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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I have done a lot of research on big builds, but the general consensus I seem to see on most forums is that anything bigger than a 4 inch lift is frowned upon for most people. While I do understand why, for my purposes I do want to go 6 inch lift or bigger. So I am just curious to get some people's opinions on the different routes they have taken or they have seen to get what I am trying to achieve.

My jeep is a 2001 TJ with a dana 44 in the rear and dana 30 in front. It is currently geared at 4.10, and sits on 35's. It only has 2 inch blocks in the coils for lift, but it is the metalcloak fenders that give me the clearance for the 35's. It has a 4.7 stroker for a motor. I do quite a bit of offroading with it, and since it is no longer my daily driver, I want to convert it to being an offroad oriented rig, while still being street legal for the occasional cruise or getting to nearby trails when I don't want to trailer it. I would like to be able to run 35's or 37's with a good amount of flex. I'm thinking 6 inches actually won't be enough for what I want my rig to be capable of, so I am thinking about piecing together a larger lift. I am aware of everything else that goes into this, such as axles, SYE, CV drive shaft, steering, brakes, etc. I will also need to decide whether I want to go with Eaton E-lockers, or just put in some auto lockers since it won't be my daily driver.

So basically what I am looking for is thoughts on lift options, what axles I should swap to (I am thinking 8.8 for the rear, not as sure about the front), and any other input you would like to give regarding my build.

I attempted to put some pictures up of what I have done so far, but I am not sure if it will work or not. Thank you in advance for any input given!
 

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You would have to source wider axles to safely run 37's. I'd personally recommend ultimate 60's by Currie. It'd be better to trim/remove your fenders too. That would remove the need for 6"+ of lift. Long arms would be essential at this point. It's safer and in my opinion, easier to stay under 5" and extend the axles. I'd talk to someone at Currie, teraflex, or another custom axle manufacturer to see what they would recommend in extended axles


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You would have to source wider axles to safely run 37's. I'd personally recommend ultimate 60's by Currie. It'd be better to trim/remove your fenders too. That would remove the need for 6"+ of lift. Long arms would be essential at this point. It's safer and in my opinion, easier to stay under 5" and extend the axles. I'd talk to someone at Currie, teraflex, or another custom axle manufacturer to see what they would recommend in extended axles


I was thinking the same thing regarding trimming the fenders, which is a bummer because I just got the metalcloak's a year ago. But at that time I wasn't planning on going this big because it was my daily. As far as the axles go, I will call them like you recommended. Thank you for your thoughts!
 

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You would have to source wider axles to safely run 37's. I'd personally recommend ultimate 60's by Currie. It'd be better to trim/remove your fenders too. That would remove the need for 6"+ of lift. Long arms would be essential at this point. It's safer and in my opinion, easier to stay under 5" and extend the axles. I'd talk to someone at Currie, teraflex, or another custom axle manufacturer to see what they would recommend in extended axles


I was thinking the same thing regarding trimming the fenders, which is a bummer because I just got the metalcloak's a year ago. But at that time I wasn't planning on going this big because it was my daily. As far as the axles go, I will call them like you recommended. Thank you for your thoughts!
you could probably save the fenders with a wide enough axle +5.5" of lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I spent the majority of the day today researching different builds. I decided I don't want to go too far with it, just because I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. Down the road I would like to build a full custom rig, but I have a lot to learn before then. So I decided I am going to go with a 5.5 - 6 inch lift and keep my metalcloak fenders for now. With that setup I could run 37's with a good amount of flex, or stick with 35's for a lot of flex. Down the road I might look into stretching, doing highline fenders, and who knows what else. But I am going to keep it fairly simple for now. Just the added clearance and flexibility from the lift and bigger tires, and the added traction from lockers front and rear would make a huge difference in the capability of my jeep by itself.

So it's really down to what lift (I am thinking either metalcloak or rock krawler), what to do for axles, and what to do for lockers. Again I was originally wanting Eaton electric lockers, but maybe since it's not a daily anymore it would make more sense to just go with auto lockers for cost and simplicity. And as far as axles go, I am tempted to just throw an 8.8 in the rear, not as sure what to do for the front. I am thinking that because it is very cost effective for a strong axle. The more money I can save, the sooner I can do this. Although I do understand the benefit of spending the money on an extended axle.

Thoughts?
 

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I spent the majority of the day today researching different builds. I decided I don't want to go too far with it, just because I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. Down the road I would like to build a full custom rig, but I have a lot to learn before then. So I decided I am going to go with a 5.5 - 6 inch lift and keep my metalcloak fenders for now. With that setup I could run 37's with a good amount of flex, or stick with 35's for a lot of flex. Down the road I might look into stretching, doing highline fenders, and who knows what else. But I am going to keep it fairly simple for now. Just the added clearance and flexibility from the lift and bigger tires, and the added traction from lockers front and rear would make a huge difference in the capability of my jeep by itself.



So it's really down to what lift (I am thinking either metalcloak or rock krawler), what to do for axles, and what to do for lockers. Again I was originally wanting Eaton electric lockers, but maybe since it's not a daily anymore it would make more sense to just go with auto lockers for cost and simplicity. And as far as axles go, I am tempted to just throw an 8.8 in the rear, not as sure what to do for the front. I am thinking that because it is very cost effective for a strong axle. The more money I can save, the sooner I can do this. Although I do understand the benefit of spending the money on an extended axle.



Thoughts?


Honestly if you plan on running 35's, you have axles to do so. Just get chromoly shafts in the front. I'd also get selectable lockers for when you want to take the jeep out to grab groceries or to get a bite to eat, the auto lockers are not going to be safe. Also, it'd still be better on your driveline to do a 4" suspension and a 1" bl. The metal cloaks should give you the clearance to not need the 5.5/6" of lift.

Not trying to deter you from what you want, just trying to keep a fellow jeeper safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I definitely hear what your saying. With the lockers, I have run auto lockers in an old jeep I had, and I didn't care for them at all. Especially in the snow. So it probably would be worth the money to put selectable lockers in, even though it's not a daily. With the lift, I know there are certain risks and complications to running a 5.5+ inch lift, but I am willing to deal with that. I definitely want to go that route, and I will just do my best to do it properly so it doesn't cause problems.
 

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What will 6" of lift do that 4" won't give you? What does a good amount of flex mean to you? People are running 11-12" of shock travel with Currie 4" springs and 35s. And they are running Johnson Valley on short arms.

If you are wanting a "true offroad rig" (whatever that means), you should not be looking at any bolt on long arm kits that use the center skid as a mounting point for the control arms. Start studying suspension design that doesn't fixate on the actual arm length, but focuses on antisquat and instant centers and the mount locations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
6" of lift will just allow for more flex and larger tire sizes in the future. I know there are many jeeps out there that are very capable with 4" of lift, as that is what many of my friends are running, but I would prefer to go with 6". I am aware of the disadvantages, and I know many people think that is too much lift, but that is the route I want to go.

As soon as I read your post I started to research and will continue to research the things you mentioned. Thank you for that input. And yes, I know the title is stupid. It was just the first thing that popped into my head.
 

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Honestly if you plan on running 35's, you have axles to do so. Just get chromoly shafts in the front. I'd also get selectable lockers for when you want to take the jeep out to grab groceries or to get a bite to eat, the auto lockers are not going to be safe. Also, it'd still be better on your driveline to do a 4" suspension and a 1" bl. The metal cloaks should give you the clearance to not need the 5.5/6" of lift.

Not trying to deter you from what you want, just trying to keep a fellow jeeper safe!
This was going to be my recommendation. 4" suspension lift and 1.25" body lift with 1" motor mount lift gives you 5.25" total lift and sets you up for a flat belly skid which will net you another 2-4" of clearance under the Jeep. You already have a D44 in the back. There's no reason for a rear axle swap. Could put a D44 up front but i'd get the chromoly shafts and run your D30 up to 35's. Definitely look into a cable shifter for the transfer case. That's been one of my best mods. I'll also agree I would go selectable lockers versus lunchbox lockers if the budget allows. I have an auto-locker in mine but would prefer to be able to unlock in 4-lo for better steering control.
 

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If you don't mind me asking; why do you think you need an 8.8 for 37s? It's marginally stronger than the 44.
Your 44 will work fine with a lot less fabrication work. Throw some chromoly shafts in and it should easily handle 37s locked. You could even throw on a truss for the same price as converting to an 8.8.
With that being said though, the front end would definitely need some attention only being a 30. A HP30 locked, trussed, possibly sleeved, and with chromoly shafts might handle 37s, but you still might be breaking shafts. It might be a safer bet to order a set of crate 60s with everything you need straight out of the box. I would hope you have a lot of money to spend in that case, though.

I would also vouch for you to go with selectable lockers. From what i hear, auto or full lockers make on-street driving neigh-impossible to do safely. Which is a problem if you don't plan on ever trailering your rig to the trailhead.

Also not trying to shoot down your plans on 5.5"+ of lift, but are you comfortable with fabrication work? That amount of lift is going to require a long arm kit. Which even if it doesn't require cutting your stock axle control arm mounts, you're probably going to want to beef them up. That dramatic of a lift is also probably going to change your axle caster enough where you're going to have to cut and relocate spring buckets, track bar brackets, etc. And to maintain your flex with your current axles, you might have to do some shock out-boarding in the back, and tower modifications in the front.

Steering and braking are probably the more simple "just dump money into it" solutions. A Vanco big brake kit will run you about 1G, but pretty much fix any braking issues. A Currie correctlync will run you another $500, but should beef up your steering enough to push 37s. Don't forget a PS cooler and a durango box.
 
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I'd do highlines (like your MC you have) and 3.5". I have 37s on my LJ with this set up. Nice and low and wheels so well. I also grabbed some JK Rubi 44s to make them wider and stronger (also more big brake options and wheels are plentiful). Already had TJ Rubi 44s but picked up basically new JK ones for what I sold the TJ 44s for. Locker, nice rear shafts; I have RCVs for the front. Moving fenders up is much better than 5+" lift imo to keep the center of gravity low.
 

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They are not true hilines unless you are willing to cut 3+" off the hood. Not many people understand that even the metalcloaks have the same height as stock fenders underneath.

Flex is determined by a whole lot more than lift. Simply adding 6" will not give you instant awesome flexing. Shocks, bumpstops, fenders, tires, the tub, driveline bind, etc...are all things that will need to be addressed.

Dana 44 and 30 with 37s?? I sure wouldnt run that. If you want that large of a tire go with tons. And with tons brings a "ton" of fabrication work. You might get by with the suggestions above if you are running purely street...

I suggest more homework. 4" suspension and 1.25 body lift will be best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for your thoughts, it's appreciated. I have heard mixed thoughts on how the dana 30 and 44 handle 37's, even when beefed up. So that's why I have decided I will probably just end up swapping them out, especially the 30. I would love to get 60's, but that is out of my budget for now. I have done a lot of research into putting tons under it, and I am going to continue to look into that. It can be a lot more affordable, with very solid axles, but I know requires a lot of fabrication. Luckily for me there are several people in my jeep crew that are very knowledgeable in that area.

As far as lift goes, again I understand the benefit of going with a 4 inch and then some body lift. But I still think I would like to go with a 5.5 inch. I know most people here disagree with going that big, but I have also talked to people who have done big lifts and put in the work to set them up properly and now love them. It's more work, more fabrication, and higher center of gravity. But it also allows for more clearance and more flex (I know I could do high-lines and gets a lot of flex too but a 5.5 inch opens more possibilities). I have done hours and hours of research on this, so I know the pros and cons to the route I want to go very well. Most likely I am going to go with the Rock Krawler 5.5" X-Factor lift with their shocks that are tuned to their lift.

In the future I would like to stretch my TJ as well, but I am still into the beginning stages of researching that.

So with that in mind, more thoughts on what I should do for axles would be awesome. The more opinions and knowledge I can get on that the better!
 

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Also consider your target wheeling destination. Out in the midwest where it's all slickrock ledges and canyons, it's "go big or go home. Wheelbase stretches and super wide axles help with stability. Here in the northeast, those guys get stuck between trees on our twisty little forest trails. Not saying one is better than the other, mind you; those of us in the northeast with short narrow rigs would tip over on the rock ledges that the long/wide rigs in the midwest traverse. Just different tools for different jobs.
 
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They are not true hilines unless you are willing to cut 3+" off the hood. Not many people understand that even the metalcloaks have the same height as stock fenders underneath.

Flex is determined by a whole lot more than lift. Simply adding 6" will not give you instant awesome flexing. Shocks, bumpstops, fenders, tires, the tub, driveline bind, etc...are all things that will need to be addressed.

Dana 44 and 30 with 37s?? I sure wouldnt run that. If you want that large of a tire go with tons. And with tons brings a "ton" of fabrication work. You might get by with the suggestions above if you are running purely street...

I suggest more homework. 4" suspension and 1.25 body lift will be best.
You are correct. I did a true move up and cut the hood and used JCR fenders. The MCs give the clearance for 37s without the need to cut. We have one here at the shop that uses the MCs on 37s and 3.5 and wheels it hard. Technically you are correct. Maybe I should have phrased it "gives the clearance of a hiline."
 
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