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Old 12-08-2019, 03:18 PM
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JK newbie lift and tire question

Currently own an '04 TJ and actively shopping for a 2012-13 JK. Auto.

I'm completely new to JK's (afters spending years in the TJ section).
Ideally going to be running 35" tires.

-Suspension lift. Can anyone recommend me a decent, inexpensive lift? Thinking either 2.5 or 3"
-Tire size. Am I safe running 35's without any additional modifications/gearing?


Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-08-2019, 08:56 PM   #2
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New to JK's myself. I have had three TJ's in the past. Just getting back into jeeps after a ten year hiatus.



I just installed 1" spacers today. Will install a 1.25 inch body lift in a few days. Then the 35s go on. 2 inches of lift and you should be good for 35's although I will also be going with flat fenders very soon to add room for flex.


Gearing, that depends. I have 3.21s and 4.88s will be coming soon, just a few weeks. If you have at least 3.73, you might, might be OK. IMO.

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Old 12-08-2019, 09:01 PM   #3
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A "measured" 2.5" lift and 35's are quite a standard setup. You won't need all the extras like track bar, control arms and such. I say measured because with 2.5" of front spacer and 1" of rear spacer, front metal bumper and winch and spare inside the cargo area of my JKU, I have measured front and rear lift of 1.5". I just got a set of Teraflex 2.5" springs.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:53 AM   #4
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For a 2.5" lift you can go cheap, but generally the best cheap lifts will be lifts that don't lift much. Like the Rancho 2" progressive lift, which tends to only lift around 2.4" up front and 1.5" in back. That lift should be just enough to run 35's, but some 35's are bigger than others so it may be close. Worst case, you might need a pair of 1" bump stop extension in back if it rubs. You also might want a set of front shock extensions to compensate for the 2" bump stop extension included in that kit. Even with this lift some find they still need to add caster correction. A set of longer lower front control arms or geometry brackets will solve that.
Other 2.5" lifts tend to lift closer to 3" or more up front, and that means that are more likely to require caster correction. That is because lifting changes caster, and caster is what makes your Jeep drive properly or not. You can get a decent 2.5" lift for around a grand, there are a few brands out there. AEV, TeraFlex, MetalCloak, JKS, etc.
I like the TeraFlex based Most Popular Lift on the Wrangler Forum, as can be had from Allen @AOR . But you can't go wrong with AEV, or any of the others.
As to body lifts, they aren't very common with JK / JKUs. They are more common on older Jeeps. JK / JKUs don't normally need them.
As to gearing, first you need to know what gears you have. But if you are going to 35's, I would want to regear. If you have 4.10 gears you might be happy with 35's. But I wouldn't be. If you have 3.73 or, worse yet, 3.21 gears I really would plan on a re-gear. But that is up to you. Everyone has their own version of what is acceptable performance. Some are fine with the loss in performance that comes from running larger tires. I am not.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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@GuzziMoto is correct, a quality 2.5" lift with 35s is a good setup and will likely take you many places without incident. I followed this advice myself after doing a lot of reading here. Many, the thread referenced above. I too re-geared after 35s and I had 4.10 gears to start. Now, with 4.88s the Jeep pulls strong; sometimes I can pull out in second gear too.

I spent 30 years with YJs, so I get the learning curve part of this; I'm still learning about these models. Do a lot of reading, make a plan and follow it. Best not to spend money multiple times. I recently got swept up in a project that has ultimately not worked out like I thought it would, so always take a breath before jumping into more mods to be certain they fit your plans and goals of your jeep usage.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:06 AM
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Thanks all for the replies. Seems like the 2.5 + 35's are pretty standard. Appreciate it.

A friend of mine just bought a 2018 Sahara. Running 35x12.5 with no lift at all, although I'd prefer one.

Trying to keep the kit around 500 or less. Was thinking something like Zone (since I've used them for my TJ) or Rough Country?

Zone 3"
Zone Offroad 3" Suspension System J12N/J13N

Rough Country 2.5"
https://www.extremeterrain.com/rough...s-0718-jk.html

I'm hoping these are pretty decent for a "budget" kit. Zone seems to have really solid reviews. If anyone has an opinion on these let me know.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:44 AM   #7
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imho Rough country and zone are bottom tier lifts. They will perform as such.

I recommend you save until you can afford a more complete and quality lift.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav031 View Post
Thanks all for the replies. Seems like the 2.5 + 35's are pretty standard. Appreciate it.

A friend of mine just bought a 2018 Sahara. Running 35x12.5 with no lift at all, although I'd prefer one.

Trying to keep the kit around 500 or less. Was thinking something like Zone (since I've used them for my TJ) or Rough Country?

Zone 3"
Zone Offroad 3" Suspension System J12N/J13N

Rough Country 2.5"
https://www.extremeterrain.com/rough...s-0718-jk.html

I'm hoping these are pretty decent for a "budget" kit. Zone seems to have really solid reviews. If anyone has an opinion on these let me know.
If you really want a $500 lift the only lift at that price I would recommend is the Rancho 2" progressive spring lift. About $500 including adjustable 9000 series shocks.
If you can afford another $500 (so $1,000 total) you get into the realm of quality 2.5" lifts.
Zone and Rough Country are not popular lifts with the JK / JKU. They are a budget lift, and deliver budget performance / results. They are popular to install on Jeeps you are selling.....
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:57 AM   #9
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Big Jeeps unfortunately are a pay to play sport. I would wait and save money until you can do a quality lift. And regear. AMD have a budget for everything else that goes along with running big tires.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GuzziMoto View Post
If you really want a $500 lift the only lift at that price I would recommend is the Rancho 2" progressive spring lift. About $500 including adjustable 9000 series shocks.
If you can afford another $500 (so $1,000 total) you get into the realm of quality 2.5" lifts.
Zone and Rough Country are not popular lifts with the JK / JKU. They are a budget lift, and deliver budget performance / results. They are popular to install on Jeeps you are selling.....

Ok you mentioned Teraflex.
Would this be something you'd recommend? Better than zone/rough country?

https://www.extremeterrain.com/teraf...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:06 AM   #11
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Ok you mentioned Teraflex.
Would this be something you'd recommend? Better than zone/rough country?

https://www.extremeterrain.com/teraf...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
TeraFlex is an established higher end company when it comes to Jeeps. They are not the only options, but they are a good option. I run a number of parts on our Jeep that are from TeraFlex.
But the lift in that link is using their low end shocks, and while that lift can be a great starting point it can be made much better. Here is a link to that lift from a vendor that lets you customize that lift with various shocks and other parts.
https://www.allensoffroad.com/Terafl...ction-KJ-Combo
You can contact Allen @AOR and see what sort of deal he can offer you on it.
And, as mentioned, there is the Rancho 2" progressive lift if you want something cheaper.
https://www.allensoffroad.com/suspen...cho-RS66118BR9
Other vendors you may want to talk to include Northridge4x4, Quadratec, and Krawl Off Road. All typically have some sort of discount available for forum members.

And yes, TeraFlex would be substantially better than Zone or Rough Country. So would AEV, JKS, MetalCloak, etc.
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