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92 XJ 7'2" Western Plow

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by river6822, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I have a 92 XJ with a Western 7'2" LSX plow. The front end is sagging quite a bit these days and I'd like to remedy the situation. I've read that the Timbren's work well for most people, but I've also read about people replacing coil springs. At this point I have to do something but I'm not sure exactly how / what to do because if I'm going to invest $$ to bolster the friont end I'd really like to lift this XJ a little to run 31" tires as well.

    Does anyone out there have a setup like this? What size lift do you have? I understand that you can use the coils out of a V8 Grand Cherokee to acheive a 2.5" - 3" lift up front. Did this solve your front end sag with the plow installed? Does the Western subframe need to be modified?

    Am I getting into too much trouble with a lift? Any / All opinons welcome.

    Thanks
     
  2. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    You'll be looking for trouble with the lift, it's a crap shoot on the XJ's with stuff that needs to be modded when you go up even 2.5 inches some people need SYE's, some can get away with transfer case drops.

    Biggest problem you'll have is most lift springs don't have a real high load capacity because they're more about flex than load carrying.

    IMO Carquest HD coils with some airbags would be your best bet, because that LSX is a heavy plow for an XJ.
     
  3. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    I think festerw is confusing XJ with the TJ or YJ on those you have a driveshaft issues even with a small lift.
    However wheel well clearance is the problem with the XJ. also it upsets the plowframe Angle so you have to lower the plow frame whitch puts more twisting force on the XJ unibody.

    I would use air shocks. and have used them for 22 years in my plow jeeps. When you put the plow on, pump them up to carry the extra weight. They work GREATE. You dont have to ride around with stiff springs the rest of the year.

    The problem is nobody lists them for the front. I did some research.


    the Monroe MA763 air shock will fit the front of your Jeep. It is 1" shorter than your stock shock (no it will not lower your F end) and the bottom mounting holes are 1/16" wider. (you may have to file the shock mount.)

    the jeep uses bottom mount XP4 and the air shock uses XP5

    Shock Mount.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  4. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I've been doing a little research at NAXJA as well. It seems like I'll need at least a 2" lift just to run a tire that's an inch taller and wider; doesn't seem like it's worth it. Guys have installed the 31's on stock, but had rubbing issues. I'll bet with a plow on the front end - I'll have a lot of that. I can run 30's on the stock suspension and not screw up my plowability, so I think that might be the way to go.

    I agree with festerw on the lift spring / load capacity issue, as that was my initial concern with doing the lift. The LSX is a heavy plow, but it does get the job done. This is going to be the 3rd jeep that this plow has seen. The first one I blew up the motor. The second one has simply rotted out from under the plow. I'm hoping this one should last a while.

    I also agree with theplowmeister about the lift issues on the XJ. It's really about the wheel well clearance. The other point that you brought out about the lower plow frame and angles might be less of a concern in my case. The sub mount that I have is so low to the ground that I've had the occasion of actually having to lift up on the front end of the Jeep in order to get it to line up with the plow in it's lowest position in the storage stand. No - I'm not kidding - I lift on the fender and my son puts the pin in. It's only about 1" difference, but it's a PITA.

    So maybe i only want to lift the front end 1"-2" to get away from the Installation / Removal issues I have, but I think that the 30's are a better way to go than the 31's. I'm also thinking that the less wide 30x9.5 will do much better in the snow than the 31 x 10.5.

    Further comments certainly welcomed.
     
  5. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    The driveshaft vibes on the XJ's can be an issue with small lifts though admittedly not on all of them, I've read more about it on the 97-01 models basically a do it and see what happens kind of deal just want you to be aware that it can happen.

    FWIW I've always run a 235/75/15 Mastercraft Courser MSR on my 98 with no problems
     
  6. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    With the alignment for hooking up the plow, the air shocks will work great just pump them up before you mount the plow and they will lift the f end for you.
     
  7. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I appreciate the responses. Air shocks might well be the best way to resolve my issues.

    Does anyone have experience with the timbrens on a Cherokee? Stock height or lifted?

    Thanks
     
  8. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

  9. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    I used something similar in the back of a car I had. they worked fine when I loaded up the car. But with no weight in the car and the minimum pressure in the bags 5PSI I think, the ride was so stiff, that after a week I through them out:mad:

    the problem with heaver springs is, without the weight of the plow the springs are to stiff and ride quality suffers. aside from ride quality the suspension also keep the tires on the road. If the springs get to stiff IE springs with a high spring rate, you end up with traction problems.
    Ideally you want a spring thats adjustable to the load you are caring. In theory the airbags sound good... but they fit inside the springs and even with minimum pressure (to prevent chafing on the spring coils) they add to much stiffness.

    I had a YJ that I put heaver springs in to support the plow. It was so ruff without the plow that in the spring I would swap to my old springs. In winter I would put in the heavy springs.
    that is until I got air shocks.

    If you want to lift the jeep that is a hole new ball game. (I have a 4 1/2 lift on my TJ) BUT again I would use a good suspension (NOT Hi Jacker!) and add air shocks as needed for occasional weight caring ability.

    I'm not saying stiffer springs wont work.. depends what you want and expect you suspension to do. All things are compromises.

    OK i'll get off the soap box.:redbounce


    My 2 cents (i've been plowing for 20 years with Jeeps, first year with an F150), I have 96 residential customers, I'v used stiffer springs and air shocks, I have a lifted jeep, I worked in an off road Jeep shopfor a year, 32 years as an auto mechanic. and I have a patent on a winch mounting system, CDL, and a BS in electronic engineering, Certificate in Client server Technology)
    "not braging, just fact"
     
  10. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I have those Airlift bags on mine, I had to modify a few things for them to work but they do work well and the ride stiffness is the same at the minimum pressure.
     
  11. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    theplowmeister - I get your point exactly with the increased spring rate etc.. I think you are exactly correct. Anyone who's doing this needs an adjustable element that's going to work in the overload situation, and not effect the unlaiden suspension. I just wish some one made air shocks for the front end. In fact, I've read one account of "DO NOT USE AIR SHOCKS ON THE FRONT END" followed by a bunch of opinion on why it wouldn't work. I think your real world experience takes presidence over this. I just want to determine what the better product is at this point - shocks or bags - and what's easier to install. They seem to have a similar cost so that's not really a factor.

    The air bag should have minimal if any effect on the ride quality, just like the air shocks.

    I think through this I'm learning that I'm not going to be able to lift the jeep and keep the plow without compromises in both situations. Since my off-road needs are nearly always met with the stock suspension; why do a lift just for looks or the occasional bottom scrape and have it screw up the plow and add that torque on the unibody. So the larger 30" tires (compared to the 235/75/15's) might get me the better look I want and not mess up the plow.

    fester - How much is a "few" modifications? What did you have to do? I've been told that the bump stop on the '92+ is the difference, but I don't know the details of how it's different. Is your XJ lifted? If not - did the air lift give you any additional height? Do you have the bags in both the front and back?
     
  12. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I had to cut off the cup on the bumpstop mount and tap the hole for a bolt, then (this may not be the case on your 92) drill a 3/4 inch hole in the lower spring mount for the air line to pass through.

    Mine isn't lifted and the front bags didn't give any lift, I've got them in the back also those will give you some lift how much I can't really tell you because I never actually measured it.

    For what you're looking to do, here is what I suggest, get some stock HD Upcountry springs and airbags for the front and for the back get airbags or if your springs are really sagged get the HD springs and bags for the back too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  13. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks guys for all the great info. I'm going to mull it over and figure out what I'm going to do this week. I'll post my results once complete.

    festerw - I might need some further info on the HD coils / springs if I decide to go that way.

    Thanks again for all the great info.:salute:
     
  14. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Here's the stuff you need

    HD springs

    Front: Moog # CC782

    Rear: Quadratec #5601011, you'll also need bushing #'s 5600105 and 5600106.

    Air bags (from what I remember Summit Racing had the best prices)

    Front: Airlift 80702

    Rear: Airlift 59507

    If you're planning on doing this plan on driving a different car for at least a day as there can be complications with some bolts breaking. If you don't already have it you should get a gallon of PB Blaster and start soaking everything down especially the front mounting bolts for the rear springs, when you do it generous amounts of heat will be your best friend.
     
  15. snow problem

    snow problem Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    I to have a set of airlift bags in the front of my 99 cherokee. They work great, but about 70 pounds of presure in them and the front end does not sag at all. had the do the same mods Festerw had to do also.
     
  16. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Very cool that there are two air lifts out there. How long have you had yours? Do you run stock springs?

    Where did you guys mount your air controller? Single or Dual zone?
     
  17. snow problem

    snow problem Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    Yes I run the stock spring, and I have had them for 3 seasons. Not sure what you mean by single or double zone, the vavle stem for the arlifts is locted under teh font bumper and it pumps up both springs at once.
     
  18. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    I think the confusion is... There is an air bag suspension system that replaces the strings. I think Snow Problem and festerw have helper air bags that work with springs. The air bag system has a controller to adjust the bags from in the cab.

    The nice thing about the air shock is there is no modifications necessary just bolt the shocks in run the air line and your done. the air bag is part of the shock.
     
  19. river6822

    river6822 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    manual control - gotcha.

    They have an onboard compressor / controller that you can buy. You can have a single zone so all go to the same pressure - or a dual zone so you can adjust pressure front/back or left /right. Obviously you don't need the onboard gadgetry.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  20. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    The mods for the Aiflift bags really aren't that bad to do, took me about an hour to install both. Droop the axle, disconnect the sway bars and shocks (I put in new shocks at the time, so really on one side needs to be removed), droop the axle more, pop out the spring, pull out the bumpstop, sawzall off the bumpstop cuff, retap the hole in the bumpstop, step up a few drill bits to get to a 3/4 hold in the bottom mount, pop in the bag and spring and reassemble.....ok so I guess it sounds like more work than it actually is, LOL.

    IMO, the XJ top shock mounts aren't all that beefy and I was leery of using the air shocks and putting more stress on them.

    The air fittings on mine are up front under the bumper also, only ever changed the pressure in the spring and fall with a check of pressure once a month.