FAQ: Should I Lift My Jeep?

Lifted Jeep

by Garrett · 273 comments

To many Jeep owners, this isn't even a thought, you just do it (lift first...ask questions later). Truthfully, that's what I did. However, I'd encourage any new Jeep owner to step back and think about whether a lift kit is REALLY the right decision for them before taking the plunge.Before liftWhy, you ask? Well, for the uninitiated, lifting a Jeep typically isn't as simple as bolting on the kit and then living happily ever after. Suspension lifts, specifically, will change the geometry of how your suspension was originally designed to work. I won't bore you with the specifics of control arm length, alignment specs, and pinion angles, but suffice to say that you'll be tweaking all of these at some point after your lift (something the catalogs forget to mention in their marketing copy). So, learn from my experiences young Padawan, and hopefully you'll save some cash and frustration along the way.

Here are some things to think about BEFORE you purchase a lift kit for your Jeep:

Research: make sure you do your homework before you buy. Read lift kit reviews, ask questions on forums, and quiz other Jeep owners about their lift experiences. If you've got a buddy (or club member) with a lifted Jeep, ask them to take you for a ride. Keep in mind that some Jeepers automatically think that the lift in THEIR Jeep is the best lift going....so make sure you talk to a few different people. :)

Driving Habits: do you plan to take your lifted Jeep offroad regularly, or do you simply want to throw on your Jonas Brothers t-shirt and park out infront of Abercrombie & Fitch? If you want a "mall crawler," hey that's cool (everyone's welcome here), but just be honest with yourself. If your Jeep will only see the pavement, you can probably deal with a budget lift, stock gears, and 33s. However, if you plan on aggressively hitting the trails, you're bound to be disappointed pretty quickly with a setup like that.

Budget: how much are you willing to spend? You can spend as little as a few hundred or as much as several thousand dollars on the kit alone. However, don't forget about other items that you "may" end up needing/wanting after the fact such as: control arms, longer brake lines, adjustable track bars, slip yoke eliminator (SYE), new driveshaft, bigger tires, new wheels, gears, stronger axles, better steering components, etc. $500 will suit some people just fine, but others may have higher expectations and should wait until they can save up some more cash. Make sure your expectations are inline w/ your budget.

Lift Kit Choice: there are tons of options out there such as short arm lifts, long arm lifts, coil spacer lifts (aka: budget boosts), and body lifts. Within those options, some kits are much more complete than others. For example, you can buy a 4-inch lift kit that comes with the bare minimum of coil springs, shocks, a transfer case drop, and a track bar relocation bracket. Speaking from experience, you can "get by" with a kit like this for while, but you'll most likely end up spending more money later b/c of vibes and limited performance. Admittedly, I went this route in the beginning, but ended up spending significantly more money later on to correct driveline vibrations and poor handling. I ended up purchasing adjustable trackbars, SYE, new driveshaft, adjustable control arms, better shocks, better quick disconnects, etc. At the end of the day, I spent more money adding to my "basic" kit than I would have spent by buying a fully-equipped kit in the beginning. Some of this will come down to personal preference though. Not everyone will be comfortable with (or can afford) spending $2,000 on a kit right out of the blocks. Sometimes you may need to start with the $500-$600 kit b/c that's all your budget (or gf/wife) will allow. :) I'll just remind you again that you need to set your expectations appropriately and understand how much money you "may" need to allocate to additional accessories later on.

Jeep Performance & Road Manners: the right lift kit can really unlock your Jeep's offroad potential, but it will also change your onroad handling as well. Again, think about your driving habits and make sure your prospective mods make sense for you. If you use your Jeep to commute 50 miles to work each way, the 6-inch lift, 35" boggers, and 3.08 gears might not be the best option.

The Side Effects: as I alluded to earlier, lifting your Jeep and adding larger tires will change your ride and will most likely cause some annoying side effects. Some of the "fun" things you may experience are driveline vibrations, worn steering components, poor handling, tires that won't balance 100%, etc. I'm sure some people will chime in and say that their Jeep rides better than stock after the lift and that they've never had any problems whatsoever. That may be true, but just search a few of the Jeep forums for keywords like "death wobble," "wandering," "loose steering," "____ after lift"....this will give you an idea of the challenges that many lifted Jeep owners are dealing with.

So, this probably sounds like I'm telling you not to lift your Jeep, huh? No, that's certainly not my goal here. I just want to give full disclosure on the pros and cons of lifting. I lifted my own Jeep several years ago and I would certainly do it all over again (I might choose some different parts, but I'd definitely still lift it). My lift, tires, gears, (and now lockers) have pushed my Jeep well beyond its original capabilities...it really is a blast to drive on the trails. However, my Jeep has certainly brought its share of headaches along the way (some b/c of the lift, and others b/c it's simply a "Jeep"). But, I think that's the life of a Jeep lover. I sometimes compare it to playing golf....you can have the worst 17 holes of your life, but if you birdie the 18th you can't wait to get back on the course. When the doors are off my Jeep, there's mud on the windshield, and I've just conquered a tough trail...I forget all about the previous steering box replacements, death wobble, burning brakes, crappy starter motors, and electrical demons.

Got some other suggestions about choosing the right lift?....please share w/ everyone in the comments.

{ 273 comments… read them below or add one }

jackson August 8, 2011 at 1:44 am

i have a 1997 jeep cherokee sport currently it is all stock as far as tires go and suspension. ir hA 145,000 miles on it. in the past year i have noticed that it has been bottoming out a lot in the front when i go through a dip at 5-7 miles an hour and when i have people in the car the back hit the stoppers so as you can tell over the years it has gotten soft. i plan to keep it for a very long time and love the rig. it is my daily driver and has not other problems to speak of. since it is getting soft i am looking at doing some spring work on it both front and back. what i am looking at doing is through a company called boise spring works they are based in boise idaho witch is where i live
what they will do is temper the front coil springs and pull them back out to factory hight they say you can then pull about another inch to two inches and be just fine this would give it some hight and also a little more travel i was thinking of having them bring it about an inch above stock this would lift, stiffen, and add travel to the front end and they say the springs are as good as new. as for the back they would take the leafs out and measure them and then would build 2or 3 more leafs in there tempering furnace i think or order some and then customize them they will then insert them in-between the first and second spring keeping all the original leafs and adding those 2 or 3. this would increase the ride hight and also the lode rating on them they will do the front first and then the rear this way they can level the rear with the front. they said as long as you keep it around an inch lift it really dose not harm anything like drive shafts or joints or any other part and can keep all other things factory.

i would just like some input on what you think about this and if you for see any problems


jackson August 8, 2011 at 1:50 am

just something i left out i use this mostly for on rode use but i do like to go bird hunting and also some camping an recreational driving ever so often and at times get into som nasty stuff and do seem to lack clearance in some cases. all i would like is an extra inch or so and that would be plenty i just want to know if i am going to be doing fixit thing the rest of my life from this


zacky August 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

Garrett, seems you know what your talkin about. I have a 98 Cherokee sport, and am thinking of putting rubicons 5.5″ long arm lift kit on, any feedback on the lift? Also I’m debating the size of my lift because I don’t want to give up some of the sweet trails and steep slopes for possibly unnecessary height….any and all feedback is appreciated.


KODY May 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm

If your going with a 5.5″ lift do NOT go with short arm. just a bad experience i had, ride rough as hell


Gabriel September 5, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hey zacky , might I add some feedback on looking at the Rock Crawler lifts , there all steel and cost 300$ more than rubicon. Depending on where you go, all places are different with prices, there Is absolutely nothing wrong with rubicon. I love it . Great ride , great everything , not a bad thing about it . But look up rock crawler lifts. There from New York. The con of getting rock crawler though is it may take some time if your from Cali or something to get a replaced part


Paul August 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm

You could also mention, larger tires require larger fender flares. This was my project today! Had to cut the old ones off only to find some rust and my first set of new fender flares are going back and I’m going to buy the ones that don’t require cutting. Just another problem I really don’t want to get into because I have plenty of clearance with the new 31″ tires already. You bring up some great points and I’m sorry I didn’t read it before the 2500 I spent. With that said… I love the way it looks and I can hardly wait to get to the beach! I guess we all take the good with the bad.


sohaib ahmad September 16, 2011 at 4:42 am

I have a Jeep Liberty 3.7L, 2004 model and am thinking of installing a 2″ suspension lift kit, what all i should be aware of, before i go ahead


Brian December 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

I lifted my 2003 LIberty several years ago. Put over 50k, and several hard (for a liberty) and many light offrad excursions.
I put on a Rusty’s 2.5″ lift that is 4 new coil springs and front struts. Also added a spacer plate above the front strut mount to level out the low front rake. I spent one weekend installing as a novice mechanic. I ended up with about 3″ of lift, that perhpas has settled just a bit now. I have 245/75R16 tires on orginal rims.
Overall, I have been very pleased with the lift, except that the rear shocks that came with kit were lacking. I have since replaced them. I would recommend the rustys kit, but woudl call and see if you can get different shocks. Jeep has a little more bounce to it but nothing that makes one uncomfortable on the road. The nice thing about the liberty’s front independant suspension is that with a 2.5″ lift, you really add 2.5″ of ground clearance (in the front).


Michelangelo Bassi October 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I have a WK Grand Cherokee 2010 and I’m looking forward to getting a new set of tires. I’d like them to look bigger that the factory ones (245/65R17), so I need to know what would be the best option without the need of installing a suspension lift kit and/or spacers. Thank you.


2006tjX October 16, 2011 at 9:19 am

QUESTION ! i have a 2006 jeep wrangler with a 3 inch lift kit and the factory rubber shift boot keeps ripping allowing realy hot air in to the cab and that sucks is ther a fater market shift boot that will fit and wont rip with a 3 inch lift kit some one tell me using old towles to plug the hole isnt a good idea for long periods and might even be a fire hazzard
repeat 3 inch lift and boot keeps ripping open any suggestions?/


Steve January 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Try a transfer case drop kit possibly?


Papa Steve January 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Or try some punctuation…we can hardly read what you’re saying


Papa Steve September 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

You need to get a little Papa Steve, youthink?


smith oil October 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I would say lift it a couple of inches. That way you can get bigger tires.


bob October 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

Buying 2011 wrangler sport. want it lifted. Have ripped bottom out on two cars built with low clearance. Hike alot and use trails to get to trailheads. Not looking to beat her up on offroad expeditions. should I ask dealer to lift and put on different tires, as they may trade me out against factory tires. What type of lift do I need. Want to be able to hear radio at 65mph. Tire suggestions? Would like to have some knobiness to them. What I’m reading is control arms, brake lines, SYE, drive shaft need to be considered. I’m the guy who will use it for getting to the trail, but want it to look good outside my favorite bar. Any suggestions on what lift product I should ask the dealer to install? Also, years ago, had a wrangler, and found it top heavy. Should wheel base be widened a little, if I’m lifting it? Thanks to any suggestions.


soflo November 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm

hey, i drive a 2011 4 door jeep wrangler and want to get it lifted. its currently all stock. i go off roading on sand dunes and mudding, but i want it to still handle fairly well on highway too. i also want it for the looks, i think all jeeps look better lifted. any ideas on what i should go for??


Larry December 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I just bought a 2012 4-door Jeep Wrangler and am considering the same lift idea with bigger tires. Won’t do any off-roading, just highway (live in the Florida Keys) but I agree they look so much better lifted. Not finding much real help on the web so sorry to bother but you’re the closest I’ve found with my interest. Hope you don’t mind sharing any input you’ve gotten.


TIM December 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

hAs anyone responded to you? I’m in the same boat. T


Morris January 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I have a 09 4 door. i recently started researching lifting it and big tires.
I was able to speak with a cpl guys with different set ups. Most run 33′s or 35′s and 2.5 – 3″ lifts. They look great… try to catch some guys with set up that you like. Also check out http://www.quadatrec.com Pretty informative Good Luck


scott February 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm

You can fit 33′s on stock JK that looks good. Or for a daily driver a 2-2.5 inch budget lift would be ideal. The kits usually come with everything you need and under 4 inch theres no need for driveshaft replacement or other surprises. Be sure to buy a kit with shocks and springs not one with coil spring spacers. Terra flex makes good kits and seem to be the nicest ride out of opinions on forums. I have a 4 inch rough country kit and it is named appropriately lol very rough ride


Taylor July 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

But if you do add bigger tires, it affects your speed gauge. I ended up having to get the gears changed in my TJ to fix it


Garrett July 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

FYI, you don’t need to change gears to fix your speedometer. It IS true that changing tire size will throw off your speedometer, but you can fix this with a new (~$20) speedometer gear. There are lots of charts online that tell you what size speedometer gear you need for your appropriate tire size & gear ratio combo. That being said, adding larger tires will also throw off your gear ratio and your Jeep won’t have as much power (or low end “grunt”) as it used to. If you want to get the power back, that’s what you need to regear your axles for (but, that’s an expensive repair…..can be $1,000+ depending upon your area and whether you need stronger axles to support yer new gears).

dickfitzwell August 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

3.5″ Rubicon Express kit with 33″ Nitto Trail Grappler tires. You won’t be sorry. I did this on my ’08 JKU Sahara and you get a great looking ride and can still hear the radio at 65mph. Yes, you will hear the tires, but it’s far from annoying.


Troy November 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I have a 98 grand cherokee laredo, everything on it right now is stock. I want to get 2″ BB’s and new shocks. Are there any other parts i should be concerned about with just a 2 inch lift? and do i need to get new coils? also i have some 15×8 black rims laying around and i want to put them on. would 30×10.5×15 fit on a 2″ with no trimming?


rodney January 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

with the 2″ bb lift your not gonna have any problems shocks is a good idea but you should be able to fit up to 32/10.5/15′s no problem. i think you will like 31/10.5/15 though they look good just don’t get the toyo mud terains they suck. and no on the springs you just need the spring spacers. you need four of them.


matt February 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I have a jeep grand cherokee 98 also I don’t believe the bullshit 30 two’s with only a 2 inch lift also I’ve never seen 30 10 5 15 before you should be able to fit the 30 9.5 15 without a problem you don’t need to do anything else but put some coil spring spacers I recommend a rubber ones. I have 30 9.5 15 on my jeep right now all have is coil spring spacers.


tyler February 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

hey matt i had a 95 grand with no lift lol and put 32′s right on with the stock rims however it did rub a bit so with a little back yard cutting of the front bumper they fit perfect with little to no rub had i put a spacer in i would have had no probs so ya 32′s will fit just fine with a 2 in bb lift


Pollyana March 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

yea the rims will fit but i believe the tires are a ltitle bit larger and you might have some tire rub issues if you go wheeling or jump it but just normal driving you should be fine


Gerardo November 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler with 31″ and no lift. I want to lift it, and next month I’m going to have the money to do it. I definitely want a 3 inch lift. I was looking between all the options available in ebay and it seems that a 2.5 lift kit plus a 1 inch coil spacer will cost me around 400 bucks that is right what i’m willing to spend. I use my jeep as my daily commute and i’m not planning to do crazy off road, mostly because I live in miami and the options here are very limited. I just want something to be able to go to the keys and play a little bit in the mud sometimes that also looks good. My questions is what are some of the considerations I have to keep in mind if I put a 3.5 inch lift? Does I’m going to need something else like longer brake lines or a new track-bar besides the alignment?
What you guys recommend? Should I go just go for the 2.5 lift and forget about the 1 inch coil spacer? I can’t find any 3″ lift kit with shocks. Thanks


Brian November 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I am 16 and I have an 02 wrangler I just want my jeep to sit about 2 in. higher what do i need to do.


Drew April 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

i also want to lift my jeep i have a jeep grand cherokee 2001 and i want to lift it about 2 inches and i dont know if it is a good idea after reading all these reviews about lifting just to look good because i wont be offroading with it much


Nick November 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I have a 98 grand jeep cherokee limited im trying to figure out how high I can lift it ive seen 7″ coils from irok being it has coil springs all around I wasnt sure how high I could go anybody got a good answer for me


Ivy December 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Hi, i bought a 2008 Jeep Wrangler. My mom had a jeep when i was little and I’ve been stuck on getting one since. I’ve asked around about getting a lift. . . my boss had me drive his jeep, I think 6 inch lift with 33 inch tires. It was awful! So i thought, like scary. I want to put bigger tires on without lifting it. i want to keep the smoothness of the ride as much as possible. I like to go 4w out in the boonies on my days off, i’m just getting use to what it can really do. I still drive it around town & to work. But every chance i get i take it to the hills. What would you Suggest? my husband says to put 33 on it :/ with no lift? How would that handle???? Any feed back? I’m a first time jeep owner. . . . I need help please O.o


Ed February 16, 2012 at 2:25 am

Not sure why your boss has 6″ lift for 33′s but with JK’s you won’t need that much lift with 33′s. His problem COULD be he has that much lift with short control arms or has geometry issues with his setup.
I have a 2010 JKU with just 2.5 inches of lift and I run 35′s. Now some people may disagree but JK’s can run 33′s without a lift as long as you are not jumping it or crawling over rocks. Research a couple of Jeep forum discussion boards and find out what others recommend.
Remember that when you put taller (bigger) tires on your jeep you are changing the overall driveability as far as gears go. I live in Colorado where there are hills all over the place and I have to downshift from 6th gear to sometimes 4th gear(depending on the hilll) to maintain speed. My wife has a 04 TJ and learned how to go offroading with stock tires and no lift. She learned the limitations of her Jeep with that configuration. After she learned how to say “It won’t make it over that”, she wanted it upgraded to go over that. Now she has 3.5″ of lift with 33″ BFG KM2′s and the winch for when she overestimates the ability of her Jeep. If you want to lift it slightly, look into budget boosts. Nothing radical needed for 33′s.


Wearp December 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I have a stock 96 jeep Cherokee XJ and when it is in 4 wheel drive it does not like to turn that well. Jumps and noisey. What can it be? Thanks. Also emissions told me that my rear tires wont come to a complete stop. The rear brakes wont stop them. Is that a master cyclender issue. I replaced the drum pads. I can use all the advice I can get


Ed February 16, 2012 at 2:11 am

When in 4WD and attempting to make a turn on dry hardened surfaces you are forcing the inside tire to try to turn at the same speed as the outside tire. DO NOT DRIVE in 4WD on dry hardened surfaces, especially if you have to turn. This can cause you to break a couple of things. You could break your gear assembly inside the axle or the axle shaft itself. You could also tear up the transfer case as well. Refer to your owners manual or any 4WD manual.
Brakes-a sensitive subject because of liability issues. Best advice is to have your XJ brakes looked at by a qualified technician for repairs. It could be your master cylinder, portioning valve, rear brake cylinders or just misadjusted brake shoes.


DailyDriven April 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

What you are experiencing is normal. You more than likely have the “NP231″ transfer case. This case is what I’ve got as well. It has these settings in order from top to bottom; 2HI, 4HI, NEUTRAL, 4LO. This transfer case differs from the NP242 because it lacks a full-time 4wd choice where you can actually turn your steering wheel all the way in 4wheel. The NP242 is more popular up north where you would use 4wd on a daily basis along your normal route and would need to be able to turn. If your jeep hardly ever sees any off-road adventures then just forget about your “problem” seeing as tho it isn’t really a problem but a factory choice of components.


Jacob December 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I have a 1995 jeep wrangler 5 speed I just put 30×9.50×15 on it stock everything it fits fine but one thing I’d like to do is lift it and maybe kick the tires outside the fenders…I heard putting spacers on the wheels to kick em out was bad news what do you think? Also I only wanted to lift it about 2-3 inches and have thought a lot about body lift but I don’t no what else I would have to add like brake lines steering extensions etc. I heard of a trick where I put the leaf springs on top of the axle instead of underneath like to hear yer though on it…and it can be a rough ride off road as you can imagine with stock but can I add a suspension lift with leaf springs? Thanks for your time


Robert December 9, 2011 at 11:07 am

Just bought 2012 Jeep, with 3″ lift, 33″ tires. Looks great and handles very well on highway. Took it to South Lake Tahoe and was a fantastic experience. Still, temperamental steering though, but you get used to it. Now I wouldn’t change anything. Also, 3″ lift doesn’t require additional changes to all sorts of stuff underneath. Tore out two undercarriages on vehichles on trails (not off roading) but on the way to hiking trail heads in Cave Creek AZ, and now the clearance is great.


Ed February 16, 2012 at 2:42 am

Robert, have an alignment shop check out your caster settings on your front axle. Not sure of the tempermental problems but if your have bump steer, when you hit a small bump the steering wheels jerks, you MAY be able to adjust the caster with some cam bolts. Basically, you put them on the lower control arms on the axle side and it will slightly adjust your front axle’s caster settings. I did a trial and error to find the right setting. I pushed the bottom of the front axle towards the front therefore decreasing the caster setting and was able to eliminate all my wobbling problems. Also check your front track bar with wear and ensure the bolts are tight(use lock-tite). There was an article of some lift manufactures giving the wrong size bolt shaft for the trackbar and it allowed the track bar to move VERY slightly (.01″) creating an unfindable slight wobble.


rick December 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

I have a 98 jeep grand cherokee laredo with the 5.2l engine.I have 2 problems with it..#1 is it wanders all over the road and i have to keep correcting it to stay in a straight line..I have checked the whole front end out and nothing is worn or loose.#2 is when im on a bumpy road,it sounds like there is something loose in the front..both on the drivers side and the passengers side. I cant seem to locate the problems and its making me tear my hair out..if anyone can help me i would greatly appreciate it..thanks..Rick


Billy January 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I have a similar noise coming from the back of my 98 ZJ .Check the tracking bar bushings. OE are rubber and they wear and break down after awhile. The tracking bars are front and rear and tie one side of the axle to the opposite side body. If you try to push the vehicle sideways at the front or read bumper you may be able to cause the rattle your hearing. I have been told that the bushing cant be replaced,you have to replace the entire track bar but I am not sure I believe that.


tom May 21, 2012 at 1:49 am

i would take your track bar off and check it as its hard to check it when installed and also have your ball joints looked at and if none of thats it redo all your bushings and such i had the same problem with my jeep and it was the track bar and ball joints when you put your track bar back on use lock tite on it.


Mike Jeep December 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Lifting just to look better is silly. Your gas mileage will drop, your vehicle will perform worse, your parts will ware out quicker.

Lifting properly is expensive, really expensive. Good lift kit $1500 – $3000. Larger wheels and tires $1500 – $3000, new gearing $500 – $1000, Lockers $800 per axle, larger axles like some D44′s or D60 $2000 – $7000 per axle. New drive shafts $200 – $500 each. Then add the cost to install it all if you don’t know how to do it yourself….
I’m going with a small 4.5″ Lift on a 99WJ yet I’m planning on spending more than I did for the vehicle itself in parts. $1500 on a Iron Rock Off Road lift, $1100 for a set of 33″ rubber on some Rubicon 17″ rims, $800 Front ARB Locker, $389 for a Tom Woods rear drive shaft, $299 for a front drive shaft add another $600 for 4.10 gears and quite honestly even though I’m spending nearly $5000 on lifting this Jeep it’s still nothing badass. To build something really wicked I’d have to drop another $5000 into it.


Jason June 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

Well sir some would say putting more money in a vehichle than it is worth is silly, that being said I think you are the type person to have a good time and if it tears up fix it. However, I do want to look good in my 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler and hope to be the envy of the neighborhood. Will be going on some muddy terrain to get where I need to go but the fun for me is the rock climbing experience when I get there. I have read others having clearance issues and am hoping the 4″ kit and 33″ tires will be the right fit for me.


Roger Dezort December 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

06 Rubicon Unlimited, I’m limited on 4×4 shops to ask and try to read Q/A’s. .I’d like to try and run a set of 33″ tires on stock rims, maybe 10 inches wide, would a Old Man EMU 2 1/2 coil spring and shocks get me by without any issues? Mostly road, or trail driving, I’m not into tearing anything up. Thanks ( I realize you get asked the same questions)


Ed February 16, 2012 at 1:43 am

Roger-Old Man EMU has been around for awhile now and is a decent kit. While the springs may or may not affect the ride quality (harsher or softer). With 33′s on the road and easy trail riding should not be problem. You will have to adjust your steering stops which is really easy but that may not be enough to eliminate your tires from rubbing on the frame at full turns. You could also go for a budget boost which are spacers that fit between your factory springs and the top spring perch to achieve the lift you are looking for. I have installed quite a few of the budget boosts for ZJ’s/TJ’s and XJ’s. The XJ’s are a little different because of the leaf springs in the rear but work the same.


Brandon January 8, 2012 at 12:45 am

I have an 2003 wrangler sport. I’m running the rough country 3.25 lift. I was looking to go a little bit bigger and thought about throwing a 2 inch spacer above my springs. My question is, will I need to mess around with my control arms and track bars to make this work?


MIke January 23, 2012 at 9:10 am

I was looking into doing the $500 rough country 4 inch lift for my 2000 TJ i was wondering how you liked your lift and what exactly you had done when you installed the lift? would you recommended the 3.25 lift? what size tires do you have on? How much did it cost you?


Ed February 16, 2012 at 1:49 am

Brandon-running anything above 4″ total can cause some serious driveline issues. There are some that have ran 5.25″ of lift with no issues but I believe you may have some issues. Remember when you lift that high, your axles twist upwards and forward. You MAY end up having to get adjustable control arms and definately adjustable trackbars. If you are needing to go that high, research everything you may need such as SYE, extended driveshafts, etc. Do some serious research.


nicolas laval canada January 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

i would appreciate some experienced feedback on a quality lift kit and the make
i am planning to add a lift onto my 2008 rubicon 4 door

there are so many kits out there, unreal..


Ron January 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

I just bought a 2012 jeep wrangler unlimited Rubicon. I have been told that with a 3 1/2″ lift the transfer will stay in line and shouldn’t have any vibration. Is this true??


Ed February 16, 2012 at 1:54 am

Ron-no experience with the 2012 JKU’s yet but I did put on a 4″ teraflex on a 2010 JKU. No issues with his JKU but each jeep responds differently.


Buzz January 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Any suggestions on front sway bar disconnects? How about a steering stabilizer? I have a two inch suspension lift (pucks) and a 1 inch body lift. I should have done a two in body lift while I was at it… I’m running 31s. Looking to swap out for 33s.


Ed February 16, 2012 at 2:03 am

Buzz-There are a variety of different disco’s that require no disconnect to like some that don’t run front sway bars. I am sort of a cheap skate and looked at price as a motivator. Check out Rough Country’s disco’s. I have them on my wifes TJ and she loves how easy it is to disconnect and reconnect.
Depending what you do with your Jeep (trails, mud, rocks) will determine if the 33′s will work with your 3 inches of lift. Wife has 3.5 inches on her TJ and since I extended her bumpstops in the front we get MOSTLY minor tire rubbing into the fender. That being said, we have pushed up the fenders a bit on the outside edge still. But we are living with that since I’m a believer in LCG(low center of gravity) so we a content.


brandon January 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

hey there so i have a 94 jeep yj 4 cyl 2.5 i want to do a lift on it but dont want to have to change much like drive shafts slip yokes brake line extentions ect i have heard that jeeps can be lifted to 4 inch with out haveing to change anything just bolt on and go im more thinking of the 3-3.5 inch lift any imput would be appreciated thankss also will be keeping my r15 wheels no big honkers going on


brandon February 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm

hey i have a 94 yj bone stock 16 inch duratrac goodyear tires 2.5 l inline 4 cyl i am looking at a 4 inch rough country lift with everything needed in the kit has t case drop and wedges on the rear leafs will that be ok for drive shaft angle? i dont want no vibes also with a 4 inch lift will the rear drive shaft be long enough or will i need a new one ? last question will i get death wobble and will the relocation brackets be good enough for 4 inch drop for the brake lines if you could help it would be appreciated thankss


Kevin February 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm


I am hoping you can assist me with my 2000 WJ. It is currently stock and I plan on lifted her close to 4″. I was looking at the OME 3.5″ lift and run between 31-33″ tires on stock 16 rims. Eventually I will replace the front bumper with the Iceland Off-road winch bumper. Everything I to read says I “should” be ok. The question is, what else will I need after purchasing the lift aside from the above and longer brake lines? If you can offer some insight I would greatly appreciate it.


Richard March 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I have a 1999 WJ with Clayton 4.5″ Long Arm with 32/33″ tires that I have had good luck with. Recent non suspension related problems have made me want to start over. Recently bought 2001 and am thinking about a 3″ +/- lift using the short arms–probably change to adjustable arms. We tow the Jeep and travel a lot so offroading is about 25% of driving. I would be interested in what you find out and decide to do. Our offroading has mainly been Easter Jeep Safari and the Clayton handles their 5 to 6 rated difficulty trails easily. Not sure about 5′s with short arm 3″ lift.
Will take me a while to trade all the parts to the ’01—-Good luck with your project. Keep me posted if you want. Thanks


Jordan18 March 10, 2012 at 1:23 am

if you dont mind me asking how much did you spend on it all? and what add ons did you need just for the 4.5 inch lift?


mattg February 29, 2012 at 1:28 am

I have a 01 jeep wrangler running 33′s.. straight stock.. with upgraded bump stops it can crawl fine and highway is fine.. but it drifts randomly on yhe highway to the left and right.. its awkward..it doesn’t rub at all.. extremely bumpy and extremely uncontrollable on rough terrain at speeds above 10mph.. lifting because I already have replaced bending axles.. lifting with a rubicon ex. 3.5in superflex system… will I need a new rear driveshaft?? its 3.5 in the front and 2.5 in the rear.. comes with all needed parts..

btw. its a 01 sport. k&n cold air with banks turbo. chipped. banks offroad exaust. 16×12 5inch backspace. 33x12x16.


Jordan1818 February 29, 2012 at 2:24 am

I have a 2000 cherokee sport. It is a daily driver and occasional off road vehichle. Its stock ride height is extremley low and rubs my tires when I hit bumps. I am thinking of putting a 4.5 inch suspension lift on it. I wanted a rough country but now am starting to lean towards terra flex because I hear it rides better. What all would I have to replace in extra parts besides the lift just to keep it running in good order. I wanted a 6 but everyone says not to because the amount of extra replacement parts is not worth it. Especially a daily driver.. Let me know what you think and my budget is around 800.. give me feedback and comments on what you prefer and let me know if im headed down the smart path thanks!!!


Joseph C March 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

So I’m thinking of getting a ’97 jeep wrangler. I was wondering what I’d need to do to lift it. I have no plans on taking it on off road trips on a daily basis, frankly even on a monthly basis. I live in Newport Beach California, so there really aren’t many places to take it out to other than the desert. Anyway, what would be some sick rims/tires to put on for some daily driving and very very rarely out in the sand (once in a year), and a lift kit that would be decent enough to put in some wheels that would make my jeep a bit taller than most stock jeeps. Also, how would I get my car lifted? I have no idea how to install any of that….

Can someone please tell me what rims this person has on his car.
LINK: http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/2825183655.html

I kinda want my car to look like this, so whats the needed setup


Brad April 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Im looking to do a 2.5 (33 tires) or 3.5 (35 tires) lift on my 4 door jeep. I don’t plan on taking it off road much. My biggest concern is that I don’t want to have to climb in the jeep. Do you know how much these would lift the jeep off the ground? I’m only 5.6. Any suggestions???


Ed April 25, 2012 at 4:14 am

I have the 2.5 in lift with 35′s on a 2010 JK unlimited. I have to do a small hop to get in. I’m 5’10. 33′s should fit keep you from jumping


Matt April 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I just got my 92 jeep wrangler about 2 months ago. I was thinking about getting a 2-3 inch body lift. Will this do any other damage to my jeep?


Ed April 25, 2012 at 4:16 am

Shouldn’t but make sure you buy a whole kit. PB blast all your body bolts prior to starting.


Andre April 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I got a 2011 four door wrangler it’s a rubicon so it has 32 inch tires and a 2inch lift kit I did all my homework and I wanted 36 tires with a four inch lift I’m throwing a lot of money into it to it totals up to 5000 so it’s good stuff my parents “recommend” no because I only drive on high way sometimes off road so they say it will make my jeep more noisy in the inside and not as smooth and a big difference help soon please


Ed June 26, 2012 at 2:24 am

Rubicon springs do not have additional “lift” just a higher spring rate meaning that they do not sag as much with the weight.
Finding 36 inch tires usually mean you are going with extreme mud tires like Thornbird’s or similiar. MOST people stick with common sizes of tires for affordablility/availability(33/35/37′s). Road noise in the cabin of the Jeep depend on the tire. Extreme mud tires howl like crazy on the road and wear significally on the road. You also have to think of the driveability of your tires in wet weather and snow. Most mud tires do not like water and have less traction in snow on the road. Do more research on your tires. Since you are driving mostly on the street, extreme mud tires have a high ply rate that make driving on the street almost unbearable.
Having 4 inches of lift is good for up to 40 inch tires if you keep your flex down or get higher fenders.
Something else to think about is gearing. I have 35″ Goodyear MT/R’s on 2″ of lift and 3.73 gears. I rarely get to use my 6th gear. I plan on upgrading to 4.88′s to get power back on the road.
Hate to say this but research what others are using and doing to find what works and what doesn’t work.


Tom May 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

i have a 91 cherokee sport with the part time 4×4 with a 4 inch fabtech suspension lift on it and im running 33-10.5 15s on it and it drives fine it drives like a lifted truck but i had somone tell me to remove my sway bares for more articulation and it worked i can do things i shouldnt be able to do but i dont feel to safe on the road due to the swaying when i turn i see pavment out my side window what should i do to keep the same articulation but without the swaying?


Ed June 26, 2012 at 1:56 am

Not safe just removing the sway bars. Instead buy some sway bar quick disconnects. This allows you to run with sway bars on the street and you can disconnect them when you go offroading.


Alaina June 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I have a 2012 Liberty, I asked the guy at the dealership to quote me a price and he laughed saying no one has asked to lift that car. I can only go 2″ (without voiding the warranty) any thoughts on a good brand? And what size tires can I get with that? Right now I have the stock 16s


Ed June 26, 2012 at 2:07 am

I did a quick google search on lift kits for your 2012 and the only thing I could find was a leveling kit.


I by no means represent or work for the above link. Just a good description of the components and explanation of the kit.

Normally, not always, you can go up one or two sizes without affecting too much drivability issues.


Jonathan July 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I have a 2012 4 door wrangler unlimited and am looking to do about a 3″ – 2.5″ lift nothing crazy just want some fun offroading but it is also my daily driver Iam also looking at updating my tires. Any help or suggestions would be a great help


Joe July 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

Hey Jonathan, I have an 09 JKU and I added a 2″ Skyjacker lift and 33″ x 12.5″ Dick Cepek Mud Country tires and love the look. Not the monster truck-like look of 35″ tires like my friend’s, but just enough to set yourself apart from the growing masses of JKs on the road. The ride is the same, the mileage is a little down, and the road noise is minimal…I actually like the hum on the highway. Don’t wait a year like I did, asking for everyone’s opinions, just do it now and enjoy the ride!


Garrett July 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I have a 2008 JK wrangler with 31 inch tires. I’m new to all of this jeeptalk and don’t know much about cars in general… but I’m trying my best to get into it! so my question is this: are my 31″ tires too small to get a 1 inch body lift? I want to retain my mileage but start to get my jeep to look more “official.” If a lift would make my tires look puny, what mods should i get that won’t break the bank? I’m not looking to do any really difficult offroading, just riding some medium difficulty trails every once in a while. Thanks for the help!


Joe July 31, 2012 at 8:35 am

Hi Garrett…you can see my set up in the post above your’s under “Joe”. Yes, your 31″ tires are too small, especially if they have the smooth highway tread. If you want to keep them, a 1″ lift will not make them look smaller IMO, but you might want to upgrade to a more capable 32″ like what runs on the stock Rubicons…or a set of BFG KM2s. These will give you a great look. If you also want to make your Jeep look like it’s bigger than it really is, consider chopping your front bumper to make it a stubby…you’ll show off more front tire giving it an aggressive look. Personally though, I’d go with a 2″ lift and a set of aggressive looking 33s.


Lyndall July 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I have a 2000 Sahara and i’m debating between 6in long arm with 35s or a 4in lift with 33s. I do a lot of on road traveling but some light trails every now and then. Shooting to make this a very capable jeep off road and in the snow during the winter, but still want to keep it practical for all the on road driving…


Ed August 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I would stick with the 4in with 33′s. My wife has 4 inch long arm kit and 33′s, and a buddy now has 6 inch long arm with 37′s. Her jeep is daily driver, his sits in garage. Even with just 33′s, it can be very capable. SNOW driving…I have no advice for you on that one. I personally hate off-roading in the snow but that is due to others mistakes and me having to help dig them out.

From what I’ve read, good/wide tires help in the snow. Air them down some to acheive maximum traction.


Sybil September 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I got my son a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He really wants to put a lift kit on it and get new tires. I don’t want to spend alot of money and I think he wants it so he looks cool not too much for off road use. Any suggestions??


Ed September 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm

I would go with a budget lift which are just spring spacers, shocks and tires then. While the springs are off, just repaint them so they look new(er) and it looks like you put a lift on. Stay under 2 inches of spacer and you should be good to go.


bugman September 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I have a 1993 Wrangler YJ with a 2.5 litre. Recently had the Rough Country 4″ lift and M/T 33″ installed. I really am pleased with the lift. I would recommend it highly to anyone who asked. The ride is greatly improved over stock. Handling is great also. Now I have got to order my 5.88 gears for front and rear.


Ed September 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm

5.88′s? Crap, I am planning on running 37′s and only need 4.88′s ir 5.13′s. Unless you plan on never running on the road/highway…’eh to each their own. IMO, overkill but oh well.


klarc July 5, 2014 at 8:33 am

I lifted mein 2001 Jeep Cherokie with a 3″ lyft kit this summer und it rydes very weil. Das ist un gut Jeep Lyft klautenhammer.


Orion October 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I got a stock 2005 jeep liberty 4 cylinder 6 speed manual. I am interested in taking it onto the rubicon but don’t known enough yet to make the decision on what I need to modify on it if anything. If i do need to modify, what do I modify? How cheap can it be? And how can I keep from loosing as much power as possible? I would like to still be able to drive it on road/highways even after modification. What do I need?


Orion October 29, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I have got a 2005 jeep liberty 4 cylinder 6 speed manual. It is trail rated (not sure entirely what that means) but I would like to be able to take it on the rubicon. I’m am not sure what modification it would need to be able to do it. Yet I would still like to be able have some horsepower for on the road/highway, what do I need? How cheap can it be? And how much power will I loose with these modifications?


Matt October 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Hey Orion you are looking at alot of money to do the upgrades that you would need. First is if you will need to lift it even for cheap 3 in lifts “and the quality is horrible” at least $800 with install. You will need better bigger tires. Not sure how much clearence you will have but it wont clear more than 31s. For a decent pair cost probably round $800 give or take $200 You will lose a bunch of power though due to the bigger tires. You could add a cold air intake for minimal hp gains $150 -$250. Is the jeep 4×4? Trail rated is a suspension tuning just like when you see S on cars. If you wanted to you could regear your axels/differential to make up for the power loss. It will cost you a good bit of money to do all is required it would be more cost effective to buy a used older wrangler and fixing it for what you want to do. Parts for wrangler are normally cheaper. Hope this helps. Matt


Daryl December 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Have a few questions for all the experts. I used to own a 03 wrangler with 31.5′s and no lift. I had it 3 years and then sold it. I have now jumped back in and bought another jeep. 2011 jk with 6 in lift and 35′s. I knew handling was going to be different, but it seems like it over-steers easily. I am not one that plans on going offroad a lot, but 4-5 times a year. It is a daily driver and looks awesome, but was wandering if downsizing tires would help with handling or would that change the gears? Any ideas or suggestions welcome.


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