What is the biggest tire to fit a YJ with no lift? What about a 1-1.5in lift?
31X10.5's will fit, I had those on mine for a couple of years without any lift. They will rub on the leaf springs when you turn too sharply, and also on the fender flares if you plan on doing any off-roading. My front flares have notches where the tires have rubbed away the plastic. With a 1.5" lift you can squeeze 33's, but you'll get the same rubbing. Body lifts are pretty cheap, you might as well get a 2" if you're going to get one.
A 2" or 3" body lift will cost under $100, you can install these in a few hours yourself if you have the right tools. All it entails is changing the stock body mounts for longer ones and dropping the radiator I think. If you want this professionally installed it would probably cost you anywhere from $50 to $100. Another option if you just want the clearance is buying lift shackles, which replace the stock ones and add about 1 1/2" to 2" of lift. YOu can get these for only about $30 a pair. (you'll need 2 pairs). That would be the easiest way to lift it.
I haven't ever installed a body lift myself, but from what I understand all you do is replace the rubber body mounts that you see between your body and frame with taller ones, and I think you have to drop the radiator or something, but all the hardware should come in the kit. The shifter will be that much lower to the floor, so you might also want to get a longer shifter knob. 31"s will fit fine and shouldn't rub the flares at all.
A body lift may sound easy, but once you spin a nut or bust a bolt thats another hour or so to each bolt broke in getting it off or breaking into the body chanle in order to get the block that is in the chanle out so you can some how fish a bolt into it. (i just finnsihed one on a buds CJ). i prefer to do a suspention lift than a body lift any day. whith a 1.5 lift all you need is new springs, shocks and u-bolts. I've also done a shackle lift and its alright except its harde on the pinion angles but it works. the most difficult thing about that is some shackles are narower than the 2 peice stock ones so you need to trim the bushings and realy hammer it on. the rear bolt is also tough to get out near the gas tank. you may need to drop the tank to get at these. basicaly, a spring lift may cost a little more, but its a lot easer to put in.
Its not what you buy...its what you BUILD!!!
1995 YJ ,SOA with 4" procomp front 3.5" BDS rear 1" shackle rear, custom stearing, 35x12.50x15 pro-comp MTs, warn xd9000i, on-board air from A/C, dana 44 rear and 30 front with 4.56, powertrax no-spin rear, custom disks rear/trutrac front, warn front shafts, HD SYE kit, HD front and rear driveshafts, Warn 4X flairs, PIAA 520 ligts and on and on and on :)
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