I have a stock 2010 JK sport. Im looking to upgrade it, heres what I am thinking about doing:
Has anyone done a suspension lift recently? If so, do you recommend doing it yourself or taking it to a shop (Im mechanically inclined but have not done work of this magnitude)? Also, 2.5" vs 4", any thoughts? Brand of suspension lift?
For the wheels and tires, I live in Utah so plan on definitely doing some off roading this summer. I want my jeep to handle well BOTH on and off the road, any recommendations on size and style?
Finally, Id like a light bar. I can't decide between placing it over the windshield (worried about wind noise, Ive seen some that roll down as well) or having them on the front bumper. Also, will this require a bigger alternator or separate aux battery? Any ideas on location or brands would be great!
Overall, I want a jeep that handles on road, off road, and of course looks good! Any other mods you think would be helpful are requested as well.
Being from Utah, I'd think you'd want to give TeraFlex a look. They're somewhat local (about 30 miles from you) and you'd be able to get expert advice/service direct from them.
Others that'd be high on my list if I didn't already have a lift would be Poly Performance, Rock Crawler, and probably AEV. I'd steer clear of the Pro Comp, Rough Country, etc. crowd as like most other things in life, you get what you pay for. Maybe if you're looking for a budget boost, but if you're looking for a full setup, then go with a proven company.
As far as height goes, this is where you need to figure out what size tire you're gonna run and work backwards. If you want to run 35's, then a 2.5-3" lift is good. If you want to run 33's, then a leveling kit or 1" spacer is probably enough. If you want to run 37's, then you're looking at 4" lift or a combo of 2.5" or so lift and flat flares of some sort or cuttin' your stock flares.
There are many ways to go with this process. Make sure you plan your build so you don't end up paying twice for something. Not only for this stage, but (as much as you can) for future stages, too.
Installing the lift yourself is a great way to learn more about your Jeep. As far as tires go, mud terrain’s (BFG KM2’s or Goodyear w/ kevlar to name a couple) or an aggressive all-terrain (DuraTrac) should work just fine. I wouldn’t worry too much about wind noise in a Wrangler. They are kinda noisy to begin with.
IMHO since you are in Utah, and eventually you will want to go to Moab, you are going to want at least a 3 1/2 inch lift, which is going to mean adjustable track bars, and new driveshafts. After watching the videos of the Easter Safari, 35s are the minimum.
As far as lights, have you rules out the lights that mount on the windshield hinge? It will keep you lower that light bars above the winshield and you can add lights to the bumper for added coverage.
I would agree, if you're within driving distance of the Holy Land, I would aim to make my vehicle Moab compliant which means 35's at a minimum. But if you're going past 33s, you're going to need additional things like gearing and a programmer to correct the speedo. You'll also want a set of quick disconnects no matter what to help with the flexing. You didn't state whether you had a two-door or a four-door which makes a big difference in what is needed when lifting. A four-door can run a 3" lift without issues, but a two-door is going to have some problems with the driveshaft angles. Do plenty of research before pulling the trigger on anything and if you have time to actually go over to Teraflex's shop, I would do so to talk to those guys so you can pick their brains and see some setups.
'09 X Unlimited, 4WD, auto, half-doors, soft-top
RC 2.5" Series II BB, JKS Quick Discos, JKS adjustable front track bar
15x8 Unique 297 (Soft 8), Goodyear MTR/Kevlar 35x12.50R15
5.13 gears, ARB front locker, Currie front shafts
Bushwacker flat flares, Rubicon rails with steps added