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Homegrown CA Drop Brackets


NAXJA Forum User
Ogden, UT
Ok, I am one of the poorest jeepers alive and right now just have the ol budget boost, which clearly has an altitude problem. I want to fab up a homemade 6.5" lift using rockkrawler coils up front and Dakota springs out back. To save dough, I would love to retain the stock control arms. Obviously, I need to drop the frame mounts. I looked at the RE parts and they look nice but are $300.
Has anybody fabbed up any of this stuff before? Any pointers? ideas? pics? insults?
Also, does 6-states really sell a HD SYE for $300 installed? (just a rumor i heard, mikal)
Any help would be appreciated. Any comments at all would just make me feel good inside.
Not sure about the cheap drop brackets, unless of course you want to/have the ability to fab up your own. To run stock control arms at 6" would save money, not sure if you'd be able to properly dial in your wheelbase and caster without some adjustability from the UCA/LCA's.

$300 for an SYE installed? Hmmmm....does that include a HD rear Dshaft too? Have you called 6-States and inquired?

Here's a couple of things to consider.......you can build your XJ up to 3-4" of lift on a tight budget, staying with 31" tires or less.

When you start building for 4+", things start costing more, and taking too many shortcuts will effect overall driveability. You'll be underpowered with larger tires so you'll want new gears,($7-800.00 installed), at 6+" you'll need longer Dshaft and SYE($400-ish) to be vibe free, longer shocks of course, steering linkage starts to bind at the pass knuckle at 6", a solution here could run you another $400, adjustable trackbar/UCA/LCA's/drop brackets to properly dial in your suspension geometry($500-ish), longer brakelines and other misc. pieces.

Bottom line is that you can have a lot of fun with your XJ without being the tallest one in town. When I built my first XJ 8yrs ago, it was one of a handful of lifted Cherokees in Ogden......now there are probably close to 100 in the area, and a lot of them are taller than mine, not that I care much. I've wheeled most of the 4 rated trails in Moab with a 2" budget boost and 30" tires, when I was making the transition between rigs and had fun doing it. Are the trails more fun with all the extra goodies and now sitting at 6"? Hard to say, the challenges are just different.

My advice is to build the rig for how you use it 95% of the time and not worry too much about all the poser rigs running around with big lifts and tires(funded by a $$$$ generous allowance) that think 4wheeling is bombing through the muddy field next to the Albertson's parking lot on 5700 and Harrison. (Watched a WRX outwheel an Explorer there after the last rainstorm......if they were my kids they would be riding their bikes after that).

Take your budget boosted rig out and see what it is capable of first, get comfortable with it's ablities and your own. Then the building process will become a logical evolution. I'll try contacting you locally and we can chat more. Hope this helps.
Okay, I need to be a little more specific, i see. These are all very good ideas and sound advice. But, to give you a better idea of what i am looking for, i will tell you guys more about me. :)
The last trail I did was Pritchett Canyon, which we did the day after we did Moab Rim. These were accomplished with the aid of a 1987 Ford Bronco II with 4", 33's, trac-lok, 4.10's, flexy homemade 56" rear springs, sawzalled fenders and a lotta patience. Not bragging, just telling you where I am at now. The Ford is being sold soon to pay for an XJ buildup so I won't have so darn many vehicles sittin around the house.
I need to keep up AT LEAST this level of trail performance to make the corners of my mouth curl up. The B II starts out 2-3" higher than the Cherokee and my buddies with 4-5" lifts on their XJ's keep dragging bumpers on walls and ledges. I would love to have another 1-2" of lift for the extra clearance.
As far as the steering goes, i'm looking into the tie rod flip, which should net me another 2.5" or so of linkage height, so the steering angles shouldn't be so bad.
What I am really looking for is some good design ideas for some drop brackets for the UCA's and LCA's, similar to the RE parts. I would like to drop them 4" total to keep suspension geometry close to stock and prevent the D. Wobble. I have welders, chop saw, huge mill, huge lathe, and a dad who can fab anything. Any pics or tips, even close up pics of aftermarket parts you have laying around would be great.
$~400 for the 4.56's (self installed, have correct cases), $~160 for shocks, $120 for front coils, $20 for dakota springs, $~200 for SYE (the cheap kind), $? for adj track bar, etc. All said and done should be able to do it minus tires for about a grand.
BTW- XJEEPER, where do you live?
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Thanks Chuck! This is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for - Ideas to get the creative gears turning in my brain. These pieces look nice and beefy.

Did you or somebody you know fab these? Any difficulties in designing them or nifty ideas anyone has come up with? Does anybody have experiences that they would like to share with the use of drop brackets, such as, do they work well? good flex? death wobble? ground clearance? get chicks?
If these things suck to have, and a long arm kit is just a billion times better, i would like to know before I spend the hours with a torch and welder.
Thanks for the posts guys, this site is my lifeline for jeepin! Keep up good work!
BTW again XJEEPER - Is that Hell's Gate you are going up in the pic?
DeadEyeJ said:
I have welders, chop saw, huge mill, huge lathe...............
BTW- XJEEPER, where do you live?

Dude, forget about where I live....where do YOU live ?? Huge mill and lathe..........I have machine tool envy:D

Sounds like you're deeper into this than I thought, hope you weren't offended by my assumptions. I'm a fab-aholic myself so we'll get along just fine. Let's hook up and compare notes.

Your absolutely right, that's me climbing HG in the photo......you win a 3 ft length of garden hose and a 2lb can of Crisco!:D
I live two-hundred seventy-FIVE miles north of Moab, thx for asking!
The garden hose and crisco can will undoubtedly come in handy, seeing they my main offroader right now is a FORD!:anon:
Just a thought. I really know nothing about fabbing these things, but would it be easier to just fab up some long arms and not worry about drop brackets and braces and such?
When RE releases their xj LA kit there will be used drop brackets everywhere probly
TrailMaster makes control arm drop brackets also and you can order them from http://www.4wheelparts.com for a little over $200 shipped. Be patient though. It took them over a month to get them to me. They consider it a special order from TrailMaster. As far as I can tell they look exactly the same as the RE brackets. TrailMaster does not make the support for the drop bracket like RE does but I consider that a weekend fabrication project myself. :D
Here's the link to the parts you'll need to order: http://www.trailmastersuspension.com/comp_drawings/view.cgi?image=JXJ34.gif


You KNOW my budget, and I still would suggest 4" to 5" and a locked rear; since you know how well (poor) mine did in Pritchett. With a locker and 31's, it would have been that much easier. The Bronco did very well, and your cool colored Jeep would do just as good with 4 to 5. You are an awesome trail junkie and you could take a stock civic thru Hell's Revenge! When you can afford it (when I junk your 250R again) go to Mepco and get adjustable control arms (for $200+) on the bottom and fab some top control arms. Don't forget to extend your brake lines. BTW is it a 4.0?