Kevins/Kolak's 2.5" lift consists of:
- 2.5" Polyurethane spacers
- Optional shocks
An all too commonly asked question is whether you need
to get new shocks. Short answer: no, you don't need
them. But you'll certainly WANT
them very quickly. The shocks will wear out quickly and going over bumps they will max out and make the ride very poor. I ran RE (Rubicon Express) Twin Tube shocks and they are stiff, no getting around that. The Mono Tubes are better and are worth the upgrade if you plan on sticking with the BB for a while. Bilstein & MX6 shocks are the "pimp" shocks of choice
Another frequently asked question is at which point do you need a new trackbar. Lets start off with this: Getting a non-adjustable trackbar is a bad move
. I ran Kevins 2.5" poly lift with the stock trackbar and didn't have any issues. It is called a BB (Budget Boost) for a reason. It is cheap. My personal believe is that once you pass the BB stage, suck it up and realize you'll need to commit some money to your Jeep and buy an Adjustable JKS Trackbar
. JKS makes them for both the ZJ and WJ. A really good conversion for your ZJ is Kevins "Trackbar Conversion Kit" which runs a WJ style trackbar and a beefed up TB bracket. So once you hit 3", buy an adjustable trackbar. I like JKS, there are other brands out there though. People most certainly do run 3" lift with the stock trackbar, but I think you're just delaying the inevitable like that.
Transfer Case Drop Kits!
Don't waste your money on these. If a kit you buy has one, see if you can get it removed from the kit and if you can't, just don't install it. If you lift your Jeep 4", and install a 1" drop, you have only lifted the lowest part of your Jeep 3". You might as well have just lifted your Jeep 3" and not installed the TC drop at all. I am at 4.5" and don't need one. Generally people around 5.5" or higher start to need them, but not always.
Lots of people make them, Procomp, OME, Rusty, Skyjacker, Monroe, etc... Find what works for you. Kolak prefers the Monroe SS. I like the OME SS. The bigger the tire you put on, the faster you'll go through the SS. If you take the stock SS and compare it to an OME SS, you'll wonder why Jeep ever installed a SS in the first place. I was at 4" of lift, running 31" tires on the stock SS and it was just fine. I didn't replace it until I hit mine on a rock. Others may find they need one running a 2" lift with 31" tires. Each Jeep is different. It certainly doesn't hurt to install one sooner then later, but it can suck driving around with DW because your SS is undersized or worn out. I go through SS's more frequently then I care to admit (About every 4 months) but I beat on my Jeep pretty hard at the same time
Here is a writeup I did with some information on a Single/Dual SS: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showt...=349966&page=1
3" Lift components:
Personally, I would get this at a minimum for 3" of lift:
- Adjustable front trackbar (and rear if you're on a ZJ although less necessary)
- Decent Shocks
- JKS Quicker Disconnects
- Springs of course (or a BB & UC I suppose...)
You'll be able to get away with using the stock rear sway bar end links...
Kevins/Kolak's 4.5" lift consists of:
HIGHLY suggested items:
- RE (Rubicon Express) front adjustable UCA (Upper Control Arms) & LCA (Lower Control Arms)
- Teraflex rear adjustable LCA's
- Teraflex rear extended sway bar end links
- Teraflex rear aluminum A-arm spacer
- Teraflex 4" springs (net 4-5" of lift)
- JKS Adjustable Trackbar
- Your choice of shocks - I have MX6 shocks and love them
Luxury suggested items:
- JKS Quick Disconnects
- JKS Super Nerfs
- JKS Tie Rod
- Bump Stop Extensions (See post #5 on my updated thought on bump stop extensions)
- OME HD SS (Old Man Emu Heavy Duty Steering Stabelizer)
- Tom Woods front Double Cardan (@ the Transfer Case) / U-joint (At the pinion) drive shaft with the standard 3" of slip travel.
Arlo's thoughts on sliders:
- JKS Drag Link (HIGHLY suggested for big tire sizes)
- JKS BPE (Bar Pin Eliminators)
A lot of people recommend Kevins LP-2 (or LP-1) Rocker Guards (Sliders) - in fact that is what I have - but compared to the JKS Super Nerfs they don't stick out as far (about 1.5" less) so if you're looking for true lateral protection (ie for rocks) stick woth JKS Super Nerfs (Available through Kevins website (www.kevinsffroad.com
), Nick (email@example.com
) or directly from the JKS website (www.jksmfg.com
Arlo's thoughts on mileage:
This is specific to my setup which is the 4.0L with 3.54 gearing running @ 5300ft or higher in elevation.
****The higher I went and the bigger tire I put on my Jeep the less in a hurry I was. I drove slower, accelerated slower, and as a result didn't hurt my mileage as bad as if I had kept a heavy foot as I did when stock. Elevation played a role in this - being so high up means I have less power so typically someone at sea level will get better mileage since their engine doesn't have to work as hard.
Arlo's thoughts on wheels:
- When 100% stock I got ~14 in the city and 20 on the highway.
- When running a 2.5" BB, 31" AT's, and the stock aluminum wheels I got ~13.5-14 in the city & ~18 on the highway
- When running a 5" lift, 31" AT's, and the stock aluminum wheels I got ~ 13.5-14 in the city & ~16 on the highway ****
- When running a 5" lift, 32" MT/R's, and 16x7" steelies (Crager Soft 8's) I got about 12.5-13 in the city & ~14-16 on the highway (highway = 65-75mph and most likely in the mountains)
The stock wheels on WJ's are either a 16x7" or 17x7" wheel with 6" of BS (Backspacing). If you want go move down to a 15" wheel (because both tires and wheels are cheaper + you'll get a better seal betwen the tire and wheel) then the only way you'll get it to clear the caliper is to get a STEEL wheel with ~4" of backspacing. The steel means the wheel will be thinner and thus make the inner radius larger and the decreased backspacing will push out the wheel further away from the caliper.
Arlo's thoughts on the width of wheels:
A narrower wheel will ensure a better seal between the tire and wheel when you airdown offroad. However if you have too wide of a tire and too narrow of a wheel it is bad (mmm, kay). This is just my opinion but when you have anything under a 11" wide tire stock with a 7" wide rim. As soon as you hit 11.5" wide or more, jump up to an 8" rim. If you visit the various tire manufaturer websites you'll see that for each tire they recommend a minimum wheel width which for the most part should be followed.
I run a 16x7" steel (Crager Soft 8) rim on 265/75-16 (10.4" wide) tire and I airdown to 12-14psi. I have never completely popped a bead but I have had air hissing out from a rock poking in. A narrower wheel also helps protect it from rock rash as well as protects the valve stem.
Arlo's thoughts on tires:
- I ran 31" AT's (245/75-16 Big-O BigFoot AT's) w/o any lift and rubbed on the plastic wheel well lining when backing up and my wheels turned.
- Running 245/75-16's with a more aggressive tire (like an MT) will result in more meaningful tire rub
- Running a 31" tire w/o a lift and disconnecting your swaybar will mean a lot more rubbing then if you leave the swaybar connected.
- When I moved up to a 2.5" BB from KOR (Kevins Offroad) and kept my 245/75-16 AT's I didn't have any rubbing. This is a good size tire for this lift. An alternative is an 265/70-16 - slightly wider tire.
- When I moved up to 5" of lift and 32" MT/R's (265/75-16) I had to trim about 2" from both my front bumper cover (the plastic) and the bumper itself (the metal hid behind the plastic wheel lining which was also removed).
If you don't plan on trimming much:
- Less then a 3.5" lift and stick with 31's.
- 3.5" or more, 32" tires.
- 5" or more, 33" tires.
I won't suggest any other tire size. Can you fit 32" tire on a BB? I don't care - I don't recommend it
. That doesn't mean you can't do it. It is your Jeep, remember that! Screw what other people think - this is just a guide.
How to calculate between metric tire sizes (xxx/yy-zz) to SAE sizes (AA x YY"):
We'll use a "32 inch" tire for an example. I quote it because SAE and metric sizes don't match up perfectly.
- 265/75-16 is what you'll see on 16" rims
- 32x10.5" is what you'll see on 15" rims
- 265 is the width of the tire in mm (millimeters), 75 is the aspect ratio between the width of the tire to the height of the tire, and 16 is the size of the rim the tire fits on.
- The goal is to calculate the height of the sidewall of the tire and then add the size of the wheel to it.
- Take 265 and convert to inches by dividing by 25.4 (265/25.4 = 10.4" wide)
- Now using the aspect ratio (.75) determine the size of the sidewall by multiplying the 10.4 by .75 to get 7.8". That is the distance between the edge of the rim and the outer edge of the tire. Double this because you have two - 15.6"
- Now take the 15.6" (the height of the sidewalls) and add 16" (the size of the tire) to get 31.6" - the size of the tire making a 265/75-16 a 31.6"x10.4" tire - which as you can see is slightly smaller then the SAE counterpart of 32x10.5"