Iím new to the forum and joined in part because Iím looking for some guidance and suggestions for what Iíd like to do to my 2005 Sport TJ. I've been driving it around since I bought it back in '05 and haven't done anything to it except swap out the bumpers and install a new set of tires after the originals got worn out. I'm looking to turn it into a real Jeep now and use it for what itís meant for but I am by no means a Jeep or off-road expert, although Iíd like to become one. Iím on a slight budget and seeing how I'm looking to change the bumpers again, install a trail rack, wench, rocker panels, bigger tires and new wheels, etc. I'm looking to spend no more than $1,000 on the lift kit which I'm going to do first.
So, any suggestions out there for a 4" lift kit I can install myself over the weekend. I'm pretty good with my hands and am confident I can swap out the spring and shock without much difficulty. I'm looking for something that's good quality, tried and tested, will not give me the "death wobble" when driving down the highway (this is my daily driver and will be for a while longer) and most importantly doesnít require a master technician to install. I've been doing my homework and looking at the mainstream names Rubicon Express, Skyjacker, Procomp, Rough Country, etc. but would like to get other opinions before a drop upwards of a grand on the kit.
To try and soften the blow I will warn you that quite a few people will come in here and tell you one of two things, or possible both.
1) Check out the search feature, used correctly can be very useful.
2) There is a Sticky on the top of this forum that has review of lifts.
Honestly you've got the top brands listed, although I would add Zone and OME to that list (I'm sure others will have more to add). Your best bet will be to check out the Sticky I mentioned earlier and compare their review to the list of brands you've mentioned.
I have said this before. I would look more at people with personal experience on a certain products rather than personal opinion. If a company gets a bad name to start they are cursed forever it seems like. That doesnt mean that they cant produce good products in the future. I personally thought about a RC lift and decided against it do to some bad experiences (not opinions) with recient products.
In the end though, it is your money and you should spend it how you feel best served.
Having been where you are now...with my '04 about 2 years ago when I first became a member let me say welcome......
And there is a lot of quick easy answers already....if you have the back ground...if not it gets confusing fast...why sye and everything else for a 4"SL but not a 2.5-3" SL and BL? again it is in the sticky..as well as the reasons of why and what is needed to do what and staying in a budget.
Results from my asking questions and looking at the threads.......
Other than the OME SL, a MML and BL, I NEEDED nothing to go to 33" for my '04...having finished that process up in the last year...I am now toying with SYE and TT for just a little more clearance...could use the regear but not as vital to me as another couple inches clearance......also I added front sway bar quick discos from Zone.....and if you do the work yourself it will be REAL close to the $1000 you want to stay within...but tires are a WHOLE 'nother story....
I chose the OME as everyone had nothing but GOOD results...have never heard a complaint about the OME lift...IMO it is better ride than stock and with the 33" tires it rides as well as my wife's 2012 JK IMO.
If you look at the Pic under the center of my Jeep there is the skid plate, still hanging down and scooping mud sometimes...the SYE and TT will eliminate that problem..and I will be done MODDING
I chose 33"s and a smaller lift as this is my DD and weekend toy!!
When it comes down to it you don't want to be "that guy" who is wondering why he blew up his stock dana35 rear end and had to get towed all the way out because he was running 35" tires and a budget boost lift while flooring it up a hill climb he shouldn't even have attempted.
The decision to lift starts with desired tire size and moves in from there. As with many things it comes down to how much $$$ do you want to spend. Don't forget with any tire 33" or bigger you will need a rear bumper/spare tire carrier assembly in your budget.
Tire size dictates ground clearance and needed axle/gear ratio upgrades. You can have the best tires/lift kit in the world but without strong axles and some kind of locking differentials you will get stuck or break just as easy as a stock jeep.
Big tires+weak axles=broken on the trail.
Also big tires, body armor, bumpers/tire carriers, etc add a lot of weight to your jeep and even with the correct gear ratios your gas mileage will suffer greatly due to the fact that your motor has to haul around all that extra weight.
Once you have that all planned out the next decision is based on which way you want to go with your lift.
High lift+stock fenders+big tires=high center of gravity
Low lift+tube fenders+big tires=low center of gravity.
Another thing that factors in to how much lift you need for a given tire size is the wheel size/backspacing.
The bottom line here is its all about planning a balanced setup that fits your needs and won't leave you stranded on the trail. We all wish we could have a rock crawler on 44's that gets 40mpg and costs $10k to build.
I have a rc 4" x series lift. i have 35s they rub a little when i hit some bumps but other than that i have no complaints. a 1 or 1.5 bl would fix that. I haven't had any problems with rc yet. fingers crossed.