Lift kits work by raising the body of the Jeep, or alternatively the suspension. Installing a lift kit is one of the first types of modifications for owners who crave that off-road experience, but are wondering which modifications will give them the most value for their efforts. Going off road, with an installed lift kit, will allow you to crawl over rough terrain with ease.
Types of Lift Kits
There are several types of lift kits you can opt for. The body lift
will raise the distance between the body and the frame, while a suspension lift
jacks your ride at the axle and frame. Both lift kits will work well and offer you the ability to drive over obstacles without damage. For Jeep off-road trail warriors, the perfect solution is to install the Teraflex 3" Sport S/T3 Suspension Lift Kit with Fox Shocks for 2007-2017 Wrangler JK Unlimited. This particular lift kit keeps the center of gravity low, but still offers the performance of a larger device.
Lift kits come in all sizes and shapes, and dollar amounts. If you are just wanting a small amount of clearance, and nothing too drastic, then the smaller lift, such as the Rough Country 2.5" Suspension Lift Kit with Performance 2.2 Series Shocks is the way to go. The 1.5-2 inch range is considered small, but still offers performance and attitude. For that beastly look, opt for the 2.5 inches or more lift kits. Want to ultimately dominate your elevation? Opt for the incredible 6-7” Long Arm Suspension kits. Most Rubicon models, and the Wrangler Unlimited JK, and Wrangler JK can handle the height and the demands of living in the clouds. The good news is that the parts will still allow for a decently smooth ride when returning to the roadways even with these larger kits. You will have to opt for 35” tires with most of the larger lift installations, however.
If you own a YJ Wrangler, pre-1997, then you will have a leaf spring suspension on both fore and aft axles. To lift your ride, simply install a larger set of leaf springs
. The good news is that you don’t have to use control arms, because the leaf springs can hold the axles in place on their own.
Lift Kits and Budget Boosters
What’s nice about lift kits is that if you don’t want to commit to a total lift kit, you can simply add in spacers, which come in different sizes from 2-3.5”. That installation typically takes a few hours, and is very reasonably priced. This is often called the “budget boost”. The same effect can be achieved using a coil spring lift. This lift kit lite will offer you about 1.5-3.5” of lift. The coils provide what is called “articulation”, which means that the coils actually give you better grip on the road and other surfaces. Keep in mind that lifting your vehicle may require you to also install upgraded control arms to accommodate the new wheelbase.