Removing long arm lift

Preacher 1979

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Just acquired a 1998 TJ with a 4.5 long arm lift. Sits on 35×12×15 with a 2.5 engine and 5 speed has a ford 8.8 rear end. Do not know gear ratio. Anyway I am sure that someone has a thread somewhere I just cannot find it. How do you go back to stock or just a 2 inch lift? Is there a thread on what all is needed? Too tall for my wife to get in. Thanks
 

JMT

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It’s quite a bit of work to go back to stock. The good news is that stock parts are free just about anywhere you look on Craigslist. For example, I have a rear driveshaft and in a few months I’ll have a rear trackbar

You’ll need stock or equivalent:

control arms
front and rear trackbar
length shocks
length springs
Front and rear sway bar connects
tires no larger than 31x10.5r15
rear driveshaft

I may be missing some things.
 
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Preacher 1979

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It’s quite a bit of work to go back to stock. The good news is that stock parts are free just about anywhere you look on Craigslist. For example, I have a rear driveshaft and in a few months I’ll have a rear trackbar

You’ll need stock or equivalent:

control arms
front and rear trackbar
length shocks
length springs
Front and rear sway bar connects
tires no larger than 31x10.5r15
rear driveshaft

I may be missing some things.
Okay it is possible then. Something I can do over time. Not beyond what I can do either. Built a 89 yj from a tub and frame.
 

T_Hase89

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@JMT Maybe you would know... Could you run long arms with just a 2" spring without some major drivability issues? I know it wouldn't be ideal but it would get it closer to the ground quicker if the stock control arm brackets are MIA. They might not have enough adjust ability to pull the axle forward after lowering. Just brain storming..
 

JMT

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@JMT Maybe you would know... Could you run long arms with just a 2" spring without some major drivability issues? I know it wouldn't be ideal but it would get it closer to the ground quicker if the stock control arm brackets are MIA. They might not have enough adjust ability to pull the axle forward after lowering. Just brain storming..
Maybe that is what @Mumblewood is getting at with his comment about 2” springs. If you did that, temporarily you would really be killing your clearance. The OP probably wouldn’t care though If I’m following his drift. I don’t really know What would happen to his driveability. I’ve never heard of anyone running a long arm on 2” of lift. I would think it would extend his wheelbase. The angles from the axles would be shallower than a short arm for sure. I don’t know what that would do. He might have interference problems between the rear trackbar and the gas tank.
 

Brian83

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If its a bolt on long arms then its easy, If its a weld on long arm lift then its going to be alot of work. Maybe even worth selling that jeep and finding a different one.
 

jjvw

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Even a bolt on long arm will require welding to put the missing factory mounts back on.

If the existing arms are adjustable, there is no real reason the ride height can't be reduced. It should only need shorter springs and shocks with adjusted bump stops. An appropriately smaller tire is also a part of this. Some setups will require a minimum amount of bump stop which will dictate how short of a shock can be used. As long as the up travel stays at 4" minimum, the Jeep can go lower.
 
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Steel City 06

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You can get Safe T Caps that have the control arm mounts pre-welded on. It would simply be a matter of welding the cap onto the frame, which would likely be easier for the novice.

SafeTCap-frame-repair-kit-chart-for-Jeep-TJ.jpg
SafeTCap_JeepChart_www_800x1035.png
SafeTCap-frame-repair-kit-chart-fopr-Jeep-YJ.jpg
 

kmas0n

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Even a bolt on long arm will require welding to put the missing factory mounts back on.

If the existing arms are adjustable, there is no real reason the ride height can't be reduced. It should only need shorter springs and shocks with adjusted bump stops. An appropriately smaller tire is also a part of this. Some setups will require a minimum amount of bump stop which will dictate how short of a shock can be used. As long as the up travel stays at 4" minimum, the Jeep can go lower.
I agree. The amount of work required to go back to a short arm is just as silly as the amount of work required to go to a long arm. A lot of work for very little improvement. As long as there are not any weird bump stop requirements (over 2") for frame/arm interference, the "standard" OME 2 inch springs and RS5000x shocks w/ 32-33" tires should be fine and maintain the 4-5" uptravel and 4-5" downtravel to keep it comfortable and capable.
 
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I seem to remember someone doing this before (10 years ago) without issue but it was only 1-1.5” lower so maybe not as drastic.
The fact that this Jeep has an 8.8 rear leads me to believe the old control arm brackets were cut off so going back to stock would probably not make economic sense.
It would probably be cheaper and faster to just find someone that wants to trade Jeeps.
 

mrblaine

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I seem to remember someone doing this before (10 years ago) without issue but it was only 1-1.5” lower so maybe not as drastic.
The fact that this Jeep has an 8.8 rear leads me to believe the old control arm brackets were cut off so going back to stock would probably not make economic sense.
It would probably be cheaper and faster to just find someone that wants to trade Jeeps.
I am not aware of any long arm kit that retains the stock frame mounts. The 8.8 rear has nothing to do with the stock frame mounts either way. Lots of them under short arm rigs, lots under long arm rigs and installing one does not require altering the frame mounts.
 
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Preacher 1979

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Thanks for all the comments. Been doing a lot of searching on this site. Seems like ZJ springs and steering controls will fit. Since I have a 97 ZJ that had complete electrical failure I might see what will work. Checking the brackets later. Like the idea of an elevator.
 

AndyG

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Man you guys missed the obvious :
He could get a taller wife .

It's a good thing I'm on here to help.