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Old 08-05-2014, 10:20 PM   #1
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Confused about lift kits

I need help. I am going to purchase my fist Jeep in a couple weeks. I want to do a lift kit and tires/wheels. I am thinking either 33" tires with a 2.5" lift or 35" tires with a 3" lift. I will mostly do hwy driving with some trail. No rock crawling. What size wheels should I go with? I was looking at Terraflex kits. Why to they require extra parts like adjustable front and rear arms. I thought the word kit is everything you need.

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Old 08-05-2014, 10:34 PM   #2
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TF lift kits are good quality. Go with 2.5" if you are not wheelin' your Jeep. It will save costly mods. You may need adjustable control arms, but install the lift first and see how it feels. If the steering is not drifty/vague stay with the stock control arms. They are actually better than many aftermarket ones and they are maintenance free, although they are not adjustable.

Manufacturer's would prefer to sell you a kit with "everything" but many would not like the price. They do offer them but they also sell kits with the essentials. The JK aftermarket is very competitive.

Regarding wheels you can go with the stock ones and spacers if you go 12.5"+ wide tires. Otherwise, just check the backspacing. Read the sticky at the top of the Tech Forum. It has tons of information every new Jeep owner should read.

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Old 08-05-2014, 10:41 PM   #3
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Welcome. Typically the lower the lift kit the less parts that will be needed to maintain a stock like ride. The sweet spot is staying at 2.5" or less. Obviously the more complete kits are going to cost you more. You also can piece your lift together like I have done to make a "complete" kit. Check my signature below. My JK is a DD with no off roading but even with the usage you mentioned, understand that if you had to you would do just fine totally stock. That being said, many prefer to tinker with things and go away from stock.

Do you have a 2 door or a 4 door? IMHO on 2 doors, 33" tires look perfect and are a great blend of looks and function. It is a nice compromise between stock and being more aggressive without hurting mileage and having to do many other modifications to your suspension so as not to effect your drive shaft.

Some lifts will give you pretty much what is advertised as far as height. Some lifts are rated for 4 door fully armored vehicles and will give you much more than advertised. My 1.5" RK coils put me at 2.5" of lift. Sometimes it is a crap shoot depending on how much aftermarket stuff is weighted on your Jeep.

Many on here will tell you to drive stock for a while and get a feel for your Jeep and what you would like to do. Don't rush into it and make choices that you will wind up changing at some point in the near future. Or, you can throw caution to the wind and do your due diligence and make the changes sooner. Your rig, your choice, your happiness. Above all, ask questions, use the search bar, and have fun with the addiction.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:47 PM   #4
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It will be a four door. Sounds like 2.5" lift better for me. Can I get 35" under it or should I get 33". I just want to change the look from stock. I also had the suggestion to change fenders.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2scubajeeper View Post
It will be a four door. Sounds like 2.5" lift better for me. Can I get 35" under it or should I get 33". I just want to change the look from stock. I also had the suggestion to change fenders.
I agree with the 2.5" for your 4 door. Look at it this way. Based on your usage, you lift for the ability to put on bigger tires. You can definitely fit 35" tires with a 2.5" lift. They may look more proportioned for a 4 door compared to 33" tires on a 4 door. Google and search pictures of JK's with 2.5" lift and 33" tires as well as 35" tires and see what works for you. Another thing to think about is a 33" on a 15" rim such as the set up I have. The bigger exposed sidewall gives the tire a "bigger" appearance while still being a 33" tire. Just like 2.5" is the sweet spot for lifting without opening up pandora's box, it is similar with going over 33" tire size. There is a thread on here about everything you should think about if you want to get bigger tires. Maybe someone on here can post it. Also, gearing is important for running 35's. Flat fenders is also a way to change the look and fit tires with requiring less overall lift. The options are numerous. Again, use the search bar and do your due diligence.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:07 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that fender cutting or flat fenders hurts gas mileage because of the way it opens up the front and catches air. Like the others have said, you can read the forums until you go crazy but there is some good information to learn. I recommend driving for a while first to see what you want to do with it. I would go 2-2.5 lift and 33's on 17 inch rims if you want the looks. 35's look good but you run into other things you have to deal with. Read about the weight of the tire and wheel package you choose and how it affects the Jeep. 15" wheels and tires are currently cheaper to buy but it is hard if not impossible to upgrade the brakes if you decide you want to as well as other things that need to be considered to know if is right for you. Factory wheels with quality hub centric spacers are another option to consider. What is right for each person that replies may not be the best option for you. Most of the time a combination of suggestions is the perfect fit.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dr. Evil View Post
Welcome. Typically the lower the lift kit the less parts that will be needed to maintain a stock like ride. The sweet spot is staying at 2.5" or less. Obviously the more complete kits are going to cost you more. You also can piece your lift together like I have done to make a "complete" kit. Check my signature below. My JK is a DD with no off roading but even with the usage you mentioned, understand that if you had to you would do just fine totally stock. That being said, many prefer to tinker with things and go away from stock. Do you have a 2 door or a 4 door? IMHO on 2 doors, 33" tires look perfect and are a great blend of looks and function. It is a nice compromise between stock and being more aggressive without hurting mileage and having to do many other modifications to your suspension so as not to effect your drive shaft. Some lifts will give you pretty much what is advertised as far as height. Some lifts are rated for 4 door fully armored vehicles and will give you much more than advertised. My 1.5" RK coils put me at 2.5" of lift. Sometimes it is a crap shoot depending on how much aftermarket stuff is weighted on your Jeep. Many on here will tell you to drive stock for a while and get a feel for your Jeep and what you would like to do. Don't rush into it and make choices that you will wind up changing at some point in the near future. Or, you can throw caution to the wind and do your due diligence and make the changes sooner. Your rig, your choice, your happiness. Above all, ask questions, use the search bar, and have fun with the addiction.
All good answers .. he pretty much hits it here.

Lower is better .. 4 door guys benefit with belly clearance off road, but you do not need a lift to run a 33" tire.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
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All good answers .. he pretty much hits it here.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #9
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Also, a 33" spare is the largest that you can put on the stock spare tire mount. If you go with 35" tires and spare, then you are looking at either an aftermarket mount like the Terraflex mount or an aftermarket bumper with a bumper mounted spare tire carrier. Neither option is too cheap so keep that in mind when choosing a tire size. I have a 2" lift and 33" tires and it is the perfect combo for me.

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Old 08-06-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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actually you can get a 34" and strangely enough some 35" on stock rear set up. I have a RK 1.5" (like Dr Evil) lift altho most say it looks taller and 34's. I will go 35" next time as the 34's are just too wimpy looking in my opinion.

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Old 08-06-2014, 08:47 PM   #11
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You may be able to get a 35" to fit on the stock spare tire mount, but the weight of it far exceeds the design capacity of the stock mount. You will have problems over time.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
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You may be able to get a 35" to fit on the stock spare tire mount, but the weight of it far exceeds the design capacity of the stock mount. You will have problems over time.
I agree hence the tera flex bracket but physically they do fit. If not going off road they would be ok. AEV says stock is good for 100lbs.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:27 PM   #13
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I agree hence the tera flex bracket but physically they do fit. If not going off road they would be ok. AEV says stock is good for 100lbs.
Where did you get 100 lbs? My owners manual says 75 lbs. I'd love to save money on the tire carrier!
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:04 PM   #14
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Where did you get 100 lbs? My owners manual says 75 lbs. I'd love to save money on the tire carrier!
I was looking at an AEV carrier and I live next to the AEV R&D shop and I stopped in to look at them and that is what they told me. I like my Tera Flex bracket and would run it even if I had a stock spare.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:08 PM   #15
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I was looking at an AEV carrier and I live next to the AEV R&D shop and I stopped in to look at them and that is what they told me. I like my Tera Flex bracket and would run it even if I had a stock spare.
What TF bracket are you running? The spacer or the full hd kit?
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:16 PM   #16
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My MTRKs 35 x12.5x17 on level 8 trackers weigh 91 vs 73 for stock rubi
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:35 PM   #17
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just the TF hinge with the stock carrier.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:40 PM   #18
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The 500 ish hinge?
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:44 PM   #19
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The 500 ish hinge?
390 or so if you get the 4wd.com best deal. you have to call and ask for the best deal tho.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:50 PM   #20
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390 or so if you get the 4wd.com best deal. you have to call and ask for the best deal tho.
Are you running 35s or 33s
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:06 PM   #21
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see post 10
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:25 AM   #22
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How does everyone feel about the pro comp 2.5 inch lift with shocks and springs?
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:55 PM   #23
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I just went through the same exercise... So many options, and just as many contradictory opinions.

I started out looking for a minimal lift. Just enough to fit 35" tires (the Rubi comes with 31.5" actual). I really liked the duratracs, but they are nowhere near as tall as they say they are. mounted/inflated, they are only about 32.5, rather than the 34.5 they are supposed to be. When I put them on, they just looked insufficient (I know, poser comment). Anyway, the unlimiteds are really long. it takes at least 4" of lift before they start looking like you've done something to them.

Anyway, after months of hand-wringing, researching online, talking to other drivers, looking at a ton of rigs (I live an easy drive from Loon Lake/start of the Rubicon trail), I decided to just go big. It's a pain to get in and out of (I really need a trampoline), my gas mileage went from 18 to 15mpg, I've spent around $15K on mods, and the wife keeps joking that my penis was big enough before the lift (yes, she's a smartass).

What finally made up my mind for the 6" long arm with 37s were these 2 things:
1. I didn't want to be stuck out in the wilderness, unable to extract myself from some situation I could of avoided with a bigger rig
2. so many drivers I spoke to said that they had put in 4" lifts and ripped them out in favor of 6".

This is probably only applicable to my specific geography and how I use my rig but, even with all the negatives of a tall jeep, I'm happy with the direction it went.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:07 AM   #24
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I would not run 6" on a jk without a Prorock/Teraflex housing up front with increase pinion/caster angles. Driveshafts x 2
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #25
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I am in a very similar situation, 2scubajeeper. I've spent about the last month studying/asking every question that I could think of/and realizing good advice and taking it. I wound up ordering the 2.5" Rock Krawler Stock Mod and will be running it with the newer Fox 2.0 Evolution Shox system as my starting point and swapping my OEM SR-A's for a set of Duratracs (every single person who I know that actually knows Jeeps and off-roading has nothing but praise for these tires.) I can't provide information from personal driving experience, but the Duratracs are by all accounts one of the most capable tires, and perhaps the best all-around tire, and by far probably the best in its price range/segment - they're rated top-notch in regards to on-road performance in slick/icy conditions, are allegedly unstoppable in the snow (which ya might not have regular experience with, but it's pretty damn fun...especially when every city street is deserted due to being snowed in and you can have the roads to yourself,) and seem to be able to hold their own in the mud with the best of them.

My point with all of this is that there were several times I almost made purchases which I know without a doubt that I would have majorly regretted due to lack of knowledge and experience. From one newb to another - listen to these guys, read read read, ask questions, and TAKE YOUR TIME. That last part is easier said than done, I know, but I promise from this past month of learning/discovering/realizing that I was wrong about A LOT that I am confident, comfortable, and satisfied with the decisions which I've made.

Make the Jeep your own - just make sure you have the answers to all of your questions. If ya don't know, - ask. These guys do know and they'll help ya - just make sure ya listen. They know. I thought I did...I didn't.

Two things I will say from my own opinion/experience - I would not attempt to run a 15" wheel on a JKU personally. Way too much crowding on the caliper, and entire brake set-up in general for my liking/comfort, but to each their own.

Also, I've seen some Jeeps with nothing more than a 2" body lift that will turn heads all day long. Ya don't have to have a monster truck in order to set yourself apart...your options are limitless and paths boundless. Take your time, make it yours, and make sure ya send me pics when it's done. We newbs gotta stick together.

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Old 08-08-2014, 08:23 PM   #26
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When looking for/at tires I have the size calculator but how does one know what the tire "truly" is in diameter. I've started shopping already for my tires and maybe wheels but I want at least a 33" when it's installed.
Sorry to hijack bros thread but I saw it mentioned thought I would ask.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:35 PM   #27
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When looking for/at tires I have the size calculator but how does one know what the tire "truly" is in diameter. I've started shopping already for my tires and maybe wheels but I want at least a 33" when it's installed.
Sorry to hijack bros thread but I saw it mentioned thought I would ask.
Actual mounted size depends on manufacturer. Look for a 34" if you need at least 33" mounted. What tires are you looking at?
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:23 AM   #28
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Also, Scuba, there are some excellent vendors right here on the forum. Send me a PM and I can tell about ya about my experience with this if you'd like.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:21 AM   #29
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I doubt anyone would suggest PC over TF. The TF 2.5 coil with Bilsteins is a great setup.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:48 AM   #30
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Actual mounted size depends on manufacturer. Look for a 34" if you need at least 33" mounted. What tires are you looking at?
Good idea thanks

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