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:
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:
So after a bit of horse trading I wound up with a pile of springs to play with:
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:
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!
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’:
A quick peak underneath showed that the rear track bar was being used as a bump stop:
And apparently had been for some time:
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:
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:
Welded a new nut onto the backside:
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:
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:
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!