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Hey guys & gals... I need help. I just bought my first Jeep EVER about a month ago, and I am already in love with it! I already have a million things I want to do to customize it, and I want to start with a suspension lift. That's where I need help. I have NO IDEA where to start, what kit to get or which products are best.

I use my JK mainly as my daily driver. I have not had a chance to take it off road yet, but I plan to. When I do off road, I do not anticipate getting into anything too crazy. So, the lift, I would say, is more of an aesthetic appeal for me... I like the way it looks. And I will apologize in advance for my Jeep ignorance... again, only had one for about a month and I'm still learning.

So, I have a '12 Wrangler Sport 2 door. It currently has 17 inch wheels (from dealership) and I believe 32-33" tires (aftermarket). I was told a 3" lift on a Jeep was sufficient, but I kinda wanted to go 4". Any thoughts or recommendations?

And once I figure out how high I want to go, what kits would you recommend for my situation (highway driving mainly and a small amount of moderate off roading)? Budget wise... I don't want to spend much more than $1200 on a kit. Under $1000 is ideal, but I also don't want to buy a crappy product.

I know that's a lot of info, but I'm hoping there is someone out there who can help me out in providing some info on suspension lifts for my JK. Also, in my research so far I've seen that in a lot of kits the shocks aren't included, and then there's a leveling kit. Do i need all this with the lift kit?

Any info will help, and thank you for taking some time to help out a Jeep newbie! God Bless.
 

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Welcome. Generally, the rule is to lift for the amount of tire you want to fit. IMHO, 3 or 4 inches is a bit much for the size tire you mentioned. Going over 2.5" is going to require more modifications as well as money. I would start here http://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/jk-tech-common-questions-here-475185.html and spend some time reading. Take your time so you don't take multiple times and investments to wind up at your end result. Ask questions and be on the look out for kjeeper. There are a lot of very experienced and helpful folks on this forum and he is one of the best. BTW, we are all still learning.:happyyes:
 

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Teraflex level kit - I believe that gives 2 inches front and 1 in back. That is all you need for 33s to wheel. 32 is a stock size tire. Maybe a few hundred bucks.

Especially on a 2 door, you only need to lift enough to clear the tires. Technically 33s will clear on ZERO lift, but you may rub air dam/fenders and want at least an inch or two "flex room" if you plan to wheel.
 

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I see you are local in Arizona (I am in Scottsdale). Have you run any trails yet? Reason I ask is "not too crazy" can mean anything from dirt roads to mild rock crawling out here. Hit a few trails first before picking a lift. If you need folks to run with, I can hook you up with the largest Jeep club in the valley.Welcome!
 

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That sounds like a good idea, mommymallcrawler. I will most likely do dirt roads/washes to start. Once I get accustomed to it I may advance to rock trails/climbing, and at that time I'll look into a more conducive lift for that type of riding. Thank you for the invite!

Been reading forums all night long including the Beginners Guide to lifting Your JK. I think for my first mod I will most likely go with a 2.5" lift. Seems to be a reasonable first choice for my JK. I've looked at several brands... Teraflex, Black Diamond, Rubicon Express and a few others. Do you guys have a recommendation for brand? I heard Teraflex was a good one and reviews seem positive that I've read.

Last question: If I get a basic 2.5" lift, is it easy to upgrade to a higher lift when I decide to upgrade wheels and tires up to 35" or would I just have to buy a whole new kit and throw the old one out?
 

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Look at RK (Rock Krawler) lifts too.
 

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For example, Teraflex has a 2.5" Budget Boost with shocks (shock boots sold separately... don't know if I need those or not).

I'm going to go back and read more, but wanted to throw this out there too. Thx
 

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image-1463588147.jpg

I'm going to lift my 2.5 but putting 35 and changing my gear . If it's for a daily driver u should read this chart might wanna change the gear at least the rear for now
 

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I second Marcus at River City Offroad. From the research I've done I found the RK 2.5 stock mod was the best for future upgrading. One of the better RK kits would be an option as well if you wanted to start with new CA. I run the 2.5 stock mod kit with Fox shocks and 33's. Everyone always mentions you only need a leveling kit for 33's. Technically you can run a 33 with no leveling kit. I currently have no desire to run a 35" tire and I love the look of my tires and lift. I wanted a suspension lift for the increased articulation and just like you, the option to upgrade as I decide what I want my Jeep to be.
 

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kjeeper... my bad :-(

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So, here's my dilemma. I've read through so many forums and asked a few of my Jeep friends, and they all seem to have a different answer. I think I've got a handle on the actual products offered for the lift, but my question is one of the order in which to do this project.

My JK is mainly stock with the exception of 32" mud-terrain tires from BF Goodrich (don't think these are stock, anyway). At the end of this process I would like to see a 3.5-4" inch lift and 33-35" tires. I don't really know in which order is best to get to my goal. I am on a budget so cannot do this all at once.

Do I keep my current wheel/tire setup (17" wheels / 32" tires) and do a simple 2-2.5" lift or should I purchase the larger wheels/tires I want first and then do the 3.5-4" lift I want? I think option 2 would take longer because of the price for everything. But wanted your input on what order to do things. I'm leaning toward doing the lift first then deciding if I want larger tires (as long as the lift I put on has room for 33-35" tires).

Any thoughts?
 

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If you're going with a 3.5"-4" lift I wouldn't do it unless you're gonna run 33s 35s at the same time so you won't look like the guy at the gym who doesn't lift legs. In my opinion the best setup for excellent ride feel both on and off road would be the teraflex 2.5 coil kit with Ranchos 5000xls. It's the most popular setup and looks great with 32-33in tires. Or if like you said, you're on a budget and want more of aesthetics as soon as you can. Then get a set of 33s with some 16s with a 4.5in backspacing first. It'll make your stance look wayyy better. Then maybe add the lift after. But that's just my opinion.
 

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Or even throw some Jk unlimited Rubicon springs which will add about 2 inch lift on your jeep. Just make sure the spring numbers are around 17(front) and 59(rear). I'm running those now along with some Rubicon shocks... Ride much much better. Got the spring and shocks for $180 shipped.
 

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Personally, I would go with the 2-2.5" lift first. What you are doing now is similar to going food shopping when you are hungry. You buy tons of stuff and after you eat a bit you wonder why you bought stuff that you normally wouldn't buy. Since you said yourself you have no idea where to start, start slow and enjoy your Jeep. Learn as much about it as you can and take your time about things. A 2.5" lift will be fine for 35" tires if and when you decide sink a lot of money for the suspension upgrades you will need. Again, I feel 33" tires are aggressive enough for my 2 door and my driving needs so I have no plans on going bigger nor do I feel my JK is inadequate in any way. Hell, totally stock Jeeps are usually more than most people need. Good luck and enjoy.
 

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On a 2 door, you do not need or want a 4 inch lift - too high. I run 37s on a 2.5 lift kit.

To play offroad here in Arizona, step 1 is real belly skids, diff covers, crossmember, and rock sliders (about $1000-1500 depending on brand etc). Probably not what you wanted to hear because they dont "look cool", but you will appreciate not busting up your expensive rig! You could then put on a level kit. A level kit will eliminate rake and give you just a small boost to make up for the heavy belly armor. Technically you could put 33s on at that point. If you have 3.73 gearing, you are good to roll. With 3.21 you will want to regear. A level kit is cheap like $200.

If you want 35s, save up and do lift (2.5 inch), gears, shocks, tires, wheels and axle reinforcement all at the same time.
 
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