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Old 07-07-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
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Question 3" Lift or higher without SYE?

I'm looking at picking up a TJ (probably going to be between a '98 and '00 or later if I get lucky based off my budget) and I wanted to go ahead and get some questions out of the way so I can dive right in once I'm ready.

I'm been reading on this forum and other websites all about lift kits, tires, SYE, Transfer case drops, etc. I talked to a few forum members and I've come to the conclusion that I'm wanting to run 31's since this will be my DD. I want to get the best gas mileage as possible and I would like to be able to step up to 33's in the future if I decide to do so. I will be using this as my DD as well as hitting the trails every once and a while (maybe more in the future but trails will do for now). I've gone back and forth between doing a simple spacer lift but after I factored in the shocks and everything else I would need, the full suspension lift didn't sound too bad so now I've moved up to the 2.5"-3" lift (or higher) range. I've gone back and forth with people saying in one thread that you can do up to a 4" lift without a SYE and a simple transfer case drop and in other threads they say anything over a 3" and you'll need an SYE.

I'm trying to keep this whole lift on the cheap without sacrificing quality so what is the highest I can go before I'll have to do an SYE? I don't mind the transfer case drop because it's not a big cost but the SYE is my only concern.

Last thing, is there a good all around lift kit that won't break the bank and still give me a good ride?
I know it would be best to piece together a kit so if anyone could help me with that, that would be great! I've already figured I'll run Skyjacker Nitro shocks because I've heard they're good for the money but if I have some extra cash, I'll run bilstein 5100 shocks. Other than the shocks, I'm still looking around and doing research.

If you guys could steer me in the right direction with all this, it would be very much appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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Look at the rough country n20 4" lift. It is fairly in expensive and comes with everything you need. In fact rough country has a YouTube video on that lift ...

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Old 07-07-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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Look at the rough country n20 4" lift. It is fairly in expensive and comes with everything you need. In fact rough country has a YouTube video on that lift ...
Only thing is that I've heard mixed reviews on Rough Country lifts. Also, Would I have to do an SYE at 4"? I'm trying to do everything on the cheap but not skimp on quality. I don't mind paying $600 or so for a lift but having to pay $600+SYE, etc is what I'm trying to avoid.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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SYE is needed for any lift over 2.5" and even that will most likely require a MML. Mine is 3" with a MML and I had to drop my TC about a 1/4" to relieve driveline vibes. I am working on fixing that with a SYE and tummy tuck as soon as I can get all the $$ together.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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If I did the SYE, would I still have to do an MML and TC drop or would the SYE pretty much eliminate the other two?

Would I just be better off doing a 2.25" spacer lift?
If I did the spacer lift would I be able to get shocks that would fit larger than a 3" lift so if I decide to do a full lift in the future, I won't be buying shocks again?
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:19 PM   #6
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The SYE removes the need for a MML and a TC drop. As to what lift you get, that depends on how you want to use your Jeep. I'd recommend going straight to coil lift if you plan on offroading even if it takes longer to put the funds together.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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I run a rough country 2.5 x lift with 31s. Love it except for the shocks. They are stiff like everyone says. The springs are top notch and my kit came with adjustable control arms for front and back, upper and lower, that have bushings that are rebuildable. Also came with adjustable track bar so you don't have to re drill the hole on the axel. And a rear track bar relocation bracket. + adjustable quick disconnects for the front sway bar. The whole kit was under 1000$. I didn't need a transfer case lowering kit. if down the road I go with a sye I'll already have the adjustable control arms needed for that.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #8
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I probably won't be doing a lot of offroading but I say that now and once I get the Jeep, that will probably change.

So really doing the SYE with the lift will be the cheapest route?

Since I'm already going to do the SYE, What would be the highest I could go before I would have to do other things?

I read somewhere that I'll have to switch to a certain drive shaft once I go a certain height. What height is that exactly? I'll probably run 31's (since that is supposed to be the biggest you can go before noticing gas mileage loss) and maybe go to 33's in the future.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBoy32
I probably won't be doing a lot of offroading but I say that now and once I get the Jeep, that will probably change.

So really doing the SYE with the lift will be the cheapest route?

Since I'm already going to do the SYE, What would be the highest I could go before I would have to do other things?

I read somewhere that I'll have to switch to a certain drive shaft once I go a certain height. What height is that exactly? I'll probably run 31's (since that is supposed to be the biggest you can go before noticing gas mileage loss) and maybe go to 33's in the future.
You can run 31 at stock height if you don't wheel it, you need 2 inch to run 31 and wheel it, you need 4 inches to run 33 and be able to go offroad.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:46 PM   #10
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With my set up if I ever want to go up to 33s all I need to do is add a 1 in BL and MML.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:48 PM   #11
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Right now I have the teraflex 3" short arm lift with a 1" BL. The ride on the highway and off road ride is amazing. I paid around 1100 including the quick disconnects and shocks. I'm getting ready to upgrade to a long arm kit and will be selling my lift(in about a month) for much less than I paid for it. It's only about 9 months old w/ about 1200 miles on it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by madkinstx
With my set up if I ever want to go up to 33s all I need to do is add a 1 in BL and MML.
+ re gear it.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #13
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I'll probably look at getting the Jeep with 3.73 gears. I'm thinking about doing a 3" lift with 31" tires (if I have wobbles, I'll do the SYE. If I don't then I'll just run it). Then if I decide to, I can go to 33's and do a 1" body lift+motor mount.

Is this good or should I do SYE right out of the gate?
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:03 AM   #14
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You can get away with 3 inches if your lucky, if not you may need a minimal Tcase drop. You will want to save up for the sye eventually but realise everything you need is about 800 bucks (quality parts and all the little stuff need for install). It will probably cost more than your lift.

I am happy with my 3 inch zone lift. I have no vibes thanks to a mml and spacers up front which, I discovered and proved can actually help the driveline angles. Cool stuff. An LJ should in theory handle a taller lift better than a TJ because of the longer wheel base, I don't know the numbers on the driveshaft length differences however. If your going to be getting a TJ then it doesn't matter.

I suggest installing a small suspension lift, and small body lift, an a mml right off the bat. Then you can assess what needs to be done next. If you go to 4 inches you will DEFINITELY need a big tcase drop OR a SYE/CV and adjustable control arms (at least uppers, add the lowers later- in the rear).


The SYE basically moves the output of the tcase further back, because it "eliminate the slip yoke" - aka gives you a fixed yoke. This allows you to run a longer drive shaft, which in itself it adventageous. You could technically get rid of vibes running a stock style drive shaft on a SYE, if you could find one to swap in or get yours lengthed. Not really worth it though.

The CV shaft...I'll get to that within the control arms:

The control arms are needed to adjust your pinion angle, because when you change to a slip yoke eliminator, most people change to a "CV" shaft, which is a "near-constance velocity yada yada long name" joint double cardan shaft. Something like that. It pretty much meants it has two Ujoints instead of one at the same location, and one at the other end, totaling three. Just like the stock front drive shaft. This type of shaft, specifically joint, allows for steeper angles of operation, but requires a different setup in the relationship of the tcase/pinion. Thats why you need the control arms.

The control arms allow you to turn your axle up or down and move it closer or further in the wheel well. Turning it adjusts your pinion angle, or where the input of the axle points. On a stock setup, your pinion angle should be parallel or the same as your tcase output angle. With a CV shaft, your pinion should point AT the tcase output. This is why you need the arms, specifically good adjustable arms, that have changing lengths to perfectly dial in the pinion angle for smooth operation and a long driveshaft life.

Basically its not the lift height, but the angle of the driveshaft, and how close it is to its proper angle of operation. There is a 2-3 degree variance to either end of the spectrum, then you will get vibes. Now there are a ton of factors that play into your angle, which is why you can't just assume one lift height requires so and so.

Hopefully I answered your questions and then some. I probably added a lot I didn't need to but now its there for future reference. Hope I didn't screw up too much
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #15
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You can get away with 3 inches if your lucky, if not you may need a minimal Tcase drop. You will want to save up for the sye eventually but realise everything you need is about 800 bucks (quality parts and all the little stuff need for install). It will probably cost more than your lift.

I am happy with my 3 inch zone lift. I have no vibes thanks to a mml and spacers up front which, I discovered and proved can actually help the driveline angles. Cool stuff. An LJ should in theory handle a taller lift better than a TJ because of the longer wheel base, I don't know the numbers on the driveshaft length differences however. If your going to be getting a TJ then it doesn't matter.

I suggest installing a small suspension lift, and small body lift, an a mml right off the bat. Then you can assess what needs to be done next. If you go to 4 inches you will DEFINITELY need a big tcase drop OR a SYE/CV and adjustable control arms (at least uppers, add the lowers later- in the rear).


The SYE basically moves the output of the tcase further back, because it "eliminate the slip yoke" - aka gives you a fixed yoke. This allows you to run a longer drive shaft, which in itself it adventageous. You could technically get rid of vibes running a stock style drive shaft on a SYE, if you could find one to swap in or get yours lengthed. Not really worth it though.

The CV shaft...I'll get to that within the control arms:

The control arms are needed to adjust your pinion angle, because when you change to a slip yoke eliminator, most people change to a "CV" shaft, which is a "near-constance velocity yada yada long name" joint double cardan shaft. Something like that. It pretty much meants it has two Ujoints instead of one at the same location, and one at the other end, totaling three. Just like the stock front drive shaft. This type of shaft, specifically joint, allows for steeper angles of operation, but requires a different setup in the relationship of the tcase/pinion. Thats why you need the control arms.

The control arms allow you to turn your axle up or down and move it closer or further in the wheel well. Turning it adjusts your pinion angle, or where the input of the axle points. On a stock setup, your pinion angle should be parallel or the same as your tcase output angle. With a CV shaft, your pinion should point AT the tcase output. This is why you need the arms, specifically good adjustable arms, that have changing lengths to perfectly dial in the pinion angle for smooth operation and a long driveshaft life.

Basically its not the lift height, but the angle of the driveshaft, and how close it is to its proper angle of operation. There is a 2-3 degree variance to either end of the spectrum, then you will get vibes. Now there are a ton of factors that play into your angle, which is why you can't just assume one lift height requires so and so.

Hopefully I answered your questions and then some. I probably added a lot I didn't need to but now its there for future reference. Hope I didn't screw up too much
I hear what you're saying. I've read that not every Jeep is built the same so results will very so I hear you loud and clear.
So I should just go for the 3" lift and see what all happens and go from there?

I'll start looking more into kits now that I have all of this information but are there any kits out there I should avoid?

Thanks for all of the information!
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:24 AM   #16
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I hear what you're saying. I've read that not every Jeep is built the same so results will very so I hear you loud and clear.
So I should just go for the 3" lift and see what all happens and go from there?

I'll start looking more into kits now that I have all of this information but are there any kits out there I should avoid?

Thanks for all of the information!

That is what I would do. If you have the money or the patience, you could save for a 4 inch. but you really should have aftermarket control arms all around at the point IMO. I think 3 inches and a small BL+mml really is the sweet spot for TJ's, they are super capable and don't need much modificiation to be run correctly at that height.

I would go for the 3 inch, but try to have some money set aside in case you get very bad vibes. Are you comfortable with a small tcase drop? I am sure you will get one with the 3 inch, but the MML may negate it. Some call it a band aid fix. I somewhat agree and somehwat disagree. Thats another story though. It corrects the angle of the driveline and thats what matters.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:26 AM   #17
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You are going to get the na sayer on Rough country and pro comp, but most people that bad mouth those have never ran them, or at least not since the redesign off them. Rough country has a lifetime warranty and with the exception of the shocks being a little stiff.(it's a jeep not luxury car ) I think it's the best kit for the money.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:33 AM   #18
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I've been told that a 3" suspension lift with a 1" body lift is really the sweet spot and a lot of people do it. I probably won't do the body lift though because 4" with 31's will just look weird. I'll do the 3" lift with the 31's (which would still look a little weird but not as bad as a 4" with 31's) and then see if I get vibes or anything. If I do, I'll do the TC drop.

Would I need to do anything else?

If I do the body lift, I'll do the MML but that will only be if I run 35's or something like that (which I don't want to loss MPG because this is my DD so 31's or 33's will be my max).
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:35 AM   #19
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You are going to get the na sayer on Rough country and pro comp, but most people that bad mouth those have never ran them, or at least not since the redesign off them. Rough country has a lifetime warranty and with the exception of the shocks being a little stiff.(it's a jeep not luxury car ) I think it's the best kit for the money.
Ok, Most of the stuff I have been reading has probably been from before the redesign. If I don't like the ride, I'll just swap out the shocks.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:35 AM   #20
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Bottom line is stay with a 2 to 3 inch suspension lift and 31s and you should be fine. No matter what brad of lift you chose I'd recommend going with quick disconnects for the front sway bar if you plan on doing any off roading.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:36 AM   #21
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You can still install a mml without a body lift, I would consider it anyways. you can add the body lift later if you decide to go to 33s.

OME, BDS are two midprice lifts that I can speak well of.
On the upper end are currie, savvy, etc.
On the lower end, I would suggest Zone, because of personal experience, but Rough Country seems to have pulled their act together in recent years and I won't speak badly of them because I haven't personally had any experience.

OME might be a good choice for you. I would strongly suggest their 2.5 inch kit.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00
You can still install a mml without a body lift, I would consider it anyways. you can add the body lift later if you decide to go to 33s.

OME, BDS are two midprice lifts that I can speak well of.
On the upper end are currie, savvy, etc.
On the lower end, I would suggest Zone, because of personal experience, but Rough Country seems to have pulled their act together in recent years and I won't speak badly of them because I haven't personally had any experience.
I have a friend that runs the zone 4.25 combo lift and loves it, his only complaint was the paint on the shock rusting after getting wet. He just re painted them and is good to go.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by madkinstx

I have a friend that runs the zone 4.25 combo lift and loves it, his only complaint was the paint on the shock rusting after getting wet. He just re painted them and is good to go.
Yeah they do. I painted a couple of mine. Wil prob just replace the bar pins and paint them before hand sometime. I didn't realize it til winter was over.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:57 AM   #24
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Ok, Thanks for all of the information everyone!
I'll take a look between different 3" kits and see which will work best for me. I will probably do the quick disconnects (was already of thinking of that to start with) because I've read they come in handy when offroading.

I will consider the OME kit but I don't think my budget will allow it.
Any opinions on Skyjacker or TeraFlex?
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:31 AM   #25
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If your only going to run 31's now why not just get a simple budget boost for 100 or so bucks and call it a day. Is it the perfect set up, no. But I have a 100k miles on mine with the stock shocks and I've done moderate wheeling over the years and it's been great. That way you can save up for the sye, lift, regear and 33's for down the road.

And once you decide to go to 33's you can just add a 1 1/2 body lift and bumpstop extensions and you should still be fine. Look at Imped's build thread, he doesn't run much lift and still fits some nice size meats under his rig.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:50 AM   #26
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I don't think a BB is a good idea at all sure it gets the job done, in a similar fashion that a Tcase drop gets the job done. It's in no way ideal.

I still strongly suggest OME especially if you plan to run 31s for a few years. The ride and quality is going to pay for itself, and at 2.5 inches there is a good chance you won't need to spend money on a mml/fixing vibes, so it may help you save money once your past the initial cost.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #27
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I don't think a BB is a good idea at all sure it gets the job done, in a similar fashion that a Tcase drop gets the job done. It's in no way ideal.

I still strongly suggest OME especially if you plan to run 31s for a few years. The ride and quality is going to pay for itself, and at 2.5 inches there is a good chance you won't need to spend money on a mml/fixing vibes, so it may help you save money once your past the initial cost.
I'll give that kit a look then. Only thing will be if I do the 2.5 and still have vibes

Still kind of want to go to 3" though...
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by FluffyBoy32
I'll give that kit a look then. Only thing will be if I do the 2.5 and still have vibes

Still kind of want to go to 3" though...
I will wager that you won't have vibes. And a mml is 99.99% sure fix if you did somehow. 3 inches might look goofy with 31s. Mine with 31s after the lift (3 inch zone)
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #29
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So you think if I do the 3" I'll be pushing it?
I'd like to do a 3" so I can run 33's in the future but in the mean time while I'm running 31's, it might look weird.

Personally, I don't think your picture doesn't look too bad but if 3" is pushing it, I'll pass.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:22 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by FluffyBoy32
So you think if I do the 3" I'll be pushing it?
I'd like to do a 3" so I can run 33's in the future but in the mean time while I'm running 31's, it might look weird.

Personally, I don't think your picture doesn't look too bad but if 3" is pushing it, I'll pass.
Nope. 3 is fine. Just prepare for a tcase drop if needed. And the picture doesn't do justice I did get made fun of by my buddies but they were bald 31s

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