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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I told myself I wouldn't get into 'lifting' but...

There are two reasons that are pulling at me. One is not more off-road clearance, but that's certainly a welcomed benefit, but as I understand it, all Wranglers sit lower in the front, purportedly for less wind drag, but I think it gives them an unbalanced look, so reason number one, is looks. Reason number two is a bit more practically driven.

Reason two is I'm about to install a SmittyBilt steel bumper that weighs about 130 lbs (at least that was what I was told). That plus my 75 lb winch will put 205 lbs overhanging the front axle. Although, that's only 168 lb gain since removing the factory bumper removes 37 lbs.

While we mostly ignore the effect of that over-hung weight, that doesn't mean it isn't having an impact. So, I took a yardstick and my wife out to the JKU and measured the front bumper height, then I climbed upon the front bumper which put about 190 lbs on it and the front dropped by 3/4".

That means when I install the SmittyBilt bumper and add the winch, the front is going to drop about 3/4". Well that's gonna exacerbate the 'sloped' look I don't like, in fact, it would increase it by 37% and it would lower the front ground clearance by 3/4" which isn't all that significant perhaps, but giving up any ground clearance is bad, right? :happyyes:

So that's the background and here's the questions. If I put a 2" lift on the front, does that change the steering geometry and hence handling/driving characteristics?

What all is involved? E.g. do steering linkages need to be adjusted, would it need to be aligned? Does the lift affect trail, castor or toe-in?

As always thanks a bunch!
 

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Look at the TeraFlex leveling kit, it is 2" front and 1" back, comes with longer sway bar links and can be had for under 140$. No adjustments are generally needed when this alone is used, it gets rid of the rake and improves the appearance dramatically.
 

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I installed a Teraflex leveling spacer kit (2" front, 1" rear). Supplied with this kit was longer sway bar links. My 2012 Sport needed no steering or alignment adjustments. The steering and suspension seem like stock, no differences noted.

You could leave the rear spacer out to get your desired effect, and install it if necessary to attain the desired look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! This looks like the kit you're referring to:

Teraflex 1155200 - Teraflex Leveling Kit for 07-14 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec

The price is a bit higher - $159.

But, this little clause is a bit troubling:

"You can run a 33-34" tall tire with this kit. If you prefer to run the factory wheels you may need wheel spacers for proper clearance."

Since my JKU is new, I am and will be running factor wheels - sounds like I'll have a clearance problem - IF I'm understanding this right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Clearance only if you increase tire size. Which will happen with or without any lift.
Ahhh - got it. I wasn't making the connection of factory wheels with bigger tires. I was reading it to mean the wheels could be a problem. I got it now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmm, I see the kit has four 1" spacers for the front and two for the rear, obviously raising the front 2" and the rear 1". I thought in the stock configuration the front is 2" low, hence to get it 'level' the front would need to be raised 2" and the rear none???

Anyway, could one just raise the front 1" and not raise the rear at all, or would the length of the kit's sway bar links be too long for just a 1" lift???
 

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With stock bumper I got a 3/4" spacer only to level the ride no actual lift. With bumper you say you will drop another 3/4". You can get just spacers for around $30-$50 I different sizes. The ones I have are synergy I got them through Quadratec you have to look a little. This is a diagram I found a while back for factory measurements. Good luck there are a lot of choices. Rough country makes a 1.75" leveling kit also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
But don't you have to lengthen the sway bar links if you install spacers???
 

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Personally I don't see that 'front lower' as an issue that affects my own appreciation of the stylistic aspects of the JK.

Raising the various parts 3/4" is of no functional improvement in my own use of the rig. Whatever the lift may be the differentials/axles are still at the same clearance. And I prefer to be able to 'just step into & out of' the driver seat.

The weight ratio front/rear remains pretty close to OEM, although I've never seen any reports on how that might change with various bumper/winch/lift mods.

I'm not sure at the road speeds aerodynamic factors of the flying Brick/Jeep are changed in the way tail spoilers benefit race cars, although perhaps the drag factors are negatively influenced by going 'nose up' a few degrees. Never seen any measurements on that either, just the normal individual subjective notions of 'what looks better'.

So far I'm pleased there has been precious few of the common issues I've had to solve as I've left my DD pretty much OEM.

Now at nearly 70,000 miles, my only pending 'issue' is a sudden & newly developed wet floor.....much like the CJ2 I started with 50 years ago.
 

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But don't you have to lengthen the sway bar links if you install spacers???
Only if you are going to net 2" of lift or more. Since you are adding the weight to the front, you are merely going to be preloading the springs and won't actually get the 2" of lift... Maybe 1" which is close enough to stock height to not need the sway bar links. You could still add them later as well.

You can buy the pucks by themselves from Summit Racing and put together your own kit... Like 4 of the 1" spacers for the front and 2 of the 1/2 spacers for the rear. That should offset the additional weight while still giving you the level look.

I personally do not like the factory rake and front pucks was the first thing to go on my Jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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What lift size did you go with?
I just put a single Teraflex 1" puck on each front. I am staying with the factory bumper for now (no extra weight) and may even do a shorty conversion on it and I'm also staying with 32" tires since I tow and don't want to do a re-gear at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Personally I don't see that 'front lower' as an issue that affects my own appreciation of the stylistic aspects of the JK.
Yeah, it's really no more than personal tastes.

...Raising the various parts 3/4" is of no functional improvement in my own use of the rig. Whatever the lift may be the differentials/axles are still at the same clearance. And I prefer to be able to 'just step into & out of' the driver seat.
True, but I'm actually lowering the front of the Jeep by about an inch from factory by sticking an aftermarket bumper and a winch on it. If nothing else, I'd just like to get it back to factory height.

...The weight ratio front/rear remains pretty close to OEM, although I've never seen any reports on how that might change with various bumper/winch/lift mods.
It's easy to calculate how the weight would affect the front/rear. The 205 lb winch/bumper at about 22" in front of the front axle will increase the weight on the front wheels by about 242 lbs and will lighten the weight on the rear wheels of a JKU by about 37 lbs.

...I'm not sure at the road speeds aerodynamic factors of the flying Brick/Jeep are changed in the way tail spoilers benefit race cars, although perhaps the drag factors are negatively influenced by going 'nose up' a few degrees. Never seen any measurements on that either, just the normal individual subjective notions of 'what looks better'.
LOL - flying brick is about right. I told somebody the other day it's basically a box with a window in the front. :)

I expect that large, flat sloped roof at 60 mph or so would produce some down force. Just not sure how much. I can't, or haven't maybe is more accurate, confirmed this, but I read somewhere the rake is to improve gas mileage. I find that a bit difficult to believe, but maybe it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just put a single Teraflex 1" puck on each front. I am staying with the factory bumper for now (no extra weight) and may even do a shorty conversion on it...
Yeah, I'm not liking giving up the 37 lb bumper. I'll be gaining about 93 lbs, but I do get some worthwhile things for that trade off.

...and I'm also staying with 32" tires since I tow and don't want to do a re-gear at this point.
I'm pretty happy with the factory tires. I'm on road mostly and those tires are fine. That's one thing I didn't like about gaining the 93 lbs with the bumper, I'll get just a wee bit less gas mileage haulin' that around on the roads, but its only about a 2% difference, so that's not too bad; instead of getting about 20 mpg, I'll probably be getting about 19.6 mpg. I guess I can live with that.
 

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Additional mods are usually the cause of a puck lift losing what it gained. The stock springs are what compress more. It is hard to draw a line on what you do to the rig. Bumpers, rails, a winch, recovery gear. it all adds up. The pucks are an easy and inexpensive mod. The higher you go the 'shorter' the trac bar becomes. So the axles will shift towards the frame mount.

Bob K.
 

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Not a fan of that kit. It changes something in the geometry. It handles great. Did start wearing tires a bit quicker in the front. Changed mine to real lift with springs and control arms
 

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Things get a bit misaligned with these types of lifts. The trac bar and drag link are fixed points (relative with the drag link). As are the coil buckets and shocks. You add pucks to raise the vehicle up off the tires, to add a bigger size, or cure a rake. A small lift, under 2" will have a minimal effect, But it still has one. The trac bar and drag link will 'shorten' as their axle side attachment point gets further away from the frame mount. The front axle pulls to the driver's side. The rear axle to the passenger's.

The other fixed items that are affected: coils and shocks. They are attached to the axle. The more lift the more the shift.

Is it impossible to deal with? No. Handling and steering are minimally affected. But the suspension is binding a bit, and can cause premature failure.

This is an individual preference as Tangle mentioned. He's good at the math, too. So I am sure he could figure out the exact amount the axle would shift based on the thickness of the puck.

Bob K.
 

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re: "It's easy to calculate how the weight would affect the front/rear. The 205 lb winch/bumper at about 22" in front of the front axle will increase the weight on the front wheels by about 242 lbs and will lighten the weight on the rear wheels of a JKU by about 37 lbs."

is this number based on calculations or direct weighing of both ends?

You've raised some interesting questions, and I'll be testing out the application soon, as I'm adding a winch this week end.

So much for "OEM". *kaff*kaff*.....
 
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