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So I'm trying to decide which size lift I want to get on my jeep. What are the differences between the 2.5' and the 3' lift? (Tire size you can run, if it needs re-gearing or anything mechanical needs to be changed, etc.)
 

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Re-gearing depends on the tires you run not the lift. Either 2.5" or 3" can run 35's. Re-gearing is recommended to run 35's. You didn't provide the year of the Jeep. Unless you have a 2012+ Rubicon with 4.10 which are ok up to 35's, it would be advisable with 3.21 or 3.73 gears on any JK if you want to run 35's. I wouldn't say the 4 doors don't have drivelines issues, their front is the one that is more of an issue the higher you go.

You have to decide what your goal is. If you want a 3" lift, the smallest tire that will look good under it is a 35".

-Dan
 

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The better question to ask yourself is, "what do YOU want?" I've learned over the past year of owning and modding my JKU is that if you plan your build out ahead of time, it will save you A LOT of money in the long run by not having to buy the same part twice.

First question needs to be "How much money do I want to spend?" then the next question is "What size tires do I want to run?". These two questions should dictate what route you take for your Jeep. If you plan on running 37's, you can pretty much count on spending 7-10K (Depending on brand) in wheels, tires, lift kit (Springs, shocks, bump stops, track bars, sway bars, etc) fenders, axle support (C Gusset and Axle Trusses), re gearing, drive shafts, etc. This is where the "How much money do I want to spend?" comes in. All this should be determined prior to even buying your first part if you plan on doing a true build. On the flip side, you can stick with your stock rims and throw some narrow 33's and a budget boost 2.5" lift kit and only spend 1-3K or be somewhere in the middle and purchase parts one at a time over time to complete the build you want.

For example, If want to spend about 5K and If I would like to run 35's with a true suspension lift. Right off the bat I know that I need at least a 2.5" lift kit and more fender clearance. I also know that a good set of 35's for both on and offroad comfort are going to cost between $1,000 and $1,800 (For 5 tires). Now I need rims because the stock rims don't have enough back spacing to avoid rubbing shocks and inner fender wells. I know that I plan on offroading a lot, so I don't want to spend a bunch of money on rims and I would like them to be as light as possible so I am looking at alloy rims which are going to run me about $500-$1000. Next is my lift kit, do I want a full blown kit (Do I have $1500-3000 to spend on an "All in one" lift kit) or do I want to build my own lift kit and buy parts as the money comes in? Either way we know that I need at least a 2.5" lift kit to run 35's and I need to either trim my stock fenders or buy new ones. To piece together my own lift kit I know that I need to (At minimum) purchase springs or spacers, shocks or shock extensions, bump stops and brake line extension bracket kit.

Here is where you are going to want to buy what is going to fit your needs for at least a few years down the road. If you plan on offroading a lot, spacers and shock extensions may not be the best choice for you. Buying the less expensive/cheap lift kits (Spacers and shock extensions) is only going to make me buy the same parts twice and thus wasting money down the road (Ask me how I know...).

Now that I have my wheels, tires, brake line extension bracket, springs and shocks. I can wheel and be comfortable on road, I can upgrade my track bars, sway bar end links, control arms, etc later when I have the money and I was able to stay within the budget that I had in mind before I started. It's all about what YOU want and how much money YOU want to spend to get there. Remember, this is just scratching the surface and this is also my opinion on how to lift/build a jeep. Planning your build ahead of time and doing your research will save you lots of time and money down the road. Sorry for the novel of a post and I hope it makes sense.
 

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True, but I wouldn't put it as 4" minimum to run 37's... And if your running a 2.5" spring from Rock Krawler, Synergy or Metal Cloak (That I know of) they will net closer to 3-3.25".

To run 37's on a 3" lift requires 3" of bump stop according to Metal Cloaks website.
 
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