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Suspension upgrade for my 69 Jeep CJ5

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Roberts1969CJ, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Feb 15, 2015
    Roberts1969CJ

    Roberts1969CJ Member

    Germantown,...
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    Looking to replace and upgrade my original stock suspension with something that has a smoother ride and comfort on and off road. I have looked at BDS, Skyjacker, Zone, Rugged Ridge, and Rough Country. I am leaning towards to BDS 2 1/2" Suspension kit. I would love to get some feedback if someone has used one of these kits and what is the best application for the buck. I would say I am on the road 85% of the time and off road 15%. I have 31 x 10 tires and I do not plan on going any bigger.


    jeep toss
     
  2. Feb 15, 2015
    Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Senior member

    Boise, Idaho
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    I like BDS products and their warranty. Unfortunately, most any brand kits for a leaf spring short wheelbase rig are still gonna ride like an old buckboard.
    Some adjustable shocks like the old Rancho 9000 series can help with the ride. Tire pressure will likely have more effect on the ride than anything.
     
    Rick Whitson likes this.
  3. Feb 15, 2015
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    That's exactly my set up...BDS 2.5" springs, RS9000's & 31X 10.50 X15 tires.
    (Cooper STT's)
    It works pretty well, but nobody's going to mistake it for a Coupe DeVille.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2015
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

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    Moved to proper forum.
    For a very good ride with good suspension flex check out the Holbrook spring conversion. Easy to do but isn't cheap. Works very well. http://holbrookspecialties.com/
    If you look closely at the yellow 3b (Owned by Richard Imholt) you can see the original spring mounts on the frame as compared to the new ones. I drove that Jeep in Moab, Utah and the flex and ride quality was amazing after the conversion.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2015
    Roberts1969CJ

    Roberts1969CJ Member

    Germantown,...
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    Thanks Nick, Colojeepguy and Tumbleweed. Sorry about posting on the wrong forum. The springs on the Jeep now have like 12 springs in the front and 9 in the rear. I am hoping an upgrade will improve the ride somewhat. I do have some additional weight on the front bumper, I have a Warn 8274-50.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2015
    Twin2

    Twin2 wasn't me Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    As the other guys have posted . there isn't going to be a lot of road manners . in a short wheelbase cj .they just seem to be choppy on the street . much better at slower speeds . there always room for improvement . springs , shocks . but the thing the helps the most is tire air pressure
     
    Rick Whitson likes this.
  7. Feb 15, 2015
    IRQVET

    IRQVET Member

    Oregon
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    I like the look and performance of the Cooper STT's, but the road noise (on concrete) those tires give off make normal mud tires sound like A/T's.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2015
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    :? IMO they're pretty quiet for such an aggressive tire....they definitely have a howl, but not as bad as others I've heard.
    Concrete roads tend to be noisy regardless of the tire....I guess from the grooves cut into it.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2015
    IRQVET

    IRQVET Member

    Oregon
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    I went with 33' Duratracs on my Chevy, and they perform well with zero noise. They are not a true mud tire, but they do well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  10. Jul 9, 2015
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Pressure recommendation?

    Rides like a tank.
    5 leafs up front and rear.
    33's.
    Monroe shocks (I think...They're blue).
     
  11. Jul 9, 2015
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    What kind of tires?

    Air down (like 12-15 psi) and see what kind of tire print you leave in chalk dust or wet concrete. Over/under inflation will lift the edges/center of the tire print. Adjust until the print is even across the tread.

    IIRC I'm running something like 18/15 F/R on my CJ (BFG MT 33x10.5R15 on 7" rims).
     
  12. Jul 9, 2015
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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  13. Jul 9, 2015
    lynn

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member Sponsor

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    I really liked the Skyjacker Softride 2.5" springs I put on the '71. That, combined with Rancho 9000 gave a good ride. I set the shocks at 0 for slow offroad work, rode great, as good as a stock TJ offroad. (Onroad, you just can't overcome the choppiness of an 81" wheelbase)
    My only complaint with these Skyjacker springs is that the rear sagged a bit after a couple years. Easily fixed with a set of longer rear shackles. That really straightened out the rear springs, but it rode nice and sat level.
     
  14. Jul 9, 2015
    Alan28

    Alan28 Well-Known Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    As said it seems that there is a price.
    I have old hard tires, plenty of leaves, new shock absorbers blue Monroe of apparently bad quality ( 2 were broken asap, we welded one of them, and I exchanged one under guarantee.

    If springs exists of high quality, top elasticity steel, it is something to buy. It is long term investment.
    Shock absorbers : mine are not very good, of course good ones are expensive, but investment too.

    And tires : soft tires are not for rock climbing, not the same structure.

    I would like myself to have a soft Jeep, but it means money to invest and I don't use it enough.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2015
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I just removed the front shocks and did a road test...Dreamy. Maybe my shocks are crap?

    They're definitely garbage. I can compress them by hand and they stay compressed...They don't even try to expand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  16. Jul 10, 2015
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Quick info -
    No shocks on the front of the CJ.
    Distance from top of axle to bumb stop = 5-5/8".
    Distance from lower shock mount to upper = 18-3/8"

    Jacked up the driver's side until both front tires came off the ground -
    Distance from lower shock mount to upper moved to = 19-1/4"

    Question -
    What's the range of shock I should use?

    Collapsed =
    Extended =
    Travel/Stroke =
     
  17. Jul 10, 2015
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    The collapsed length is what matters most. You want the bump stop to stop the axle, not the shock. So if your bump stop rubber is an inch thick, 18.375 - 6.625 = 11.75 inches - this is your MAXIMUM collapsed length. A shock's extended length can be no more than double its collapsed length, and it's typically a few inches less than that. So say 11.75 * 2 - 3 = 20.5" extended length. But you don't care so much about that as the maximum collapsed length, as long as you have a reasonable amount of downward travel. I expect you will get a lot more distance between the pins if you stuff one wheel and let the other hang - that's what you want from a live axle.
     
  18. Jul 10, 2015
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    FWIW- gas shocks will expand to their full length, but regular ol' hydraulic shocks do not.
    No pressure inside them.
     
  19. Jul 10, 2015
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I didn't know that...Thanks.

    Looks like mine are bad...I just found the part number - 32207

    Monroe Monro-Matic Plus - Shock
    Monro-Matic Plus shock absorbers are nitrogen gas charged and feature velocity sensitive valving and all weather fluid, which offers passenger cars improved comfort at an economical price.
     
  20. Jul 10, 2015
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Just pulled the rear. It expands on it's own.

    Part number - 31000
    Monroe Monro-Matic Plus - Shock

    Now the big question...
    Do I replace with Monroe, KYB or spring for the Rancho RS5000?
     

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