Help please. 1/2 lifdt troubles - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Suspension / Lifts This is the place to discuss the suspension, lift systems, and other stuff underneath your Jeep Commander

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Help please. 1/2 lifdt troubles

Worked myself into a "situation" that I need help getting out of.
Bough a 2006 Comm about a month ago for a good price and needed transportation ASAP.. Needed a little work. Friend, knew a friend bla, bla, bla.

Anyways, front was kaput. Sat 3" lower in front than rear and the installed 265 70's hit on turn / bumps.
Friend's friend could fix easy, no big deal. I just got out of hospital and not able to do much,, figured sure. I've seen his Jeeps (all straight axles) figured he knew what he was doing. So this adventure begins....

To level he added (measured) 2 1/2" strut spacers in front. Discovered the struts were toast and replaced them with complete drop-ins (assembled shock / springs). Measuring ground to trim,, front now about 2" high. That's a fuzzy 5" total. I'm "wow-ed" to no end. (not!) Looks like a scud missile ready for launch.

Paid my outlandish tab and took it away from him. He mentioned he "never played with a IFS before" - I thanked him for the hind sight. At first it rode like a brick AND hated it. Gently took it down a few bouncy back roads and one day in the rain it felt / sounded like the struts became unstuck(?). I did look it over good at first, nothing hit or was contacting where it shouldn't. Just felt stuck.

140 miles later,, It feels pretty good. No bangs, rubs, clashes etc. just nice and smooth. But,, the rear now sounds like it needs work (and it does).

Here is my dilemma...
I like it up thar. Want to pick the rear up to level it (or slight fwd rake). So I'm on here trying to figure out what to do to get it right and that's where I need help. More I'm reading the more confused with possible options I'm becoming.

Let's start with what I have now:

Level ground, spindle to flair... Front 23 1/4" Rear 19 1/4" (4" diff)
With rear up on 3.5" curb Front 22 5/8" (3 3/8" diff) (Suspect weight transfer from being more level and looked level too)

After looking about here,, It sounds like anything in the front over 22 to 22 1/2" is.... unhealthy / not encouraged.
Sounds like with 3" rear spacers + a new idolators in rear I'd be borderline... safe (and level-ish).
Presently only have 140 miles on it after the front install and sounds like it could come down 1/2 - 3/4 more when settled? That would make me feel warm and fuzzy alright (I think).

The rear shock I'm assuming are shot (seems /feels like it) and expect to replace w/ std. shocks (NOT H/D or gas) for ride quality.

Sounds like for the rear 1:1 ratio of spacer to lift is actual? (Am I correct in thinking this?)

3" spacers PLUS new idolators sounds like a lot of lift though but is it?

How far off am I in my thinking for leveling / slight fwd rake am I?
Believe me,, I'm open to suggestions and help. No problem with money well spent on this,, but I can't afford to do over, do over, do over, like my friend's friend had hoped / wanted.

Please,, help me make it right? Thanks for any / all input. Appreciated for sure. - Sandab

Edit;
What's bothering me is all the leveling / lift I see advertised use bigger in the front than rear. So, I'm wondering are the rear spacers 1:1 spacer size to lift. My springs that shot? or my stupid thinking / figuring?

Last edited by SandDab; 11-25-2017 at 06:09 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 07:10 PM
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This is a pretty good side view shot of a stock Jeep Commander from the factory with no modifications - this is the normal factory OEM nose-down stance, which is typically with the front about 3 inches lower than the rear - give or take a half an inch.

I have to tell you SandDab, you & your friend of a friend have really made this far more complicated than it needs to be.

I understand that you needed transportation and you got it from a friend - and I'm sure budget was probably an issue.

But when you start making modifications to the suspension - specifically modifications that affect ride height, it's pretty important that you do it correctly - and all at once - meaning front and back at the same time.

I don't know why your friend of a friend had 2 1/2 inch spacers added in the front and did nothing in the rear - whatever his logic was - it was wrong.

All the leveling lifts you see that are advertised with larger spacers in the front, then in the rear, are correctly designed like that to compensate for the nose-down factory stance - that's why they are called leveling lifts.

It sounds to me like your Commander had the normal nose down factory stance - and you mistakenly thought that something was wrong, because you believed that the front of your Commander was sitting too low, when in fact - it had the normal, nose-down, factory stance.

And allow me clarify something else - bad OEM factory front shock absorbers/struts have NOTHING to do with your ride height in the front - it will just affect the way your Commander rides - meaning it will take the bumps like crap. As far as the possibility of the factory springs being bad - the springs are designed to last the life of the vehicle, so, unless you have a very heavy engine (which the 4.7L is not) or your XK was used for a lot of heavy towing it's entire life (which is highly unlikely) the chances of your front springs being bad or damaged were pretty slim.

Replacing the factory front shock absorbers & springs with new coil-overs was fine - But putting 2 1/2 inch spacers in the front and doing nothing in the rear, was a mistake - your friend really screwed the pooch there.

So, how I see it, you have 2 options - the cheaper option (and NOT the way I would do it) would be to buy a set of 1 1/2 inch spacers and add them to the rear - and see how she sits - my guess is that would probably put you level - or extremely close to it.

If it were me, I would get the 2 inch Rough Country lift kit - which is a spacer, leveling lift kit - and have that kit installed, using all of Rough Country's components - meaning that you would have the 2 1/2 inch spacers that you previously had installed in the front removed, and have them replaced with the front spacers from the Rough Country lift kit.

And yes, of course you have to install the rear spacers from the Rough Country Kit too.

While you are at it - replace the rear shocks - because if you are still riding around with the original factory rear shocks at 220,000 miles, trust me - they're done.

You asked how to make it right - this is the proper way to do it.

This is the kit you would want to buy - it's only $170.00;

2in Suspension Lift Kit for Jeep Commander / WK Grand Cherokee [664] | Rough Country Suspension SystemsŪ

This is the most reputable and proven Jeep Commander spacer lift kit on the market.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 11-26-2017 at 12:24 AM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wow,, my communication skills suck.

Didn't buy from friend.

Found front low, wanted to make level.

I was fresh out of hospital & layed up.

Friend had a (his) friend (that I was acquainted with) do the "leveling" while I am layed up. (My misplaced confidence,, not the "my way" got done the way it is).

Now,, I want to correct the wrong I had no say in. Other than thinking the guy knew what the crap he was doing.

MY specific instructions to him was,, "I'd like the front level with the rear." Nothing about a lift at all,, No new struts were requested. I expected him to come tell me what needed to be done to make it level. Not to go off like a run-away train on it.

MY first choice was / is,, remove the spacers and be done. (cheapest & easier?)

However, the front IS done. I like what I'm seeing IF the rear catches up and since it's (harder part) done,, simply finding & installing to compensate the rear should be fairly easy and straight forward at this point. I just don't see any point to undoing & redoing the front at all. Either get it out,, or finish the lift.

... and yes. I realize the shocks need replacing (as mentioned). I also need alignment, possible stabilizer bushings, turn limiter adjustment, front bump stops, and a couple cocktails at this point. But none of that has anything to do with the question of what do I need to do to finish the leveling lift that I had no intention of doing.

Am I wrong in feeling a condescending nature in you?

I may be new to your site (I'm assuming it's yours?),,, but I'm definitely not new to the automotive field. I may be old,, but I'm not stupid.

I could do this the hard way. Crawl under measure spring length... jack the body up to where I want it... crawl back under and measure the spring again. Subtract large from small and turn a spacer to length at another friend's shop and install. Pretty simple really,, however, Dr. say with my new fibulator & stent I'm not to bend over, lift over 15#, etc. for awhile.
I'm simply asking if anyone knows the correct size to get it done. Would be a great help. That is all.

Looking this site over it looked like there was a good deal of "experience" to draw on for help. I was simply looking to utilize that knowledge.

Before you ask, "why level and not lift?" I'll tell you. It's a "sand flea". A little more clearance for crossing / following someone else's ruts is about as "Off road" as it may see. It's my fishing rig on the beach. I average 4K miles a year on my "toy" flea. Our other is the "Daily driver". A 2016 GMC Terrain 4X. Once it's leveled and aligned,, other things can hold until I get back on my feet again. Probably spring time according to Drs.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandDab View Post
Wow,, my communication skills suck.

Didn't buy from friend.

Found front low, wanted to make level.

I was fresh out of hospital & layed up.

Friend had a (his) friend (that I was acquainted with) do the "leveling" while I am layed up. (My misplaced confidence,, not the "my way" got done the way it is).

Now,, I want to correct the wrong I had no say in. Other than thinking the guy knew what the crap he was doing.

MY specific instructions to him was,, "I'd like the front level with the rear." Nothing about a lift at all,, No new struts were requested. I expected him to come tell me what needed to be done to make it level. Not to go off like a run-away train on it.

MY first choice was / is,, remove the spacers and be done. (cheapest & easier?)

However, the front IS done. I like what I'm seeing IF the rear catches up and since it's (harder part) done,, simply finding & installing to compensate the rear should be fairly easy and straight forward at this point. I just don't see any point to undoing & redoing the front at all. Either get it out,, or finish the lift.

... and yes. I realize the shocks need replacing (as mentioned). I also need alignment, possible stabilizer bushings, turn limiter adjustment, front bump stops, and a couple cocktails at this point. But none of that has anything to do with the question of what do I need to do to finish the leveling lift that I had no intention of doing.

Am I wrong in feeling a condescending nature in you?

I may be new to your site (I'm assuming it's yours?),,, but I'm definitely not new to the automotive field. I may be old,, but I'm not stupid.

I could do this the hard way. Crawl under measure spring length... jack the body up to where I want it... crawl back under and measure the spring again. Subtract large from small and turn a spacer to length at another friend's shop and install. Pretty simple really,, however, Dr. say with my new fibulator & stent I'm not to bend over, lift over 15#, etc. for awhile.
I'm simply asking if anyone knows the correct size to get it done. Would be a great help. That is all.

Looking this site over it looked like there was a good deal of "experience" to draw on for help. I was simply looking to utilize that knowledge.

Before you ask, "why level and not lift?" I'll tell you. It's a "sand flea". A little more clearance for crossing / following someone else's ruts is about as "Off road" as it may see. It's my fishing rig on the beach. I average 4K miles a year on my "toy" flea. Our other is the "Daily driver". A 2016 GMC Terrain 4X. Once it's leveled and aligned,, other things can hold until I get back on my feet again. Probably spring time according to Drs.
It's actually your typing that leaves a bit to be desired.

And no, it's not my site @SandDab .

You asked how to make it right - and I told you how to do it.

I took the time to give you a detailed response, based on the information you provided.

Your response to me, is nothing but semantics - and does not change the fact, that everything that I told you is true and correct.

The front is ALREADY LIFTED - I was giving you 2 options to try and properly finish the job - which is what I thought you wanted based on your previous post, which I quoted below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SandDab
Here is my dilemma...
I like it up thar. Want to pick the rear up to level it (or slight fwd rake). So I'm on here trying to figure out what to do to get it right and that's where I need help.
Sorry that you don't like my tone.

Good luck.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 11-26-2017 at 12:21 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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You're right. I apologize.

Last edited by SandDab; 11-25-2017 at 10:28 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandDab View Post
You're right. I apologize.
No problem, you seem like a nice enough guy - I'm just trying to help you.

I already gave you 2 options to correct your issues - and here is a 3rd option.

If you don't want it lifted and you just want it level, take out the 2 1/2 inch spacers that were installed in the front and try replacing them with 1 inch spacers in the front.

I think that should probably level you out - or come very close to it.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 11-26-2017 at 12:07 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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thank you.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandDab View Post
Here is my dilemma...
I like it up thar. Want to pick the rear up to level it (or slight fwd rake). So I'm on here trying to figure out what to do to get it right and that's where I need help. More I'm reading the more confused with possible options I'm becoming.

So basically you want it to look just like it was before you messed with it? No offense, but you're friend's friend has no clue what he's doing based on you're explanation and very well may have taken advantage of you based solely on lack of any knowledge.

That being said, if it was my jeep I would remove whatever hack job he did up front and put in a legit kit like the one @Big Blue linked. I'm not going to reboot everything that was said already.

Good luck and do some research.
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Last edited by Legofan; 11-26-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 11:09 PM
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SandDab - these guys gave u some good options. My 2 cents, (from an older guy with a head injury),,,Okay U can't bend but could u get your phone camera under your front fender and take a picture or did u see the actual strut spacers used? If they are the metal spacers like the Rough Country u may just buy the matching rear spacer from Amazon or ebay and put them on. Reason being, u have to do something because of the tire rubbing and taking out the front spacers may be more work than paying someone to put in rear spacer. If ur tires still rub BTW u could buy 1" or 1.5" hubcentric wheel spacers and that should do it. Good luck, pls let us know how it works out.
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Know just enough to screw up my rig good.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Jerry thanks for the reply. THAT was what I was considering,, but I'm no IFS specialist and only lifted one before myself and it was a kit and not just steel "hockey pucks". Remember them days? LOL
Got arrangements to get it up on a lift tonight to see for myself with a (my) friend that I do trust. Between the 2 of us we will come up with a game plan. Frankly,, I'm almost afraid to look. But, I've got to.
MY Buddy said, "Why didn't you call me?"
Tried the camera thing,, looks alright. But on the lift I'll see better if things are tight & right a lot better.
This whole thing turned into a fiasco beyond imagination. It's all my fault too. Sounded like a good idea at the time.

AGAIN, I'd like to apologize to Blue and all that had to see my dark side. I was disgruntled(?) over this and guess I didn't sound good in my First few postings. Really,, I don't usually come across that way And I'll not try to justify and do more damage. Appreciate not getting banned. Sorry.
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