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Questions about body, motor mounts, suspension lift, tires, and more

hardtailpan

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
550
Location
Northeast USA
The Apex TJ I just picked up needs to be sorted out. It currently has a 2.5" body lift with 32x11.5x15 tires on 10" wide rims. I haven't measured, but I'm quite sure there is no spring/suspension lift in it whatsoever. It's the 32RH automatic (3 speed), 4.0L six, with dana30/35 axles with the 3.07 ratio. I'm trying to come up with a fairly budget friendly plan to get it to where I'm currently happy with it, with an eye for what I might do in the future. I don't do any hardcore wheeling or rock crawling at all, it will be used a lot on the road and for some very light off road such as fire roads, camp roads, maybe an easy pipeline and such. The wife kinda fell in love with it when I brought it home, so I'm trying to build it with her in mind as well. Don't get the wrong idea here, she'd rather it stay jacked up or go higher, where I'd rather bring it down a bit, drive it and figure out whats working and what's not.

So:

Questions:

1) It seems a 2.5" body lift is generally frowned upon in this forum, correct? It does look fairly silly, and I understand the extra shear force on the bolts should the Jeep be in a collision. Any other real issues with running this, or should I drop it to a max of 1.00"-1.25"?

2) The fan shroud has obviously already been relocated with the large body lift. Should I decide to drop the body back down with a 1.00" lift or so, should I simply relocate the fan shroud again, or would it be better to get a motor mount lift? It doesn't seem like a good idea to do a MML which will (slightly) alter driveline geometry when I'm not trying to correct a problem. I ask, because I am considering a 2" spring lift in the future. Should I just wait for the MML if/when I do the spring lift?

3) If I drop the body back down, what kind of things would have been needed to be modified for such a tall body lift? Thoughts are: steering, auto shift linkage, tcase shift linkage, gas tank hoses....anything else?

My thoughts currently:

1) Drop the body down to the 1.00-1.25" lift usually recommended

2) Buy a set of 31" tires on factory Canyon wheels I found at a good deal and replace the 32" tires and wheels (the 32" tires are in poor shape)

3) Drive it for a while and see what we like and don't. I'm thinking I'm not going to love the 3.07 axles, but I haven't owned one with em', so I guess we will see.

Future possibilities:

I may consider adding a 2" spring lift (OME) in the future. This coupled with the 1" body lift should let me get into 33s since its not going to be wheeled hard. The elephant in the room is the 3.07 axles. I have a dana 44 (3.73) and would pick up another dana 30 (3.73) to put under it in this case. I would consider a re-gear, but would want to be able to maintain 65-70 and 3.73 with 33" tires according to grimjeeper calculator provides about 66mph at 2500. I doubt this is ideal, but for a rig that sees more road use than dirt use, and one without an overdrive, this might be a good compromise ratio.

Kind of spitballing here, but if anyone would like to chime in I'd love to hear it.

apex1.jpg
 

defenderu

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
271
Location
Chicago
Lose the body lift for sure.

Not knowing your budget I would suggest a basic 2 inch lift with good shocks for ride quality.

As to all the stuff required for a 2.5 inch body lift ill let others speak.

Perhaps some photos of the motor mounts undercarriage etc.
 
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Vasq

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
2,407
Location
Everett, WA
1) Drop the body down to the 1.00-1.25" lift usually recommended

2) Buy a set of 31" tires on factory Canyon wheels I found at a good deal and replace the 32" tires and wheels (the 32" tires are in poor shape)

3) Drive it for a while and see what we like and don't. I'm thinking I'm not going to love the 3.07 axles, but I haven't owned one with em', so I guess we will see.
This is a perfect plan of action to begin with!

I almost jumped on the 3.07's but I have never owned the 32rh so your 30/44 swap with 3.73's might be all you need for 31's? Someone else might jump in with more knowledge on that. Otherwise your plan sounds right on point.
 
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bobthetj03

Daily driver
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
14,787
Location
Clearlake Ca.
Good choice on the 31's and Canyons. Reducing the tire size and rolling mass will help a bunch with those 3.07 gears. Also good idea and lowering the BL down to 1.25". Check for silly t-case shift linkage brackets and such. I have no clue what was needed to fix the shifter or t-case linkage with such a huge BL. Those 32" tires look like 1st gen KO's and got to be over 10 years old.
Just relocate the fan shroud for now and drive it after fixing said items and do the normal maintenance stuff, then decide if a small lift is worth the effort. Jumping to 33's is not for the weak of wallet, so pace yourself.
 
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hardtailpan

hardtailpan

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
550
Location
Northeast USA
Good choice on the 31's and Canyons. Reducing the tire size and rolling mass will help a bunch with those 3.07 gears. Also good idea and lowering the BL down to 1.25". Check for silly t-case shift linkage brackets and such. I have no clue what was needed to fix the shifter or t-case linkage with such a huge BL. Those 32" tires look like 1st gen KO's and got to be over 10 years old.
Just relocate the fan shroud for now and drive it after fixing said items and do the normal maintenance stuff, then decide if a small lift is worth the effort. Jumping to 33's is not for the weak of wallet, so pace yourself.
See the pics below, you have a good eye to identify them from that angle, They are indeed first gen KOs. The dates range from 2007-2015 from what I can tell, assuming I'm reading the date code correctly. I believe the one in the pic is a 2009 date code (11th week of 2009).

As it turns out, it looks like the new tires on the Canyons are KO2s, which is cool.

ko1.jpg


ko2.jpg
 
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