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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Stiff ride on YJ

Hey everyone,
I have a question for the group. My girlfriend has an 89 YJ that we got about 2 years ago. It is a great little jeep except for one problem. THE RIDE IS STIFF AS HELL. It has stock springs as far as I can tell and they are probably the original springs. I have never owned or even riden in a YJ before, so I am not sure if they all ride this way, or if the springs are just shot. I have an XJ with a 4" lift kit and it is really stiff, but still smother than the YJ. I also had a TJ with a 3" lift and it was pretty soft riding and nice on the road as a daily driver.
My question is... What is everyone elses experience with a YJ with a stock suspension? Also, if I get replacement springs, what would you all recommend? Stay with new stock springs or lift it? Keep in mind that it is for my girlfriend and she never takes it offroad. She only uses it as a daily driver. I just want to make the ride as soft as possible for her. This Jeep will knock you back teeth out when you hit a bump in the road.

Thanks in advance for any advice

1995, Cherokee Country, 4.0, Automatic, 4" hodgepodge lift, 32X10.5X15 Cooper Radial STT's
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 03:33 PM
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If she never takes it off road there is absolutely no reason to lift it - BAD idea.

Worn out springs generally get softer, not stiffer, unless they sag until it's sitting on the bump stops. Shocks can contribute to a stiff ride. They get more bouncy with age, but if they're new and some kind of fancy aftermarket units they can be very stiff. A stock YJ is a fairly comfortable ride, keeping in mind what it is - just a bit stiffer than a typical passneger car, ut certainly not objectionable.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Jim. I just took a look everything that you mentioned and did not find any problems. The springs look ok, but there is no arc to them at all, they just lay flat. I don't know if that is the way that they are supposed to look. The oned on th back of my old TJ had some arc to them. Anyway, I looked at the bump stops and there is plenty of room between them and the springs. I even got on the bumper and jumped up and down to see if I could get them to touch. I could not get them to come even close, the springs are way too stiff and while I am not a really heavy guy, I do weigh about 175 lbs and should be able to bounce that thing up and down pretty easy.
At this point, I have to think that it is the springs that are causing the rough ride and I will replace them soon. The reason I wanted to get a small lift for it is just to make it look better. Even though she does not take it offroad, it will look a lot better. And who knows, maybe someday when she is not looking, I will take it out in the mountains LOL.

1995, Cherokee Country, 4.0, Automatic, 4" hodgepodge lift, 32X10.5X15 Cooper Radial STT's
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 06:45 PM
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Sounds like it is normal. I have an 88 YJ and it rides terribly stiff as well. 2 Thanksgivings back, I went wheeling with Jim and disconnected the front sway bar.... it is still disconnected. It helped the ride slightly but YJ's just ride stiff.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2007, 08:21 PM
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A YJ should not have a particularly rough ride. It ainít like riding in a Lincoln Towncar but really not bad especially compared to a CJ. The superintendent on a job I engineered had a YJ, I had my CJ. His YJ had a much more comfortable ride.

In addition to the shocks that Jim mentioned, the spring bushings could be a problem. They rust up around the bolt and the end canít pivot. You might try replacing them before you invest in a set of springs. DO NOT use poly bushings use rubber. If the ones on the Jeep now are poly, that could be the problem too.

Yes, stock YJ springs are flat.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't think the ride should be as stiff as it is now. I mean it is a little bone jarring. My old TJ was a lot smoother even with a lift kit. So, I was wondering if anyone knows how many leafs should be in the front and rear spring packs. I took a look at her Jeep today. Although it was already dark outside I counted 4 leafs in the front springs and 5 leafs in the rear. I was thinking that maybe there is an add a leaf in the springs. I did an add a leaf to my XJ once, and it was the worst ride ever. It was so stiff that when I had my son in the back he acctually bounced off the back seat when i hit a bump on the freeway. This YJ rides kinda like that.

1995, Cherokee Country, 4.0, Automatic, 4" hodgepodge lift, 32X10.5X15 Cooper Radial STT's
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 10:08 AM
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Have the shocks been replace recently? If so, make sure they are the right ones. When I first bought my CJ many many moons ago it had a rough ride...ended up being the shocks...even though the guy told me he had recently replace them, they were too short. Hence, when you went over something when the axle rebounded, you got this jarring smack because the shocks were fully extended too soon.

Get underneath and disconnect one shock...pull it down...you should have at least 3" of travel below the axle at rest...and then push it up...you should have about the same....stock shocks tend to have around 6-7" of travel.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 01:25 PM
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I too have a YJ (new to me) that's a '95 - look at my post question "Remove 3rd leaf spring?" and you'll see those responses too. I was told though - if she drives on street - do NOT remove those sway bars. Much easier to flip and lose control. I will get quick-release for off-road though to help my situation. any lift will either make it rougher or, if soft leafs are used, you'll slowly lose the lift (so I'm told). I'm going to try better shocks as step 1. Yeah! one more lady jeeper off-road potties are not discreat, ya know?
post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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Stiff springs alone can make the ride so stiff that even with the softest shocks the ride will be unbearable rough. How do I know this? I have Rancho lift springs and Rancho adjustable shocks. Before the adjuster seized up, I could turn the shocks to the softest setting,and it didn't make the ride any better sorry to say. At least I can say that I don't regret buying the RS9000 shocks, as it allowed me to experiment with settings without having to buy multiple shocks. I can also tell you that the majority of the problem is with the rear springs in my case. When I first swapped in only the fronts, no change in ride. After installing the rears, it rode like it had no suspension.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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I've thought of taking the 2nd leaf beneath the main leaf and shortening them up a little to see if I could soften them slightly. Either that, or flatten the shortest leaf so that it only comes into play when the others compress sufficiently.
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