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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to figure out the cons of a 2.5" lift vs. a 1.5" 'leveling kit.' Looking at the Teraflex kits. 1.5" budget or spring kit, or the 2.5" budget (puck) or spring, both with shock extenders, probably.

Installed prices are within a few hundred of each other, so not enough $$ to matter over the long run.

Jeep will be 95% road going, so the lift is pretty much all aesthetic (I know, I know ...). When the jeep is offroad, it will be real easy stuff-- think Shafer or Gemini in Moab, or old dirt roads leading in to trailheads or fishing spots -- I won't be too concerned about lots of articulation or wheel travel. My stock F150 has been more than adequate for the off road driving I will be doing.

33's will be fine -- don't want to get into gearing issues. I know that 33's will fit with a leveling kit, but in some of the pics on here, they look a little stuffed into the fender wells in the pictures, at least. I'm going to have to spend some time paying attention in the parking lots (lots of Jeeps here in SLC, Utah).

I've lifted a lot of Jeeps before, but never less than 4". I've dealt with all the driveline, death wobble, steering and other problems that come with 4"+ lifts, and I don't want to touch any of those. Preserving driveability is the primary concern. If the 2.5" starts to get in to any of those concerns, I will stay away!

So, why wouldn't I go with the 2.5" over the leveling kits?

Also, I've never done a 'puck' lift before. Any real drawbacks if getting more wheel travel isn't a worry?
 

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all I saw was "puck" lift and cringed... stay away from that and rancho unless its leaf springs for a YJ then rancho is pretty good once broke in. their shocks arent too bad IF u can get them DIRT cheap.
 

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I'm listening...

I'm there too. I figure on 33's. I'm 2dr auto with a 3.21.I already have 18/59 springs and red shocks in a box I got for dirt and they are new. I'm considering a Terraflex puck kit. I will replace wheels as I don't like spacers much. Snow is the main 4x4 terrain other than maybe a hunting trail. This is my DD.
 

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First if you've installed a lift before why pay for someone to install. Spacers are way easier than a lift.

1.5" is not enough. It'll leave you wanting more. I purchased a Teraflex 2.5" lift kit and 35s. The ride is better than stock for sure. Spacers are a temporary fix. Save you money and get what you really want.

I wish I would have went with 4" and 37s
 

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Cons of 2.5" lift?

Only negative with 2.5" lift is 33" tires. For some it looks to small. That happened to me and went 35s'. So maybe go leveling kit.

Mine with AEV 2.5 and TOYO 33's

 

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One thing you might run into, which is pretty confusing, and I don't think I ever got a clear answer, is that depending on who's lift you go with and weight of your extra mods you may end up with as much as 3.5" out of a 2.5" lift. The mfr's expect you'll be running bumpers, armor, etc. and rate their springs accordingly.

The part where I never got a clear answer is how does this affect the 2012+ front driveshaft when you're just on the road not flexing at all. I got about 3.25 initially in the front on my Metalcloak 2.5". I don't know where it is now that I have a Quadratec 9500 with synthetic line sitting on a Rockhard winch plate that mounts with the factory bumper.

Just sitting level there didn't seem to be any real potential issues for the shaft (the problem is when the shaft droops enough to rub and cut the CV boot). So I think the bigger thing seems to be with whatever shocks you get with the kit and how far they let the axle droop down. This is made even more exaggerated if you disconnect the swaybar and flex out the axle but it sounds like you won't have an issue with that. Just for reference, my Metalcloak 2.5 ARB edition that comes with long travel OME shocks if I put the Jeep up on a lift even with exhaust spacers the slipjoint boot on the driveshaft will still touch the exhaust crossover. If I stuff the passenger wheel while disconnected though it's just barely off the crossover pipe (like 1/4" clearance) so it's not likely to be an issue in normal use.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One thing you might run into, which is pretty confusing, and I don't think I ever got a clear answer, is that depending on who's lift you go with and weight of your extra mods you may end up with as much as 3.5" out of a 2.5" lift. The mfr's expect you'll be running bumpers, armor, etc. and rate their springs accordingly.

The part where I never got a clear answer is how does this affect the 2012+ front driveshaft when you're just on the road not flexing at all. I got about 3.25 initially in the front on my Metalcloak 2.5". I don't know where it is now that I have a Quadratec 9500 with synthetic line sitting on a Rockhard winch plate that mounts with the factory bumper.

Just sitting level there didn't seem to be any real potential issues for the shaft (the problem is when the shaft droops enough to rub and cut the CV boot). So I think the bigger thing seems to be with whatever shocks you get with the kit and how far they let the axle droop down. This is made even more exaggerated if you disconnect the swaybar and flex out the axle but it sounds like you won't have an issue with that. Just for reference, my Metalcloak 2.5 ARB edition that comes with long travel OME shocks if I put the Jeep up on a lift even with exhaust spacers the slipjoint boot on the driveshaft will still touch the exhaust crossover. If I stuff the passenger wheel while disconnected though it's just barely off the crossover pipe (like 1/4" clearance) so it's not likely to be an issue in normal use.
Thanks! Yeah, I don't see disconnecting the sway bar anytime soon; if I do have that desire, I'll be looking at a way different build than I'm considering now. I'm actually thinking I will just use the shock extensions and continue running the stock shocks, for now, at least. That should limit droop, I expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Only negative with 2.5" lift is 33" tires. For some it looks to small. That happened to me and went 35s'. So maybe go leveling kit.

Mine with AEV 2.5 and TOYO 33's

Well, to me, that looks just right. Maybe it is because my prior jeeps had lots of wheel travel, etc. -- I could fit my head between the fender and the tire -- but I don't think those 33's look too small at all.

But with the 2.5, I have room to bump up to the BFG AT 34" or clear a true 33" tire as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First if you've installed a lift before why pay for someone to install. Spacers are way easier than a lift.

1.5" is not enough. It'll leave you wanting more. I purchased a Teraflex 2.5" lift kit and 35s. The ride is better than stock for sure. Spacers are a temporary fix. Save you money and get what you really want.

I wish I would have went with 4" and 37s
Ahh, my wrenching days are over, unless it is an emergency. I know all of the parts and how everything works, but now, I much prefer paying someone a few $$ to install it professionally. Plus, my earlier wrenching days were in my dad's very well equipped garage, complete with a lift, full set of air tools, etc. I'm 1000 miles away now. Working in my garage with my set of craftsmen wrenches is a far cry from that.

Thanks for the info on the ride quality, though. That's what I was hoping to find out.
 

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Well, to me, that looks just right. Maybe it is because my prior jeeps had lots of wheel travel, etc. -- I could fit my head between the fender and the tire -- but I don't think those 33's look too small at all.



But with the 2.5, I have room to bump up to the BFG AT 34" or clear a true 33" tire as well.


Yeah, some prefer more room. Those TOYO OC A/T 275/75/18 were a hair over 33" at 30psi.
 

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OP you have a couple of ways to go. Has as been said you can run 33 stock. Here are your options.

Option 1
Just change the stock springs - get 19/60 spring, making sure you don't have them already and you are done.

Option 2
Get the Teraflex Leveling kit. Simple to install and there is nothing else you need. Probably the least expensive option.

Option 3
2.5 inch lift. Now things start to get complicated. Typically at this height you have to address castor correction, either adjustable front control arms or geo brackets. Also the axle start to get off center a bit much need track bar brackets or adjustable brackets. Longer brake lines and exhaust spacers may also be needed. And instead of looking at a couple of hundred you are looking at $1000 or more to do it correctly.
 
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@Tysteven

2.5 is a safe height as long as you don't take shortcuts... If you are looking for premium, consider the JKS J-spec and the AEV Dual Sport kits.

There is also an in between with the Rancho 2" kit with their new progressive springs and great shocks. You will get as much of an improvement in ride quality by replacing the factory shocks as anything else you do.
 
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all I saw was "puck" lift and cringed... stay away from that and rancho unless its leaf springs for a YJ then rancho is pretty good once broke in. their shocks arent too bad IF u can get them DIRT cheap.
why cringe at the puck kit? it seems pretty popular with good results for people who dont go offroad and want to raise the ride enough to install bigger tires like the 33s
 

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why cringe at the puck kit? it seems pretty popular with good results for people who dont go offroad and want to raise the ride enough to install bigger tires like the 33s
I couldn't get my 2" Rubicon Express spacer lift off soon enough. Ride was worse than stock by the time I removed it. Likely because the springs needed replacing anyway.

Now I run a 3" Zone lift. A bit on the budget side but have seen others locally with great results. Ride was night and day. I say do it right the first time.
 

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I couldn't get my 2" Rubicon Express spacer lift off soon enough. Ride was worse than stock by the time I removed it. Likely because the springs needed replacing anyway.

Now I run a 3" Zone lift. A bit on the budget side but have seen others locally with great results. Ride was night and day. I say do it right the first time.
Thanks. I wonder if you got the performance leveling kit with the springs if that would have made the difference for you. I am currently looking into them and was curious....
 

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I have a TF 2.5" budget boost lift on 33's on my JKU and I really like it. I had the TF9550 shocks but I recently switched to Rancho 5000x's and that made it 10 times better! 2.5 is a great all around lift. It rides great, its a good height, and if you do decide to get a little adventurous, disconnect the sway bar and your good to go. I've been all over Utah and have had no problems with it. The only things that I am looking to do is new springs to get rid of those spacers and an adjustable track bar because my front axle is shifted a small amount. I eventually want to go taller but for now, it works great!
 

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I started my build with a Teraflex budget boost and absolutely hated the way my Jeep drove. Steering was all over the place, tracking was scary and I ALMOST went back to stock. Added the Rancho geo brackets and driving was at least tolerable. Ended up upgrading to the Mopar 2.5 lift this spring and was blown away with how much better it drove. Steering is precise, tracking is great and overall ride quality is better than stock.

Completely happy now.
 

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OP, I wouldn't lift my rig with spacers, even if they were offered to me for free, i'd rather invest the money on some flat fenders, some nice wheels with 33's, and a sway bar disconnect kit for the front, you'll go to a lot of places that way the 5% of the time, you said your Jeep would spent on the trail. Don't bother with spacers, enjoy your factory suspension, and instead, learn to wheel it with those parts, then you'll appreciate a good kit with aftermarket coil springs, better shocks, and steering components, when you're ready.

Have fun.
 
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