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'71 Cj5 Suspension

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Travis Morisoli, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Aug 22, 2017
    Travis Morisoli

    Travis Morisoli New Member

    Lake Forest, ca
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
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    10
    So I am new to the club and just bought a '71 CJ5 this last weekend. In driving it seems like the suspension is shot and does not soak up anything at all. I know its an old Jeep and don't expect it to be plush but how do I know what needs to be changed? The shocks look pretty old and I cant find any information as to brand or model#. How would I tell which shocks and size would be best to replace with? How do I tell if the leaf springs need to be replaced? Also the guy I bought it from said there was a 2 inch lift. How do I tell if its lifted and how its lifted? One more questions, would it help to change the body bushings? How would I check these? Thank you in advance for all the help.
     
  2. Aug 22, 2017
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
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    Dec 17, 2002
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    2,121
    Early CJ5's have stiff springs. Even aftermarket spring were stiff. Maybe the new spring are better. The only way you can get soft springs is with a Wrangler Spring Conversion. Very pricy. Other things you can do is lower the air pressure in the tires. This will help. If you post a picture we can guess the height of the spring lift.
     
    cookieman likes this.
  3. Aug 22, 2017
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor

    Sheboygan
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    Jun 28, 2006
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    Count the leafs in each leaf pack. Mine has 13, and no lift. Some people take some out to gain some cushion.
     
  4. Aug 22, 2017
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    yep picture of jeep and springs would help
     
    cookieman likes this.
  5. Aug 22, 2017
    75 DJ

    75 DJ Member

    Des Moines, IA
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    Sep 12, 2016
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    And welcome to the site! (y)
     
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  6. Aug 22, 2017
    Hellion

    Hellion Banned

    Eastern TN
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    Dec 25, 2016
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    495
    In the meantime, doesn't everyone browse places like RockAuto and see what is typically offered in the way of suspension parts?

    If the leaf springs lie flat they're probably quite shot though...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Aug 23, 2017
    Mr Plow

    Mr Plow Member

    Boston, Ma
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
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    193
    I had a similar experience with mine. I never owned an older jeep so didn't really have anything to compare the ride to. I took a hard look at the shocks and one of them had completely lost the rubber bushing - upper rear driver side. When I took the shock off I could press it down and it stayed there! I would take one off and check to see if there is any life left in it. I went with new springs and shocks from BDS and it was night and day. Still stiff but not nearly the roll it had.
     
  8. Aug 24, 2017
    army grunt

    army grunt Member

    Georga USA
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    Feb 21, 2012
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    269
    Shocks wont take out the rough ride(only stop the bouncy, bouncy after the bump)
    Mine rids like that.I have not heard any advice on softening it, except taking out leaves.
     
  9. Aug 24, 2017
    Travis Morisoli

    Travis Morisoli New Member

    Lake Forest, ca
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    Aug 22, 2017
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    10
  10. Aug 24, 2017
    iharding

    iharding Member

    Tacoma, WA
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    Feb 24, 2013
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    307
    I put new shocks on mine and it actually did smooth out the ride quite a bit. The rapid rebound is part of the bump.

    Then I put new springs under it and it's even better. Still not a car, but way better. My springs are BDS 2.5 inch lift. I highly recommend it.
     
    Desert Runner likes this.
  11. Aug 24, 2017
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member

    exploring the...
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  12. Aug 24, 2017
    CJ Joe

    CJ Joe Truckhaven Tough!

    Pinon Hills, CA
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    Nov 9, 2002
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    The shocks look very old. However the axle u-bolts appear to be not very old at all, possibly indicating new springs.
    That steering stabilizer looks sketchy though. Lets see what others have to say. Post more pictures of the whole jeep.

    BTW, I expect my jeep to ride rough, after all it's a truck. Just like I expected my teenage son to complain about cleaning his room. Some things are just that way.
     
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  13. Aug 24, 2017
    Hellion

    Hellion Banned

    Eastern TN
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    Thanks, sterlclan for posting the pics.
    Decent looking undercarriage there.

    I agree. I think the OP has been spoiled by the plush, cushiony, wallowing-over-bumps ride of modern vehicles. :lol:

    What's sketchy about the steering stabilizer?
     
  14. Aug 25, 2017
    Travis Morisoli

    Travis Morisoli New Member

    Lake Forest, ca
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
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    I'm not crying about it. I'm just trying to get myself educated. I like to learn about new stuff. I've wanted a Jeep since I was 16, the last 20 years. I'm just trying to figure out what makes the most sense to spend some money on and upgrade. I'm also trying to educate myself on what I actually have and if it has a lift and how it was lifted.

    Thank you for all the reply so far.

    I'll post more pictures of the entire Jeep.
     
  15. Aug 25, 2017
    cookieman

    cookieman Member

    Colton,Calif
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    Jan 31, 2005
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    Welcome to the group..I can see all the rust on spring. I would spray Kroil on those spring or take them apart maybe clean up all the rust. That would help a lot.
     
  16. Aug 25, 2017
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
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    Sep 22, 2002
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    5,071
    It's bolted to a thin piece of metal attached to the frame, it's suppose to be bolted to the axle tube.
     
  17. Aug 25, 2017
    Alan28

    Alan28 Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Ch√Ętillon en...
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    Welcome from France (y)
    About suspensions, you can buy good shock absorbers (the cheap ones are not perfect) and softer tyres...
    My solution was to add foam cushion on my seat, it helps a lot, and to drive on flat smooth roads.
    On bad ground, it is mandatory to hold firmly the steering wheel which must be in good condition.
    I also use in this case the hand accelerator, so I don't have to adjust my feet to the accelerator.:cry:
     
  18. Aug 25, 2017
    Travis Morisoli

    Travis Morisoli New Member

    Lake Forest, ca
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
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    I'm trying to add more photos of the Jeep but I'm not sure how to get them into the post. I tried to use the image button but that did not seem to work. I did add them to album in my profile. Whats the best way to add photos?[​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  19. Aug 25, 2017
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Aug 10, 2003
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    Not sure what the rules are about embedding images ... you may have to start a gallery and link to the images in the gallery. Not sure that someone with as few posts as you have can embed images without using a hot link.

    You can post on Google photos ... just link to them here.
     
  20. Aug 25, 2017
    Hellion

    Hellion Banned

    Eastern TN
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
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    495
    I'm learning too, still a n00b, but I kinda knew what to expect.
    I don't want a newer Jeep though. I have no desire or envy for anything newer or currently rolling off assembly lines for that matter.
    I look down my nose at CJ-7s too, with that too-long nose of theirs. :D

    ->>>
    A question for all and on-topic: When these Jeeps were made, of course there was not the type, style, amount or technology of all the lift kits and special shocks and all that we have today....so what was a typical suspension upgrade for say a mid-60s to early 1970s (like the OP's) CJ5?

    Maybe there were some that went all radical with 12" lifts and monster truck tires...but I guess I'm asking what the "conservative" upgrade was in those days.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017

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