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Unread 11-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
Peyts
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Transforming my Soccer-Mom-TJ: lift kit, tires & wheel spacers

I know there are a bunch of other threads on lift kit installations... however I figure another couldn’t hurt, especially considering that I am a newbie and fairly green when it comes to mechanics. I mean, I can change oil... I’ve replaced an alternator in a crappy car... but beyond simple stuff like that, I’ve got A WHOLE LOT to learn. Further, I reckon there are others out there like me – mechanically-challenged Jeep newbies – so hopefully something in this thread can help.

Some precursor info first: I bought my first Jeep in August 2012... a 2005 Wrangler TJ Sport, 4-cyl, 6-speed manual transmission, fully stock with 225/75-R15 tires. All I wanted was a fun vehicle... to take the top off, the doors out and cruise around on the highway with my wife & kids. I had no desire to do put any sort of lift or big tires on it, etc. Just cruise the highway with the family in the world’s coolest convertible.

That changed when I foolishly met up with some members of the Ottawa Jeep Club.

To have the best of both worlds – a Jeep than can still be comfortable and fun on the highway, as well as tackle some of the aggressive off-road trails with the local club – I decided on a 2” lift and 31” tires.

Next came the tough part: deciding WHICH lift kit I was gonna buy. I spent a bunch of time reading the plethora of lift kit threads on this and other forums. I spoke with retailers, vendors, a mechanic friend, club members and other Jeep owners.

At the end of the day, I decided the best buy and smartest decision was the BDS Suspension 2” coil lift kit, which comes with 4 shocks and 4 springs (hence not a typical BB with spacers). I chose this one for a number of reasons:

• I much prefer brand new coils rather than just using spacers on top of a set of stock coils that are 7 years old.
• An awesome warranty... they call it the BDS Suspension “no fine print warranty”: if it breaks, they’ll replace it.
• Realizing that a coil would be quite difficult to break, I was more concerned about sag. When I messaged BDS about same, they replied: “if the coils sag, we’ll replace them”.
• As such, I also like the quick, no-nonsense message replies from the BDS vendor here on the forum... I like that BDS takes the time to get back to you, and in a timely manner. Further, the vendor is honest... instead of trying to sell additional items, he advised me of things I did NOT need.
• All the positive comments made on the several forums by those who have installed the BDS kit. This thread was a big help: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/da...hread-1294384/
• The price... at $400, the BDS kit was less than $50 over the cost of most spacer kits I was considering, such as Skyjacker. And in my opinion, it was certainly worth spending the extra little bit of money.

The lift kit installation is set for tomorrow... I’m as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve. Some fellow members of the Ottawa Jeep Club (yeah, I’ve since joined the group) will be helping me to install it... they’ve done lift installations on their own Jeeps, though no one in the club has installed a BDS kit.

I’ve prepped the Jeep over the past couple of weeks by spraying 4 applications of PB Blaster penetrating catalyst on all the nuts & bolts we’ll have to remove tomorrow... certainly hoping that it makes for an easier day, and that we don’t snap the upper bolts on the rear shocks.

Will also be installing a set of 1.25” Spidertrax wheel spacers tomorrow... and then, as soon as a buddy of mine can get time, I’ll get the 31x10.50 Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires put on.

Posting a pic of my Jeep as it is now, before the “transformation”. I’ll also update this thread tomorrow as we install the kit, and post some pics of the process.

One question for you guys/gals... any last minute suggestions or advice for the install???

photo-22-adjusted.jpg   sunset-jeep-1-adjusted.jpg  
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Unread 11-16-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
Wheelin98TJ
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PB Blaster works ok, but there are better alternatives. Liquid Wrench is one of them.

You could skip the wheel spacers since you'll be running a 10.50 wide tire.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
BDS-Tech
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Can't wait to see the finished project!
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Unread 11-16-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
Peyts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ
PB Blaster works ok, but there are better alternatives. Liquid Wrench is one of them.

You could skip the wheel spacers since you'll be running a 10.50 wide tire.
Funny you mention that... I actually picked up some Fluid Film today... guy at local shop raved about it.

Wanting the spacers for a wider stance... people seems to be back & forth on whether or not they're actually needed.

Cheers!!
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Unread 11-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
Peyts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDS-Tech
Can't wait to see the finished project!
That makes the both of us! LOL

Cheers!!
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Unread 11-16-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
ATown17
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It sounds like you've got your bases covered and things should go quite smoothly, especially with several helping hands with their own experience. I can't remember having any issues with the coils and haven't done shocks yet. Good luck! Also, go ahead and order a body lift and 33" tires. You'll be ready for them in a few months
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Unread 11-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
Peyts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATown17 View Post
It sounds like you've got your bases covered and things should go quite smoothly, especially with several helping hands with their own experience. I can't remember having any issues with the coils and haven't done shocks yet. Good luck! Also, go ahead and order a body lift and 33" tires. You'll be ready for them in a few months
See, Atown, you're EXACTLY the kinda people I gotta stay clear of!! LOL

Cheers!
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Unread 11-16-2012, 04:04 PM   #8
Peyts
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Anyone know if I'll need a spare tire spacer for the 31x10.50 to fit on the back of my TJ? You can see my rims on the pics above... stock Ecco wheels.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
Thomas302
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Sounds like you have an awesome plan and group of guys to help you out. You already know that this is addicting! You will start here then start wheeling more with your jeep club and want to do more. That's when bigger tires and lockers will start to be talked about. Once the seed is planted its hard to stop it from growing. Lol. Not a bad thing just letting you know. Good luck with your build. Keep us updated.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
Peyts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas302
You already know that this is addicting! You will start here then start wheeling more with your jeep club and want to do more. That's when bigger tires and lockers will start to be talked about. Once the seed is planted its hard to stop it from growing. Lol. Not a bad thing just letting you know. Good luck with your build. Keep us updated.
That IS a bad thing, at least on my friggin bank account!!

Cheers, buddy... will update tomorrow for sure!
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Unread 11-17-2012, 05:30 AM   #11
Dean7276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peyts
Anyone know if I'll need a spare tire spacer for the 31x10.50 to fit on the back of my TJ? You can see my rims on the pics above... stock Ecco wheels.
No spacer needed.
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Unread 11-17-2012, 06:03 AM   #12
Peyts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean7276

No spacer needed.
Thanks for the reply, Dean7276!
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Unread 11-17-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
Peyts
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Measures at front & back fender flares before installation of lift kit:
image-3775745716.jpg   image-477449454.jpg  
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Unread 11-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
Peyts
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Comparison of front & back stock coils vs the new BDS Suspension coils...
image-3315144510.jpg   image-446704366.jpg  
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Unread 11-17-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
Peyts
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Working away!
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