2 Jacks and Jack stands.
Cut off Grinder.
Sockets and air tools or Ratchets.
2 cans of Red Bull.
and Wire Cutters.
When you drive across a bridge and your jeep feels like it is going over woopty doos on a bmx track, it might be time to change out your suspension. Some times it felt like a bobble head on wheels. One of the first things on my list was to replace the leaf springs. The ones that were on, were original and definitely flat. After a bit of research I decided to go with the Rough Country 2.5 inch lift kit. The kit came with 4 new shocks and all the mounting hardware needed. The original perches would still be used. I knew that my goal was to get 33 inch tires on the Jeep so the 2.5 inch lift would be perfect without major changes to other components. From what I could tell with a 2.5 liter engine a 33" tire was as big as you would want to go without losing major power. I ordered my leaf springs and shocks from Amazon prime with free delivery. That was the easy part .
I had taken the springs off my last Jeep with no issues, at that time the CJ7 was only 11 years old. The Wrangler is 21 years old and all the parts are original. So it's been a fight with every bolt. I had been putting PB Blaster on all the bolts associated with the leaf springs and u bolts for a couple of weeks, it did not help very much. After spending about four hours on one side, I made the decision to just grind the heads off of each one of the bolts and try to knock out the stud. The studs themselves had rusted to the sleeves and would not budge. After grinding off each side of the bolt it was easy to pry the perch apart and get the Leaf Spring out. The rest of the Springs went fairly easy. One of the bolts sheared off when trying to torque the front spring to specs. Rough Country quickly replaced all the bolts. The only thing that I would recommend is to make sure that you put the shock Bolt in the proper way (The bolt head towards the differential and the nut on the wheel side.) or you will not be able change the shocks in the future without removing the U bolt assembly on the leaf spring. The new Springs and new shocks improve the ride quite a bit , it is a stiff ride but I'm happy to have the lift now there's room for the tires.
After lifting the Jeep there was a slight vibration in the drive shaft due to the change of the pinion angle. My options were a slip yoke Eliminator or a 1 inch transfer case drop. One was very expensive the other one was very cheap , I went with the transfer case and now only have a slight vibration at around 35 miles per hour. I also replaced both U-joints on the drive shaft. For this I bought a new hydraulic press. Go with the 12 tone they have more room for the drive shaft and u-joints. I have always figured if I do the job myself it's like getting the tools for free.
Side note: After a half a year I have had no issues. I have put SpiderTrax wheel spacers on and now my rear tires are less than an inch front the flairs, The wheel looks like it is a bit towards the front of the wheel well. I contacked Rough Country and ask if I could have put the springs on backwards. Their replay was The plus is used for checking purposes so that is nothing to do with install. The large eye will need to go toward front with smaller eye toward rear. Good to go.
Matt N Randy
Jeep Enthusiast, Pastor, Photographer, Artist, A husband and wife team that loves going out and seeing God's Creations.