BDS YJ spring conversion on CJ8

Rmhavema

Overlander
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Northville
State
MI
#1
Looking at getting the BDS 2.5" lift kit for the CJ. BDS recommends upgrading to the YJ spring conversion kit for improved ride (wider springs and less friction). Anyone have any experience with this? Is it worth the extra $400 or should I just stick with the CJ kit. Thanks!
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#2
There's a guy here local in KC that has been trying to sell a new set of 2.5 BDS Yj springs for $375 for a long time. I'm sure they could be had for less


 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#3
YJ springs perform a bit better that equivalent CJ springs IMHO. There are a number of things that need to be altered to make YJ springs fit/function in the front, but $400 seems like a lot. You could probably source parts yourself for less.

The perceived value of the swap depends on the individual, so it's hard to say if it would be worth the trouble for you. I don't regret doing the swap on my 8.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#4
Have you called BDS to talk through this and the pricing? That seems steep to add the YJ conversion parts to the lift kit.

I put BDS YJ springs and parts of the conversion kit on my Postal to get 5" of lift back before driving it out to EJS, then South Dakota for the National and then wheeling up in Drummond Island for the SODA event (drove it to/from all of them). Initially I had the World Cab on and did the front springs on all four corners to try to cope with the top and the roll cage and the armor but it was too much, the springs are too soft.
I ended up with two add-a-leafs in the back right and one in the back left and now it's doing fairly well. I had to put my swaybar back on initially, but now that I took the World Cab off and the springs have a few thousand miles they're riding reasonably level. (My Jeep's right rear has always sagged, even with the two suspensions I had on previous to this.)

I also did the Fox 2.0 shocks with Ford shock towers in the front.

Aside from the leaning, the suspension rides amazingly well on and off road. Folks were really impressed as I kept up with crazy built JKs on Golden Spike on the JKS run at EJS (until my lack of a torque check on the rear u-bolt nuts reared its ugly head, bending my center pins on the rear and forcing me to bail out)

I would recommend different center pins if you decide to add leaves in the rear, the BDS ones are not high-quality (I stripped one trying to install while properly using clamps to compress the packs) and I ended up going with ground-head grade 8 bolts instead.
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#5
I did a BDS on my run around CJ7 11 years or so ago, back then it was a 3.5" kit and it came with wider front springs YJ style, but it had shackles that necked down to go from 2" to 2.5" I didn't like the way that looked so I welded CJ rear shackle brackets to the front and ordered another set of rear shackles that were straight. I am curious if BDS is still doing it this way on the 2.5 kit you mention? Other than that piece of info, I have been extremely happy with the kit and those wider front springs, it has great flex and good road manners...I am running 32" tires as well.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#6
No, they give you wider shackle hangers and straight shackles. Rubicon Express used the necked-down shackles and I saw what it did to the bushings...
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#7
Well, that's an embarrassing error on my part. 11 years ago, I used a 3.5 Rubicon Express kit, not a BDS. I used a BDS 2.5" about 12 years ago on an '85 CJ7 resto-mod I now recall. Got them mixed up. :eek:
 

Rmhavema

Overlander
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Northville
State
MI
#8
Thanks for all the input! It seems like the YJ conversion is the way to go. Should improve ride and flex off road... I just need to save up a few more bucks. Here are the details on the bds kit.



 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#9
Looks like a pretty complete kit. At least it comes with the bushings (I think they sell for $20 a set).

I wouldn't consider the entire price as additional for the conversion since you would have to replace some of those parts regardless of a YJ-conversion or factory CJ springs (u-bolts & bushings).

Still think you could save a little $$ or maybe get high-end components if you shop around
 

BRKLYNZ28

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
BROOKLYN
State
NY
#10
I built my system using ruff stuff parts. Might cost the same in the end but there brackets are heavy duty. Also this is great time to think about outboarding. Or even reverse shackles. :)

sent from my flaming samsung note7
 

CJ7Pilot

18436572
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yuba City
State
CA
#11
Rmhavema (I'd love to know what that means), the main things you'll need to put the wider YJ springs on the front of your CJ, are wider shackle hangers, wider shackles, and wider spring plates.

I bought new front spring hangers from Rocky-Road, because I like how sturdy they are, and I bought a MORE YJ shackle kit. As JerseyJeeps mentioned though, plenty of people have adapted rear CJ hangers and shackles to work on the front.

If you want to try adapting rear CJ hangers and shackles, I have the set that came off the rear of my Scrambler, that I'll give you.

For the spring plates, I ordered an OMIX-ADA YJ right-front plate for the front right (yes, it has the correct u-bolt spacing), and a CJ right rear plate for the front left. You could source these from a wrecking yard as well. My shock mounts are welded to the axle tube (as yours probably are), so there's no need to weld extra studs to to the spring plates. Heck, I think I even have a right rear CJ spring plate I can send you, so you'd only have to buy a right front YJ plate!

Using this method, you'll have about $30 tied up in conversion parts, rather than $400... but as Spieg mentioned, you'll still need to buy u-bolts, etc...

Have fun! :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

Rmhavema

Overlander
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Northville
State
MI
#12
Thanks for all the help. Still a little confusion on my part. Seems like most of the yj conversion kits come with parts to convert the front. Do yj springs fit on the rear with stock Cj hangers and spring plates?



Sent from my iPad
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#13
Thanks for all the help. Still a little confusion on my part. Seems like most of the yj conversion kits come with parts to convert the front. Do yj springs fit on the rear with stock Cj hangers and spring plates?



Sent from my iPad
Yes they should bolt right on in the rear, although I wouldn't recommend using stock CJ shackles.
 

CJ7Pilot

18436572
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yuba City
State
CA
#14
... although I wouldn't recommend using stock CJ shackles.
I've read a lot of different opinions on this. Logically, the more arch you have in your springs, the longer your shackle needs to be to allow the spring to flatten out when flexing. However, plenty of people have had good luck using stock shackles with a 2.5" lift... I guess it depends on how extreme you plan on wheeling.

That said, I went with YJ length shackles. If nothing else, it gives me another 1/2" of lift! :thumbsup:
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Mt Holly
State
NC
#15
I did the YJ conversion on my '76 CJ7 and my '81 Scram. Definitely worth it in my opinion and I put a decent amount of miles on my 7 before converting. Definitely recommend it for you. Will be doing the same with my '82
 
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