All good things must come to and end. In this case I will be removing the Rancho 2" sport lift that was installed for a review back in 2017. Outside of the optional Rancho geo-correction brackets, it was about as simple of a lift you could get, springs and shocks. The ride and handling has stayed the same after thousands of miles of use, it is still sure footed, stable and impressive off road, and pleasant for those long highway drives or the quick dash to the store. In some ways I suppose it has turned into that comfortable old pair of sneakers.
One of the goals for 2020 has been to step up to 37's, and that means several other upgrades will also be needed to off set the wear and tear of those larger tires. The build will come together over time and like any journey there will be ups and downs. One of the first questions I had was, can I fit those tires with the current lift and flat fenders? I of course reached out the folks at Rancho, after several back and forth conversations, they felt it best to add a bit more height in order to take full advantage when I moved up to 37's.
To aid in putting our conversations to the test, they sent over what I will call a hybrid lift kit for me to review and test. In addition to the included items in the kit, I would be using some additional one as well as leaving some items in place. Below is a list of new and re-used items:
Included with 3-3.5" kit
Front 9000 shocks
Front Adjustable Track-bar
Rear Track-bar Bracket
Front Brake Lines
Front extended sway-bar end links
Not part of the standard kit:
Rear Upper Adjustable Control arms
Rear Lower Adjustable Control arms
Front Bump Stops (new ones in kit)
Rear Bump stops(added separate)
With the current 2" lift most of the new flex, came from the rear, the front while taller uses the same length shocks as stock. With the 3-3.5" kit, this is almost reversed as the front will see additional flex and the rear while taller will stay about the same as I will be re-using the rear shocks, which will keep the flex the same. However because of the added spring height in the rear the use of the adjustable control arms is needed.
Over all this install is much like the 2" lift, you want to use safety jacks to support the frame and then lower which ever axle you are working on down as far as you can, make sure not to pinch any wires or lines, so you can get the old springs out and the new ones in. You will need to drill a few holes in spots for the rear of the install. I can not stress this enough, have good sharp drill bits. I didn't and it took me forever for what should have been a simple task.
Adjusting the rear adjustable arms. Rancho provided the new lengths for the arms and the best advice I can give here is make sure what ever points you measure from be consistent for all 4 arms. It had been many years since I last installed arms and I had flash backs of it taking hours, once I had the arm length set, of moving the axle up and down to align the holes. Thankfully only some minor movement was required and over all the this phase of the install went very smoothly. Having two jacks to the move the axle also make things a bit easier.
You can watch the video before a more detailed look at the install as well as some thoughts on the ride handling. Unfortunately with our current medical situation in most of the off-road parks near me are still shout down or I would need to violate travel restrictions to get there. So look for a full off road performance update in soon,
I netted right at 2" of lift over the current 2" lift, I am sure the new lift will settle a bit, but clearly I am closer to and even over 3.5" of lift right now if I had been starting with a stock Jeep. So to sum up, added height, rides nice, hope to get on trails soon and provide some feedback on flex and handling.
Link to our blog site with this an other installs: