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  #1  
Old 09-09-2014, 05:58 PM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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How tall for a daily driver / mild off road Wagoneer

Bottom Line Up Front: I want to hear recommendations from experienced folks here on how tall to lift my "new" ride. I've never owned a lifted 4x4 so I need some help in knowing what is practical.

Here is the background info

OK. So my 1986 Grand Wagoneer has been purchased. My short term plan is to go through the basic mechanicals and make it reliable without doing any upgrades.

My long term vision is to do sort of a mild restomod aimed toward a daily driver for winter weather and for mild off road use in hunting and camping situations. I may go out in the woods and drive some trails just for the fun of offroading, but it is unlikely I will ever get into serious offroading with it. I do have 4 kids that will be running around in this with me at times.

My concept would include removing the woodgrain and going with some satin/matte paint (I've liked the thinned Raptor product I've seen in some build threads) and probably removing the carpet to make the interior sort of a hosedown affair with bedliner on the floors and some resilient material for seat covers. I would have an ultimate goal of a re-power with a Cummins 4BT / NV4500 and in so doing would plan to keep the stock axles (I'm not sure if the rear is an AMC20 or D44).

In my opinion the Grand Wagoneer stock ride height is pretty low from the get go even before the springs get tired and start sagging. With that in mind I am thinking that a Rusty's "3.5 to 4 inch" lift will be about the right amount of lift for my concept. I just haven't seen one up close so don't know how tall a 4" lift seems on a GW. I would plan to run narrower tires in the 32" range (thinking 235/85/16 currently).

Any thoughts? How high is too high for this concept.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2014, 08:55 PM
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RWrightPhotog RWrightPhotog is offline
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If it's an AMC 20 it'll have a round pumpkin. Image search to identify yours.

4 in is plenty for what you want.
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1982 Jeep Wagoneer Limited 360
1979 Jeep Cherokee 4-Door 258
1979 Jeep Cherokee Chief 360

Last edited by RWrightPhotog : 09-09-2014 at 08:58 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2014, 08:58 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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i like mine with 4" lift, 31 to 33 inch tires
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I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!


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  #4  
Old 09-09-2014, 09:46 PM
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addicted addicted is offline
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2" with a set of 30x9.50's The tires fill the wheel wells nice and it is plenty of ground clearance for what you want to do with it.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2014, 10:44 PM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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My dad picked it up for me so I haven't seen it first hand yet. My understanding was that in 1986 some had the AMC 20 and some had the D44 in the rear.

I'm sure 4" will be plenty, I'm just hoping it wouldn't be too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RWrightPhotog
If it's an AMC 20 it'll have a round pumpkin. Image search to identify yours.

4 in is plenty for what you want.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2014, 10:46 PM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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That's what I have been thinking from looking at pics in the thread where people put pics of their various lifts.

Does a GW with 4" lift still feel fairly comfortable to get in and out of without having running boards/steps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ristow
i like mine with 4" lift, 31 to 33 inch tires
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2014, 10:49 PM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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I'm sure that would be adequate. I want people to look at it and know that it's lifted and looks a little aggressive but I certainly don't want crazy all. Does a 2" lift look pretty obvious or is it subtle enough that a relatively noninterested party may walk past and think it's stock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted
2" with a set of 30x9.50's The tires fill the wheel wells nice and it is plenty of ground clearance for what you want to do with it.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2014, 11:30 PM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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Location: The Great Googley Moogley Midwest.
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it is for me. im 6 foot tall. my wife has to hop to get in.
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Originally Posted by Hankrod
Ristows right.................again,




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!


→ Where the kids hang out...

fsjbuilder.org come for the mindless chat,stay for the hand drawn emoticons.

It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting...and knitting...and knitting...and knitting...
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2014, 12:03 AM
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blazer3664 blazer3664 is offline
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Location: Fayette county Illinois
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Quote:
2" with a set of 30x9.50's The tires fill the wheel wells nice and it is plenty of ground clearance for what you want to do with it.
X2 . For what you are talking about, and if your springs are already sagged it will be plenty.

I did a lot worse than that with mine stock and sagging, only got it stuck once.
Dry tractor ruts, thump, all 4 wheels off the ground.
Yep ain't goin nowhere like that. Highlift jack and a bunch of mumbling later, we where going again.

Quote:
Does a 2" lift look pretty obvious or is it subtle enough that a relatively noninterested party may walk past and think it's stock?

Not 100% sure on a Wag, but wide track Cherokee's had 31's as an option stock, so I wouldn't think 2" and 30X9.5's would be real "look at me, I'm lifted" unless its sitting next to a stocker. But it should look capable.

Most people wont know what a Wagoneer is supposed to be stock anyway. And thats IF they dont call it a Blazer/Scout/Bronc/ or something else......................... happens to me all the time.

If you are going for a certain look, know that tire choice can make a big difference.

When I got mine it had 31X10.50 BFG AT's ...............
I drove it a while then put a set of Courser OTD mud grips on it and everyone swore I lifted it. The OTD's were actually ~ 1/2" shorter.




By the way, this being your first 4x4, do yourself a favor.
Invest in a good come-along, and keep it in the jeep at all times.
Probably cost you less than a tank of gas, and may save a lot of broken parts.
The good ones are mostly dual gear like this one, though I'm not sure about Tekton brand, it was just the first that poped up.....
http://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-5547-4-...rds=come+along

Slow, sweaty, and in bad weather it can be miserable work, but its a lot cheaper than tearing stuff up trying to "rock it" or what ever to get unstuck.

A highlift jack is very handy also, but can be dangerous if you dont know how to use it safely. Even when you do, they can get you, but so can a kitchen knife.
If/when you get one, do a little research on the ins and outs of their use. Better to learn by reading, than by waking up in the hospital with a broken jaw, or worse. Same goes for the come-along.


Jim
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LQ4, 4L80e,NWF doubler w/upside down 203
SOA w/ D44s F+R for now
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Last edited by blazer3664 : 09-10-2014 at 12:08 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2014, 05:49 AM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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Location: Spearfish, SD
Posts: 43
I like how you said that..."should look capable". That may be the look I am after.

I do appreciate the advice on the come-along and the Hi-Lift. I will definitely get one.

I'm planning to run Wrangler Dura-Trac for their aggressive appearance, off road traction and mountain/snowflake rating. I'm kind of going a little for the tall skinny tire look but without getting the military style bias ply tires. I'll have to decide once I get next to it. Maybe I'll drive it up on a couple blocks of wood to see how tall various heights feel climbing in and out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazer3664
X2 . For what you are talking about, and if your springs are already sagged it will be plenty.

I did a lot worse than that with mine stock and sagging, only got it stuck once.
Dry tractor ruts, thump, all 4 wheels off the ground.
Yep ain't goin nowhere like that. Highlift jack and a bunch of mumbling later, we where going again.


Not 100% sure on a Wag, but wide track Cherokee's had 31's as an option stock, so I wouldn't think 2" and 30X9.5's would be real "look at me, I'm lifted" unless its sitting next to a stocker. But it should look capable.

Most people wont know what a Wagoneer is supposed to be stock anyway. And thats IF they dont call it a Blazer/Scout/Bronc/ or something else......................... happens to me all the time.

If you are going for a certain look, know that tire choice can make a big difference.

When I got mine it had 31X10.50 BFG AT's ...............
I drove it a while then put a set of Courser OTD mud grips on it and everyone swore I lifted it. The OTD's were actually ~ 1/2" shorter.




By the way, this being your first 4x4, do yourself a favor.
Invest in a good come-along, and keep it in the jeep at all times.
Probably cost you less than a tank of gas, and may save a lot of broken parts.
The good ones are mostly dual gear like this one, though I'm not sure about Tekton brand, it was just the first that poped up.....
http://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-5547-4-...rds=come+along

Slow, sweaty, and in bad weather it can be miserable work, but its a lot cheaper than tearing stuff up trying to "rock it" or what ever to get unstuck.

A highlift jack is very handy also, but can be dangerous if you dont know how to use it safely. Even when you do, they can get you, but so can a kitchen knife.
If/when you get one, do a little research on the ins and outs of their use. Better to learn by reading, than by waking up in the hospital with a broken jaw, or worse. Same goes for the come-along.


Jim
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2014, 06:27 AM
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addicted addicted is offline
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Join Date: Dec 11, 2004
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This is the thread for the '89 I built a few years back. http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=127638

There are pics of it stock and slightly sagging, then the 2" with stock sized tires and finally the 2" with 30x9.50's.

2" BJ's lift.
http://i652.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/DSC_0559.jpg
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Originally posted by Ristow
i bet it was Simon....
he's such big meanie that way...
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2014, 06:42 AM
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Full Size Jeeper Full Size Jeeper is offline
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4 inch lift and it also has some sort of block in the back that we will be taking out as soon as I find the time. I want it to sit more even then what it does now. Slightly higher in the back.

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  #13  
Old 09-10-2014, 08:39 AM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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Addicted and FullSizeJeeper,

Thanks for the pics. Great looking rigs in both cases. The 2" lift is enough to overcome the saggin wagon look, but I think I inherently prefer the took of the 4" lift. I will probably go that way unless in my experimenting I find the height to climb in feels too tall. FullSizeJeeper, what size tires are you running on that?
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2014, 02:06 PM
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jamesdart jamesdart is offline
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4" lift, is nice. its really not that high. should still fit through a garage door. I have the rustys 4" on mine, its pretty cheap and springs seem to be decent. ride quality is ok. I have 33x1050s but you have to do a little work to get them to clear. a 32 might be a better choice if you don't want to mess with anything.
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1978 wagoneer, jasper 360 performer intake holley 600,700r4, twinstick dana 300, dana 44s with 4.10s and Yukon zip locker, York oba, 4" rusty's spring lift, 33x10.50 km2, ramsey ford front bumper with worm drive ramsey winch, 4" pipe air tank rear bumper with spare tire swing out.
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2014, 07:50 PM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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Thanks for the input. That is reassuring. I think i am leaning toward 4" lift with the 235-85-16 tires that are about 32" or just a hair under.

Do you have the Rusty's kit with the 2" helper spring and the 2" block, or do you have the kit with the full new spring packs front and rear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdart
4" lift, is nice. its really not that high. should still fit through a garage door. I have the rustys 4" on mine, its pretty cheap and springs seem to be decent. ride quality is ok. I have 33x1050s but you have to do a little work to get them to clear. a 32 might be a better choice if you don't want to mess with anything.
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  #16  
Old 09-11-2014, 11:10 AM
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del del is offline
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4" lift

If you're planning on driving on-road a lot, you may want to stick with a 2" lift. I went with a BDS 4" lift, and it ended up being 4.5" when done. I love the way my wag looks, but the ride is a bit bouncy. Also my wife complaines about getting in. I'm running a metric size tire on an 18" wheel now. Aprox 33" tall.
Something else to consider, upping the tire size without regearing your axles may make your ride a slug. That's another expense. Good tires and a limited slip/locker will do you more good than a little more lift. Last thing you want to do is compromise utility for looks.
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  #17  
Old 09-11-2014, 11:13 AM
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lift

pic with lift wheels
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Last edited by del : 04-09-2015 at 01:30 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-11-2014, 11:40 AM
Ristow Ristow is offline
 
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my green j20 is a 4" lift on 235/85/16's and its about perfect for me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankrod
Ristows right.................again,




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasts79Chief
I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!


→ Where the kids hang out...

fsjbuilder.org come for the mindless chat,stay for the hand drawn emoticons.

It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting...and knitting...and knitting...and knitting...
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  #19  
Old 09-11-2014, 05:57 PM
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lorenmjones lorenmjones is offline
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Your pic does look fairly tall on yours. I'm still leaning toward the 3.5 to 4" lift from Rusty's just for cost effectiveness.

I do plan on getting good tires (planning on Duratrac's 235-85-16 about 31.7" tall). I want to get some traction aids for the differentials but I am not sure which to go with. I am thinking truetrac limited slip units front and rear. It is either that or the cable operated locker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by del
If you're planning on driving on-road a lot, you may want to stick with a 2" lift. I went with a BDS 4" lift, and it ended up being 4.5" when done. I love the way my wag looks, but the ride is a bit bouncy. Also my wife complaines about getting in. I'm running a metric size tire on an 18" wheel now. Aprox 33" tall.
Something else to consider, upping the tire size without regearing your axles may make your ride a slug. That's another expense. Good tires and a limited slip/locker will do you more good than a little more lift. Last thing you want to do is compromise utility for looks.
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