Hey everyone! Im pretty new to the JK scene (had a 1999 TJ 6" LA) and Im looking to buy a lift for it. Im planning on getting either the RK 2.5 max travel or possibly the 3.5 flex with Fox shocks and 35's (to be upgraded to max travel at some point.)
My questions are:
Will there be any driveshaft issues with the 2.5 MT, 3.5 Flex? (length or rubbing)
Will there be any additional parts I will require?
I have HD D44's front and rear 4.10 gears, will the axles hold up with moderate NJ wheeling (mud, sand, light rocks)
I have searched many threads to find out the driveshaft questions but they are all 2012+. I like the idea of the 3.5 because once this isnt my daily driver i plan to go bigger than 35" tires. saves money in the long run. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
First, I would recommend no more lift than needed for the tire/wheel combo - keeps the additional costs from suspension and drive shaft costs down and also keeps the center of gravity low...so, a 2.5 inch lift is all that is needed to comfortable fit 35s on a JK. Keep in mind the JK arms are already longer than the stock TJs were...so no need for a LA lift unless you go real big...no problems with DS at 2.5 inches of lift. As you said, if you want to go bigger than 35s, then plan ahead. Keep in mind that a "complete" lift with all the additional parts runs about $1,000 per inch. At 3.5 you are looking at adj control arms to set front caster and rear pinion, adj track bar or brackets, new drive shafts, esp in the rear not so much up front with the HP diff, extended brake lines, appropriate sway bar connects, etc. At a lift over 3.5 things can get messy as then you really need to start looking at relocation of spring perches to prevent spring bow, etc...
The 4.10 might work for you unless you are into rock crawling, etc, then you would want to look at a regear IMO at 35 or 37 in.
And, when you get at a 40 in tire/wheel you will definitely need regear, upgraded axle shafts, beefed up axle and diff housing, etc, and probably a hydro assist steer kit...just my O though, and, more money!
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There isn’t a definitive “your driveshaft will grenade at XX amount of lift.” On the 2012+ the driveshaft hits the exhaust loop de loop, which is why you see it come up more in a search. On my 2008 2 door I was at 3.5” lift for thousands of miles before my driveshaft went. I ultimately went with Adam’s driveshaft. A 4 door is a little more forgiving on the rear but the front is identical to the 2 door, you may get away with it at 3.5” or you may not. If you are set on 3.5” then budget for a front driveshaft eventually. You can still roll it until the stocker goes out.
shock travel (up travel and down travel) play just as much factor in deciding whether your drive shaft will slowly go. FYI rock krawler uses a 12" travel shock if i recall and you will use most of it. It is hit or miss on when they go. i had 4" lift for a long time and it held fine but others claim it failed instantly almost.