Need Advice - Lift/Wheels/Tires
So being completely new to Jeeps, let alone "car speak" in general... I've been doing a ton of reading and searching on here.
What I am gathering is that if I wanted 35" tires for my '13 Unlimited Sport... there are several other things that I need to do to accommodate this.
My general goal is to do a lift and replace my tires. I won't be doing any rock crawling in my jeep (nowhere here to do so)... but will mainly be used for trails/mud.
I currently have 29" Goodyear Wrangler ST P225/75R16 that came with my jeep when I bought it. They were not getting me through the mud this past weekend.
I'm thinking I want 33" tires... is a 3" lift good enough? I've been searching on eBay for a lift kit and see a lot of 4" kits. I see some kits that require other things and some that don't.
If you could all give me your opinions/advice on a complete lift kit brand that works well, as well as, do I need to replace my wheels if I replace my tires? I didn't think so, but wasn't sure with the lift. Also, can I change my tires to 33" without doing the lift just yet and maybe do that later down the line?
Sorry for all the questions! Any advice is appreciated!
Most popular is a 2.5" with 35's or even 33's. How much money are you wanting to spend is the main Question.
Here's the best thread on some of the major lift kits:
Review the first few posts there and it should answer a lot of your questions.
In general, you should not be buying "no name" or discount brand kits off of eBay. Aside from raising your center of gravity, a lift involves replacing or altering many critical suspension components of your vehicle. This has a huge impact on handling and road manners, which has a huge impact on safety.
The focus in choosing a kit should be on your goals, the quality of the materials and design being offered, and the completeness of the kit. Seeking a kit that offers the most height for the fewest dollars is much more likely to lead you to incomplete kits with a lot of parts manufactured in far off countries exercising little quality control and using inferior materials.
There's a big difference between what's required just to lift a jeep and have it look good sitting in your driveway versus lifting it and having it handle and ride like a vehicle you feel safe in.
As to tires and wheels and how they interact with the jeep at stock height, review this thread:
In short, you're going to need new wheels or spacers.
I most certainly don't want to buy something "cheap"... which is why I was looking for brand advice to make sure I don't buy something not of quality.
This is my daily driver... and with a baby in a car seat... so I absolutely need it to stay safe and handle well. So the lift info is especially useful for me.
Which is also why I was wondering if I could get 33's on there without a lift, so I could spend more money on really good tires first... and maybe do the lift later.
I just installed the Teraflex 2.5 budget boost yesterday, with the goal of getting up on 35s to better negotiate the sand on the beach and also some light trail use. The kit is less than $400 and can be installed in a few hours with no special tools. This kit also maintains all of the stock suspension components so there is no change in ride characteristics. You are basically installing 2.5 in spacers between the stock suspension and the frame which provides the clearance needed for the bigger tires.
The lift actually boosted me up 3.25 inches and leveled the jeep. It sounds to me that this would be a good fit for you. You can always upgrade later (and sell your BB Kit on ebay). This option also provides you with the extra cash to get good wheels and tires.
When looking for wheels, you will need 4.5 inch backspacing and you should avoid buying steel wheels to save a few bucks. If you go with 35s on steel wheels you will need to upgrade your brakes to stop them.
Also, you can run 33s on your stock suspension. My 2011 came with 33s on 17" alloys.
Just my $0.02
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