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What it takes to make a Lifted 4x4?

1409 3
I want to know what has worked for you as far as parts like tires and rims, lift kits, and engine mods.
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2,595 Posts
Guessing that you have an YJ....

BDS springs. Not a lift kit but just the springs.
Any decent set of gas charged shocks.
SYE and CV drive shaft.
8.8 rear axle
gears (think 4.88)
a cheap set of steel wheels (for me it was RockCrawler soft 8's) 15x8, 3.75 BS
Alloy axle shafts
Winch (at least 8000lb)
Good recovery gear (I like the ProComp straps, and noting less than Crosby 7/8" shackles 6.5ton)
Tire repair kit
grease able shackle bolts
5/8" Boomerang spring shackles from M.O.R.E.

Thats the short end of it from me.

It is capable, reliable (my DD), and fun. A few things I would recommend, it Rocker guards, skid plate Motor mount lift, belly up skid, 1" Body Lift.

Aside from that, general tune up stuff (spark plug wires, spark plugs, cap, rotor, air filter, oil/filter change, diff, trans, and T-case fluid change)

Thats just the beginning. I recommend the BDS springs as they offer a great ride, lots of flex, minimal sag, and a "bend it, break it, we replace it" warranty.

At a minimum if going for 33's or bigger:
CV drive shaft
recovery gear

It will go somthing close to this...

Think about it untill your head spins.
buy parts
rethink it
buy new parts
replace broken parts
buy new parts again
sell used parts
buy new parts again
ponder selling the money pit
fix money pit
buy new parts
fix broken parts
buy spare parts
break parts
use spare parts
buy new parts again
sell first born child
buy more parts
fix money pit again
break it again
go for the one ton
redo drive train
rethink drive train
sell wife
do drive drain again
break more parts
sell house
redo drive train again
enjoy unbreakable rig
break unbreakable rig
sell spare parts to replace broken parts
enjoy less breakable rig
go to moab. break parts
max out credit cards, sell all personal belongings
fix broken parts
move in with mom and dad
sell jeep
retire in florida.

Thats about the time line, in a shortened version. Welcome To Jeep. :)

2,417 Posts
'twould help if you filled out your profile.
Cheap (and not so cheap) medium duty/home brew stuff that works with CJs & YJs used off road (Mall crawlers can stop reading here);
Learn to cut and weld steel.
Get some scout D44 axles and put 4.56 gears and air lockers in them (others can be made to work but this retains the 5 on 5.5" CJ wheel bolt pattern front and back) (YJs will need a modified ford front or a switch to a passenger side transfer case).
Outboard the stock front CJ springs Yjs are pretty close to the right place. and modify the front housing to allow spring over axle mounting.
Cut the scout 44 knuckle welds and rotate the knuckles to give 4-8 degrees of caster.
Install a dropped pitman and modified drag link.
Move the spring pads on the rear axle and install it with the springs on top.
(If you have a YJ or use YJ rear springs insert an additional, longer second leaf in the rear spring pack).
Make and install a rear torque arm.
Install rear disc brakes.
install longer, centered, brake lines front and back and a longer emaergency brake cable on the driver's side.
Cut the rear wheel openings and install TJ rear flairs.
Install new longer travel mild shocks (not high pressure gas shocks and not stiff shocks) with new frame mounts front and rear
Install 12.50 x 35" aggressive tread pattern mud tires (all terrains will not work as well).
Get a granny low t-18 and install it (most will need adapters)( if you already have a good 4 or 5 speed keep it, if you have an SR4 or a pukejunk (BA 5-10)tranny replace it with one worth having)(drain the oil from the old one and use the transmission as land fill or give it to the recyclers).
Modify your transfer case to 4:1 low range (and install a SYE on YJs).
Clock the transfer case up to as close to flat as it will go.
Make a flat raised skid plate to keep it there and protect it.
Make up some new drive shafts.
Make some nerf bars or rocker skids to protect the body from the rocks
If you do not have fuel injection replace the engine an with an OEM fuel injected engine and a factory computer (this is easier IMO than screwing with carburetors, takes me about 4 days including OEM wire harness mod and engine replacement). Engine replacement is done once carburetors need regular attention and will fail when you most need them.
install a booster pump and a large fuel injection filter at the gas tank and an appropriate pressure injection pump near the engine.
Remove the stock seats and put some in that have good side bolsters.
install a windshield roll bar loop and tie it to the main roll bar.

Heavy duty wheeling will require additional, substantial mods... but these will suffice for most trails and wheeling in the rockies (Iowa doesn't need anywhere near this level of modification (I grew up there)).
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