Click for Coverage
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter
X

Lift, Extra Wheel Travel, and a Better Ride With a Bolt-On Part?

Posted in How To on May 1, 2000
Share this
To install the M.O.R.E. shackle reversal and buggy spring kits, the front bumper, leaf springs, and shackles are unbolted from the frame. The rubber shackle bushings on the frame side are replaced with the aluminum units supplied in the kit. To install the M.O.R.E. shackle reversal and buggy spring kits, the front bumper, leaf springs, and shackles are unbolted from the frame. The rubber shackle bushings on the frame side are replaced with the aluminum units supplied in the kit.
The driver side bracket is mounted using one of the steering box bolts and a bolt through the aluminum bushings. No holes need to be drilled for this bracket. The passenger side bracket is temporarily installed with one bolt so the other hole can be marked. The bracket is then removed before the hole is drilled. The driver side bracket is mounted using one of the steering box bolts and a bolt through the aluminum bushings. No holes need to be drilled for this bracket. The passenger side bracket is temporarily installed with one bolt so the other hole can be marked. The bracket is then removed before the hole is drilled.
The rear spring mounts are torched off of the frame. If you are patient, a grinder will work, and if you are high-dollar, a plasma cutter will make quick work of the removal. The rear spring mounts are torched off of the frame. If you are patient, a grinder will work, and if you are high-dollar, a plasma cutter will make quick work of the removal.
The four- and six-cylinder YJs use different brackets for motor-mount clearance. The four-popper mounts are assembled and placed on the frame so that the forward-most edge touches the shock mounts. The holes can then be marked and drilled. The four- and six-cylinder YJs use different brackets for motor-mount clearance. The four-popper mounts are assembled and placed on the frame so that the forward-most edge touches the shock mounts. The holes can then be marked and drilled.
The stock springs are flipped around (shackle end to the back) and reinstalled in the YJ. We used Canyon Crawler Greaseable shackles and pivot bolts from 4 Wheel Parts to mount the springs. Tightening the bolts to 10 lb-ft is sufficient. Any tighter and articulation and suspension movement will be limited. The stock springs are flipped around (shackle end to the back) and reinstalled in the YJ. We used Canyon Crawler Greaseable shackles and pivot bolts from 4 Wheel Parts to mount the springs. Tightening the bolts to 10 lb-ft is sufficient. Any tighter and articulation and suspension movement will be limited.
We were able to use 10-inch travel Pro Comp shocks (PN 326500) bolted to eye-type shock adapters from 4 Wheel Parts. The new shocks allow more droop while maintaining stock compressed height. We were able to use 10-inch travel Pro Comp shocks (PN 326500) bolted to eye-type shock adapters from 4 Wheel Parts. The new shocks allow more droop while maintaining stock compressed height.
At full droop the driveshaft splines just barely poke out. It would be a good idea to have the driveshaft lengthened but even after some hard four-wheeling it still hasn’t separated. Check brake lines and other connections to the axles to make sure they aren’t stretched when the suspension is hanging. At full droop the driveshaft splines just barely poke out. It would be a good idea to have the driveshaft lengthened but even after some hard four-wheeling it still hasn’t separated. Check brake lines and other connections to the axles to make sure they aren’t stretched when the suspension is hanging.
Even on this mostly stock YJ, we gained about 1 inch of droop and 1 inch of lift. Changing to wider than stock wheels and installing a lift kit would add droop to this set-up. The shackle reversal kit greatly improved the ride and handling of the vehicle. Even on this mostly stock YJ, we gained about 1 inch of droop and 1 inch of lift. Changing to wider than stock wheels and installing a lift kit would add droop to this set-up. The shackle reversal kit greatly improved the ride and handling of the vehicle.

A bolt-on part that provides lift, extra wheel travel, and a better ride sounds like something out of a fairy tale. Well, you can pinch yourself—this isn’t a dream. Unlike the intricately fabricated buggy-spring suspensions commonly found on vehicles in the Southwest, Mountain Off-Road Enterprises (M.O.R.E.) has designed a system that bolts onto your CJ or YJ Jeep.

What is a buggy spring and where did the idea come from? Most horse-drawn wagons of the 1800s had no suspension. The bumps in the road surface went directly through the wood and metal wheels into the chassis of the wagon, providing a horrible ride (and you thought your 1-ton was bad). Springs were added to the passenger seat to make the ride more bearable. These springs were similar to leaf springs, but they were sort of almond-shaped, like taking two leaf springs and stacking them on top of one another at the eyes. This design was also used as true axle-suspension on the more posh wagons, or buggies as they were called.

Modern-day buggy springs don’t quite look or work the same as their early brethren, but neither do our wagons. The new generation sits bottomed out under normal circumstances. However, when the axle drops, the buggy-spring stretches its legs and offers additional droop. M.O.R.E. added a shackle reversal to the kit to provide a better ride, and the subsequent design adds a 1-inch lift to the front of the vehicle. Perfect for those saggy front ends weighted down by custom bumpers and winches. However, the kit is recommended for off-road use only.

We headed to the local 4 Wheel Parts Performance Center in San Marcos, California, and had Jethro Collins install M.O.R.E.’s buggy spring kit on our YJ so we too could enjoy the same custom suspension the early settlers had.

Once installed we found that the YJ handled much better on the road than before. The steering was crisper, and the suspension absorbed more of the bumps. However, when we disconnected the sway bars the YJ wallowed like a ship on a stormy sea, making for spooky handling at high speeds. Off-road the buggy-springs allowed some additional droop but not as much as we had hoped. We believe the reason for this is because we used stock springs (which are soft), along with stock wheels and tires (which are relatively lightweight and narrow).

The spring rate of the buggy leaf appears to be greater than that of our stock springs, allowing our springs to do almost all the flexing. Firmer lift springs would allow the buggy leaf to pull down further. Also, wider tires and wheels will place more leverage on the springs, allowing more flex from the leaf springs and the buggy leaf.

Sources

4 Wheel Parts Performance Center
Compton, CA 90220

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results