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Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada - Help with suspension install?

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Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada - Help with suspension install?

Old 04-15-2018, 12:01 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Lower Mainland
Posts: 165
Year: 1991
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 L I6
Default Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada - Help with suspension install?


Wheeling isn't really my scene, so I don't really get much of a chance to meet anyone locally. While this forum has been great, it's been hard finding out just how to get stuff done locally since I don't really know anyone local who has a Jeep. I'm hoping that someone local might be on this forum and could give me a hand!


I'm really set on getting new springs installed in my XJ. I think the leaf's are sagging a bit (I have to measure again, but I'm pretty sure they are sagging), I need a little more clearance and I need a something that could handle a bit more load. But I have the following problems:
  1. I don't have any space to do the work myself. I live in an apartment and don't have space to work on "major repairs". I can do a bit in our parking space but changing springs is not going to work.
  2. I'm inexperienced with replacing springs. If I do find space, I haven't done suspension work in ~ 15 years. And quite frankly, I have a healthy respect for potential energy so removing coil springs makes me slightly nervous.
  3. I don't know which shops are good to go to for this work and what prices are fair. I just started getting a good relationship with a shop nearby my home, but I'm nervous that I might have a hard time getting what I want done. I'd also like to have a good understanding of what exactly was done and what other issues are hiding - and I'd just like to be involved.
  4. I can afford the parts, and so I think I could convince my wife to let me buy parts but I'm concerned that any labour would cost me too much. I probably can't get the job done if I have to pay for labour.

I am pretty much 100% convinced to go with the "upcountry" suspension, so it's nothing crazy. More on the rationale below.

Is there anyone in Metro Vancouver that might be willing to give me a hand? Ideally, I'd be looking for someone who has some space, tools and a bit of experience to help me replace the coils and leaf springs on my XJ. I have some tools, but unlikely to have everything needed, and I'm a keen learner. But I'd definitely need a hand and someone who is confident in what they are doing so I can learn! I'd be willing to compensate with beer, food, kindness or even throw a couple hundred your way for your trouble.

Alternatively, if you know a shop in the area that you trust with your rig and you know is fair I'm open to getting recommendations as well! I'm not 100% against having a shop do the work.. I just want it done well and I want to make sure I'm involved in it enough so I'm keen on a shop that does a good job and communicates well.

Further details
So ... rationale for the "upcountry" lift:
  • We don't go wheeling - so we don't need anything designed for wheeling
  • We take the XJ out to trailheads, so it sees 90% highway then 10% crappy logging roads. So I need some lift, but nothing substantial. With some sag and stock suspension I've had our tailpipe scrape on logging roads. Don't need much lift to stop that from happening on the logging roads we go to though.
  • My wife and I are kinda short, and we sit on the bumper to gear up for backpacking and hiking trips. Too much lift will actually reduce some utility of the vehicle!
  • I want to keep the suspension close to stock to keep everything within original design limitations and minimize the change in geometry
  • Keeping the suspension close to stock makes it much more likely for the mechanic we go to, as well as other mechanics we might have to use while travelling, to work on the XJ. I don't want to go on a road trip and have to bring into a shop for repairs and have them completely out of their element and screw something up.
  • I like the look of a 1.5" lift
  • I need to keep the lift below 2" for the Jeep to fit in our parking garage. I'd like a roof rack and once I put one on the XJ there won't be much space.

I'd be looking at crown or dorman HD leafs, Moog front coils, 0.75 coil spacers, IRO 0.75 adjustable rear shackles, front shocks & probably keep the current rear shocks since I can do those in my parking garage.

So as you can see - I think it should be fairly straight forward for someone who knows what they are doing. My XJ is pretty low on rust, but I haven't touched any of the bolts around the springs. As a reference, I replaced the rear shocks a year ago and the bolts came out no problem.

I'd really appreciate any help anyone could give me! Hope to at least get some recommendations for shops, even!
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