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Old 11-30-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
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Trying To Understand Spacer Lift Kits

I was looking at the Skyjacker 2" Spacer Lift Kit.

Skyjacker 2" Spacer Lift Kit for 97-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ & Unlimited - Quadratec

Am I understanding this spacer idea correctly?
  • You place a 2" spacer into where the upper bump stop is;
  • then, replace the shock with a LONGER shock, to accommodate for the longer travel?
I don't see any coils in the picture.
If you are using the old coils in conjunction with the new, longer shocks, will this make the old coils have to work harder?

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:00 PM   #2
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Yes, the spacer sits around the tube that your upper bumpstop is attached to.

The spring actually sits in a similar manner to how it always has. It's just that because you have the spacer, the body on top of it sits 2" higher. This is also why it is suggested you buy a new shock, since your upper shock mount will also be 2" higher than before.

No, it would not come with coils because that would be a suspension lift, and this is just a spacer lift.

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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The spacer doesnt go where the bumpstop is, it seats against the upper spring perch in between the frame and the top of the spring. It doesn't involve changing the coils. That's the idea behind the spring spacer lift. You get a taller lift out of your stock coils.

The coils don't work any harder than before, it's just that you gain 2" of "dead lift". This means that you dont gain any more spring travel for the vehicle to flex with. This option is not bad if: you're on a budget, you only need the added height and clearance, and you don't need the additional flex that a 2" suspension lift would give you.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:13 PM   #4
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... This is also why it is suggested you buy a new shock, since your upper shock mount will also be 2" higher than before...
Where do you look for & how do you explain that you want a shock that is 2" longer than stock?
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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... it would not come with coils because that would be a suspension lift, and this is just a spacer lift.
So, if I wanted to go with a COIL LIFT, instead of a spacer lift, I'd be looking at 2" longer coils AND 2" longer shocks?

Would I need a MML , SYE, etc. if I went with the coil lift?
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertical horizons View Post
So, if I wanted to go with a COIL LIFT, instead of a spacer lift, I'd be looking at 2" longer coils AND 2" longer shocks?
Yes and

Quote:
Originally Posted by vertical horizons View Post
Would I need a MML , SYE, etc. if I went with the coil lift?
No
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:51 AM   #7
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Where do you look for & how do you explain that you want a shock that is 2" longer than stock?
Get shocks for a 2in lift. Most mfg will specify what lift the shocks are designed for.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:34 AM   #8
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Get shocks for a 2in lift. Most mfg will specify what lift the shocks are designed for.
Does that go for the coils, too?
Get coils for a 2" lift?
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:48 AM   #9
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On the web, I see that BDS has a pair of 2" coils for the front & a pair of 2" coils for the rear, for around $220.
So, I'd purchase these 4, then search for four 2" shocks, then I'd be set?
Is there a difference between a front shock and a rear shock? Is it just a matter of the mounting bracket?
Earlier, a member said that I wouldn't need a MML or a SYE, etc.
Doing a coil spring lift, would that still be the case if I were to go to a 3" coil spring lift?
I'm not trying to jump the gun here. It's just that I've read on this forum where a member installed a lift of one size, just to regret it later, wishing that he had gone with a larger lift.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:50 AM   #10
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On the web, I see that BDS has a pair of 2" coils for the front & a pair of 2" coils for the rear, for around $220. So, I'd purchase these 4, then search for four 2" shocks, then I'd be set? Is there a difference between a front shock and a rear shock? Is it just a matter of the mounting bracket? Earlier, a member said that I wouldn't need a MML or a SYE, etc. Doing a coil spring lift, would that still be the case if I were to go to a 3" coil spring lift? I'm not trying to jump the gun here. It's just that I've read on this forum where a member installed a lift of one size, just to regret it later, wishing that he had gone with a larger lift.
In my opinion... I wouldn't even mess with spacer lifts and all that terrible junk.. If you want a cheap and efficient lift, go ahead spend a little extra money and just get you a suspension lift..
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by vertical horizons View Post
On the web, I see that BDS has a pair of 2" coils for the front & a pair of 2" coils for the rear, for around $220.
So, I'd purchase these 4, then search for four 2" shocks, then I'd be set?
Is there a difference between a front shock and a rear shock? Is it just a matter of the mounting bracket?
Your suspension is a compilation of components. When you lift it, you'll need to change certain components for various reasons. The higher you lift, the more components you need to change. You've been around long enough to know this.

You've also been around long enough to learn that it's not just shocks and coils (or spacers) for a lift. You'll also need to properly set bumpstop extension length, track bars, brake line length, control arm lengths, sway bar links, you'll need to evaluate driveline angles, caster & toe-in alignment, pinion angles, etc as you go up in height.

Here's an example:
Lift Install & Suspension Lessons Learned - JeepForum.com
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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... You've been around long enough to know this...
I've also been around long enough to know that no one has fully explained why one lifted jeep will need extra components to complete the lift process, whereas an identical lifted jeep WOULD NOT require extra components. I am just trying to understand the different lifting types (body vs suspension), and WHEN & WHY you'd need a MML or a SYE or a TC drop, etc. Seems like there isn't one definitive answer. As far as being "around long enough", I've had my jeep since late September. Just because I have a lot of posts doesn't mean that I'm some sort of wizard/know-it-all when it comes to jeeps.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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If you don't fully understand the mechanics of the suspension components and exactly what's going on, then you'll be forever confused. It's really that simple. Some mechanical inclination is required in this game and if you're struggling to understand the basics then you may want to leave it up to someone else.

You're looking for "one definitive answer", which makes absolutely no sense to me. You're looking for the wrong thing.

Think about this in a logical manner: A coil spacer simply moves the upper mount surface down by the height of the spacer. You're moving the frame up higher away from the axles (all "lifting" is) by 2" without changing the dimensions of the springs because you're moving the frame mount down by 2". Since you haven't changed the attributes (rate, length) of the coil spring, you're usable travel hasn't changed either--that coil still has the same compressed and extended/resting lengths.

When you do this, the upper shock mount and upper bump stop mount obviously also move 2" further away from their lower mounts located on the axle housing. A 2" longer shock and 2" bump stop extensions are needed to provide you the same up travel as you had before without prematurely binding the coil spring.....ie, you're not gaining any travel because you haven't changed the coil springs. The addition of the spacer between the OE upper mount and the spring means you've got 2" less space to compress that coil into and that's why you need to extend the bump stops.....to save the coils.

The other relationships that change as the frame moves 2" further away from the axles at ride height: The frame goes up 2" so everything attached to the frame goes up 2"--the aforementioned upper shock and bump stops, the control arm mounts, the transfer case, the track bar mounts, the sway bar mounts. Anything that has one connection on the frame and one connection on the axle will change in operating angle since the length won't change.

Does this all make sense? What about it does not make sense?
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:09 PM   #14
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For a 2"(new coils or spacers), very little change is needed. Shocks are a good idea, but I've had people say that stock is fine if you're doing very light/no off roading. But it's always a good idea to replace them.

For bigger lifts, more modding is needed. 3" is where you start getting into the complicated stuff. I've always been told that every jeep is different, and when you'll need which mods varies. But again, it's always good to plan on having to do the full deal. With 3 inch lifts, you'll start playing with needing a Tcase drop or a motor mount lift. Preferably a MML, as a Tcase drop will only get rid of the clearance you just bought. 4" further complicates things, but's an ideal level that a lot of jeepers go with.

As far as body lifts go, anything over 1.25 is not a good idea. It puts too much stress on the body mounts to have anymore. I'm not even sure what larger body lifts require in terms of changes because they're so rare.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #15
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... Does this all make sense? What about it does not make sense?
It makes sense, now that it has been explained to me.
Thank you.
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:11 AM   #16
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Does this photo help visualise the guy's comments above? Spacer at the top, bumpstop extension at the bottom and shock behind. It's the front end. Rubicon Express Monotube kit.

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Old 12-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #17
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Yes. That picture helps a lot.

On a side note -
I have seen several shocks where the boot appears to be bent.
Since a shock is supposed to travel in a pre-determined path, back and forth, why would the boot be bent like this?
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #18
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Yes. That picture helps a lot.

On a side note -
I have seen several shocks where the boot appears to be bent.
Since a shock is supposed to travel in a pre-determined path, back and forth, why would the boot be bent like this?
Your shock is still moving in a straight line. The shock boot just tends to bunch up and lean to one side since there's nothing really holding it perfectly straight
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #19
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That makes sense.
I have seen so many shocks that look like that, I figured everything was ok. But, I was just curious.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:56 AM   #20
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side note, i'd never run a shock boot, just creates more problems than it cures
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:02 PM   #21
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What is the purpose of a shock boot? To keep dust out?
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:17 PM   #22
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in theory, to keep all dust, dirt, mud, water, etc out. the only problem is that if any of those contaminants get in, they stay in, accelerating the deterioration rate
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:13 PM   #23
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I get the impression the same boot is used on all the shocks, even the really long extension ones, which is why it looks so bunched up I guess?
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #24
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It's just a freaking boot and has nothing to do with the function of the shock itself.....

I don't use them and don't recommend them for most situations.

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