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Old 01-04-2002, 02:12 AM
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I keep reading that there are no packaged lift kits (springs not blocks or AAL's) out there for a 1970 Wagoneer. Please give me some input on this. I sent an email to Crawltech Off Road and got a response from Jeremy Bratcher that for a 1970 Wagoneer there was "Rusty's FSJ 4" lift kit at $469". Did he misunderstand me about the year? Is this correct? If correct has anybody bought this? At $469 plus shipping would it be better to have the local spring shop make my springs? Please post or email me as I am readi to lift the Wagoneer now. Thanks.
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Old 01-04-2002, 02:21 AM
Iron Horse Iron Horse is offline
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There were problems (rear springs) with Rusty's lift fitting pre 1974 FSJ's.....possibly these have been worked out now. I would do more investigation to be sure.

It's been my experience, that a custom set of springs (not re-arched) will run in the $1000 neighborhood....and that is just for springs only.

The Rusty's kit should include shocks and hardware.
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Old 01-04-2002, 02:40 AM
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Iron Horse, thanks for the quick response. A $1000 for springs is alot of $$. I remember having springs made for the front of the '51 Willys truck for about $150 each (although that was 1988). The exact bid from Crawl Tech was "The FSJ 4" includes 4 full spring packs, 8 grade 8 u-bolts, brake line extenders, 4 hydro shocks specifically valved for the spring rates. The front springs are a 4 leaf spring, with tapered leafs for a great ride and flex. The front springs have a 310 lbs. spring rate. The rear springs are a 6 leaf pack and come complete with rubber bushings, slider pads and a helper overload. Spring rate on the rear pack is 400 lbs." I'll be doing a lot more checking prior to ordering. Thanks very much.
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...Pay no attention to these heathen barbarians with their cutting torches and 8" lift kits!...

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Old 01-04-2002, 03:51 AM
Iron Horse Iron Horse is offline
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I have Rusty's 6" lift, and it was a real good value for what you get.

Your only concern really is that it will fit your 1970 application....I would triple check that fact and then make 'em sware on the bible.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2002, 04:45 AM
Gladi8r Gladi8r is offline
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Got this info from one of the guys here(cant remember who)

Grand Rapids Springs $115 per corner 616-531-1280 and 616-534-3399. I think this is for the springs only and this is 4" or 6". this would equate to $460 for all 4 springs, so it sounds like Rusty's is a pretty good idea if it includes all the extras

Hope this helps, and keep us pre 74 owners posted on any info you find
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Old 01-04-2002, 07:51 AM
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Please do let us know what you find out. Rusty's website only lists from '74 on. It would be great if they've got us earlier guys covered now.
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Old 01-04-2002, 08:38 AM
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You should probably call rusty himself. I just ordered a lift for mine. And have been told about the springs not fitting correctly. But as far as pre 80 I cannot help. Rusty is awesome and he will answer any questions. That is a great price. I paid more for mine direct with him...Oh well. Not much more. It does come with everything less the drop pitman arm. Which I am going to try without. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2002, 04:21 PM
jeepbob jeepbob is offline
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Ask Kimbrough about Rusty's, I think he got a little disgusted.
On my 65 which would be the same as your 70, I did the following.
Front springs consist of a stock main leaf, a 78 cherokee main leaf with the ends cut off, a Rough Country full length AAL and 3 extra leaves from the 78 cher.
The rear is a shackle reversal and 2 extra leaves (long ones from the 78 cher rear.
I gained 4" in front and 5.25 in the rear.
I also run a 3" body lift and I run 33x12.50's. You can use the 74 up body mounts but you will either contact the kit mfg to get more blocks or do what I did and make a couple. Mine are solid steel with a hole drilled in them so I know they will not collaspe. The only tire rubbage was in the rear and mild trimming of the front of the opening will cure it. The front will rub only in extreme flex situations (like landing so hard I left driveshaft marks on the starter) and a set of bump stops will cure that (I don't have any bump stops so I hit the starter).
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Old 01-04-2002, 11:06 PM
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Thanks you all for responding and sharing a vital source of experience and knowledge with me. I think I've read a good deal of Kimbrough's trials and experiences from his posts and follow ups. I'm going to ttry to call Rusty himself today (I was at work yesterday and could only sneek out a couple of posts). I really have no intact mainsprings to start with, all four corners look like wavy noodles. I'll keep the posts going till we figure this one out. Thanks again for the help.
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Quote:
...Pay no attention to these heathen barbarians with their cutting torches and 8" lift kits!...

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  #10  
Old 01-05-2002, 04:30 AM
jeepbob jeepbob is offline
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The wavy noodle main leaves is a common problem. This is why I have a 78 cherokee main leaf with the loops cut off under the stock main leaf. Believe it or not the old main will straighten out when the load is off. The Cherokee leaf and the AAL will go the full length of the original spring from end to end so the only work the original leaf will have to do is hold the whole show in place, It will no longer support the weight of the rig. I had my Wag like this for several years with out a problem with the springs. If you do this frt and rear you eliminate Wag sag.
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Old 01-05-2002, 05:11 AM
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Jeepbob, thanks, I think I know where some WT Cherokee springs are too. On a previous note I got in touch with Kimbrough and got his opinion as of today. "I must say I am satisfied by the product but the
service STINKS!!! Still have not gotten a reply from Jeremy Bratcher at Crawltech Offroad and haven't gotten directly in touch with Rusty yet. Thanks
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Quote:
...Pay no attention to these heathen barbarians with their cutting torches and 8" lift kits!...

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Old 01-05-2002, 05:45 AM
andy d andy d is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jeepbob:
The wavy noodle main leaves is a common problem. This is why I have a 78 cherokee main leaf with the loops cut off under the stock main leaf. Believe it or not the old main will straighten out when the load is off. The Cherokee leaf and the AAL will go the full length of the original spring from end to end so the only work the original leaf will have to do is hold the whole show in place, It will no longer support the weight of the rig. I had my Wag like this for several years with out a problem with the springs. If you do this frt and rear you eliminate Wag sag.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

hmmn, what is ride like? would it work with an 88 and parts from an 84? not after hgt, just stock would be fine
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:13 AM
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jeepbob,

Could you give me a little more information? I've gotten the 3" body lift and extra pucks(?). My question would be, what other issues did you run into when you altered the spring packs (ie. brake lines, etc.)? Also, how did you do the shackle reversal? And do you have any pics of the finished product?

Sorry so many questions, but it seems like you accomplished exactly what I want to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:55 AM
miked miked is offline
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Rancho makes the (summit pn) RAN-RS24043 front spring for the early wag/glad's with 3" lift - YMMV on the amount, heard from 1.5 to 3, mine is about 3" or so. rears are not available.

the kit from rusty's might be the only exception, his was supposed to be priced around $500 with springs and shocks for 4" lift when I checked with him last year. I have not run across anybody who has installed his early wag 4" kit. But in talking with him, the spring rates that he quoted would have been right on the money for a nice ride.

On the rear, I went with a re-arch of the stock pack, a new leaf of similar width and thickness right under the main spring and did the rancho soft AAL (ran-rs60612) and new spring pack bolt on superlift 1.5" blocks for 74 and up (it fits fine). i did the rancho 9118 shocks all around, they are abit short on travel (they were for stock height -- if anybody wants to buy them...) gave me about 3" of lift in the rear. you can see the diff between stock and lift in the pictures of my rig in my link below. the rear rides real nice with this setup.

i used the rancho rs735 steering stabilizer. i also changed out the brake lines to "Earl's" braided lines, can get the PN if you want them, all around. bought them thru vic hubbard speed shop (may be national??)

If i had to do it again (and I probably will next summer) I'd redo the front leaf packs with springs from various junkyard rigs to build it up and add lift.

the rancho springs for the front are *too* hard vs the stock springs, really changes the ride and not for the better.

I use my rig mostly on highway and road, and some gravel paved forest service roads. Using the 4wd trail ratings as a guide, most of my stuff is level 1 and 2 style offroad driving.

Hope this helps

[ January 05, 2002: Message edited by: miked ]
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2002, 09:57 AM
jeepbob jeepbob is offline
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Issues? Do I have issues? Oh wait you mean on my wag
Lets see,
Brake lines.. I totally redid my brake plumbing due to the fact tht I wanted power assisted brakes with a dual master cylinder. My 65 only had a single cylinder. I relocated the front stock brackets to the bottom of the frame rail and then the stock hoses were fine. You will have to change the hard line to do this, due to the age of the hard line it is prolly a good idea anyhow.
In the rear, I made a dropped bracket and ran the new hard line to it. The stock rear hose works fine. I did replace front and rear hoses with new ones.
The rear shackle inversion on the rear is super simple, just jack up the truck by the frame, use a jack under the axle to support the weight, unbolt the spring from the shackle, drop the axle down, flip the shackle down and bolt up the spring. If you don't add a leaf or two it is possible for the shackle to flip back under extreme flex. With the extra leaves, I have never had this happen and I have had this puppy very airborne.
The ride is actually better than the 65 I have with saggy stock springs, although I do need new shocks as when I got her in the whoops, she porpoised really bad. You will need longer shocks front and rear. I cannot give specifics here as I have no idea what the ones I used came from nor do I remember the length. I went to the auto parts and matched up some that were longer than stock.
I can e-mail a pix but do not have a hosting service so not even a sig pix. Clark Griswald has a good pix of my junker somewhere on this forum. There was a post From Alli3 that wanted to see faces and my junk along with Millerluck's, Clark's, Jeepguzzi's and David Allen's rigs.
Just found the post, http://www.ifsja.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/...c&f=3&t=001708
null

[ January 05, 2002: Message edited by: jeepbob ]
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Old 01-05-2002, 12:04 PM
71JEEP 71JEEP is offline
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you can put scout front springs in they are the same measurements eye to center bolt and scouts are spring under, so by using them in the pre 74's you gain alot of lift being a spring over,
i have enough room to clear 35x12.5's on my j 2000 with no bodylift.
rod
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  #17  
Old 01-05-2002, 12:21 PM
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Smile

This is exactly what I feared, (recent update from Kimbrough), "Yeah Tad, Rusty tried to convince me that he had or was going to produce a lift kit for pre-1975 Wags. This was about a year ago. I just don't believe him. I
mean, he ran me around for 4 MONTHS saying he was gonna get this kit. No way! I just do not believe it. In case you didn't know, the pre '75 Wags have shorter springs in the rear by @ 4 inches. That's why nobody makes a kit for them. The best you can do is either a spring over or Add-A-Leaves (AALs) or re-arch your rear springs. The front springs are the same length. I had a '74 Wag that Rusty told me his 4" kit would fit. It didn't and there begins my adventure with Rusty. Sold the '74 and bought me a cherry '88 GW [for $750 [img]smile.gif[/img]] Hope this helps"
, this also helps explain why I got an initial quote from Jeremy Bratcher at Crawltech Offroad but am getting no response (yet) when trying to nail him down on the specifics. Even for less $ I won't be a guinea pig. It's off to the spring shop on Monday for me. I know Steve or Rob here at Willy's works can set me up with the brake lines and shocks.
Today, you are my hero Kimbrough.
Thanks Again
Tad Strickland
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Quote:
...Pay no attention to these heathen barbarians with their cutting torches and 8" lift kits!...

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Old 01-05-2002, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for keeping us posted, tadsal.

Okay jeepbob, judging from the pics, your jeep is pretty much where I want to be. A couple more questions...

What axles are you running? I've been told that the D27 up front won't hold up well to turning 33's. Also, could you email me any pics you have (especially of the mods you've made, but any in general)? If you'd like I can put some up on the web, and even host a sig pic for you if you'd like. Its the least I can do for picking your brain this much...
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Old 01-05-2002, 03:06 PM
jeepbob jeepbob is offline
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I have just done a SOA on my wag so it is a little different than those pix. I had a D27 up front and with the 360 broke the spider gears 2 times. The first time I still had the q/trac transfer case and was coming out of a very deep mud hole and had forgotten to lock the t/case in e-drive. All the power went to the frt end and caused a lot of carnage (stripped out a drive flange, broke 2 studs on the frt drive shaft, wiped out all spider and side gears in the fer diff, removed the splines from the q/trac frt cone clutch and spun the rim inside the tire). The 2nd and last time was when I found that FSJ's are like chickens (they don't fly far or well) at the Silver Lake sand dunes and landed full throttle on the front wheels (up hill yet, Jeepguzzi's head left an inprint in my headliner). The D27 will hold up to moderate wheeling, but if you wheel hard then replace it with a D44.
I don't have a lot of pix of my junk under construction due to the fact at the time I was not online and thought I was alone in my love for these oddball heeps. I have taken some of the SOA conversion and have some others of other mods and as soon as I get my scanner working I will send you some.
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Old 01-06-2002, 12:32 AM
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I think Miked is right on the money, I've had the Rancho springs under the front of a 51 Willys truck for about 10 years now. They are very! stiff. At first I thought it was just my KYB gas shocks, changed to a non-gas shock, was still like metal to metal. It simply takes about a 2 foot drop to get them moving. I've also had experience with the Dana 27 since 1983. I went through 3 engines (283, 305, 307) and both a T90 and turbo 350 and only broke 1 part on the 27 - that little bearing cap at the top of the stearing knuckle housing. This was on the Willys truck and I went through a set of 33" TruTracs, 36" Mud Country's and a set of 35" General Grabbers. I never had any problem with big tires on the 27 other than that bearing cap. The 35's and 36's did rub the frame rail area during severe left hand turns though.
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IFSJA WMS PROJECT
EARLY WAG LIFT SEARCH

Quote:
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