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Old 07-30-2019, 09:04 AM
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Lift advice for new JK owner

I guess this will be the first of many questions I just got my son his first vehicle (he will be 16 in about a month) it's a '11 2 door JK and he's tickled to death. We want to do a few mods mostly for looks and we want to start with a lift and some new tires/wheels I was thinking of going with a 2.5" lift and 35x12.50x 17" or 18" also looking at kits with shocks since his jeep has factory ones with 97000 miles. I've done some searches on here and looked at several different ones and now I'm more confused than ever. I was looking at the Teraflex kit with new springs and shocks that runs about 830 bucks and then I seen Rancho kit that a lot of people liked and then I seen some BB lift's so I don't know which would be best for my situation (mostly for looks) and trying to keep the cost down as much as possible for him and me any help would be appreciated thanks.

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Old 07-30-2019, 09:12 AM   #2
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1 vote rancho sport kit. love mine. great bang for the $$.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:22 AM   #3
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The 2011 has the 3.8 engine. I would strongly advise against 35 inch tires until you are ready to regear it. The engine is dramatically underpowered and adding big heavy wide tires will make it dramatically moreso.

With a two door, you want to look at something with adjustable control arms. Driveline angles on a two door are a bit more finicky than a four door. I would suggest Rock Krawler X Factor or Metalcloak Game Changer. Big lifted Jeeps on big tires aren't cheap. Also, a tire that size you need to start reinforcing the axle - minimum gussets and an axle sleeve.

Whatever you do avoid the cheap lift brands like Rough Country, Zone, Skyjacker.

For shocks, I love my Rancho 7000 and about $75 a corner.

I suggest read around a while before doing anything.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:46 AM   #4
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Agree with above.

IMO keep it as low as possible to fit your tire size. I also feel 35" is too much without regearing.

The Teraflex lift discussed HERE is a great option as is the Rancho 2" lift.

Keep in mind the taller you go and the bigger tires will reduce braking and handling, probably not the best combo for a new driver. So again keep it low and maybe consider a 33" tire.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:26 AM   #5
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At 16, Id be hesitant to start modifying any vehicle. Let him learn how to drive first. Not trying to tell anyone how to raise their kids, but I use the roads too.


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Old 07-30-2019, 11:58 AM   #6
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(...)Keep in mind the taller you go and the bigger tires will reduce braking and handling, probably not the best combo for a new driver. So again keep it low and maybe consider a 33" tire.
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At 16, I’d be hesitant to start modifying any vehicle. Let him learn how to drive first. Not trying to tell anyone how to raise their kids, but I use the roads too.


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^ This.

A lift and big tires will increase braking distance, compromise handling in emergency maneuvers and increase chances of a rollover; it's just physics. And 16 year olds have lousy reflexes; it's just biology.

I'd let him drive it stock for a year or so, and focus on mods like a cool stereo and stickers.

The Jeep will be 1000% cooler than anything his friends drive, even in stock form, so he'll be popular with the girls* no matter what!

Then later he can learn how to maintain and mod his Jeep himself - and possibly help pay for it!


* or boys. This is 2019 after all, I try not to judge...
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:26 PM   #7
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As a dad who made the big mistake of using my son as an excuse to buy car stuff that I thought was cool.......

Buy a set of flat fenders and some 275-70-17 tires and call it a day. The fenders will give the Jeep an offroad look and these tires will be big enough to be obviously upgraded from stock. But you're not spending needlessly on a lift and both fenders and tires can be brought back down to stock when it's time to sell the Jeep off.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:37 PM   #8
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^ This.

A lift and big tires will increase braking distance, compromise handling in emergency maneuvers and increase chances of a rollover; it's just physics. And 16 year olds have lousy reflexes; it's just biology.

I'd let him drive it stock for a year or so, and focus on mods like a cool stereo and stickers.

The Jeep will be 1000% cooler than anything his friends drive, even in stock form, so he'll be popular with the girls* no matter what!

Then later he can learn how to maintain and mod his Jeep himself - and possibly help pay for it!


* or boys. This is 2019 after all, I try not to judge...
Sound advice. Wranglers handle differently than a regular car even in stock form and they are *very* capable and cool.

Big lifts, tires and the mods that go with them are expensive (unless you want a death trap) and the handling changes require experience.

If you just want looks you can add slightly larger and more aggresive looking tires - a good AT like the Falken Wildpeak AT3W or Nitto Trail Grapplers depending on your winter needs work great.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:18 PM   #9
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I too helped my son buy his first Jeep. He likes Jeeps, but not the way I do, so I dodged the big lift and tires discussion. He has an LJ sitting on 30s with a leveling kit. They are GY Durtracs, so they look aggressive, but are good in snow and rain. It performs well and looks cool (often a high priority for 16yo boys).

It is good to drive it for a while to learn how a Jeep operates before lifting it. I think this advice is best on a 3.8 JK. Bigger tires will really bog it down and acceleration will be affected for sure; thinking more from an "I need to get out of the way fast to avoid being hit" scenario.

A stock Jeep is certainly not a Ford Pinto, so it has an appropriate amount of "nice car".

Plus, having him save for mods is a great way to build incentive for working and saving.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Javelin 180 View Post
I guess this will be the first of many questions I just got my son his first vehicle (he will be 16 in about a month) it's a '11 2 door JK and he's tickled to death. We want to do a few mods mostly for looks and we want to start with a lift and some new tires/wheels I was thinking of going with a 2.5" lift and 35x12.50x 17" or 18" also looking at kits with shocks since his jeep has factory ones with 97000 miles. I've done some searches on here and looked at several different ones and now I'm more confused than ever. I was looking at the Teraflex kit with new springs and shocks that runs about 830 bucks and then I seen Rancho kit that a lot of people liked and then I seen some BB lift's so I don't know which would be best for my situation (mostly for looks) and trying to keep the cost down as much as possible for him and me any help would be appreciated thanks.
No to 35's on that motor unless you are ready for a $1200 re-gear.

I'll give you 3 very viable options...

1. AEV 2" Budget Boost. Gets you exactly 2" and includes all the parts needed to do it right. Add a set of 285/70-17 tires (33") and 1.25" wheel spacers (assuming it has stock wheels) and you are good to go.

https://www.quadratec.com/products/16502_4400_07.htm
https://www.extremeterrain.com/coyot...s-0717-jk.html

2. A set of 4dr take off springs 18/59 numbers and Rubicon shocks. These will give about 1.5" of lift and ride similar to stock. It's very inexpensive and easy to do. I see them on Craigslist all the time, I have a set in AZ I'm selling for $100. Same as above with wheel spacers and tires.

3. Put on a set of flat fenders and fender liners and some Bilstein 4600 shocks. Also very inexpensive and plenty of room to run those wheel spacers and 33" tires.

Another cool option would be to buy some wheels with proper backspacing 5" to 4.5" and use a 33x12.5x17 if going for a "beefy" look. The Milestar Patagonia MT's in 33x12.5x17would look amazing on any of those set ups above.

Keep the CoG low on a 2dr... They border on being squirelly as it is.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:40 PM   #11
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^^^^ Flat fenders cannot be rated highly enough on the JK! You get additional clearance, beefier look and ZERO impact to driveline or steering.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:01 AM
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I want to thank all of you for all the advice y'all defiantly brought up some things I hadn't thought about and I will check on the flat fenders I hadn't thought about that thanks everybody.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:31 PM   #13
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I want to thank all of you for all the advice y'all defiantly brought up some things I hadn't thought about and I will check on the flat fenders I hadn't thought about that thanks everybody.
If you like the flat fender idea go to YouTube and do a search on trimming the stock JK fender flares. This is a free, or nearly free modification and there are several different styles that you can trim them. If you mess up or decide you like the stock fenders better you can often find stock fenders on Craigs List or Facebook for free or really cheap. Also, you can give them a finished look by adding cheap door trim that you can get at any auto parts store.



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2. A set of 4dr take off springs 18/59 numbers and Rubicon shocks. These will give about 1.5" of lift and ride similar to stock. It's very inexpensive and easy to do. I see them on Craigslist all the time, I have a set in AZ I'm selling for $100. Same as above with wheel spacers and tires.
The above is a great option and could be done with flat fenders to. It would actually probably improve the handling over stock when it was new and vastly improve it over the currently worn springs and shocks. When you find these take off parts they are often new or very low mileage because many Rubicon owners add a lift very soon after purchase.

If you decide to just replace the shocks and go with flat or trimmed fenders you may want to consider Rancho RS 5000 shocks in stock JK length, Every October Rancho has their "Shocktober" promotion where you get a nice rebate for buying four shocks. The Ranchos are really good and affordable shocks. I would recommend either spraying them with a clear coat or a rattle can color of you choice before installing them as they don't have a great finish from the factory.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:33 AM   #14
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Imo 2 doors look great with 33” tires.
4 doors not so much
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:35 AM   #15
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Here is my 2 door with 305/70r17 tires (33.8”) the lift is JKU springs and 1” spacers.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:39 AM   #16
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I've got agree. A lift and 35's on the two door at highway speeds in the hands of a new driver....not a great mix. The stock stabilizer can't support the extra wind and weight and can cause your skid control to kick on at high speeds on even small bumps, random breaking applied to wheels at 70+ mph is not a fun thing.

Put some skinny fenders on there, some good looking AT's, and some grab bars and color on the inside. My advice is upgrades as he breaks things.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:43 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=Pressurized;34448379]
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Originally Posted by Javelin 180 View Post

2. A set of 4dr take off springs 18/59 numbers and Rubicon shocks. These will give about 1.5" of lift and ride similar to stock. It's very inexpensive and easy to do. I see them on Craigslist all the time, I have a set in AZ I'm selling for $100. Same as above with wheel spacers
This is spot on my lift above raised the front exactly 2.5” Front 2” rear.
I’ve since swapped the springs for Eibach springs that made it roughly 3.25” front 3” rear. It rides better because Eibach makes Springs designed for the weight of the two door. But I actually liked it when I was a little lower.
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:30 PM   #18
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I've got agree. A lift and 35's on the two door at highway speeds in the hands of a new driver....not a great mix. The stock stabilizer can't support the extra wind and weight and can cause your skid control to kick on at high speeds on even small bumps, random breaking applied to wheels at 70+ mph is not a fun thing.

Put some skinny fenders on there, some good looking AT's, and some grab bars and color on the inside. My advice is upgrades as he breaks things.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:05 AM   #19
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had the 18/59 jku setup on mine before changing to the rancho sport kit. rancho kit is well worth the few extra $$. and the 5000 series shock are great. no need to spring for the adj version. that money it better spent on geo correction brackes and it will drive better than stock.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:32 AM
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had the 18/59 jku setup on mine before changing to the rancho sport kit. rancho kit is well worth the few extra $$. and the 5000 series shock are great. no need to spring for the adj version. that money it better spent on geo correction brackes and it will drive better than stock.
Thanks that's what I going to order it was recommended by several people.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:42 AM   #21
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rancho sport kit its a good fit.

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