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Old 05-22-2011, 09:39 PM   #1
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2.5" vs. 4" lift?

i thought i had my heart set on a 2.5" lift kit, but my boyfriend is trying to sway me to go bigger, and now i'm conflicted. my main concern is price- i'm on a super tight budget, and i will be for the foreseeable future.

so. what's your opinion? would a 2.5" lift work for me as i expect it will, or should i go even bigger?

what i've got now: 92 Islander, 6cyl. no lift, 31x10.50x15 tires
i'm a weekend warrior, but i'm not a super crazy wheeler when i do go out.
biggest tires i want to run are 33's.

i'm short, and i don't want to have to winch myself into my jeep every time i have to drive somewhere.

is there a really good reason why i should go bigger than 2.5"?

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Old 05-22-2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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Bigger... only go the 2.5" route if you only plan on doing a soa in the future. My gf is 5'2 and I help her in. maybe your bf wants to help you too!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:20 PM   #4
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With most 4" lifts you will get some vibs even with the t-case drop, I have some with mine. You have two options, live with it and check your u-joint often, or spend the money and upgrade to a SYE and new rear drive shaft. If you do want to run 33's one day the 4" will be better.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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I'm sorry but I have to disagree with the other comments. I would stay with the 2 1/2" and when you want to go to 33's add a 1" body lift. Bigger is not always better. In fact in this case I think you would be far better off with a 2 1/2" vs a 4" considering your financial situation. Don't let mens macho bigger is better BS influence your decision. A 4" lift will cost you more money. Maybe not in the initial cost but there are other things to consider like installation cost if your paying someone to install it. You will wear out u joints and brakes faster along with steering components and you WILL get tired of crawling in and out of it. You also said you were not a "super crazy wheeler" so why get a big lift?
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:22 PM   #6
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buster-
thanks, i was thinking about doing a very small body lift as well, and i'm also not opposed to cutting into the fenders to increase tire clearance.

it looks like the rough country 2.5" and 4" kits are the same price... with a 4" lift, i'd need to get a SYE and a rear drive shaft... anything else? do i need to worry about a SYE or a transfer case drop with the 2.5"?

thanks for everyone's input so far, it is appreciated!
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:31 PM   #7
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i have a 2" inch lift but i dropped my transfer case and everything is fine... most lift kits will come will the drop brackets...
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
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You don't really have to worry about t case drops or SYEs with only a 2.5 lift. With the 4 inch lift you'll also have to get extended brake lines if you do any flexing at all. Mine costed around 80 bucks. I'd also buy new frame bushings and spring bolts for each kit.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:38 PM   #9
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Kicking myself for not going 4" from the start. I also thought that the 2-1/2" and 31's would be the end of things.......Not the case......So now I get to do it all over again to go up to a 4" lift. My 5'-2" wife manages with the rick sliders as side steps. Running Poisen Spider Rocker Knockers and added a 3M abbrasive strip to the top so she has a solid step in.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:57 PM   #10
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With the 2 1/2" you will not need a sye or drive shafts. With a 4" you might. You might need a tcase drop but they are only around $50.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:25 AM   #11
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I'm glad I went with 4 inch lift on my yj. If your gonna do it at all might as well do it right the first time. Not sure what kit you plan on getting, I'm sure some ride different than others. I have a 4 inch skyjacker kit with tcase drop and I get no vibrations what so ever. I do plan on getting the sye and cv drive shaft eventually, but I would get that with a 2.5 inch lift anyway just for the ease of fixing it on the trail if need be. only extra things you will want with the 4" kit are longer swaybar end links, extended brake lines and a drop pitman arm. Or just leave it like it is and enjoy.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:40 AM   #12
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IMO if you like the thought of going to 33's with little or no aspirations of 35's go with the 2.5in sl with a 1.25 bl. It will save you the rear drive shaft and sye expense. 3.75in should be more then enough to clear 33's.. With 33's you will likely need new rims anyways if yours aren't already aftermarket that can fit a 33 properly with out issues.. 15x8 with 3.75-4in bs is what you will need for when you put that size tire on.. so thats just another expense to look at no matter what lift you go with
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ Knight View Post
IMO if you like the thought of going to 33's with little or no aspirations of 35's go with the 2.5in sl with a 1.25 bl. It will save you the rear drive shaft and sye expense. 3.75in should be more then enough to clear 33's.. With 33's you will likely need new rims anyways if yours aren't already aftermarket that can fit a 33 properly with out issues.. 15x8 with 3.75-4in bs is what you will need for when you put that size tire on.. so thats just another expense to look at no matter what lift you go with
Listen to this man.

The higher you go, deeper your pockets must be. The problem with the 4" is the amount of stuff that COULD go wrong. You're changing a lot of angles with you go that high, and most people don't pay any attention to this. The most common problems are vibrations and steering issues.

Personally, I'd go with the 2.5" lift and some 32x11.5 tires. Trims the fenders up a tad, and call it a day.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #14
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I guess I'm a little different type JEEPer than most of y'all are. I couldn't afford to always be repairing and replacing stuff, just because I went out on the weekend to see what I could tear up. I love my JEEPs and try to keep them in good condition. My YJ is still stock, which is OK except that it needs a bit of lift. I wanted the 4 inch lift also, but then I've studied the angle of the driveshaft. A 2.5 inch lift will be great for my needs, and will look good enough and the tires won't rub my fenders. The taller it's lifted, the different it drives and corners, too. I may go to 31x10.50-15's when I wear the 30x9.50's out but a 2.5 lift is more than enough to accomplish that.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:48 AM   #15
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I guess everyone has their own opinions. I have a soa with 2.5 lift and I didn't need the sye until I put the springs on. I ran the regular driveshaft for 3 years just with a homemade t-case drop. I don't do very much offroad with it though. People say I have a show jeep but it'll drive straight as an arrow at 100 mph. I doing worry about corners because I don't have that much body roll. If you don't believe me I can post up a video. I had a vibration not to long ago but it was my yoke straps. I wouldn't even bother lifting it unless you do something you can actually see. You'll spend the same amount of money and if you are like many of us you'll be disappointed when that bigger jeep parks beside you! If you ask around someone on here probably lives close to you that could help with the labor. NEVER take you vehicle to the shop for lifts and stuff like that. Is so easy to do.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:53 AM   #16
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You'll spend the same amount of money and if you are like many of us you'll be disappointed when that bigger jeep parks beside you!
This is my point exactly! Macho BS! Just because his is bigger does not mean he knows how to use it! Don't compare size, compare abilities, who spends more time and money on repairs and your bank statement at the end of the month. You said that money was very tight and will be for the foreseeable future. Don't make it worse.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:22 AM   #17
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I have less than 1500 in it... that's even including swapping in a 4.0 and wheels and tires! Be smart about your money and what you buy. Build it right and safely!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:39 AM   #18
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Jeep = Just empty every pocket. Jeeps are addictive if your like most people who love them. When I fist bought mine I said I would never put on a lift and over sized tires. Well, I was wrong! I would suggest if you don't want to spend money on it then leave it alone and just stay with 30" tires. It will still go more places than any other vehicle out there. So take the top off on nice days, save your money for gas and hit the trails.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:34 PM   #19
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This is my point exactly! Macho BS! Just because his is bigger does not mean he knows how to use it! Don't compare size, compare abilities*, who spends more time and money on repairs and your bank statement at the end of the month. You said that money was very tight and will be for the foreseeable future. Don't make it worse.
I got to here * and imeadiatley did this
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:17 PM   #20
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I have a 2.5 inch Rubicon Express lift, same as they did in JP magazine a year or two ago. In all, with the new shackles in front, and boomerangs in the rear, extended brake lines, sway bar discos, transfer drop...I yield a total of 3.25 inches of lift. I did all of this over a year ago and I have not settled below the 3.25 in. mark yet. Rides like a dream...and I can clear 33 inch tires if I would choose to do so...but I don't...and in all it ran me about $1100 total, and that was having it put in by a friend who runs a Jeep shop. Shop around and don't just jump on the first thing you see. Don't sacrifice quality components when doing your lift...it will benefit you in the end. In all, get what you think will benefit you and your rig for what you are going to do with it.

Here is my 95 Rio with the RE 2.5" lift, which is over 3" when done...[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:53 PM   #21
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I'd go with 2.5" of lift. There are many benefits to them, but everything has cons.

Pro's:

Low COG
Less Expensive
Simpler installation
Still capable of going up to 40's.

Con's:

Less Flex for out of the box kits
Need to trim
Need to be creative and not afraid to chop up your vehicle to get bigger tires or more travel.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:58 PM   #22
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thanks very much for all the input, everyone. not sure if you've all made my decision easier, tho.

Quote:
With 33's you will likely need new rims anyways if yours aren't already aftermarket that can fit a 33 properly with out issues.. 15x8 with 3.75-4in bs is what you will need for when you put that size tire on.. so thats just another expense to look at no matter what lift you go with
my rims are a-ok for 33's, i've got that in the bag. and yeah, along with the lift i'm factoring in the cost of new tires, mounting/balancing, backspacing, etc.

Quote:
The higher you go, deeper your pockets must be. The problem with the 4" is the amount of stuff that COULD go wrong. You're changing a lot of angles with you go that high, and most people don't pay any attention to this. The most common problems are vibrations and steering issues.

Personally, I'd go with the 2.5" lift and some 32x11.5 tires. Trims the fenders up a tad, and call it a day.
thanks, Mike, these were my thoughts, too. as much as possible, i want to install the lift and the components and be done with it- not have to worry about what massive thing is going to break because of the increased angles and extra strain on the suspension.

Quote:
You'll spend the same amount of money and if you are like many of us you'll be disappointed when that bigger jeep parks beside you!
i'm a girl, i don't necessarily think bigger is better, most important is that you know how to use what you've got.

Quote:
If you ask around someone on here probably lives close to you that could help with the labor. NEVER take you vehicle to the shop for lifts and stuff like that. Is so easy to do.
oh definitely- i've got enough technical know-how to install a lift myself with some help. the bf is pretty darn handy when it comes to automotive stuff, too. i prefer to do as much as i can on my jeep by myself, just doesn't seem right to take her into a shop for something that i could easily do on my own. plus, wrenching is fun!

Quote:
Shop around and don't just jump on the first thing you see. Don't sacrifice quality components when doing your lift...it will benefit you in the end. In all, get what you think will benefit you and your rig for what you are going to do with it.
thanks, Tarby- your jeep looks good! i research the bejesus out of things before i make big decisions, hence my post here.

i'm still kinda leaning towards the 2.5" lift and maybe a small body lift and/or a fender trim to fit those 33's.

anyone else got input for me?
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #23
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Its' my life.............

It's your Jeep, do what you want. People can talk shackle lifts, body lifts, 2.5"suspension lifts, 4" suspension lifts, spring over axle lifts or the high dollar coil over kits. You have to live with your Jeep, we don't. You know what your plans are for it, "everyday driver" to "hard core trailer it to the trails" rig. I understand budgets, but don't let money make the decision for you. If you have something in mind, and can't afford it right now, save some money up and do what you want. You'll be way ahead in the end. Please post pix of your progress, we love that s#*t. But most of all, have fun.

P.S. my avatar picture was taken two days ago.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:32 PM   #24
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I'm running 6+ SUA on my jeep and its to tall. a 2.5 and a date with a saws all will work very well with 33s A set of Boom style shackles will set you back about $90 for a set of 4 and give you better flex. if your on a tight budget keep it low, bigger=more things you need to buy
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:03 PM   #25
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I have a 95 yj and I'm running a 4" procomp lift with a 2" t case drop. And I do not have to run a sye, it is something I plan on doing in the future though. I think you'll be happier with the 4"!! It'll look like you acctually put lift on it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #26
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I am also running the pro comp 4" with a 2" drop and dont have a SYE. I have no issues with mine no vibrations or anything. I highly recomend it but if you do decide to go with this lift I got the MX6 shocks with mine and they are pretty BA. Go with the 4" I dont think you'll regret it.

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