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Old 05-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #1
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Lift vs. Flat Fenders for DD and light off-road

I have read through a bunch of threads on here and read through a bunch of other vendor/manu. web sites about lifts and fenders, etc. There is a wealth of knowledge on this site.

I would like to give you some background/criteria info and get your thoughts.

- My 4dr JK is my daily driver including taking my kids to school every morning, going to work and general driving usage. I also like to do some light off-roading which would include mud, water, some ditches (nothing too big). There isn't really any rock crawling to do around here unless we were to travel somewhere. Therefore, my jeep would be probably 95-98% city/highway and the remainder off-road.

- I don't see myself going any bigger than 35 max tire size and 33 would probably suit me fine generally speaking. My jeep has the max tow package with 3.73 gears and I don't think I want to fool with re-gearing anytime soon.

From my research and reading it looks like I have two choices.

1. I could go with installing some flat fenders and running either 33" or 35" tire on the stock suspension

2. I could install a 2.5"/3" lift and run up to a 33" to 35" tire.

What would you all do?

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Old 05-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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My rule is, avoid lifting when possible. Get the flat fenders first.

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Old 05-31-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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If u go 33 u dont need to do anything. Im stock on 32's and unhooked swaybar i still have tons of flex room. If u go 35's then ull nd to do one or the other and ull be fine. They are very capable with a good set of tires.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
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my rule is, avoid lifting when possible. Get the flat fenders first.
x2
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
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My rule is, avoid lifting when possible. Get the flat fenders first.

I like that rule....I dont think Ive ever seen a non lifted Jeep with flat fenders.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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I was kind of thinking the same thing in regards to not lifting it. I know that I can run 33s with the proper wheel spacing. I just thought that if I put the flat fenders on and run 33s I would have more room for flex.

How much flex does the stock suspension have anyways?

If I wanted to improve both on and off road handling without lifting, what would you all suggest? Maybe a leveling kit (coils) similar to the Teraflex 1.5 performance leveling kit, different coils (if so please recommend some specific ones) or some better shocks (if so please recommend some specific ones for the stock suspension)?

I wonder if I would come out better overall as far as costs and such if I get some quality tires, wheel spacers, flat fenders like the bushwackers, and better shocks and/or coils.

Thanks for all the replies thus far.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:59 PM   #7
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stock 4 door on 33's.

you can most definitely damage your fenders with 33's on stock height, WITH the sway bar connected, but you gotta wheel it like you stole it a little to do it

stock on 33's without chopping the fenders will handle "occasional wheeling", gets so-so mileage, and handles very well on the freeway. If you get into anything the stock height fenders and 33's won't clear, the damage to the fenders is primarily to the clips.

EDIT-
the stock shocks and springs will also take a healthy amount of abuse
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:20 PM   #8
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Well you've came here for opinion's soooo...

I've seen few jeeps that look good with most flat fenders offered today...some look ok, but there not otherwise stock. I would look at a quality 2.5" lift, it really doesn't take a tough trail to have your belly rubbing a bit. Find a good all around tire that runs truer to size (33"). And if you find yourself looking at a bumper or winch down the road, you've at least countered some of that extra weight. Not knowing what year, auto or manual your 3.73 would probably be fine. Also keep in mind to reflash for your new tire size.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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it really doesn't take a tough trail to have your belly rubbing a bit.
that is a VERY true statement

I still have no lift though. I should lift it for the wheeling I do, and I drag my plates almost every single time I go out, but I do a little more than "a little light off wheeling", and stock height and skids is still working for me (I Do however have a winch on the front...).

33's on a stock suspension is a plenty good start for a 98% DD, even without cutting the fenders. You'll know if/when you need to chop it /lift it
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:01 PM   #10
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Flat fenders and some long ass shocks
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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^ traded in the rubi for that in your avatar eh?
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:15 PM   #12
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Even trade
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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33x12,50x15 DuraTrac's with a TerraFlex Boost Leveling kit (pucks). It feels better then it did stock to me. Runs great down the highway. I have not been off road yet but there is plenty of flex room.

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwindeck View Post
Well you've came here for opinion's soooo...

I've seen few jeeps that look good with most flat fenders offered today...some look ok, but there not otherwise stock. I would look at a quality 2.5" lift, it really doesn't take a tough trail to have your belly rubbing a bit. Find a good all around tire that runs truer to size (33"). And if you find yourself looking at a bumper or winch down the road, you've at least countered some of that extra weight. Not knowing what year, auto or manual your 3.73 would probably be fine. Also keep in mind to reflash for your new tire size.
R u talking about a suspension lift or just a bumper lift?
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:05 PM   #15
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If you're going to add bumpers/winch/etc go with at least a coil lift. The stock springs will sag in no time. If you're even thinking about 35s, go with them. You'll end up kicking yourself if you go with 33s.

Teraflex 1.5" leveling kit (spacers), 35s, chopped fenders.


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Old 06-28-2013, 09:52 PM   #16
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I'm going with both a lift and flat flares, but I'm doing the flat flares first and I don't have money for the lift yet, so it'll be just the flares (and bumpers) for a while.

My reason for doing the flares first (& bumpers) is I have to get rid of the plastic. My order of MetalCloak front/rear bumpers, fenders, flares rear corner guards and rocker guards is coming in Tuesday/Wednesday next week. Then I'll have to wait for some powder coating before I can install the guards & fenders.

The lift is on hold because my HVAC is toast... gah! I've been saving for that, though.

I also have a lifted TJ that can hold me over til I can afford the JK's lift (planning for MetalCloak also).

Also, a smaller/no lift will keep it easier for your family to get in/out.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:09 PM   #17
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Well I am thinking hard about going with the 2.5 inch MetalCloak Gamechanger lite and 35" tires but my Jeep drives good and get's decent gas mileage with my current setup so that makes for a tough decision.


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