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Old 10-10-2011, 02:09 AM
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lift kit confusion

Planning on putting 35's on 16-in rims on my 2012 jk unlimited, but need some advice on the lift. I'd like to lift it abt 3". Just wondering how to do it right to prevent any problems or stress on parts down the road...as much as possible, anyway.

I'll do some wheeling with it on weekends, but mostly use it for my dd.

I know it's a subjective question, but who makes the best lifts? I talked to a mechanic recently and he said he could get me a Skyjacker kit and install it for 2K. Is that reasonable, or complete bs?

Don't mind spending the $, but don't wanna throw the stuff away.

Man, I'm totally confused.

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Old 10-10-2011, 02:21 AM   #2
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2K for a Skyjacker kit seems a little over the top. If you're going to go into that price range, I recommend that you look into what most will consider the premium kit. The AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) 3.5", a nicely engineered suspension system that will leave you with a ride that's better than stock. The 3.5" kit starts at $1274, and having ordered the 4.5" kit for my 12, with all the options, including remote reservoir shocks, my installer charges me $545 to install it (including alignment). 3.5" will clear 35's, and 4.5" will clear 37's.
https://secure.aev-conversions.com/s...uct_Code=NTH02

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Old 10-10-2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post
Planning on putting 35's on 16-in rims on my 2012 jk unlimited, but need some advice on the lift. I'd like to lift it abt 3". Just wondering how to do it right to prevent any problems or stress on parts down the road...as much as possible, anyway.

I'll do some wheeling with it on weekends, but mostly use it for my dd.

I know it's a subjective question, but who makes the best lifts? I talked to a mechanic recently and he said he could get me a Skyjacker kit and install it for 2K. Is that reasonable, or complete bs?

Don't mind spending the $, but don't wanna throw the stuff away.

Man, I'm totally confused.
Likewise. I have noticed that Mopar (the guys that spent YEARS designing the Wrangler) recommend 17" minimum wheels. I was thinking of 15" myself, for the awesome look and max effective use of air down for krawling, but I'll probably go with 17" now. I imagine it has something to do with brake clearance or the load of a large heavy tire. Check the relative weights of 15" and 17" 35s and you'll see what I mean.

As for the best lift... you get what you pay for, altho I've seen some positive comments on some of the budget boosts. I'm interested in increased articulation, and the budget boosts don't give you that. They only perch you higher over the stock short-travel suspension.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lbrito View Post
2K for a Skyjacker kit seems a little over the top. If you're going to go into that price range, I recommend that you look into what most will consider the premium kit. The AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) 3.5", a nicely engineered suspension system that will leave you with a ride that's better than stock. The 3.5" kit starts at $1274, and having ordered the 4.5" kit for my 12, with all the options, including remote reservoir shocks, my installer charges me $545 to install it (including alignment). 3.5" will clear 35's, and 4.5" will clear 37's.
https://secure.aev-conversions.com/s...uct_Code=NTH02
I noticed a Cherry JK in your sig. Do you have pics posted somewhere?
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:36 AM   #5
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2K for a Skyjacker lift installed? I would say pass... How much is he charging labor? Most lifts on the market can be done pretty easy in the driveway with a few tools and maybe a few friends!

One thing to keep in mind when selecting a lift is you really get what you pay for. Now, the Skyjacker is a cheaper lift. We have seen customers with issues with it sagging after a while. We would recomend you look at Rock Krawler, Synergy Suspension, TeraFlex, and AEV. Each has its pros and cons but is a great lift that will last the liftime of you JK. You can also upgrade these lifts as your offroading needs see fit.

We could easily set you up with a 2.5" lift from a great company with shocks for under $1K!

Let us know if we can help. Feel free to PM, email, or call at anytime. We would be more than happy to go over some options and see what we can do to help you get setup and save some cash!

-Jason
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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I just got quoted a BDS 3" with control arms, adjustable track bars, fox shocks and the works with labor for $1600. Not that I'm going that route but that is a lot better lift then the Skyjacker for less.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Piper54 View Post
Likewise. I have noticed that Mopar (the guys that spent YEARS designing the Wrangler) recommend 17" minimum wheels. I was thinking of 15" myself, for the awesome look and max effective use of air down for krawling, but I'll probably go with 17" now. I imagine it has something to do with brake clearance or the load of a large heavy tire. Check the relative weights of 15" and 17" 35s and you'll see what I mean.

As for the best lift... you get what you pay for, altho I've seen some positive comments on some of the budget boosts. I'm interested in increased articulation, and the budget boosts don't give you that. They only perch you higher over the stock short-travel suspension.

So 16's aren't good? Seems like a lot of folks have gone with 16's, and even 15's, to maximize tire buying $. The load ratings on the rims and tires I'm looking at are over what the stock tires/rims have.

Does Mopar say why they recommend 17's?

Thanks for the info, by the way.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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You can run anything from a 15"+ on the JK. The smaller you go the cheaper the wheels. 16's are fine but there is less to choose from in that range for some reason. There is more in the 15 and 17" range.

Let us know if we can help!
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:21 AM   #9
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16" is a good medium if you looking for less expensive and not wanting to put on 15". As long as you get a good alloy wheel and not steel. Steel just weighs too much especially with the weight of the 35's. Since Jeep has stock 16" not sure about the recommendation statement but working in the tire industry in the past, not sure were there was a benefit between 16" and 17" as long as you got a wheel that fit correctly and again Jeep does offer stock 16's themself.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:29 AM
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One thing to keep in mind when selecting a lift is you really get what you pay for. Now, the Skyjacker is a cheaper lift. We have seen customers with issues with it sagging after a while. We would recomend you look at Rock Krawler, Synergy Suspension, TeraFlex, and AEV. Each has its pros and cons but is a great lift that will last the liftime of you JK. You can also upgrade these lifts as your offroading needs see fit.

We could easily set you up with a 2.5" lift from a great company with shocks for under $1K!

-Jason
2K didn't sound right, although I have no basis for telling you why. It just set off some alarms. Seemed overly expensive for something that, as I understand it, isn't really all that difficult...

I'm Interested in the AEV kit. I've read a lotta good things about it, in terms of quality. And any others that Those Who Know would recommend. How much lift would I need to clear 315/75R16 DuraTracs on XD Hoss 795 rims? 3.5" starts getting into an area that worries me. I'd like to keep the undercarriage mods to a minimum for now, keep it as stock under there as possible to avoid messing with drivetrain, placing too much stress on neighboring parts, etc.

I could be just babbling; I know @#&! about lifts.

If a 2.5" lift would clear the tires I'm looking at (I think they're 34.6"), then I'd certainly consider going that route. Can you point me toward some kits that would do the job?

I'm kind've a hunter/gatherer, in terms of information. May take me some time to take everything in and assimilate it, but eventually I'll know enough to be dangerous...

Thanks for any info, Krawl.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:35 AM
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The AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) 3.5", a nicely engineered suspension system that will leave you with a ride that's better than stock. The 3.5" kit starts at $1274, and having ordered the 4.5" kit for my 12, with all the options, including remote reservoir shocks, my installer charges me $545 to install it (including alignment). 3.5" will clear 35's, and 4.5" will clear 37's.

Did you go with the DualSport ST or the SC?
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:40 AM
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16" is a good medium if you looking for less expensive and not wanting to put on 15". As long as you get a good alloy wheel and not steel. Steel just weighs too much especially with the weight of the 35's.

That's the plan, rics1997. Smaller rims (but not too small) so I can go with a little more rubber. I'm looking at the XD series Hoss 795 rims in black.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #13
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Sure no problem! That is what we are here for...

A 2.5" lift can clear 35's on a JK no problem. Heck, with a little work, you can clear 35's with no lift! But, that is a different story.

AEV is a good chocie as well as Rock Krawler, Synergy Suspension, and TeraFlex. The Rock Krawler has two options. They have the Stock Mod and a Max Travel. They also offer the Max Travel in a PRO all aluminum kit! Weight savings is great with that Kit. Synergy Suspension is very nice and can be easily upgraded. The TeraFlex kit is great and can come with matching shocks which is very nice. Keeps everything the same. The only con with this kit is you have to have either wheels with a 4.5"BS or wheel spacers. No big deal either way, just cost a bit more.

Let us know if we can help get you setup. We can do any of the companies we have talked about here and can save you some money getting setup! We can even do wheels and tires to! Feel free to shot us a PM, email, or give us a call!

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:23 PM
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Found this online:
"I chose the 2.5" coil springs and shocks because the advice was that keeping under 2.5" eliminates the need to modify anything other than the swaybar links. At full flex, my rear tires will rub the fender edges."

Is that pretty accurate? If so, I'd lean more toward a 3" or 3.5" lift. Don't want any issues with tires rubbing. On the other hand, I really don't want sh** bending and failing on my Jeep cuz I didn't buy a lift that accounted for everything.

Hmm. Still digging.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:27 PM   #15
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It is hard to say with that limited bit of info. What size tires? Did it have flat fenders?

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:51 PM
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I don't know.

For my part, I'm installing either Bushwacker flat style or Xenon flat style fender flares (haven't decided yet.) But it's statements like the ones below that concern me most:

"You're still going to end up having to change out the front driveshaft with the 3.5" if it's anything like the 11's. At full flex, there's some rubbing and boot tearing that occurs. AEV offers a narrower DS that helps correct the issue. I don't know if anyone really knows for the 2012s yet."

DOES anyone really know for the 2012's yet? Then there's this:

"I have the AEV 3.5" premium. Drives like stock. Highly recommended. I run 35" KM2s with 5.13 gears. I was told by AEV that I didnt need to replace my front shaft, first time I flexed it out the slip yoke on the front shaft hit the little spot on the oil pan that sticks out and tore it. You will need to replace your front shaft with the 3.5"..."

I do not want to replace my driveshaft at this point. Is that just an issue that comes up beyond 3" of lift? If so, I'd have to go with 3" for now, and no more.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:03 PM
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Seems to me 3" is a kind've line in the sand. Go beyond it, and you run into issues with driveshaft, etc. Too far below and you won't clear the tires you wanna clear.

An age-old Jeep dilemma, I'm sure.

So what I'm looking for is the highest-quality lift kit for a 2012 JKU Sahara that'll allow me to clear 35's on 16" rims with flat style fenders, ride on the road as well as (or better) than the stock setup, and still be game for some muddy weekend fun.

Put that way, it seems so damn straightforward.

Reality's a POS.

I've read that many folks go with a bb to clear the tires they want; however, I'd have to say that anything utilizing the word "budget" doesn't seem like a long-term solution. IMO. I've been around long enough to know that if you go cheap, you'll eventually get blindsided by another bill.

Anyone have a really good 3" lift they can recommend for the 2012 JKU?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:05 PM
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btw...round of applause to the founders of wranglerforum, jk-forum, etc.

What a resource.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:06 PM   #19
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Why not the 2.5" from RK? We could par that with the ACE flat fenders and I don't see why there is no reason why you could not clear 35's all day long?

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Old 10-10-2011, 01:22 PM
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Why not the 2.5" from RK? We could par that with the ACE flat fenders and I don't see why there is no reason why you could not clear 35's all day long?
-Jason

What does the 2.5" RK kit come with? Does it include control arms?

Do you guys have a 3", and if so, what does that include?

Don't wanna give the impression I'm looking for a cheap solution, b/c I'm not. I'd like to get as much lift as possible w/out having to embrace the tarbaby of driveshafts, etc.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:53 PM   #21
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The 2.5" Stock Mod comes with only the springs. If you step up to the Max Travel, it comes with lower control arms front and rear and track bar. Then, the higher up version PRO aluminum version comes with upper and lower control arms front and rear along with the front track bar and tie rod! All there kits come with the quick dico's and the Max Travels come with brake lines.

These lifts even though they are a 2.5" lift, they will net close to 3"s. Not quite there but the next step up in the line at Rock Krawler is the 3.5" lifts. There is even more to choose from there. But, then you will need to start looking at the Driveshafts. Not saying that you WILL need them but it is a very really possibility...

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Old 10-10-2011, 02:50 PM
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The 2.5" Stock Mod comes with only the springs. If you step up to the Max Travel, it comes with lower control arms front and rear and track bar. Then, the higher up version PRO aluminum version comes with upper and lower control arms front and rear along with the front track bar and tie rod! All there kits come with the quick dico's and the Max Travels come with brake lines.

These lifts even though they are a 2.5" lift, they will net close to 3"s. Not quite there but the next step up in the line at Rock Krawler is the 3.5" lifts. There is even more to choose from there. But, then you will need to start looking at the Driveshafts. Not saying that you WILL need them but it is a very really possibility...
-Jason

Thanks for the help, Jason. I'll continue gorging on info, and in a few days I'll start to vibrate, and a computer printout will spew from my brain (or somewhere else), and I'll decide what to do...
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:13 PM   #23
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wolf,

I am new to the site... also just got a new 2012 wrangler sport...very interested in putting 35 12.50s and a lift on.. what offset do i need to look at, and what suspension lift size is good enough?
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:25 PM
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wolf,

I am new to the site... also just got a new 2012 wrangler sport...very interested in putting 35 12.50s and a lift on.. what offset do i need to look at, and what suspension lift size is good enough?
First: Welcome to WF.

Second: Man, you dragged up a thread from October? Shoulda just started a new one, or PM'd me. I'm not mean.

Third: Is your Sport a 2- or 4-door?

Alrighty then...it's really not all that difficult to fit 35's on your Jeep. Your cheapest option (financially - not quality-wise), would be to get a 2.5" lift. A complete one, with shocks and springs, such as the ones TeraFlex and Rock Krawler make.

Lotsa peeps running those here. Only complaints I've heard are from people who've botched the install.

The reason I recommend a 2.5" lift is because, beyond that, you WILL incur a bunch of peripheral, but necessary, costs. Such as adjustable trackbars, front and rear. Adjustable control arms, front and rear (sometimes folks buy a set of front lowers with the 2.5" kits anyway...but it depends on how your Jeep drives after the lift is installed.) If you have a 2-door, you will need a new front AND a new rear driveshaft...remember, we're talking about lifts OVER the 2.5" ones here. For a 4-door, you'll need a front ds right away, and should consider getting one for the rear fairly soon.

Still with me?

A 2.5" lift is gonna run you, even if you decide you want adj lower ca's, around $800-$900. That's if you install it yourself, with a buddy, whatever.

A 3" lift (which is what I ultimately ended up buying) can wind up being quite a bit more. Mine ran $2K with the replacement front driveshaft.

Obviously, not all 3" and larger lifts are anywhere near that much. My philosophy about that is this: If you wanna skimp on some of the things in your build, fine, but don't do it on the lift. You're changing years of geometry engineering, and if you mess it up it's gonna cost you a ton of headaches and a lot of money you never intended to spend.

Plus, you may end up hating your Jeep. Hate to see that.

I'd also recommend that, if your Jeep is a 2-door, you go with 33" tires. To me, 35's just look too big on a JK, whereas a JKU pretty much needs em. That's just me. And with 33's on a 2-door, you can get the 2.5" even cheaper...what we call a coil lift, no shocks. Something to consider.

Basically, what I've given you is a very partial answer. There's still a lot you should try to learn and understand before you make your decision.

If you noticed in the posts above, I went on and on about not wanting to mess with a replacement driveshaft. Pounded on that theme over and over. So, two months later when I installed my lift, what did I put on it? A friggin driveshaft.

What changed between the time I started this thread and the time I got my Jeep?

I did my homework. Plain and simple. As much as I wanted folks here on WF to tell me, "do this, that, then this, and your Jeep experience will be perfect," they couldn't do it. So I did it myself. I basically amassed the knowledge I needed to make what I thought was an informed decision based on what I want to do with my Jeep.

And don't get me wrong, the folks here helped immensely. Some of em may not even be aware of it.

So read through the forum. And make good use of the search feature. In fact, if you go to Search, Advanced Search, then type 2.5" lifts into the search window (and, in window at lower right, click on JK Jeep Section to limit your search to just JK's), you'll find more threads than you can possibly read.

You'll find conflicting information in a lot of them. Everybody's got an opinion. Everybody loves THEIR particular lift, even if it blows up under their rig at 70 mph on the freeway.

But read enough about something, and you'll start to see common themes, and eventually you'll know what's what.

In the meantime, if you come across something specific you want more info about (a certain lift, particular brand of tire, etc) start a new post and throw it out to the masses. I think of it as feeding the Beast.

We love that shit.

Also, feel free to PM me anytime.

Most important of all: Enjoy your Jeep.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kbwwolf

First: Welcome to WF.

Second: Man, you dragged up a thread from October? Shoulda just started a new one, or PM'd me. I'm not mean.

Third: Is your Sport a 2- or 4-door?

Alrighty then...it's really not all that difficult to fit 35's on your Jeep. Your cheapest option (financially - not quality-wise), would be to get a 2.5" lift. A complete one, with shocks and springs, such as the ones TeraFlex and Rock Krawler make.

Lotsa peeps running those here. Only complaints I've heard are from people who've botched the install.

The reason I recommend a 2.5" lift is because, beyond that, you WILL incur a bunch of peripheral, but necessary, costs. Such as adjustable trackbars, front and rear. Adjustable control arms, front and rear (sometimes folks buy a set of front lowers with the 2.5" kits anyway...but it depends on how your Jeep drives after the lift is installed.) If you have a 2-door, you will need a new front AND a new rear driveshaft...remember, we're talking about lifts OVER the 2.5" ones here. For a 4-door, you'll need a front ds right away, and should consider getting one for the rear fairly soon.

Still with me?

A 2.5" lift is gonna run you, even if you decide you want adj lower ca's, around $800-$900. That's if you install it yourself, with a buddy, whatever.

A 3" lift (which is what I ultimately ended up buying) can wind up being quite a bit more. Mine ran $2K with the replacement front driveshaft.

Obviously, not all 3" and larger lifts are anywhere near that much. My philosophy about that is this: If you wanna skimp on some of the things in your build, fine, but don't do it on the lift. You're changing years of geometry engineering, and if you mess it up it's gonna cost you a ton of headaches and a lot of money you never intended to spend.

Plus, you may end up hating your Jeep. Hate to see that.

I'd also recommend that, if your Jeep is a 2-door, you go with 33" tires. To me, 35's just look too big on a JK, whereas a JKU pretty much needs em. That's just me. And with 33's on a 2-door, you can get the 2.5" even cheaper...what we call a coil lift, no shocks. Something to consider.

Basically, what I've given you is a very partial answer. There's still a lot you should try to learn and understand before you make your decision.

If you noticed in the posts above, I went on and on about not wanting to mess with a replacement driveshaft. Pounded on that theme over and over. So, two months later when I installed my lift, what did I put on it? A friggin driveshaft.

What changed between the time I started this thread and the time I got my Jeep?

I did my homework. Plain and simple. As much as I wanted folks here on WF to tell me, "do this, that, then this, and your Jeep experience will be perfect," they couldn't do it. So I did it myself. I basically amassed the knowledge I needed to make what I thought was an informed decision based on what I want to do with my Jeep.

And don't get me wrong, the folks here helped immensely. Some of em may not even be aware of it.

So read through the forum. And make good use of the search feature. In fact, if you go to Search, Advanced Search, then type 2.5" lifts into the search window (and, in window at lower right, click on JK Jeep Section to limit your search to just JK's), you'll find more threads than you can possibly read.

You'll find conflicting information in a lot of them. Everybody's got an opinion. Everybody loves THEIR particular lift, even if it blows up under their rig at 70 mph on the freeway.

But read enough about something, and you'll start to see common themes, and eventually you'll know what's what.

In the meantime, if you come across something specific you want more info about (a certain lift, particular brand of tire, etc) start a new post and throw it out to the masses. I think of it as feeding the Beast.

We love that shit.

Also, feel free to PM me anytime.

Most important of all: Enjoy your Jeep.
Couldn't have put it any better wolf.
sergeoval8157 is offline   Quote
Old 04-17-2012, 10:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post
I did my homework. Plain and simple.
understatement.

you've come a long ways

pluke the 2 is offline   Quote
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