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Old 01-02-2011, 01:06 AM
cherokee83 cherokee83 is offline
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calling all stiffer ride gurus

Hello, caught in-between soft SOA ride and stiffer Lift ride OK Gurus show me what you are made of! I have a 1980 W/T cherokee 360/727 that i use as my D/D to work, 25 miles out 25 miles in plus 3 miles off road after i reach my job site! I have to travle at High speeds of 65 MPH to 80 MPH on the Hi-Way with a lot of cuvers! was thinking of going with either BJ'S or BDS 4" lift but then i read about the stiffer ride and little to no flex i could live with the little to no flex but the stiffer ride 50 plus miles a day would just kill me cant you buy a better shock for a softer ride when useing the lift kits??? I also thought about going with the SOA would love to have more flex and softer ride, But i have read that SOA is a very big NO NO at High-Speeds or even to drive on the Hi-Ways do to swaying from winds ect. then i thought what if you go with a 2" lift with the SOA to help stiffin the ride so i can drive at High-Speeds! that will have my jeep at 7"-8" up im not willing to go over 6" lift! As you can see i need help
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:39 AM
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Tigger4X Tigger4X is offline
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I had my '76 Chero on SOA/SF riding on 38.5" PJ Dirt Grips ... no freeway worries and even went up to the mountains to get out of the desert heat. Its the beast in my profile pic on here.


I'm going to be running the RS9000s on my J-3000 so I can adjust some of the ride from soft to stiff. I will not be running arched springs ever again. SOA with SF will give you the lift. Going with longer 'burban springs can give you the flex and help keep you closer to stock spring rate giving you a nice ride.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:20 AM
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will e will e is offline
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i have soa/sf. Old stock springs. No sway bars. I do drive it at 75 to 85 mph and it tracks nice but does get a little hairy on certain bumps.

A sway bar would really help. And I am going to put on new springs (probably most of my problem)

When you go SOA you may as well plan on replacing the front springs as the stock one's will start to get an S shape to them after a couple of years. They were designed for SUA and the secondary leaf isn't long enough to offset the effects of using the brakes.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:22 AM
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Tad Tad is offline
 
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I'm SOA, 2" body lift, 2" springs (probably closer to 1" now), with a front sway bar and do long distances on the highway (NM and CO) several times each year. The ride is fine and I don't get blown around as much as I do in my '93 2WD Nissan truck.
With that being said I don't think I'd pick this rig for a 50 mile per day highway runner.

I understand some folks think the 6" spring lifts are harsh but I'm not too familiar with complaints on the 4" spring lifts.
I've also wheeled with folks running 4" spring lifts and they do just fine.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2011, 12:49 PM
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Stuka Stuka is offline
 
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An SOA does ride smoother. But with that said, I have had 6" springs on a cherokee and a J-Truck, and while the ride is stiffer, its not horribly stiff. But certainly stiffer than stock soft springs. But comparable to the HD springs (2 leaf spring pack).

I have also run 4" lifts on the same two vehicles. The 4" was hardly any stiffer at all than stock. Maybe a tiny bit, but it road nice. And I put a LOT of miles on both of these setups.

But it should be noted an SOA is going to cost quite a bit more than a 4" kit.

However, with that said, my ultimate plan is still to do an SOA/SF on my J10.

Oh, and on the sway bar bit, it makes a HUGE difference on the freeway and while driving on curvy roads.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2011, 12:55 PM
78 Arizona Chief 78 Arizona Chief is offline
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I use to run the Skyjacker 4" all spring lift and loved it. It would flex great. I have wheeled with people with most other brands of 4" kits and they just don't hold a candle to the Skyjacker springs, probably why they come with that premium price. My '78 Cherokee was super stable at any speed, even when climbing the 330 heading up to Big Bear Lake.

I am now SOA with custom Alcan springs all around. Alcan built my front packs specifically for SOA with a secondary spring that goes all the way under the primary. THis is critical in my opinion to maintain a solid reliable pack when SOA. My flex is awesome, the ride is awesome, and with my 7/8 inch sawy bar (taken out of a '88 Gwag) hooked up, the jeep can corner quite well. This coupled with my NOS Quadratrac allows me to go at some rather stupid speed up the slick rain/snow covered roads up the mountains. It is always funny the look I get when passing a BMW on the inside lane going up to the mountains.

So my suggestion, if you don't want to have to get into all the crossoever steering, high angle driveshaft mods, crossmember mods etc. necessary to get to SOA on your NP t-case equipped Cherokee, I would run the Skyjacker 4" all spring lift with a good set of Bilstein 5100 series shocks and a drop pitman arm and have at it. THis will clear 35's if you like. Of course this list of goodies isn't cheap. But hey, throw caution to the wind.
Kevin
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\'78 Cherokee Chief - 360/TH400/QT Front high pinion 44/ARB/4.10-1, Rear 44/ARB/4.10-1, SOA w/Alcan front springs, Alcan full-leaf (w/shackle eye flipped) rears, custom bumpers, Multi-mount Warn XD9000i, more money into her than I want to admit. Dad purhcased new, still have window sticker. 310,000 miles.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2011, 08:44 PM
cherokee83 cherokee83 is offline
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SOA under 6" lift

Hey, let me start off by thanking all you guys for your info and input you guys sound pretty sure of High Speeds with SOA or without useing lift kit, As long as im running a sway-bar that part i understand, Know if i go with the SOA set-up will this give me a 6" lift or more? can i go with SOA and have the ride hight of a 4" lift kit?
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:50 PM
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Stuka Stuka is offline
 
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The minimum lift you can get is 5.5", and thats if you use shorter style perches. Typically its 6 to 6.5, depending on spring pack thickness, and perches used.

You may need a new front drive shaft, and you will need to setup for cross over and or high steer. A drop pitman arm is not advised as the drag link can hit the springs.

if you really only want 4" of lift, I think you should just go with a 4" kit. They ride fine IMHO, not much stiffer than new stock hight springs (your old warn out ones will be softer than new stockers). But there is a big cost difference between the two.
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1981 J10 AMC 258 with TFI and Weber 32/36 DGEV Carb with a BJ's Aluminum Radiator, T176, NP208, D44/M23 with 4.56 gears and Detroit Locker, 6" lift, 33x12.50 TSL's, BJ's Offroad Rear Bumper.

1975 Cherokee *Sold*
1989 XJ Limited *Sold*
2005 KJ Limited 3.7, 42RLE, NP242
2008 JK 3.8, 6sp, NP241, 2.5", 33's, 4.56's
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2011, 12:59 AM
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Tigger4X Tigger4X is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee83
Hey, let me start off by thanking all you guys for your info and input you guys sound pretty sure of High Speeds with SOA or without useing lift kit, As long as im running a sway-bar that part i understand, Know if i go with the SOA set-up will this give me a 6" lift or more? can i go with SOA and have the ride hight of a 4" lift kit?



Heres a rough sketch of an SOA vs SUA ... of course its not to scale which gives it a rather wierd interpretive look.










Hopefully this is a better perspective ...

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  #10  
Old 01-03-2011, 07:50 PM
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AlsChopShop AlsChopShop is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee83
Hey, let me start off by thanking all you guys for your info and input you guys sound pretty sure of High Speeds with SOA or without useing lift kit, As long as im running a sway-bar that part i understand, Know if i go with the SOA set-up will this give me a 6" lift or more? can i go with SOA and have the ride hight of a 4" lift kit?
you can, but then the question is why?

to get less than 6" on SOA, flip the main leaf upside down and bolt the leaf pack together. now you're probably 1.5 inches lower with the spring eyes 'under' the main leaf.

i think you'd be happy with the 4" kit or SOA with sway bars. and i think 83 has them standard... right?

FWIW, my 79 felt way more stable at high speeds after 2.5" springs, but my rig didn't come with sway bars, either.

Al
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2011, 01:52 AM
cherokee83 cherokee83 is offline
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Well you guys have me thinking about going with the SOA does any body have pics of a 4" lift next to a SOA lift?
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2011, 02:01 AM
cherokee83 cherokee83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlsChopShop
you can, but then the question is why?

to get less than 6" on SOA, flip the main leaf upside down and bolt the leaf pack together. now you're probably 1.5 inches lower with the spring eyes 'under' the main leaf.

i think you'd be happy with the 4" kit or SOA with sway bars. and i think 83 has them standard... right?

FWIW, my 79 felt way more stable at high speeds after 2.5" springs, but my rig didn't come with sway bars, either.

Al
Sound good, But will it hold up? how much work will this be to pull springs apart and trun main leaf upside down will i have a stiff ride or a soft ride with good flex? i have a short wife and small kids that love to ride with me so a 6" plus lift is no good plus i drive the Hi-Ways to and from work with winds and cruves so i was takeing all that in acount
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:55 AM
78 Arizona Chief 78 Arizona Chief is offline
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Flipping the spring sounds easy and all but you need to remember that the static arch (unloaded arch) of the main leaf spring is still there. It will now be upside down more or less fighting the static arch of the remaining 4 or 6 leaves depending on what spring packs you have. If 4" lift height is the goal, there really isnt a whole lot of reason to go through the headaches of spring pack surgery, and steering mods. Is the reason for considering the SOA flex based only? If it is, to get the soft flexy off road ride you are always compromising on road stability.

I truely think that if 4" is the goal, I would run the Skyjacker 4" all spring lift, good shocks, sway bar disconnects for off road and jeep on down the trail. Don't forget to extend down your bump stops especially on the front.
Kevin
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\'78 Cherokee Chief - 360/TH400/QT Front high pinion 44/ARB/4.10-1, Rear 44/ARB/4.10-1, SOA w/Alcan front springs, Alcan full-leaf (w/shackle eye flipped) rears, custom bumpers, Multi-mount Warn XD9000i, more money into her than I want to admit. Dad purhcased new, still have window sticker. 310,000 miles.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2011, 10:37 AM
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Tigger4X Tigger4X is offline
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CHEROKEE83 ... theres a ton of us on-road and off that dont have crazy issues from dealing with curves and speed. Anything that gets taller is going to increase "body roll" so either way it isnt all that much different between lift springs or SOA.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:33 AM
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cajun_lad cajun_lad is offline
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Keep in mind, that when people refer to lift springs as being stiffer than SOA, they are usually referring to offroad flex. If you don't traverse any big obstacles, that's a null point. Keeping your wife and kids in mind, I'd vote for a 4" lift kit. It'll come with the shocks you need, get the DPA, possibly some extended brake lines, and be done. SOA isn't for everyone, and there is quite a bit of work involved.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:51 PM
cherokee83 cherokee83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78 Arizona Chief
Flipping the spring sounds easy and all but you need to remember that the static arch (unloaded arch) of the main leaf spring is still there. It will now be upside down more or less fighting the static arch of the remaining 4 or 6 leaves depending on what spring packs you have. If 4" lift height is the goal, there really isnt a whole lot of reason to go through the headaches of spring pack surgery, and steering mods. Is the reason for considering the SOA flex based only? If it is, to get the soft flexy off road ride you are always compromising on road stability.

I truely think that if 4" is the goal, I would run the Skyjacker 4" all spring lift, good shocks, sway bar disconnects for off road and jeep on down the trail. Don't forget to extend down your bump stops especially on the front.
Kevin
Hey one more time you buys all have been a very big help with a ton of good info! But questions! why Skyjackers over the other lift companys like BJ'S or BDS? guys dont get me rong i love the thought of running SOA but it has to be user friendly for myself and family, if i can keep my SOA at 4 to 6" tops,and now that i know i can use a disconnect sway-bar to reduce wind sway and it helps in curves im all for it!! Question i can also go with a smaller spring perch to controle hight as well? if so can i go with 6 or less spring perch? to bring the lift down?
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:16 PM
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AlsChopShop AlsChopShop is offline
 
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yes, smaller perches help. with small perches you will get 6", taller perches (like tad's perches) you get closer to 7"

if you're worried about it or for simplicities sake, just go with the 4" kit.

skyjacker has the best ride, but you have to pay for it.

Al
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:35 PM
78 Arizona Chief 78 Arizona Chief is offline
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To answer the question of why Skyjacker over the other lift companies, it comes down to how their leaf spring packs are made. Skyjacker uses leaves that provide a taper at the ends. This softens the ramp-up increase in spring rate and ultimately provides a better ride. No other 4-inch company I know if uses tapered leaves. They also use teflon friction pads at the leaf tips. Finally they use bolt style clamps instead of the cheaper crimp style clamps. This allows the packs to 'fan' out a little as the axle drops.

For reference, I ran my Skyjacker packs for 5 years with some good wheeling. Only settled a little less that 1/2-inch. The packs have been on my brother's '80-Honcho for the past 6 years and ahve been jumped many times at the dunes. Packs are still gonig strong.
Kevin
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:42 PM
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Tigger4X Tigger4X is offline
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Kevin .... How do you think the Alcans compare to the Skyjackers? I want to put longer 'burban springs under the J-3000 and compensate for the weight of the Cummins 4BT(A) and winch bumper up front. Does Skyjacker custom build like Alcan?


Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:44 PM
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Stuka Stuka is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78 Arizona Chief
To answer the question of why Skyjacker over the other lift companies, it comes down to how their leaf spring packs are made. Skyjacker uses leaves that provide a taper at the ends. This softens the ramp-up increase in spring rate and ultimately provides a better ride. No other 4-inch company I know if uses tapered leaves. They also use teflon friction pads at the leaf tips. Finally they use bolt style clamps instead of the cheaper crimp style clamps. This allows the packs to 'fan' out a little as the axle drops.

For reference, I ran my Skyjacker packs for 5 years with some good wheeling. Only settled a little less that 1/2-inch. The packs have been on my brother's '80-Honcho for the past 6 years and ahve been jumped many times at the dunes. Packs are still gonig strong.
Kevin

Every lift kit for an FSJ that I have seen uses tapered leaves. Including my 6" packs. SkyJacker springs are nice, and I think it comes down more to just have the right spring rate, and the friction pads.
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1975 Cherokee *Sold*
1989 XJ Limited *Sold*
2005 KJ Limited 3.7, 42RLE, NP242
2008 JK 3.8, 6sp, NP241, 2.5", 33's, 4.56's
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