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Old 03-23-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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To lift, or not to lift...

This question really should be included in a FAQ for newbies thread!
I recently bought a 2012 Sahara and thought I would never alter it or even consider it...
And now, here I am, confused out of my mind as to whether I should, or not.

I know I want to! I've seen and assessed several jeeps in the area (it seems to me that Jeep owners are the most social/nice people around, considering as soon as I took my soft top off, followed by my doors, nods and waving gestures seemed to wait at every light)
back to the point, I really want to get a lift, but I've heard it alters your driving quite a bit, and with it comes a burden of extras including suspensions, alignments, etc...
I was looking into getting 1.75-2" lifts.
Basically, I've done lots of research, and still haven't begun scratching the surface on the possibilities and options I have regarding my wrangler.
HELP!!

I feel like I should also let you know, cars and I get along perfectly, but I make the worst mechanic...

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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I feel like I should also let you know, cars and I get along perfectly, but I make the worst mechanic...
Good thing you bought a Jeep, and not a car.

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Originally Posted by Marce1 View Post
This question really should be included in a FAQ for newbies thread!
The bigger lift you want, the more expensive and complex they get. A 2.5" lift is about as high as you can go without getting into the realm of incurring much greater costs.

If you want something really simple, to give you just a small lift without vastly altering your Jeep's factory ride, I'd recommend the TeraFlex leveling kit. See this thread:

2.5 in or leveling kit?

After you've read that, look through this thread. It'll give you some ideas of what others have done w/their rigs (most recent are at the end).

JK Lift Reviews


When you're all done with that, look through this thread on wheels/tires. Kinda goes with the whole lift thing. You'll be able to clear 33" tires w/ the TF leveling kit.

Largest tire on stock JK? Here's your answer!

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Old 03-23-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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If you want to add a lift but not get into to many other issues then do not go over 2.5". I just did a Terflex 2.5 coil lift on my 07 and so far I am very happy. Not much change to the rid. A bit stiffer and she no longer leans in turns. On the 2012 you should get the exhaust extensions but I hear they are as easy as changing a tire to instal. This si to keep the drive shaft from hitting the exhaust crossover.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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the question should not be "to lift or not to lift....?" it should be "lift now and lift later?" after you decide which tires you're getting and what fenders you'll be buying etc...
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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First of all, I'd like to say yours (wolf) was the first jeep I looked at (a few days ago) before I even considered altering my jeep... That was the one that drove me over the edge towards mods

Anyhow, I had already checked out the reviews, and I just checked out the 2.5" vs leveling kit.
Also researched a bit on leveling kits, all they do is raise the front of the jeep to the same level as the rear; how useful would that be while off-roading?

I used to go off roading with some friends about once a month, riding shotgun... now that I have my own ride, I also want to make sure it's viable!


Edit: lift/leveling first, gadgets later ... and don't forget the tires... oh god
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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Forgot to add. Welcome to the family . The MOD addiction group meets on Wednesdays.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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Forgot to add. Welcome to the family . The MOD addiction group meets on Wednesdays.
yes, how rude of me as well...welcome to wf and congrats on the jeep!
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:17 PM   #8
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First of all, I'd like to say yours (wolf) was the first jeep I looked at (a few days ago) before I even considered altering my jeep... That was the one that drove me over the edge towards mods
Lol...Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Marce1 View Post
Anyhow, I had already checked out the reviews, and I just checked out the 2.5" vs leveling kit.
Also researched a bit on leveling kits, all they do is raise the front of the jeep to the same level as the rear; how useful would that be while off-roading?
I used to go off roading with some friends about once a month, riding shotgun... now that I have my own ride, I also want to make sure it's viable!
Edit: lift/leveling first, gadgets later ... and don't forget the tires... oh god
Your Jeep, absolutely bone stock, is more capable off-road than most vehicles you'll find. The leveling kit will allow you more clearance, so that 33" tires won't rub your fenders when you're off road, or if you disco your sway bars.

The lift itself doesn't give you clearance over ground obstacles; bigger tires do that.

That said, if you're planning on doing a good bit of wheeling, it couldn't hurt to skip the leveling kit and go straight to a 2.5" lift with springs and shocks. Or higher, if you want. Just be aware that for every 1/2" or so you go over 2.5", it gets more expensive. Once you get to about the 3" range and up, you're looking at a new driveshaft, adjustable track bars and control arms, etc.

IMO, 33" tires and a 2.5" lift are pretty much a perfect match, though the 2.5" lift will allow you to run 35" tires if you want. But tires that large bring another round of expensive extras with them, including (possibly) the need to regear, a new bumper/tire carrier for your spare, a sleeve and gusset job on your front axle, vastly reduced mpg...

You get the picture.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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But tires that large bring another round of expensive extras with them, including (possibly) the need to regear, a new bumper/tire carrier for your spare, a sleeve and gusset job on your front axle, vastly reduced mpg...

You get the picture.
that used to scare me until I got into a jeep and see all the other forum members with 35's haha...now I'm willing to re gear and get a lift just go run 35's...ahhh the addiction.

good luck OP with the MANY decisions you have ahead. it is fun. let us know what you end up getting and of course post pictures up!
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #10
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that used to scare me until I got into a jeep and see all the other forum members with 35's haha
Yup, that's normal. But my intent isn't to scare anyone. It's simply to make people aware of the costs and potential pitfalls associated with that kind of build.

Too many people see a Jeep with 35's and go, "That's what I want, right there." And have absolutely no clue about what it takes in the way of research, $$, time and long-term maintenance.

As you know, it ain't as easy as buying new springs and some big tires.

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now I'm willing to re gear and get a lift just go run 35's...ahhh the addiction.
And that's cool. But how would you have felt if you'd bought 35" tires right outta the gate, got a nice big lift, and 2 months later were sitting on the side of the road waiting for AAA to come haul your Jeep to the shop cuz your front driveshaft puked up its grease and seized?

That's all I'm sayin. As long as peeps know what it takes to do what they wanna do to their Jeeps, I'm happy.

See? Smiling.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #11
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Alright, so new goal... until I change my mind...

33" tires, 2" lift, springs and shocks. Is TeraFlex still a viable option for these mods? or is it just for the leveling kit? I guess this is where that reviews post comes in handy!
(I feel like 2.5" is too high for the moment, but apparently I might change my mind soon lol)

Oh and thanks for the congrats!

err, one more thing, how big a hole will this new plan put in my wallet?
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:58 PM   #12
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Yup, that's normal. But my intent isn't to scare anyone. It's simply to make people aware of the costs and potential pitfalls associated with that kind of build.

Too many people see a Jeep with 35's and go, "That's what I want, right there." And have absolutely no clue about what it takes in the way of research, $$, time and long-term maintenance.

As you know, it ain't as easy as buying new springs and some big tires.



And that's cool. But how would you have felt if you'd bought 35" tires right outta the gate, got a nice big lift, and 2 months later were sitting on the side of the road waiting for AAA to come haul your Jeep to the shop cuz your front driveshaft puked up its grease and seized?

That's all I'm sayin. As long as peeps know what it takes to do what they wanna do to their Jeeps, I'm happy.

See? Smiling.
definitely. and thankfully the members here on WF are knowledgeable enough to supply enough information to make 35" tires a safe reality!

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Originally Posted by Marce1 View Post
Alright, so new goal... until I change my mind...

33" tires, 2" lift, springs and shocks. Is TeraFlex still a viable option for these mods? or is it just for the leveling kit? I guess this is where that reviews post comes in handy!
(I feel like 2.5" is too high for the moment, but apparently I might change my mind soon lol)

Oh and thanks for the congrats!

err, one more thing, how big a hole will this new plan put in my wallet?
I have 33" tires without a lift...but I have flat fender flares which won't help a lot for off road rubbing, but definitely for everyday use. if I were you I'd just go with the 2.5 and call it a day. like most others said, you're at the max lift with a 2.5 before having to do a lot of other changes and you can fit 35's later if you want and it is a perfect stance if you ask me.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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Alright, so new goal... until I change my mind...

33" tires, 2" lift, springs and shocks. Is TeraFlex still a viable option for these mods? or is it just for the leveling kit? I guess this is where that reviews post comes in handy!
(I feel like 2.5" is too high for the moment, but apparently I might change my mind soon lol)

Oh and thanks for the congrats!
TeraFlex makes the leveling kit, which is 2" in front, 1" in rear, plus a new pair of sway bar links. A company called Full Traction (which is where I bought my lift) also makes a 2" leveling kit that's very good.

Here's a link to the FT site: Full-Traction Suspension - Jeep Suspension Lift Kits and Systems

After the leveling kits, it's pretty much on to the 2.5" lifts. However, you could also buy one of the leveling kits and at the same time replace your stock springs with Mopar's stiffest springs (19 front / 60 rear). Depending on what your current springs are (there's a tag on the top of each w/a series of #'s and letters...the last 2 #'s are your springs' stiffness) you could see an inch or more of lift just from that.

So many iterations of lift, so little time.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #14
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One thing ya might want to ask your self is, "will this be it?" If the answer is no, then I would suggest continuing your research, get the lift you want to do the things you want. In other words, do it ONCE. Ask fellow jeepers this question, "If you had it to do over again, what would you change?" You might be surprised at the answers you get.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #15
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Terrific point DaK! What did you do to your jeep that you regret? Or that you would've done differently?

Anyone else's input is also always appreciated!
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:26 PM   #16
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To a noob who doesnt even have a Jeep yet (currently looking for my soulmate) this thread has been very helpful. Keep up the good advice guys! Thanks
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #17
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Some good info in here.

I personally run the leveling kit because it meets my needs right now. Would I like to have a 2.5" coil kit? Certainly. Will I eventually have one? Certainly. Do I regret going with the leveling kit for now? Not one bit. It allows me a bit more flex room for 33s offroad, drives just like stock, was cheap ($115 shipped), simple to install (1.5 hrs), and can be sold for a good portion of the original purchase price.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:47 PM   #18
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I have the Teraflex 2.5" coil lift. Ride is a little stiffer. Corners better than stock. Offroad is much improved. Got the Bilstein shocks. Very impressed so far, I would recommend this to anyone. Why spend the money on a leveling kit when you know you are going to a coil lift sooner or later.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:05 AM   #19
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I have the Teraflex 2.5" coil lift. Ride is a little stiffer. Corners better than stock. Offroad is much improved. Got the Bilstein shocks. Very impressed so far, I would recommend this to anyone. Why spend the money on a leveling kit when you know you are going to a coil lift sooner or later.
Is that.the same kit as TeraFlex JK 2-DR 2.5" Lift Kit, W/ Shock Adapters (1352002) except yours came with shocks?

Will I be OK running the stock Rubicon shocks (red) until they wear out and then upgrade the shocks?
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:51 AM   #20
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I was in the same boat as you just two weeks ago.

I decided to just go ahead and skip ass the candy a$$ playing around and I got the TF 2.5 coil lift.

Looking at your posts, you will not be happy with just the level kit, so why bother...Just get the 2.5, its not that high, still drives good/better than stock, and be done with it.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:18 AM   #21
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Is that.the same kit as TeraFlex JK 2-DR 2.5" Lift Kit, W/ Shock Adapters (1352002) except yours came with shocks?

Will I be OK running the stock Rubicon shocks (red) until they wear out and then upgrade the shocks?
The shock adapters are a PITA. PM member jkeeper10 on a recent experience he had with them.

Better to just get the TF 2.5" kit with shocks, either the TF shocks that come with the kit, or the Bilstein 5100's that Northridge 4x4 sells with it (for that kit you need to call Northridge to order; Dave doesn't have it listed on his website).

If you have a '12, whether you go the lift w/shocks route or decide on the lift w/extensions, you'll need to buy a TF exhaust spacer, as well, so your stock front driveshaft and exhaust crossover don't hit when you go wheeling. ~ $50, and a talented chimp could install it.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #22
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I've been thinking about this also. My JKU is my DD, I plan to take it offroad once in awhile (don't plan on any heavy duty offroading), trips on the beach and some trails. Nothing major where I would need 3"+ lift with 35's. I was thinking 2" lift with 33's. But if I'm going 2", should I just jump to 2.5"? Or would a leveling kit be fine?
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #23
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I've been thinking about this also. My JKU is my DD, I plan to take it offroad once in awhile (don't plan on any heavy duty offroading), trips on the beach and some trails. Nothing major where I would need 3"+ lift with 35's. I was thinking 2" lift with 33's. But if I'm going 2", should I just jump to 2.5"? Or would a leveling kit be fine?
A leveling kit would be fine. No lift would be fine.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't NEED a lift to go off road, especially for trips on the beach. The lift only provides room for larger tires, which themselves give you the actual ground clearance to get over logs, rocks, high points, etc.

A TF leveling kit will give you 2" up front and 1" in rear, plenty to clear 33" tires. It will maintain your factory ride, fix your Jeep's rake, allow you to run 33" tires, can be resold for about 75% of the cost if you decide to go with a different setup later, will have less of an impact on your gas mileage than a full lift, and doesn't require any sort of further costs or mods (other than the tires/wheels you mentioned) to install...all for $130.

If you start getting more into off-roading later, you can always spend the $700 or so for a 2.5" lift.

Lots of people scoff at the leveling kit, and will urge you to go straight to the 2.5" kit. I've got no problem with that. But if you're gonna wheel your Jeep occasionally, on beaches and fire roads, it's not necessary. You wanna spend the $$ just for looks, go for it...
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:44 AM   #24
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Will the AEV 2in, level out the Jeep too????
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:45 AM   #25
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Like Wolf said, If money isnt an issue, get the 2.5" coil lift w/ shocks. You wont regret it. Your Jeep will look awesome! But in the end its up to you! Just a recomendation!
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:49 AM   #26
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Will the AEV 2in, level out the Jeep too????
I just looked at it on their site, and it doesn't seem so. It would have to raise the front higher than the rear to do so.

The TF will, and the Full Traction 2" leveling kit will...not sure about the AEV.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #27
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Thanks. ^^^^
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:58 AM   #28
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A leveling kit would be fine. No lift would be fine.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't NEED a lift to go off road, especially for trips on the beach. The lift only provides room for larger tires, which themselves give you the actual ground clearance to get over logs, rocks, high points, etc.

A TF leveling kit will give you 2" up front and 1" in rear, plenty to clear 33" tires. It will maintain your factory ride, fix your Jeep's rake, allow you to run 33" tires, can be resold for about 75% of the cost if you decide to go with a different setup later, will have less of an impact on your gas mileage than a full lift, and doesn't require any sort of further costs or mods (other than the tires/wheels you mentioned) to install...all for $130.

If you start getting more into off-roading later, you can always spend the $700 or so for a 2.5" lift.

Lots of people scoff at the leveling kit, and will urge you to go straight to the 2.5" kit. I've got no problem with that. But if you're gonna wheel your Jeep occasionally, on beaches and fire roads, it's not necessary. You wanna spend the $$ just for looks, go for it...
Thank you for the info I have no plans for serious off-roading, just what I mentioned. The leveling kit seems to be in my ballpark and what I want out of it. This seems like the path I may just go down. I appreciate the help
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:02 AM   #29
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Like Wolf said, If money isnt an issue, get the 2.5" coil lift w/ shocks. You wont regret it. Your Jeep will look awesome! But in the end its up to you! Just a recomendation!
True, but for my situation, do I really need a lift? The leveling kit seems like it'll work just fine. I hear where you are coming from
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #30
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True, but for my situation, do I really need a lift? The leveling kit seems like it'll work just fine. I hear where you are coming from
Like I said, you can always remove the leveling kit later, sell it, and be out about $30 and a little sweat (which is free). Then you can buy a larger, more comprehensive lift, if that's what you wanna do.

If you find that the leveling kit serves your needs, then you can use the $600 savings (btw leveling kit and 2.5" lift) on other mods.

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