Do TJ's ride extremely rough on the highway with 6in+ lifts? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
drummerboy
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Do TJ's ride extremely rough on the highway with 6in+ lifts?

I'm getting a new vehicle soon and I want a TJ lifted about 6 inches. My dad has a friend that used to deal TJ's and he said that if it's lifted like 6in+, then it's going to ride terribly on the highway and interstate. Is this true? Anyone had any experiences with this? I just want to know if this is true or not so I can show my dad and make an educated decision on how much to lift it.

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post #2 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 09:41 AM
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First question you should be asking yourself (is what I asked myself when I started to read this thread) is why on earth would you want and/or need a 6" plus lifted Jeep?

A VERY brief introduction answer to your question: no, they don't ALL ride "rough". #1 - define "rough" and #2 - some people actually take the time, effort and money to build a properly lifted rig (be it a Jeep, Toy, Ford, etc.) and do it right. But then some people (probably the majority) think that all there is to lifting a rig is tires, springs (leaf or coils) and shocks. There's so much more to it. SO much more.

My best suggestion to you? #1 - try to answer the first question posted above. Why 6" plus? Then #2 - research, research, research.

Let me give you a bit of perspective:

Choice #1:


Choice #2:


Now...not to say my Jeep (choice #2 pic) is anywhere near done or perfect yet, but which would you choose to drive a tough 4 wheel trail in? Choice 1 or choice 2?

Oh...and just so you know, I'm a 4.5" lift on 35's.


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post #3 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 09:45 AM
Jerry Bransford
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With the right suspension installed, absolutely it will not ride stiffly. That means the right shock absorbers, the right control arms, and to a much lesser extent, the right springs. So when the suspension is set up properly with the right shocks and control arms, you can make a tall lift ride about the same as the factory suspension does.

That said, 6" is way too tall in my opinion for any Jeep with any tire size less than about 38". On a really tough trail, that much lift will create more problems than you will like.

What size tires do you want to run?

Getting
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post #4 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
I'm getting a new vehicle soon and I want a TJ lifted about 6 inches. My dad has a friend that used to deal TJ's and he said that if it's lifted like 6in+, then it's going to ride terribly on the highway and interstate. Is this true?
if its a short arm, yea its going to ride & drive terrible at 6"+

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Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
Anyone had any experiences with this? I just want to know if this is true or not so I can show my dad and make an educated decision on how much to lift it.
2-3" is plenty for most people...4" is very common. 6"+ can be done right, you just need to learn about suspension geometry and what its going to take to do it. I'll guess $8,000-$10,000 or so by the time your done with SYE, tires, wheels, quality long arm kit, steering and brake upgrades, gears, junkyard HP axle for the front to get good caster & pinion angle...and then you're only going to be able to run 35s due to your axle strength, which you could have done on 4" of lift. Some of that you can do yourself, other stuff you'll have to have done at a shop.


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post #5 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
With the right suspension installed, absolutely it will not ride stiffly. That means the right shock absorbers, the right control arms, and to a much lesser extent, the right springs. So when the suspension is set up properly with the right shocks and control arms, you can make a tall lift ride about the same as the factory suspension does.

That said, 6" is way too tall in my opinion for any Jeep with any tire size less than about 38". On a really tough trail, that much lift will create more problems than you will like.

What size tires do you want to run?
Read the bolded area. Research that part. IMHO, I'd say 40's, but that's just opinion. But either way, 38's or 40's...those would be pigs on the road as a DD. Ugh.

And what Jerry describes in the above paragrapgh about suspension, springs, shocks...it's all so true. This is the area that I'm saying some people (probably most) think that lifting a rig doesn't entail all these factors. And what a person has to realize is that all these factors have to work in harmony with each other. You can't have one part that doesn't "speak" to the other.

Again, research, research, research. There's MANY build threads on here that detail what's being said here (Idaho Jeep, Spyder6, etc., etc.).


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post #6 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
if its a short arm, yea its going to ride & drive terrible at 6"+


2-3" is plenty for most people...4" is very common. 6"+ can be done right, you just need to learn about suspension geometry and what its going to take to do it. I'll guess $8,000-$10,000 or so by the time your done with SYE, tires, wheels, quality long arm kit, steering and brake upgrades, gears, HP axle for the front to get good caster & pinion angle. Some of that you can do yourself, other stuff you'll have to have done at a shop.
$8000-$10,000....I so want to live in the States! That would cost MINIMUM $15,000 here in Canada...for the cheapest of the cheap crap parts. With half of them being used off craigslist! Don't forget the new rear axle too. He'll probably be starting out with a D35 and want to upgrade that to at least a D44. That's more $$$.

To the OP: Don't get me (or anyone else here) wrong...a good lift of any size can be done. A lift of any size. But you have to ask yourself what you're lifting it to accomplish. Do you REALLY need 6" plus? IMO, no. My best suggestion to you is to research before throwing money at this project.


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post #7 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by VanBCguy View Post
$8000-$10,000....I so want to live in the States! That would cost MINIMUM $15,000 here in Canada...for the cheapest of the cheap crap parts.
ya.....i was being optimistic. it would probably cost $15,000+ here too.


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post #8 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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i had a friend email me a month ago and he was gunna go the skyjacker 8'' short arm lift and 37s i was able to talk him down to the 4.5 long arm lift and 35s and he is plenty happy so just remember you dont need to be way up in the air just because it may look cool

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post #9 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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So you guys would recommend running like a 4.5in and 35's rather than a 6in?
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post #10 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
So you guys would recommend running like a 4.5in and 35's rather than a 6in?
first answer what you want to do with the Jeep. what tires do you NEED to run where you're going?

my suggestion - drive it and wheel it like it is for a year. save your money. then you'll know wtf you want.


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post #11 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
So you guys would recommend running like a 4.5in and 35's rather than a 6in?
Absolutely, that would be the perfect height for 35" tires. And any time I see someone ask about a 3.5, 4.5, or 5.5" lift height, I suspect they are thinking about a Rubicon Express lift. So if you are looking at a Rubicon Express 4.5" lift, their 4.5" lifts are really more like 5-5.5" in reality anyway.

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post #12 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:23 AM
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Are you familiar with the geometric changes that occur when you go up? Even with 4.5" of lift, short arms will not be ideal IMO. The angles will be pretty steep, resulting in a higher instant center, higher antisquat, and rougher ride. If you don't get adjustable control arms, your wheelbase will be pulled in considerably. If you don't get adjustable track bars, the axle shift will be large too. Lastly, if you don't go with a fixed rear yoke and double cardan drive shaft, you'll need to address the vibes by dropping the skid plate and losing clearance. It's not just simple bolt-on and go man.

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post #13 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 10:24 AM
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I think what people are doing is trying to get you to determine what you really need vs. what looks cool and indicating just how big an undertaking 6 inches of lift will be if you want to end up with a safe/usable rig.

Keep in mind that free advice can frequently be worth less than you pay for it.
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post #14 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 11:08 AM
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4.5" on short arms is liveable. I did it for about 8 months.

I would however recommend 3.5" suspension and 1" body. That will ride nicely and be plenty of room for 35" tires.

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post #15 of 42 Old 07-19-2010, 11:20 AM
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With flat fenders and adjustable arms... 35s on 2" BB is also doable. Sure, clearances everywhere are tight, and wheel offset, bumpstops, trackbars, and limiting front steering is needed... but if tire size, ground clearance, and offroad capability are the issue... there is NO reason to go to stupidly tall lift for any tire size that can be driven on the road comfortably.


OP, also read up on low center of gravity (LCOG) builds.

and I absolutely second (fourth?) the suggestion that you drive it stock, maybe with better tires in a 30 or 31 height, for a year before you start building.

97 TJ Sport - 4.0/HP D30 w ARB/8.8 w LS/4.88s; 35s and flat fenders on 2.5 lift

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The technical advice you get from me here is worth exactly what you paid me for it. Warranty issues will be reimbursed at double what you paid me for the advice.
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