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help with 1st build,99 xj

Old 10-02-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default help with 1st build,99 xj

This is my first post here so bare with me. I'm wanting to go with a decent build over time, but nothing too crazy or expensive (have another toy im also trying to build that I am a little more focused on) Wanting to stay full bodied, and streetable. Started out as going to be my daily, now it's not going to be..so I want to go further than I am now.

It's a 1999 5 speed xj. When I first got it, it had a 2 inch BB. I've since put on a 4.5 zone short arm kit(if I knew what I do now, I would have went elsewhere) and a 1 inch spacer up front and block in the back. It just has an AAL. Skyjacker stabilizer. I've chopped the front fenders up pretty bad, and rolled the back. The track bar has just been relocated by drilling a new hole. It's on some extremely terrible thornbirds and 15 inch american racing wheels. This is it as of now..



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I need all kinds of opinions and what not because this is my first time building something for the trails.. I've always been into anything with a motor and working on it though.

I want to end up at about 6.5-7.5 inches of lift, and stick with the 35s. Just want to do it right this time and really be able to get some flex.

Could I stick with my LCA short arms and just get a drop bracket or would it be best to just go with an adjustable long arm? What about the uppers?
I know I'll be going with a SYE, already have the transfer case drop brackets installed.
Keeping in mind I want to keep it street friendly, how should I go about with my front and rear axles? Lock the back and keep the front open? Can I stick with the stock rear and front or swap them out?
I am looking at the IRO 5.5 spring pack with 1 inch shackles I already have. Was thinking of going with the extra leaf that would put my rear at 7.5 total.Opinions on that?
I am looking at the IRO 6.5 front springs and will use my 1 inch spacer if I do the 7.5 on the rear.
I know Ill need some bumpstop..from my understanding if I do an inch of bumpstop for every inch of lift that will put me in the ballpark...
What would be a good route with the track bar and pitman arm?
Good shocks to go with?

Any other opinions/advice or anything I am missing? Just trying to learn as much as possible and get a plan before I put this in motion. I will probably attempt to fabricate a few things. I don't have much experience with fabricating, but what a better way to learn right?

Sorry about all of the questions, and I'm sure I'll have more. Just looking for some people that have had experience with products and are more knowledgeable in the Jeep world than I am.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 8urdnut View Post
Could I stick with my LCA short arms and just get a drop bracket or would it be best to just go with an adjustable long arm? What about the uppers?
Well at that high of a lift, your going to want long-arms. Plus, in my experience they are capable of way more flex, if that's what your really after.

Originally Posted by 8urdnut View Post
I know I'll be going with a SYE, already have the transfer case drop brackets installed.
Keeping in mind I want to keep it street friendly, how should I go about with my front and rear axles? Lock the back and keep the front open? Can I stick with the stock rear and front or swap them out?
35" tires will need new axles, specially if your locked. For the street, personally, running a rear locked setup is fine (for me)... As for the front, I'd say get a selectable locker.. I get snow where I am and having the front locked in the snow sucks.. On the road obviously.

Originally Posted by 8urdnut View Post
I am looking at the IRO 5.5 spring pack with 1 inch shackles I already have. Was thinking of going with the extra leaf that would put my rear at 7.5 total.Opinions on that?
I am looking at the IRO 6.5 front springs and will use my 1 inch spacer if I do the 7.5 on the rear.
I know Ill need some bumpstop..from my understanding if I do an inch of bumpstop for every inch of lift that will put me in the ballpark...
Going that high, is REALLY high. Some people like it but I prefer to stay lower while still having big tires. You already chopped your fenders so 35's will fit on a 4.5" lift. Also remember that the more lift a leaf gives, the less easily it will flex. A 3.5" leaf with relocated shackles (1" lift) and extended shackles (2" lift) and your already sitting at 6" of lift. From what I've read, and experienced, it will flex better than a straight up 6" lift leaf.

Originally Posted by 8urdnut View Post
What would be a good route with the track bar and pitman arm?
Good shocks to go with?
I'm not sure about these... Generally get a GOOD quality track bar (adjustable) that is made for your final lift height.. As for pitman arm, I'm not too sure...

Just for your interest / information. If I was in your situation and wanting to run 35" tires... I would:
Swap axles to something stronger
Re-gear / locked the rear with selectable up front
Get 5 or 6" front springs
Get 3.5" leaf springs with relocated shackles (another 1 - 1.5" lift) to get a perfect shackle angle
Add a longer shackle if needed to balance with the front
Get a nice track-bar for that lift
Get stronger steering (stock stuff is quite weak apparently, I'm planning to swap it out when I get 33's)
Figure out your SYE / Driveshafts...
Armour!


P.S. I'm no expert, but I have researched a TON, and do have some experience. Other people please chime in and correct me anywhere I'm wrong...

Last edited by Skittle; 10-02-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:57 PM
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hey man, welcome. thats a pretty good start you have there lol
if it were mine
1. long arms
2. gears and lockers
3. SYE
4. 6.5'' lift, 35's (if its more of a trail rig i'd run a bogger or TSL)

you'll need some recovery points and new front fenders to practice trimming lol
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:13 PM
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holy smokes. that thing sure looks bad ***. but it's loaded up with some pretty junky parts
with your fenders cut like that, you can run a 4.5" lift and still have room with 35's. increasing lift height is pointless and expensive.
long arms would be great. you should get those if you have the money

axles. swap the rear then lock them both. you cant feel the front in 2wd so it will be perfectly streetable. which locker? that depends on your budget

with IRO, some people love it. some people hate it. either way you're still aiming for a lift height that is way too tall. pitman arm? run the stock one and keep it at 4.5"! the taller you go the more expensive it gets. keep it low and flexy and still under budget.

good shocks are bilstein, decent shocks are rubicon express
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:57 PM
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Yea I think I'm leaning more towards 6.5 inches. I would like to keep a lower center or gravity while having a good amount of clearance. Anything above 6.5 does seem a little to high anyways. This is what I'm leaning towards so far:

IRO adjustable LCAs... should I go with straight or curved?
Would it be worth/needed replacing my uppers?
IRO 5.5 spring pack with my 1 inch extended shackle.
Bar pin eliminators.
IRO 6.5 coil springs.
IRO adjustable track bar kit...I will need a drop pitman arm, correct? How much drop to keep drag link and track arm parallel?
Hack n tap SYE (can/should I ditch my transfer case drop?)
Extended brake lines.


Still unsure of which shocks..any advice on figuring out which ones?
I'm still unsure of what to do about the front and rear end/axles. Definitely upgrading and locking them with 4.10s, just don't know which route to go yet as far as how to upgrade.
I have a tow hitch in the back and the brackets for an old brush guard up front(that my chain is hooked to) for recovery points...they have worked good so far!

I would eventually like to attempt fabbing a front and rear bumper, and some sliders.

At some point I'll also be painting it blitz black(Can't see in the picture but the driver's side has a different color door due to getting ran into)..I think it'll look pretty good with the safety orange accents.

Thanks so far, and keep the replies coming! I'm getting more excited minute by minute!
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:07 PM
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you wanted it to flex? that setup aint flexin worth a crap. just get a kit. sounds like you're ordering everything from IRO anyway
http://www.ironrockoffroad.com/Merch...egory_Code=PFX
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:08 PM
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Oh and replacing the gauge cluster. Mine has the dummy lights
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:13 PM
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Like I said I'm new to building a trail rig... Could you explain why that setup won't flex and how I should go about fixing it? I'd like to piece everything together..it's worth the experience and the knowledge I'll learn.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:37 PM
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there's lots of info on here. we couldn't tell you everything and you shouldn't listen to everything we recommend
best advice is poke around the website for a couple months. read read read and you'll find out what you really want/need

short arms at that high of a lift are already fairly drooped out. this leaves little room for down travel and flex. it's also going to ride rough
drop brackets will help, but at that height long arms are really the right option
it takes a lot of work and preparation to run 35's and a tall lift
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:33 PM
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I've been on these forums for a few months now, just didn't sign up until I decided to build it the right way and really fell in love with my Jeep. You said that setup that I was looking to build wouldn't flex though, and I was wondering why not? Unless you were talking about my current set up which I know doesn't flex worth a damn. I do believe my first purchase will be the hack n tap and then long arms.. and go on from there..
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:56 PM
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Saw this on craigslist.

We aligned this at my work also,looked pretty decent.We all LOL'D at your plates. I also saw you on williamson on my way home a week or so ago. If you ever want to get up with some locals,shoot me a pm with a phone number or post in our local thread.


LOCAL.

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f42/sw...28784/index20/

My build.

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f46/19...2/#post2057468
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:41 PM
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I pm'ed you. Awesome to finally have the chance to meet some locals. Yea I put it up on craigslist before I decided to keep it and build it. I was originally just trying to trade for something to pull a car trailer with because I'm going to be building a car starting the beginning of next year. Then I decided, why not just do both and still get a daily... so that's what I am doing

So can anybody explain why my desired set up isn't going to flex? I already know how bad the zone flexes. Wish I knew when I started what I know now...

Last edited by 8urdnut; 10-04-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 8urdnut View Post
I pm'ed you. Awesome to finally have the chance to meet some locals. Yea I put it up on craigslist before I decided to keep it and build it. I was originally just trying to trade for something to pull a car trailer with because I'm going to be building a car starting the beginning of next year. Then I decided, why not just do both and still get a daily... so that's what I am doing

So can anybody explain why my desired set up isn't going to flex? I already know how bad the zone flexes. Wish I knew when I started what I know now...
It's not so much that the zone kit doesn't flex, it's the fact that the blocks make it very very hard for it too.

This was my first xj on the same zone 4.5 kit and it flexed like a boss.Stuffed 33's like it was nothing.

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:08 AM
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Yea im not doing any blocks or spacers with my new set up. I'm still wondering if atmos is talking about my current set up or my new one not flexing well. I know why my current set up doesn't. Having trouble understanding why my new one won't... Taking every chance I can to learn something new..
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:05 AM
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your new one. it won't flex well without long arms
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