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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got an 02 Tj and it's bone stock so far. I'm not that knowledgable with lifts and could use any tips or advice. Was think of going with a 4" lift with some 33"s. Again any advice about anything would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Sure, just a quick question... what's your budget? There are many ways to get to 4" total lift and some are definitely better than others. Do you have the budget to do it right the first time? I don't mean big $$$, I'm just asking if you're going to be willing to pay a little more to do it right the first time so you don't have problems a few days later with things like vibrations.

And what type of wheeling do you plan on for your TJ? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not trying to make it really a rock crawling monster and what not just something that if I wanna go out and play around with, it will definitely will get the job done if that makes sense. And as far as my budget I plan on having this a while and getting it done right the first time is how I would like to go.
 

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Whatever route you do decide to go I suggest spending the extra money on Johnny joint control arms, best money ever spent on my jeep. Just don't cheap out on suspension if you don't have to. The more complete of kit you buy the better off you'll likely be.
 

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One last question... do you think you could conceivably ever want to go to 35" tires? That makes a difference on the type of suspension lift to start with. :)
 

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First, there's not much to a steering stabilizer which is more accurately known as a steering damper. Its job is not to stabilize steering, its real job is to isolate & protect the steering system from jolts & shock while driving. Most are pretty much the same thing which is nothing more than a simple hydraulic (most, a few are gas charged) shock absorber that is valved 50:50 to give equal damping in both directions. Rancho, OME, Skyjacker, Rubicon Express, Bilstein, etc. all make good quality steering dampers (stabilizers) though I wouldn't recommend all those brands for everything they make.

For 33's, 4" of clearance is strongly recommended. While a 4" suspension lift is the simple way of achieving that, a 3" suspension lift plus a 1" or 1.25" (but no taller) body lift works very well. In fact a 3" SL plus a 1" BL gives a very slightly lower center-of-gravity than a 4" SL (suspension lift) does. Good in theory but not really a big deal in the real world.

My personal favorite brand for a suspension lift is Currie whose products are extremely well respected. Few experienced Jeepers would ever criticize someone for having chosen Currie. Currie comes with control arms that have the highly recommended "Johnny Joints" (named after John Currie) which are the flex joints that allow the suspension to move around as needed.

www.savvyoffroad.com sells the 3" Currie suspension lift that when combined with a 1" or 1.25" body lift would be an excellent combination. They give a discount to Wrangler Forum members too.

Point of information: Lifts much taller than 2" create drivetrain vibrations due to how they steepen the rear driveshaft's angle. That in turn steepens the angle the rear driveshaft u-joints have to work into which is the root cause of the vibrations. I say 'rear' driveshaft because it is so short that suspension lifts affect its angle far more than they do the much longer front driveshaft that generally does not vibrate with common suspension lift heights.

Vibrations cannot just be lived with or they'll start taking out u-joints, seals, bearings, etc. The fix is to get rid of the excessive rear driveshaft angle that causes the u-joints to vibrate. The cheap way of doing that is to install a spacer of some type between the transfer skidplate and frame. That drops the transfer case 1/2" to 1" which decreases the angles at the ends of the rear driveshaft where the u-joints are. A 1" t-case drop is normally needed to get rid of the vibes caused by a 3" suspension lift. That said, dropping the transfer case skidplate an inch loses some of that ground clearance you gained from the suspension lift. Not good. Some will recommend a set of 1" taller motor mounts as a cure for the vibrations but that's not really enough by itself to cure the vibes caused by a 3" or taller suspension lift.

The best fix is to install what is known as a SYE kit and CV driveshaft. SYE stands for Slip Yoke Eliminator which basically gives more room for a longer CV (constant velocity) aftermarket rear driveshaft. Having a longer rear driveshaft makes it less susceptible to vibrations from the suspension lift. But the SYE's real genius is that it entirely gets rid of the excessive u-joint angles by some true geometric magic. It entirely removes the angle the rear u-joint has to work into and divides the angle the front u-joint works into by half. It does that by converting the front single u-joint into a two u-joint joint where the usually excessive angle is neatly split between the two front u-joints so neither sees an excessive angle.

The first illustration below with the "two joint driveshaft" is how the factory delivered the Jeep, the second illustration shows what you get with the SYE and CV driveshaft which has three u-joints, one in the rear and two up front inside the "C.V.".

So basically I'm just saying a 3" suspension lift, 1" to 1.25" body lift, and a SYE kit and CV driveshaft will give you a nice setup. And should you ever want to go to 35" tires, all you'd need to swap would be the 3" springs for 4" springs, everything else could stay.

There's a little more to all this but this is a bite-size recommendation that would work very well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow I greatly appreciate that. A few of my buddies with lifted trucks and what not thought it would be just a lift and I'd be good but thanks for all of that. Another question quick is what exactly does back spacing mean and what should I know about that in regards to getting new wheels
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And another thing is people always ask me what my gearing is and I not sure how to find that out. Not to sound like an idiot but could use some help with that. And with that lift will I have to worry about re gearing
 

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I just recently installed a rubicon express 3.5 in short arm suspension with shocks. I was very pleased with how complete this system is and wow does it preform well I also installed some 33 X 12.5 trxus mts with some wheels that have 3.75 inch back space. The back space refers to the distance from the bead to the face in the center of the wheel that touched the hub. Our jeep is a 2004 wrangler sport.
 

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Wow I greatly appreciate that. A few of my buddies with lifted trucks and what not thought it would be just a lift and I'd be good but thanks for all of that. Another question quick is what exactly does back spacing mean and what should I know about that in regards to getting new wheels
I wasn't as smart as you in my younger days and didn't come to a forum and get advice prior to lifting. My "buddies with lifted trucks" advised me too... Listen to Jerry Bransford, I've never seen him steer someone in a direction I didn't agree with. If the currie is too much money, there are other less expensive ways of getting what you want, depending on your expectations. I have a buddy who wheels a handful times a year on 31's with a 2" budget boost and decent shocks, and he's just as satisfied as he can be...and it may just surprise you what he can get through! Just really narrow down what you want to do with it and plan, save, etc. I am 100% for doing it right the first time..,now. Hahaa
 

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Yea the install went pretty easy it took me about 9 hours to complete by my self, this time could be cut down significantly with the help of a buddy. I am so pleased with how it wheels tons of articulation. but must install slip yoke eliminator.
 

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And another thing is people always ask me what my gearing is and I not sure how to find that out. Not to sound like an idiot but could use some help with that. And with that lift will I have to worry about re gearing
Unless the previous owner removed it, there is a steel tag on your axles that has the axle ratio embossed into it.

It's not the lift height that makes regearing an axle necessary, it's when there is a significant change to the tire diameter. Larger tires are harder to turn and reduce the engine rpms at any given speed. Getting to a 33" or larger size tire is when most feel it's time to regear the axles to a lower ratio.

The tag in the below photo is indicating the axle has a 3.73 ratio inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You guys have been very helpful, I really do appreciate it. I've been pretty torn as far as what I want to do exactly with my jeep but you guys will make picking what type of lift to go with a lot easier
 

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First, there's not much to a steering stabilizer which is more accurately known as a steering damper. Its job is not to stabilize steering, its real job is to isolate & protect the steering system from jolts & shock while driving. Most are pretty much the same thing which is nothing more than a simple hydraulic (most, a few are gas charged) shock absorber that is valved 50:50 to give equal damping in both directions. Rancho, OME, Skyjacker, Rubicon Express, Bilstein, etc. all make good quality steering dampers (stabilizers) though I wouldn't recommend all those brands for everything they make. For 33's, 4" of clearance is strongly recommended. While a 4" suspension lift is the simple way of achieving that, a 3" suspension lift plus a 1" or 1.25" (but no taller) body lift works very well. In fact a 3" SL plus a 1" BL gives a very slightly lower center-of-gravity than a 4" SL (suspension lift) does. Good in theory but not really a big deal in the real world. My personal favorite brand for a suspension lift is Currie whose products are extremely well respected. Few experienced Jeepers would ever criticize someone for having chosen Currie. Currie comes with control arms that have the highly recommended "Johnny Joints" (named after John Currie) which are the flex joints that allow the suspension to move around as needed. www.savvyoffroad.com sells the 3" Currie suspension lift that when combined with a 1" or 1.25" body lift would be an excellent combination. They give a discount to Wrangler Forum members too. Point of information: Lifts much taller than 2" create drivetrain vibrations due to how they steepen the rear driveshaft's angle. That in turn steepens the angle the rear driveshaft u-joints have to work into which is the root cause of the vibrations. I say 'rear' driveshaft because it is so short that suspension lifts affect its angle far more than they do the much longer front driveshaft that generally does not vibrate with common suspension lift heights. Vibrations cannot just be lived with or they'll start taking out u-joints, seals, bearings, etc. The fix is to get rid of the excessive rear driveshaft angle that causes the u-joints to vibrate. The cheap way of doing that is to install a spacer of some type between the transfer skidplate and frame. That drops the transfer case 1/2" to 1" which decreases the angles at the ends of the rear driveshaft where the u-joints are. A 1" t-case drop is normally needed to get rid of the vibes caused by a 3" suspension lift. That said, dropping the transfer case skidplate an inch loses some of that ground clearance you gained from the suspension lift. Not good. Some will recommend a set of 1" taller motor mounts as a cure for the vibrations but that's not really enough by itself to cure the vibes caused by a 3" or taller suspension lift. The best fix is to install what is known as a SYE kit and CV driveshaft. SYE stands for Slip Yoke Eliminator which basically gives more room for a longer CV (constant velocity) aftermarket rear driveshaft. Having a longer rear driveshaft makes it less susceptible to vibrations from the suspension lift. But the SYE's real genius is that it entirely gets rid of the excessive u-joint angles by some true geometric magic. It entirely removes the angle the rear u-joint has to work into and divides the angle the front u-joint works into by half. It does that by converting the front single u-joint into a two u-joint joint where the usually excessive angle is neatly split between the two front u-joints so neither sees an excessive angle. The first illustration below with the "two joint driveshaft" is how the factory delivered the Jeep, the second illustration shows what you get with the SYE and CV driveshaft which has three u-joints, one in the rear and two up front inside the "C.V.". So basically I'm just saying a 3" suspension lift, 1" to 1.25" body lift, and a SYE kit and CV driveshaft will give you a nice setup. And should you ever want to go to 35" tires, all you'd need to swap would be the 3" springs for 4" springs, everything else could stay. There's a little more to all this but this is a bite-size recommendation that would work very well for you.
Thank you very much for this Jerry. I'm starting to understand how to do this properly. So glad I didn't run out and waste a bunch of money when I first bought my Jeep.
 
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