buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
4/19/22 9:58 a.m.

My 1996 Cherokee has original 325,000 mile springs. I love the lowered ride height from the sagging springs but they are very soft and it about hits the bumpstops when I load it up fully. I'm loading up the parts cannon.

I'm reading through so much info about spring rates and free arch and shackle length and my head is spinning. I just don't understand leaf stuff yet.

Looking for slightly lower(1"?) ride height than stock but stiffer springs. I found stiffer springs but they are about 1" more free-arch than factory. Between stiffer and more free arch that should give a lift right? Would a lowering shackle fix that? Or do lowering shackles negatively affect the ride quality?

I was also looking at keeping my original springs and doing a helper spring. This feels like a bandaid though.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
4/19/22 10:16 a.m.

I can't remember if those are axle under spring or over, but if the axle is on top of the spring and you're not hooning the rear tires off, an inch or two of drop using blocks is the easy answer. If you want a bit more drop and less side to side play, you could also look at leaf spring sliders. 
If you don't want blocks, I'd find a local spring place/trailer shop and have something built. I don't think it's too expensive, but it has been a while since I've shopped for any. 

Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself
Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself PowerDork
4/19/22 10:18 a.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

XJs are SOA.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
4/19/22 10:18 a.m.

It's spring-over-axle which removes that easy button.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
4/19/22 10:24 a.m.

In reply to buzzboy :

Bummer. Then the next easy button is usually shackles, but with that many miles I'd be looking at springs anyway. If you can't order any pre-made for what you want, an off-road or trailer shop is usually the best bet. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/19/22 10:24 a.m.

Also not sure how they articulate, but the other easy button is drop shackles.

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
4/19/22 3:09 p.m.

4-link conversion with coil springs, I know several companies make them.

Or, you could just replace with stock leaf springs and see where it lands. It will probably settle about where you want it.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/19/22 3:15 p.m.

Espo springs are who ive used multiple times in cases like this. Call them,  tell them what you want, and bam.

Their springs have a long life as well (15 years on my duster, and five more on toys cuda)

 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
4/19/22 3:55 p.m.

XJ rear springs sag, if I remember right they are flat when new or damn close. I am surprised yours have so many miles and are original.

Many YJ/CJ guys would replace their springs SOA to get the flex of the soft springs and still get the lift needed from the SOA conversion. This would also give them a longer wheelbase if they put the springs in a certain way as the XJ spring pin is offset from the eyes.

To fix your rear just get replacement stock springs. If you want to drop the 1" you like so much you will be SOL with shorter shackles as shackles are a 2:1 ratio to lift or drop. You could bandaid with a helper spring or a set of 1" lift blocks. Neither is a great solution. If you go with a lift block, I'd go with steel rather than all of the aluminum ones you will find. I have ovaled out AL pinion adjustment wedges where the spring pin sits in them and have spat them out on the trail when wheeling.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/19/22 3:57 p.m.
buzzboy said:

My 1996 Cherokee has original 325,000 mile springs. I love the lowered ride height from the sagging springs but they are very soft and it about hits the bumpstops when I load it up fully. I'm loading up the parts cannon.

I'm reading through so much info about spring rates and free arch and shackle length and my head is spinning. I just don't understand leaf stuff yet.

Looking for slightly lower(1"?) ride height than stock but stiffer springs. I found stiffer springs but they are about 1" more free-arch than factory. Between stiffer and more free arch that should give a lift right? Would a lowering shackle fix that? Or do lowering shackles negatively affect the ride quality?

I was also looking at keeping my original springs and doing a helper spring. This feels like a bandaid though.

Every major city has at least one spring shop.   Yank 'em off bring them in. Tell them what you're looking for.   They will fix you right up.  
 If you're willing to pay more just call them for an appointment. They will do everything.  

jgrewe
jgrewe HalfDork
4/19/22 6:14 p.m.

I don't think there is much drop available with the shackles. They are pretty short already.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
4/19/22 7:10 p.m.

Thanks for the info dudes. Got a good idea of what to do. About ready to fire this parts cannon. Now is not the time to buy a new car so I'll toss 500$ at the Jeep suspension and keep driving it. Amazing what 325k does to suspension components.

untchabl
untchabl HalfDork
4/19/22 7:39 p.m.

Look into Crown leaf springs, they have a normal and HD version. You'll probably want the normal ones. Quadratec has them with free shipping. Pay attention though because they do not come with bushings, need to order those separately.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
4/20/22 8:12 a.m.

If you're really motivated, get a ZJ rear axle (same width) and break out the welder for spring perches and control arm mount points.  The ZJ rear end is a coil sprung 4 link, almost identical to the XJ/ZJ front suspension, just flipped backwards and without the steering bits. 

Our Preferred Partners
z7De2JmK0WArgtHNgbkWbZwVyX7ba1VgBglLI4mOdNHNdFnXemg2Hdv2c2eubYxs