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Suspension Questions / Strategy - 66 Cj5 V6 Frame-up Rebuild

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by truckee4x4, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Jun 17, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    I'm finally wet-sandblasting my frame outside this summer so I can do the repairs and paint it up and get to putting her back together for my son to drive. He just turned four weeks the other day so I have some time...

    Anyway I'm trying to unravel what the PO did in terms of suspension to make a game plan for the rebuild. It seems as if I have OEM leaf springs in the front (10 leaf) and back (8 leaf - shouldn't they be 9?), but with aftermarket shackles at front and rear of chassis, which are 6.5" in length. The tires on it when I got it were BFG Mud Terrains, 33x10.50 R15.

    Shackles:
    Photo Jun 17, 11 10 45 AM.jpg
    Rear Springs:
    Photo Jun 17, 10 42 12 AM.jpg
    Front Springs:
    Photo Jun 17, 10 42 33 AM.jpg
    If you were me and you wanted to keep the rims/tires to save $, would you get these springs reconditioned? Buy new OEM ones from KW? Go to a Superlift 4" kit? Or am I buying trouble down the road with out-of-spec driveshaft angles? If it matters the front/rear ends are stock Dana 27, XFer Case is stock Dana 18, T86 3- speed, and I plan to do disc brakes in the front. The vehicle will be a forest road cruiser not a rock crawler.
     
  2. Jun 17, 2019
    Iandavidh

    Iandavidh Member

    California
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    You should be fine fitting 33s with a 2.5 lift. In my opinion a 4 inch lift is too high for an early cj. 33s wouldn’t fit with a bone stock suspension. I’m always leery of springs of an unknown origin(might just be me) in terms of quality, age, abuse, and ride quality. You basically get what you pay for with suspension in my experience
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  3. Jun 17, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    Those springs are likely very stiff, making for a "buckboard" hard ride. They will get the job done, but there are much better riding/articulating varieties out there. Also, keep in mind tires don't last forever, especially if they are used at all for road use. I would hesitate using tires more than 8-9 years old.
    Finally, shackles are measured from bolt hole to bolt hole. The factory length was only about 3" to 3 1/2", and the closer to these spec's, the better. This is even more important up front because long shackles create less caster angle on the front axle.
    -Donny
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  4. Jun 17, 2019
    Twin2

    Twin2 wasn't me Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    I would go with a 2 1/2 lift with stock length shackles . you can go with 33's if you want . really affects turn radius
     
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  5. Jun 18, 2019
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member Sponsor

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    I vote bds 2.5 mine ride nice and a no bs warranty.
     
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  6. Jun 18, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    For 33s...all you need is 2.5" lift and maybe a slightly longer than stock shacke. Another recommendation for the BDS spring kit...
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  7. Jun 18, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Thanks for the info everyone. Checked out BDS, looks nice! My wife reminded me that I bought the BFGs in 2008 (to replace the same size tires from Bubba that looked wore out) and lightly used them until I began the teardown last fall. So they are in fine shape, but I suppose I could sell them and downsize if needed. I agree with you that 4" is too much.

    So if I go with BDS and 2.5", should I use the oversize shackles that Bubba put on her or get new ones? If new ones (back to stock), what's a good source for those? Omix/Quadratec? Something else that's slightly longer than stock?
     
  8. Jun 18, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    I like the warrior 1" lift shackle. Would also consider adding castor shims while at it...will really help handling.
     
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  9. Jun 18, 2019
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member Sponsor

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    I run stock length greasy ones and no caster shim no odd handling. I wouldn’t add shims unless caster comes out shy.
     
  10. Jun 18, 2019
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
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    BDS gets my vote. My homemade 1/2 inch thick shackles are 1" longer than stock. I run 33x10.50x15 BFG AT. No rubbing or issues.
     
  11. Jun 19, 2019
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Resident Taco Maker 2019 Sponsor

    Cottonwood, Ca
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    What's your level of fabrication ability? The BDS replacement springs will ride good, YJ Old Man Emu springs will ride better.... Last weekend I helped a buddy convert his CJ7 to YJ springs from BDS. Very nice ride.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2019
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Sponsor Sponsor

    Sheboygan
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    id avoid anything omix.
    i bought 1" warrior shackles and really like the solid, one piece construction.
     
  13. Jun 19, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    for oem length replacement, those omix HD shackles are well regarded. Generally, omix has some questionable quality, but those have been used by a number of our members here with good results. I went with warrior because I wanted just a bit more clearance for the 33s. Also, member mcruff here can make you some quality shackles as well...and shims if you decide you need them.
     
  14. Jun 19, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Those springs look quite worn out. You'll notice that the center near the u-bolts is compressed together and the shorter leaves especially spread out from the pack. To me, this means that the temper has been lost near the center of the spring pack and the leaves are not supporting any of the Jeep's weight. All the reports I've read about reconditioned springs say that they lose temper rather quickly.

    There are Dayton replacement springs being made in the USA (supposedly) and they are being sold through RockAuto currently. Not going to be a whole lot cheaper than lift springs I believe, but you can get close to the original height and number of leaves of the original springs. site:earlycj5.com Dayton springs - Bing
     
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  15. Jun 19, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    @Norcal69 I've got some welding and fab skills, and access to a community shop I helped start here in Truckee that has welders, a CNC router, CNC plasma, mills and lathes.

    So with the setup I've got (33"s, looking at BDS 2.5") - go with the 1" lift Warrior shackles (or make my own)?
     
  16. Jun 19, 2019
    Iandavidh

    Iandavidh Member

    California
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    You could go whichever way you wanted. Warrior makes a good shackle but it might be fun(and cheaper) to make your own
     
  17. Jun 19, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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  18. Jun 19, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    1 inch longer shackles provides 1/2" lift as your only adding the lift on one end of the spring. The 1/2" lift are the ones I went with.
     
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  19. Jun 19, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Derp! Every time I log in here I learn something.

    I know there's been many suggestions for the BDS - looking seriously at those, however the Rough Country is a couple hundred bucks cheaper. Anyone have any experience with these?

    Rough Country 60030 2.5in Suspension Lift Kit for 55-68 Jeep CJ5 & CJ6
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  20. Jun 20, 2019
    txtoller

    txtoller Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
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    I used this on my 71....I was a little leery at first, but they have proved pretty good....I am not normally, a Rough country fan, this is the exception.
    [​IMG]
     
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