2.5" lift recommendations


YJ103

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Nov 7, 2020
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Boston
Looking for recommendations for a 2.5" suspension lift for my '95. Its got 186k on the clock, so I'm looking to refresh the springs and such- not a body lift. I find mostly the Rough Country ($499) and Rubicon Express ($899) kits when shopping and reviewing on YouTube, and was just wondering about anyones experience with these or other kits. Don't really go off-road, just mostly a summer beach cruiser looking for more room for the 31's.
 

Invictus

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Jan 5, 2021
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Wisconsin
'94 here - similar situation, just getting started looking for lifts etc

@YJ103 we have the same colors, year is close, but mine is stock on a rock I missed. Rookie move, but I need a lift and bigger wheels so I don't have to look so close haha!

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machoheadgames

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May 19, 2020
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Dallas, TX
Old Man Emu is the way to go. The ride is super smooth for a YJ. I’ve had stock, Rough Country 2.5”, BDS 3.5”, and OME. Night and day.
 
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Fouledplugs

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Apr 15, 2020
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South Carolina
The shocks play the biggest role in ride quality.

If you want the absolute best leaf springs, you’ll have your Jeep weighed and then source a leaf builder and let them know how much lift you want.
 

Joss

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Dec 6, 2020
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Twin Falls, ID
BDS 2" Leaf Springs and FOX Shocks and Steering Stabilizer.

If you go with 2.5" you may end up needing a Slip Yoke Eliminator and a new drive shaft... which I was not wanting to do.

Just my $0.02
 
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YJ103

YJ103

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So I've looked into the OME 2.5 now, also, and it looks like it comes with the spacers to drop the tranny down a bit too. Does dropping the tranny eliminate the need for a SYE? It seems that installing one or a new drive shaft may be a bit excessive for such a small lift.
 

machoheadgames

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So I've looked into the OME 2.5 now, also, and it looks like it comes with the spacers to drop the tranny down a bit too. Does dropping the tranny eliminate the need for a SYE? It seems that installing one or a new drive shaft may be a bit excessive for such a small lift.
A big issue of why transfer case drops often don’t work for YJ Jeeps after they’ve been lifted, is because the manufacturer either supplies too large/steep shims for the application, or doesn’t supply them at all. For example, Rough Country sells their 2.5” kit and they ship the springs with 6° shims with no explanation of why. It ends up working perfectly for a SYE and double cardan driveshaft, but if you keep the stock shaft and run a transfer case drop, 6° shims are WAY too steep. And on the other hand, you can’t run the lift as they sell it either, because 6° shims are too steep when not changing anything else.

The transfer case drop itself will angle the pinion down around 2°, so that’s the angle that needs to be added to the springs to compensate. OME includes the spacers and the shims and they are a perfect match for each other, so it should work perfectly fine.

I still push for SYE a lot of the time I make recommendations simply because it’s a stronger, improved setup, and doesn’t negate any of the lift that was just added. But with the proper OME transfer case drop kit, you should certainly be able to get by without any serious tough wheeling/abuse.

In short, it should be fine and work great as they sell it for a medium user.
 

Joss

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Dec 6, 2020
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Twin Falls, ID
My BDS 2" Leaf Springs set-up should be installed within the next month or so, still waiting for more parts (famous last word! LOL :)) to get everything installed together.

The BDS Kit comes with some small spacers to drop the Transfer Case ever so slightly so this way I won't need a SYE, which was the whole point of the exercise for me.... I just didn't want to go down that road of new Double Cardan Drive Shaft, etc... I was told that anything over 2" will require a SYE.

I will report back when it's all done.
 

machoheadgames

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I was told that anything over 2" will require a SYE.
That’s not a terrible way for the line to be defined, but it’s definitely not that cut and dry. Also, BDS springs tend to run tall so you’ll likely end up higher than 2” anyways. I ran the 3.5” setup for several years and it put me more around 4-5” taller than stock. Can’t say if the 2” springs will do the same but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.
 

Joss

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Dec 6, 2020
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Twin Falls, ID
That’s not a terrible way for the line to be defined, but it’s definitely not that cut and dry. Also, BDS springs tend to run tall so you’ll likely end up higher than 2” anyways. I ran the 3.5” setup for several years and it put me more around 4-5” taller than stock. Can’t say if the 2” springs will do the same but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.

Thank you for your update, I really appreciate it!

I guess we will have to figure it out once those leaf springs are installed.

I am adding 2 heavy Duty Steel Bumpers, M.O.R.E. in the front + a 10,000 lbs Warn Winch Zeon 10 (steel cable) + a Hyline rear bumper with tire carrier to get that 31" spare tire off the tailgate, so that may affect the "squat" in the end, but I will do what needs to be done so it is done right. If I need to do a SYE and a longer rear drive shaft, then I will have to go that route, but we shall see.

I will definitely report back when it is all said and done.
 

jeepjoe43

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Dec 4, 2020
Messages
90
Location
Black Canyon City, AZ 85324
Running 2 1/2" rc.'s on mine, wish I had shopped around, but the ride quality improves greatly when you're only running 5psi.
That's why I run bias ply TSL's. Non-bouncy seats (molded foam w/o springs) and serious restraints will improve ride quality 100% because you're moving with the vehicle and not against it, but they're not going to be as comfy. Had to put an SYE in mine and double cardon joint shafts, if you have to I recommend Tom Woods Drive Shaft. Cheaper than off the shelf and built exactly to your specs.
 
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machoheadgames

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Dallas, TX
Running 2 1/2" rc.'s on mine, wish I had shopped around, but the ride quality improves greatly when you're only running 5psi.
That's why I run bias ply TSL's. Non-bouncy seats (molded foam w/o springs) and serious restraints will improve ride quality 100% because you're moving with the vehicle and not against it, but they're not going to be as comfy. Had to put an SYE in mine and double cardon joint shafts, if you have to I recommend Tom Woods Drive Shaft. Cheaper than off the shelf and built exactly to your specs.
Honestly the RC YJ springs aren’t that terrible. What really sucks from them are the spring bushings, quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. I found mine dead at less than two years. They were probably dead even before I found them. Their shocks also aren’t great.

But, the springs are decent for moderate use. For heavier wheeling, something like OME or Rubicon Express should be looked into. The RC springs I used rode nicely on the street though at least.
 

jeepjoe43

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Dec 4, 2020
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Black Canyon City, AZ 85324
Had a J20 once that rode like falling down stairs, put RC springs on the front and what an improvement.
So I got RC's for the YJ, The stock springs were completely collapsed so the 2 1/2" lift actually came up 4".
The poor Jeep had been pounded on washboard roads behind the coach of GPAA member.
Not a fan of there shocks either but you gotta start somewhere.
Thanks for the heads up on the bushings.