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Old 10-13-2005, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Low COG on the trail tech

I built my YJ up over last winter using spare pocket change and selling off used parts. Adding it all up, I'd say I have less then $7k into my entire wrangler, including purchase. Regardless...on to what I did.

I started out with a stock YJ, wheeled it, got stuck, broke some stuff. As I broke, I learned how to fix and learned what to upgrade. The more I looked at different rigs, the more I wanted in on the low COG fad. The only downside was a possible decrease of flex and lower break over angles. Stability was one reason I started going for it, but now that I've got about a season under my belt with the new setup, I've realized another huge advantage that I don't hear talked about. It fits where SOA rigs don't. When you are leaned over on an uphill with a tree crossing wanting to take your windshield, those extra few inches can really make a difference.

My final set up is as follows:

-2.5L/ax5 (if it ain't broke and doesn't break stuff, don't fix it)
-231 with 2 low and SYE
-waggy 44's with 4.88's, lockright front, spool rear, and warn premium lockouts
-waggy driveshafts cut down to fit for front/rear drivelines (front waggy shaft in rear, rear waggy shaft in front)
-front 44 cover in rear (stock rear cover is tinfoil)
-36 irok's
-2.5" RE lift kit SUA with 1" lift shackles

The cage will be this winter, then it's going to be pretty much good until college is done and the cash flow increases. One other issue to hit on with the setup would be a belly up skid (gain back the lost ground clearance), increasing droop to make up for lost up travel. I haven't addressed it yet, but my skid is definitely self-clearancing itself right now.

Who else is going the big tire/little lift route?







And the downsides...
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Old 10-13-2005, 04:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think there is a trend toward that set-up for many folks. Lower lift, taller tires. I have been debating SUA, SOA, or SOA/SUA for the last few months myself. That is the bad thing about SOA...you get more lift than you need in order to get the other benefits...droop, clearance, etc. I know I am adding wheelbase to 100" or so and running 37s when I do it, but just how I will get there, I don't know. It may be SOA, flat Alcans w/anti wrap bar or SUA both ends at 4" lift and 1" body lift or SOA flat front, SUA rear longer spring to match lift...?

WHo knows.

Anyway, I think you are on the right track, but I wonder when it goes too far? At some point you begin to lose rocker clearance, etc. However, if you have less lift and you can clock T-cases and get away with it, than you can make up for some of that with a flat belly pan.
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Old 10-13-2005, 05:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Exactly where my 5's rebuild is headed.

The stock narrows are finally getting tossed in exchange for a set of mildly beefed CJ widetracks - would have gone with waggy axles, but these were cheaper and available, and not THAT much weaker or less desireable for my driving style. These will be mounted SUA on waggy front springs (7-leaf front, 5-leaf rear) with a u-bolt flip and as many undercarriage protuberances as possible removed or flattened. The tranny tunnel's getting chopped to tuck up the T18/D20 as high as they'll go without a motor mount or body lift, and the gas tank will be removed in favor of a through-the-bed fuel cell mounted just above the bottom of the frame rails. Fenders will be chopped as necessary to fully clear 34-35" tires.

Theoretically, this should help with most of my gripes about its current near-stock incarnation - narrow stance, stiff lift springs, tippy top-heavy feel, vulnerable gas tank, and too many grappling hooks underneath.

A tip for some CJ and especially YJ folks, since waggy springs clearly haven't been discussed enough ... in comparing possible spring replacements, the waggy fronts appear to yield 1.5-2" lift over stock CJ springs, translating into about 2.5-3" over stock YJ springs. Might be a cheap and longer, flexier alternative to YJ lift springs.
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Old 10-13-2005, 06:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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nice shots of Dresser....ran there in Aug, just returned from Gilbert this past weekend....

what's your height from bottom of frame rail to ground? I've got my rig at around 21" running 37" tires and 23" with 39.5's....SOA in front, 1/4 ellip 4-link in rear....
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Old 10-13-2005, 06:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm running a '97 TJ with a 2" coil spacer lift and enough trimming to fit 33x13.50 LTB's.
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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this is my debate right now.... soa or sua. i think soa might give me a little more than desired height. i want to rum 36s to 38s
this is my planned build right now
i have already started to build mytube fenders for the front and i havent decided on axles yet, was thinking waggy 44s but thats not in stone. next it is going to be soa i think with xj leafs in the rear (will the xj leafs net me any lift, i need to know what size fronts to level it out). either stock yj leafs in front or re 1.5 soa leafs. fab up a traction bar. j cut the rear. and all the other details that would go along with this build, this pretty much gives you the idea.
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was going to join the SOA bandwaggon a while back but kept doing different mods I felt I needed instead. Now I am glad I stayed SUA. With my 35" Boggers (hopefully 36"IROKS next year) I am only running home made sagging 4" leaf packs and a 1 1/2" body lift with a decent amount of fender trimming and don't have very much trouble at all. All I want to do right now is just extend the wheelbase in the rear about 4 inches and also clock the T-Case to build a Flatter skid.
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockcrawler304
I was going to join the SOA bandwaggon a while back but kept doing different mods I felt I needed instead. Now I am glad I stayed SUA. With my 35" Boggers (hopefully 36"IROKS next year) I am only running home made sagging 4" leaf packs and a 1 1/2" body lift with a decent amount of fender trimming and don't have very much trouble at all. All I want to do right now is just extend the wheelbase in the rear about 4 inches and also clock the T-Case to build a Flatter skid.
Yep. One of our wheelin' buddies runs 35s on a 4" SUA CJ with tubed front and rear fenders and likely could run 37s. He swears that SOA is not always the hot set-up and he has a lot of wheelin experience to back it up.

One thing that I need to contend with is I will likely have to place the shackle hanger under the frame as I will be adding enough wheelbase to need to relocate the hanger. Once I do that, I will get 1.5" or so of lift just in that. It has me wondering about balancing that out in the front. If I do ALcans, they can build about anything and I could stay with a very flat spring in the front SOA and use a longer but slightly lifted (3.5-4"?) spring in the rear SUA. I would really like to keep the two ends balanced.

If I do Alcans, the front would be like a Waggy spec (2" stretch) and the rear a bit longer than that to get 4" of stretch back there....some in the offset pin, some in the o-all length. A bit off topic, but that is what I am playing with in my little brain.
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yup, I'm at 3.5" over stock with no body lift. Running 36 irok's on a 9" wide rim (pretty close to 37"). To gain droop SUA, I plan on increasing my shackle angle a little bit.
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I went SOA with flat Alcans and plans for 37's, it turned out taller than I planned and went with 40's. I think SUA with a 4" lift and trimming you can run up to 38's without any more uptravel limitation than flat springs. With flat fenders and comp cut I can almost run 44's on 100" wb and so far my D44 is surviving with the 40's.
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The only way to really find out what size tire you can run on a vehicle is to just flex it out and measure. On my '80 CJ, I had a SOA with 2" YJ leaf springs and flatty-style front fenders. I had 36's before (4" SUA + 1" body) and planned on moving up to 38's after the SOA. Once I everything was finished though, we found out that it flexed monstrously! Instead of being able to run 38's, my 36's were rubbing pretty hard. I don't know what it could ramp, but I could drive up onto a friend's 39.5" Swampers and not even get close to lifting a tire.
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I love it low. I whent with SUA in the rear of my TJ to match the 4" lift in the front. This LCG along with my 100.5" wheelbase performs extremely well.




Especially in these situations

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Old 10-13-2005, 11:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yea, I'm heading in the same boat.

I gotta 1.25" Body, and considering a 4" lift (not long arm or any shit like that) to squeeze 35's under the Rubicon. Nothing fancy, but works.
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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A 4" lift with a 1.25 body lift is not that low for 35s. Ditch the body lift or look at shorter springs.
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Don't be scared of that sawzall!!!
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I just converted my rig into a serious low rider. No lift JC whitney springs at all 4 corners SOA w/frenched hangers. Tires are 39.5 Irok's. Frame height - 23"

So far I really like the setup, am still screwing around with a few things but it seems to work really good. Only thing I REALLY need to fix is to sink the t-case. It hangs too low right now but other then that I've been really happy.





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Old 10-13-2005, 12:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This is what we do/have done in the stock mod classes. Matt Kinneys tj was a re long arm kit with 3" springs on 35's no body lift, and we were looking at making the undrside more slippery. We were going to raise the control arm locations, and flaten the belly pan.

Mello's CJ was flat on the bottom, soa with mild lift springs Not sure which but almost flat, and he made a custom tank, (now propane) and frenched all the spring hangers.

Lo is much better for comps most of the time.
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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i've been running stock waggy springs on all 4 corners of my yj. right now, im in the middle of tearing everything apart, and fabbing all new spring mounts that will stretch my wheelbase from 100, to around 108". im also locating the mounts up about 1.5-2 inches higher than they are stock to lower my junk a little. as you can see, i already started allowing for the additional room in my front fender area for when the lowering is complete, and the larger tires are on.









i cant wait to see the difference after its lowered and stretched.
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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A 4" lift with a 1.25 body lift is not that low for 35s. Ditch the body lift or look at shorter springs.

Nah, I'll leave the 1.25 in there. I want as flat a skid as I can get, and I don't want to cut it up.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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One other problem that I didn't hit on is turning radius. With the center of the tire about even with the spring, you are very likely to hit it unless you are full width/stock spring distance. One solution I'm looking at pretty hard is wheel spacers, but I'm not fully sold yet. Until I have more money, the austin powers turn is working pretty good though. Something to think about when planning.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:21 AM   #21 (permalink)
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hey all,
thinking about COG on my j10...apparently these axles can handle 35's and would fit them if i took some sheetmetal off.....

and i'd rather sawzall than lift it....

but i have the long wheelbase to think of...should i go with a 4" lift and then start trimming or just go to town stock...and maybe add some skidplates...thanks...i have about 800 bucks to spend...
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:14 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Doesnt SOA also allow you to keep more stuff up away from the rocks? I would think that keeping as much stuff above the bottom of the axle tube would be beneficial. Im also wondering if your running 4" lift SUA why not just run stock springs or small lift springs SOA?

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Old 10-15-2005, 01:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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only thing I've got hanging down below my tubes is the diff and the spring plates. The springs and plates still are higher up then the diff. Going SOA would add 2" of lift for me, and a whole host of other issues to deal with (high steer, spring wrap, etc). I might do it eventually, but it'd be with frenched hangers.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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When you stop to analyze why you should lift the vehicle the only real technical reason I can see is to keep the tires from rubbing. Your pumpkin ground clearance isn´t going to improve any and even tall Jeeps crunch rear fenders and rocker panels.
The real reason is for the look.
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Old 10-16-2005, 06:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chato
When you stop to analyze why you should lift the vehicle the only real technical reason I can see is to keep the tires from rubbing. Your pumpkin ground clearance isn´t going to improve any and even tall Jeeps crunch rear fenders and rocker panels.
The real reason is for the look.
Yea, its all about the looks.

Diff clearance isnt the big thing, you see, you try to put your tires on the rocks, not the diffs, its called picking a line. Breakover angle, rocker clearance, and suspension travel become more inportant. For us folks who actually need to be able to drive it on the street from time to time, tire coverage is an issue, as is suspension travel for the trail. Go ahead, take your stock heep, cut off all the fenders, pull the hood, cut the crap outa the back half so you can fit 35's, enjoy your 10" of wheel travel, and have fun bottoming out on a basketball after you pull it on a trailer to the wheelin spot. At least it wont look good while your doing it since you dont have a lift, everyone knows lifting a vehicle is just for looks.
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