JK Unlimited Lift Kit Questions - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 18 Old 07-25-2015, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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JK Unlimited Lift Kit Questions

This is our first Jeep and its a 2014 JK Unlimited Sahara. I want to offroad weekend warrior, but nothing crazy.

I want to get a 3-3.5" lift kit on it, but the choices are overwhelming and I don't fully understand everything quite yet.

Some kits say NO SHOCKS though. Does that mean I have to buy separate shocks, or can I simply use the stock shocks? The Teraflex kit says driveshaft modifications?
What do you guys suggest I do to get a good 3" lift without any issues?

Any advice?
I can do all the work myself I have replaced my entire suspension on my Mercedes, so with all the extra space to work on the Jeep's -- I figure no Prob!!

Last edited by ps2cho; 07-25-2015 at 09:40 AM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-25-2015, 10:51 AM
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anything 3 and up done well. gets expensive. shocks on a 3-4.5 lift are longer. no lifts at that height will be complete as well. steering changes and drive lines extra. 4 door needs are less since you are longer and that rear drive shaft should be fine stock, until it hits a rock. Front if the set up is long travel then that drive line front would need to be replaced. Fact is you should research alot.

most lifts net MORE than listed.
most lifts measure the REAR. example; you buy a 3.5 quality lift that is rear, the front of your stock jeep is set up with a nose down rake. The lift will add another 1" to front to "level" it. Now your 3.5 lift in the front is 4.5.
other issues gears if needed.

i am fellow AZ wheeler in two clubs and one on line. For here in az. you want to keep that jeep newish? stay off the trails that have AZ pin stripe involved. trails rated 3.5 is where it starts get into harder wheeling, some even call it the start of hard core 3.5-5. I tend to think 4 is the start of hard core as, if you have no lockers, at least 35"s and AZ you NEED body armor, you wont make it. 3.5 is about where a good driver might get through unlocked but hard on the jeep. to keep the jeep in newest condition wheel 1-2+ easy 3. Go with other people in AZ. you get stuck out here in the 110 heat, could end bad. I would recommend you get in touch with AZVJC, join them and go on runs stock first on easy trails, then see where you want to build. stock can run 3's with some wheel time and the right spotters.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-25-2015, 01:30 PM
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So why 3 to 3.5 inches? In most cases any lift 3" and up are going to get expensive fast and require additional modifications such as what Teraflex is saying about the drive shaft and exhaust.

Maybe if you describe more of the type of off roading you're planning on doing. Or looking at Jeeps that others have built for wheeling in the places you're planning to wheel.

One option, if you are uncertain about doing additional modifications, is to look slightly shorter lifts. Teraflex has a really nice 2.5" lift that doesn't require the additional modifications and comes with shock extensions for using your stock shocks.

The question of shocks is one that everyone has. You will have to wither make your stock shocks "longer" by using shock extenders or buy longer shocks. This is just a matter of physics. Your stock shocks will only extend so far. So do you get a kit with or without shocks? My choice was to get a lift kit without shocks because that was all I could afford at the time. The kit came with shock extenders. Later I put on my own shocks. I could have still bought the same shocks that came with he kit, but I chose to get Bilsteins. Others like to use what comes with the kit because in theory those are matched to the performance of the kit design. It's your choice. My advice is to read a lot around here. Read other peoples build threads. Read the "stickies" threads about Tire size and will it fit for ideas on what you need if you go with tires size A vs tire size B and so on. There's a lot of information here and there's a lot of combinations and options to modifying your Jeep.

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post #4 of 18 Old 07-25-2015, 02:40 PM
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What size tires are you considering installing?

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post #5 of 18 Old 07-25-2015, 04:33 PM
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The best non-technical advice I would give you would be to ask yourself what your build is intended to be. Are you doing this to add capability or for looks? Absolutely nothing wrong with either answer but they are two very different things. I made a few mistakes when I did mine last year that if I had to do over would I would do differently. And I wish I researched way more than what I did. Different tire sizes require different modifications. Making a decision on that will guide you as to what the other modifications you will need to make will be. You may not need as big of a lift as you think. I wish I talked to more owners as well. That's one of the best things you can do. I can assure you that this will be well worth it. When you're out on a trail with the top & doors off, man there's nothing else like it!
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-27-2015, 12:06 PM
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We have this setup that we do a lot of:

It is a great TeraFlex 2.5" lift and you have a few different shock options. Also, you can add in front castor correction to help it drive better on road with improved handling. It is great option for up to a 35" tall tire.

Let us know if we can help.


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post #7 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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I like the teraflex 2.5in kit after seeing some videos on it.

We plan to use 35in tires. They seem the best compromise between price, height and daily driving.

It says up to 35s so I shouldn't have any rubbing then right?
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 10:28 AM
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No rubbing so long as you use wheel spacers or get rims with proper backspacing...let the modding begin!

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post #9 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Would the 2.5in kit mean parking garage are off limit? I just thought of this and it's probably important since there is no closer parking really.

We have the 18in Sahara rims so I'm guessing we would need a spacer?
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 10:55 AM
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Check this out. I have the 2.5 to 3 and its awesome. Handles great on or off road. Easy to install.

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post #11 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 11:02 AM
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I've had the ARB Old Man Emu suspension kit for a year and nothing but good things to say about it. They are other kits that are just as good like AEV. Heres one of mine doing a little flexing.
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 11:07 AM
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2.5" is all you really need for 35s if you do light trails. If you don't want to go higher you can look at flat fenders to give more clearance as well.

I have the AEV 3.5" on my 2013 Unlimited Rubicon with 35s. I have no problem with parking garages or my home garage. The unlimited is much more forgiving in the rear due to length but still have to watch the front driveshaft.

The AEV kit is the closest I've seen to complete, but you still want to consider an aftermarket front driveshaft or to modify the exhaust crossover to prevent contact. The main complaint for the AEV is the front geometry brackets, they stick down a bit and may be bad if you are into rocky obstacles. As with most other lifts, longer/adjustable control arms will help with axle rotation but not brake dive.
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 11:42 AM
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I'm sure you've seen this video but just to reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyJzW38fyjo
It's not the same lift kit but it's pretty close. At about the 14:00 mark he starts to cover the exhaust and front driveline modifications that may be required with a 3" lift or above. Basically the exhaust is positioned forward from older models and the driveshaft will make contact with it as the suspension drops. By shifting the mid-pipe exhaust further back you'll gain the necessary clearance.

It sounds like you know what you want but be prepared to make more/unexpected modifications. Bigger lifts means more suspension, steering and driveline links need to be strengthened, adjusted or require extra parts that lift kits don't come with such as steering stabilizers, shocks (as you've discovered) and adjustable track bars. Bigger tires also means new gears and a programmer to correct the speedometer and transmission shift points (if it's an auto). Big lifts and big tires = way more fun so be ready for that too.

Just my 2 here. Have you been wheeling it in its stock form yet? In New England we deal with more mud and rutted-up woods than rocks but the "big" Jeeps out here are running 3.5" lifts and 35's. I myself have a 2.5" BB with 33's and it is very capable.

KCCO and have fun shopping, that's my favorite part, until the bill arrives.

'14 JK Sport, 6-sp. Lifted, mud-tires, stuff 'n' things and a can-do-attitude.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 11:51 AM
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Whatever lift you go with, do it once & do it right.
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-28-2015, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I saw I have to get the exhaust spacer kit since I have the pentastar.

Is there anything additional I should get other than the 2.5in lift kit to keep everything in order without ending up just spending money endlessly?
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