Spring Over Lift

Bottom side view of the U-bolt flip kit showing all that hangs below the springs.

Get Flipped!

This little upgrade really helps for those who travel in the rocks and risk upsetting life down under!  With the first suspension my Jeep had, I added U-bolt skid plates to protect the vulnerable threads from getting damaged or bent.   However, when I moved up to the 4.5" Extreme Duty lift offered by Rubicon Express, I discovered their 2.5" wide springs wouldn't accept my old skid plates (actually the rear ones would have fit, but not the front ones).  But along with my new lift, more ground clearance was one of the driving forces.  So along came the flip kit idea.

With the U-bolt flip kit, square U-bolts are used (see photo at the top of the page).  Rather than wrapping over the top of the axle tube and hanging down, the square U-bolts wrap under the spring pack and face upwards.  Thus, the threads are out of harm's way.

A few modifications are in order...

The "spring tie plate" is the part that the U-bolt's threads fit through.  On the CJ's front spring tie plates, the anti-swaybar links are attached.   On the rear spring tie plates, the shock absorbers are attached.  Both of these parts need to be address when adding a U-bolt flip kit.

Upsidedown shock. Since the spring tie plates on the front axle ride above the axle tube, they stand a chance to conflict with the body of the shock absorbers.  A simple solution is to flip the shock upside down.

Rear axle showing new shock mount.

U-b rear axle shock mt2.jpg (64546 bytes)


With the rear shock absorbers, they were attached to the side of the spring tie plate.  Again, with the tie plate now located on top of the axle tube, mounting the shock to them would adversely affect the length of travel of the suspension (actually the spring's compression would be shortened).  This modification calls for adding shock absorber mounts, just like those that are used on the front axle tube.   This modification requires some welding.
U-b brake line-sway-org.jpg (78914 bytes) On the front spring tie plates, I use a swaybar quick-disconnect system.  Just as with the problems of the rear shock absorbers, the swaybar links are attached to the spring tie plates and need to be shortened.  BE CAREFUL HERE!  The first links I used were too long (shown in this photo at about 6")...
U-b sheered brake line.jpg (67328 bytes) ...and at the first big bump in the road, the anti-swaybar arm raised up and sheered off both the brake lines at the frame!  What a mess.  Back to the garage.
Stubby quick-disconnect links. Much shorter links were used to cure the problem.  These links shown here are only 4" in length.  The 4.5" Extreme Duty Lift Kit's quick-disconnect links are about 8" in length.
Brake line proximity to the anti swaybar arm. The adjusted height is 2" shorter and hasn't been a problem.   (By the way, the shop provided me with new stainless steel brake lines!)


This is a real clean and relatively simple set-up.  The advantages are less of an under hang on the axle assembly (no need for skid plates) and protection of the threads is achieved in the process.  If you don't have any protection for your U-bolts now, this is another alternative.  However, this option does cost more than that of the skid plates.  (Less if you are comfortable doing your own welding on the axle tubes.)  I considered this a cost for clearance and a touch of something a little more unique!