Beginner’s Guide to Lifting a Jeep
Lifting a Jeep is a complex procedure with a lot of working parts. When it’s done right, you can expect a lifted Jeep to have better pulling power, a greater capacity to off-road because of its increased clearance, and the ability to use a much larger set of off-road tires.
If it’s done improperly, a lift kit can result in a so-called “death wobble”, where the front axle of your Jeep tries to sheer away from the track bar, or a distinct loosening in your steering. The best way to avoid these issues is to have some idea about what you need from your lift kit going in.
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To help out, we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to lifting a Jeep.
Why Are You Lifting Your Jeep?
The first step on your road to lifting your Jeep is to decide what you want to lift the vehicle for. A cosmetic change is a perfectly good reason to lift your Jeep and in most cases is less complicated than if you plan to lift your Jeep in order to improve its off-road performance.
What Size Tires Do You Plan to Fit?
The size of the tire than you plan to fit has a direct impact on what size of lift kit you’ll need to use on your jeep. For instance, you are actually able to fit 33″ or even 35″ inch tires on a factory standard Jeep Wrangler, but they are going to rub like crazy on your wheel rims if you so much as go over a speed bump.
In order to get the right clearance for the travel of a 33″ tire, which will give you decent off-road traction, you’ll need at least a 3-3.5″ lift.
What Kind of Axles Do You Have Fitted?
If you are planning on lifting you jeep for cosmetic reasons, you should be fine with your factory standard axles. However, if you are fitting larger tires, like some 35” off-roaders, and thrashing around off the beaten path, you’ll need to upgrade you axles to properly support those new tires.
Should I use a Suspension Lift or a Body Lift?
Body lifts and suspension lifts are very different processes with different results. Depending on what you want from your lift kit, one is normally a better choice than the other. To make it easier to decide which one suits you best, we’ve broken down the differences between the two.
Body Lift Kits
A body lift kit creates added space between the body and chassis of your Jeep. While the body gets higher, the working parts, like the suspension and the wheels stay the same height.
The benefits of using a body lift kit are that it tends to be the more affordable of the two options and it allows you to use larger tires without potentially affecting the handling or steering of your jeep.
Body kits are most often used for cosmetic lifts, allowing you to have a higher truck with larger tires, without needing to rework the suspension geometry to give you better off-road performance.
Suspension Lift Kits
A suspension life kit changes the suspension geometry of your Jeep in order to give you better ground clearance. Suspension lifts generally come in heights between 3” – 4″ but can go up to 6”.
One of the most important things to remember about a suspension lift is that the higher you lift, the more money it is going to cost.
If you want a huge amount of ground clearance in order to get the best off-road performance, you’ll probably end up replacing things like your driveshafts, control arms, slip yoke eliminators, and even changing your piston angles, which all costs extra money.
Go in With a Plan
The best way to make sure you get exactly the lift kit you need is to come to us knowing why you want your Jeep lifted. Once you’ve got a good idea of what you need from a lift kit, you can work with our experienced team to get exactly the results you want. Call us today on 866 906 9303 or come and visit us at 8793 N County Road 25A, Piqua Ohio.