Suspension makeover

laxphatty

New member
I'm getting back into my Jeep after several years of almost no action and need some advice on suspension. New job, moved across country, kids, finished degree...

It's a highly modified 2008 4-door Rubicon that's finally getting some love after an insurance claim from a hit and run. Sitting on 37" tires; currently on steel beadlocks, moving to Method 701s. 5:13 gears with factory axles; upgrading to Fusion 4x4 semi-float 60 rear axle. It's currently on some worn out 4" Poly Performance springs with King OEM replacement 2.5 remote reservoir shocks. Lots of armor such as gas tank skid, steel rear bumper, aluminum tire carrier and front bumper, winch, full cage. NOT a daily driver, also drives to-and-from the trail. I built it living in El Paso crawling over VW-sized rocks and it was amazing. Now with a family, the primary use will be mountain trails to go camping and occasional harder off-roading. The last time we went out, it was basically riding on the bump stops with the family, dog, gear, and pulling out little pop-up camper. I have two thoughts for the suspension:

1 - Keep the King shocks and essentially everything else, but replace the springs with AEV 4.5" HC springs. I know it would be much stiffer unloaded, but would still be capable off road and do much better with my camper and family.

2 - Move to coilover shocks with a kit such as that from AccuTune. Would be 12" travel shocks tuned for the heavier end of my setup. It would similarly be stiff, but in theory could be a bit more adjustable with two spring rates and possibly adjustable dampers.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Focus on your needs, family, which should change what you have dramatically. Your choices, 1 & 2 have nothing to do with reality.
 

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Smileyshaun

Observer
I bet next we are gonna hear how he should ditch the lift and put tiny car tires on it .

If you have the funds I would say coil overs that way you can tune the suspension when your payload changes .
 

AggieOE

Trying to escape the city
Haha just kidding.

But for real, what's the goal? Carrying your family and all your camping gear while towing your camper?
If that's the case, I'd do the simpler, stiffer, suspension that will suit you and your families primary needs, getting safely and comfortably (all while driving something cool) to the campsite.
A simple 2.5" lift and 35s will get you almost anywhere. So with that in mind, how big do you really need to go? Maybe extra money could go into Air Lift bags for the rear to help stabilize the load while traveling?

SmileyShaun is right that most people on this forum seem to think differently when it comes to vehicle modifications. We still like big suspensions and tires but not as much as most Jeep/Rock Crawling forums.

So, out of the two options, I'd think #1, just springs, if 4.5" is still needed.
 
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laxphatty

New member
Haha just kidding.

But for real, what's the goal? Carrying your family and all your camping gear while towing your camper?
If that's the case, I'd do the simpler, stiffer, suspension that will suit you and your families primary needs, getting safely and comfortably (all while driving something cool) to the campsite.
A simple 2.5" lift and 35s will get you almost anywhere. So with that in mind, how big do you really need to go? Maybe extra money could go into Air Lift bags for the rear to help stabilize the load while traveling?

SmileyShaun is right that most people on this forum seem to think differently when it comes to vehicle modifications. We still like big suspensions and tires but not as much as most Jeep/Rock Crawling forums.

So, out of the two options, I'd think #1, just springs, if 4.5" is still needed.
You’re right about big lifts. When my setup was new, it was only 2-3”ish. I kept it pretty low gravity with a small lift and big tires. I called DPG Off-road on the recommendation of another user and talked about OME springs. I’m really thinking they’ll be the answer. For the money I’m saving, I can have my King shocks and bumps tuned, maybe adding compression adjusters. That would likely be the best bet to carry the family, gear, and camper and still be able to hit trails from camp.
 

harpersJK

Member
If you're going to be doing a roof top tent, I highly recommend the 4 1/2" HC AEV springs. I just completely redid my entire drivetrain and upgraded to a currie 44/60 setup and 37" tires and it rides great and handles the extra weight without an issue.

Randy
 

X-plorenow

Adventurer
No need for coilovers. You have some of the best shocks around. Just change your springs and you should be good to go.
 

laxphatty

New member
If you're going to be doing a roof top tent, I highly recommend the 4 1/2" HC AEV springs. I just completely redid my entire drivetrain and upgraded to a currie 44/60 setup and 37" tires and it rides great and handles the extra weight without an issue.

Randy
No rooftop tent planned, but there’s a good possibility I’ll do a rooftop basket to help carry the wife and kids stuff. I’m just concerned the HC springs will be TOO stiff. That said, it’s not a DD and they theoretically won’t prevent articulation. 3.5” OME springs are also an option. Do you feel like the 4.5s are too high?
 

laxphatty

New member
No need for coilovers. You have some of the best shocks around. Just change your springs and you should be good to go.
I think you’re right. I thought about upgrading to the compression adjusters, but AccuTune has a good article that kinda dissuaded me from them. Basically they only affect a narrow band of energy and only on the compression strike. More of a marketing thing (a King tech even agrees).

Plus, I may be able to score a Genright auxiliary tank for a great price and that wouldn’t work with the coilover systems I’m looking at.
 

laxphatty

New member
Not sure if this is a lame-brained idea, but I also thought about getting slightly softer springs and making a sort of adjustable load system. I have Sumo Springs bump stops in the rear that are actually supposed to be able to hold weight (actually did fairly well during our last camping trip). What if I welded in a set of air bump cans and used solid rods (Poly Performance Budget Bumpstop for Air Bump Can) and bolted a bump stop cup with the Super Springs in them? This way, I could move the rod up to be used similar to a standard bump stop and all the way down to help with heavy loads.
 

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harpersJK

Member
No rooftop tent planned, but there’s a good possibility I’ll do a rooftop basket to help carry the wife and kids stuff. I’m just concerned the HC springs will be TOO stiff. That said, it’s not a DD and they theoretically won’t prevent articulation. 3.5” OME springs are also an option. Do you feel like the 4.5s are too high?
I personally believe the 4.5's are perfect for my rig with 37's. Even not loaded down, it drives great, not stiff at all.
 

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