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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some questions about lifting my '87 Comanche:

First off, it's got about a 2" lift from a previous owner. Still spring-under axle but Rancho RS5000 shocks on the front with some beefy coil springs. Gabriel Gasrider LTs in the rear. Mainly stock otherwise.

1: How can I tell by looking at the rear springs if it's had an add-a-leaf? How many leafs in the stock Comanche spring including the thick short one on the bottom? How else could the rear have been lifted? There's nothing obvious.::confused:

2: What size tires can I run with a 2" lift? Currently have 29" on JEEP 5 spoke rims.

3: Can I bolt in a Cherokee Dana 35 rear end in place of the existing Dana 35 to go to a SOA configuration without major trouble?

4: If I do #3 above, what is the easiest (or cheapest) lift to the front end to level out the truck?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

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Superfly
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dsw said:
3: Can I bolt in a Cherokee Dana 35 rear end in place of the existing Dana 35 to go to a SOA configuration without major trouble?
Sorry, don't have a lot of answers for you but. The Cherokee uses a slightly diff. spring perch spacing. Besides which, you may need a different pinion angle anyway (longer wheelbase). It would be far cheaper to cut off the old perches and weld on new ones. And weld new shock mounts to the axle tubes while you're at it.

...lars



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leafs varied a lot depending on the options, so it's hard to guess that way. Look for one that seems newer or has different shaped ends.

If you are going to the bother of changing the rear axle then get an old XJ D44 or a ford 9" or something. The D35 is a flimsy axle at best. If you are sticking with a D35 then just cut your spring pads off and weld new ones on top.

A rear spring-over nets about 4" of lift, so you will need a full "kit" in the front that deals with steering issues and such. You can bodge a cheap lift together, but it's usually worth spending the $$ to do it right the first time.

If it is a true 2" of lift you can run 30x9.5" tires easy or 31x10.5" tires with some rubbing. The front bump-stops will have to be extended for 31s.
BTW, a comanche sits 1" taller than an XJ, so if the previous owner told you that you have a 2" lift it was probably an XJ 3" lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input.
The idea to stick with the 35 is cost and availability.
Since everyone wants 44's, the 35's seem to be sitting around in everyone's junk piles.
And I've read conflicting info on the reliability of 35's.
Granted, they are lighter built, but they should still stand up under less than hard-core use I would think.
Or are they really that crappy?
I'm not trying to build the ultimate rock-crawler here, just a capable truck.

Is there any measurement I can do to determine excatly how much lift I have?
Anyone have a stock Comanche to compare with?
Is the stock 4x4 model the same height as the 2x4?

So many questions... so little cash.
:D
Thanks again
 

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Superfly
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dsw said:
Thanks for the input.
The idea to stick with the 35 is cost and availability.
Since everyone wants 44's, the 35's seem to be sitting around in everyone's junk piles.
And I've read conflicting info on the reliability of 35's.
Granted, they are lighter built, but they should still stand up under less than hard-core use I would think.
Or are they really that crappy?
I'm not trying to build the ultimate rock-crawler here, just a capable truck.
I've seen them break under less than hard-core use. If you offroad a lot moderate trails, I still think it would be a bad idea to rely on it. You're not guaranteed breakage but, IMO, the risk is substantially higher than if you had pretty much ANY other kind of axle.

If you're on a budget, at least consider the Chrysler 8.25" that newer Cherokees came with. Or find a Ford 8.8 which isn't as rare as the Dana 44.

...lars



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...........88 manche 2 inch spacer above front coil, rear stock, leaf under, fender flares removed, 31x10.5/15 with minor rubbing
 

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1.) The stock rear leafs came with 4 springs in total. The metric one ton version came with 5 springs in total(two overloaders). If it was lifted it could have been by, an add-a leaf, a longer shackle, aftermarket springs, or a re-arc of the orginals.

2.) Like Nickzilla said ~2" will let you run 31" with minor rubbing. I ran 31" stock height and they rubbed bad on the street, never did take it off-road as it would rub way too much.

3.) Like Lars said, the XJ D35 has a different spring perch width and would be more trouble then to torch your existing pads off and weld them on top.

4.) The cheapest lift for the front is a spacer. I'm currently running about a 3.5" spacer with two isolator pads(one on top and bottom) and a 2" spring. This nets me ~6" in the front. I made the spacers myself out of billet aluminum. You can alos use some steel pipe and and flat plate ofr the same results.

I have been running a rear non c-clip Dana 35 with 33's without major problems for 3 years now as my daily driver. I have blown the spiders 3 times now and a R&P once. A 33" tire is the max you want to go in order to maintain some reliability. I'm in the process of swapping in a set of D44's just because I'm on the verge of busting my axles and am trying harder and harder stuff everytime i go out. but up until this time I have been really easy on the throttle and try not to put myself in a bad spot that might result in a broken diff. but my truck is definetly a capable truck in my mind.

You can check out some of the runs I've been on and what my truck looks like from the early stages to now at :
http://www.hot4x4.ca/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=RyanEgger

Thks
Ryan Egger
88 MJ ~6", 4.10 F&R, 33"
 
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