To Lift or not to Lift? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 49 Old 08-24-2020, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
Kev M
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To Lift or not to Lift? - (Decision LIFTED now with details)

So my 2016 JKUS is almost paid off and I'm thinking it's time to refresh it a little.

I'm still loving it and think I'd like to keep driving it for years to come. At only ~40k miles so far that should be likely (though out of character for me).

It's a psuedo daily driver (as I worked at home long before this freaky year), run my kids around town, and take the family on OBX beach/dunes multiple weeks a year.

I'm planning on adding an aluminum front bumper for strength with weight savings over other options. Maybe I'll add a matching rear bumper too eventually if one is available.

But before that what I probably need most is suspension work.

I was going to install some Bilsteins or Fox Racing shocks and see where that got me, but then I got thinking that the whole rig sags a little when fully loaded for OBX runs so meaning I really need springs too.

I don't want/need bigger tires (I'm running OEM BF/Goodrich Mud-Terrain TAs on 17" wheels off a Willy's and I'm very happy with performance/traction). I don't really run out of clearance on the beaches or dunes, though it does get bouncy as crap in some of the ruts.

But I figured if I want/need better shocks and might need better springs for a better ride there's no better time than the present to consider a mild 2" or so lift.

So thoughts about how to best proceed.

Goals are:

* Ride quality
* Handling
* Strength/quality/life of components
* Road/dirt/beach/dune use

It wouldn't bother me to keep the stock height if the springs and shocks were better than stock, though I admit a small lift could be fun too.

What would be your recommendations?

MOPAR kit, Metal Cloak, OME, AEV, Teraflex

Pic for attention:



EDIT - FINAL PARTS LIST (in case anyone is curious)

* Rock Krawler progressive rate springs. +1.5" at rear and +2.5" at front (by measurement, originally ordered 1.5" at both ends).

* Fox 2.0 racing shocks. For 0-2" at rear, 1.5-3.5" at front.

* JKS adjustable sway bar links (rear, OEM rear links at front for now)

* JKS adjustable front and rear track bars

* JKS brake line drop brackets.


Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #2 of 49 Old 08-25-2020, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
Kev M
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Maybe I better clarify my questions:

1. Can I achieve my goals of better ride quality/handling with just better shocks?

2. If springs are necessary for my goal, is there a solution at stock ride height?

3. If a small lift kit is the best answer to my goals, which would best fit them with quality long life components best suited to my uses (DD, highway, sand/beach/dunes, no rock crawling)?

--------------------------------


Assuming the answer to #1 and 2 is probably no I've been looking at the following kits:


AEV

AEV 2.5" DS XT Suspension 07-18' JK 2/4-door models - $1000

Progressive rate springs, Bilsteins shocks, bump stop spacers and brake-line drop brackets, custom rear track arm and rear track arm tower.


MOPAR

Mopar Stage One 2" lift kit w/ Fox Shocks - 12-18' 4-door models - $1650

Dual-dipped, powdercoated springs, Fox Shox 2.0 series IFP shocks, brake line brackets, track bar brackets, double-cardan front driveshaft.


TERAFLEX

Teraflex 2.5" (basic) lift kit (no shocks) 07-18' - $550 + $680 (Fox Shox) = $1230

Springs, track bar bracket, brake line relocation kit and ?!?. Requires spacers for OEM wheels.

Teraflex 2.5" Sport ST2 lift kit 07-18' - $1295 (no shocks) or $1950 (w/ Falcon shocks)

Preset front lower Sport flexarms, adjustable front track bar, rear track bar bracket, springs, etc. No alignment necessary thanks to preset lower Sport flexarms.

Edit - Note: looks like this might not work with OEM wheels (6.0" backspace). It says "Requires aftermarket wheels w/ 4.5 backspacing or less"


METALCLOAK

Metalcloak 2.5" Overland touring lift kit without shocks - $1000 + $680 for Fox shocks - $1680

Dual-rate coils, control arm drop brackets, brake lines, adjustable bump stops, extended sway bar links

Metalcloak 2.5" lift kit with shocks - $1952 for Fox shocks or $1652 for their Rockport long travel shocks.

Dual-rate coils, front track bar, I assume still control arm drop brackets, brake lines, adjustable bump stops, extended sway bar links



At a glance the AEV and Teraflex kits look attractive in price and ease of installation (no brake bleeding and no alignment?!?)

The Mopar kit seems to provide a lot with a little more work.

The Metalcloak kits seem like very high quality components. But are some of them overkill for me?

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #3 of 49 Old 08-25-2020, 03:19 AM
Drek
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I run the AEV 2.5" lift kit on my 2015 JKU w/ 35's and it's been a great performer. Teraflex used to make the Mopar lifts, I don't know if they still do or do not though. If I were doing my lift over I would go with the AEV 3.5" for the higher spring rate.

Anything Metalcloak is good to go but usually more involved. Same with Teraflex.

Regarding the comment about brake bleeding and alignment. While not necessarily required, anytime I do suspension work such as installing a lift I get an alignment. Just good practice. You shouldn't need to bleed the brakes unless you're doing major brake work.

EDIT: The usage for my Jeep is backcountry logging roads and mountain trails. I don't do any rock crawling and have never had it on the beech, yet. With that said, I overbuilt my vehicle for what I use it for. AEV is good to go, their engineers used to work for Jeep so that helps.

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Last edited by Drek; 08-25-2020 at 03:49 AM. Reason: derp
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post #4 of 49 Old 08-25-2020, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
Kev M
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That's good to read about the AEV.

Looking closer it looks like the AEV and Metalcloak kits use progressive rate/dual-rate springs. The Mopar, and Teraflex options appear to both use single rate springs.

Also looking closer at Quadratec it looks like Mopar kit uses brake line relocation brackets also so it's only the Metalcloak kits that use new brake lines and require bleeding.

Hmmm the AEV is sounding pretty good, but the Mopar kit isn't shabby.

I'm starting to think the Metalcloak is overkill for me.

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #5 of 49 Old 08-25-2020, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
That's good to read about the AEV.

Looking closer it looks like the AEV and Metalcloak kits use progressive rate/dual-rate springs. The Mopar, and Teraflex options appear to both use single rate springs.

Also looking closer at Quadratec it looks like Mopar kit uses brake line relocation brackets also so it's only the Metalcloak kits that use new brake lines and require bleeding.

Hmmm the AEV is sounding pretty good, but the Mopar kit isn't shabby.

I'm starting to think the Metalcloak is overkill for me.
I go back and forth with the Metalcloak Gamechanger 3.5" lift. On the one hand, I want it! On the other hand, I don't wheel hard enough to take advantage of it.

For me, I'll likely move up to the AEV 3.5" and be more than happy.

2004 WJ 4.0L I6 4x4 - RIP 06/16
2015 JKU-S 3.6L 4x4

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. -Mark Twain
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post #6 of 49 Old 08-25-2020, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
Kev M
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Oooh, just noticed the better Teraflex kit looks like it won't work with oem wheels (which I think have 6.0" backspace).

It says "Requires aftermarket wheels w/ 4.5 backspacing or less"

I assume maybe they would work with spacers?

The AEV and Mopar kits are looking better for me. Though I can't quite get the Metalcloak overland kit out of my mind.

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #7 of 49 Old 08-25-2020, 10:24 PM
droz
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I have a 2014 2 door and I am looking for a small lift, Jeep won't be a hardcore wheeler, been leaning towards the Mopar kit myself since it comes with a new driveshaft and seems to be a pretty good deal overall, plus I have a friend who works at a Chrysler dealer so I can get it at cost and have him install it and then it will have the warranty
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post #8 of 49 Old 08-26-2020, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droz View Post
I have a 2014 2 door and I am looking for a small lift, Jeep won't be a hardcore wheeler, been leaning towards the Mopar kit myself since it comes with a new driveshaft and seems to be a pretty good deal overall, plus I have a friend who works at a Chrysler dealer so I can get it at cost and have him install it and then it will have the warranty
The new front driveshaft isn't really necessary for most 2.5" lifts. You can use exhaust spacers in lieau of the new shaft. If you go to 3.5" a new front shaft is needed. I'm at 2.5" and have been running with no spacer or new shaft for 3yrs and it's finally becoming an issue. I'll be ordering a new front shaft here soon.

2004 WJ 4.0L I6 4x4 - RIP 06/16
2015 JKU-S 3.6L 4x4

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. -Mark Twain
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post #9 of 49 Old 08-26-2020, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
Kev M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drek View Post
The new front driveshaft isn't really necessary for most 2.5" lifts. You can use exhaust spacers in lieau of the new shaft. If you go to 3.5" a new front shaft is needed. I'm at 2.5" and have been running with no spacer or new shaft for 3yrs and it's finally becoming an issue. I'll be ordering a new front shaft here soon.
Interesting. I noticed many of the other kits included some form of exhaust spacer. But I see the AEV does not.

What exactly are the spacers doing? (I assume repositioning a pipe away from the shaft or something like that?)

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #10 of 49 Old 08-26-2020, 05:41 PM
droz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drek View Post
The new front driveshaft isn't really necessary for most 2.5" lifts. You can use exhaust spacers in lieau of the new shaft. If you go to 3.5" a new front shaft is needed. I'm at 2.5" and have been running with no spacer or new shaft for 3yrs and it's finally becoming an issue. I'll be ordering a new front shaft here soon.
Thanks for the info, I kind of assumed it wasn't required since most 2.5 inch lifts didn't come with it or mention it as a needed item, I guess for me the biggest plus is getting it at cost then since I can have my friend install it, getting the Mopar warranty (if that really means anything). I am still in the looking at lifts stage and haven't really decided which way to go though, so many options
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post #11 of 49 Old 08-27-2020, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
Interesting. I noticed many of the other kits included some form of exhaust spacer. But I see the AEV does not.

What exactly are the spacers doing? (I assume repositioning a pipe away from the shaft or something like that?)
The spacer lifts the exhaust up a few inches to help prevent the exhaust pipes from melting the CV Boot on the drive shaft.


Quote:
Originally Posted by droz View Post
Thanks for the info, I kind of assumed it wasn't required since most 2.5 inch lifts didn't come with it or mention it as a needed item, I guess for me the biggest plus is getting it at cost then since I can have my friend install it, getting the Mopar warranty (if that really means anything). I am still in the looking at lifts stage and haven't really decided which way to go though, so many options
AEV is a Jeep Partner. You can find a Jeep dealership that is partnered with AEV and they'll do the install. No impact on your warranty.

https://www.aev-conversions.com/map/

2004 WJ 4.0L I6 4x4 - RIP 06/16
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Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. -Mark Twain
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post #12 of 49 Old 08-29-2020, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
Kev M
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So I was leaning towards the AEV lift with the Bilsteins and maybe the track bar brackets, but I'm tempted by the Mopar lift since the Jeep has been at the dealer for a "last?" warranty fix (rear main seal).

Will report back...

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #13 of 49 Old 08-30-2020, 09:04 AM
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Based on your stated objectives and concerns you might like one of the 1.5" lifts

2017 JK
2016 MK- Murchison springs, ~1" BL, skinny 30s
2011 KK- H&R lift springs, OldManEmu shocks/struts, skinny 31s
2009 Sorento- H&R springs, ToyTec strut spacers, OldManEmu shocks/struts, 31s
2006 TJ budget LCG prerunner- see profile
2006 Trailblazer- EXT lift, Nth LJ 4.5" springs + Monroe rear coilovers, skinny 32s
1998 Durango- SuspMax & Roadmaster lifts, rear Truetrac, skinny 32s
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post #14 of 49 Old 08-30-2020, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
Kev M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine_Cat View Post
Based on your stated objectives and concerns you might like one of the 1.5" lifts
I didn't see any that had upgraded springs. Did I miss some?

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #15 of 49 Old 08-30-2020, 03:03 PM
Pine_Cat
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Rock Krawler uses 3-rate springs - these are like progressive

The Rancho sport lift gets great reviews for being a progressive spring - it's a bit less than the 2" lift advertised, and it's meant to be used with stock-length shocks, so it's basically a progressive spring upgrade, sounds like exactly what you're looking for
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2017 JK
2016 MK- Murchison springs, ~1" BL, skinny 30s
2011 KK- H&R lift springs, OldManEmu shocks/struts, skinny 31s
2009 Sorento- H&R springs, ToyTec strut spacers, OldManEmu shocks/struts, 31s
2006 TJ budget LCG prerunner- see profile
2006 Trailblazer- EXT lift, Nth LJ 4.5" springs + Monroe rear coilovers, skinny 32s
1998 Durango- SuspMax & Roadmaster lifts, rear Truetrac, skinny 32s
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