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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do both have a place on serious off-road vehicles or are body lifts only meant as easy and cheap way to get big tires under your truck?

IMO body lifts look pretty bad unless they are really small. :p

Thoughts and opinions?
 

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Body lifts are good for stuffin bigger motors under the hood(#1), and gettin some tire clearance without lifting the rest of the drivetrain with it.
 

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Body lifts are true lifts. You lift up your body 2", you get 2". You get 4" of suspension, and unless it's spring rate is very high, and/or you raise your bump stops, you don't really get much for tire options if you still want to go off-road, or pack your truck full of your buddies and your camping gear. But body lifts don't flex, don't effect ride quality (for better or worse depending on your existing spring rate and sag), and if excessive, trash your mount points and tub when used off road.

A well thought out body lift, is definately not a cheap way of lifting a vehicle - just seems that way because your wallet still has bills in it afterwards. :) But - it's usually just the beginning of your mods.

It's almost always best to mix them up. A little body for the tires, minor sheetmetal cutting for tires, moderate spring for lift and travel, and minor for shackles for travel, and lift.

axle.
 

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A small body lift with(under 2 inch) combined with a moderate spring lift(4 inch or so) gives a bit of both , lift and clearance. There is a reason springs lifts are more money, and they work far better than a body lift alone, stiffer springs can help control larger tires.
But big body lifts belong on show trucks, and they look kinda silly.
 

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Like axle said - they are a great part of a conservative build plan.

A suspension lift allows for extended bump stops and longer shocks, therefore more wheel travel. Too much lift and you get into spending $$$ on steering, track bars, drive shfats, etc.

A body lift allows larger tires at a low cost.

My theory is as follows:
1 - small suspension lift
2 - skid plates
3 - small body lift
4 - largest the amount of lift (and axles) can handle
5 - re-gear and add a locker

This allows you to build your rig in small inexpensive steps instead of dropping thousands at a time. Sure it won't perform as well as a rig with a $2,500 super duper lift, but it will do well enough to travel all but the most hard core trails.
 

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I totally agree :)

I had to pump up my axles 2nd, not last, but I also went through 4 of them - so had little choice.

A lot of people consentrate on just one type of lift - shak, sus, or body. This is not the way to go... best is usually a moderation of everything. Cutting, body lifting, suspension, shakle.

Personally, I went 2" body, 4" sus, and 1" shackle, with very minor sheetmetal work.

Body I cut myself out of a 2"1/2" solid core metal ($50)

Sus, I bought from National Spring ($600US) + shocks

Shak, from NSOR ($100)

And body from Home Depot ($100 angle grinder).

Lifting it, is reasonably cheap. Keeping it on the road/off-road without it falling apart - that's when you start to spend serious money.

With this I could fit 35s with full RTI. For street use, and on the ramp, that's all you need.

On the trial, when you don't want to hold up all your buds because it's 2 seconds from falling apart... well, that's when you start spending the serious money.

Axle.
 

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axle - quick question: which shackles did you go for? (Also, what truck is this?)
 

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I have a 1995 Jeep YJ SE 4.0, I factory ordered back in 1995. All the toys, minus A/C (my mistake), tilt stearing, hard top, and side-steps.

I'm a porc'er, so you can trace the website back to

http://www.stormloader.com/porc/ for some pics.... Look for Rafael under members.

The shackles are standard welded H, 2 inches over stock (1" lift). I installed them when I installed a winch, and my front sagged. I've always had them on the rear, 2 inches longer then stock (1" lift) as well - travel, and protect the exhuast pipe. Poly all round in leafs - you'll need it, otherwise your ride is VERY loose as the shackles are welded, not adjustable.

Axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info! :D

A moderate approach makes a lot of sense to me. So…
On my full size late 80’s Bronco I’m thinking:

1” or 2” body lift
3” or 4” Suspension lift
Minor fender cutting with flares installed (This will also remove the only rust on the whole truck.)

I don't fully understand the "Shackles" option so I won’t comment on these until I find out more. Anyone care to expand on what these are, how they provide lift and what the pro’s and con’s are? Would they be an option on a FS Bronco?

Were would be a good place to have the fender’s cut and the flares installed (I suck so totally bad at body work!) A body shop? NSOR? Perhaps one of the readers with some expertise in this area would be interested in helping me? (For some sort of compensation of course, lots of Cold Beers to start with!)

I want to be able to run 33’s or 35’s and have full wheel travel. I want to build a very capable rig, not a cool looking truck that flies apart the first time I go hard off road.
 

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I have a 79 Bronco with a 3" body lift and a 9" suspension lift and it goes pretty much everywhere I point it...until I blew the t-case that is... :(
 

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Hi!

On a leaf suspension, one end of the leaf is attached to a frame anchor point on a pivot. The other end is attached to a shackle, and then in turn attached to the frame.

With Shackle lifts - a very moderate lift from stock will effect your lateral stability at highway speeds, and if you are towing something. You may want to offset this by leaving your rear track bar installed - although I don't know too many vehicles other then tow vehicles that leave this in place.

It will lift your vehicle half of whatever you pick which is oversized to the oridgonal. IE - if the oridgonal is 4", and you go 6", you get one inch of lift. Very minimal. Only a fool uses shackles as thier primary way of lifting a vehicle to make room for tires. And, if your springs are already weak, this won't help them.

Pro - more wheel travel - a lot more if you get one of those fancy twisting ones, or piviting types.
Pro - minor lift, usually to offset a vehicle addition. IE - to offset a winch, or welded spare tire holder, etc.
Pro - in the case of a YJ, can be used to protect the fuel tank, and exhaust pipe when used on the rear.

Con - oh sooo many.
Con - your lateral stability at highway speeds, ain't so good no more.
Con - your approach and departure angles will be effected (not certain how much on a Ford though)
Con - during high RTIs, your frame mounts may not be able to handle the leverage produced by oversized shackles. Mine are only 2" over, and I've broken BOTH sides within one year of installing them.
Con - No a very good idea on weak, or poorly sized springs - it "pulls" on them under heavy load.
Con - your axle will now be significately looser - less lateral stability. If you had problems with your tires rubbing up against the side of your wheel well, you will have a lot more now! :)
Con - on the front, your steering will be looser, unless you left in your track bar in.
Con - on the front, you may need to re-adjust your steering stops, as your tires are much more likely now to hit other components when under RTI or lateral load.
Con - it's a sure tell sign of a true idiot when you see a short wheelbase vehicle running 6" of lift with nothing but shackels because they were cheap. Want to save money, use your grinder on your sheet metal - and sometimes you just have to.
Con - I could go on... but my figures are getting tired... needless to say, do NOT go longer shackles, unless you have a dang good reason for it.

axle...

ps - As you can see, that's just with shackles... any lift, even a 1" one, can have problems... lots of them. Shackles are the cheapest - and the most costly.

Good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
axel,

Thanks for all of the good info on shackles! I think I’ll “steer” clear of them. Any thoughts on were to have work done on my fenders, I really like the idea of trimming away the bit of rust that is there and I think that fender flares would look pretty nice on my truck.

Thanks Again
 

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Sorry, that I don't know... I did it myself with a 4" disk... mainly becuase I could cover the crappy job I did with my fenders - just don't look under them! :)
 

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fordfan said:
I have a 79 Bronco with a 3" body lift and a 9" suspension lift and it goes pretty much everywhere I point it...until I blew the t-case that is... :(
An NP205??? how did you manage that?? (very curious)
 

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axle said:
Con - during high RTIs, your frame mounts may not be able to handle the leverage produced by oversized shackles. Mine are only 2" over, and I've broken BOTH sides within one year of installing them.
Raf, if you're breaking your shackle mounts, I recommend taking your two front shackles (rears shouldn't be a problem unless you're breaking you frame!) and cutting out those cross bars that make your shackles an "H" shape. Replace them with a sleeve of the same width and then run a bolt through those sleeves (of course, you'll need to drill holes in the middle of your shackles now). For street use, keep the center bolts tight but for off-road and ramping, loosen them up to allow the shackles to twist sideways like a parallelogram. That way, the shackle mount on your frame doesn't become so much of a pivot point.

...lars



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Hmm... Lars, never really thought of that. But you are right. And if I do cut them, I'll also be able to adjust the amount of pressure I put against the Poly in the packs. Should make it quite a bit more stable. Oh ya, the back, no problem :)

No, I went about it the anvil and hammer way. The ordigonal mount points on a YJ are 3 point (late model 95). Two on the sides, and one up front. I ended up taking it to a welder, and asked him to make a 4 point weld on it. Took about 4 hours between beers (one side touched up, one Re/Re), but since then no problemo...

axle.
 
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