De-Lifting the Cookie Cutter TJ

When I purchased the Cookie Cutter TJ, it was sitting on about 6.5” of lift (4.5” Suspension and 2” body) and huge (!) 33” tires. Needless to say, it looked a tad goofy:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

It didn’t take long for me to slap some 35” tires on it to make it look less goofy, but it was still too tall:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

So after a bit of horse trading I wound up with a pile of springs to play with:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

And started swapping them out. The front was nice and easy, pop a coil out, slap a new one in. The coils going in are Ebay 2” Specials:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

The rear was another story as I found all kinds of problems going on back there. Getting the coils out I broke both coil spring retainer bolts. No big deal right? Wrong, Chrysler designed the coil perch so that it traps the nut. So you can’t get fix the broken part without some cutting. But that’s not all the found fun!

Broken bolts:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

Once I had the coils out of the way, I decided to go ahead and cycle the suspension. To my dismay I found that the rear end bound up before the bump stops were engaged (with the sway bar disconnected even!). This was probably a good thing as if the rear did have full travel, then the track bar bracket would have sheared the fuel lines and wiring harness. Pictured below is everything at ‘full bump’:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

A quick peak underneath showed that the rear track bar was being used as a bump stop:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

And apparently had been for some time:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

So I ground the gusset down on the gas tank skid, and re drilled the track bar hole down a touch lower. Now everything clears just fine:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

With that taken care of, it was on to fixing the coil spring retainers. I lopped off the damaged part, and fished out the broken bolt:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

Welded a new nut onto the backside:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

Burned it back home:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

And made some appropriate height bump stops to keep everything happy. Now the bump stops hit before the suspension binds or the track bar hits the gas tank skid:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

So after way too much work, the new coils were in their home. If this thing hangs around long enough, I’ll probably rework the rear suspension at some point as I’m not real thrilled with how it works:
Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

All that effort got me a 1.5” lowered ride height (3” suspension, 2” body). And I’d still like to go lower yet if I can find the motivation to do so. But just dropping it that little bit made a huge difference in how well the thing rides. So even if I don’t go any lower, I’m quite happy with how it turned out for now. However, I managed to make it look more cookie cutter than before!

Sara L.: Build and Misc. &emdash;

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