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Discussion Starter #1
So. I've been putting a lot of thought into what kinda lift I want to do the the Jeep, and I've come up with a couple options that would work best for me.

Primary objective is off road performance, and cost. And durability. Lol everything except on road. If I wanted a missile, I'd have gotten a 5.7 with low miles.

I have a few questions that I haven't found any specific answers on yet. First: What about the OME HD kit gives you the lift? Is it the springs being taller? Just being stiffer? Or is it the struts?

Second: Would it be wise to try and put the HD springs on some Bilstein 4600 struts? Would there be any advantages to this, cost or performance wise and would they even fit? How does the performance vary between OME and 4600 struts? And, would I get the same lift height with both of em?

Third (don't worry, it'll be over soon): What are the REAL WORLD, not what the brochure says, off road performance differences between a spacer kit, such as the rocky road, and the OME kit? Is the old man emu actually THAT much better? How are the flex characteristics? Lol because the rocky road sure is a whole lot cheaper.

And last: Anyone have experience with the Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks that come with the rocky road kit? Supposedly they're kinda stiff, but I can't imagine they'd be stiffer than the stickers all the way softened. How would they compare with the Bilstein 5100?

Thanks in advance guys, I know this is a lot. Please feel free to only answer a couple if you don't have much time or experience with only some of the questions.
 

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So. I've been putting a lot of thought into what kinda lift I want to do the the Jeep, and I've come up with a couple options that would work best for me.

Primary objective is off road performance, and cost. And durability. Lol everything except on road. If I wanted a missile, I'd have gotten a 5.7 with low miles.

I have a few questions that I haven't found any specific answers on yet. First: What about the OME HD kit gives you the lift? Is it the springs being taller? Just being stiffer? Or is it the struts?

Second: Would it be wise to try and put the HD springs on some Bilstein 4600 struts? Would there be any advantages to this, cost or performance wise and would they even fit? How does the performance vary between OME and 4600 struts? And, would I get the same lift height with both of em?

Third (don't worry, it'll be over soon): What are the REAL WORLD, not what the brochure says, off road performance differences between a spacer kit, such as the rocky road, and the OME kit? Is the old man emu actually THAT much better? How are the flex characteristics? Lol because the rocky road sure is a whole lot cheaper.

And last: Anyone have experience with the Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks that come with the rocky road kit? Supposedly they're kinda stiff, but I can't imagine they'd be stiffer than the stickers all the way softened. How would they compare with the Bilstein 5100?

Thanks in advance guys, I know this is a lot. Please feel free to only answer a couple if you don't have much time or experience with only some of the questions.
First off, I'd say check out my garage since we have the same year Commander with the same engine and you can see what route I went;

http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/garage.php?do=viewvehicle&vehicle_id=1514

I have the 2" Rough Country lift kit with Bilstein B6 4600 front shock absorbers (Part # 24-186797) and the stock springs - they are technically shock absorbers by the way - not struts.

I've added JBA Upper Control Arms for lifted XKs (Part # JBA-6.7.00-SLB) for extra stability and to help deal with the extra weight from WAM front bumper.

I have Bilstein 5100 rear shocks (Part # 33-225807) with new, slightly heavier, Hemi-rated rear coil springs - (JustForJeeps Part #'s 52124213AA & 52124214AA) for towing purposes.

Now to try and answer some of your questions;

I have no experience with the Rancho 9000XL adjustable shocks but I have heard that they are very good shocks and there are some guys here on the forum that run them - but the rest of the Rocky Road lift kit leaves a bit to be desired, so I have heard.

I opted to mix and match my own components.

As far as adding HD springs up front, I don't think there would be much benefit to doing that - unless you just want the piece of mind knowing that you replaced them, I'd imagine it would probably stiffen your ride a little bit upfront when off-roading.

I can't really speak intelligently off road performance differences between a spacer kit, such as the rocky road, and the OME kit because I have never rode in or driven an XK with the Rocky Road kit or the OME kit installed.

You mentioned that the rocky road kit is a whole lot cheaper, well, you generally get what you pay for.

I can tell you that I'm very happy with the Rough Country 2 inch spacer lift, which I have been running for about 3 years now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a bunch! That helps a lot, I am thinking I'll probably go with a spacer kit. Since the height difference between the Rocky Road and Rough Country is so low, I'll probably just go with the Rough Country based on the reviews. And I hate to be that guy lol, but actually it is technically a strut. Both shocks and struts fall under the category of shock absorbers, since that's what they do for the car front and rear. They're just different systems. A strut is just a shock and spring combined, better suited for independent suspension applications. But frankly whatever lol, the lingo in this hobby is weird. I'm sure different people think different things when you say strut. Thanks a bunch for the info dude! Can't wait to get wrenching on her, my favorite thing in the world to do is working on vehicles.
 

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Thanks a bunch! That helps a lot, I am thinking I'll probably go with a spacer kit. Since the height difference between the Rocky Road and Rough Country is so low, I'll probably just go with the Rough Country based on the reviews. And I hate to be that guy lol, but actually it is technically a strut. Both shocks and struts fall under the category of shock absorbers, since that's what they do for the car front and rear. They're just different systems. A strut is just a shock and spring combined, better suited for independent suspension applications. But frankly whatever lol, the lingo in this hobby is weird. I'm sure different people think different things when you say strut. Thanks a bunch for the info dude! Can't wait to get wrenching on her, my favorite thing in the world to do is working on vehicles.
Here is a thread that goes in depth about this;

http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/53-suspension-lifts/7812-rocky-road-2-25-lift-kit-install-photos-6.html

I had some pictures posted, side by side that actually showed the difference between the two - but it looks like Bilstein pulled them down off of their website which kind of sucks, because it was a really nice illustration of the difference between the two.
 

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Hah... the shock vs strut debate again!

IIRC "strut" is technically a misnomer in this particular case, but yeah thats what I call them anyways, and its a pretty common practice.

THis question has come up before. OME has their twin tube shock absorbers built to spec to work nicely with their springs. They are a good shock absorber.

Bilstein has a technically inherently superior design with their monotube shocks. Race cars/trucks run monotube designs, high end rebuildable shocks such as FOX are a monotube design.

twin tube vs monotube shocks:
https://www.kyb.com/knowledge-center/shock-tech-for-pros/monotube-vs-twintube/

IIRC it can be less expensive to purchase OME springs and bilstein shocks seperately.

I don't have personal experience with OME shocks, but I love my bilsteins (both 4600's and 51xx series on various vehicles). I have installed kybs, gabriel max controls, monroes, and bilstein 4600/5100 series shocks on various vehicles and I always prefer the bilstein personally.
 

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Having done body lifts and suspension lifts in the past I have to agree with Big blue and get the RC 2" lift. It keeps the stock ride feel. The RC lift and some 265/70s will really get some good height that it'll make the XK stand out. The OME lift is stiffer/longer springs which gets that lift.

If you want more height then I'd recommend a full suspension lift which will lower the all the components. This generally costs a LOT more because you are getting new components to replace the stock set up. I don't recommend trying to squeeze any more that 2" out of the stock front suspension but, I do see guys doing it without much long term issues.

Having IFS really restricts what can be done on the XK vs having a solid axel. It's something that really bothered me on my Explorers. Something like this is your best bet and it looks pretty bad ass.

https://www.superlift.com/4-inch-lift-kit-2008-2010-jeep-grand-cherokee-and-commander-4wd-with-superide-rear-shocks

You can also search Skyjacker as well.
 

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Thanks a bunch! That helps a lot, I am thinking I'll probably go with a spacer kit. Since the height difference between the Rocky Road and Rough Country is so low, I'll probably just go with the Rough Country based on the reviews. And I hate to be that guy lol, but actually it is technically a strut. Both shocks and struts fall under the category of shock absorbers, since that's what they do for the car front and rear. They're just different systems. A strut is just a shock and spring combined, better suited for independent suspension applications. But frankly whatever lol, the lingo in this hobby is weird. I'm sure different people think different things when you say strut. Thanks a bunch for the info dude! Can't wait to get wrenching on her, my favorite thing in the world to do is working on vehicles.
I will tell you that you will need to expect at least 8-10 hours for the RC lift. The front is a bear and most likely the lower strut bolts will be rusted to the bushing sleeve. Just be prepared, frustration levels may rise.:wink3:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks a bunch! That helps a lot, I am thinking I'll probably go with a spacer kit. Since the height difference between the Rocky Road and Rough Country is so low, I'll probably just go with the Rough Country based on the reviews. And I hate to be that guy lol, but actually it is technically a strut. Both shocks and struts fall under the category of shock absorbers, since that's what they do for the car front and rear. They're just different systems. A strut is just a shock and spring combined, better suited for independent suspension applications. But frankly whatever lol, the lingo in this hobby is weird. I'm sure different people think different things when you say strut. Thanks a bunch for the info dude! Can't wait to get wrenching on her, my favorite thing in the world to do is working on vehicles.
I will tell you that you will need to expect at least 8-10 hours for the RC lift. The front is a bear and most likely the lower strut bolts will be rusted to the bushing sleeve. Just be prepared, frustration levels may rise.
Oh boy, well alrighty! Didn't think it'd take quite 8 hours, but hey, no biggy. I've done way harder work that this before. Thanks for the help everyone, I have decided to go with the rough country spacers, some Bilsteins 5100 shocks out back, and some Bilstein 4600 SHOCK ABSORBERS ;-) haha, for the front, using the stock springs. Apparently springs really don't wear out, at least not really anytime near the mileage of this beast. I'm so excited to start building this thing!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright, another question. How do the stock struts work with the lift? I'd like to get a head start on saving for the set of GoodYear Wrangler Duratracs I plan to put on her. Will it still have a plush ride in the front, or should I just suck it up and cough up the cash for Bilstein 4600s?
 

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OME lift comes from the springs, not struts. The springs are much stiffer. If you want a stiffer ride, go with OME. If you want same ride with 2 inch lift go spacer. If you plan on adding more weight up front or in the rear, such as steel bumpers, winch, tire carrier..... I would go with the OME. Stock springs bottomed out on me one to two years after putting on a plow mount. Big Blue seems to be doing fine so far.... I don't know if I crossed a weight threshold that he hasn't with his steel bumper or if it's just a matter of time, but my stock springs lost 2 inches in a short amount of time once I added some weight, they went from 19" center of hub to wheel well to 17" if I recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OME lift comes from the springs, not struts. The springs are much stiffer. If you want a stiffer ride, go with OME. If you want same ride with 2 inch lift go spacer. If you plan on adding more weight up front or in the rear, such as steel bumpers, winch, tire carrier..... I would go with the OME. Stock springs bottomed out on me one to two years after putting on a plow mount. Big Blue seems to be doing fine so far.... I don't know if I crossed a weight threshold that he hasn't with his steel bumper or if it's just a matter of time, but my stock springs lost 2 inches in a short amount of time once I added some weight, they went from 19" center of hub to wheel well to 17" if I recall.
Yup, thanks for the advice, I think I'm going spacers. However, the old man emu does come with specifically valved struts to compliment the new springs.
 

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I'm a little late to the conversation but I do have real world experience with OME HD springs and Bilstein shocks on my '06 Hemi...

First, the lift comes from the springs - shocks have little to do with lift or ride height with the exception of shocks like the Bilstein 5100's which have adjustable ride height. On my Hemi, the springs lifted me about 4 inches in the front and around 3 inches in the rear, making my XK perfectly level. The ride is outstanding - much better than the stock ride, very controlled and not at all harsh. The OME springs are progressive, meaning they give you a smooth and controlled ride during normal driving but will absorb and rebound well when pushed hard off road or heavily rutted roads.

I have the 4600 series Bilstein shocks and they work very well with the OME springs. The installation is pretty straightforward, though as noted earlier if the lower clevis bolt is seized in the control arm bushing it becomes a real bear. In my case I was fortunate enough to be able to remove the lower clevis bolt and didn't have to resort to a grinder or sawzall to cut it out. Since my XK had about 110,000 miles on it when I did the project I decided to replace the lower control arms as a unit and lathered up the clevis bushing with anti-seize for ease of removal in the future. The rear shock and spring replacement was easy, but to make it smoother I disconnected the sway bar link so the axle could drop further without hitting the fuel tank. DO NOT attempt to compress and assemble the front shock and spring assemblies! Far too dangerous for portable spring compressors in the garage. I take mine to a local shop where they assemble them for $40 and then I bring it back to them for an alignment once I've done the installation of springs and shocks. They've done the job for me on two Jeeps now and no way I'd try to do that job at home - and I do all my own wrenching.

For argument sake, the front suspension utilizes shocks rather than struts. The difference is a strut functions as the shock absorber and upper control arm combined (no separate upper control arm) as well as containing the spring; the XK/WK suspension utilizes a coilover spring/shock combo with a separate upper control arm. Just putting this here for fun since it will generate more 'discussions.' ;)

Here are a couple of pics of my XK with the OME/Bilstein lift, stock tires and 1.5 inch wheel spacers:





Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm a little late to the conversation but I do have real world experience with OME HD springs and Bilstein shocks on my '06 Hemi...

First, the lift comes from the springs - shocks have little to do with lift or ride height with the exception of shocks like the Bilstein 5100's which have adjustable ride height. On my Hemi, the springs lifted me about 4 inches in the front and around 3 inches in the rear, making my XK perfectly level. The ride is outstanding - much better than the stock ride, very controlled and not at all harsh. The OME springs are progressive, meaning they give you a smooth and controlled ride during normal driving but will absorb and rebound well when pushed hard off road or heavily rutted roads.

I have the 4600 series Bilstein shocks and they work very well with the OME springs. The installation is pretty straightforward, though as noted earlier if the lower clevis bolt is seized in the control arm bushing it becomes a real bear. In my case I was fortunate enough to be able to remove the lower clevis bolt and didn't have to resort to a grinder or sawzall to cut it out. Since my XK had about 110,000 miles on it when I did the project I decided to replace the lower control arms as a unit and lathered up the clevis bushing with anti-seize for ease of removal in the future. The rear shock and spring replacement was easy, but to make it smoother I disconnected the sway bar link so the axle could drop further without hitting the fuel tank. DO NOT attempt to compress and assemble the front shock and spring assemblies! Far too dangerous for portable spring compressors in the garage. I take mine to a local shop where they assemble them for $40 and then I bring it back to them for an alignment once I've done the installation of springs and shocks. They've done the job for me on two Jeeps now and no way I'd try to do that job at home - and I do all my own wrenching.

For argument sake, the front suspension utilizes shocks rather than struts. The difference is a strut functions as the shock absorber and upper control arm combined (no separate upper control arm) as well as containing the spring; the XK/WK suspension utilizes a coilover spring/shock combo with a separate upper control arm. Just putting this here for fun since it will generate more 'discussions.'


Here are a couple of pics of my XK with the OME/Bilstein lift, stock tires and 1.5 inch wheel spacers:





Bob
Yours looks exactly like mine, without a lift of course! Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford the springs AND Bilstein shocks, so I just going with some 2inch spacers and Bilsteins. How important would you say replacing the control arms is?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And does anyone have any pics of a commander with a 2 inch lift but on stock tires? Or have you seen one? I just want to know it won't look bad while I save up for the wranglers.
 

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And does anyone have any pics of a commander with a 2 inch lift but on stock tires? Or have you seen one? I just want to know it won't look bad while I save up for the wranglers.
It looks a little silly. I've seen plenty of pics on here after people completed lifts still on oem tires. I changed both at the same time personally.
 

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Oh boy, well alrighty! Didn't think it'd take quite 8 hours, but hey, no biggy. I've done way harder work that this before. Thanks for the help everyone, I have decided to go with the rough country spacers, some Bilsteins 5100 shocks out back, and some Bilstein 4600 SHOCK ABSORBERS ;-) haha, for the front, using the stock springs. Apparently springs really don't wear out, at least not really anytime near the mileage of this beast. I'm so excited to start building this thing!
Buy some new lower strut bolts since they will probably be pretty rusted and degraded. If they are seized in the sleeve you need to replace the LCA(or strut bushing).
 

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And does anyone have any pics of a commander with a 2 inch lift but on stock tires? Or have you seen one? I just want to know it won't look bad while I save up for the wranglers.
I'll take a shot of mine tomorrow before I send it off for new tires. You will need a front end alignment after you install the RC lift BTW.
 

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Yours looks exactly like mine, without a lift of course! Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford the springs AND Bilstein shocks, so I just going with some 2inch spacers and Bilsteins. How important would you say replacing the control arms is?
I see your knuckles are much taller than mine, are they after-market or are you running 255/65s? Mine almost touch the stock tire.
 

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Yours looks exactly like mine, without a lift of course! Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford the springs AND Bilstein shocks, so I just going with some 2inch spacers and Bilsteins. How important would you say replacing the control arms is?
Replacing the lower control arms is a necessity but since I knew I'd get a pretty significant lift with the new OME springs the wear points on the bushings was going to be in a different place than pre-lift. So I wanted to start fresh with new LCA's - and new UCA's will get done in the spring (maybe even JBA arms depending on my Jeep budget in early '18.)

Bob
 
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