I just bought a '97 Sahara Edition and it came with almost new 31x10.5-15 BFG Mud Terrain KM2s which I really like. This particular Wrangler came with the 15" Alloy wheels that have round holds in them (not sure what Jeep called them) but the clearcoat looked pretty terrible on them. Since I prefer the stock type look, I was able to snag a set of 5 nearly mint TJ Canyon wheels off Craigslist for $200. They look pretty sharp but I think that I need to increase my wheel well clearance just a bit since the 31's are larger than stock; I'm thinking that 1-2" of lift will do well for this.
I was at first thinking of getting a 1.75-2" coil spring spacer lift. My primary concerns with a suspension lift are that I won't be able to run stock sized shocks and that they have a tendency to mess up the driveline angle. I've got plenty of experience with that issue from when I put a 4" suspension lift on my K5 Blazer and it was not fun to deal with. I'm sure a 2" suspension lift may not change my driveline angle terribly, but I still read about people having to drop the T-case or raise the front engine mounts for budget boost lifts.
This brings me to the next option that I'm leaning towards: a 1" body lift. With the body lift, it's easier to install, I'll be able to run stock sized shocks, but I will have to move the fan shroud and possibly tinker with the transfer case shifter adjustment. Now, I used to frown on body lifts of any magnitude but it almost makes more sense in this case. How are body lifts construed in the Wrangler community? Are they a cheap and/or lazy attempt at lifting a Jeep or are they actually considered to be okay when done in a tasteful manner? I know there may be issues with a 3" body lift but I'm thinking a 1" won't mess with the gaps too bad and should still look relatively clean. Am I right?
What would you guys do if you were only going to have 31's and wanted to keep a relatively stock look but still have a bit of a boost?
Thanks so much,