Daily Driver, Go Where I Want To Build

What follows is the path to the Jeep as it sits today in 2018....
————

July 2016

Taking notes...
Looking for long coils that provide ~2.5-3" front/rear with the final rear ride height being a bit higher. Factory rake appears to be roughly 1.5".

Front sprung weight is about 1580lbs.
Rear sprung weight is about 1840lbs.

Front Coil...........Free......Rate.......RideHeight...Lift
OME 933...........19.49"...140 lbs...14.06"...........2.06"
OME 931...........20.08"...140 lbs...14.65"...........2.65"
OME 934...........20.08"...160 lbs...15.33"...........3.33"
Currie 3"...........20.25"...185 lbs...16.00"..........4.00"

Rear Coil...........Free......Rate.......RideHeight...Lift
OME 949............14.57"...216 lbs...10.35"..........2.31"
Currie 3"............15.75"...185 lbs...10.75"..........2.75"
BDS 4"................15.75"...200 lbs...11.15"..........3.25"

Currie (progressive/dual) rates based on resulting ride height and are specific to my Jeep weights.
 
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This is future me writing in February 2021. My thoughts on springs and rates has changed significantly since this was written in summer of 2016. Since then, the Jeep's suspension has been completely rebuilt and I have gained significant experience with tuned shocks.

While I won't say I didn't experience what I describe below, I now understand that these changes were inconsequentially small compared to the difference shock tuning makes.

I write this in an effort to stop those who are cherry picking this early documentation of my years long journey towards greater knowledge and understanding from using this to undermine my assertions today. It is my assertion that springs set the ride height and that shocks determine the ride.


Here's the deal with the list above. For the last year and a half, I have been running OME 933/949 coils. This more or less gave me 2" of spring lift. With my jury rigged N66/N67 shocks, the Jeep had roughly 4" up and 5" down.

Recently I was able to buy a used set of Currie 3" coils for an exceedingly good deal. Cheap enough to satisfy my curiosity. As is true of any spring, the actual lift height is determined by the weight sitting on it. Currie springs are dual rate or progressive rate. Unlike linear rate springs, predicting the lift height of dual and progressive springs is difficult to calculate. I haven't had the patience to do that kind of math. Therefore, my listed Currie spring rates are very specific to my Jeep's weight. While I know 185lbs/in is not truly accurate, it is something to wrap my head around. Here is the result.

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4' lift in the front. 2.75" in the rear. If you are wondering why the rear is so low, go back and look at my tire carrier.

There are problems with me running these coils and I do not intend to keep the Jeep like this. Here is why:
-I do not yet have a full set of adjustable control arms and cannot correct the rear pinion angle. Though my MML must be doing its job as I do not have any driveline vibes on the street.
-I lost my rake. When empty, the Jeep now sits level, if not just a hair nose high. This will be a problem when I load up with camping gear or put the hardtop on this fall. I want some rake because I use my Jeep.
-My shocks are all out of balance. I now have approximately 6" up travel and 3" down. This means I will be lifting tires, both on the rocks and quite possibly on the street. If I hit a dip or a bump the right way and the shocks fully extend those 3", I could go airborne and damage my aging shocks.
-For livability sake, I don't think I want 4" of lift on either end.
-Related to the above, if/When I raise the t-case skid, I would like good driveline angles throughout the entire suspension travel.

Here is what I like:
-The higher spring rate on the front has reduced some of the body roll. I can feel this while turning at normal driving speeds. This is subtle, but real.
-The lower spring rate in the rear is a bit more compliant and comfortable. Again subtle, but real. I drive this thing nearly every day, So I can notice small changes.
-While the Currie rear is only .25/.375" taller, the coils are 1.25" longer than the OME949. If/When I outboard the rear shocks, I would want to make use of this added travel.

I think I want to keep the Currie rear coils. I do want to lower the front down about an inch to regain an inch or more of rake. In addition to the above candidates, Savvy 3" coils are made by Currie and could be a good option.

And yes, I am entertaining the idea of mixing brands front and rear.
 
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I remove the Currie 3" fronts and replaced them with OME931, the lightest and longest coil availble from OME. Currie 3" in the rear. I got my rake back.

The interesting thing going back to the lower 140lb spring rates from the stiffer Curries is that I immediately felt the difference. The 931s are exactly how it felt with the shorter 933s and not at all how the Curries felt. The front end moves around much more with 140lb springs.

Now the fun part...

The OME coil reaches solid bind at 5.5". The space between factory spring seats without bump stop extension is 8". I have 1.375" of extension or 9.375" of space. I could easily up to a 3.5" spacer without reaching coil bind. That translates into added lift and a coil that would never unseat at full droop. Always keeping pressure on the fully drooped wheel. All while maintaining this soft compliant spring rate that allows the wheels to roll up and over obstacles while keeping opposite side on the ground.

The rear springs allow for similar spacing. I will be adding at least an inch spacer on all four corners in the near future.

Spacers aren't bad as long as they aren't adding to your bump stop extension.


Now to think through how to get lots of shock travel.
 
Just some random front axles pics...

Here the axle is at full droop hanging from the shocks. Notice how the tie rod at the drag link hits the passenger sway bar mount.
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Some full bump shots. 1.375" bump stop extension. MC track bar. ZJ tie rod
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It looks like the MC trackbar travels in an arc when you raise the passenger side. I really need to cycle to see how all this works. Good stuff! Our builds are very similar in the components we’ve selected.
 
When you switched over to the 931 springs up front do you know how much lift you ended up with? Intrigued about possibly replacing my 933's for a softer/taller spring.
 
When you switched over to the 931 springs up front do you know how much lift you ended up with? Intrigued about possibly replacing my 933's for a softer/taller spring.
About 2.5". However, that is misleading because my rear bumper/tire carrier is lifting the front end up.

The 931 will provide more lift than the 933. Same rate, but .5" longer. The 934 will give the most lift. Same length as the 933, but a slightly higher rate.

2003 Rubicon
 
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So you mentioned your Hobart 210 mig welder. Do you still love it? We are trying to decide on a welder for the shop.
 
So you mentioned your Hobart 210 mig welder. Do you still love it? We are trying to decide on a welder for the shop.
I'm not a good welder by any means. It has done everything I have asked of it and nothing has fallen off yet. :)

2003 Rubicon
 
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Did some clean up and clutter removal on the third brake light wiring.
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The mileage seemed to be decreasing somewhere around 110k miles.

These are the graphs from the O2 sensors. From what little I understand, the up stream should be a bit more active than this anf down stream should be flatter.
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These are the original sensors. Can you read O2 sensors like you can spark plugs?
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Here is what you need for a 2003 Wrangler with the 4.0.
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The graphs with the new sensors. There is more activity on the up stream and certainly more sensing happening on the down. The mileage did improve.
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There aren't enough detail shots of my home made Sunrider soft top. This was one of those really finicky projects that dragged on and on trying to figure out what works best.

I found an extra set of soft top bow knuckles to make the hinge. Below the ruler is the length that was cut from the soft top frame.
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A copper tubing cutter worked well enough.
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A step bit makes a good reamer.
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Most of this will become the latch that keeps the folded top in place.
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Drill a hole in the door surrounds for the hardware.
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My new Sunrider top.
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I don't use it as much as I thought I would. But it is nice to have the option.
 
I needed a clock after replacing the factory radio. The TJ was primitive when it was new. I wanted a primitive LED clock that was hardwired to the battery. This one came from eBay and I fit it into the front face of the upper console storage tray that I added years earlier.
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April 2016

Planning for the future. I found a nearly new Tom Wood double cardan rear driveshaft for a Rubicon on CL.
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After enough camping trips where any attempts to stay organized quickly become difficult, I decide to make a rear cargo shelf. I had a Harbor Freight hitch basket from a previous project that never went anywhere. It was too wide to fit inside the cage, so figure out a way to shorten it.
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This is the bracketry. Bear in mind that this project started before the welder. Someday, I will redo most of this in a way that is cleaner and easier to remove. But I think I did pretty well with what was available to me.

I am using exhaust clamps to attache the rack to the cage.
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These will be the rails that connect the B and C pillars.
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This band wraps around the B pillar to move the rail further back and away from the front seats.
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Some stand offs are added to the front brackets to make the B to C rails parallel to each other.
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A second pair of rails are attached to the basket.
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Then cut to length to fit inside the B to C pillar rails and bolted in place.
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Later I added more tie downs and more vertical posts to better close off the sides.
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