When we get our hands on a stock rig, it never stays stock for long. Such is the case with a '91 Jeep Wrangler YJ we recently came across. Having long served as a tow-behind-the-motorhome rig, the YJ had more than 100,000 miles on the odometer and was plenty worn from the journey. Although the Jeep had seen very little trail use, the long road miles had left the stock springs and shocks sagging and mostly shot, which was very apparent under even the smoothest driving conditions. Desiring more of what we knew the YJ had to offer, we contacted BDS Suspension in Coldwater, Michigan, to get some recommendations about which of its products might best serve this high-mileage Wrangler.
Since moderately difficult trails and fire roads were all we were interested in conquering in the YJ, monster-size tires and springs weren't what we were after. Something simple and easy was more this rig's speed, and BDS provided just the right fit with its 3-1/2-inch Glide Ride Suspension System. The kit includes everything required to properly lift a Jeep YJ and permits use of 33x12.50R15 tires -- exactly the size we'd hoped to fit. The backbone of the system is the Glide Ride full-military-wrap springs, which not only provide ample elevation, but function smoothly in a variety of conditions.
Once the kit was installed, we immediately realized what we'd been missing with the factory components. The highway ride was much improved, and the added suspension height and increased tire size were saviors on the trail. Check out the photos and captions, which detail the installation of the BDS system. We'll continue to outfit this high-mile Wrangler with off-road ability-enhancing products over the next couple months, so keep an eye out for more on this buildup, and feel free to follow along by completing similar steps on your own Jeep Wrangler to better equip it for trail use.
We visit a lot of new shops in our line of work, some of them better than others. When we started looking around for a shop for this particular install, we took a tip from an old buddy and scheduled some time with Chris Johnson of Rock-Tech Off-Road in La Habra, California. Upon first pulling up to Rock-Tech, we were immediately impressed. A selection of good-looking "real" 4x4s were parked in the back lot, including a beauty FJ-40 Land Cruiser in the later stages of a restoration and two International Scouts that were awaiting the same treatment. Chris is quite skilled and very knowledgeable about the whole spectrum of 4x4s and can offer any degree of vehicle repair and modifications, including custom suspensions, axle work, engine wiring, fabrication -- you name it. We were very pleased with the work he completed and can confidently recommend Rock-Tech's services for any of your 4x4 needs.