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Decided on an 03 or 04 pathy

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I have been contemplating my next rig and I believe it to be an 03 or 04 pathy. I have had a CJ7, 95 hardbody, 90 isuzu trooper and just sold my 2000 trooper. I'm looking for an adventure vehicle for camping and exploration with mild offroad capability but still want the comfort of a mostly road and highway vehicle. I want to run 32" tires however I am not wanting to deal with top out or binding of the shafts. I know there is AC and OME lifts and also spacers, as well as the LR springs. I have read that the AC coils will cause top out but the OME will sag over time and wont be much of a lift. I am looking forward to doing more research here and finding the right lift for my needs and am glad to have found this site.

 

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May also want to consider an 02 model...same performance, but still drive-by-cable (03/04 are drive-by-wire = more codes) and beyond the 01's power valve issues.

 

Lift wise, OMEs are great springs.  They provide plenty of lift without sacrificing ride quality.  Ran them for years and continue to do so.

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I have had no topping out issues with the AC lift. Had it for about 3-4 months now. I have noticed it is still settling in. I tucked 33s and it seems each week I trim, the suspension will settle again and I need to trim more. With that being said you wont have the same issues with 32's. I am very pleased with the NRC 9449 coils in the rear as is everyone that tried them. 

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I guess I can speak to two different examples. I’ve had AC springs for about 5 months, daily driving and off-road driving. They’re stiff, I can assure you of that. Other first hand accounts that I’ve read overstate how loud and annoying top-out is, at least compared to what I experience. Usually I’ll hear a thud if I’m offroad and drive too fast over a large rock or pothole. For low speed off-roading, and on street driving I’ve had no top out. You’ll notice the stiffness driving over lower quality roads, and having ridden in an OME equipped vehicle (@02_pathy), the ride of a broken in OME setup is preferable to AC. Last time I talked to @02_Pathy I think his coils were somewhere around 1-1.25” of lift. I know @micahfelker swapped from

OME to AC in order to help carry his front bumper, and doesn’t regret it one bit. @mjotrainbrain also noticed some pretty decent sag on his OME coils when paired with a front bumper and winch.

 

here’s a thorough discussion from the last time this topic came up.

 

I think they’re both good options, with slightly different characteristics. I ultimately picked AC springs, but plenty of people have an equally great time getting out and having fun in their OME rigs.

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I was really not at all a fan of the OME springs they wore out way too fast and the AC's ride way better IMO. Definitely more firm and solid feeling, but I wouldn't describe them as "stiff" in a negative sense though. 32's will rub in reverse with OME springs but they won't rub at all with AC's.

 

As for what year, I would focus more on whichever one you like better. Pick a color you like with a good interior and all the options you want even if it means spending a little more. Year isn't really all that important 

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