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-   -   Lift Kits For Dummies (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/lift-kits-for-dummies-166984.html)

Sccrbrg 06-15-2012 12:26 AM

Lift Kits For Dummies
 
So, I think I've pretty much decided to search out a stock wrangler and have the lift/tire mods done myself.

Every used one thats been lifted with tires that I've seen has failed mechanics inspections miserably.

So what I'd like to do is find a stock 04 or newer TJ wrangler and lift it 3 or 4 inches (I'm assuming a suspension lift would be most appropriate?) with 33's with a 15-16K budget and do it all the proper way. So far all i've seen are lifts that make mechanics cringe, with absolutely zero understanding of what makes one good and another one bad.:doh:

So, can anyone simplistically tell me what I would need to do this properly (an exact kit with additional necessary parts would be nice) that wont break the bank but will get the job done safely and properly?

Also any additional parts like an SYE (Still dont know what that is, but ive seen it mentioned in loads of threads), brake lines, and if regearing will be necessary.

I'm looking to install on an automatic - I know that will likely affect the gearing.

Also, this will be my daily driver which will also be used for occasional offroading/camping but nothing too serious.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I've scoured the boards and been unable to find a specific and simple answer to this question (at least that I can understand lol)

Thanks in advance!

Redsand 06-15-2012 01:33 AM

Sye= slip yoke eleminator.

Big Cole 06-15-2012 05:07 AM

You don't necessarily need to purchase a kit. I suggest purchasing the best components from different manufacturers. The shocks, springs, control arms, and track bars on my rig are all made by different companies.

Tell us your budget and we can offer suggestions.

TJallday97 06-15-2012 06:49 AM

Rubicon express is a good company for lifts get an sye extended rear drive shaft steering stabilizer stainless steel braided break lines drop pitman arm and you might need a t case drop kit and youll be good for 3-4in lift

TJallday97 06-15-2012 06:50 AM

Another thing you might wanna regear to a 3.73 for 33s

Vroooom 06-15-2012 06:55 AM

I figured a "lift kit for dummies" was a phone book on the drivers seat



works best if you arent from a small town.




(for those who havent had their coffee yet.....small town means thin phonebook)

Gary2 06-15-2012 07:29 AM

As already mentioned buy each component from the manufacturer who is known for making the best in that catagory . Dont waste money buying the wrong stuff. Do searches here and other Jeep forums and see what components are popular with the members in the know

Imped 06-15-2012 07:44 AM

How about "suspension and drivetrain" for dummies. That's more appropriate and will teach you much more. There's more than "lift" to suspension.

Research, research, research. That's the only way you can truly learn.

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sccrbrg (Post 2475204)
So what I'd like to do is find a stock 04 or newer TJ wrangler and lift it 3 or 4 inches (I'm assuming a suspension lift would be most appropriate?) with 33's with a 15-16K budget and do it all the proper way. So far all i've seen are lifts that make mechanics cringe, with absolutely zero understanding of what makes one good and another one bad.:doh:

So, can anyone simplistically tell me what I would need to do this properly (an exact kit with additional necessary parts would be nice) that wont break the bank but will get the job done safely and properly?

Also any additional parts like an SYE (Still dont know what that is, but ive seen it mentioned in loads of threads), brake lines, and if regearing will be necessary.

I think "properly" may be a bit subjective, and there are several way of doing things properly, depending on what you plan to do with it, and how much you want to spend. On a stock TJ, you really only need to lift it about 3" total or so to run 33's. If you go much higher than that, you're driveline angles will be too far off and you'll get vibrations. This is where the SYE and new driveshaft come in to correct the angles.

The most affordable way to accomplish 3" of lift is to run 2" spring spacers and a body lift. Several manufacturers produce this kit - some with shocks, some without. You won't need to adjust brake lines, and can most likely avoid a SYE/CV driveshaft (particularly with an auto transmission). Adjust your bumpstops if necessary, and you'll have great Jeep for camping and moderate off-roading. An increase in tire size as large as 33s will probably require a re-gear but isn't "necessary", at least not immediately. The jeep just won't have as much get up and go. If it's something you consider "right", budget an extra ~$1200 for the parts and labor to have that done, in addition to the spacer lift, shocks, body lift, wheels, and tires.

Some things I consider optional, depending on your definition of "right":

Coil springs instead of spacers
Upper/lower control arms
SYE
CV Driveshaft
Extended brake lines
Swaybar disconnects
Upgraded brakes
Re-gearing

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TJallday97 (Post 2475592)
Rubicon express is a good company for lifts get an sye extended rear drive shaft steering stabilizer stainless steel braided break lines drop pitman arm and you might need a t case drop kit and youll be good for 3-4in lift

I'll avoid debate on Rubicon Express's quality now that they're owned and operated by Transamerican Auto Parts (owners of 4 wheel parts, smittybilt, pro comp, etc), but other than that, I feel like there is some bad advice here (IMO).

First, there is absolutely no reason for both a t-case drop AND a SYE and CV driveshaft. The t-case drop and the SYE/CV both correct driveline angles. It's one or the other, IF they are needed at all.

Second, you do not need a dropped pitman arm on a 3-4" of lift just to run 33s as the OP mentioned.

Third, stainless steel braided brake lines are not required either. It's a nice to have, not a need to have unless to OP plans to find himself is situations where his stock rubber brake lines are going to be torn up. Which at that point, I'd probably recommend getting some protection before the brake lines.

vtjohn 06-15-2012 11:50 AM

Just bought my 01 stock Sahara and am watching this thread. I'll be happy with 31's, I think, and also want a 2" lift done right. Maybe it would be more helpful if someone could layout exact Specs for a BB vs. a pricier "quality" boost so we can figure what to budget for (and WHY) and the OP could then decide an appropriate amount to spend between vehicle and boost?

MrPants 06-15-2012 12:09 PM

More on BB...
 
I'm also new to this forum and was just reading though this thread. I bought a 04 Wrangler X this week. Has 31's on it and no lift currently. Was looking at getting a BB, but couldn't decide if I should get 2" or the 3" BB. Not sure if there is a downside/upside to either. Appreciate any feedback.

TJallday97 06-15-2012 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 98GunmetalTJ

I'll avoid debate on Rubicon Express's quality now that they're owned and operated by Transamerican Auto Parts (owners of 4 wheel parts, smittybilt, pro comp, etc), but other than that, I feel like there is some bad advice here (IMO).

First, there is absolutely no reason for both a t-case drop AND a SYE and CV driveshaft. The t-case drop and the SYE/CV both correct driveline angles. It's one or the other, IF they are needed at all.

Second, you do not need a dropped pitman arm on a 3-4" of lift just to run 33s as the OP mentioned.

Third, stainless steel braided brake lines are not required either. It's a nice to have, not a need to have unless to OP plans to find himself is situations where his stock rubber brake lines are going to be torn up. Which at that point, I'd probably recommend getting some protection before the brake lines.

Yes i know this but if it were my jeep i wouldnt cheap out on it and do no t case drop only i would do the sye and the cv and the break lines are a must if your gunna wheel it

Sccrbrg 06-15-2012 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vtjohn
Just bought my 01 stock Sahara and am watching this thread. I'll be happy with 31's, I think, and also want a 2" lift done right. Maybe it would be more helpful if someone could layout exact Specs for a BB vs. a pricier "quality" boost so we can figure what to budget for (and WHY) and the OP could then decide an appropriate amount to spend between vehicle and boost?

Exactly what I've been trying to determine. Something about BB's just seems off to me. I could be entirely wrong, but the way I've heard it described budget boosts are the cheap and not so safe and/or effective way to do it. Same with body lifts. At least that's what I've gotten from some sources, admittedly they may be biased.

But I definitely don't need anything with super flex, just something to get the clearance and height in looking for.

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vtjohn (Post 2476533)
Just bought my 01 stock Sahara and am watching this thread. I'll be happy with 31's, I think, and also want a 2" lift done right. Maybe it would be more helpful if someone could layout exact Specs for a BB vs. a pricier "quality" boost so we can figure what to budget for (and WHY) and the OP could then decide an appropriate amount to spend between vehicle and boost?

Most of the info can be found by using the search box, but I'll take a shot off the top of my head, estimating prices and going with good quality products:

1. Tires: BFG KM2s or Goodyear MTRs (set of 5) - $1000-$1250
2. Wheels: Steel Soft 8's or Aluminum Pro Comp 7069's - $250-$550
3. Spacers w/ bumpstop extensions: Teraflex or Rubicon Express - $100
4. 1" Body Lift: JKS, Daystar, Performance Accessories - $150
6. Shocks: OME or Blisten 5100 - $300-$350

So about $2300 to get up and running, assuming you do all the labor yourself. This would allow you to run up to a 33" tire.

Additional options:

Replace 3 and 4 above with:

6. Rubicon Express 3.5" Superflex kit (includes springs, lower control arms, swaybar disconnects, front brake lines, bumpstops, T-case drop, etc.) - $1,000
7. Trackbar to center your axle - RE, JKS, etc - $150

If you have driveline vibrations and/or want to gain clearance back from the t-case drop:

8. SYE/CV Driveshaft: Advanced Adapters/Tom Woods - $500
9. Adjustable Upper Control Arms: RE or Currie - $250-$350

If you want to gain some power back from the bigger tires:

10. Regear: Yukon or Superior - $1200 (parts and labor for both axles)

If your transfer case linkage is binding or your having trouble staying in 4lo:

11. Improve Linkage - Advanced Adapters bracket or Novak System- $50-$150

If you want to improve stopping due to the bigger tires:

12. Brakes upgrade: Black Magic Pads/Rotors - $210

So...to do it "right" I'd budget about $6000 once it's all said and done, assuming you did everything except the regear yourself. Please keep in mind, this is all off the top of my head and prices could vary.

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TJallday97 (Post 2476746)
Yes i know this but if it were my jeep i wouldnt cheap out on it and do no t case drop only i would do the sye and the cv and the break lines are a must if your gunna wheel it

It's not a matter of cheaping out, it's a matter of redundancy. Not to mention encouraging someone new to spend unnecessary money. There is no need for the t-case drop if you have a SYE and CV driveshaft. Both are designed to correct driveline vibration. If the goal is to throw money away, while at the same time making your Jeep less capable by reducing clearance, then yes - both are a must.

And braided stainless steel brake lines are not a must if you're going to wheel it. If you are wheeling your jeep hard enough that braided stainless steel brake lines become a necessity, I would suggest some underbody protection first.

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sccrbrg (Post 2477631)
Exactly what I've been trying to determine. Something about BB's just seems off to me. I could be entirely wrong, but the way I've heard it described budget boosts are the cheap and not so safe and/or effective way to do it. Same with body lifts. At least that's what I've gotten from some sources, admittedly they may be biased.

But I definitely don't need anything with super flex, just something to get the clearance and height in looking for.

Budget boosts and body lifts are safe. Budget boosts replace and/or sit on top of the stock spring isolators. If all you do is add the spacers, then yes, its an ineffective way to do it. You'll also want to add longer travel shocks to account for the additional height. If you do both, it is still essentially as effective as stock, while gaining height. The main difference in a spacer lift is that a spacer lift retains the stock springs, while a coil lift would replace them with longer springs. Springs which are longer will obviously allow for more compression and should flex a bit better. Some springs are also designed to keep from sagging due to the additional weight we add to our Jeeps.

A body lift will gain height by lifting the tub off the frame. Most people don't care for the gap a body lift creates between the frame and the tub (especially at 2-3 inches). At one inch, it doesn't really bother me.

Some people will say that body lifts are unsafe, particularly of the 3" variety. The idea being the frame is more likely to be ripped from the tub in an accident. I've yet to hear of this actually happening to someone. Of course, if you've hit with so much force, that you've managed to sheer 12+ automotive grade bolts at once, you probably weren't going to survive that impact with or without the body lift.

Sccrbrg 06-15-2012 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 98GunmetalTJ (Post 2477778)
Budget boosts and body lifts are safe. Budget boosts replace and/or sit on top of the stock spring isolators. If all you do is add the spacers, then yes, its an ineffective way to do it. You'll also want to add longer travel shocks to account for the additional height. If you do both, it is still essentially as effective as stock, while gaining height. The main difference in a spacer lift is that a spacer lift retains the stock springs, while a coil lift would replace them with longer springs. Springs which are longer will obviously allow for more compression and should flex a bit better. Some springs are also designed to keep from sagging due to the additional weight we add to our Jeeps.

A body lift will gain height by lifting the tub off the frame. Most people don't care for the gap a body lift creates between the frame and the tub (especially at 2-3 inches). At one inch, it doesn't really bother me.

Some people will say that body lifts are unsafe, particularly of the 3" variety. The idea being the frame is more likely to be ripped from the tub in an accident. I've yet to hear of this actually happening to someone. Of course, if you've hit with so much force, that you've managed to sheer 12+ automotive grade bolts at once, you probably weren't going to survive that impact with or without the body lift.

Will a 2 inch BB and 1 inch body lift make for an extremely bumpy ride? Or will that depend on the shocks? Also, will the spacers be prone to deterioration or will they be good to go for quite a while?

Sorry, I know its a lot of questions.

Oh, and when I had a fabtech on my F150 a couple of years ago I managed to shear 4 automotive grade bolts holding on my front upper-A arms going over a very slight dip. Tow truck driver was mystified. Either I got shafted with inferior parts or those bolts just shear sometimes, either way that was expensive. lol.

Pistondog 06-15-2012 07:51 PM

Whatever you think it's going to cost, add another10 to 20 percent

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sccrbrg

Will a 2 inch BB and 1 inch body lift make for an extremely bumpy ride? Or will that depend on the shocks? Also, will the spacers be prone to deterioration or will they be good to go for quite a while?

The spacers or the body lift shouldn't affect the ride quality compared to stock. Good quality shocks will have a bigger impact. Old Man Emu (OME) and Blisten 5100 tend to get good reviews from users. I haven't heard of anyone complaining about spacers deteriorating. They should last many years.

A middle ground would be the OME 2.5" kit. You'll get new springs, shocks, bumpstop extensions, track bar relocation bracket, and a t-case drop if you need it for under $800. Most people who have it love the ride quality (some claim better than stock) especially for a daily driver. Do a search on the forums for it.

Sccrbrg 06-15-2012 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 98GunmetalTJ
The spacers or the body lift shouldn't affect the ride quality compared to stock. Good quality shocks will have a bigger impact. Old Man Emu (OME) and Blisten 5100 tend to get good reviews from users. I haven't heard of anyone complaining about spacers deteriorating. They should last many years.

A middle ground would be the OME 2.5" kit. You'll get new springs, shocks, bumpstop extensions, track bar relocation bracket, and a t-case drop if you need it for under $800. Most people who have it love the ride quality (some claim better than stock) especially for a daily driver. Do a search on the forums for it.

I've read good things about those, not sure how I would run 33's with those though. BL in addition?

98GunmetalTJ 06-15-2012 10:11 PM

Yes. A 1" body lift would still likely be necessary.

White_TJ 06-15-2012 11:31 PM

If I wanted to get a 3.75" lift, (2.5 suspension, 1.25 BL) would i need new driving parts?

98GunmetalTJ 06-16-2012 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by White_TJ
If I wanted to get a 3.75" lift, (2.5 suspension, 1.25 BL) would i need new driving parts?

It's tough to answer, because all Jeeps are different. If i had to bet, you probably wouldn't need to get an SYE though, especially if you paired your body lift with a motor mount lift which would help reduce the t-case angle. That coupled with the t-case drop that comes with the kit should be more than enough to keep your angles in check. Just keep in mind, by lowering the t-case, you're losing some of the clearance under the skid that you gain from the larger tires.

White_TJ 06-16-2012 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 98GunmetalTJ (Post 2478807)
It's tough to answer, because all Jeeps are different. If i had to bet, you probably wouldn't need to get an SYE though, especially if you paired your body lift with a motor mount lift which would help reduce the t-case angle. That coupled with the t-case drop that comes with the kit should be more than enough to keep your angles in check. Just keep in mind, by lowering the t-case, you're losing some of the clearance under the skid that you gain from the larger tires.

So would it be better to just get the RC 3.25 Suspension lift?

prestonsrubi 06-16-2012 12:52 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I went with the simple way. If you are going to be wheeling a lot and running her hard, go ahead get different parts from different manufacturers. Beef up the drivetrain. Go all out and plan on spending your hard earned bucks. If youre not planning on wheeling your jeep hard and plan on using it as a daily driver that can kick butt too, then go with an entry level kit. I have a rough country 3.25 lift with 33's. I didn't need a sye kit, just the transfer case drop. My buddy and I installed the lift ourselves, and it runs great. The lift was $370, steering stabilizer was $50 tires were $1100. So for around $1500 I got what I needed. Later on, if want to start replacing parts with specific manufacturers in mind I can, but I have no need to and by the sounds of your original inquiries, maybe you don't either.

Attachment 132363

prestonsrubi 06-16-2012 07:02 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Also, when you buy kits that are already to go, you can take that money you saved and get new bumpers or something that will make the jeep more uniquely yours. Maybe a cold air intake, or an exhaust to boost performance...those two alone will give you back the power lost to 33" tires, no regearing necessary.

SurfKaster 06-16-2012 07:52 AM

Check out the DPG website dpgoffroad.com | Product Categories Archive | TJ/LJ Wrangler Kits & give Dirk a call.

redpony03 06-23-2012 12:34 AM

got the tee shirt on this....first off 32's and 4:10 are a good choice w/auto....esp.on hilly hwys.... if i had it to do over i would do the 4:56S and be ready for 34's second if u do install the budget spring lift 1 3/4 here on a lj...dont not run w/swaybars disconnected if u value the fenders....and third dont forget that longer shocks will be needed...jmho hope it helps...

White_TJ 06-23-2012 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prestonsrubi (Post 2479168)
Also, when you buy kits that are already to go, you can take that money you saved and get new bumpers or something that will make the jeep more uniquely yours. Maybe a cold air intake, or an exhaust to boost performance...those two alone will give you back the power lost to 33" tires, no regearing necessary.

Hey, do you have spacers? If not, how the heck did you get them to stick out so far?


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