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Old 09-22-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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More suspension lift, body lift, or Tube fenders?

Ok guys, I have been throwing the idea around about getting bigger tires. I have an 03 with I think 2.5" of lift. I got it with a lift already on it and have 31" MT/R tires. I have Bilstein 5100 shocks and looks like I don't have a spacer on the shocks so it is no budget boost, also have quick disconnects in the front.

I want to run 33" specifically I have chosen the Interco Super Swamper TSL Radial tires. Oh and this will be my DD and weekend warrior with light to medium off-roading in mind.

I am wondering which route I should go. I really don't want a body lift though that is the cheapest route. Would I be able to clear 33's with my current setup and tube fenders (live in Virginia)? Or should I go with more lift, say a 4" lift. Though that size lift requires new springs, shocks, control arms, trans drop, track bar, and possibly pitman arm. Pretty much a whole kit.

I don't plan on doing this for another month or more depending on the total price, I just want to get an idea of a time frame. Of course I need the clearance before I get the tires so that is what I am trying to find out.

I know a lot of awesome information is going to come my way so thanks in advance.



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Old 09-22-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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I'll probably catch hell for this, but I'd bet $100 you could stuff 33's under it with the lift you have. I put 32"X11.50" MTR's on after market wheels on an unlifted TJ. It only rubbed when you really smashed a ditch or something. We did plenty of off roading and as long as we left the sway bars hooked up, we had no rubbing.

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Old 09-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #3
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All of those options should work. I run 33s with a 4" suspension lift and it works well. Like you mentioned, going that route would mean a whole new suspension and if you want to do it right, you're also going to need a longer drive shaft, SYE kit, etc so you don't have to drop the belly and have it dragging over everything. For that reason, lots of guys will simply add the 1" BL to a 2 or 2.5 kit to run 33s...lots of guys run this set up and really like it. I'm not a BL fan, but I've started considering it as it makes things like a Tummy Tuck and raised Gas Tank Skid much easier and a bolt on installation vs. trying to stuff 10 pounds of $hit into a 5 pound bag without the BL. I dig the low COG idea, and think the fenders would be a cool route to go as well. So there you go, that's my two cents and it probably won't make your decision any easier! If the kit you have works well now, I'd probably look at the BL or Fenders . . . if you're not happy with the kit or are going to want to upgrade things like your control arms, springs, etc soon, I'd probably go with the suspension lift.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:47 PM   #4
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I'll probably catch hell for this....
if you do catch it.. be warned I hear it is HOT....

Anyway, Have you ever had swampers before? While they are hands down great offroad, I would not want any TSL on my daily driver if I could help it. Will you we switching tires/rims to go offroad? I would look into BFG or tires that balance out good for daily driving that will still work great off road. As for the lift to fit 33s you need min 3"(so as stated you might be able to shoe horn them in) and 4" works better once off road.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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I'll probably catch hell for this, but I'd bet $100 you could stuff 33's under it with the lift you have. I put 32"X11.50" MTR's on after market wheels on an unlifted TJ. It only rubbed when you really smashed a ditch or something. We did plenty of off roading and as long as we left the sway bars hooked up, we had no rubbing.
DUCK . . . here it comes . . .



Yes he could probably stuff 33's under it now and it would probably be fine for a mall crawler, but I wouldn't run them offroad. I guess it depends on what you are referring to as "off roading" but around here it's mostly rocks and just about everyone disconnects or runs an antirock for the trails out here. I'd expect some major rubbing and tire stuffing if you disconnected and tried to run the 33s with your current set up . . . I rub a bit if I stuff the passenger tire with my 4" lift with the extra flex my Currie arms give me . . . need to up the bump stop a hair.


P.S. - while I'm flinging poo . . . what made you decide on the Interco Swampers???
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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not to high jack his thread but if you have a bb and tube fenders will that allow for 33's?

jw
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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not to high jack his thread but if you have a bb and tube fenders will that allow for 33's?

jw
front maybe.. rear... I think not....
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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hey it was worth a shot right?

jw
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:18 PM   #9
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go with the aev highline fender and hood set up. thats the route im taking.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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hey it was worth a shot right?

jw
well sure.. 33's to me need 3" at a min to work right off road.. even that will be rubbing a lot in some cases...
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:20 PM   #11
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go with the aev highline fender and hood set up. thats the route im taking.
That kit would be more than a 4" lift or same as the high end ones. Though I think it would be cool to have.

I am just wondering how much clearance I will have on the rear tires with tube fenders.

Here are a few things I plan on doing. There would definitely be rubbing with no change.





Not much rocks now, but hope to move up with the 33's. Seems that I don't have the vid of me doing this uploaded but this was the guy behind me going. I didn't get stuck anywhere on this one.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:48 PM   #12
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The jeep in the vid looks lowered. could just be me. but dang it looks low.

If it was me I'd go with a 1 inch BL (technically I'd go JKS 1.25)
Since most under armor seems to require a BL. it be cheap, and effective.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:13 PM   #13
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.......Not much rocks now, but hope to move up with the 33's. Seems that I don't have the vid of me doing this uploaded but this was the guy behind me going. I didn't get stuck anywhere on this one.
Well the reason the YJ had issues was he appears to be running SS thornbirds, perhaps the worst choice in tires ever...
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:47 PM   #14
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i've read a couple articles/posts from folks who really think the 33x10.5 is the ideal jeep tire. i didn't see what size width you were gonna run so i thought i'd mention it. with my little 4-banger, i'm going with the 33x10.5 km2's soon here. putting a 1" BL up and with the heavy bumper and eventually the winch, i want to get some stiffer springs from a rubi or ZJ to keep the added 2" BB height. i'm hoping to sit about 3-3.25" up. then going 4.88 gearing sometime down the narrow road.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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id do a 1" body lift to clear 33" tires. you might want to really think about your choice of tires tho. if your doing mostly street driving and the jeep only sees the trails on weekends you might want to look at more of an a/t tire instead of the super swamper tsl's. the tsl is one of the most aggressive mud tires out there and really inst designed to be driven on the street much. you can run them but you will get horrible traction in the rain and snow and there going to wear out FAST.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #16
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I would do the 1.25 body lift and 1" motor mount lift.The extra .25 inches really helps.At full flex without the body lift you could get into the fender. Im running 3"susp. ,and 1.25 bl, and 1"mml with no T case drop.No vibes at all
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:04 PM   #17
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I would add a 1.25" BL/1" MML and perhaps some 1-2" spring spacers.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:31 AM   #18
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Well the reason the YJ had issues was he appears to be running SS thornbirds, perhaps the worst choice in tires ever...
They are a great choice if you run mostly street and want the look of mud tires and all the noise.... Other than that they mostly suck
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:23 AM   #19
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I am leaning towards a 3.5" RE suspension lift (as I can upgrade parts as I go), the JKS 1.25" body lift, and a 1" MML(are the Daystar or JKS better? leaning towards the JKS). Grand total of around $850 shipped.

And some time later these fender flares so no amount of sagging will mess with clearance, and better looks.


And we all agreed(people on the trail) that his tires were to blame.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:46 AM   #20
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I am leaning towards a 3.5" RE suspension lift (as I can upgrade parts as I go), the JKS 1.25" body lift, and a 1" MML(are the Daystar or JKS better? leaning towards the JKS). Grand total of around $850 shipped.

And some time later these fender flares so no amount of sagging will mess with clearance, and better looks.


And we all agreed(people on the trail) that his tires were to blame.
Why bother with the RE kit at all? If you already have a 2.5" kit, the BL should be enough to clear the 33's. You might be really kicking yourself if you install that RE kit and end up needing to install the belly drop kit to eliminate the vibes that are common over 3" of lift . . . if you do have to install it, you'll end up losing that extra inch of clearance anyway. I'd recommend either sticking with your lift if it works well and adding the BL, or if you don't care for your suspension set up, spend the money and buy a real lift, not a half-assed kit that you won't be happy with.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:07 PM   #21
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The reason I am wanting to get a new lift is because I didn't install the one I have. I am not even sure of it's actual height or how long it has been there. Also knowing I did it myself is a good feeling.

What if I get rear coil spring relocators and 1.5" coil spacers in the front?
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:25 PM   #22
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Maybe I should just get flat fenders first and see if I need a body lift later.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:19 PM   #23
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What about the BFG Mud Terrain KM2
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Just bought a True Hi9 rear and a D44 front, both with ARB's and 4.88 gears!! Check out the build!
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:54 PM   #24
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The reason I am wanting to get a new lift is because I didn't install the one I have. I am not even sure of it's actual height or how long it has been there. Also knowing I did it myself is a good feeling.

What if I get rear coil spring relocators and 1.5" coil spacers in the front?

If you are not happy with your current lift or want to replace it anyway, then I'd recommend doing it right and getting a complete kit. Most kits that will offer more than 3 inches of lift will cause drive line vibes unless you either drop the belly which is or adjust the pinion angle which will require a bunch of other stuff like UCAs, DS, SYE, etc. Most people looking to run 33s will either go cheap with a 2" BB or a lift like you have accompanied by a 1" BL or they go all out and redue the entire suspension (arms, trackbars, etc) along with the DS and SYE. From what I see in that RE kit you listed, all you really get is Springs and Extended Rear Sway Bar links. Based on your pics, it looks like you plan to wheel, so if you do decide to replace the suspension . . . I'd recommend doing your research and steering clear of all the BIG name kits . . . Rubicon Express, Full Traction, SkyJacker, ProComp, etc . . . they are all crap! Either piece together a kit of your own with quality parts or at least get a kit from someone like Currie where you can count on the majority of the parts holding up to offroad use . . . otherwise you'll be in the same boat as me having spent 1200 on a Full Craption kit, just to realize that it doesn't include everything you need right off the bat and quickly realize that most the parts are crap and end up replacing almost everything the kit came with within the first year after replacing bushings and whatnot after every other outing.

If I was to consider a kit, it'd be something like this Currie Enterprises CJ Axle Parts . . . I'd still add an adjustable rear TB, a CV DS, SYE (unless Rubicon), and CV style rear TB Bracket.

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