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Old 03-01-2016, 12:37 AM
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Lift Kits ruin Vehicle?

So I recently was at a Chevrolet Service store, and was talking to a Mechanic about lift kits, He tells me that lift kits are a terrible idea as they ruin your tires and mess up the vehicle. I was surprised about this as I am planning on getting one soon.

If this is the case how bad is it? And if it is bad then my dreams of having a nice lifted jeep may be over (Hope not!)

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Old 03-01-2016, 12:52 AM   #2
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Let me get this straight, you were talking to someone who works strictly on IFS trucks and cars about suspension on a solid front axle vehicle? He works on vehicles that were ruined at the factory.

I mean its a very vague statement. What do you consider ruined? Sure, it's not going to handle like stock, some parts will wear quicker, but who cares. Dealership mechanics are some of the worst people to get information from.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:53 AM   #3
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As long as the lift is installed properly and all the correct parts are used then you shouldn't have any problems. I've just recently put a lift on my 2nd Jeep and I love it. But I got the right lift for my jeep and the installer has been doing aftermarket mods for a while and I trust him. He's lifted several of my vehicles. So that's another thing, if you don't trust yourself doing it find a shop that has a good reputation and let them handle it.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:56 AM   #4
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That is so true Tweak. If it's not plug and play they are lost.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:05 AM   #5
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They don't ruin the vehicle, but they might ruin the ride quality.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:09 AM   #6
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Surely incomplete or too high lifts can "ruin" your Jeep. Driving a Jeep without steering wheel can also ruin your Jeep. lol couldn't come up with a better example
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:35 AM
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Let me get this straight, you were talking to someone who works strictly on IFS trucks and cars about suspension on a solid front axle vehicle? He works on vehicles that were ruined at the factory. I mean its a very vague statement. What do you consider ruined? Sure, it's not going to handle like stock, some parts will wear quicker, but who cares. Dealership mechanics are some of the worst people to get information from.
I told him that i was getting a lift kit, and he said it was a bad idea and i could kiss my tires goodbye, the only reason i took him seriously is because he was a mechanic at the body shop
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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A properly installed moderate quality lift will not ruin the tires. Part is driver responsibility, maintain correct tire pressure, make sure it's aligned, don't drive like a schmuck.

Just because he works in a body shop does it mean he knows suspensions.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:50 AM   #9
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Some lifts cause tires to wear quicker and some will let tires live longer.
Quality matters...
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:54 AM   #10
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A properly installed moderate quality lift will not ruin the tires. Part is driver responsibility, maintain correct tire pressure, make sure it's aligned, don't drive like a schmuck. Just because he works in a body shop does it mean he knows suspensions.
Yep, improper toe in, worn/loose parts, bad shocks, infrequent tire rotations, PSI, etc
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:55 AM   #11
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If the mechanic was just trying to tell you that you will lose stock performance and ahev a higher cost to own, then he is correct. At the very least you will be buying tires that cost $300-$400 apiece rather than $200-$250. Right there alone you are spending nearly double to operate the vehicle on tires alone. Aggressive mud tires will generally wear faster than conservative all terrains, so that makes it an even higher cost. Add in reduced gas milage and increase brake and suspension wear, and yes it costs more money to own a lifted Jeep. A lot more. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or lying.

That being said, like most any hobby in life, you have to pay to play. If you enjoy it, and you have the money for it, then do it. It is only money. Only you can decide if the extra financial costs and losing your stock ride are worth the lift and larger tires.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:59 AM   #12
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A 90-year old granny on this forum will know more about Jeeps than a Chevrolet mechanic.

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Old 03-01-2016, 09:15 AM   #13
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Adding a lift will cause your engine and drive train components to work harder and wear out faster which will shorten the life span of your jeep. The on road handling characteristics will also be degraded. However, going off road frequently, adding wieght with armor or bumpers will do this as well. I think you get far more out of a lift on a jeep that already doesn't handle that well stock then you would on a pickup truck, which is probably where this guy is coming from.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jeeper_JK View Post
So I recently was at a Chevrolet Service store, and was talking to a Mechanic about lift kits, He tells me that lift kits are a terrible idea as they ruin your tires and mess up the vehicle. I was surprised about this as I am planning on getting one soon.

If this is the case how bad is it? And if it is bad then my dreams of having a nice lifted jeep may be over (Hope not!)
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:30 AM   #15
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Such a broad statement... For JKs specifically, some, or even most lifts on the market could take away some of the on road handling and other benefits of OEM engineering. But there are least a few lifts out there that are properly engineered to improve the on and off road performance and retain or improve on the other benefits of OEM engineering.

It is my understanding that engineering on the AEV lifts and geometry brackets came from a former Jeep engineer. Roll center, on track testing and longevity of the parts were obviously their focus. After 7+ years on my AEV lift, I still think it is one of the best. On road handling is great, better than stock imo, no tire wear issues, off road it has run everything I've asked it to, and I haven't had to rebuild any joints in the suspension arms. I do replace the steering stabilizer every two years, but I view that as maintenance.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:47 AM   #16
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Some will, some won't, like everything, it really depends on what you're paying for. do a search around for people that have issues with flighty steering and you'll see what they have in common, mainly, height gain without at least correction brackets, arms with bs bushings, $40 shocks and "cheap kits" in general because lets face it, they didn't want to offroad, but wanted the lifted look and bigger tires...

The same applies to the truck market, Chevy or Dodge or Ford, Toyota, Nissan, it doesn't matter, most newbs want the lifted look on their big trucks, they just want to be able to fit little bigger tires or huge tires, so you'll see everything from $80 to $300 spacer kits to lift 2-3" to start, $500-$700 for 4-5" lifts, this are the worst offenders, as they're typically the same fackers who think they're saving yourself from big giant corporations, who's all purpose in life is to take $1600 or $5000 for the same $hiat, lifted the proper way , and you're an imbecile for paying that much when the el chepo spacers will accomplish the same. The last imbeciles are the ones that go for the el cheapo approach, and hence the reason your mechanic has the wrong idea about what lifting a vehicle is all about.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:52 AM
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Such a broad statement... For JKs specifically, some, or even most lifts on the market could take away some of the on road handling and other benefits of OEM engineering. But there are least a few lifts out there that are properly engineered to improve the on and off road performance and retain or improve on the other benefits of OEM engineering. It is my understanding that engineering on the AEV lifts and geometry brackets came from a former Jeep engineer. Roll center, on track testing and longevity of the parts were obviously their focus. After 7+ years on my AEV lift, I still think it is one of the best. On road handling is great, better than stock imo, no tire wear issues, off road it has run everything I've asked it to, and I haven't had to rebuild any joints in the suspension arms. I do replace the steering stabilizer every two years, but I view that as maintenance.
i was actually looking at an AEV 2.5 lift as expensive as it is i know AEV's quality and they never disappoint, thanks
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:46 AM   #18
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i was actually looking at an AEV 2.5 lift as expensive as it is i know AEV's quality and they never disappoint, thanks
AEV puts out a quality product and honestly based on my personal experiences - the whole Lift reality is Why AEV is so busy and why they maintain their price structure.
Guys like me who have been lifting (and lowering) vehicles for decades have grown tired of the process, have had our share of successes/failures/headaches and issues. Now we can afford to pay a Professional installation company backed by sound engineering.
That avoids a lot of problems before they ever become problems.
Does a Lift "ruin" a Jeep? It can but it isn't a certainty by a long stretch.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:20 AM   #19
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I just spoke to my mechanic yesterday..he's a general mechanic and has worked on Jeeps, and every other type of automobile. I am/was pretty serious about getting a lift. I was looking at the Teraflex 2.5" 9550

He said..."don't do it", "bad idea", "ok if you're good with coming back here every year and shelling out a bunch of dough". Firstly he said don't listen to people on the Internet LOL...anyway, that aside, he said it does kill your Jeep. He went on to say that because of the lift, your geometry is out of whack which results in new ujoints, ball joints and excessive wear on your tires.

He said it's fine if you get the full complete kit, (the 5000.00+ ones) as it lowers everything and the geometry is basically "moved"...I'm paraphrasing.

He's been a really trustworthy mechanic, and he said it himself it would likely cause me to bring my Jeep in to the shop more..so if he was shady he would have said something opposite...

Anyway, I flip flopping on a lift for mine. Still debating it. I have more to consider now...

Have any of you with lifts experienced more wear and tear on major components? Tires? ..would be nice to hear from the people who have had their lifts installed for a few years now
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:25 AM   #20
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Let me get this straight, you were talking to someone who works strictly on IFS trucks and cars about suspension on a solid front axle vehicle? He works on vehicles that were ruined at the factory.

I mean its a very vague statement. What do you consider ruined? Sure, it's not going to handle like stock, some parts will wear quicker, but who cares. Dealership mechanics are some of the worst people to get information from.
Exactly! They ruined the trucks back in 1988, all to lower production costs. Yet the IFS sheep think itís the best thing since sliced bread.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:49 AM   #21
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I'm doing a AEV 2.5 lift with 34's in the near future. I actually got to drive a JKU that had a AEV lift and it rode and handled BETTER then my stock suspension imo. Yea perhaps it will cost more over the life of the Jeep but so what? I bought this vehicle to have fun with and enjoy it. IMO it looks anemic in stock height and small tires so I'm going to do something about it. I've researched this freaken thing more then if I needed brain operation so enough is enough! There is such a thing as paralysis by analysis and that's what was happening to me.

BTW I heard the same stuff over and over again from all the experts if I supercharged my vette. Well 5 years after doing it I've had ZERO issues and it runs fantastic. Haven't had a single issue with my Edlebrock E-Force SC which was professionally installed at one of the best shops on the east coast. OK yea it was expensive but sometimes you actually get what you pay for imo.

I'm having my Jeep professinally regeared and lifted at a shop that's been doing it for over 10 years. Has a great reputation and their pricing for everything is very reasonable. If it however turns into a rolling disaster with terrible handling I can always back to stock and sell all the parts. Couple pics of my vette with the SC which is fantastic.........
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:15 AM   #22
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I just spoke to my mechanic yesterday..he's a general mechanic and has worked on Jeeps, and every other type of automobile. I am/was pretty serious about getting a lift. I was looking at the Teraflex 2.5" 9550

He said..."don't do it", "bad idea", "ok if you're good with coming back here every year and shelling out a bunch of dough". Firstly he said don't listen to people on the Internet LOL...anyway, that aside, he said it does kill your Jeep. He went on to say that because of the lift, your geometry is out of whack which results in new ujoints, ball joints and excessive wear on your tires.

He said it's fine if you get the full complete kit, (the 5000.00+ ones) as it lowers everything and the geometry is basically "moved"...I'm paraphrasing.

He's been a really trustworthy mechanic, and he said it himself it would likely cause me to bring my Jeep in to the shop more..so if he was shady he would have said something opposite...

Anyway, I flip flopping on a lift for mine. Still debating it. I have more to consider now...

Have any of you with lifts experienced more wear and tear on major components? Tires? ..would be nice to hear from the people who have had their lifts installed for a few years now

Well... he's not entirely wrong, but I believe he is over-hyping the negatives to it all.


Any of these big mods which are done (properly. The try-and-save-money mods are a whole different ballgame).... gears... lifts.... bigger wheels... etc, can greatly add to the look, the handling, and the functionality. They do come with a price tag however and that tag is increased stress and strain in certain areas which tends to wear out parts a little faster than normal.
A lift for example will definitely cause a greater angle on your drive shafts and you should therefore EXPECT to have to replace those a little sooner than you would if you didn't lift. Bigger wheels will cause additional stress on your ball joints so you should EXPECT to have to replace those a little sooner than normal.


Now in my eyes and in the eyes of most on this board, it's not a very big price tag. It's just part of the wonderful world of modding. In your Mechanic's eyes though, it sure does seem to be. However the only eyes which actually count here....
Are yours, so you decide.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:42 AM   #23
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I think the reality is I'm priced out of doing this properly...a hard pill to swallow but there it is. I think to do it right, you need to expect to shell out some serious dough, or better yet, have another DD and use the Jeep for overlanding pretty much exclusively. Then go to town with lifts etc etc...

I'll likely put on some 33's and see how it goes...or 34's? I was wondering about that..
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:58 AM   #24
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Lift Kits ruin Vehicle?

One option for you is a leveling kit with 33ís. Wonít change your suspension and gives the Jeep a more aggressive look. Iíd stick with 33ís not 34ís to not lose too much power, as with 34ís you are borderline where you might want to regear.

Or to put this another way, be careful of this rabbit hole. Iím in around $20k so far to support my 37s and DD. People donít think about all the expenses to do it right. Big brake kits, regearing, axle reinforcements, steering upgrades, heavy duty tire carrier and new ball joints, recalibration of speedo for bigger tires, and the list goes on and on and on.

Are you going to be happy with a small spacer lift and 33s with new shocks and spacers or wheels? Or will you later want more? This Jeep thing is a true addiction- be careful.


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Old 01-25-2020, 11:41 AM   #25
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AEV 3.5 lift (netted 4.5) with Antirock front and back. Falken Wildpeak 285/75R17 AT3W E range tires at 28-30 psi. 4.56 gearing.

Jeep handles better than stock on the road, even passing trucks at 80 on the freeway.

On trail performance is as good as disconnected. And just drive off the blacktop, air down and continue on is hard to beat.

My tires are wearing very well - look almost new with about 10k miles on them. No other wear issues.

My lift etc. was installed by a mechanic with many years of experience installing AEV and I get him to give it a thorough check over for worn or broken parts after every wheeling season. So far nothing needed replacing.

Buy a quality lift and get it installed by an expert and you will have an all around better Jeep.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:19 PM   #26
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A well designed lift that keeps the suspension geometry close to original will handle and manage tires well as long as itís properly installed.

If keeping good handling on road is important to you (it is for me) get a lift with adjustable track bars and control arms so the axles get centered both laterally and longitudinally.

This being said, lifts are usually installed to allow for bigger tires. Those have an impact on acceleration, braking, handling, wear and tear.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:20 PM   #27
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I think the reality is I'm priced out of doing this properly...a hard pill to swallow but there it is. I think to do it right, you need to expect to shell out some serious dough, or better yet, have another DD and use the Jeep for overlanding pretty much exclusively. Then go to town with lifts etc etc...

I'll likely put on some 33's and see how it goes...or 34's? I was wondering about that..
My advice is if you can't afford to do it right for now then wait until you can do it right. I started out thinking "CHEAP" for a 2.5 lift and larger tires but after a lot of research discovered it was going to cost considerably more than first anticipated. For doing the regear and AEV lift kit it's going to cost about 4 grand. That does include a TruTrac for the rear and includes all parts and labor. Not exactly what I'd call inexpensive but for many here that's chump change. It however doesn't include cost of my new 34" tires and wheels but at some point I would need new tires anyway. Tire expense is something you eventually have to deal so I'm just moving up the time /expense) to replace them now.

I'm trying to do this right without spending 10's of thousands. I know there's always someone with something, bigger, faster, more expensive... etc. I believe this setup will get most of what I want from my Jeep. Far as I'm concerned that's all that really matters imho.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:44 PM   #28
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I think the reality is I'm priced out of doing this properly...a hard pill to swallow but there it is. I think to do it right, you need to expect to shell out some serious dough, or better yet, have another DD and use the Jeep for overlanding pretty much exclusively. Then go to town with lifts etc etc...

I'll likely put on some 33's and see how it goes...or 34's? I was wondering about that..
What are you starting with? If you have a light optioned two door, you can get some high numbered four door springs and give it a factory lift like they do with the Recon edition, add some Red "Rubicon" shocks and 33" tires. If it's a bit squirreley on pavement for your liking then add fixed longer lower control arms in the front, a hellwig sway bar in the rear and get a nice neutral biased front steering stabilizer. That's only about $600-$700. As long as all your other components aren't beat.
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:10 PM   #29
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So I recently was at a Chevrolet Service store, and was talking to a Mechanic about lift kits, He tells me that lift kits are a terrible idea as they ruin your tires and mess up the vehicle. I was surprised about this as I am planning on getting one soon.

If this is the case how bad is it? And if it is bad then my dreams of having a nice lifted jeep may be over (Hope not!)

You can't fix stupid! But it's nice to know that Chevy will give them a job. SMH
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:37 PM   #30
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I had many lifted vehicles, including a '90 Chevy 1500 Sportside. Had a 6" lift with the IFS drop brackets, drove that thing for years before I got married and had kids. I ran 35" BFG MTs at the time, not the best road tire but no issues with longevity. Only reason I sold it was the standard cab was not enough room. I still miss that truck, drove great and never had any issues other than regular wear & tear.

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