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Trail Support Vehicle

Old 10-17-2010, 07:49 AM
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Default Trail Support Vehicle

With an aging and failing suspension and steering system and no real economical means of replacing the old XJ it was time to make a few changes. This XJ is a 1996 vintage that I picked up for $11K 12 years ago. I figured that I have spent more in gas than the original cost of the vehicle at this point, but no matter. It original home was in Nebraska and Minnesota where rust can be a real problem. I got real lucky as this one only suffered a few minor surface rust spots on the belly now all touched up with POR15 for the past several years.

Now it is sitting a little higher and rolling on some 31 which seems to be the perfect size as it still needs to function as a family vehicle. Here are your typical before and after shots.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:53 AM
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And a third poser image with the front swaybar disconnected. Not your most extreme pics of the suspension working. That is alright as I'm taking my time in making sure everything is working right before suffering a mechanical.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:52 AM
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Default Classic Cherokee Looks

That looks very nice ! This is the quintessential classic tucked in look that really look good on slightly lifted Cherokees.

They should've come from the factory that way !!!!

Nice pics too....how about a few more ?? Allowing us an idea of what lift you're running.

What type of lift do you have on there ? I can see new hardware on the front shot. White Steering Stabilizer is indicative of one of the big 3 online lift companies....RC,RE or Rusty's Offroad....

I have the same Grizzly wheels and I am seriously consider going with a 3" lift most likely full packs and 31's .....when I can get my suspension hardware to unseize itself.

I also have the rust issue, fortunately for mine, it's minor, mainly surface but I am going to follow your lead and begin the POR-15 treatment.

Thanks for posting those pic, don't see the Grizzly wheels that often, their rarity is actually what I like about them !!

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Old 10-17-2010, 10:23 AM
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Awesome pic with the mountains in the background.Nice looking trail rig
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:24 AM
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Nice rig. Simple and functional, I like it!!!
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:48 PM
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Looks like perhaps a 3.5" RE?
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kellan_musseau View Post
Looks like perhaps a 3.5" RE?
Thanks everyone.

Yep it is the 3.5" kit. Decided to go with bilstein shocks giving it a smoother ride. As the front was stock and with the lift it needed a bit of extra support / adjustment a HD Currie steering and track bar. Also bolted in a new HD steering stabilizer.

This weekend along with the POR 15 treatment I had some Herculiner laying around and decided to take on the interior. After doing a test panel (rear left wheel well) noise has been reduced some. By the time the carpet is reinstalled it should provide a nicer ride when going down the road.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:41 PM
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Im gooood haha
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:56 PM
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Default Silver Powder Coated Springs

Thanks for updating that with your most recent lift info.

The Silver Powder Coated Springs are a Rubicon Express trademark. The other lifts commonly use Black powder coated springs ....

My question to the OP is how is the clearance inside and out with the 31's on the 5.5 backspaced Grizzly wheels ? Clearance on the front LCA's and the rear springs with 31's ?

I am certain with a RE 3.5" lift which is actually more like 4.5" you don't have many clearance problems No?

More photos please. A side view on the level would be nice as well.

Thanks and I have been to NM BTW, my parents live in SAF.
I used to enjoy flying in and out of ABQ and watching the F-16's flying in and out of Kirtland AFB with their afterburners lit. Woot Woot !

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by NH_Jeep_XJ View Post
My question to the OP is how is the clearance inside and out with the 31's on the 5.5 backspaced Grizzly wheels ? Clearance on the front LCA's and the rear springs with 31's ?

I am certain with a RE 3.5" lift which is actually more like 4.5" you don't have many clearance problems No?
The lift actually gave it around 6.5" over where it was sitting before. As far as the wheel backspacing and LCA there really is not much of a clearance issue. If you do go lock to lock they will rub but I have 99% travel left and right. When you turning and can hear the power steering start wining that is the only time I can get rub. Have not yet seen any other clearance issues even with the front swaybar disconnected.

As for side photos they are pending as I'm working a few unrelated projects right now.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:23 AM
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Default Bilsteins

Crux, what Bilsteins did you go with ?

5100 series or the Heavy Duty ?

What Lift height were they for ? 4-6" Lifts ? Or 2-3" Lifts ?

I am curious because I plan on buying these soon for my own XJ.
From the Bilstein site. The part numbers for 2"-3" of lift are

Front: BE5-6255-H5
Rear: BE5-6256-H5

They have other's for lifts 4" and higher.

They are awesome shocks. I have run them on every vehicle I've owned.
I have been running Bilstein Heavy Duty shocks on my XJ for about 10 years now and they still work great !

They do add to the overall spring rate though which makes me wonder if your Bilsteins had anything to do with your attaining 6.5" of lift ?

Great shocks though and I know you are gonna like them.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:35 AM
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Nice pics!
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NH_Jeep_XJ View Post
Crux, what Bilsteins did you go with ?

5100 series or the Heavy Duty ?

What Lift height were they for ? 4-6" Lifts ? Or 2-3" Lifts ?

I am curious because I plan on buying these soon for my own XJ.
From the Bilstein site. The part numbers for 2"-3" of lift are

Front: BE5-6255-H5
Rear: BE5-6256-H5

They have other's for lifts 4" and higher.

They are awesome shocks. I have run them on every vehicle I've owned.
I have been running Bilstein Heavy Duty shocks on my XJ for about 10 years now and they still work great !

They do add to the overall spring rate though which makes me wonder if your Bilsteins had anything to do with your attaining 6.5" of lift ?

Great shocks though and I know you are gonna like them.
They are the 5100 series, as for exact part number I would need to back and check.

You mentioned they add to the overall spring rate? I'm curious how and if the vehicle will lower a little over time. I would really like to get it down about 2" or so all around.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:32 PM
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You mentioned they add to the overall spring rate? I'm curious how and if the vehicle will lower a little over time. I would really like to get it down about 2" or so all around.


Bilsteins are a high pressure shock absorber and due to their strength, In my experience they are not one to sag but completely the opposite.

A few years back, I was installing hard wood flooring in my home and carrying multiple 100lb pallets of hardwood flooring in my Jeep. The rear was really low but after removing the load, the Bilsteins would bring it back up to level again.

Mine are 10 years old and my Jeep is only sagging .25" under stock ride height with the aid of the Bilsteins I might add.

You might get 2" of drop with your new Bilsteins after your kids have started high school !

I'd check to see what length shock you ended up with. The Bilstein part numbers are stamped on the base of the shocks as well.

Shockwarehouse.com has good listing of various Bilsteins for XJ's with different lift heights. From what I've seen, they range from 2"-3", 4"-6" and 6"+

You can reference those part numbers with your own.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:39 AM
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doing good! I too keep mine for daily driveing,93ZJ 3.5" & 30's As IU am single I have more flexality plan 2" spacers next summer. good to see I'm not the lone ranger.
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