Re: RE 4.5\" lift kit or custom pieced lift kit?
National springs are expensive. Very good, but expensive. About $250 each spring, thats $1000 for springs alone. They flex like mad, ride like a dream, and did I mention they are expensive. I thought about going this route, but didn't. You will have to have the weight of your jeep, kinda hard when you are still doing mods. 25 lb. here and there can really add up, and make their calculated spring rates droop. They use thin tapered springs with full length teflon pads. Where a normal leaf spring pack is 5-6 leafs, a national pack can be 10-12. They are so thick that they take up lots of ground clearnace, if left spring under. Take a look at Sam Pattons(of Sams Offroad, on internet and in the most recient Top Truck Challenge) CJ, he runs Nationals. That is one bad CJ.
Some have mentioned Alcan springs, but I have yet to find anyone who has actually used these. I also counldn't find a phone # or web address. They are supposed to be 1/2 the price as Nationals. Have nothing to report as of the quality.
Here is a great kit:
1)RE 4.5" Extreme duty springs(if you plan on a V8 get the rears for the front, thats 4 rears, they have a higher spring rate and is what I have)
2)longer u bolts(about 1/2" longer than stock) and those ubolt skid plates, or you could get a ubolt reveral kit(off-road unlimited sells them I think)
3)shackles(boomerang, Tera revolver, the choice is yours), make sure to get new poly bushings and bolts with greasable zerk fittings
4)extended bumpstops(find the cheapest ones possible)
5)extended stainless steel braided brake lines
6)shocks(go rancho RS 9000, I would extend both the front and rear mounts at this time and order only once, extended mounts were covered in the recent past)
7)drop pitman arm(I would go with the cheapest I could find here, b/c I have never heard of one breaking)
8)some form of driveline adjustment(either some spacers frome Lowe's and longer bolts for the transfer case skid plate or a SYE. Tom Woods probably has the cheapest, and I think he makes one of the more expensive mods as well. This envolves a new forged output)
If you go this route there will be more items to purchace along the way. The best route to get the correct length shock takes the longest down time, but will pay off in flexability and susp. travel. Lift the vechicle. Install extended shock mounts. Then measure and order.
By the way national springs are expensive.
llll '90 YJ, NV4500, XD9000i, 35" MT/R, Snorkle, etc. etc. etc.