It's not rocket surgery, but there are wrong ways and right ways to do it.
The right way takes more money for certain, but is well worth the end result if you are willing to spend.
I did a lot of research on it and decided I'm not doing it on my current Jeep because I don't want to throw any more money at it. I'm building a Willys wagon and my money will go there.
1) Are you still on stock springs?
2) Do you have about $1000 to throw at this?
3) Do you want to accomplish a four to five maybe even a six inch lift?
4) Do you know you will need bigger tires or it will look funny?
5) Do you have the cash for the new tires?
6) Are you good at welding/fabricating?
Those questions need to be answered before you go any further.
SOA is a great way to get ground clearance for your Jeep's belly (and axles because you need bigger tires) and the ride is great, better than lift kits since you are normally using stock springs instead of stiff lift springs.
More to come after your reply.....
Do have stock springs but did a Rough Country add a leaf to stiffen the ride a lil. Know bigger tires will be needed. Wanting to get some 33x12.50 15;s on a 15 x 10 RIM. Prepared to spend some money to do it right. The add a leaf gave it bout a 1 1/2 in lift.
The lift springs are going to put you up to a six inch lift. A ten inch rim needs to have the right offset to keep from rubbing.
The biggest expense (besides wheels/tires) will be the steering set up. A high steer is a must. Spring perches and shock mounts are fairly cheap, but the shocks expense will depend on what you want to spend. You will need to either fabricate or buy an anti-wrap bar for the rear axle.
Then there is the issue of drive line angel. Six inches is a lot (I told her. lol) The drive line angle will change radically, which will require some geometry changes to the rear diff angle. You might want to go with a Slip Yoke Eliminator (SYE) kit and a double cardan drive shaft, which adds about seven hundred more if you are buying the drive shaft instead of making one. Then there is the issue of bigger tires, lower gearing.
The whole thing is very doable and the results are amazing. Just do a lot of homework before you start. But don't let me discourage you. It's YOUR Jeep and you set it up the way you want. If I didn't have the Willlys wagon I would do SOA on my Wrangler.
With SOA it will depend on the size of the tire/rim. SOA is different by far than SUA. You will get much better clearance with SOA.
I run 33X12.50/16 on stock Rubicon 8 inch wheels. You are going to a ten wide. That will make the tire fatter in the sidewall.
Probably 2 3/4 to 3 inch would work. 33's on a six inch lift is going to look kind of small tho'. You have plenty of room for 35's. Honestly, the Dana 35 rear end wouldn't hold up to the 35's, and it may not hold up to the 33's. Think about a Ford 8.8 rear end swap while you have it all apart. You can't break one of those unless you are crazy hard on the skinny pedal.
Consider a motor mount lift to help with the drive line angel. Brown Dog makes a great high quality 1 inch mount. With a stock drive shaft you may need to do a transfer case drop too.
Have the 2.5 4 banger. Looking at 8.8 resting out of Ford explorer. Heard they will bolt right up. But will this give it a wider stance in the rear. Also what front gear should I put with that rear end. Also looking about some lockers for front and rear. Have vacuum lock 4x4 now. Any suggestions on that.
The 8.8 doesn't "bolt right in". It is not wider, in fact it's one inc narrower.
The wheel lug pattern size is the same as the YJ (5 on 4.5), but that's about the only thing that's the same.
Installing an 8.8 is a great upgrade but it deserves it's own thread.
The 2.5 came with 4:10 gears. Those will be fine on 33's but not great. Lower would be a bit better.
The type of locker you choose depends on budget and wheeling style. A "lunchbox locker" like the Aussie locker is cheap and dependable. ARB air lockers or E lockers are much more expensive but are selectable when you want/don't want them.
I did both jeeps soa and it was really affordable. I used waggy front springs on all 4 corners of my jeep. my wifes uses stock yj springs with stock height shackles and she clears 35s fairly good.
I ground the pads off both axles and relocated them to the top, u have to kinda grind a little on the diffy side to get the spring pad to sit flush and knotch the bottow of the housing for the U bolt to work.
The axles where fairly easy i lowered the jeep onto each axle and rechecked measurements before i tacked the pads to the tubes, if you reverse the spring pads the they work well for shock mounts with stock shocks, ( where the antirollbar used to hook up to) we removed the front antirolbars on both jeeps. the Yjs use a track bar in the front that i ended up lengthening and adding a bent section( if i did this again i would lengthen the mounting points and keep the bar straight, we have had no issues with the one i built )
Next was brake lines, 120.00 for new lines, 150.00 for cheap new longer shocks, 400.00 for new 17 inch crager wheels and 450.00 for a nice set of used 35 inch toyo mts.
Next issue was the rear driveline, we arent serious rock crawlers so i built a tranny transfer drop kit and it allowed the slip shaft to go back in the transfercase almost 2.5 inches, problem solved. you also will have to grind a small portion of the tub where your shifters are because of the tranny lowering.
The 258 she has has alot of good torque we have the nutter bypass, mc2100 carb, and msd streetfire ignition, with the soft wrangler springs and her foot, we where bending the front of the rear pass spring. So i built a sams offroad style antiwrap bar, using a old beefy lift shackle i knotched to fit the rear axle tub, and two of my sons bicycle foot pegs and two sets of used rubber spring bushings, some scrap 3/4 inch pipe, and a nice rod end from a panhard bar the antiwrap bar was born.
so i have no more than 350.00 into the whole lift, then tires and wheels,
the rear shocks will be getting relocated here soon and we dumped the rear track bar as its not needed with leafsprings either. hope this helps as anything can be done cheap if you put your mind to it and she wheels all day with the big boys and the 1 ton rigs.
just be careful with the spring over lift i have a 94 yj wrangler with a springer over lift, 4 inch lift springs and 3 inch lift heavy duty shackles. you will get a tremendous amount of axle wrap if you do as big a lift as me, so if you do be prepared to fab up some ladder bars, trac bars etc. or you will be going through driveshafts like crazy. i just ordered my 5th but this time im fabbing up my own custom trac bars with pivots and joints so i dont loose my flex. if you dont do any lift and leave stock springs you should be ok
On my spring over I get axle wrap front and rear along with all sorts of other weird stuff going on. To do it right it is going to cost quite a bit. You will have to change out all your steering or you will have crazy bump steer.
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