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Old 02-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lift kit question.

I am thinking of buying and lifting Tracker or Kick for my father. He has a bad back that is full of steel. I had a question about ride quality. How do things things ride lifted and what is the softest kit?

I am aiming for 30's. I already built him a Sammi with 16v tracker motor, mild lift on 30's and it is just too rough for his back. I am thinking a bit more wheel base and independent front suspension will ride better. Plus four doors and the old man likes him some AC.

Will this thing be a ride improvement over the sammi? What lift should I use to get the best ride, and 30's under it?

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I cannot really offer much help in chosing the lift since I departed the IFS world 12 years ago but I can assure you the ride quality irregardless of which lift you chose will be way better than leaf sprung sammi anyways.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good. I was hoping to hear that. I thought my 66 CJ was about as bad as a ride could get, but the sammi is right up there.

I am sure the calmini lift kit isn't the best riding either.

It kinda sucks watching my dads face everytime we hit a bump.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Have you thought about suspension seats in the Sami? I have a bad back myself, and I'm putting a set in my buggy so I can keep on wheeling. (but I'm also running 3-links and air shocks F/R on this rig so it's already softer than leafs)

I also have a lifted 4-door tracker sitting on 35's and it has a pretty soft suspension. The set up in it is rear sami springs up front SPOA with a sami axle, and XJ coils out back with a 2" coil spacer and modified stock 3-link.
As a matter of fact, it soft enough that I'm thinking of swapping the XJ coils over to some stiffer QA1's just to help the road manners a little (hate all the body roll in the corners).
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Suspension seats are an interesting idea. I really don't want to get into sas on this thing for 30's. It is just going to be mild hunting, fishing, gentle wheeler.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There a are a few nice write ups around. Keeping it to a 30" tire and keeping the ride quality isn't going to be as difficult as most builds. IFS is like a complete dream compared to anything straight axle.

I used to prefer IFS because we travel 5-15 miles to our trails on potholed fire and service roads. I could blast them at anywhere from 35-60Mph and be none the worse for wear after the trip. I really miss it, so if the shocks/spring setup is done right it will hit the mark for your dad.

One question though... unless you know you absolutely won't need the clearance, why not go for a 31" tire? 31's are kind of the cut off point for a semi-capable trail rig. actually 31's will open up some trails and obstacles that a 30 inch and under tire just can't do..especially if you go for a LWB 4door.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If a mild wheeler is what you want, then just put 235s (29" tires) on it. No suspension lift necessary.

FWIW, I have a stock suspension, tintop Samurai and a two-door Sidekick as winter beaters. Both have mild tread AT, 215 tires. The Sidekick rides much smoother than the Samurai.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by skyman6529 View Post
There a are a few nice write ups around. Keeping it to a 30" tire and keeping the ride quality isn't going to be as difficult as most builds. IFS is like a complete dream compared to anything straight axle.

I used to prefer IFS because we travel 5-15 miles to our trails on potholed fire and service roads. I could blast them at anywhere from 35-60Mph and be none the worse for wear after the trip. I really miss it, so if the shocks/spring setup is done right it will hit the mark for your dad.

One question though... unless you know you absolutely won't need the clearance, why not go for a 31" tire? 31's are kind of the cut off point for a semi-capable trail rig. actually 31's will open up some trails and obstacles that a 30 inch and under tire just can't do..especially if you go for a LWB 4door.
Excellent. Seems like these things ride well enough that it is time for me to seriously start looking for one of these. Far as 31" tires, we are both short little bastards and the extra height getting in tweaks his back pretty good. That extra little bit catches his heel. He doesn't say anything about it but I can see it hurt him with 31" off my jeep on it. 30" almost never hit around here. Would you recommend buying a complete lift kit from somewhere? Or piecing together one like some have done on here? Which will ride better, and what lift kit should I go with?
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Originally Posted by gi_zuk View Post
If a mild wheeler is what you want, then just put 235s (29" tires) on it. No suspension lift necessary.

FWIW, I have a stock suspension, tintop Samurai and a two-door Sidekick as winter beaters. Both have mild tread AT, 215 tires. The Sidekick rides much smoother than the Samurai.
The sammi came on 29" tires on it with some janky eBay shackle lift on it and it hit one quite a bit of shit on a few of our trails.


Thanks for the replies.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry, I meant to say, install the 29" tires on the Sidekick. No suspension mods needed and it will still ride as smooth as stock. The difference between 235/75 tires and 30 inch tires, as measured, is probably only about half an inch. Thus, you are not really gaining much clearance with a 30 inch tire.

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Old 02-11-2012, 05:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes sir. I gotcha. I was thinking along the lines of the sammi with live axle is hitting then and independent is going to hit more. That half inch made a big difference as far as clearing on our trails. I was surprised.
Might borrow a pair of 29" and see how it does though. A thirty inch tire shouldn't take much lift though. I was thinking a nice 2" lift would be sweet. although if that thing clears on 29's so much the better.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The Sidekick body hangs down farther than a Samurai as well; the floorplans and rockers. Something else to consider.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yup.

I would put 2 inch body lift and not mess with the suspension. IFS guys will not like what I have to say but the truthis that IFS lift in a sidekick reduces wheel travel.

Ifa 30 inch tire is what you want. Do the BL, trim the front fenders a bit and call it done. You'll keep your reliability and it will be a lot cheaper.

Put the nurf bars under the rockers and you're !
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yep, I think I would put on a small body lift before messing with the suspension.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have installed several sets of the Old Man Emu (OME) lift springs for customers and they ride the best. The lift kit comes with new springs and struts, but you do pay for it all. If you are looking at an economical 2" lift for 30's with a comfortable ride simply swap in a set of the coils from a 4-door 1999 - 2005 Suzuki Vitara or Chevy Tracker with the 2.0 liter motor then do the strut mount flip in the front (allows for more wheel travel). Sets of later model springs are available for about $50-$150 online.


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Old 02-12-2012, 12:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Would the OME 1.5" coil+shock lift clear 30's? Damned expensive for a set of shock and 4 coils. If it rides and handles well it is worth it though.
1" body lift on top of that would bump the body a bit too if need be. Any alignment or geometry issues with a little lift like that on these?

Clearance on these body wise quite a bit lower than the sammi?

Edit: What about the Vitara coils with OME Vitara shocks?

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Old 02-13-2012, 06:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think he should get a Toyota and a total chaos kit. Smooth as silk.

I don't think a lift on a track kick limits it's travel. It just limits the droop which will affect the ride. My old kick had a pretty smooth ride with a Calmini 3" kit.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mannysouza View Post

I don't think a lift on a track kick limits it's travel. It just limits the droop...
Please explain how down travel is not travel?

I guess when you call it "droop" you can verbaly marginalize it's importance, but it still doesmn't change the fact you loose it.

Oh. And don't get me started on the limits of the stock CV shafts.

Alow me to repeat myself:

For a 30 inch tire I would not mess with the suspension.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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What you loose in droop you gain in uptravel. It just puts the hub down lower in the travel. Hence loss of droop but more up travel.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I guess in a way it's true...
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Well, time to revisit this. Some shit came up and never got around to it. Started seriously shopping for a 1999-2001 4-door v6 Tracker last week. 2" body lift the general consensus? How much trimming would that involve? With 30's is it worth it to throw T-case gears in?

Thanks guys.

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