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Old 02-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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Lift vs Leveling Kit for JK Unlimited

OK, so I'm in the market to level off the unsightly stance that my factory JK Unlimited has and would really prefer to keep the stock aluminum rims and tires....it is a brand new Jeep and I've seen so many stock rims and tires for sale I know I won't get much at all for them.

So, with that said, I'm stuck on whether to buy something like the Daystar Leveling kit (2") or something like the ProComp 2" lift kit that comes with shocks, coils, sway bar, etc.

I know there is a huge difference in price between the two, but I'm also worried about the driving characteristics changing with a lift kit as I've read so many reviews about it changing versus a leveling kit, which everyone seems to say does not affect the ride quality (Highway at speed, etc..).

I guess I should also add that it is a daily driver.... any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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First of all a leveling kit is a lift kit. It just raises the front more than the back. What you are really comparing is a BB (budget boost) versus a coil lift (new springs). The BB adds spacers on top of your stock springs.

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the clarification,Tom. I assumed as much but was only using the nomenclature that the "market" is using to distinguish the two.

So, would you recommend either the BB or the coil lift?
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Stay at 2.5" or less if you're going to be keeping the stock wheels/tires. As for whether to go with a BB or a coil lift, you get what you pay for.

Review this thread for pics and ideas: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/jk-...ews-25157.html
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTH View Post
you get what you pay for.

Review this thread for pics and ideas: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/jk-...ews-25157.html
advice don't get much better than that!

take your time, read, re-read, then decide.. we'll give you crap.. but.. you'll understand more, you'll wind up with what you want...

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Old 02-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Before...
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/...jwhall/002.jpg
After....
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/...jwhall/011.jpg

I have the 2" AEV spacer kit install went great and my ride quality has not been effected at all. I highly recommend this kit if youre looking for something simple and the "lifted" look and it got rid of factory rake . I plan on getting an actual lift kit when i have the money to go up to 3.5 inches so this is a very good alternative to hold me over
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone. I guess I need to do a lot more research and start talking with other local JK owners more often about their suspension upgrades. Thanks
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dylanjwhall View Post
Before...
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/...jwhall/002.jpg
After....
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/...jwhall/011.jpg

I have the 2" AEV spacer kit install went great and my ride quality has not been effected at all. I highly recommend this kit if youre looking for something simple and the "lifted" look and it got rid of factory rake . I plan on getting an actual lift kit when i have the money to go up to 3.5 inches so this is a very good alternative to hold me over

Thanks! That is exactly what I am looking to achieve at this point in my JK's life!
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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No problem hope all goes well with your decision and install
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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I have the Teraflex Leveling Kit (pucks, the spring performance version wasn't on the market yet) and for the money I'd say it's unbeatable. Mine is a D.D. and the handling and ride characteristics are virtually the same as stock. I will though in the future upgrade to the Performance Kit (springs) so that my rig will handle additional gear better. Note that I'm never going to go bigger than a 33" tire, which is what I have. Best way to determine what size lift to get is by what size tire you want to run.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:42 AM   #11
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Even the TF spring kit will level the jeep.
I was looking into BB's and then seen that a decent coil lift is not much more.

Here is my 07 with recently installed TF 2.5 coil lift... With stock 32's so you can really see the the height F&B

Good luck
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:50 AM   #12
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I went the BB route with mine and was very happy with the results. Mine is also a dd, and random forest/fire roads are about as hardcore as my Jeep ever sees. For the price, the extra $$$ may be better spent on tires/wheels. Do your homework and ask lots of questions- shopping your lift is part of your modding journey- enjoy it!
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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Congrats on the Jeep!

I took delivery about a month ago, and immediately bought the ReadyLIFT leveling kit. You have your choice of picking the front end up 1/2 inch, 1 inch or 1.5 inches with the aluminum spacers in the kit.

I traded out the stock 18" Bridgestone Duelers and wheels for 285 70 17 Goodyear Duratracs on AEV Pintlers.

We used the ReadyLIFT kit ($260) to raise the front one inch. This resulted in a leveled Jeep and plenty of clearance for the tires with no rubbing, and the wheels are made for Jeeps, so no spacers were required.

The GY tires are about an inch taller than the Bridgestones, so we wound up picking the whole thing up one inch with the tires all around, and an additional inch in the front with the spacer kit. The ride height is perfect for what I wanted.

Net result: You can go as high as you want, but if you want to level it, you only have to pick up the front about one inch. The ride is factory perfect, and we gave up nothing in terms of ride/stability/safety.







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Old 02-08-2012, 10:47 AM   #14
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Looks good. ^^^
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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+1 I also went with the Teraflex leveling kit and I love it. Price was right, makes the Jeep look a ton better and the ride quality is as good or better. Mine is a DD and I'll be going to 33's soon but don't plan to go any bigger.
Be sure to read the stickie on "Death wobble" and be sure to not only tighten up all the new stuff to spec, but loosen the trackbar and LCA bolts too so you can shake it all up and re-tourque under load.
Also, the kit I got came with greasable sway bar links so you want to be sure to shoot some grease in them once installed and after you have put a few miles on it. The stock sway bar links are a one piece housing....but make up your mind and you'll see what I mean!
Congrats on the new Jeep. I'm loving mine!


Quote:
Originally Posted by babydaddy View Post
I have the Teraflex Leveling Kit (pucks, the spring performance version wasn't on the market yet) and for the money I'd say it's unbeatable. Mine is a D.D. and the handling and ride characteristics are virtually the same as stock. I will though in the future upgrade to the Performance Kit (springs) so that my rig will handle additional gear better. Note that I'm never going to go bigger than a 33" tire, which is what I have. Best way to determine what size lift to get is by what size tire you want to run.
Have fun!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #16
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Add me to the list of guys with the spacer Teraflex leveling kit as well. I went with it for several reasons:
1 - It looks just fine with stock tires, which I have had to run for a while
2 - It will fit 33s with no problem
3 - It was cheap! $115 shipped to my door
4 - Simple to install. I did it in 1.5 hours without ever taking a wheel off the Jeep.
5 - When I undoubtedly decided to upgrade, I can probably sell the kit for probably 75% of the purchase price.

I have just ordered new 15" Trackers and 33" Duratracs, so it will look much better, but it truly looks fine with the stockers too. Don't have a great pic, but this should give you an idea.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:23 PM   #17
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I went 2" in the front, 1" in the back, $75

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Old 02-13-2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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Thank you, all, for all the great advice! I've been calling around to some local 4x4 shops about leveling my Jeep (2011 JK Unlimited) and one shop recommend a 2" lift in the front, only. I've seen some other kits and all include a 1" lift in the rear, as well as the 2" in the front. Is this acceptable practice; only doing the 2" in the front? PS - the lift will also include new shocks (front only)....advice please
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:41 AM   #19
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IMO, if you do just the 2" lift in the front, the front will be higher than the rear. Mine sites pretty much dead level with the 2" front and 1" rear spacers that come with the TF kit. If you aren't wanting much lift and only want to level, just put a 1" spacer in the front and call it a day. And do it yourself. Don't pay a shop.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:27 AM   #20
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IMO, if you do just the 2" lift in the front, the front will be higher than the rear. Mine sites pretty much dead level with the 2" front and 1" rear spacers that come with the TF kit. If you aren't wanting much lift and only want to level, just put a 1" spacer in the front and call it a day. And do it yourself. Don't pay a shop.
This ^
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:51 AM   #21
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This ^
I don't think you even need to take the tires off with most leveling kits, definitely a great intro to Jeep modding, DIY project.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:54 AM   #22
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I think there needs to be a lift faq that clearly points out the biggest difference between different lifts. Especially the whole "using spacers vs getting new shocks/springs" thing. Seems to come up twice a day. If you only want a height difference, go with spacers; and put in whatever size spacer makes you happy. Daystar makes them for like 20 bucks each. If you actually need the additional down travel, aka going off road, get a new set of shocks, and if you want to change the ride, new springs as well. Boom, just made my own FAQ. Sticky please
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:01 PM   #23
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I think there needs to be a lift faq that clearly points out the biggest difference between different lifts. Especially the whole "using spacers vs getting new shocks/springs" thing. Seems to come up twice a day. If you only want a height difference, go with spacers; and put in whatever size spacer makes you happy. Daystar makes them for like 20 bucks each. If you actually need the additional down travel, aka going off road, get a new set of shocks, and if you want to change the ride, new springs as well. Boom, just made my own FAQ. Sticky please

Just save this post and copy and paste it. I know a lot of us feel obliged to share some knowledge and enjoy doing so, but the lift review thread should be a mandatory read for all new members prior to being able to post .
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #24
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Just save this post and copy and paste it. I know a lot of us feel obliged to share some knowledge and enjoy doing so, but the lift review thread should be a mandatory read for all new members prior to being able to post .
^^^Absolutely. That, and the Death Wobble sticky.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:32 PM   #25
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Ok, here's my issue. I would SWEAR that my front end is HIGHER than my rear, and it's driving me nuts. Although I have a Warn front bumper and Powerplant, I have the super heavy Warn bumper, and carrier on the back. In addition to that, a heavy 35 in tire and 18 in rim. Nato can full of gas. Am I crazy? Best way to really tell?
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rugbyduck
Ok, here's my issue. I would SWEAR that my front end is HIGHER than my rear, and it's driving me nuts. Although I have a Warn front bumper and Powerplant, I have the super heavy Warn bumper, and carrier on the back. In addition to that, a heavy 35 in tire and 18 in rim. Nato can full of gas. Am I crazy? Best way to really tell?
Measure from ground to frame rail behind front tire and infront of rear tire. That should show if it is sloping downward. Easy fix would be a small spacer in the rear only.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:58 PM   #27
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Guessing measure the rear as well? Frame same height? (without looking this second)
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #28
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Wow...been following this site for 5 years...only my 3rd post? Hmm...
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:03 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rugbyduck
Ok, here's my issue. I would SWEAR that my front end is HIGHER than my rear, and it's driving me nuts. Although I have a Warn front bumper and Powerplant, I have the super heavy Warn bumper, and carrier on the back. In addition to that, a heavy 35 in tire and 18 in rim. Nato can full of gas. Am I crazy? Best way to really tell?
I just installed the TF 2.5 coil lift.

I have the same issue. From bottom of flare my rear is almost 2" lower.

I called TF. I asked where a good spot to measure lift height. He actually said the flares. Pitch seem ends I'm lower in the rear by .5"

Went over a few things assuring we installed the lift correctly. We did.
And part #'s were right

If the front doesn't settle some TF is going to send me different rear coils or spacers to level the jeep out. Awesome CS
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:25 PM   #30
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Hard to do with the flares now. Even before though, it looked a little "Kim Kardashian". Will have to find a place to measure both ends.

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