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Old 04-11-2010, 01:50 AM   #1
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simple suspension lift

Ok...I know this has probably already been posted but I didn't see the answer when doing a quick search through the forum. Anyway, here's my dilemma:

I want to get a simple suspension lift on my JK. I want the jeep to be capable enough to do some off-road trails and other light off-roading but I don't want to go through the hassle of having to re-gear and getting new brake lines, etc. So...my question is, what type of suspension lift would I need to get? I was thinking 2.5 in would suffice but please let me know your opinions. I currently have the 32" BF Goodrich Mud Terrains on the jeep and I'll be keeping those till the tread wears down. Any suggestions are welcome.

If you have any recommendations on which lifts are the best out there and not too complicated for a DIY installation please let me know, thanks!!

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Old 04-11-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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After looking at some of the forum pics, do you think it would be possible to go with a 4" lift without having to compromise the gears and brake lines? Like I said, I'm not planning on upgrading the tires anytime soon...just want something to get me through some rocky trails.

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Old 04-11-2010, 02:05 AM   #3
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Simplest would be a budget boost or spacer lift. It's just a large spacer that sits above the springs. These can usually be had anywhere between 1" to 2.5" and don't require a whole lot of extra parts. You can keep the tires you have now, and later upgrade a size or two if you wish.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:24 AM   #4
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Lift

I purchased a Rusty's Offroad 3.25 suspension lift and have been very pleased with it. Had to buy bigger tires to make it look right, but very happy with it. I left the drive train as it came and no problems so far.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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What size tires are you running with your Rusty's kit? I'm wondering if my 32" would look out of place with it. That seems like exactly what I'm looking for and doesn't seem too expensive either. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:22 PM   #6
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You don't need a lift to get you "through some rocky trails." If you go with a 3.25" lift with stock 32's, your Jeep is going to look extremely odd.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:05 PM   #7
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You don't need to re-gear based on lift. Gearing is affected (*)MOSTLY(*) by tire size changes. Yes, being up higher, or adding a lot of weight, DO have an effect, but it's not nearly as large.

As for getting through rocky trails, tire size is where you gain ground clearance for the lowest points- the diff covers. If you want to avoid smacking them, a good set of aftermarket diff covers (River Raider gets the nod from me), and a set of taller tires are in order. To fit larger tires, you'll need a suspension lift- not a lift to clear rocks- to fit tires!

As far as all that goes, do some reading- figure out what others are running to clear a certain size tire- a general rule is ~1" of lift to clear a 33" tire, 2.5-3.5" of lift for 35's, and 4-6" of lift to clear 37" tires. Having a lot of lift over not a lot of tire (ex. 2.5" of lift over your 32" tires) will look doofy, especially on a DD. It will also likely reduce fuel economy. It will, however, allow more ultimate flex in big rocks if you disconnect your sway bars. But, again, not going to reduce rock hits on your diff one little bit.

Not sure what gears you have, but the OEM 3.21 gears (standard with the 6-speed) are SHITE. They're not even good enough for the OEM 29's on the base model, let alone 32's. If you have the optional 3.73's (with 6-speed, standard on auto), those will be OK for up to 33's, but not optimal. Rubicon 4.10's are decent for 33's, and shite for 35's. Yes, I know people will tell you they run 37's on the 3.21's or some other crap, but I garuantee their rig is shiny underneath, and can't crawl over a pebble. Gearing is what makes a 4-wheeler. And tires, of course.

Don't be afraid of re-gearing. It's relatively painless, if expensive. And I'm not sure why you're anxious about extended brake lines. They're necessary past 3-3.5" lifts, not too spendy (maybe $100 per axle), and EASY to install (give or take 1/2 hour of bleeding the system).

As I said, though- do a bit of reading, figure out what you need. In the meantime, wheel it stock, go SLOW, and enjoy! Upgrades by attrition and need Mark W.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. It's not that I'm afraid of regearing, I just didnt' want to get a ton of money tied into this. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of 6" lifts and 35-37" tires, but it's just not feasible for me. This is my dd and didn't want to compromise too much gas mileage and didn't want too stiff of a suspension either. I have been on numerous trails already on the 32" mud terrains and it has done fine, but there were parts of the trail that I couldn't/wouldn't go over b/c I was afraid of doing damage. Eventually I will invest in a bigger size tire but it seems redundant to do that with only 6,000 miles on the tires right now. Maybe my better option until then is to buy the protective diff. covers just in case. Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #9
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No problem, amigo- enjoy! Mark W.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gukicker10 View Post
I have been on numerous trails already on the 32" mud terrains and it has done fine, but there were parts of the trail that I couldn't/wouldn't go over b/c I was afraid of doing damage. Eventually I will invest in a bigger size tire but it seems redundant to do that with only 6,000 miles on the tires right now. Maybe my better option until then is to buy the protective diff. covers just in case. Thanks again for all the input!
Maybe you should think of getting armor. A nice tummy tuck will give you inches of clearance and would be much stronger than stock. Also think about an evap canister skid as well.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:34 AM   #11
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^ They don't (yet) make a belly-up pan for the JK. But I agree- an engine/trans skid and diff covers are a good decision! Mark W.

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