I also followed the herd when I built my 98 XJ. OME (Tiawan) from DPG with JKS discos and JKS short arms. Man that was cool untill I got to using it. Coming from a heavily dependent on suspension sport (Motocross) I felt betrayed. I did research and found out that there was not a single suspension company that had the slightest clue on the most basic aspects of suspension. (Spring rate, compression and damping.) I was blow away by sites like naxtard that did not even yeild basic info on suspension other than height and trimming fenders. I started calling Jeepspeed race teams and got in contact with the Deaver and Bilstein reps that knew XJ's.
Your build is mild and simple and you can slap on any non performing kit you want and will have "lift". Want proof that 99% of the lifted XJ's are built wrong?? Look at pictures of them flex out on the trail. The front is flexed to the max and the rear is not. When flexed the roof line is not paralell to the grond because the uneven spring rate forces the Jeep onto an angle. On vids watch how fast the front blows thru it's suspension travel because it's way too soft. Don't even get me started on short arms so I'll just say that any xj that is not stock needs long arms of your choice. Without them it's not possible to get rid of the jarring and not possible to get the articulation you need for a decient amount of travel out of a low lift. I like Claytons because they are the strongest and once installed you never touch then again. Springs on front you have one choice from negative lift to 5.5". Deaver Jeepspeed coils. Cut them to the height you want with a cutoff wheel. Don't buy any other coil unless you find a Skyjacker 8" coil that youi plan to cut. They are OK. Rear does not matter because you can put in or take out as many of your stock leafs to get them right as you need. I use DPG OME 2.5" springs but they now have 8 leafs. I'd try the Jeepspeed Deaver spring pac for the rear if you have the coin but if not build a pack that gives you the height and bottoming resistance you need to cycle your suspension from an OME pack. Don't cut your u bolts yet and keep leafs handy. 30 minuts to swap leafs in or out if you don't unbolt the main spring. Use a JKS rear shackle.
I don't have the numbers for the shocks but the cheapest one you want is the Bilstein 5150 for the rear in that 255/? valveing. You can use the same for the front but you should step up the price range and go the next valving higher on the 7100's. Take all this to the bank if you want to load down an XJ and drive it in all conditions. It's not that much more expensive to go from just a lift to a performance suspension system that works extreamly well. It's also worth it just to watch Rubicon owners struggle on sections you just eased thru and to have some piece of mind that your rig can handle a 75mph hiway manuver. Spend some time and good luck with your build!
New River, Arizona
Congratulations, you've won the award for worst possible person who's posted on Expo.