What do you do when the old stock suspension under your not-so-old-to-you 4x4 begins to falter? You replace it with something better. We were way past that point with a recently acquired '87 Jeep Wrangler YJ, which had been very inexpensively modified to fit 33-inch tires. Although we liked having 33s, we didn't like the extended shackles and 3-inch body lift that were in place to achieve this tire size. Eager to experience an improved ride while still maintaining use of taller-than-stock tires, we looked to Superlift and its 3.5-inch YJ lift system.
The Superlift 3.5-inch lift system is available with two different types of springs, depending on your vehicle application. The lighter-duty springs are designed for four-cylinder-equipped Wranglers with a soft top and lesser weight. The heavier-rated six-cylinder springs are offered for heavier Jeeps with a hardtop and winch bumper and spare-tire carrier. Each of the spring sets provides excellent ride quality and articulation on so-equipped vehicles. Also, lighter vehicles can use the heavy springs to obtain slightly more ride height. Superlift recommends use of 33x12.50 tires when installing its 3.5-inch YJ system, but we decided to push the envelope and see how big we could really go. A 1-inch body lift from Daystar would also be installed to help fit the taller tires, and the fender flares may also be trimmed.
The 3.5-inch Superlift system offers a very good blend of stability and flexibility and includes all of the necessary components for a clean installation. In addition to regular kit components, we also installed a Superlift steering stabilizer and Superlift's quick sway-bar disconnects, extended-length Bulletproof brake hoses, a pitman arm, and new urethane spring-eye bushings. Superlift also offers its TruSpeed speed sensor calibrator to correct the factory speedometer reading after larger-than-stock tires have been installed.
Topping off the Superlift 3.5-inch lift system, we acquired a set of 35x12.50R15 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw radials, which we'll mount on 15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic Lock wheels. It's a proven tire-and-wheel combo that has served us well on past vehicles and will provide an aggressive stance and look to a well-worn '87 Jeep YJ. The Baja Claw tires feature three-ply sidewalls and a full, six-ply tread combined with an advanced radial construction for high mileage and a smooth ride. Aggressive sidewall Sidebiters are also in place for added off-road traction and tire protection. The aluminum Classic Lock wheels feature a simulated beadlock ring and include valve stems and chrome center caps.
For installation of the Superlift components, we contacted Mel Wade at Off Road Evolution. The Off Road Evolution crew is very capable in completing all types of Jeep and 4x4 installations and made quick work putting the Superlift kit in place. Once back on the road, we were afforded a highway ride that can't even compare to what the YJ offered in its previous state. We'll also confidently enjoy many trails thanks to the increased off-road capability created through installation of the Superlift components.