I have read through a bunch of threads on this topic, so I know this is beating a dead horse a bit, but a lot of those threads are years old, and may be dated at this point... Also, I have some slightly more specific questions than "hurr durr what is the best brand"
. Incoming, wall of text:
Some background: I just grabbed a 1993 xj (4.0/5-spd) for a grand from the original owner. it has 240k on it, but there is minimal rust (basically only just a bit on the rockers; nothing underneath), it leaks zero fluids besides a very small seep from the vc, which I will be fixing very shortly. Drove it ~30 minutes home on the highway at 65-70 mph, zero wobble, no problems at all; it drove fantastic. I'm thinking I found a really good subject for a DD winter/trail toy when my m3 and bike aren't on the road. FWIW, I have done a lot of work on cars, and I am not at all afraid to turn a wrench. However, almost all of my experience is from lowering cars and making them faster; not raising them
. Therefore, I am a bit uneducated in exactly what is required for a given lift.
Right now, I am looking for a ~3" lift and running 31" A/Ts. This jeep will be daily driven, and won't see too much trail time. mainly more camping and driving to work. However, I want it to be capable for the few times a year I do go to the trails, so I can go out with my buddies still have some fun. I am also trying to do this on a budget, but I am a big fan of doing things right, so I don't want to cut corners, but I don't want every bell and whistle possible, and I'm not looking at the really high end brands.
I haven't gotten under it in the day time yet (bought it last night, and used flashlights underneath it to check everything out) to see the exact condition of the bushings, leaf packs, etc. However, I am assuming the leafs are pretty worn out. I am wondering if I could make a aal setup work for a couple months though, so I can get it lifted up quicker, and then address that issue down the road a bit when I can afford to grab some quality leaf packs for it.
These are the kits I am looking at:
I will probably grab one of these while I'm at it, as I would prefer my front geometry be correct:
Also plan on grabbing a quality steering dampener to go on.
Currently, because it drove so well home, I am working under the assumption that I won't have to replace the wheel bearings or ball joints right now, but rather in a few months when I get new leaf packs, I can drop a few hundred on some maint. as well.
So, given my description, what are everyones thoughts on these kits? I'm leaning more towards the RC or Zone kits, but the IRO kit is right for the price and seems to get decent reviews. I want to stay under 500$ initially (just on lift, not including tires), and then drop a few more hundo in a couple months to address the rear leafs, and possibly do some preventative maint.
Some questions I have:
The RC kit comes with LCAs. Is this enough to make this kit preferable over the other ones that don't come with control arms? Will they make much of a difference with only 3" of lift?
Are there any parts that I need to be looking at as well with this lift to make it perfectly streetable that I am leaving out?
What are your thoughts on the TC spacers? Will I need one with 3"?