How to Choose the Best Jeep Lift Kit
Table of Contents:
How to Choose the Best Jeep Lift Kit
Jeep Wrangler JL (2018-present)
–JL Max Tire Size
–JL Lift Kit Recommendations
Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-2018)
–JK Max Tire Size
–JK Lift Kit Recommendations
Jeep Gladiator JT Pickup Truck (2020-present)
–Gladiator JT Max Tire Size
–Gladiator JT Lift Kit Recommendations
Final things to think about before adding a Jeep lift kit
When it comes to off-road adventures, your Jeep’s suspension system plays a critical role in how well your vehicle performs. A suspension lift kit can be a great way to improve your Jeep’s off-road capabilities and also give it a more aggressive look.
However, choosing the best Jeep lift kit can be a challenging task, as there are many different options on the market. With so many choices available, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of lift kits, as well as what criteria to look for when making your decision.
In this article, we will explore some of the key considerations to think about when choosing the best lift kit for your Jeep. We will also discuss some of the pros and cons of lift kits, so you can make an informed decision about whether a lift kit is right for your Jeep vehicle.
Off-road or Street Driving?
First and foremost, it’s important to consider the type of off-roading (if any) you plan to do with your Jeep. Being honest with yourself at this stage can save you a lot of money in unnecessary parts and prevent a lot of headaches down the line as well.
If you only plan on street driving, or occasional trips over mild terrain, a smaller lift kit (i.e. “budget boost”) and moderate tires may be all you need. However, if you plan on tackling more challenging trails, a larger lift kit and bigger tires may make sense. But, BE WARNED, larger lifts and bigger tires will ALWAYS lead to larger expenses. This is one of the main reasons why many Jeepers joke that JEEP is an acronym which stands for: Just Empty Ever Pocket!
If you’re like most people you don’t have an unlimited budget to spend on your Jeep. Keep this in mind when you start shopping for lift kits and plan ahead so you don’t break the bank. In the model-specific sections of this article we’ll cover some of the extra expenses that’ll likely pop-up (in addition to buying a lift kit) which may include: tires, shocks, wheels, wheel spacers, fender flares, tire carrier, lower gears, control arms, track bars, new driveshafts, slip yoke eliminators (on older Jeeps), and the list goes on.
Our Lift Kit Recommendations
For each of the Jeep models below we’ve tried to offer various options of lift kit quality, price, & size (i.e. lift height). Our recommendations are categorized into “lower-quality,” “medium-quality,” and “higher-quality.”
Lower-quality lift kits: in this category you’ll typically see names like Rough Country, Superlift, and Skyjacker. We’ve classified them as “lower quality” as many of these kits have cheaper-quality parts and often include less components than their medium or higher quality competitors.
A lower quality kit may suit you needs adequately depending upon your budget and where your Jeep will spend most of its time (i.e. on-road or off-road). Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which kit best suits your criteria.
Medium-quality lifts: in this category you’ll see names like Mopar and BDS. “Generally,” they’re known for having better quality components (vs. entry-level) and a stronger reputation for longevity.
Higher-quality lift kits: here you’ll find recommendations from brands such as: Teraflex, Old Man Emu (OME), American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), and MetalCloak. Typically, these brands have very solid reputations in the offroading world.
In these kits you’ll often find beefier parts, more components, better bushings & joints, and often better warranties. The higher quality category often means a higher price tag as well, so you’ll need to decide which lift kit has the best mix of features and price to suit your budget and goals.
Year & Model of Jeep
Lots of Jeeps may look similar, but the various models (e.g. JL, JK, JT, TJ, YJ, etc.) have different suspension setups. So, when buying a lift kit, make sure you choose one specific to the year and model of your Jeep. Below we break down recommendations for the following Jeeps:
Jeep Wrangler JL (2018-present) Lift Kits
JL 2-door vs 4-door
The Jeep Wrangler JL began production with the 2018 model year and is available in both 2-door and 4-door versions. Since the 4-door model is heavier, you’ll typically find that lift kit components for the 2-door vs 4-door models are slightly different. So, be sure you’re getting the right kit for your Jeep.
Max Tire Size on Jeep Wrangler JL
The max tire size you can fit on Jeep Wrangler JL really depends upon your model of Jeep as there are some differences (from the factory).
Jeep Wrangler JL Sport: the Sport model comes stock with 245/75R17 tires, which are approximately 31.5 inches tall. A stock JL Sport can accommodate up to 33-inch tires without a lift and still be very usable for both street and basic offroad driving.
35-inch tires will “technically” fit without a lift, and be mostly usable for street driving, but you’ll definitely have a lot of rubbing issues when off-roading. So, a 2-3” lift would be recommended for running 35-inch tires on a Jeep Wrangler JL Sport.
You may also need new rims (or wheel spacers) depending upon how wide of a tire you choose. Anything over 35s, unless you’re going to baby your Jeep on the street, will require significantly more money as you’ll be getting into axle upgrades, gears, driveshafts, rims, fender flares, etc.
Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara: the Sahara model has the same suspension as the Sport, but it comes stock with 255/70R18 tires, which are approximately 32 inches tall. A stock JL Sahara (like the Sport) can handle up to 33-inch tires without a lift kit and still be very usable for onroad and basic offroad driving.
35-inch tires will also fit without a lift, and be mostly usable for street driving, but you’ll have rubbing issues when off-roading. A 2-3” lift is recommended for running 35-inch tires on a Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara.
You may also need new rims (or wheel spacers) depending upon how wide of a tire you choose.Much like the Sport model, if you want to add 37s (or bigger) on a Sahara expect to drop thousands more on a combo of a (full) suspension lift kit, axle upgrades, gears, driveshafts, rims, fender flares, etc.
Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon: the Rubicon model is a bit different from the Wrangler Sport & Sahara when it comes to stock tire size and fitting of larger tires. Rubicons come from the factory with wider axles, a taller suspension, and different fender flares (to accommodate larger tires).
Stock Rubicons come with 285/70R17 tires, which are approximately 33 inches tall. A stock Rubicon can fit up to 35 inch tires without a lift.
Due to the suspension, axles, & fender flares (mentioned above) 35s on a stock Rubicon should work well both on-road and off-road, and you should be able to reuse your stock rims without getting any rubbing.
If you want to step up to 37 inch tires you’ll need to add a suspension lift (2-3”), new rims to prevent rubbing, and “maybe” new/stronger axles (if you’re into aggressive offroading). 37s are big and heavy, and will put much more stress on various components (vs 33s or 35s).
Also, the bigger the tire, the more likely you are to need a gear ratio change in your axles (which can cost several thousand dollars).So, think hard about which setup is the right one for your driving style, your wallet, and your sanity.
Jeep Wrangler JL Lift Kit Recommendations
Lower-quality Jeep JL Lift Kits
Rough Country 2.5” Lift Kit – this is basically an entry-level spacer lift or budget boost that reuses all of your existing suspension components. It’s a cheap way to clear 35s on a JL Sport or JL Sahara or 37-inch tires on a Rubicon.
Superlift 2.5″ spacer lift kit (Part# 5803) – similar to the Rough Country kit, this is a budget boost the reuses your stock suspension. It’s the entry-level way of running 35-inch tires on a JL Sahara or JL Sport or 37s on a JL Rubicon.
Rough Country 3.5″ lift kit – this is a step up from the “budget boost” and starts to replace some of your stock suspension components (e.g. coil springs, shocks, track bar). This kit will ultimately give you more height and offroad articulation (vs. a budget boost) and will allow for up to 35-inch tires on a JL Sport or Sahara and 37-inch tires on a JL Rubicon.
Medium-quality Jeep JL Lift Kits
Jeep Mopar 2″ lift (Part# 77072395AB) – this kit is a mild suspension lift that’s manufactured by Jeep (i.e. Mopar). It’s a step up from a budget boost in that it comes with new coil springs, new shocks, and longer front lower control arms (to tweak your caster angle for better onroad handling).
Some people prefer this Jeep-branded kit as it supposedly doesn’t void your new Jeep’s warranty (but you’ll have to check with your local dealer to confirm…if the warranty is a major concern for you). This Mopar 2” lift kit will give enough clearance to run up to 35-inch tires on Jeep Wranger JL Sport or Sahara and up to 37-inch tires on a Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon model.
BDS 2” Suspension Lift Kit – this lift kit from BDS will allow you clear up 35-inch tires on a JL Sahara or Sport and up to 37-inch tires on a JL Rubicon. The replacement coils, shocks, and quick disconnects allow for better offroad articulation and performance (vs. a budget boost).
Higher-quality Jeep JL Lift Kits
AEV 2″ Spacer Lift – this is essentially a higher-quality “budget boost.” AEV is a well-respected brand in the Jeep world and this kit is Made in USA (which is rare amongst lift kits). This spacer lift kit will allow for up to 35” tires on the JL Sport and Sahara and up to 37” tires on the JL Rubicon.
Old Man Emu 2” Suspension Lift Kit – Old Man Emu (OME) kits are typically known for providing great ride quality (as well as solid offroad performance). This particular kit comes with new coils, shocks, and front lower control arms (for caster/alignment dialing).
Old Man Emu also offers their kits with different spring rates (e.g. medium load, heavy load) so you can choose what’s best for your vehicle setup. For example, you might want a heavy load kit if you’re running aftermarket bumpers, a winch, racks, and other heavy gear that’s going to add significant weight to your rig.
The Old Man Emu 2-inch lift kit should get you enough clearance to run up to 35s on a Jeep Wrangler JL Sport or Sahara and up to 37s on a JL Rubicon.
Teraflex 2.5” Base Suspension Lift Kit – this Teraflex lift kit replaces your stock coil springs and shocks to provide additional performance offroad (vs. a budget boost). The lift kit will allow your JL Sahara or Sport to run up to 35-inch tires or up to 37-inch tires if you have a JL Rubicon.
Teraflex 2.5″ Alpine CT2 Short Arm Suspension Lift Kit with Falcon 2.1 Shocks – if you’re not serious about offroading, then this kit is probably overkill for you. But, if you want offroad performance you’re going to get it with this. This Teraflex lift kit comes with new coil springs, shocks, adjustable front track bar, and (8) control arms to dial in your caster/alignment post-lift.
MetalCloak 2.5” Game-Changer Suspension Lift Kit – if you’re into serious offroading you may want to check out MetalCloak. This kit has what you need to maximize offroad articulation and performance as it comes with coil springs, (8) adjustable control arms, front & rear adjustable track bars, and sway bar links.The MetalCloak 2.5” lift kit should allow you to clear up to 35” tires on a JL Sahara or Sport and up to 37” tires on a JL Rubicon.
Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-2018) Lift Kits
JK 2-door vs 4-door
The Jeep Wrangler JK began production with the 2007 model year and was the first modern Wrangler to be available in a 4-door option (as well as a 2-door). Note that 4-door Jeeps are heavier than their 2-door brethren.
As a result you’ll typically find that lift kits for 2-door and 4-door Jeep Wrangler JK’s are slightly different. So, make sure you get the right kit for your Jeep.
Max Tire Size on Jeep Wrangler JK
The max tire size you can fit on a Jeep Wrangler JK will vary depending upon the amount of lift you do/don’t install and how much tire rub you may be willing to endure. Here’s a general overview:
Stock Jeep Wrangler JK (max tire size)
32-inch tires: these should fit on a stock JK without rubbing and be good on-road and offroad
33-inch tires: will be ok with stock suspension on-road but will likely rub offroad unless extended bumpstops are used.
35-inch tires: technically can fit with the stock suspension, but extended bumpstops will be needed. Offroad performance will be limited with the stock suspension (you’ll likely get a lot of rubbing offroad).
Also, you’ll likely need new rims (or wheel spacers) in order to accommodate the height/width of the 35-inch tires.
2.5” Lift Kit:
A 2.5” lift kit (generally) is the sweetspot if you’re looking to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep Wrangler JK (and still have decent offroad performance).
Greater than 2.5” Lift Kit:
Anything over 2.5” of lift starts to be overkill for 35-inch tires on the Jeep Wrangler JK and will start to push you into additional upgrades like longer drive shafts.
If you want to get into 37-inch (or larger) tires for your JK, you’ll need to be looking at 4-inch lift kits, and then a host of other upgrades which likely include adjustable control arms, longer driveshafts, regearing, stronger axles (depending upon your driving style), new fender flares (or trim your stock ones), wheels, spare tire carrier, etc.
Additional Things to Consider Before Installing a Jeep Wrangler JK Lift Kit
The recommended kits below will allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep Wrangler JK. However, keep in mind that most kits aren’t simply “bolt on and go.”
It’s possible that you could have rubbing issues with 35-inch tires on stock rims (depending upon your Jeep model).
If your larger/wider tires rub the suspension, you’ll need wheel spacers or you’ll have to switch to new rims with less backspacing (which will essentially push the tires out/away from the frame).
If your tires are rubbing on the fenders (when offroading or tackling speed bumps at the mall), you’ll need some bump stop extensions or will have to trim your fender flares (or get new flatter flares that provide more clearance).
Plan on troubleshooting and tweaking things after your lift kit installation as additional mods are quite common to get the ride dialed in to your liking.
Also, as stated above, costs can rise significantly as your lift size and tire size increases. Once you get to 37-inch tires you’re likely to spend thousands more on comprehensive lift kits (i.e. ones with control arms, track bars, shocks, etc), axle upgrades, drive shafts, regearing, fender flares, rims, etc.
37-inch (or larger) tires will accelerate wear and tear on various components (especially your steering setup). So, keep that in mind and choose your lift/tire combo wisely for your budget and driving style.
Jeep Wrangler JK Lift Kit Recommendations
Lower Quality Jeep JK Lift Kits
Rough Country 2.5″ Lift Kit for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK – this is essentially a “budget boost” for your Jeep Wrangler JK. You keep your stock suspension, and the kit comes with coil spacers, shock relocation brackets, and brake line relocation brackets.
This Rough Country lift kit should give you enough clearance to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep JK. However, since it keeps all of the stock suspension components, you won’t see any offroad performance gains when it comes to flex/articulation.
Rough Country 2.5″ Lift Kit (with shock & coil springs) – this kit provides a bit more offroad performance vs the budget boost (above). This Rough Country 2.5” lift kit comes with new coil springs and longer shocks, which should ultimately give you some better articulation (vs. budget boost) and additional offroad capability.
This lift kit should allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep Wrangler JK. Some rubbing (with 35s) offroad is possible and you may need to tweak your setup with wheel spacers, new rims with less backspacing, and/or flatter fender flares with more clearance.
Medium Quality Jeep JK Lift Kits
Rancho 2″ Sport Suspension Lift Kit with RS9000XL Shocks – this kit comes with new coils, shocks, front bumpstops, and brake line relocators. The kit includes Rancho RS9000XL shocks which generally get very positive reviews.
According to Rancho, this 2” lift kit will allow you to run up to 33-inch tires, and they state that 35-inch tires may require some “minor trimming.”
Higher Quality Jeep JK Lift Kits
Teraflex 2.5″ Performance Budget Boost Lift Kit with Adapters – this is Teraflex’s version of the “budget boost” lift kit which reuses your stock suspension components. The kit contains coil spacers, shock adapters, bumpstops, rear swaybar links, rear brake line extensions, and rear trackbar brackets.
The kit allows you to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep JK, although Teraflex recommends aftermarket wheels with 4.5” or less of backspacing. If you want to keep your stock wheels (and run 35-inch tires), you’ll likely need to run wheel spacers to prevent rubbing issues.
AEV 2.5″ Dualsport XT Lift Kit with Bilstein 5100 Shocks – this AEV lift kit comes with new AEV coil springs, Bilstein shocks, rear track bar, rear track bar tower, brake line drop brackets, and front stabilizer relocation brackets.
This lift kit should allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep Wrangler JK.
Teraflex 2.5″ Suspension Lift Kit with 9550 VSS Shocks – this lift kit is a step up from the Teraflex budget boost as it comes with coils springs 9550 VSS shocks, bump stops, rear brake line extensions and rear track bar bracket.
Versus a budget boost, this Teraflex lift kit should give you additional articulation and offroad performance.
The kit should allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep Wrangler JK.
Teraflex Sport S/T2 2.5″ Suspension Lift Kit with Falcon 2.1 Shocks – this Teraflex lift kit is similar to the 2.5” one above, but it comes with a few extras (i.e. front trackbar, control arms, & swaybar disconnects) that’ll help you dial-in your ride.
This lift kit will allow you to run up to 35” tires on your Jeep JK. Again, Teraflex recommends wheel spacers or aftermarket wheels with 4.5-inches (or less) of backspacing to prevent rubbing with 35s.
Jeep Gladiator JT Pickup Truck Lift Kits
Max Tire Size on Jeep Gladiator JT Pickup Truck
The max tire size you can fit on a Jeep Gladiator truck will vary a bit by model and lift height. Here’s a general overview:
Gladiator Sport or Overland Models
33-inch tires: will be ok with stock suspension on-road and offroad.
35-inch tires: 2.5” lift kit is recommended to run 35s on a Gladiator Sport or Overland
37-inch tires: 3.5” lift kit is recommended to run 37s on Gladiator JT Sport or Overland.
Gladiator Rubicon or Mojave Models
33-inch tires: 33” tires come stock on the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon and Mojave models.
35-inch tires: 35” tires will fit on Gladiator Rubicon and Mojave models without any suspension modifications as their suspensions (vs. Sport & Overland) are taller from the factory.
The axles are also wider and the highline fender flares allow for more tire clearance (vs. the Gladiator Sport & Overland models).
37-inch tires: you can run 37” tires on a stock Gladiator Rubicon or Mojave, but it’s only recommended for street use (and you’ll likely need new wheels with less backspacing to prevent rubbing).
Offroading with 37s and the stock suspension isn’t recommended as rubbing the fenders is highly likely. Tearing off a fender flare while offroading is certainly a possibility with this configuration. Proceed at your own risk.
Additional Things to Consider Before Installing a Jeep Gladiator Lift Kit
Most of the recommended kits below are for running up to 35-inch tires on your Jeep Gladiator JT pickup truck. Yes, you can run 37s (and bigger), but then you start to get into some much more expensive mods (especially if you’re not starting out with a Rubicon or Mojave model).
Some additional things to consider:
Axle gear ratio: Sport and Overland models come stock with 3.73 gears. Your acceleration, performance, & MPG will be “ok” with 3.73s and 33-inch tires, weaker with 35s and 3.73s, and painful with 37s and 3.73s. Regearing is likely to cost you ~$2,000 (rough ballpark).
Rubicon, Mojave, and Max Tow (option) models come stock with 4.10 gears. With this ratio, 33s are perfect, 35s are doable, and 37s are going to be sluggish.
Spare tire storage: once you start to get into 37-inch tires, you run the risk of the spare not fitting in the Gladiator’s spare tire storage spot (under the bed).
Larger spare tires (37” and larger) may end up contacting the heat shield and/or rear trackbar that’s adjacent to the spare tire storage.
The largest spare tire that’ll fit in the Gladiator’s stock tire storage location is a 37-inch tire, but not all 37s will fit. 37s from different brands often have different diameters (i.e. 36.5” instead of 37”).
Feedback from Gladiator owners seems to indicate (for example) that BFG KM3, BFG KO2, Nitto Trail Grappler, & Falken Wildpeak AT 37-inch tires will fit, but that Goodyear MTR Kevlar, and General Grabber X3 37s will not fit.
Also, keep in mind that your wheel size (particularly wheel width) can impact the final shape/size of your tire (ex. narrow stock rims may bulge the tire more than wider aftermarket rims). So, it’s hard to say 100% which 37-inch tire combos will/won’t fit. You’ve been warned.
Ultimately, if your spare won’t fit in the stock storage location, then you’ll need to find another solution for carrying a full-size spare which likely means taking up valuable bed space or purchasing an aftermarket rear bumper tire carrier.
Jeep Gladiator JT Lift Kit Recommendations
Lower Quality Jeep Gladiator Lift Kits
Rough Country 2.5″ Leveling Lift Kit for Jeep Gladiator JT – this spacer lift kit comes with coil spacers, bumpstops, and swaybar links, and it reuses your stock suspension.
This Jeep Gladiator budget boost should allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on a Gladiator Sport or Overland and up to 37-inch tires on a Gladiator Rubicon. Rubbing is a possibility if you reuse your OEM wheels, so you may need to invest in wheel spacers (or aftermarket wheels with less backspacing).
Skyjacker 2.5” Lift Kit for Jeep Gladiator JT (non-Rubicon) – this Skyjacker lift kit comes with coil springs, swaybar links, bumpstops, and shocks. The kit is specifically designed for non-Rubicon models (i.e. Sport & Overland).
With this Skyjacker 2.5” lift you’ll be able to run up to 35-inch tires on your Gladiator Sport or Overland.
Medium Quality Jeep Gladiator Lift Kits
Mopar 2-inch Suspension Lift w/ Fox Shocks for Jeep Gladiator JT – this Gladiator lift kit is a suspension lift that’s manufactured by Jeep (i.e. Mopar). It’s an upgrade from a budget boost as it comes with new coil springs, new shocks, and longer front lower control arms (to tweak your caster angle for better on-road handling post-lift).
Some people prefer this Jeep-branded kit as it supposedly doesn’t void your new Jeep’s warranty (but you’ll have to check with your local dealer to confirm as many dealers interpret warranty policies differently).
Higher Quality Jeep Gladiator Lift Kits
TeraFlex 1155300 JT Gladiator 1.5” Spacer Leveling Kit – this Teraflex leveling kit basically levels out your Gladiator since the truck comes from the factory sitting a bit lower in the front vs the rear.
The spacers provided only attach to the front coil springs and you can add either 1” or 1.5” inches of lift to the front. Adding these spacers will allow you to run up to a 33-inch tire on a Gladiator Sport or Overland and up to a 35-inch tire on a Gladiator Rubicon.
AEV 2″ Spacer Lift for JT Gladiator – this AEV spacer lift is essentially a “budget boost” that keeps your existing coil springs and shocks. The kit is Made in USA and also comes with a ProCal SNAP calibrator so you can recalibrate your speedometer (and avoid a trip to the stealership) after you increase the tire size.
This AEV 2” lift will allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on a Gladiator Sport or Overland and up to 37-inch tires on a Gladiator Rubicon or Mojave. Note that the Mojave requires a model-specific lift kit from AEV (same parts, but just designed to fit the Mojave setup specifically).
AEV 2.5″ Dualsport XP Suspension Lift Kit w/ Bilstein XP8100 Shocks for Jeep Gladiator JT – this AEV lift kit is purpose-built for offroading. The kit comes with coil springs, Bilstein XP8100 shocks, bumpstop extensions, swaybar links, rear trackbar bracket, jack base (for using stock jack), and a ProCal SNAP for recalibrating your Jeep’s computer/speedometer after switching to larger tires.
The coil springs on this AEV Jeep Gladiator lift kit have been optimized for Jeeps carrying heavier loads such as steel bumpers, winch, full-size spare tire, and offroad recovery gear.
This AEV lift kit will allow you to run up to 35-inch tires on a Gladiator Overland or Sport model and up to 37-inch tires on a Gladiator Rubicon.
Clayton Off Road 3.5″ Overland Plus Lift Kit for Jeep Gladiator JT – this Clayton lift kit is made for offroad performance. The kit comes with coil springs, (8) adjustable control arms, adjustable front & rear trackbars, swaybar links, bumpstops, and extended brake lines.
This lift kit will allow you to run up to 37-inch tires on a Gladiator Sport or Overland and up to 39-inch tires on a Gladiator Rubicon. You’ll need to ditch your stock rims to avoid rubbing/clearance issues.
Rock Krawler 3.0 Inch Adventure Series Lift Kit for Jeep Gladiator JT – this Rock Krawler lift kit upgrades a variety of suspension components to maximize both on-road and offroad capabilities.
The lift kit includes coil springs, shocks, adjustable front trackbar, front lower control arms, swaybar links, and a rear trackbar relocation bracket.
The Rock Krawler 3” lift will allow you to run up to 37-inch tires on a Gladiator Overland or Sport and up to 40-inch tires on a Gladiator Rubicon with high line fenders.
A Final Note of Caution Before Adding a Jeep Lift Kit
Jeeps are super-fun to drive and super-capable offroad (even in their stock form). In many cases adding a lift kit and larger tires will make your Jeep even more capable offroad and perhaps even more fun to drive.
However, lift kits and bigger tires can often cause a host of challenges too. Here are a few things to be aware of:
All Jeeps seems to have unique “personalities” (even if they’re the same year & model). The same lift/tire combo that your buddy has (with zero issues) may cause vibrations or other problems for you. Issues can usually be fixed (with more money & parts), but just keep this in mind when budgeting.
Lifted Jeeps will (very) often handle different than stock (even if the lift manufacturer claims your Jeep will ride better than stock). Lifting changes the suspension geometry and this doesn’t always improve your ride (esp. the higher you go). If you know/accept this going in then you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Very few lift kits are simply “bolt-on and live happily ever after” (even though manufacturers market them this way). Expect to have some quirks (e.g. vibrations, rubbing, alignment issues, etc.) that you need to troubleshoot. Sometimes the stars align and everything works perfectly, but other times you just get those weird oddities you have to chase down.
Bigger tires will generally mean less MPGs. But, if fuel efficiency is your #1 concern, you probably should sell your Jeep and buy a Prius. Jeeps get crappy mileage in ANY configuration.
Modifying your Jeep can be addictive and habit-forming.
With all that being said, get out there and have fun enjoying your Jeep! And, do your best to keep the shiny side up!
Got additional lift kit questions (or tips)?…leave us a comment below.