Default Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
wildcatmoto is offline
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Hey Jeepers

new to the forum. I've had my 81' CJ8 for about 4 years now. It is pretty much stock with the 258 engine and all original suspension. Dual stick transfer case and weber carb are the only major mods. It did have original AC but it was taken out, not sure I will put it back in. She runs and drives awesome, except that it is ready for a suspension refresh.

That being said, I like having it pretty stock, I don't want to put anything more than 31 or 32 inch tires since we drive it around alot including 200 mile trips to the mountains for fishing. That being said, I am looking at a few <$1000 2.5 inch lift kits. Trail Master, Pro Comp or Skyjacker sport are three I have narrowed it down to. Staying away from Rancho as I had that on an older YJ and it it was like an egg beater. I am also replacing the shackles and was planning on doing stock unless there is some benefit to after market other than additional lift. I don't want it sky high otherwise the wife won't ride in it! After the lift, all the steering components will get replaced as well so the steering is tightened up. Ideally, I am looking at less than 700 for the kit with shackles etc but if there is something out there that is going to give me a ton of difference in ride, I would be interested.


User error on uploading images, can't get them to insert in. Otherwise I would post a picture of my stock beauty.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 12:25 PM   #2
cglax6 is offline
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I know you didn't list it, and not sure if they offer it for the CJ8, but I really like my 2.5" BDS lift on my CJ5. I have 31" tires and it rides and looks great. I have been thinking about getting some offset wheels because I'd like a little wider stance...would probably go to 32s when I do that.

As far as shackles go, I bought a set with a bolt in the middle (for stability) and zerks on the bolts.

When you put the bigger tires on, be sure to check your steering limits and adjust the limit bolts to prevent any rubbing. I had to adjust mine a touch, but I don't know if that's because the PO was a moron or not.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 01:01 PM   #3
Kane is offline
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I would shy away from those lift kits that you mentioned. BDS and Old Man Emu are the the two you want to look at for excellent ride quality and quality components. They both ride soft and have good replacement guarantees.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 01:11 PM   #4
wildcatmoto is offline
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I forgot about BDS. They just moved to the top. I have been so apprehensive about the lift simply because I don't want a harsh ride. That being said, I don't really think my shocks are doing anything at this point. They aren't original but I am pretty sure they are 20 years old and the springs are for sure original. I am thinking my 2.5" lift will end up yielding way more.

Also - thanks for the advice about the wheel offset. I should be okay with 31s but I will check that out. The PO had 32s on it and they rubbed real bad so I took them off and put 237/75/15s for now.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane View Post
I would shy away from those lift kits that you mentioned. BDS and Old Man Emu are the the two you want to look at for excellent ride quality and quality components. They both ride soft and have good replacement guarantees.
Agreed-I really like my 4" lift from BDS. Good customer service too, I had a few questions and they were more than happy to help.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 02:26 PM   #6
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I'll attest to BDS customer service.

After 4 months of very light driving, my rear left spring sagged 3/4". I called them up and they asked for a couple measurements and sent me a new spring and bushings...showed up a couple days later. They apologized profusely and made sure I stayed happy. I understand that even high quality parts fail every now and again, so no real skin off my back. 30 extra minutes of work and the CJ5 was right as rain.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 05:23 PM   #7
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I have heard good things about BDS and OME. But my personal experiences do not include those brands. Maybe some day. But I have been building my 8 on a relative budget. I started with flat stock springs 9 years ago. Put in a used set of 2.5 Rancho leafs. Those were pretty harsh. After they sagged back to the stock height, I went and installed a 4 inch lift and 33s. This time with a set of Skyjacker leafs. They are doing well. They are not as stiff as the Ranchos, but they are not soft either. My old YJ had a much softer ride. But I don’t mind. I will look at BDS or OME next time. Here is a pic of my 8 on 4” leafs and 33s.



I did like the look of my 31s on the 2.5” lift. Filled the wheel wells up nicely.

 

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 06:11 PM   #8
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Have you checked to see if anyone near you can re-arch the OEM springs?
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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #9
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I checked into rearching springs local to me and I known the guy that does it. He told me that aftermarket springs would be cheaper.

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Default Re: Lift Kit Advice for CJ8 

Old 02-20-2019, 08:39 PM   #10
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I run 31- 10.5 tires on all my stock Jeeps they do just fine with no lift.
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