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Old 09-04-2014, 12:53 AM   #1
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Teraflex 2.5" lift kit and...what else?

So, I'm thinking about going the economical route to running 35s. I want this to be off-road worthy, but I can't break the bank.

Teraflex 2.5" lift kit
Rancho shocks
Teraflex front and rear adjustable track bars

From what I read, 35s with a 2.5" lift will make contact with some part of the body at full flex. So, I'm going to go with Bushwacker fender flares.

I've also read that people with this configuration have driveshaft issues. Is this true? Has anyone experienced driveshaft failures after long term off-roading with Teraflex 2.5" lift?

Thanks!

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Old 09-04-2014, 01:07 AM   #2
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I would like to know the exact same thing! I also will be going with Teraflex 2.5" with Rancho RS9000s and Bushwackers. I'm probably going to add the flex arms too though. Excellent choices my friend

...From what I've been reading, the lift varies based on whether or not you have and aftermarket bumper/winch on there -as those add weight. That can change your actual lift height. If you are running stock bumpers, the lift can be over 3" and out of the "safe zone" for your driveshaft... Lets see what the experts have to say about this...

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Old 09-04-2014, 02:04 AM   #3
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Good points indeed.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:23 AM   #4
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Mike and I both installed the exhaust spacers when we installed the lifts, just to be safe. In 2012, TF said it was required. In 2013, they said it was optional. For about $40, it was cheap peace of mind.

Mike has had his TF 2.5" lift with Rancho 9000xl shocks installed since November of 2012. We've taken it offroad a fair bit, including our trip this summer to Ouray, Colorado. I can't remember how much lift he got when he first installed. He's added:

Rampage full width recovery bumper
Superwinch 10,000 winch
ACE rails, pro rear bumper/tire carrier and cargo rack

Never added it all up, but it's a fair bit of weight.

To this day we've not had any driveshaft issues.

He ran with 33" DuraTracs for the first year. Last November he got 35s. If there are rubbing issues, it must be at full flex only. We haven't experienced any feeling of rub, but we aren't hard core crawlers, either.

He did feel like the steering was a little flighty, so before we went to Ouray he added a TeraFlex monster Trackbar and LCAs. He loves the way it drives now. Before the Trackbar and LCAs, he was concerned about the ~1,000 mile drive. After, it drove like a champ! No wandering or flightiness on the entire trip, and we did drive through windy west Texas.

He has noticed recently (since we both started parking side by side in the garage) that his springs may have sagged a little bit from all the weight he's added. My jeep looks like it sits a little taller (same lift/shocks/front bumper/rails/basket/no rear bumper/on 33s), but I think part of that is just because of the soft top bows (he's also running a hard top).

Does this answer what you were looking for?

(For what it's worth, his jeep will be two on November 6 and he's got 35,5xx miles.)
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:40 AM   #5
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Yes, excellent! Thank you. Regarding the spacer, I know it prevents contact between the driveshaft and exhaust, but it doesn't mitigate the operating angle of the driveshaft itself. But, you say you've not experienced any driveshaft failure, so that makes me optimistic. I guess I could always go with the spacer, run that set up, and just replace the driveshaft if it fails later. I mean, I would be replacing it either way. At least if I run it and fails, I'd know I didn't replace it for nothing.

I'm going to evaluate what other members contribute about their set ups as well. If the majority of those running with TF+Rancho have no problem, then I'm going to go that route.

You did give me an idea for the control arms. I kinda' just left that out. They can be pricey, but they would be able to bring the caster back to within spec and decrease the pinion angle of the driveshaft, right?
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:48 AM   #6
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Jeepers29 is one of our friends. We helped him install his TF 2.5" lift/Rancho 9000xl combo and he went to Ouray with us. He did wind up tearing his driveshaft boot (I think it rubbed on his skid plate that he installed), but the driveshaft itself is still fine.

In the build forum, look for MnJK's thread. I'm pretty sure he's running the same combo. I'm trying to think of who else I know that is also running it... If I can remember anyone else, I'll let you know.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:14 AM   #7
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Can't thank you enough for all the feedback you give here.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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The kit should come with a rear track bar bracket. Not really a need for a rear track bar..

Add some control arm drop brackets (aev, rancho, re, or rc), exhaust spacer and bolt kit and you should be good.

I wouldn't worry about the flats until after the lift and tires are installed and you find out for sure if you rub.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:28 AM   #10
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I ended up tearing the rear driveshaft boot on the EVAP skid when I was at full flex. Shaft is still fine but will need to be replaced at some point.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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I knew you'd chime in. I was just helping you out!
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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I'm running teraflex with fox shocks (same height tho. No issues so far, I to am running the exhaust spacer and you are correct in saying that it doesn't affect the angle of the drive shaft but what it does do is makes sure your rubber boot doesn't contact the exhaust pipe. I'm not sure if this is still true but when I bought my kit teraflex suggested the spacer if you were running other shocks than theirs. (I believe they limit the shock length just a little to avoid the axle drooping too far and hitting the exhaust...I could be wrong tho). So with the rancho shocks its a cheap piece of mind as star said.

I have the monster track bar up front (and back for that matter). And haven't felt
compelled to add arms or drop brackets yet she still feels tight with my current setup. No drive shaft issues yet and I plan on running my stocks until they go I really feel its the best option. Also I'm running 35s (but their small 35s) and have never noticed any rubbing but I play on trails and not too many rocks. If your properly bump stopped then rubbing shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The only thing I would add to your list is exhaust spacer and bolt kit. Then I would say run it and see what u need and add as you go forward.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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I ended up tearing the rear driveshaft boot on the EVAP skid when I was at full flex. Shaft is still fine but will need to be replaced at some point.

This too is easy to avoid. I followed a write-up about moving the skid over just an inch or so and has prevented the shaft from contacting it.

I have the TF 2.5 BB with exhaust adapter and it has worked great for me.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #14
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Just for my 2 cents worth, We have about 23k miles on our JKU and about 17.5 of that is with that same lift setup. No winch and our PS bumpers are of the mid width type that are not all that heavy, so we are at a fairly high lift with the TF 2.5 springs. We are running 33s. Have had no evidence of drive shaft issues at all and we did not install the exhaust spacer. Its been great for us so far.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:13 AM   #15
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Oh! I forgot to mention, we both have the Northridge bolt replacement kits installed as well.

Thanks, Hunter!
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #16
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My 2.5 TF flexing with flat fenders.



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Old 09-04-2014, 11:13 AM   #17
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This too is easy to avoid. I followed a write-up about moving the skid over just an inch or so and has prevented the shaft from contacting it.

I have the TF 2.5 BB with exhaust adapter and it has worked great for me.
Wish I had seen this a bit sooner. LOL Oh well, I will get a cool sticker with the new shaft.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:35 AM   #18
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Wish I had seen this a bit sooner. LOL Oh well, I will get a cool sticker with the new shaft.
And a good excuse for a WRENCHING PARTY!!!
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #19
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I run the Teraflex Coil lift. At a minimum, you'll want:

  • TF lift kit, no shocks
  • Rancho 9000's (part numbers ending in 29 for the front/30 in the rear)
  • Northridge Bolt kit
  • Exhaust spacers
  • Drop brackets (I have the Rancho brackets)

Track bars are optional. My axles are offset a bit but you can't tell without measuring. 35's might rub at full flex but to me it's not worth the $6-700 for flat flares right now. I mean, how often do you flex fully? If your off road habits are that extreme, you don't want the drop brackets and you'll need to spend a few hundred on LCA's to maintain ground clearance (not to mention skids, C-gussets, axle sleeves, etc.). Not saying don't get the fenders, just that you don't have too.

The exhuast spacers should take care of your drive shaft. It's the boot making contact with the exhuast, melting and letting dirt, mud, water, salt in there that is the issue. You might exceed operating angle of the DS at full droop, every Jeep is a bit different, but 2.5 is generally safe. Again, how often, if at all, do you droop fully? Even if the DS begins to go, you can replace it at that time for a few hundred bucks.

With the list above, you should be able to run 35's in about 95-100% of the situations you will find yourself in with no rubbing. It will cost about $1000 all together if you shop around. It's completely off-road worthy.

I'd recommend going this way and then upgrade stuff later (arms, DS, track bars, fenders, etc.)
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #20
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I too had the same question. So I emailed them. This was the response given from Mark Burrup.

The benefit of the 2.5” lift is that it is not enough height change where it necessary to make many changes to the Jeep. You Will not need a new driveshaft with the 2.5” lift if you go to 3” I would start to consider a drive shaft. The 2.5” lift does not require Geometry correction however the best way to correct geometry is to use adjustable control arms. These are never a bad idea on a lifted Jeep and will make it possible to get to stock alignment specs which can help the Jeep drive a little better. However again this is not required with the 2.5” lift it will dive just fine without adjustable control arms.
The Parts I would recommend adding that are not included in the lift is a heavy duty front track bar, it is adjustable and much strong then stock. A heavy duty Steering stabilizer is also a good idea. And if you are plan on running your stuck wheels you are going to need wheel adapters to space them out. Other than those parts everything needed is included in the lift.
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Hope that helps. It helped me.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:46 PM   #21
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Excellent, Dan. Thank you, and thanks to everyone else. That pretty much settles it for me.

I see most people mentioned the Teraflex exhaust spacer kit. Has anyone tried Rancho's?
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #22
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Excellent, Dan. Thank you, and thanks to everyone else. That pretty much settles it for me.

I see most people mentioned the Teraflex exhaust spacer kit. Has anyone tried Rancho's?
Find the best deal. They are generally all the same. I have the Rugged Ridge spacer kit. I just threw it in the cart when I ordered my lift from Extreme Terrain (forum discount, free shipping, was at my house in three days).

Mammoth is right. You don't need to correct the geometry. Some folks think it rides and drives fine without the brackets or LCA's. Mine was a bit flighty and had some break dive. The Rancho brackets are like $120 and easy to install. Now mine rides and drives like stock, no brake dive or flighty steering. You could always just install the lift without them and see what you think. If you find it not to your liking, order them and install. Took about two hours.

Don't forget, loosen all the track bar and control arm bolts, even if you aren't replacing them and then tighten and torque everything to spec while on the ground at ride height. Very important.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:16 PM   #23
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Thanks Dan. I see the Teraflex flex arm kit is about $1200. It basically includes all control arms, front and rear, upper and lower. If I were to use adjustable arms to correct geometry (if needed), what are the minimum arms I would need to do that? I don't think I would really need to replace all those arms to do that, would I? I did read your comment about correcting geometry. I'm just asking in case I do go with adjustable arms, which ones I would need.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:07 PM   #24
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A ton of good info in this thread. Subbed. This is the route I will be taking on my '14JKU as well.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:42 PM   #25
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Thanks Dan. I see the Teraflex flex arm kit is about $1200. It basically includes all control arms, front and rear, upper and lower. If I were to use adjustable arms to correct geometry (if needed), what are the minimum arms I would need to do that? I don't think I would really need to replace all those arms to do that, would I? I did read your comment about correcting geometry. I'm just asking in case I do go with adjustable arms, which ones I would need.
The brackets correct geometry and caster/pinion angles. The arms only correct caster/pinion angles (Kjeeper just mentioned this in another thread). You can go with LCA's and be fine (again, according the Kjeeper). I think the advantage of the brackets is they correct geometry. You loose a bit of ground clearance but the arms are at or near stock angles. I'm not the one to explain the specific advantages of that but flat or parallel to the ground is preferred.

Arms are great for fine tuning the suspension but expensive and not really needed on a 2.5 inch lift. They won't hurt but you've changed things so little that you don't really need the ability adjust things a lot and other things will limit articulation not allowing the arms to work as they might otherwise. The brackets are cheaper, pretty much fix all the minor changes to the geometry and angles at the cost of a bit of ground clearance.

IMHO, if you plan to stay at 2.5 inches, run the brackets. You can add arms later if you decide to go higher and need them to dial everything in. You're only out $120 bucks and you can probably resell the brackets. They are beefy SOB's.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:57 PM   #26
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Where is the best place to order all of these things? Are the Ranchos that much better than the bilsteins?
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:05 PM   #27
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For the Teraflex 2.5" lift kit, I just received a promo code on Facebook for Morris 4x4 Center (Jeep Parts, Jeep Accessories, Jeep Soft Tops at Morris 4x4 Center). The promo code is JEEPJAM14, and it gives 10% off. Price is about $456.76 shipped.

I've not bought the Rancho shocks yet. Still looking for the cheapest deal (of course, they have the Shocktoberfest promotion ongoing).
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:23 PM   #28
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Where is the best place to order all of these things? Are the Ranchos that much better than the bilsteins?
I love my Bilsteins on my JKU.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:58 PM   #29
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Bilstein 5100's are great shocks, had em on my dodge ram. But the Rancho are 9 way adjustable (1-9) Sets the stiffness of the shock..most people that have them have the fronts @4 and the rears @ 3, if my memory serves me correct. Also I am not 100% sure but if you run a 2.5" and 35s and flex a lot with disconnects you do risk your front drive shaft boot, which can leave to drive line binding and ultimately failure, tear the boot, get new shafts. Hopefully with 33s I can avoid this but we shall see. fingers crossed!
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:04 PM   #30
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I think I will run disconnects once I save money to buy JE Reel driveshafts. Until then, I'm going to play it safe.

I was browsing 4 Wheel Parts' website, and I realized they had a store like 3 blocks from where I work! haha...but when I called to see if they had the shocks in stock, they said there's none in stock in the entire state of Texas. Dope!

So, I'll just order online. No biggie.

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