Slee 4 inch kit vs. J spring

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by 1973Guppie, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. 1973Guppie

    1973Guppie Supporting Vendor SILVER Star

    Messages:
    9,851
    Media:
    31
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    "the whale's vagina", CA
    I wanted to get some opinions on these 2 setups. I am thinking of going with the slee 4 inch lift do it urself kit or a J spring kit that I put together myself, the j spring kit would consist of, I plan to run 315's:

    - j spring shocks and springs ($600)
    - steer stab ($80)
    - bstop drops ($80)
    - caster correction plate kit ($140)
    - swaybard drop brackets ($80)
    - longer brake lines ($100)
    - front spacers if needed ($x)
    - new front cv shaft if needed (I have a minitruck cv one laying around, will need to get it modded at the local driveline shop) ($200)
    TOTAL: $1325 + ship costs

    the j spring lift is 3.5" I believe? the slee lift is 4". I plan to have full armor, front and rear bumpers, skids, sliders, yadda yadda.

    My main question is about cost. I know the slee 4 inch lift ($2055 DIY kit) comes with a few other things like:
    1 x Front Panhard Rod
    1 x Rear Panhard Rod
    1 x Set Adjustable Rear Upper Control Arms.
    2 x Breather Extensions
    1 x Emergency Brake Cable drop bracket

    Now, are these pieces really necessary on a 4 inch lift? I have heard of others running the j spring with no panhard or adj control arms and they are fine. You are getting about the same height of lift for alot less $$.

    I would like to hear more on the benefits of the slee lift vs the do it yourself j lift. Please note that this is not intended to bash anyone, I would just like to debate the differences between the two setups and learn more about WHY the slee lift is a better overall solution and IF it is really needed vs. the J spring lift. This is an open forum and we should be able to discuss differences between the available kits out there and what you can put together yourself.

    With that said, thanks for your comments........
     
  2. NLXTACY

    NLXTACY Wits' End Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    23,565
    Media:
    23
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    16,775
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    West Hills, CA
    I realize that this isn't part of your original question but have you also considered Frankie's? Reason why I ask is because I am in the same quandary as you but I am between Slee, F.O.R. and OME. For me, I'm actually leaning towards F.O.R. but I am in no hurry and can be swayed either way.
     
  3. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

    Messages:
    15,519
    Likes Received:
    4,488
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I have had both.

    You will be much happier with the Slee 4inch springs. I would also consider the heavy rear 4 inch springs, but then I always seem to have a ton of crap in the back.

    Can't comment on the Frankie springs.
     
  4. hntashdjian

    hntashdjian

    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    I think the front panhard is important, if you ask me. I got the 4" Slee kit, and had to wait for the front pan hard, since he was out of stock. While i drove the car without it, the front sway bar links to the chasis were busted because the axle was pulling on them sideways. They started to leak grease.
    Keep in mind I have no added weight on the front, atleast for now.

    The emergency brake cable was also super tight after i got the rear springs in. From what i remember the kit came with a super long washer and a longer bolt.

    I used the breather extensions, but I plan on bringing all the breathers to the engine bay, so I could have skipped that.
     
  5. 1973Guppie

    1973Guppie Supporting Vendor SILVER Star

    Messages:
    9,851
    Media:
    31
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    "the whale's vagina", CA
    yes, I have seen those kits, but from what I have heard delivery has been an issue and they are not in stock, so I did not include them in my search. When I go to buy, I will consider them as I have heard good things, but for now I would like to keep the discussion between these two kits.

    thanks,

    Noah
     
  6. 1973Guppie

    1973Guppie Supporting Vendor SILVER Star

    Messages:
    9,851
    Media:
    31
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    "the whale's vagina", CA
    Can you elaborate on this please? WHY would I be happier with the slee kit? If you have had both I would really like to hear more about WHY you liked the slee setup more??

    thx,

    Noah
     
  7. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

    Messages:
    15,519
    Likes Received:
    4,488
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    The spring rate on the OME J's is way too soft. This leads to body roll and an uncomfortanble squat when climbing a steep hill or a ledge.

    I have the standard 4 inch springs which are a big step up, but given what I use the truck for, I will eventally get even firmer springs and Bilstein shocks with adjustable valving in the rear.
     
  8. FJBen

    FJBen

    Messages:
    2,636
    Media:
    1
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Greeley, Colorado
    I've done two hybrid lifts.

    SLee 4" front, J rear. I really liked this setup. Still needed basically everything in the Slee kit, but you can fab some of the stuff relatively easy. That said, it's much nicer to have it all done for you.

    Check out my 2 ROTW's for info on my setup. If I build another :lol: I would do that or actually try F.O.R as well.
     
  9. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

    Messages:
    23,247
    Likes Received:
    1,314
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    Panamá
    wich it's the spring rate con FOR and slee coils ..?

    J are 220lb/in that are perfect if you run no or little armour .. I jave J in front and 863 in rear and seems to be perfect ( and maybe a little stiff ) in my no armour 80 ..

    The OME competition series are 300lb/in and sure are designed for those who run full armour ..
     
  10. Riad

    Riad

    Messages:
    1,822
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Charles Town, WV
    I am getting sick of my Js. I don't have sway bars; maybe that's what deteriorated the Js faster than they usually do. In every turn it feels like the truck wants to come off the road and ride on its side. On the trails I get crazy droop articulation, front coils always pops out. I have had them for few years now and I am going to upgrade to Slee 4" in the coming days. I've got most of the components; all I need are the coils and MAYBE the adjustable UCAs. And if I decide to put back my sway bars then I'm gonna need the drop blocks/brackets too; still dueling on that.

    To me Js are OK when they are new but boy they become like slinky coil after some use.
     
  11. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    23,483
    Likes Received:
    5,125
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I have J's and 1.5" front spacer, nets ~5" over stock lift. For my uses, relatively light rig (5260lb on the scale today) it works, flexes, rides well. Mine is relatively stock, original panhards, brake lines (hard mount brackets lowered), drive shafts, sway-bars mounts (cut and welded extensions), rear arms, etc. Spring rate needs to be matched to rig weight, if anything I would prefer a slightly softer spring for mine.

    On a close to stock weight rig OME J's will net close to 5" rear and 3.5" front. All OME kits are biased for lots of constant rear cargo/load. So if your not carrying an bunch of junk in the trunk, probably better off picking springs instead of getting a kit. A popular "kit" around here is Heavy rear, J front springs with L shocks and 315 tires. Heavy rears net ~4" lift on a close to stock weight rig. OME springs are about 250 lb per inch, so a good rule of thumb is about 500lb added over an axle will compress the rig ~1 inch.

    When thinking about weight, remember it works both ways. For example my rear 4x4 Labs bumper, it's relatively heavy, but so was the stuff removed, the net rig weight increase was zero.
     
  12. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

    Messages:
    19,374
    Likes Received:
    1,715
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Groveland MA
    I've had all three setups on my truck and I'd rate them as follows

    FOR, Slee, then OME. Either way you should do all the bits and pieces. I've helped setup a bunch of trucks in this lift range and never have needed to use Slee's upper rear adjustable arms. Christo however usually has to, to control drive line vibs. So going with his kit you should make sure you get those.
     
  13. FirstToy

    FirstToy

    Messages:
    4,432
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    Location:
    Socal
    Slee 4's are the best, he's got it all well thought out.
     
  14. alkaline747trio

    alkaline747trio

    Messages:
    4,577
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Albemarle NC
    If you do the J spring lift, I suggest you add a pair of the MT spacers. You're going to be sting bug like hell if you don't, and the Slee 4" is going to be a stinkbugger too...

    If you can afford it, get the Slee arms...or some other control arm instead of the plates...just what I've seen on the trails...my arms flex and move smoother than the stock arms and plates do.
     
  15. cruiserruf

    cruiserruf

    Messages:
    1,336
    Media:
    124
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    GOLD Country, CA
    the slee control arms on j spring lift?
     
  16. FirstToy

    FirstToy

    Messages:
    4,432
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    Location:
    Socal
    that's interesting, i thought the stock arms flexed the best b/c of the rubber bushings?
    wouldn't the slee arms be too much correction for the 4" lift?

    also, i never understood the aversion to 'stinkbug'. they come stock from the factory that way and only makes sense you want it that way empty- i do anyway. i think it looks good either way too.
     
  17. Leroy

    Leroy

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Venice
    I had the J's up front and regular heavies in the rear so as not to have so much stinkbug. That said i switched out my OME springs and shocks for an FOR lift and the difference is incomparable. The FOR ride is soooo much better it's hard to believe. I've never had the slee springs. No matter what plan on the brake lines, drop brackets and caster correction. Panhards are questionable with the J's and FOR.... probably necessary with the Slee's.
     
  18. alkaline747trio

    alkaline747trio

    Messages:
    4,577
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Albemarle NC
    Yep, Slees arms on 4" or J spring. I had 4" springs for a while, with Slee Gen 2 arms, stock driveshaft no vibes. I have factory bushings in my Slee arms...flexes better then with the stock arms. Too much? I love my 'extra' caster and longer control arms.

    I had stinkbug loaded down...and ass low 80s fly better than ass high.
     
  19. Box Rocket

    Box Rocket

    Messages:
    3,678
    Media:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5,079
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Syracuse, Utah
    I have J springs along with 1.5" spacers and L shocks on my truck. Swaybars are still installed and I definitely feel like there's a bit too much body roll. It hasn't been bad enough to really motivate me to change it but it clearly noticeable. I don't have any firsthand experience with the Slee springs or the FOR springs for that matter but there are several guys here locally that have been using the 4-5" OME competition springs. One of those guys sold me the J springs I'm using when he went to the comps. I've ridden/driven one of the trucks with the comp springs and it is without a doubt a better handling truck than mine is. He has caster plates and my truck has Outback control arms with correct caster so I know it isn't a caster issue. The firmer spring rate of the comps is well matched to the L shocks and handles turns and highway driving much better than my J's. Higher speed dirt driving is also more controlled. The only advantage I can see with my J's is the smooth ride. You can feel the stiffer spring with the comps but it's still very nice.

    My point is, one of these days I'm going to ditch my J's and probably go with some of the OME comp springs.
     
  20. Filmpros

    Filmpros

    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    New York & California
    I have driven all of them. The Frankie Off Road (FOR) kit is by far the best of the bunch.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.