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Old 08-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #1
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Seriously......why so confusing

I am not here to start another lift kit thread. I am more here to vent Why on earth is it so difficult to research a good lift kit. Seriously, my head is spinning. I just want a kit that has all the components I need. I am not a mechanic, I don't know a lot about track arms, pitman this and relocate that. I want to lift my jeep and wheel it with my family, SAFELY and CORRECTLY.

It seems most kits, because of price i'm sure, limit what the kit includes. When you read about them you think, "OK cool that looks good" then I research them here and people discus all they had to add later to get it right.

Also, if you sell a 4 inch lift kit tell me if I need to replace drive shafts and such. 3" to 4" is the range I am looking at but I am learning, from you guys, not the lift kit companies, that here is a HUGE difference in replacement parts between the two to prevent damage to your driveshaft and such.

The only saving grace about this whole process is that the Teraflex Youtube videos are pretty funny.

OK, I vented, now back to the track bar, pitman arm, break relocate, sway bar disconnect, death wobble, long arm/short arm, hell!!!!!!!!

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Old 08-07-2014, 10:46 AM   #2
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It definitely takes a lot of reading. But hey, be happy, You're smart enough to realize that it takes a lot of research. This will prevent 90% of the possible issues down the road. Many people jump in blind and they end up frustrated with a broken Jeep.

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Old 08-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #3
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You could try posting here:

Help me help you with your lift question

He's good at explaining why he makes the recommendations he does. Maybe he wouldn't mind helping with your questions, too.

Good luck deciding!
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mrcarcrazy View Post
It definitely takes a lot of reading. But hey, be happy, You're smart enough to realize that it takes a lot of research. This will prevent 90% of the possible issues down the road. Many people jump in blind and they end up frustrated with a broken Jeep.
Thanks, venting here is definitely cheaper then a psychologist !!!!
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:59 AM   #5
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That means you are doing everything right! Just wait til you get to rock sliders, tires, wheels, bumpers, winches - there are so many choices your head will explode all over again!
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:03 AM   #6
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We have had great experiences with the TeraFlex kits. They are complete within themselves and easily upgraded down the road.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Socaljk View Post
I am not here to start another lift kit thread. I am more here to vent Why on earth is it so difficult to research a good lift kit. Seriously, my head is spinning. I just want a kit that has all the components I need. I am not a mechanic, I don't know a lot about track arms, pitman this and relocate that. I want to lift my jeep and wheel it with my family, SAFELY and CORRECTLY.

It seems most kits, because of price i'm sure, limit what the kit includes. When you read about them you think, "OK cool that looks good" then I research them here and people discus all they had to add later to get it right.

Also, if you sell a 4 inch lift kit tell me if I need to replace drive shafts and such. 3" to 4" is the range I am looking at but I am learning, from you guys, not the lift kit companies, that here is a HUGE difference in replacement parts between the two to prevent damage to your driveshaft and such.

The only saving grace about this whole process is that the Teraflex Youtube videos are pretty funny.

OK, I vented, now back to the track bar, pitman arm, break relocate, sway bar disconnect, death wobble, long arm/short arm, hell!!!!!!!!

Socal,

I’m in the same position as you. Planning bigger wheels/tires and a lift this winter and have started my research as well. I like to do a LOT of research for any project but especially for one of this $investment$ and scope.

If you’ve not seen this thread yet, it was definitely worth my time and even helped me decide which lift, tire/wheel combo. There is also a thread about lifting in stages which details exactly what “additional” changes are necessary with different lifts due to issues you stated.

Tabber02 published some really good stuff.

JK Tech common questions here!!!!
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
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I feel your pain! I'm only looking to lift 2.5" so I am in a little better position but it definitely is confusing. Thankfully there are great threads on this forum that help a lot.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
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There are 3 ways of doing a lift (in ascending order of difficulty).
1. Drive into a 4WD shop and write a check.
2. Buy some crap and slap it on (and fix later)
3. Learn exactly what it is you want and are needing to do to accomplish that goal, then get greasy under your rig doing it.

It appears to me that you are on the right path!!

But to answer your question, I think there are a lot of assumptions made in the community as to the whats and hows. So there really isn't a comprehensive DIY instruction sheet/book that I know of. And there is a lot of jargon and such to wade through.

Secondly, is the fact that nearly no one agrees!! 1 guy slaps a $100 into a 6" lift and it didn't break test driving down the driveway so he gets on here claiming it works great. Next guy claims to be a rocket scientist and that a 2" lift can only be safely done by spending $20,000.

That being said, there are some very knowledgable people here who can help you. But you do need to learn EVERYTHING about your suspension; exactly what it does, what it's called, ....everything.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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Lifting a Jeep the right way (being completely informed) is complex but it is complex for some good reasons:
1. There are a lot of options (some good and some bad)
2. Installing a lift kit introduces a significant change to any vehicle because it changes the geometry of the suspension, steering and driveline. The changes can have a major effect on performance, handling, ride quality and reliability (just about everything you care about).

There is a lot of information to digest and lot of misinformation to filter out if you are new to the subject. On top of that we all have different opinions and you will read a lot of "I couldn't be happier ..." about some poorly designed products but it fits the owner's needs (at least temporarily) which may be very different than yours.

Manufacturer's are in business and their job is to help you make the right decision by buying their products. They have/should have a lot of knowledge so once you understand the basics, let them explain why their products are different or better. Many of them are Jeep enthusiasts and will talk your ears off. They usually package their products in two ways: for affordability and for completeness. There is nothing wrong with adding secondary parts to a solid base lift kit. Just don't start mixing springs and most geometry brackets between kits and build a Frankenlift because sooner or later you won't like the results and no one capable of helping you will help you.

As with any subject, the best way is to read and understand the technical basics, read the reviews and then asked very specific questions; not "Which is the best lift kit?"
If you don't want to get this involved then find someone you trust and follow their advice. But remember the best policy is "Trust but verify".

A few of things to remember:

1. The bigger the lift the more hidden costs and the more potential issues
2. Cheap lift kits are more expensive in the long run
3. Hot looks aside, you can make for many of the benefits of a lift kit and big tires by improving your driving skills
4. The stock Jeep is a very capable off road vehicle
5. The stickies at the top of forum are packed with great information
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:51 AM   #11
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You forgot locker types and combinations. LOL!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommymallcrawler View Post
That means you are doing everything right! Just wait til you get to rock sliders, tires, wheels, bumpers, winches - there are so many choices your head will explode all over again!
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinlock View Post
Lifting a Jeep the right way (being completely informed) is complex but it is complex for some good reasons:
1. There are a lot of options (some good and some bad)
2. Installing a lift kit introduces a significant change to any vehicle because it changes the geometry of the suspension, steering and driveline. The changes can have a major effect on performance, handling, ride quality and reliability (just about everything you care about).

There is a lot of information to digest and lot of misinformation to filter out if you are new to the subject. On top of that we all have different opinions and you will read a lot of "I couldn't be happier ..." about some poorly designed products but it fits the owner's needs (at least temporarily) which may be very different than yours.

Manufacturer's are in business and their job is to help you make the right decision by buying their products. They have/should have a lot of knowledge so once you understand the basics, let them explain why their products are different or better. Many of them are Jeep enthusiasts and will talk your ears off. They usually package their products in two ways: for affordability and for completeness. There is nothing wrong with adding secondary parts to a solid base lift kit. Just don't start mixing springs and most geometry brackets between kits and build a Frankenlift because sooner or later you won't like the results and no one capable of helping you will help you.

As with any subject, the best way is to read and understand the technical basics, read the reviews and then asked very specific questions; not "Which is the best lift kit?"
If you don't want to get this involved then find someone you trust and follow their advice. But remember the best policy is "Trust but verify".

A few of things to remember:

1. The bigger the lift the more hidden costs and the more potential issues
2. Cheap lift kits are more expensive in the long run
3. Hot looks aside, you can make for many of the benefits of a lift kit and big tires by improving your driving skills
4. The stock Jeep is a very capable off road vehicle
5. The stickies at the top of forum are packed with great information
^^^This.......
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:57 AM   #13
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2" or less suspension lift. I recommend the Rancho Sport with RS9000XL. Nothing to extend, correct. Then, get yourself a 1" body lift and flat fenders. Trim rear pinch seam and go buy stupidly large tires.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:57 AM   #14
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You aren't the only one.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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I've had a 3.5" lift on my Jeep for two years, and I never replaced my drive shafts. People will tell you all sorts of things that you HAVE to do in order for your Jeep to be "right", but a lot of it is baloney. My shafts have no issues, no leaks, no binding. All I put on was a Rough Country series ii lift and added Rancho correction brackets in the front. Jeep rides smooth and tracks straight.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hair2831 View Post
I've had a 3.5" lift on my Jeep for two years, and I never replaced my drive shafts. People will tell you all sorts of things that you HAVE to do in order for your Jeep to be "right", but a lot of it is baloney. My shafts have no issues, no leaks, no binding. All I put on was a Rough Country series ii lift and added Rancho correction brackets in the front. Jeep rides smooth and tracks straight.
Well you have been lucky. I just hope when something like a drive shaft goes you are in a parking lot rather than off-camber 8 degrees of sideways halfway up a huge rock waterfall. The thing about luck is it has a tendency to run out at the worst possible times.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mommymallcrawler View Post
Well you have been lucky. I just hope when something like a drive shaft goes you are in a parking lot rather than off-camber 8 degrees of sideways halfway up a huge rock waterfall. The thing about luck is it has a tendency to run out at the worst possible times.
Yepper!! Murphey's law seems to follow most of us.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:40 PM   #18
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Just drive the vehicle the way it is, and see what you may(or may not) need for upgrades, or is this more for show?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:05 PM   #19
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What ... No love ? Lol http://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/ne...jk-298665.html

Often overlooked Jeep Jk, Caster and lifting.

Obviously, the more complete the kit the better, especially over that 3" lift range.
Things happen
- axles shift laterally, Fore/aft
- caster angle decreases
- pinion angles/drive shaft angles steepen
- steering geometry is affected
- loss in wheel base
- loss in down travel w/ stock length shocks

From my own experience and lots of reading. 2 doors are harder to dial in at higher lift heights.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:15 PM   #20
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Well you have been lucky. I just hope when something like a drive shaft goes you are in a parking lot rather than off-camber 8 degrees of sideways halfway up a huge rock waterfall. The thing about luck is it has a tendency to run out at the worst possible times.
Right

I am also still running my stock rear shaft. Some are lucky... Others not so much. Front went early but I pushed caster angle at 3.5" of lift

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinlock View Post
Lifting a Jeep the right way (being completely informed) is complex but it is complex for some good reasons: 1. There are a lot of options (some good and some bad) 2. Installing a lift kit introduces a significant change to any vehicle because it changes the geometry of the suspension, steering and driveline. The changes can have a major effect on performance, handling, ride quality and reliability (just about everything you care about). There is a lot of information to digest and lot of misinformation to filter out if you are new to the subject. On top of that we all have different opinions and you will read a lot of "I couldn't be happier ..." about some poorly designed products but it fits the owner's needs (at least temporarily) which may be very different than yours. Manufacturer's are in business and their job is to help you make the right decision by buying their products. They have/should have a lot of knowledge so once you understand the basics, let them explain why their products are different or better. Many of them are Jeep enthusiasts and will talk your ears off. They usually package their products in two ways: for affordability and for completeness. There is nothing wrong with adding secondary parts to a solid base lift kit. Just don't start mixing springs and most geometry brackets between kits and build a Frankenlift because sooner or later you won't like the results and no one capable of helping you will help you. As with any subject, the best way is to read and understand the technical basics, read the reviews and then asked very specific questions; not "Which is the best lift kit?" If you don't want to get this involved then find someone you trust and follow their advice. But remember the best policy is "Trust but verify". A few of things to remember: 1. The bigger the lift the more hidden costs and the more potential issues 2. Cheap lift kits are more expensive in the long run 3. Hot looks aside, you can make for many of the benefits of a lift kit and big tires by improving your driving skills 4. The stock Jeep is a very capable off road vehicle 5. The stickies at the top of forum are packed with great information
Said it better then me
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:23 PM   #21
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Well you have been lucky. I just hope when something like a drive shaft goes you are in a parking lot rather than off-camber 8 degrees of sideways halfway up a huge rock waterfall. The thing about luck is it has a tendency to run out at the worst possible times.
lol! We shall see. So far so good at 30k miles. If something happens, I'll deal with it. IF. You act like a Tom Woods shaft has never failed. lol! I do a little thing called maintenance, and always look my rig over for signs of things wearing out. I'll be ok. lol!
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ocd_dave View Post
Just drive the vehicle the way it is, and see what you may(or may not) need for upgrades, or is this more for show?

Lol, no definately not for show. The huge scrape I have on my front bumper from a rock I didnt clear while the odometer still reads 435 miles (3 weeks old) will attest to that. I bought it to rock crawl and off road locally, and take it to Utah, where we often go on vacation. Its a Rubicon and will be treated as such !!!!! lol

(The scratch also attests to my poor driving and over inflated confidence when behind the wheel. "Yea we will make that" has already been told to my wife several times in the last three weeks resultng in my skid plates begging for mercy, and my wife demanding we lift it)

All this info has been great and I appreciate everyones response. I see alot of people are in the same boat as I. I am going to begin reading all the threads that have been attached. Thanks for focusing me on the right paths of information.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:27 PM   #23
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When I decide to lift mine, I'm going to go with the Mopar kit. From what I understand, no second guessing anything and the warranty stays.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:07 PM   #24
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When I decide to lift mine, I'm going to go with the Mopar kit. From what I understand, no second guessing anything and the warranty stays.
I purchased the lifetime warranty and the dealer said I could purchase any lift I wanted. They just had to install it to keep the warranty in tact.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:21 PM   #25
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OP, I had much the same thoughts when I sold the TJ and bought a JK. A whole new beast, new problems, new issues and so on. I spent months researching, reading, putting together a plan and the scrapping it for another. Just part of the "fun" of modding your Jeep. Wait to till you install the damn thing. You'll wish you were still too confused to pull the trigger

Another couple of methods to getting the lift you want is to see what "systems" a lot of us are running and replicate. The Teraflex 2.5 coils, Rancho 9000XL's, exhaust spacers, Northridge 4x4 bolt kit and Rancho control arm brackets are one example. I run that and so do probably a few dozen others on here. There are other favored "systems" too.

Or call up your lift company of choice and tell them your plans and budget then have them recommend a set up. Any reputable lift company, TF, AEV, RK, MC or Rancho to name most of them can get you set up.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #26
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Socaljk,

What is your intention with the vehicle, and what is your budget?

Is it a daily driver?
How many miles are you putting on the jeep..on road off road per annum?
Do you want to rock crawl?
Where will you drive it off road? mud, trails, fields camping?
Do you plan on towing anything?
What size tires will you ultimately want to drive with your lift?
Are you able to do any maintenance yourself?
Do you like a stiffer or softer suspension?

By answering these questions people can direct you better. Nevertheless, I found it is better to read, read and read all lift kit threads and come to your own conclusion.

I recently purchased the RK 2.5" Max Travel Kit with Fox Shocks, and a whole bunch of additional parts to ensure that it is installed correctly, and will reduce future hiccups etc.

I can further explain my decision if you would like. However, I use my jeep as a DD / weekend warrior on trials in Ontario, Canada.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:29 PM   #27
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Socaljk,

What is your intention with the vehicle, and what is your budget?

Is it a daily driver?
How many miles are you putting on the jeep..on road off road per annum?
Do you want to rock crawl?
Where will you drive it off road? mud, trails, fields camping?
Do you plan on towing anything?
What size tires will you ultimately want to drive with your lift?
Are you able to do any maintenance yourself?
Do you like a stiffer or softer suspension?

By answering these questions people can direct you better. Nevertheless, I found it is better to read, read and read all lift kit threads and come to your own conclusion.

I recently purchased the RK 2.5" Max Travel Kit with Fox Shocks, and a whole bunch of additional parts to ensure that it is installed correctly, and will reduce future hiccups etc.

I can further explain my decision if you would like. However, I use my jeep as a DD / weekend warrior on trials in Ontario, Canada.
Not a daily drive. I live near and often visit Big Bear, Anza Borrego, Utah, Death Valley...So rock crawling in definately something I want to be set up for. No towing, 35' wheels. I can do maintenance.

You said you purchase the 2.5 max travel kit and then purchased additional items to prevent future problems. What were those additional items?
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:31 PM   #28
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OP, I had much the same thoughts when I sold the TJ and bought a JK. A whole new beast, new problems, new issues and so on. I spent months researching, reading, putting together a plan and the scrapping it for another. Just part of the "fun" of modding your Jeep. Wait to till you install the damn thing. You'll wish you were still too confused to pull the trigger

Another couple of methods to getting the lift you want is to see what "systems" a lot of us are running and replicate. The Teraflex 2.5 coils, Rancho 9000XL's, exhaust spacers, Northridge 4x4 bolt kit and Rancho control arm brackets are one example. I run that and so do probably a few dozen others on here. There are other favored "systems" too.

Or call up your lift company of choice and tell them your plans and budget then have them recommend a set up. Any reputable lift company, TF, AEV, RK, MC or Rancho to name most of them can get you set up.
I seem to see that Teraflex combination mentioned often. Hows the road ride quality?
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:38 PM   #29
MallCrawler

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Here's a post I just made for another member

Shared post from 'Wrangler Forum' by kjeeper10 from thread 'Newby's guide to lifting your JK':

I'm not too sure many know this. TF is/will be offering a 3" HD Coil if you're going to Load up the jeep with weight. The 2.5 coils are nice/ride nice but once loaded up ... Can settle.

Good luck w/ your build
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:41 PM   #30
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Well that did not work ugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
The performance leveling kit is a 1.5 coil lift (2" front, 1" rear)
Then....there's the budget boost leveling kit. Spacers (pucks) provide height, but keep the soft rated stock coils in place.

Budget boost/leveling kit, If you're just after a little tire clearance and not adding bumpers/winch/tire carrier etc,

A coil lift will handle weight better and provide a firmer ride.

__________________________________________

Can't go wrong with the 9000's. Great shock
Choose a lift height and I can get you part numbers.

___________________________________________

Correction brackets are great. I run the Rancho's and the ride is greatly improved.
BUT... Minimum 2.5". You won't need them running a leveling kit.

__________________________________________

I don't expect anybody to read though this entire thread lol.
One of the most popular setups here
- Teraflex 2.5" coil lift (without Shocks or extensions)
- Rancho 9000 shocks 29xl front 30xl rear
- front adjustable track bar for axle center (TF, Synergy, RK, ETC)
- northridge 9/16 bolt kit ($40)
- Rancho or AEV CA drop brackets
Or ... Adjustable front lower control arms (caster correction)
(Note) the kit without shock extensions comes with a rear raised track bar bracket (roll center, axle center)
(Note) you can hold off on the front track bar if you choose. I like the idea of a rigid track bar up front.

Good luck

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