If you have ever rode in an old flat fender after a while in the saddle you start to feel your insides coming loose. Here’s the proposed solution, Old Man Emu (OME) Wrangler springs with Rancho 9000 shocks. The original springs had about 10 to 11 leaves as opposed to the OME springs which only have 4, also the OME springs longer and wider which allow the springs to be more flexible to increase articulation and smooth the bumps. Conversions like these can bring about several problems, one example is that the front springs are about 5.5 inches longer and are quite a bit wider.
The Jeep is the Wild Willys, a 47 CJ-2A equipped with a Chevy 307, TH350 automatic, and a Dana 18 transfer case with a Warn overdrive. This classic CJ also has power steering 4.27 gears, and a tilt column. The first step was to order a set of OME springs and a set of Rancho 9000 shocks from OK Auto. After some initial measuring and lining up it was time to start cutting. The spring perches and shackle mounts had to be removed due to the fact they were made for narrow springs and would not fit the new springs. The rear shackle mounts from Rock Equipment were ordered and new spring perches were fabricated. It took a significant amount of time to line up the new springs to insure the Jeep would drive straight down the road. The spring hangers were clamped into place, then the springs were installed and bolted to the axle. Measuring things on an old Jeep are near impossible since nothing seems straight, one time things are correct, the next everything seems out of whack.
The front springs are considerably longer than the originals, this required the spring hangers on the front springs to be mounted about 4.5 inches to the rear and the frame in the front needed to be extended and the shackle mount was through the frame. The rear wasn’t quite as bad but the perches had to be moved about 1.5 inches forward and the shackle mounts may need to be extended out the back. Care was taken to not to raise the ride height of the Jeep due to the rear drive-shaft is only about 10 inches and the front is a two-piece. Some other equipment that was added were Rock Equipment U-bolt skid plates and urethane bushings.
After the initial fit a quick rocking of the Jeep showed the suspension is considerably softer, but the final test will be a drive. Since the shocks are adjustable the new setup will require some setup to get it right.
After some time of tuning and adjustment the ride quality is a noticeable improvement. There is somewhat more body roll than before but the ride is smooth and controllable. Maybe we can get John to take it off-road now.
For more info on this swap contact OK Auto at 908-454-6973.