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If you've been grinding through my endless questions about regular maintenance on my '06 Hemi Commander, I have *some* payoff. After all the routine maintenance (with some left), I decided it was time to replace/upgrade the stock suspension. I called 4xguard last Monday to ensure availability, placed a web order that day, all parts arrived/gathered last Friday, ensuring a weekend to devote to the install. In case you need background:
'06 Hemi XK
111K miles all stock
Systematically repair/replace fluids, EGR, PCV, etc.

Before OME HD install:


After OME HD install:


So, a few quick observations:
The OME springs are NO JOKE. The strut compressor from your local parts place available for rental are NOT APPROPRIATE. If I ever did this again/helped a friend, I'd strongly suggest we take them to a shop and have them assembled (I bought new mounts, bump stops and isolators, so it was a direct swap)

There is a tip floating around about reverse threading the strut fork bolt with a washer/something solid to stretch it out, easing reinstallation. Use this tip. From my assessment, there is no other way to get that fork back on, unless you have a ton of leverage and can generate a ton of force with a 3 inch strike on the fork itself. IIRC, Matt gave me that one, but it should be widely known.

I'd also read some accounts of folks having trouble with bump stops falling out in front. I used some lithium grease on the inside of the stop and the piston rod of the strut, and so far I've had no issues with slippage. If they do slip, I'll just coat them in hairspray and force them back in.

I've seen some insight that the struts/shocks are "lifetime" components. Well, once I had both front struts out, I did a quick rebound test where I pushed them both down to bottom out, to see if they rebounded at the same rate. Woulda been a great comparison if the passenger side wasn't seized. I'd say they were in need of replacement.

Overall, I was surprised at how drive-able this setup is. Plenty of flex, not super stiff, but night and day in terms of stance and handling. For the ~$800ish and a weekend, I'd sleep soundly at night recommending this setup.

At this point, I'm only spooked about my stock axle shafts at a new angle, and am already planning new UCAs. Otherwise, it's time to pinch weld and shop for new wheels/tires. Suddenly, a Borla has taken a backseat to more wheeling-specific mods. 6 months ago, I hated this Jeep (wife really beat it up)...but an accident/front end rebuild has me swooning over the possibilities!
 

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wow it makes a really noticeable difference. I just ordered my OME HD 2 days ago, my uncle and dad and I plan on installing it soon. Any tips you could give us?
 

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Looks great! I'm glad your happy with it.

Time for some more tire.

"lifetime" components means that they will last until the warranty runs out.
 

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Hi Ryan,

I have a few questions for you if you are still available.

First question is did you add a 3/8 " leveling spacer to the HD lift to get it to sit level or is that how it sat as a non modified ome hd?

Second question is did it settle and not sit as high as it does in that photo?

How is it holding up 3 years later?

Best regards,

Trevor
 

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RyanD said:
I've seen some insight that the struts/shocks are "lifetime" components. Well, once I had both front struts out, I did a quick rebound test where I pushed them both down to bottom out, to see if they rebounded at the same rate. Woulda been a great comparison if the passenger side wasn't seized. I'd say they were in need of replacement.
Yeah "lifetime" my backside. Looks great!
Agreed.

Anybody trying to argue that shocks and struts are "Life-Time" components are either very naive - or just plain cheap.....LOL.

That's an absolutely ridiculous assertion, especially on a 4x4.
 

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Hi Ryan,

I have a few questions for you if you are still available.

First question is did you add a 3/8 " leveling spacer to the HD lift to get it to sit level or is that how it sat as a non modified ome hd?

Second question is did it settle and not sit as high as it does in that photo?

How is it holding up 3 years later?

Best regards,

Trevor
Trevor,

First off, welcome to the forum.

Ryan hasn't posted here since September 2013, so, I highly doubt he'll show up, out of the blue, to answer you.

I have found that a lot of the original forum members who posted in a lot of these older threads, that were really active the first few years the forum was online, (when Commanders first came out) are not around - or at least, not active any longer.

I'm guessing because they have either lost interest - or they don't own their Commanders any longer.

Some of the original members are still around, but, if I had to guess, I'd say probably less than 40% of the original members are still, what I would call, active forum members.

From what I know, the OME lifts are pretty durable; I don't think you will see them settle very much - if at all, over time.
 

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I'd like to share my very recent experience since it took me a while to decide what to actually do considering a bit of conflicting information as well as some uncertainty as to whether each possible solution would even solve my problem at all.

The Back Story:

What happened was I bought Rubicon (I think) takeoffs. Craigslist advertised them as the stock 245/65r17 size. It wasn't until I drove 1.5 hours that the guy told me he posted the wrong size. So I did what any logical person would do and bought them anyway. I had to buy 1.5 inch wheel spacers (about 38mm if I'm not mistaken) to keep the wheels from interfering with the caliper (smaller would have been fine but that's what was on the shelf at 4WP). I’ve always been skeptical of wheels spacers with their own lugs built in but it seems to be pretty widely accepted practice so I went for it. I picked up 5 brand new tires (goodyear SRA 255/75r17) mounted on 2008 wrangler wheels with TPMS sensors for $450. Then proceeded to spend an additional $980 to make them work.

Aesthetics:

The current "offset" is EXCELLENT. The tread blocks are just within the fender wells and there is plenty of room for a wider tire before it would ever interfere with the a-arm (I can’t speak to fender rubing issues if you went wider with the same aspect ratio). The vehicle sits level with great stance and without looking like over kill and out of place. I’m not the biggest fan of the yellow shocks but I guess the suspension gods have deemed yellow as the official color of off-road worthiness. Extremely happy with the looks, however a more knobbley (favorite word) tire would REALLY do the trick.

Where it was:

If I remember correctly the fender height was 32 inches in the front and 35 in the rear. (Measured from the center of the fender to the ground. I was on stock size 245/65r17 worn out Michelin snows. Presumably original springs and cheap-O aftermarket rusty shocks at least in the rear. Sorry I don’t have more stock measurements but that shouldn’t be hard for anyone who is using this as a decision making tool to acquire. I wish I'd have taken before photo with those wheels and tires on. Once I installed the new 255/75r17s I had about a half inch of clearance between the tire and all edges of the fender in the front. While turning there was a bad rub at the pinch weld. I wasn't keen on hammering in the body, especially considering I was almost certain it wouldn't solve the problem. Then I would still need to lift it and would have smashed the paint and ruined the plastic rivets on the liner for nothing.

How I Decided:

Basically all I did was, with the bigger tires on, jacked of the front of the car by the cross-member until I hit a level where (in all positions) the front tires didn’t rub. I found that to be a whopping 4-5 inches higher than its natural 32”. Now, the OME kit Heavy duty or Medium duty for that matter doesn’t say anywhere from what I can tell that it can accomplish this. It was only from that excellent install vid on YouTube that I started to realized it was capable of much more than the advertised 2 inches. Once I saw another post on jeepcommander.com claiming the same 5 inch gain I knew this was the kit for me. (or at least I prayed!) then the decision was HD or MD?!? This was a bit trickier because I know off road bumpers for commander are hard to come by and the HD kit is largely advertised towards this application. I read an equal number of posts saying HD was either too stiff and they wished they had gotten Medium duty or someone claiming they accidentally ended up with medium and were extremely bummed. What really made me decide was, I don’t really mind a harsh ride- in fact I kind of hate body roll – but I knew only had one chance to clear those dumb tires!! So, I went all out and ordered the heavy duty springs!

What’s on There Now:

This kit really needs more documentation about how much it truly lifts the front. I'm absolutely pleased with the results but had I been after only 2 inches the 5" would have come as a surprised. I'm running stock a-arms (aligned fine with no interference), 2008 wrangler wheels wrapped in 255/75r17 Goodyear SRA wranglers. The tires are 2.6 inches taller than stock size (free 1.3 inches of clearance). Still a very slight rub on the rear of the fender liner (front of vehicle) however there isn't any pushing of the tire into the weld. The rub is so slight that at its worst level of interference (about 1/2 of full lock) I can push the liner back with a finger and remove all contact on the tire. A well placed screw to maintain pressure on the liner away from the tire would end all rubbing.
If anyone cares I'll post more pics of the areas of concern with this lift and tire size.

Measurements & Specifications:

I’ve given most of what’s on it already so if anyone would like final measurements let me know and I’ll post a table of some sort.
Lift: Old Man Emu 2” lift heavy duty shocks and springs
Tires: 255/75r17 Goodyear wrangler SRAs
Wheel Spacers: 1.5-inch lug stud incorporated spacers
Fender height:
Front: 36.25
Rear: 36.25
I’m curious what my final clearance is. Maybe I’ll edit this post when I crawl under there to get it.

Geometry:

As far as CV angles go I'm pleased and don't have any reason for concerns as they have a slight maybe 10-15 degree angle in them. I'll measure if anyone cares to know. My upper and lower ball joints actually look as though they have improved angle. JBA upper A-arm seems unnecessary as they claim the stock ball joint isn't capable of that extreme angle but mine is almost perfectly perpendicular to the socket.

Handling and Ride Quality:

The stiffness is definitely noticeable with the HD springs but I think I would prefer that over a little more sag especially in the front Which I imagine I would have gotten had I gone for MD setup. I have my tires at about 38 PSI. recommended is 35. I think I’ll lower them because potholes on the highway can be a little squirrely. It’s a heavy vehicle with a high center of gravity but I will say a nice heavy front bumper might actually help out with the hop I feel from the stiff ride. It still absorbs bumps nicely but I can tell it wants a little more load up front. Body roll is definitely much better and controlled but being a taller vehicle now I think it’s safe to say that it's almost required (decreasing roll when increased center of gravity in the vertical direction) in order to have a safe ride. The lift is too recent to know about off road handling; I imagine it will be very stiff unless I air down a considerable amount. I’ll be out tomorrow in the woods so we’ll see how it goes!
If anyone has questions about the install I’m sorry to say this was the first major service on my car that I subleted. Apparently he had problems with the rear springs interfering with the gas tank and had to make a special tool for the front clevis. There are a lot of videos and how tos out there though.

I’m sure I missed some major pieces but that was most of my experience.
I'm happy to answer any questions!
 

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I’ve given most of what’s on it already so if anyone would like final measurements let me know and I’ll post a table of some sort.
Lift: Old Man Emu 2” lift heavy duty shocks and springs
Tires: 255/75r17 Goodyear wrangler SRAs
Wheel Spacers: 1.5-inch lug stud incorporated spacers
Fender height:
Front: 36.25
Rear: 36.25
I’m curious what my final clearance is. Maybe I’ll edit this post when I crawl under there to get it.
Excellent well thought out post here.

Something to note is that you are measuring from the ground, so some of the lift difference is from the tire height difference. I usually request a measurement from the axle centerline to the fender lip. I think you will find that your measurements there are ~22-23". It'll settle a bit and engine weight/bumpers/winches certainly effects the lift height from lift springs. The HD springs are designed to work with a hemi and aftermarket bumper/winch so the ~2" lift number represents that type of scenario.
 

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Excellent well thought out post here.

Something to note is that you are measuring from the ground, so some of the lift difference is from the tire height difference. I usually request a measurement from the axle centerline to the fender lip.
Hmm interesting point. Although I was mostly concerned about overall difference before and after the lift. Seeing as the larger tires were installed before the lift and ended up being the cause of such modifications any impact they had on overall height increase would not have been included in my calculations. In other words my "Before" measurement was with the larger tires already installed and therefore would not have been a variable present in the difference calculation based on my "after" measurement. Although I do see how center axle to fender measurement would help people running tires of a different size compare better to my write up. Albeit the ground is a bit easier to use as a reference when you don't have a second set of eyes and hands. Thanks for the compliment!
 

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The tough part with the bigger lifts and subsequently bigger tires is the angle on the knuckle being pulled very close to the strut springs. That is the problem I was dealing with prior to deployment.

Attached on the photo you can see how close mine is to the spring, I can barely fit a poker card between them.

Granted I think I am at the very extreme of what can be done without going completely off the map and re-engineering stuff.

Dave
 

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The tough part with the bigger lifts and subsequently bigger tires is the angle on the knuckle being pulled very close to the strut springs. That is the problem I was dealing with prior to deployment.

Attached on the photo you can see how close mine is to the spring, I can barely fit a poker card between them.

Granted I think I am at the very extreme of what can be done without going completely off the map and re-engineering stuff.

Dave
One of the mods I'm doing when I get back conus in April is the JBA upper control arms for lifted XK's and the JBA ball joints.

I think it will pay dividends over the long haul, even though my lift is nowhere near as extreme as yours.
 

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The tough part with the bigger lifts and subsequently bigger tires is the angle on the knuckle being pulled very close to the strut springs. That is the problem I was dealing with prior to deployment.

Attached on the photo you can see how close mine is to the spring, I can barely fit a poker card between them.

Granted I think I am at the very extreme of what can be done without going completely off the map and re-engineering stuff.

Dave
What on earth!!!! Do you have like 45inch strut spacers up there! Dude that looks seriously unsafe. I can't imagine that doesn't wreak havoc on your everything especially over speed bumps.
That thing has no downward travel! I'm sure it's tall as hell but seriously that seems like overkill. Looks like you need a full cross member drop and a three foot long upper a-arm. haha

:8::8::8::8::8::8:
 

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Ha!

It is tall. I will post more in February when I get home all the coming changes.

This is a good build thread to help everyone see what is working.

Dave
 

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Hmm interesting point. Although I was mostly concerned about overall difference before and after the lift. Seeing as the larger tires were installed before the lift and ended up being the cause of such modifications any impact they had on overall height increase would not have been included in my calculations. In other words my "Before" measurement was with the larger tires already installed and therefore would not have been a variable present in the difference calculation based on my "after" measurement. Although I do see how center axle to fender measurement would help people running tires of a different size compare better to my write up. Albeit the ground is a bit easier to use as a reference when you don't have a second set of eyes and hands. Thanks for the compliment!
Looks great!
 

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Hi all.

Relative newcomer here to JeepCommander.com but a long-time KJ Liberty owner and I can add a little to this conversation from the standpoint of OME spring longevity, JBA upper control arms and ball joints...

I replaced the original KJ suspension with an OME HD springs/Bilstein shocks setup. I installed the HD springs due to 4XGuard skids, an ARB front bumper and winch and custom sliders - it's a heavy little pig. I put 103,000 miles on the OME springs and it performed beautifully so longevity is not an issue with OME springs. I replaced the front OME springs with JBA coilovers since the Bilstein shocks needed replacement - the whole thing had to come apart anyway (the KJ suspension is very similar to the XK IFS suspension.) I still have the rear OME springs on it and have no intention of replacing them anytime soon. I still have the KJ and use it as my offroad/fun vehicle while my 06 XK Limited Hemi has become my daily driver.

I've had JBA upper control arms for about 5 years and really could not have run without them on my KJ due to the amount of lift I put on it. I've replaced the ball joints and it is such a simple job as opposed to having to replace the entire arm - to say nothing of having greaseable ball joints instead of sealed. I like the JBA arms for that reason alone.

My intention is to do a suspension improvement on the XK since it looks and feels sagged to me (it's at 109,000 miles.) My only hangup is whether or not the clevis fork/lower control arm bolt is seized/rusted in the control arm bushing. The KJ has an issue with the clevis pinch bolt but not the clevis/control arm bolt - would love to hear some of your experiences with getting that lower bolt out if yours was seized.

Thanks for allowing me to jump in here ;)

A pic of my KJ (sorry if I'm breaking protocol...)




Bob
 
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