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Slow and steady TJ build

Kasterusa

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Salt Lake City
Hello everyone, first post for my Jeep build.

I have a new to me 2003 TJ that is stock except for a new soft top and fenders with little/no rust and original suspension. It’s not a smooth ride. Looking for a solid 2” lift to run 31 x 10.50’s. Comfortable ride on and off road.

Suspension is a tricky subject, since there are many threads, but can’t find the answer I’m look for. Is it better to by a suspension kit or individual components? I’ve read so many positive comments on the Rancho RS5000x, but what springs are recommended? I was thinking Teraflex or OME kit, but I’m lead to believe the shocks aren’t as good.

What setup do you recommend?

Keith

88CA40E5-D5A2-4FF6-8A6E-8F3172E382D3.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Chris

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Sep 28, 2015
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Salem, Oregon
Personally if I was looking for a 2” lift I would go with Rancho RS5000X shocks and OME 2” springs.

Combined with C load range tires and the right tire PSI, that will make your TJ ride as good as it will get.
 

Fouledplugs

TJ Expert
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Jun 19, 2017
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Give DPG off road a call, stick with Rancho RS5000's no matter what. Tell him you already have the shocks. Have him supply the rest of the parts or buy them individually based off P/N. 2 inch OME springs and all the components needed to make it, "complete."
 
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moab

TJ Addict
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Joined
Dec 15, 2018
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1,355
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El Segundo, California
You can't go wrong with Rancho 5000x's (make sure they are the X ones) and a 2" OME lift. And PSI is your long lost friend. The ranchos and psi are what make a TJ ride ok or not at all. Shop around for the OME lift.
 
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AndyG

TJ Expert
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Jul 30, 2018
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Alabama
Pay attention to the above posts, not saying you can't lift more , or do whatever , but if you will stay with what these guys are saying , you won't mess up your TJ ...and believe me , these things aren't hard to get right, but man they are easy to mess up . They aren't delicate, but the light weight and small wheel base (both ways) is pretty unforgiving of bad set up.

I see way more modified TJs that are messed up than are right in my area, which is Zone 3 , District 6 if you look in the forum territory governance manual.
 
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OP
Kasterusa

Kasterusa

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Salt Lake City
Great advise, thank you. For the Rancho’s, are there any variations I need to watch out for? I want the gas ones, correct? Also, I’ll give DPG a call, what stiffness am I looking for? Eventually I will want to replace the OEM front bumper with something that will allow a wench.

Thanks,

Keith

Also, is there a section in the forum to find a good Jeep club in Utah (Salt Lake Area)?
 

moab

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
1,355
Location
El Segundo, California
Great advise, thank you. For the Rancho’s, are there any variations I need to watch out for? I want the gas ones, correct? Also, I’ll give DPG a call, what stiffness am I looking for? Eventually I will want to replace the OEM front bumper with something that will allow a wench.

Thanks,

Keith

Also, is there a section in the forum to find a good Jeep club in Utah (Salt Lake Area)?
Here's a link to the United States section. Guys post meetups and groups in that section of the forum. So just scroll down and look for Utah.


The Rancho shocks depend on what lift you have. Here's their page:

 

Richard Brust

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
32
Location
El Dorado Hills, CA
Hello everyone, first post for my Jeep build.

I have a new to me 2003 TJ that is stock except for a new soft top and fenders with little/no rust and original suspension. It’s not a smooth ride. Looking for a solid 2” lift to run 31 x 10.50’s. Comfortable ride on and off road.

Suspension is a tricky subject, since there are many threads, but can’t find the answer I’m look for. Is it better to by a suspension kit or individual components? I’ve read so many positive comments on the Rancho RS5000x, but what springs are recommended? I was thinking Teraflex or OME kit, but I’m lead to believe the shocks aren’t as good.

What setup do you recommend?

Keith
ha! I have a 98 TJ that looks somewhat like yours. it was stock for 20 years and last winter I installed the OME 2" kit. I will say - and I see it in other's posts - that maybe there are better options for shocks, as the OME shocks are bouncy-bouncy. I think I spilled my coffee rolling over an ant the other day.

However, I use my TJ for just around town driving and off-roading. No commute or long trips, so I live with it as I wanted something good for rocks and such.

Today I finally got DuraTrac 31' x 10.5 and will try them out this weekend. The OME kit was pretty simple - with some Google-ing and U-tube vids, the instructions were not the best. Anyway, to answer your post, I liked the idea of a kit...
 

Fouledplugs

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
3,212
Location
Alabama/South Carolina
ha! I have a 98 TJ that looks somewhat like yours. it was stock for 20 years and last winter I installed the OME 2" kit. I will say - and I see it in other's posts - that maybe there are better options for shocks, as the OME shocks are bouncy-bouncy. I think I spilled my coffee rolling over an ant the other day.

However, I use my TJ for just around town driving and off-roading. No commute or long trips, so I live with it as I wanted something good for rocks and such.

Today I finally got DuraTrac 31' x 10.5 and will try them out this weekend. The OME kit was pretty simple - with some Google-ing and U-tube vids, the instructions were not the best. Anyway, to answer your post, I liked the idea of a kit...
it’s often talked about around here that the OME shocks are pretty stiff and offer up a slightly rougher ride than the all too common Rancho RS5000x’s, which gain praise around here often.
 

Fouledplugs

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
3,212
Location
Alabama/South Carolina
Great advise, thank you. For the Rancho’s, are there any variations I need to watch out for? I want the gas ones, correct? Also, I’ll give DPG a call, what stiffness am I looking for? Eventually I will want to replace the OEM front bumper with something that will allow a wench.

Thanks,

Keith

Also, is there a section in the forum to find a good Jeep club in Utah (Salt Lake Area)?
RS5000x’s are the gas ones, you are correct going with those.
Heavier bumpers and a winch would benefit more from the HD springs versus the softer springs from OME.
 

Fouledplugs

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
3,212
Location
Alabama/South Carolina
Hello everyone, first post for my Jeep build.

I have a new to me 2003 TJ that is stock except for a new soft top and fenders with little/no rust and original suspension. It’s not a smooth ride. Looking for a solid 2” lift to run 31 x 10.50’s. Comfortable ride on and off road.

Suspension is a tricky subject, since there are many threads, but can’t find the answer I’m look for. Is it better to by a suspension kit or individual components? I’ve read so many positive comments on the Rancho RS5000x, but what springs are recommended? I was thinking Teraflex or OME kit, but I’m lead to believe the shocks aren’t as good.

What setup do you recommend?

Keith

View attachment 117031
Be aware that its uncommon for TJ owners to gain unwanted vibrations from a 2 inch lift. However, that does not mean it cant happen even after a 2 inch lift.

Understanding that you may need a SYE, a new DS, and adjustable control arms is key here.
 
Last edited:

Goatman

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
1,543
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Upstate NY
His point is that you should NOT NEED those things, but every Jeep is different. Some people get no vibes with a 6 inch spring lift using old dump truck springs, while some pick up a death wobble by changing the color of their air freshener.
Is it something you should worry about? No. But is there even the slightest chance? Yes. It seems the TJ is more fussy about changes than most other vehicles are, but it is very unlikely a 2" lift will cause any problems if done right.
 
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Fouledplugs

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
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Jun 19, 2017
Messages
3,212
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Alabama/South Carolina
His point is that you should NOT NEED those things, but every Jeep is different. Some people get no vibes with a 6 inch spring lift using old dump truck springs, while some pick up a death wobble by changing the color of their air freshener.
Is it something you should worry about? No. But is there even the slightest chance? Yes. It seems the TJ is more fussy about changes than most other vehicles are, but it is very unlikely a 2" lift will cause any problems if done right.
Correct, hope for the best, but be prepared for the, “worst.”
 
OP
Kasterusa

Kasterusa

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Salt Lake City
So it begins.....first items of my suspension upgrade has started to arrive. Thank you for all the input and suggestions.

1AE74FE1-D830-4053-AB6F-7C325A5732A4.jpeg

Next question(s) are install tips. I haven’t don’t a suspension replacement since a CJ-7 leaf spring replacement. I won’t have a lift....I’ll be working on the garage floor, what tools would you suggest? I have a pretty big selection of tools already, just don’t know what I’m going to run it during the build. I’d rather have everything I need, rather than hunting around/waiting for delivery.

Thanks again!
Keith
 
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bobthetj03

vibrajeep
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Feb 3, 2017
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NorCal
A good set of HD jack stands, a large pry bar, torque wrench, and possibly a coil spring compressor. I'm not a fan of them, so I disconnect the sway bar, tie rod and flex one side of the axle to get the springs out/in. Don't forget to cycle the suspension once you have the springs out to check clearances and setup for possible bump stop extensions. The rear track bar relocation bracket is a PITA, so it's best to drill the hole while the rear spring is out and the axle is drooped so you have room with a drill. You'll want a minimum of 1" bumpstop extension in the rear so the relocation bracket does hit the fuel lines/wiring harness against the tub floor.
 

Goatman

TJ Addict
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Apr 23, 2019
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Upstate NY
The ability to take a "smoke break" when things get prickly is one of the best 'tools' you can have. Prior list is pretty spot on.
 
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Kasterusa

Kasterusa

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Salt Lake City
A good set of HD jack stands, a large pry bar, torque wrench, and possibly a coil spring compressor. I'm not a fan of them, so I disconnect the sway bar, tie rod and flex one side of the axle to get the springs out/in. Don't forget to cycle the suspension once you have the springs out to check clearances and setup for possible bump stop extensions. The rear track bar relocation bracket is a PITA, so it's best to drill the hole while the rear spring is out and the axle is drooped so you have room with a drill. You'll want a minimum of 1" bumpstop extension in the rear so the relocation bracket does hit the fuel lines/wiring harness against the tub floor.
What would you recommend the best process to “Cycle the suspension”?
 

Fouledplugs

TJ Expert
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Jun 19, 2017
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Alabama/South Carolina
What would you recommend the best process to “Cycle the suspension”?