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Old 05-21-2019, 11:24 PM
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Maximus-3 Lift Kit

Ok, I have never posted or shared my thoughts about my Wrangler until now. Back in 2013, I purchased a 10th Anniversary Rubicon and loved it. But since I bought an expensive version of the Wrangler, I waited nearly 5 years to start most of my upgrades. Other than JW Speaker lights, for safety of course, and a Warn winch and Maximus-3 winch plate, fairlead and winch hook anchor , I left the vehicle stock for 5 years (until last spring).

However, like other Wrangler owners, I constantly thought about upgrades and modifications. Since a lift is the foundation of every build, I wanted a complete lift kit and had researched the parts that made a good lift without being too expensive. In other words, I wanted Rockkrawler triple rated springs, Bilstein shocks and a high steer kit, however, most of the lift kits didn't seem to align with my vision. Until I found the Maximus-3 lift for the JK's.


Since I had originally purchased parts for my winch installation from Maximus-3, I stayed in contact with them. They are super friendly, knowledgeable and continuously engineering solutions for the Wrangler. Maximus-3 released the 3.5/4.5 late in the lifecycle of the JK, however, they did it right. My experience with Maximus-3 has always been good quality so I bought the 3.5" kit and will post again with some pictures of the build as well as the end result.

I just posted my stock configuration for now with the lights and winch. It's a great ride, but the 31" tires are too small for offroad. I constantly got hung-up on hills or obstacles due to a horrible break-over angle. I as glad a had a winch, but really looking forward to a lift. This is no "mall crawler." I have wheeled it since the first week of ownership.

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Old 05-21-2019, 11:43 PM
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Preparing for Maximus-3 Build

I purchased some used Duratrac tires with 18" wheels to save some money. Although the tires were a little wider (325/65/18) and taller (18" wheels) than I was looking for, they were in like-new condition and came with spacers to avoid any potential rubbing.

Ironically, my 10th anniversary springs, which were the tallest Jeep had installed on a wrangler, only measured a couple inches shorter than the rockkrawler springs. In the end, the jeep height was closer to 4-5" higher.

Also, the packaging Maximus-3 used for all the hardware was great. No damage or scratches. I am sure it had some scratches after I installed it.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:50 PM   #3
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Looks really good. Congrats!
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:54 PM
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The installation instructions were clear and the geometry brackets were common between the 3.5 and 4.5" lift kits. I believe the main difference is the height of the springs. You need to cut a piece of the plastic around the top of the passenger-side shock inner fender to remove the top nut on the shock. I even cut down an allen wrench to make installing the Bilstein shocks easier since they use an allen head on the top of the shock to keep the shaft from rotating while tightening the top nut. The cut down allen wrench made it easier to fit in the tight space.

Another trick to make the installation clean is the buy Teraflex brake holders for the front. They are fairly cheap and keep the brake lines clear of the shock and suspension when driving.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:06 AM
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Installation Continued

I had to install exhaust spacers in my stock exhaust, otherwise the front drive shaft would rest on the cross member as shown in the photos. I don't think this is necessary if you have a 2007 - 2011 JK. The spacers are a pain to install since my exhaust as 5 years old and lives in Michigan. Use a torch and some patience to work the bolts off, otherwise, you will break them. I broke one side. As you can see in the picture the bolts were replaced.

Also, I did have to re-tighten the new bolt that holds the steering stabilizer in place. It needs 125 ft -lbs. After the second time, I haven't had any trouble.

I also posted a picture of the front geometry suspension bracket. It's very robust and has an integrated "skid plate" to protect it from a off-road hit. This does fix the caber issue and you don't have to worry about taking going in for an alignment.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:23 AM
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Completed Maximus-3 Lift

After the Maximus-3 lift was installed, my jack, which lifts 24", cannot lift the tires off the ground. I have to add some extra space with 2x4's to actually lift the Jeep.

So far I have taking it to Silver Lake sand dune and Drummond Island. The lift has performed flawless and rides terrific.

I would like a little stiffer ride for on-road handling, but off-road its a beast. It crawled up marble head on Drummond Island like it wasn't there.

Obviously, I no longer have any issues with break-over angle and it walk through rocks, mud pits and sand hills most others have trouble with. I have the lift for almost a year now with no issues. No regrets. You may have never heard of this company making lift kits, but another bonus with Maximus-3 is they are a Michigan company making their parts in the USA for the Jeep community (no Chinese stuff).
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:33 AM   #7
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Wow, I can't get over how good it looks. I think you've done an amazing job and that's some hardcore patience you got waiting 5 years to mod! lol. I got mine 4 days ago and already placed an order for some 33" tires and spacers lol. Although I do wish that I could do these mods myself like you did and save a ton of $ on install but I guess it is what it is! Enjoy your Jeep in good health!
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:04 PM
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Thanks for the comments. Have fun building your new Wrangler. Half the fun is shopping and planning your build. I'll post some more of the build items later this week that I included.

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