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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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so I’m finishing the rust treatment and when I pull left rear tire and find a shock that looks like it’s leaking, which makes sense from the noise i was hearing in rear. I have 240,000 plus some and all shocks look to be original. Struggling with just shocks or lift kit. Most of my off roading is on mountain roads near Tetons. roads can be rough and some require good clearance. My experience with lifts come from my wrangler days and it was a domino affect; Just Empty Every Pocket. I will be replacing the bumper with bumper and winch at some point. I‘m wondering how worn springs are and if it’s just better to do a full lift kit ? Or just upgrade all 4 shocks?
 

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Just Empty Every Pocket- I like that! :LOL: And people say Jeeps are cheap...
I did an OME lift (885, 895 springs with their Nitrocharger Sport struts and shocks), SPC uca's on my '08 (daily driver, use it for work), have almost 30,000 kms on it now since the addition and am very happy with the way it turned out. With the 285/70-17 BFG ATTA's (and the ATRAC and rear e-locker) it's a very capable vehicle! How worn the springs are will depend on how it's been driven for it's 240,000 + miles, but since you're talking about a bumper and winch maybe now is the time for an upgrade? Pure FJ lists the OME lift kits at $1,050 and SPC uca's (to get caster back to something reasonable so it highway drives nice again) are $700, and it's lifted- anything else you do is up to you.
My son's chronicling of some of our adventures (I'm the balding, slightly chubby older fart in the jean jacket who also happens to be the truck owner, chief financier/mechanic and on the road catering specialist (they're 17 and 22 and need to eat almost constantly!) you'll only very occasionally see)- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMIspHkYseZjgFvz96HkoJg
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. Loved the YouTube video, that looked like a lot of fun. Seems like most places are sold out. I found this Lift. Just not sure of options. spacer needed? upper control arms? I was going to do ball joints. Still tempted to wait for now and fix rear shocks with oem shocks. do the lift next spring.
 

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So I’m running the Toytec/Bilstein 5100 coilovers in the front, and I can tell you they’re a solid setup. You don’t need spacers with them — you’ll get about 3” at the highest notch, which yotamafia will set up for you. As for UCAs, I went with the JBA high caster UCAs. They have a ball joint in a polyurethane boot that’s adjustable for higher caster. I’ve been extremely impressed with them thus far. They weren’t too hatefully expensive, the customer service is awesome, and the red powdercoat looks fantastic.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I’m running the Toytec/Bilstein 5100 coilovers in the front, and I can tell you they’re a solid setup. You don’t need spacers with them — you’ll get about 3” at the highest notch, which yotamafia will set up for you. As for UCAs, I went with the JBA high caster UCAs. They have a ball joint in a polyurethane boot that’s adjustable for higher caster. I’ve been extremely impressed with them thus far. They weren’t too hatefully expensive, the customer service is awesome, and the red powdercoat looks fantastic.
Shokaract, that looks nice. I’ve read so many lift threads I’m thoroughly confused. I’m not convinced a 3 inch lift is really going to give me more off road capability. Winter time will be snow covered roads. Spring will be slushy dirt roads. if my calculations are correct going up one size is 285/70/17 is only an inch larger, which would be about 1/2 inch more clearance. What complicates the issue is age of existing suspension components that may need fixing. Ball joints and if springs have lost some of there length. 90% of the 240000 miles are highway. I’m thinking I could get a set of bilsteins and see how it does and if I need to upgrade springs and UCA’s later when I get around to the bumper and winch.
 

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Mating the Bilsteins with your factory springs will be a big improvement, and provide you the clearance you need to fit larger tires (such as the 285s you mentioned). I did get a good increase on ground clearance when I did my lift, but I’m exactly at 3” in the front and I needed to replace the UCAs to account for the caster change. I’m also running 295/70R17s on my rig, so I’m sitting at closer to 4” of lift. However, if you did something like 1-2”, you’d get a decent difference in height with the suspension alone, about an inch with the 285s, and you probably wouldn’t need to replace the UCAs unless you a) needed to replace the ball joints, or b) just wanted something beefier.

Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Decided to install Bilsteins for now. I plan on setting the struts at level 2 to lift front a little. I have tested the ball joints and tie rods, they seem okay. Do I need to have my alignment done after I install struts?
 

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Just had this installed on the 12th as Bday gift to myself. Pretty darn happy with it. I drive 55 miles to work one way and I have to say my back thanked me for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That looks really nice. My commute is a little less than you. I might average about 50 miles a week, and none of it is to work. I’ve been a remote worker for about 11 years. Generally we use the FJ for a few errands during week and weekends to go into back country or skiing. Just got my bilsteins today and will install this weekend. i still may add new springs and UCA’s down the road, not really looking for larger tires just better ride both on and off road.
 

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That looks really nice. My commute is a little less than you. I might average about 50 miles a week, and none of it is to work. I’ve been a remote worker for about 11 years. Generally we use the FJ for a few errands during week and weekends to go into back country or skiing. Just got my bilsteins today and will install this weekend. i still may add new springs and UCA’s down the road, not really looking for larger tires just better ride both on and off road.
In my opinion the 295/75/16 are part of what helped smooth out my ride because I have more rubber on my wheels along with the new shocks and springs. I will admit that I feel just a bit of power loss. Which means I need to start saving for a regear eventually.
 
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