From On Road Wheels to Off Road Toys: All about Lift Kits for Jeeps

Written by a Guest Blogger

For the typical Jeep owner, the vehicle is a dependable everyday runabout and also a great off-roader that offers excellent ruggedness for the occasional camping trip. This is the kind of all-purpose use that the Jeep is built for. Some people, though, need their Jeeps for very rough terrain.

When you drive a stock Jeep over extremely rugged ground, the travel of the suspension can be so great that it causes the wheels to bump against their wheel wells. In such cases, modifications to the vehicle may be called for — you may need to get suspension lifts that have the effect of raising the suspension and making the vehicle sit higher on top of the wheels. Jeeps kitted out with extreme lifts become capable of unbelievable levels of punishment. Their suspensions are so tall that they can have their wheels independently twist in wild angles to grip the terrain.

Jeeps kitted out with lifts help with more than just suspension travel – they also allow the use of larger tires than come with the stock Jeep. Larger tires can mean smoother travel over rough terrain.

To be sure, not every Jeep lift enthusiast goes for lifts to be able to use his vehicle in harsh conditions. Sometimes, people just get them for the way they give their Jeeps an aggressive look.

How do you pick a lift kit?

Successfully lifting a vehicle requires attention paid in three areas – the wheels, the tires and the drivetrain. The lifts that you get need to work well with all three areas of your vehicle. Before you begin the process of shopping for a lift kit, you need to ask yourself 4 questions.

.   Do you know the exact purpose you will use your lifted Jeep for?

.   Have you made up your mind about the tires you will use?

.   Are you clear about how much you’re willing to spend?

.   Do you know enough about working on cars to carry out a complex modification such as a lift, yourself?

A Jeep lift is a major project – you will need to spend hours under your vehicle, patiently rebuild the suspension and repeatedly make tests and tweaks to make sure that everything works correctly. You need to be up to this kind of work. If you aren’t, you’d be much better off finding a professional to perform your lift for you. A trusted outlet selling Jeep Wrangler accessories should be able to give you advice you in this area.

Picking the right kind of lift for your Jeep

Going with a small lift: If this is your first lifting project, you’ll do well to get a small lift – something that raises the level of your Jeep by no more than 2 inches. Small lifts are inexpensive and easy to install.  There is very little room for mechanical complications when you pick a small lift. This kind of lift is a good idea if all you want is a slightly aggressive look on your vehicle and the ability to run bigger, 31-inch tires. All you will need are a few spacers under your stock springs and long shackles at the back.

Picking a medium lift: Medium lifts work well for most Jeeps. You choose them when you need to use tires as large as 34 inches. While these lifts require a slightly more involved installation process than small lifts, they still don’t need too many additional parts. You’ll need a longer break line, wheel spacers and a new driveshaft. A medium lift can achieve 3.5 inches of additional clearance.

Getting a big lift: The biggest lift kits can be extremely expensive and can require a huge set of parts. Since changes to the front end geometry are required, you should expect to come up against a few complications during the installation process and be willing to research possible solutions. Nevertheless, you’ll get spectacular off-road performance and the ability to install 35-inch tires.

About the Blogger

Jeremy S is always fussing over his Jeep Wrangler. An avid blogger, he likes to share what he learns with others online and his articles mainly appear on motoring and off road blogs.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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