Originally Posted by emilee64
So I joined the Jeep family 2 weeks ago when I purchased a 2012 4 door Wrangler. I need advice on which lift I want to raise and level it.
First caveat, I am a *girl* who needs a man's advice. Second, I am primarily going to use it as a daily driver and in the CA snow (maybe a little offroad). I don't want to kill the mileage
(I'm only getting 15 mpg right now) or the smooth ride, but I want it to look good. I bought it with custom wheels (18) and tires (33).
My questions are, should I stick with the 33" tires or go to 35"?
For the lift, I was thinking 2.5" or 3". What would look best? Drive best? Not kill my mileage even more?
And what lift kit would you recommend? If I go to 3" do I need to worry about changing out anything else?
The lift guy suggested the 3" Teraflex Suspension system with 8 flex arms and exhaust spacers ($2,089 for the kit). I know Teraflex is a great company, but do I really need the arms and spacers? Are there any other options that I should consider?
I would really appreciate your expertise since I am a newby right now and just want this thing lookin' and ridin' good asap!
The highlighted stuff above is what I'm gonna focus on.
A 2.5" lift will clear 35" tires. There's no need to go to 3" or beyond. At that height, things start getting a lot more expensive. For a 3"+ lift you'll need adjustable control arms, adjustable track bars, brake line extensions if the kit doesn't have em, and eventually new driveshafts.
Likewise, 35" tires carry a bunch of extra expenses. You'll need an aftermarket tire carrier – either a bumper/tire carrier combo, or a standalone HD tire carrier. You should also get gussets welded to your front axle C's (they're weak) if you're gonna offroad with 35's. And, depending on your gearing, you may want to regear to regain the power you'll lose in high gear. A conservative estimate for all of the above would be $3K.
A good 2.5" lift kit – TeraFlex, Rock Krawler, OME, AEV – will run you about $800-$1000, without installation. Generally speaking, these lifts don't need adjustable control arms or adj track bars, so I wouldn't spend the coin on em unless you need em later. Sometimes
they're necessary to restore caster or recenter your axles, but most times they're not.
If you buy a lift with 25" or longer shocks (just about any of em), you will need the TeraFlex exhaust spacer. Otherwise your exhaust and front driveshaft can hit each other when you flex off-road. The spacer's only $50, and can by installed by any intelligent mollusk. So no biggie, there.
Unless you plan on doing a fair amount of wheeling, you could get away with an even cheaper lift. A 2" BB (AEV) or a TF leveling kit will both fix your rake, and raise your Jeep a couple of inches. BUT, if you plan on adding a lot of weight (front bumper, winch, rear bumper), they won't keep your stock springs from sagging. If you think you'll be adding that stuff, you can go with the TF Performance leveling kit (springs, rather than spacers), or go back to the 2.5" option.
I see no reason, however, to go with a $2K TF lift with 8 control arms for "maybe a little offroad."
Also, if you do decide to go with the 35's, you might wanna look into buying smaller wheels. The cost for 18" tires is horrendous; in fact, it'll cost you more to buy tires in that size than it will to buy 15" wheels AND tires.
Something to consider.