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Discussion Starter #1
I have been given the green light for a complete suspension rebuild. In other words my wife said, if you are gonna do it... do it now.


While I once was very active on here and off road, my reality these days is that I might be able to squeeze in a few weekends a year off road and have gotten anything extreme out of my blood. A 13 month old (to go along with a 19 year old and a 15 year old) kid will do that to ya :)

I have a 2003 ruby with about 130K on it.
-frankenstein lift at 3.5", with parts from just about any manufacturer you could name. CV driveshaft also.
-The jeep is well armored with bumpers, engine skid, diff skids, raised xfer case skid, LCA skids, rocker skids, steering box skid. I was running 35's with the aid of some flare trimming, but switched back to 33's for drivability. I have currie steering also.

This rig is going back to daily driver duties as well. So I am looking for a bolt on, 4" complete suspension build that has excellent road manners and will take my 4 or 5 off road adventures per year. I am open to suggestion, but will be doing this in my garage and so need to focus on bolt on, no welding. Long arm, short arm does not really matter, as long as I can bolt it on.

Your thoughts and any links you can provide.

Thanks,

John
 

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I's say the Currie 4 inch kit would work nice...... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Also, what else do I need to consider replacing? Ball joints? Hubs? Anything else?
 

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I know that I spend way to much time "web wheeling" but, I do not believe that there is any magical lift kit that comes complete from any one manufacturer. There are always better components from another manufacturer. No manufacturer seems to have everything dialed in to a kit.

I know what I would do but, it isn't for everyone. I would call David at Northridge and ask for assistance when you know what you have budgeted for the new lift. Don't think that he won't recommend Rokmen or other components if, they fit your need. He is not afraid to send you elsewhere for components if, he does not carry them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
f9k9 said:
I know that I spend way to much time "web wheeling" but, I do not believe that there is any magical lift kit that comes complete from any one manufacturer. There are always better components from another manufacturer. No manufacturer seems to have everything dialed in to a kit.

I know what I would do but, it isn't for everyone. I would call David at Northridge and ask for assistance when you know what you have budgeted for the new lift. Don't think that he won't recommend Rokmen or other components if, they fit your need. He is not afraid to send you elsewhere for components if, he does not carry them.
Agreed regarding no perfect kit. I have done the piece together thing and it has worked well. Things are just worn out and since I will be DDing this jeep again, I would like to rebuild the suspension. The drivetrain is solid at this point so with new suspension and other new paarts (asking again about hubs and ball joints,etc...) I feel like I can get another 130k out of it.

John
 

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Thinking you just might need some good LCAs, currie or rokmen.
Then some springs, OME or AEV, the latter being all the rage.

Could it be that simple. The question above about what is worn out is a great one. If any of the frankenstein parts are worn replace them. If the list of worn parts is to long, by all means but a complete kit, should be cheaper.
 

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Highly agree on the kit thing....build your own using quality parts. I'd go 3" over 4" especially if you're sticking to 33's. If you choose to go bigger add a little body lift and be happy knowing that your center of gravity is lower and the angles are better on the parts.

Also as you look at the control arms suggested, as a DD, I'd stick to the CA's with at least one rubber OE style bushing. This will keep the vibes lower for that DD experience.

A great solid suspension build for what you're wanting can be done for less than $2500 with CA's.
 

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I have to agree for the majority with one exception-having run Currie arms with JJ's throughout and the front housing kit as well, I'd say that if you're really going to do this, get rid of all the rubber and stick with the JJ's. I've run mine for years now, wheeled the piss out of them, greased them religiously in the beginning and now only when I think about it. Ride quality is still better both on and off-road than it ever was with rubber in there. They're still tight as day one. The JJ's don't transmit harsh vibes like internet myth would lead you to believe and further, what they DO help to do is keep your front end in check, solid, and tight which prevents lateral axle movement during steering or natural road vibrations that you'll get rather quickly with rubber bushings. To date, I have never had another vibe/wobble issue up front with the JJ's in place that wasn't due to tire balance. The JJ's have eliminated the nasty vibe/wobble I'd develop after even a brand new factory take off with rubber bushings. I've replaced more sets of factory arms than I care to think about and wasted a LOT of time doing so, suffered with a crap ride for longer than I should have. JJ's are the one area that I have to say unless you've actually run them and tested them hard in all conditions, you won't believe them till you do.

Regarding the rest of the lift-I also have to wonder even on a "frankenlift" what else is actually worn out??? With the little hard wheeling you've done, I'd be replacing as few parts as absolutely necessary-especially as it will be basically a street rig from here on out. Regarding spring/shock setup though, having run OME's in the past I have to say I'm still very happy with my AEV 3" progressives and Rancho 9000xl adjustable shocks. Still performs VERY well both on and off-road in combination with the arms. Very smooth, very stable, very controlled and vibe-free. Like RDL mentioned, I wanted a little lower overall height so the AEV's went in. If I didn't mind being taller, I'd have gone Currie for sure. Those are 4" though and I was afraid would be a bit too tall for me.

For the rest of it, as you have it apart, now is a good time to replace ball joints and uni-bearings IF they're giving you trouble. If you suspect they're bad or have tested them and know they're bad-replace them now and be trouble-free for another good long while. Should last a LONG time with little hard off-road use with a fresh front end. I'd also resommend brakes as well and don't forget to flush the brake fluid with all new stuff. I'm currently running some used uni-bearings from another ROF'er that had little use, and swapped in Spicer ball joints at the same time. Spicers are great, very affordable-I think it was around $80 maybe for the set??? Forget exactly now. Also, if you haven't done so already earlier on, now is a great time to replace your front axle u-joints with new spicer 760's, if for nothing else, peace of mind for your fresh DD rig. They run around $50 for the pair and is an easy change out that again, should last a LONG while for the dd rig. If you're interested, I have a basic front end maintenance write up here to help with the job overall:

http://www.rubiconownersforum.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=71897

If your tires are otherwise good, then at least take them down and get them balanced perfect once you're done with the work. Along with, adjust air pressure as necessary. Also do a home-alignment then go to a shop and have them check it. My guy here won't charge me a dime if I'm on or within spec. If I'm out, I pay for it but if I'm out, I definitely want the reassurance it IS right and will gladly write the check for the $70 or whatever it runs these days to ensure everything is dialed and running smooth.

After that, you should have a very reliable, very dependable, smooth running rig that will perform well for years as a DD and still be a capable wheeler when you have time.

Best of Luck,

Mike
 

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Why not just replace all bushings and rebuild what you have? No sense buying stuff twice....
 

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Since you have the daily driver tires available, going from 33' to 31'/30' ? what ever you tire size is. This should do the most for you. I take it you didn't re-gear or chip the jeep for speed and driving issues.
Unless you really need an additional 1/2 inch clearance for the trail. I wouldn't mess with it. I believe someone mentioned doing the Body Lift and Motor Mount. Which, I agree. If you choose the JKS 1.25, plus the MM, clearance with be a lot better. and cheaper.

For the daily driver, just plain old, car radials, like 30 inches should be nice. They will ride the road very nicely and last a long time.

I only do about three trips a year, so I take off the 35's and drive on 31's. The are so much easier on the ears. With that, my good-having- fun tires are not running around tying to look pretty at the mail, bank, etc. Normal stuff that the pavement likes to eat off your tread,

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input. Just to clarify, I have done considerable wheeling in the past with this rig, all through the southeast... trips to Tellico, Windrock and others, besides being a regular at Uwharrie for years... Just that life changes. I removed it from DD status a few years ago. Has to go back to that status now. I will stay on 33's because I will continue to wheel from time to time. Current tire is Cooper STT. I like their performance on and off, so far.

Worn items are as you would expect, bushings, shocks, steering stabilizers... Wife's idea of rebuilding the suspension opens the door for upgrading to new stuff. Keep the ideas coming.

Might do as has been suggested and upgrade only the certain parts that I feel like I might get better ride from.

Thanks for all your help.

John
 
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