Author Topic: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project  (Read 342 times)

MiniVanMan

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2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« on: April 06, 2012, 11:36:32 AM »
The parts are coming in, and I'm starting soon. This thread will evolve from an advice request thread to a build thread.

What I have:
3" Rough Country lift, full leaf packs
JKS Manufacturing Track Bar

I'm ordering new leaf spring eye bolts and shock mounting bolts. If I'm removing them, I might as well replace them. Chances are the upper rear shock bolts will snap, in which case I've read that you can punch out the welded-in nut, and fish a new bolt into the hole from the top, and you can get a wrench in there to hold it while you tighten the nut on the bottom. This is what I'm expecting to do.

I've been told you can get away with using the stock track bar but that it will set the front axle off-center. While I am on a budget, dog-tracking is not acceptable for me (and it may be unsafe to drive, depending on just how bad it is), so I went ahead and ordered the JKS track bar.

I've been told that for a 3" lift, the stock control arms are OK, but I may need to shim the lower control arm mounts about 1/4".

I may need to drop the t-case about an inch to reduce drive line angle and eliminate vibrations.

I will need to lower the brake line mounts and straighten out the front brake lines.

I was told the leaf spring shackles are fine, but after reading 87's thread, he suggests replacing them. Since I'm already going to have it apart, I'll take his advice-

-Where can I find replacement shackles to compliment my 3" lift?

Is there anything else I'm missing?

Ravenor

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 02:43:10 PM »
From the looks of your sig you already did this...but ditch the RC shit as quick as you can afford too...everyone I know that has ever run any of their products has hated them and had to redo what they already did with better stuff. Leaf Springs may not be that bad, but I know their coil springs are shit and ride awful. And most of their lift components are kinda "one size fits all" and never seem to fit exactly right. JKS makes good stuff, so good job there. Lowering your tcase is a temporary and kinda ghetto method of aligning the driveline, getting an SYE and CV shaft will fix the alignment issue with out having to use the janky drop. And be careful shimming the lower control arms, shims can fail.

Onyx Dragon

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 01:20:13 PM »
The parts are coming in, and I'm starting soon. This thread will evolve from an advice request thread to a build thread.

What I have:
3" Rough Country lift, full leaf packs
JKS Manufacturing Track Bar

I'm ordering new leaf spring eye bolts and shock mounting bolts. If I'm removing them, I might as well replace them. Chances are the upper rear shock bolts will snap, in which case I've read that you can punch out the welded-in nut, and fish a new bolt into the hole from the top, and you can get a wrench in there to hold it while you tighten the nut on the bottom. This is what I'm expecting to do.

I've been told you can get away with using the stock track bar but that it will set the front axle off-center. While I am on a budget, dog-tracking is not acceptable for me (and it may be unsafe to drive, depending on just how bad it is), so I went ahead and ordered the JKS track bar.

I've been told that for a 3" lift, the stock control arms are OK, but I may need to shim the lower control arm mounts about 1/4".

I may need to drop the t-case about an inch to reduce drive line angle and eliminate vibrations.

I will need to lower the brake line mounts and straighten out the front brake lines.

I was told the leaf spring shackles are fine, but after reading 87's thread, he suggests replacing them. Since I'm already going to have it apart, I'll take his advice-

-Where can I find replacement shackles to compliment my 3" lift?

Is there anything else I'm missing?

You seem to have it all.  Track bar is a big deal.  My bushing wore out after three years and since the bushing itself isn't replaceable, I have to replace the whole thing now anyway.  Also, if you're going to do any off roading you might want to think about JKS quicker disconnects unless you plan on making your own.

MiniVanMan

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 11:26:14 AM »
The only problem I've found so far is that the leaf springs are a tad short so my rear shackles are nearly vertical. Makes for a rough ride. Other than that, I love the stance and it flexes well, even with the sway bars still attached. RC gets a really bad rap for not-so-incredibly terrible problems. They're cheap, and their products are cheap, but it all still works. You just can't expect Rubicon Express quality from a kit that costs several hundred less.

I may end up trying to make my own discos. Someone posted a thread on CF about how they made theirs and it really doesn't look all that hard. Said he had a total of like $65 into the set.

I have to replace my LCA bushings. 1 is bad, but I'm not just going to replace 1 bushing if I have the entire LCA out, and I'm not going to just do one side if I'm going to go to the trouble.

I think most of my death wobble is actually coming from the tires. They have some funky wear patterns thanks to the PO never rotating them. I tried rotating them frequently to get them worn back to normal but it's just not working out. I've got some new tires on order.

87Warrior

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Re: Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 02:19:40 PM »
You just can't expect Rubicon Express quality from a kit that costs several hundred less.

I may end up trying to make my own discos. Someone posted a thread on CF about how they made theirs and it really doesn't look all that hard. Said he had a total of like $65 into the set.
Nobody should expect RE quality out of any suspension component. They are terrible! The only RE parts still on my TJ from my initial RE lift 'kit' are the bumpstops and sagging coils. Have very little to complain about the JKS parts that have replaced the failed RE parts.

I bought a set of used JKS discos for $50. The pins were not included for the axle, but I made some from hardware store bolts and parts.

MiniVanMan

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 02:43:30 PM »
That's funny, I've only heard praise for RE... Guess that's the Internet for ya lol

87Warrior

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 03:41:41 PM »
Perhaps RE has improved their QC and customer service since their 'restructuring'. I haven't paid any attention to them in the last year.

Ravenor

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 04:36:45 PM »
RE was good many, many moons ago and coasted on that reputation from what I've gathered. At current they seem to be about on par with any of the "generic" lift kit makers out there and better than some since the do focus more on Jeeps than Full Size Trucks and "also Jeeps", like Rough Country, Sky Jacker or Superlift. Realistically, no one company is going to make a perfect out of the box kit for any vehicle, but many are starting to get close. A couple friends of mine have bought lift kits from MetalCloak and they seem to love them and have nothing but good things to say...these kits also cost several thousand dollars. Everybody I know that has been budget limited, but had plenty of time to gather parts has just sorta pieced kits together out of components from different companies. Get coils one place, Control Arms Another, Shocks somewhere else. Its tedious and can be a pain in the ass compared to the instant gratification of a pre-made kit, but in the long run it can save you money on replacing half ass crap components. Its all about what you want to put up with. I've been eye balling late 90s TJs since they are finally getting into a price range where they blow the YJ away as far as cheap, capable beater weekend rigs go.

87Warrior

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 07:39:47 PM »
I completely agree that there is no perfect out-of-the-box kits. The problem is, suspension components can become very confusing to somebody who hasn't dealt with them. That is why I started out with a RE kit in '05. It was easy and taught me a lot.

I believe the best products are coming out of small professional shops; Rokmen, Savvy, Currie,Clayton, JKS, etc. The best bolt on kits will be a collaboration of parts from these types of manufactures.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 07:40:54 PM by 87Warrior »

Meatywand

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Re: 2000 XJ, 3" Lift Project
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 11:36:02 AM »
I ditched my Rough Country Control Arms and Shocks for RE adjustable control arms with the flex joints or whatever, and I can't remember off the top of my head what kind of shocks I bought....but some guys in my club recommended them. My RC springs ride like absolute dog shit, super stiff, and they refuse to stay rotated into the spring retainer indention, I've had them pop out the last two times I went wheeling. The Super Lift kits aren't terrible if you can get a good deal, a lot of guys in my club run them because the factory is an hour away so clearance stuff is easy to get...but yeah, as soon as I decide what kinda springs I want I'm going to get a new set and swap them in when I do the front axle swap...D44 up in this bitch!
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