Hey guys new to the site and getting back into a jeep, been a number of years since I had my 00' XJ with a 3.5" ruby express lift which makes this my first wrangler...just ordered the skyjacker 4" lift and about to order tires tomorrow, thinkin the pro comp xtm2 mud terrains if anyone has any insight on those that would be helpful but more importantly...so I ordered the 4" kit ( Skyjacker Part TJ403BPH - 4 Inch Sport Lift Kit with Hydro Shocks - Fits 2003 to 2006 TJ Wrangler, Rubicon and Unlimited - 4 Wheel Drive ) and I also ordered the adjustable track bar kit from skyjacker that comes with a steering stabilizer, front and rear cam bolts, and a few other things non suspension related. I heard from a guy who heard from a guy kinda thing that a buddy of his put a lift on a jeep,not sure what year or size, and they had to buy a custom driveshaft cause they couldn't relieve the driveline vibration enough with some of the same parts I purchased for my lift. So I'm wondering if this is just hear say or if anyone could for sure tell me whether or not I'm going to have to do that. Would rather just do it right the first time. And final question is if anyone has any advice on certain things to have spare of when putting the lift on that would be very helpful (when I did my Cherokee the rear leaf spring bolts broke upon removal, which if I had read online or asked I would have known at the time that that was likely to happen, now I know I have coils all the way around but this is an example of what I'm asking) thanks so much fellas and build pictures of my 06 TJ will be coming soon
I will share what I remember, it's been a long time. I had that same lift on my '99. I installed it myself according to the directions and had absolutely no problems with it on '33 inch tires. Grabbed a pickle fork and a spring compressor from (then Shucks), and did it in a day (think I might've had to drill a couple of holes). The nice thing with that lift is that uses the urethane bushings and all of your existing bracketry, so no major modifications to get the thing on, looks cool and drives nearly like the factory. I had read about some people getting some driveline vibrations when doing the research on mine, but I didn't experience it at all. It wasn't until I went to the 5.5 in RE lift that I had to do a SYE & custom drive shaft, but that's another post :-)
There wasn't anything that I needed to spare of for this project, in fact when I went to a different lift, I sold this lift to a friend & installed it for her. I also put a similar one in my kids ZJ with similar success. I think skyjacker does a good job with this lift kit.
My advice is to do your homework on the slipyoke eliminator and a custom shaft ahead of time, just in case you run into a problem so that you are prepared to deal with it. Most towns have a driveline guy that can build you custom shaft in pretty short order if you need it. I ended up using Tom Woods with the 5.5 lift, I didn't need it before. I also did the SYE myself on my transfer case, it wasn't rocket science either.
Unfortunately skycrapper is not a very well liked lift. The springs are ok and the hydro shocks ride pretty nice. The control arms however belong in the trash can. And the track bar they make does too. If it isn't to late to cancel the order I would suggest doing so and ordering a zone offroad 4.25" instead. You can add a metalcloak track bar for a good entry level lift.
Anyone who includes a drop pitman arm in a tj lift doesn't know what the hell they are doing. And polyurethane bushings in a tubular control arm with no cartridge joint is a recipe for eating bushings, or axle side bracket failure.
A sye and double cardan driveshaft is highly suggested with 4" of lift. You also need a minimum of rear upper adjustable control arms with this setup, but lower adjustable is advised too.
So here's the deal. The non-Rubicon models have a slip-yolk on the rear output, coupled with a standard U-Joint drive-shaft. The U-joint is prone to binding whenever you change the angle - which is exactly what you will be doing when you lift the Jeep. Usually, over 2 inches of suspension lift (body lifts do NOT count here) will start the DS vibration, but every Jeep is different. Either way, with 4" of suspension lift, you will need to address this one way or another. You are then presented with three options, the cheap way, the slightly more expensive way, and a fairly pricey way.
The cheap way is with a T-case drop, basically you lower your T-case skid with spacers and longer bolts. The engine stays the same height, but the t-case is lowered, so you reduce the angle of your driveshaft. I think 2" of drop is usually the magic number for a 4" lift.
You could also choose to spend $150-$250 on raised motor mounts, or a motor mount lift. When you install a MML, you raise the motor and the t-case stays at the same height... you guessed it: reducing the angle of the driveshaft. May people with a 4" lift will do a 1" MML and 1" T-case drop to reduce the driveline vibes.
The last option is widely considered the right way. You buy a Slip Yolk Eliminator kit for the transfer case, and a custom CV (double-cardan) driveshaft. You also get some adjustable rear upper control arms and an angled trackbar bracket so you can adjust the pinion of the rear axle. You also might need shock mount extenders for the rear axle. That's all just minimum requirements for an SYE, price that stuff out and you're probably over $600.
What you do is ultimately up to you. Many people run t-case drops with a 4" lift and have no issues. To me, it seems like your 4" lift is more like a 2" lift if you have to lower your belly clearance by 2"....
Edit: The lift you purchased has the t-case drop spacers and bolts included... so you should be OK as far as vibes go. Personally, I'd still consider the SYE route if you can.
Off topic: rda616 - I grew up in Allegan... my parents own the bed and breakfast out on M-40. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else on an online forum from Allegan!