CJ-7 Projects


Lightforce Lights - H.I.D. High-intensity discharge Upgrade

HEI Ignition System (GM Style) Installed in the AMC 360 V8
Getting rid of gremlins and improving performance

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights

Autogage Tachometer Installation

 Home Page
 Photo Album
 Product Reviews
 Cool Products
 Tech Section
 Readers Rigs
 4x4 Club Links
 Links Directory
 Shop Offroaders
 Centralia PA
Project CJ-7
Offroaders Guide
to Gearing up
for Offroad

From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.


Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

Trailering Safety and Trailer Hitch Information


Off-Road Truck Driving Techniques and Safety

Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights


Jeep Dana 300 TeraLow - 4:1 Gearset for the Dana 300 Transfer Case

AMC V8 Engines
GEN-1 Nash/Hudson/Rambler V-8s (1956-1966) through to the GEN-3 AMC Tall-deck (1970-1991)

Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines
Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines Manufactured by General Motors - Production: 1955?2002

Hemi Engine - All about the Hemi Engine

Ford Engines
4 Cylinder, 6 Cylinder, 8 Cylinder, 10 Cylinder, 12 Cylinder Ford Engines

Ford V8 Engines
8 Cylinder Engines manufactured by Ford

Ford 351 Cleveland V8 Engines
351 cubic inch V8 Engines manufactured by Ford

Chrysler Hemi Engine

AMC V8 hp/Torque, Compression & Bore/Stroke by year

Engine Size Conversion Table
Converting engine displacement from CID, Liters, C.C.

Engine Overheating Basics - 16 Common Causes of an Overheated Engine

Fan Clutch Diagnosis
How to tell if the Fan Clutch in your Cooling System is failing or has failed.

Automotive Gauges & Instrument Functions
Information they display & their importance.


From the
Department of Cheap   Tricks and Useful Tips

Ultra-Cool Hand Throttle for Free!

Jeep V8 Swap Tips

The Exploding Clutch

Radiator Protection using 6 bucks worth of material

Cracked Under Pressure - Fixing a smashed fingernail

A Cheap, effective alternative to undercoating

Home-built Saginaw Gearbox Brace for the cost of lunch!

Ammo Box Storage - Mounting Them for Quick Disconnect

Home-built Serious Skid-Plate protection for the Oil Pan for under 20 bucks!

Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index  What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.





Project Jeep CJ-7
3 1/2" BDS Suspension Lift

Back to Project Index


100_2370.jpg (75219 bytes)

After the Leaf Spring Mounting system was fabricated and installed, the next step was to install the new BDS 3.5" Suspension, Jeep Wrangler YJ Leaf Springs.  Wrangler YJ Springs? Yes, YJ springs.  YJ because the front springs of a YJ are 2 1/2 inches wide as opposed to the stock 2 inch width of a CJ front spring.  2 1/2 inch width will provide better stability on and off road.  Plus the extra weight of the AMC V8 360 will need stronger springs to handle the weight.  Later I bought 2nd a pair of front springs with the 5 leaves in the pack and installed them in the rear, replacing the BDS rear springs.  This was due to the weight of the Jeep flattening the rear springs.  Now my Jeep probably weights a little more than the average CJ-7 due to the tub and the extra steel welded in and my rear tire carrier.  The 4 leaf packs are probably fine for the average CJ-7.  You don't want the rear too stiff but for me it worked out great.

Items purchased for this job:

  • BDS 3.5" Glide-Ride Leaf Springs--Complete with anti-friction pads, bolt style leaf alignment clamps, full military wrap, and roll painted leafs.
  • Urethane Shackle Bushing Kit
  • New U-bolts to accommodate the Dana 44 Axle tub diameter
  • Greasable Shackle Bolts
  • Stock YJ Shackles
  • A Pair of new rear Rock Equipment Rock Mount heavy duty cast  frame mounted leaf spring / shackle assembly hangers.  Cheap enough not to fabricate my own.

Why a BDS Suspension?  A few reasons.  One, I knew a few people who have installed and are using a BDS suspension system on their CJ Jeep and they really like the ride on and offroad.  Second, BDS was one of the few companies that produced a double military wrap type spring. What that means is that the second leaf in the pack wraps around the first (top) leaf at each end.  That provides some security that if a top spring breaks, the second leaf will keep spring pack attached to the bushing bolt rather than detaching from the frame.  Another reason was the warranty BDS offers:

"No Fine Print Warranty.  This unique warranty proves our commitment to the quality and reliability of every product we make. If you are the original purchaser of any BDS product and it breaks, we will give you a new part. Period."

The details of the installation of the BDS suspension is pretty simple since they are being installed on just a CJ-7 frame without the complications of a drive train, brake lines or anything else to get in the way. 

 Basically there were 4 springs with two greasable shackle bolts per spring.  First I pressed the blue urethane shackle bushings into the springs.  A light coat of white grease spread over the bushing and in the spring hole helped them to slip together.  I used a vice to press the pair of bushings together into the spring.  Then I pressed the shackle bushing tube into the urethane shackle bushing.

The next step was to mount the fixed side of the spring to the frame, leaving the shackle side of the spring hang.  I also bolted the shackles up to the new spring hangers but only the upper bolt leaving the shackles dangling.  The new Rock Equipment shackle assembly hangers were also installed.  All bolts were grade 8 hardware. 

The axles were then rolled in on a dolly under the frame and over the pair of springs (front and back axles one at a time).  The springs were lifted with a small floor jack to raise the axle and spring  up to meet the shackle. Then the lower shackle bolt was  installed. 

At this time I made up a set of u-bolt plates that eventually were built into U-bolt plates with lower skid plates. See this page for more details on the U-bolt Plates with skid protection

Once the springs were installed along with the prepped Dana 44 Axles, work could then begin on getting the drive train ready for installation.

 Below are some pictures of the installed springs on the custom spring mounts





BDS Suspension, 102 S. Michigan Avenue, Coldwater, MI 49036


Project Jeep CJ-7

Back to Project Index




Offroad Tire Info
Tire Terminology
Wheel Terminology
How to Pick the Right
Tires for your Truck
Truck Tire Info
Tires - What Hits What Fits
All Terrain  Mud Terrain
Tire Reviews & Info
Mud Terrain MT Tire Reviews
All Terrain AT Tire Reviews
Super Swamper Bogger
Super Swamper SSR
Super Swamper SX
Super Swamper Vortrac
Interco IROK TSL
Super Swamper LTB
Super Swamper TSL
Super Swamper TSL Radial
Super Swamper Narrow
Interco SS-M16 Swamper
Thornbird TSl Radial
Thornbird TSl Bias
Thornbird TSL
Parnelli Jone Dirt Grip
BFGoodrich Krawler
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM2
BFGoodrich AT TA KO
BFGoodrich Mud King XT
Bridgestone Dueler MT
Cooper Discoverer ST
Cooper Discoverer STT
Cooper Discoverer ST/C
Firestone Destination MT
General Grabber MT
General Grabber AT2
Green Diamond Icelander
Ground Hawg Mud Tire
Hankook Dynapro MT
Hankook Dynamic MT RT01
Hercules Terra Trac MT
Hercules Trail Digger MT
Kelly-Springfield Safari DTR
Kelly-Springfield Safari MSR
Kumho Road Venture MT
Kumho Road Venture KL71
Kumho Road Venture AT
Dick Cepek Mud Country
Dick Cepek F-C II
Dick Cepek Fun Country II
Dick Cepek Fun Country Nylon
Dick Cepek Fun Country Kevlar
Mastercraft Courser MT
Mastercraft Courser HTR
Mastercraft Courser HTR Plus
Maxxis BigHorn Radial
Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Maxxis Trepador
Maxxis Buckshot Mudder
Maxxis MA-SW
Maxxis M-8080 Mudzilla
Maxxis MT-754 Buckshot
Maxxis MT-753 Bravo
Maxxis MA-751 Bravo
Maxxis MA-S2 Marauder II
Maxxis MA-S1 Marauder
Maxxis MT-762 BigHorn
Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto Dune Grappler
Nokian Vatiiva MT
Pit Bull Rocker Extreme
Pit Bull Maddog
Pit Bull Growler
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Pro Comp Xterrain
Pro Comp All Terrain
Pro Comp Mud Terrain
Pro Comp Xtreme AT
Pro Comp Xtreme MT
Toyo Open Country MT
TrXus Mud Terrain
TrXus STS All Terrain
Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw
Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Yokohama Geolandar

Latest trips Offroad
... trail reports with the Project CJ-7
click here.

Sounds System, Raised the Rear Seat
Storage below and a great place to mount 6x9 Speakers for Great Bass ... In a Jeep!

York AC Compressor Conversion.  What used to pump Freon, now pumps compressed air to the front and rear bumpers.  125 psi,  2 gallons of storage, air fittings at the bumpers, enough CFM to power air tools!.  Click Here for more  Details


Dick Cepek's 2008 F-250 Super Duty Project Vehicle ? Project CRUSHER

Warn X8000i
Winch Installation

ARB Air Locker Install
Jeep Wide Track Axles Swap

Mud Tire Reviews

Building a Garage?
Need a Garage Plan?

Reader's Rigs and Seriously Stucks!


Jeep Trans Swap Info
T-18A Transmission Rebuild & Short Shaft Conversion