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Old 02-05-2013, 10:20 AM   #1
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I am being "Lift kit" overloaded!! Need help.

Hey all, I am sure this is a topic that has been run into the ground by newbies like myself, but here it goes. I have read through the sticky reviews thread of different lifts, read about suspension lifts and body lifts, looked at the differnt kits offerred, and as knowledgeable about sports cars as I like to think I am, off-roading stuff is new to me, and I am claiming defeat, haha.

I have called a few local places, told them what I am looking for, and it always ends the same with, "well you need this, then this, and this and blah blah blah", and two grand later I hang up.

I have a 2005 Wrangler Unlimited LWB, and here is what I am looking for. I don't want to go so big that I have to start replacing brake lines or anything like that, and am trying to find an all-in-one kit. From what I have gathered, I am looking at about a 3" max lift. Since that is too much for just a body lift, I was thinking maybe a 2" suspension lift, and a 1" body lift. This is my daily driver, and I do NOT plan on going off-roading all the time, but want that option to clear a little bit bigger objects if I need to, or throw some 32" tires on down the road. Mainly just something I can ride around my hunting lease with, and look "cool" at the beach with a lifted Jeep . I would rather hold off and save a bit for a quality kit if needed, rather than just throwing some junk on there, but was budgeting around $500-600 for this. With that said, does it sound possible to get me an entry level kit like this? I am not opposed to buying used either.

Would this include everything I need for now: Skyjacker 2.5" System Lift Kit for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ & Unlimited - Quadratec

Or should I wait, and spend the extra on something like this with the control arms: Skyjacker 2.5" Standard Lift Kit for 04-06 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited TJ - Quadratec

Or why does this one seem so much cheaper?: http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-li...-3-25-inch.htm

I am not partial to any brand, and am open to suggestions from those of you that have experience with them. Thanks for all of your help, and if you can give me any links or articles to help me understand all of the parts and differences to suspension upgrades, I will gladly meander through it!!

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Old 02-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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It sounds to me like you're on more of a budget. As far as "budget lifts" go, Zone gets very good reviews around here. Check them out.

4 Results for: Suspension Lifts Jeep TJ Wrangler | Ruggedly engineered suspensions from Zone Offroad

The 4.25" combo lift (3" of SL and 1.25" of BL) will allow you to clear 33" tires.

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Old 02-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Check out OME, BDS, and Currie/Savvy.

You might find my build useful- Unlimited04's LJ Build - JeepForum.com
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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BigDeaner, as I mentioned I am sort of on a budget, but don't mind waiting and saving a bit longer to get a little better kit. I hate buying cheap stuff and having to replace it a year down the road, I just don't want to end up spending $2-3K on suspension as I will not put it to good use. The Skyjacker 2.5" Standard Lift Kit was one that was suggested, and it looks like I can get it shipped to my house for under $800, so not totally out of my price range, just on the higher end. With that said, any thoughts?

4.25" is more than I was thinking would be workable. Would that require changing anything else? or having to adjust the driveshaft angle? Thanks for your help!


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Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 View Post
Check out OME, BDS, and Currie/Savvy.

You might find my build useful- Unlimited04's LJ Build - JeepForum.com
Actually, yours was one that I looked at and said to myself, "Wow, that's a whole lot of different names and big words I've never seen before", hahaha!
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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From everything I've read on this forum (and take that for what it's worth), I would go with a zone combo over just about anything Skyjacker makes. Again, that is just my opinion. Ask 10 people, you'll get 10 different answers. If you're willing to go a little more expensive, I'd go with this kit.

Old Man Emu Ultimate TJ/LJ Wrangler Kit | dpgoffroad.com

Everyone raves about OME's on road handling and with that setup, you can clear 33" tires. Also, an added benefit to a 2.5" suspension lift is you probably won't need to drop the TC and you need a SYE, arms, etc. Check out the lift kit reviews section, people speak extremely highly of OME lifts.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by justin-branam View Post
I was thinking maybe a 2" suspension lift, and a 1" body lift. This is my daily driver, and I do NOT plan on going off-roading all the time, but want that option to clear a little bit bigger objects if I need to, or throw some 32" tires on down the road. Mainly just something I can ride around my hunting lease with, and look "cool" at the beach with a lifted Jeep . I would rather hold off and save a bit for a quality kit if needed, rather than just throwing some junk on there, but was budgeting around $500-600 for this.
For your "budget", are you installing?


Zone, OME, BDS, and Currie/Savvy. These vary in cost but Zone and BDS are not considered crap. Skyjacker is below all of these as far as "recommended"

The 2" w/ a 1" BL is a very smart way to go. From your discription of what you want IMHO i'd say Zone or BDS is the way to go.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
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So if you are on a budget, buy a lift that does not require aftermarket control arms. (usually a 2-3" spring lift) Stick with stock arms (until you buy really good ones that have Johnny Joints.) Then buy good shocks like Bilstein 5100's or Old Man Emu's.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Neil F. View Post
For your "budget", are you installing?


Zone, OME, BDS, and Currie/Savvy. These vary in cost but Zone and BDS are not considered crap. Skyjacker is below all of these as far as "recommended"

The 2" w/ a 1" BL is a very smart way to go. From your discription of what you want IMHO i'd say Zone or BDS is the way to go.

I will be installing myself (well, with the help of one of my buddies). This is why I love forums, you get real honest answers about stuff! The zone kit does look pretty good to me with all it includes. I guess I wouldn't mind the larger 4.5" lift, but I just want to get a complete kit that won't require me changing anything else out, like brake lines, which I keep referring back to (skyjacker person said anything more than 3" would require changing those, so I'm losing faith in that person).

Also, what would be the recommendation on upgrading to the nitro shocks and disconnect links? Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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Also, what would be the recommendation on upgrading to the nitro shocks and disconnect links? Thanks!
For the Zone shocks, people claim the Zone Nitro's are too stiff and the Standards ride better. The link disconnects are your choice if you like its disconnecting design.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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For the Zone shocks, people claim the Zone Nitro's are too stiff and the Standards ride better. The link disconnects are your choice if you like its disconnecting design.

Forgive my ignorance, but I assume the disconnects are strictly for off-roading to allow more "flex" in the axle away from the body? Thanks again!
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:00 PM   #11
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Forgive my ignorance, but I assume the disconnects are strictly for off-roading to allow more "flex" in the axle away from the body? Thanks again!
Yes, you disconnect the front swaybar links get the most articulation the TJ is capable of. But it will feel like a slinky if you don't reconnect them for on-road,
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:53 PM   #12
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I'm in the same spot - not looking to do any major rock krawlin' but don't want to get stuck in the mud hole (again)... and it's my daily driver.

So nobody has mentioned the Rough Country 3.25" kit ... that's listed @ $370 and includes 2.5" coils, .75" coil spacers, extended sway bar links, track bar drop bracket and transfer case drop along with new shocks. What are people saying about this kit? It seems pretty complete.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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I'm in the same spot - not looking to do any major rock krawlin' but don't want to get stuck in the mud hole (again)... and it's my daily driver.

So nobody has mentioned the Rough Country 3.25" kit ... that's listed @ $370 and includes 2.5" coils, .75" coil spacers, extended sway bar links, track bar drop bracket and transfer case drop along with new shocks. What are people saying about this kit? It seems pretty complete.

Thoughts?
You get what you pay for. There are many people on here who didn't do their research, bought a kit such as that and regretted having to pay to do something twice. Do it once, do it right. Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you can't do it right, just means you have to know what you're willing to sacrifice to do it cheaper.

I myself am in the process of deciding what I want to do. These forums have been an incredible resource for me and steered me away from doing something like the kit you just asked about. Save up some more money, check out the Zone, OME and BDS kits and go from there. Read reviews, look at people's installs. In the end, there is no "complete" budget kit, but some are going to be far superior than others.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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I'm in the same spot - not looking to do any major rock krawlin' but don't want to get stuck in the mud hole (again)... and it's my daily driver.

So nobody has mentioned the Rough Country 3.25" kit ... that's listed @ $370 and includes 2.5" coils, .75" coil spacers, extended sway bar links, track bar drop bracket and transfer case drop along with new shocks. What are people saying about this kit? It seems pretty complete.

Thoughts?
$370 to turn your TJ into a Rough ride. Ya see lots of used TJ's for-sale with that lift...because the owner got sick of the ride.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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The ZONE 3" ( 3" TJ Suspension System J2/J3 ) is only about $100 more ... see, this is exactly what I needed! Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #16
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is the 4" skyjacker worth it at $496.20? I have a 98' Jeep tj.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #17
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is the 4" skyjacker worth it at $496.20? I have a 98' Jeep tj.
My opinion is that if you have to drop the Transfercase 1" to run a lift, then its not worth it. I think the 4.25" Combo kit from Zone is a better option personally.

http://zoneoffroad.com/product?ki=451&gr=-1
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:57 PM   #18
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You could end up with vibes from the zone lift as well. The tcase dropped isn't a bad thing.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #19
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There is some great info here. Why hasn't one of the pros around here made a sticky for us new people so we can stop bugging everyone? Seems this is asked a lot of times but there isn't any definitive answer ever given
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:02 PM   #20
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You could end up with vibes from the zone lift as well. The tcase dropped isn't a bad thing.

um, how is a dropped TCase a good thing? The 1" drop provided in 4" spring kits is a bandaid to a DL vibration problem the lift creates. It's not a proud thing to have to install on your Jeep.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:27 PM   #21
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um, how is a dropped TCase a good thing? The 1" drop provided in 4" spring kits is a bandaid to a DL vibration problem the lift creates. It's not a proud thing to have to install on your Jeep.
Exactly, also you lift for ground clearance can't tell you how many guys get a 3 inch lift with a transfer case drop then go off road thinking they have 3 extra inches clearance you don't! The TCase is sitting exactly where it was before the lift you'll rip that TCase skid plate right off doing that shit. Get the combo lift or invest the money in a SYE or new driveshaft
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:30 PM   #22
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Actually, yours was one that I looked at and said to myself, "Wow, that's a whole lot of different names and big words I've never seen before", hahaha!
that is a clear indication you're not ready to buy anything. it means you need to do a whole bunch more reading and learning so those different names and big words are no longer confusing. understand why and how the suspension functions, then you can make an informed decision on what will fit your needs best.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:54 AM   #23
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call Dirk! DPG off road!
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:41 PM   #24
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Because of this thread I bought the zone 4.25" combo lift, and I love it.

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Old 09-04-2013, 12:48 PM   #25
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Since that is too much for just a body lift, I was thinking maybe a 2" suspension lift, and a 1" body lift.
BINGO.....smart idea. Fellow LJ owner here can help cut through the bull for you.

First thing is first: What is your absolute MAXIMUM budget for this lift? Need a hard top dollar number from you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #26
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I would rather hold off and save a bit for a quality kit if needed, rather than just throwing some junk on there, but was budgeting around $500-600 for this.
Another BINGO too. 5-600 is honestly a few hundred bucks away from a QUALITY setup that will fit YOUR NEEDS. Mostly DD, with light/occasional off roading and hunting.

Honestly about $1000 spent gets you QUALITY.

Quality 2" lift would be OME with 2933/2942 springs for your LJ w/ the standard nitrocharger shocks. ($700 roughly)

Quality 1" BL would be Daystar poly bushing replacement kit. ($150)
1" steering riser bracket from MORE. $40
1" Browndog MML(Which would be recommended with the BL to keep everything lined up correctly) $100

That's about $1000 right there and is all you would need. Correct spring rates, enough clearance for a set of 33x10.5" tires using proper backspaced rims, great ride quality.

Stay away from the "Zone" kits and a lot of the other substandard junk(And I know some ppl will debate this and ruffle feathers, but 99.99% of the people who ride on a Zone setup have little to no experience with the higher quality kits for one reason or another) you will see recommended. You have a high value LJ........don't install cr@p on it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:09 PM   #27
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that is a clear indication you're not ready to buy anything. it means you need to do a whole bunch more reading and learning so those different names and big words are no longer confusing. understand why and how the suspension functions, then you can make an informed decision on what will fit your needs best.
Boom.

Way too many people in here throwing around "this brand" vs. "that brand". That's not tech and those aren't facts.

Understanding suspension and being a fanboy of some company are two very different things.

There's really nothing to be confused about if you've got some common sense and a little mechanical and mathematical aptitude. Our suspension is very basic and it doesn't take long to understand why certain things are desirable and others aren't. Get to the point of having a true understanding of what the parts are doing and the smaller details will start to make sense. The details are where all the differences are made.

Learn first. Open your wallet second. Your stock suspension components are superior to almost everything that has been mentioned thus far.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:19 PM   #28
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I would go with the zone combo lift that's what I got with the standard shocks and quick disconnects. I have no complaints about it so far and u can fit 33's with it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #29
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Boom.

Way too many people in here throwing around "this brand" vs. "that brand". That's not tech and those aren't facts.

Understanding suspension and being a fanboy of some company are two very different things.

There's really nothing to be confused about if you've got some common sense and a little mechanical and mathematical aptitude. Our suspension is very basic and it doesn't take long to understand why certain things are desirable and others aren't. Get to the point of having a true understanding of what the parts are doing and the smaller details will start to make sense. The details are where all the differences are made.

Learn first. Open your wallet second. Your stock suspension components are superior to almost everything that has been mentioned thus far.
Right, but might want to add into the fact that the OME lift retains most of the STOCK components, and uses components that retain stock specs(springs, shocks), just in a longer travel version basically. I mention this because your statement at the very end can be very confusing to the OP.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:33 PM   #30
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Right, but might want to add into the fact that the OME lift retains most of the STOCK components, and uses components that retain stock specs(springs, shocks), just in a longer travel version basically. I mention this because your statement at the very end can be very confusing to the OP.
Only if he chooses to retain the stock control arms, track bars, etc. I don't think in terms of "kits", nor do I put limitations on how far someone can go.

On that note, repeatedly exposing the stock control arm bushings past their boundaries (factory shock travel) is asking for trouble.

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