    Aug 18, 2018
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    I bought rough country( 2-1/2 lift, 3 springs per wheel),YJ springs, they
    we're the least expensive spring my local jeep shop sold.
    I then removed the short spring(did not want that much lift,)YJs are heaver
    than cjs , and i was afraid i would get more lift than 2-1/2in.
    I replaced the short leaf I removed with a flat piece of old. Spring I cut
    12 in long.
    After assembling spring packs, I turned them upside down on concrete floor
    and parked a pickup truck on them overnight. This kinda dearched them,or
    softened them a bit.
    When I was still researching this mod, many recommend used stock YJ springs,
    And even stock ones would lift the cj5 because it's lighter.
    Then my jeep shop guy sold me all the correct spring hangers and shackels.
    I measured a stock YJ for spring hanger to shackle mount distance, you want shackles close
    to straight up and down with jeep on ground.
    Looking back, new stock height YJ springs might be the way to go to avoid
    having to dearch them. And still get 2in lift. I also used 1in lift shackles.
    Also bought new shock mount plates and correct U-bolts.
    Stock length shocks, rough country also.
    I'm considering adding a front sway bar and quick detach links.
    But I rarely drive more than bout 3-5 miles on county roads, 35-40 max safe speed,
    Lots body roll in curves, but off road, skinny pedal to the floor and hang on!
    If u do this mod I'll be happy to answer any questions while u r at it.
    Most important, hanger placement and good welds.
    You won't regreat it, rides soft off road kinda like atv.
    Google
    YJ springs on a CJ. All kinds info.
    Be aware they make a bolt on kit for this, I did not like the way it mounted, weld on
    mounts is the correct way to go. And since I built mine, many more vendors selling
    A kit. I bought mine a piece at a time, no kits were available. 20180902_170931.jpg 20180902_170920.jpg 20180902_170914.jpg
     
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  13. Sep 7, 2018
    NCRenII

    NCRenII yellow fever

    Far Nor Cal
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    Sep 22, 2017
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    I'd like to recommend approaching it somewhat differently. I see you are located out of North America so will give you the name of a companies in So Cal (I'm in Nor Cal but they amount of work they do I feel they have better products). Deaver Spring and National Spring. You'll have to be able to call them (maybe email?) and talk about what you are trying to achieve (soften ride without risking rollover tendecy). THey will help you with springs and *may* suggest shocks. Avoid Rancho and Procomp (or other nitrogen charged shock as they are very rough) Some very nice shocks (will cost $$) are Doetsch Tech's DT-3000, Rancho R9000x, ProComp MX-6 and Old Man Emu. Keep in mind that I am not sure these shock companies have shocks for our jeeps with stock mounting. You'll have to contact them with the stock height and height after new springs are installed to be sure you get the correct height. Lifting will require extending bump stops to not "crush" longer shocks on compression (max shortening of shock). I run OME on a XJ Cherokee and the ride is much improved on road (softer) and offroad it's stellar.
     
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  14. Sep 7, 2018
    70cj5134f

    70cj5134f Member

    East Tn
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    Aug 18, 2018
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    Extended bump stop.
    Anti shackle flip. 20180907_113717.jpg 20180907_113731.jpg
     
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  15. Sep 8, 2018
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
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    Oct 23, 2017
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    155
    The YJ swap is obviously a great way to go...

    Spring Length...
    I just wanted to add that the 76-up CJ's have both wider springs front and rear (2" front, 2.5" rear) and longer springs in front, which distributes the load better and allows for more articulation with a similar spring rate.

    The 55-75 Cj5's use the same springs. The fronts are 38" long (eye to eye) and the rears are 44"-44.5" long (44" is the same length as the YJ and late CJ springs, F&R). A simple way to get a better ride is to get quality modern springs (BDS for example), and/or put early/intermediate CJ5 rears in the front....they are longer so you have to move/reweld the spring mounts (about 3" in both directions), and make sure the axle is located in the same place. The only downside is staying with the 1.75" spring width....otherwise I've done this mod and it performs really well.
     
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  16. Sep 10, 2018
    xKraKeNx

    xKraKeNx New Member

    Ft Worth
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    Aug 2, 2018
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    25
    Thanks for posting this. I actually have groved 2 stage springs on both front and rear passenger side but I have the solid leafs with no grooves on the front and rear of the driver side. I never noticed the difference. No wonder my Jeep leans a little.
     
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  17. Sep 10, 2018
    Alan28

    Alan28 Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Ch√Ętillon en...
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    I drove today nearly 15 miles on small roads, it is OK with my 12 leaves of springs at the rear. I believed 13 but I counted 12. But if I drive on tracks between fields, it is quite hard ! I don't feel roll over tendancy but I take care.
     
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  18. Sep 12, 2018
    juffer

    juffer Juffer 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Netherlands
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    Thanks guys!! A lot of options here. I think I try the front springs of a later CJ. I have room on the front for 3 inch.
     
  19. Sep 12, 2018
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
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    155
    Hey Juffer, Yes, generally you can take the new hangers all the way to the end of the frame...about 3". Take care to set a proper shackle angle. But, again, just to confirm...

    Your current springs are---
    55-75 CJ5
    Front: 38" long x 1.75" wide
    Rear: 44" long x 1.75" wide

    Late model CJ's are---
    76-up CJ's
    Front: 44" x 2" wide
    Rear: 44" x 2.5" wide

    More Psycho-Babble, Ideas and Tips for planning:
    --My experience is with 55-75 CJ rears in the front...this is probably the easiest and most cost effective way to get a longer front spring due the the 1.75" width.
    --Wider springs may require creative solutions for the new hangers/brackets to clear a power steering box.
    --No 2 conversions are the same. Take lots of measurements.
    --Springs are measured eye to eye...spring arch will affect actual spring length, and the eye to eye measurement can vary by 1/2" or so with different springs/manufacturers.
    --You can remove a leaf or two to achieve a softer ride. This may take some experimentation, in order to observe compression, how the jeep sits etc. EG; you can turn a 6 leaf pack into a 5 leaf pack.
    --if you take this on, make sure your shackle angle is correct when you set your shackle hangers/brackets. This will also take some experimentation...tack things in place and see how it sits.
    --Keep in mind if you put in late model front springs, you're already half way to having late model CJ springs front and rear. And the rear is generally easier to do.
    --If you go to a 2.5" wide spring (ie wrangler, or rear cj springs) you'll probably want to put the wider spring perches on the axle housing.
    --While you're in there, it would be a good idea to box/reinforce areas of the frame around the new spring hangers
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  20. Sep 12, 2018
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    Just to ask - is there enough room/length on the front frame horns to just move the front shackle hanger forward to fit the longer rear springs? What I am asking...the rear springs are 6inches longer than the fronts, which I roughly assume means an extra 3" forward and rearward of the axle. Moving the rear spring hangers 3inches back along the frame rails shouldn't be a problem. But I am thinking its not so easy to move the front ones forward three inches without running out of room. Obviously, accommodating more length in the rear than the front begins to move the axle rearward which seems concerning... I am probably missing something obvious...I kind of like this idea of using the longer 1.75" rear springs on the front and just trying to get an idea of how to mount the front hanger. thanks
     

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