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· Jeep Jedi Master
21,731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
WJ Lift Combos


Thanks to Krupples26 for putting this together

This thread is to answer most of your questions regarding which parts are and are not necessary for a lift kit on a WJ (Jeep Grand Cherokee 1999-2004) as well as clarifying the many "will it fit" questions in regards to lift height, tire sizes, and the backspacing on your wheels. This thread is NOT for discussing which company makes the best lift kit at 3" or 4" or if you should get 3" coils versus UC springs and BB. Here you will find most of the pertinent information necessary to decipher what parts you need to buy in order to safely lift your jeep to your desired height. Suggested tire sizes and back spacing in respect to lift height is also addressed at the bottom of the page. Please keep in mind this information is specific for WJs (Jeep Grand Cherokees 1999-2004) and not your mom's Liberty or your uncle's ZJ.

Below are the parts that are recommended or required to lift a WJ to the specified height. "No" means the part is not required, "Yes" means that the part is necessary to lift to the specified height, and "Recommended" is, well... recommended for a better/more comfortable ride or may be necessary based on your individual preference. A description of each part can be found below the chart.

1. Sway bar links (front): the sway bar links in the front should be long enough so that the angle of the sides of the sway bar where it attaches to the links should form a 25-35 degree angle with the an imaginary line running parallel to the ground. For those of you that think you will be taking your vehicle off-road, JKS quick or quicker disconnects are recommended as they allow you to easily disconnect your sway bar, allowing the front axle more articulation to help overcome more difficult terrain.

2. Sway bar links (rear): the sway bar links in the rear should be long enough so that the angle of the sides of the sway bar where it attaches to the links should form a 0-10 degree angle with an imaginary line running parallel to the ground.

3. Track bar: the correct length of the track bar is the length from the upper and lower track bar mounts while the jeep is sitting on level ground after the installation of the lift kit. You should not have to manipulate the length from upper and lower track bar mounts by jacking up the suspension or body parts to shorten or lengthen the distance between the two mounts to make the track bar fit.

4. Shocks: shock length should be based on the size of your lift. Incorrect length of shocks will affect your overall ride quality and limit your flexibility in off camber situations, by limiting your length of up and down travel. A soft shock will ride nicely on the highway but will suffer in performance off road, where as a stiffer shock will have the opposite affect. A high quality shock can easily cost over $100 a piece while a cheaper shock simply used for DD can be found for $30.

5. Drop transfer case kit: a drop transfer case kit usually lowers your transfer case 1" (depends on manufacturer) by placing metal spacers in-between your transfer case cross member and the body of the vehicle. This helps to alleviate stress placed upon your pinion, drive shafts, and transfer case due to the increased angles of the driveline after lifting the suspension. Typically you can make it to around 4" of lift before considering dropping your transfer case. Another way to alleviate stress from the driveline is with a double cardan driveshaft (02-04 come from the factory with a double cardan driveshaft) as it adjusts to the steeper angle created after lifting the vehicle. As with any size lift, there will be increased stress on driveline components.

6-8. Control arms (for our purposes, 6-8 reference "short arms", and are simply a longer version of the stock control arm. "Short arms" utilize the stock mounting locations on the body for your new, longer, "short arms"): as you increase the size of your springs and/or add spacers on top of your springs, the axles will start to sweep in towards the center of the vehicle as the length of your control arms determine where the axle will be placed in relation to the center of the wheel well. Longer front and rear control arms (short arms) will help push your axle back away from the center of the vehicle and back to the center of your wheel wells. Stock control arms are effective up to around 4" of lift, after which it is wise to upgrade to "short arms" or "long arms".

9-10. Long arms (for our purposes, 9-10 reference "long arms", and simply mean that the stock mounting locations on the body for the control arms are no longer used, and instead a new mounting bracket must either be welded or bolted to the body to serve as a new point of attachment for the long arms): long arms via the new attachment points greatly reduce body roll as they offer an amazing amount of stability and ride comfort. Long arms also serve to correct the geometry of suspension components. A front long arm upgrade will make driving a dream at any lift greater than 4.5", and is highly recommended once you come close to the 5" or 5.5" mark. You may be able to scoot around upgrading to rear long arms when you are close to 6" of lift, but your ride quality will be much improved with the rear long arm upgrade. The rear long arm upgrade also does away with the jeeps A-arm, the triangular shaped bracket that secures to the top side of the axle and the underside of the vehicle. A rear long arm upgrade typically will require your exhaust system to be modified as the new attachment points and control arms will interfere with the stock routing of the exhaust.

11. A-arm spacer: this block of metal squeezes in-between the a-arm and the pumpkin on the axle. It allows more movement and flexibility in the rear axle and is suggested for lift heights just below 4" and all the way up to 6" or greater when used in conjunction with adjustable rear LCAs. An a-arm spacer is not needed when using rear long arms, as the a-arm is removed completely.

12. Steering stabilizer: a lift increases the pressure on steering components which are often too much for the wimpy stock SS. A high quality SS reduces the looseness of your steering wheel by preventing your wheel from jumping around as much.

13. Sway bar (rear): lowered vehicles feel tighter in turns because their center of gravity is lower; well once you lift your jeep you'll feel more like a school bus going around turns. A bigger diameter sway bar offers more resistance as the jeep leans during a turn as well as helps to cure rear bump steer (tail wag).

One additional item to think about buying while you have your jeep torn apart are extended bumpstops as these will limit the travel of the axle towards the underside of the jeep, preventing your rotating tire from ripping the plastic out of your wheel well, and may also save your windshield washer fluid reservoir!

Below are common conversions for a 16x7" and 17x7" wheel and the suggested backspacing each tire size at various ride heights. For reference, stock wheels that measure 16x7 have 6" of backspacing, while 17x7.5 wheels have 6.25" backspacing.

*Heavy duty tie rods and drag links are recommended when moving into the 32" size tire and larger size tire.

Backspacing is important as it moves your rotating tire away from components that like to remain fixed. The front lower control arms and the rear shocks are often the items that become abused when backspacing is insufficient on larger diameter tires. Now a 16x7" wheel with 4" backspacing may sound like a full inch more backspacing than a 16x8" wheel with 5" backspacing, however due to the extra inch in width of the 8" wheel, it relocates the tire a half an inch. In essence, the difference between 4" bs on 7" width wheel vs 5" bs on 8" width is really only ½". The diagram below illustrates how wheel width and backspacing effects where your tires are position. Each tire/wheel combo below is aligned at a fixed point to better reference the distance between the tire and the shock, and how much farther the tire has been pushed outside of the fender. I apologize for the pixilated picture as I am not very artistic. The picture is in the perspective of you standing behind your jeep looking at your driverside rear tire with your Superman vision so you can see through the outside layer of rubber and see the cross section of the rim and where it bolts on to the axle. The "Gained Fender Clearance over Stock 245 Tire" column does not mean that the value in the column represents how far the tire will stick out of the fender, but rather shows how far the tire has been displaced in the wheel well in comparison with a 245 tire. The measurement from tire to the shock is fairly accurate but obviously some shocks are much wider in diameter than others, and this is the measurement you should expect to see while the jeep is stationary on level ground. You should expect that distance to fluctuate while driving. I noticed while running a set of hydro shocks which were slightly larger than previous sized shocks, with a set of 245/75/16 Revos on stock rims, that when stationary I could barely fit my finger between the shock tube and the tire. Although there was evidence as to the tire rubbing on the shock via black rubber marks, supporting the fact that stationary clearance is not the same as clearance during transit. To examine backspacing in relation to tire width and lateral displacement, the height of the tire is irrelevant; the only thing the diagram is concerned with is tire width, wheel width, backspacing, the corresponding distance between the rear shock and the tire, and an estimated distance of how far the tire has moved outward in comparison with a typical 245 width tire.

Performance and city gas mileage will obviously suffer with larger diameter and heavier rims/tires. The chart below was found at is their computations and represents their work. This chart illustrates how your gas mileage will be affected by your tire size and gear ratio. The table can be used to get a rough idea on gear ratios (again, this chart is NOT specific to the WJ, but rather serves as an illustration). The colors represent ideal RPM's at highway speeds (65) for a given vehicle (not a WJ, I say again, NOT A WJ). For highway cruising and best fuel economy stay towards the yellow (2600 rpm), around town daily driving is color coded green (2800 rpm), and for better towing power or just more 4-low power use the ratios near the red (3100 rpm). In layman terms, if you run 30" tires and 3.73 gears, at 65 mph you generate 2715 RPM according to this chart. If you get some new rubbers in a size 33", your new RPM at 65 mph is now 2469. It takes less RPMs to run a bigger tire than a smaller tire, but consequently your acceleration and power have dropped significantly. Therefore, to get that lost power back and maximum efficiency, you want to find what size gears is going to make your jeep perform like it did when you first bought it. So ideally with your new 33" tires you want to buy new gears that make you your 65mph highway RPM close to what it was at stock. To do this you walk your eyes down the 33" tire row to where you find a RPM that is close to 2715, in this case a set of 4.11 gears makes your RPM 2720.

For a more precise method, you can use the gear ratio calculator, which is the second calculator from the top found at Input your stock tire and gear settings (3.55 or 3.73), then input your new tire size and you can see what your recommended gear would be.

As you can see, life is simple prior to and around 4". However around the 4" mark things will start to get tricky and slightly more complicated. As more parts are needed to upgrade to and above 4", you will see the cost rise exponentially. You will see diminished ride quality on stock control arms. Upgrading to longer/adjustable control arms in the front and the rear and the addition of an a-arm spacer will increase the ride quality, while relocating the control arms via new mounting brackets and long arms will provide the best ride quality. A new and/or longer double cardan driveshaft may also be necessary to reduce driveline vibrations. Determine your goals for your jeep prior to lifting, and don't ever attempt to lift your jeep when money is tight. You best bet is to save up until you can build your rig the way you want it. Buying a 2" BB and a new set of tires right away based on your available funds and then upgrading 6 months later to what you really wanted just leaves you with a couple hundred dollars less than you would have had and an extra set of tires in your garage that are in great condition, yet are too small for your new height. Do it right the first time and you won't end up with an extra set of shocks, tires, control arms and sway bar links taking up space in your garage. Good luck, and the "Search" button at the top is your friend!

Helpful/suggested readings: for everything you need to know about the WJ answers and explanations of driveshafts and anything driveline related (pinion angles too!) a great compilation of tons of calculators

Disclaimer: if you feel that any of the information above is inaccurate in any way, or if you would like to add or see something added, please PM me with what you perceive to be incorrect and what you would like changed, or with what you would like to add or see added, and I will make the corresponding amendments as necessary. This post will be updated as needed. Thank you.

Thanks to Krupples26 for putting this together

· Registered
774 Posts
your asking yourself: do i have the up country package?

Up Country ZJ

there has been allot of questions of people wondering whether or not their zj has the up country package, well I was one of the lucky few who got a zj equipped with it

The only TRUE way to discover if your zj came with the package from the factory is to go to your dealership and ask them for a build sheet for your vehicle the code for the up country package is AWE, on a 16 year old vehicle, someone could have taken off parts or added parts

'93-'95 available on both limited and Laredos
'96 available on the Laredo model only
'97-'98 available on both limited and Laredo
'95-'97 standard on all orvis models
'98 not available on 5.9 limited

the first thing you get with the package is slightly taller and stiffer springs, they are said to be about 1" but by now most have sagged, mine are around 3/4" all the way around

the second thing you get with the upcountry pack is upgraded shocks, they are made by Sachs-Boge (made in Schweinfurt Germany), these shocks are uniquely mounted upside-down with the tube end up and rod end (boot) down they are mounted this way to help reduce unsprung weight, they are high pressure monotube gas charged shocks, from '93 through '96 the shocks were painted with standard blue paint, in '97 and '98 they used a new 5 stage black paint which was more resistance to salt spray, this was because the shocks are so visible on the zjs

Here are the original shocks combined with my 2 inch shock spacers I made to go with my 2 inch budget boost spacers, I choose to make shock spacers because I liked the UC shocks so much



Along with the taller springs, you get aluminum bumpstop spacers front and rear, they aren't quite an inch high but you can identify them because they don't have any rust on them



Even though you could get them without the UC package, all UC packages came with tow hooks and skid plates,

The skid plates you got were under the front of the engine

And a transfer case skid plate

You lose some ground clearance because there is a lot more metal hanging underneath the t-case, but this way you don't drag it over everything

The last and most important part of the whole package is the sticker that you get with the package, It goes in the rearmost driver side window

Somebody removed my sticker somewhere down the road but it looks like this

I would love to get a hold of one, but they cost way too much, with my dealership discount, they still cost around $75 for one sticker, there is a box with around 100 of them sitting in a warehouse in Milwaukee and they will be there until the end of time

if a mod could sticky this or add it to the faqs that would be great!

· Jeep Jedi Master
21,731 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
How to replace a ZJ sunroof seal by NevadaGary

Great writeup with pics. Thanks Gary.

After removing the glass, with attached frame, I removed the sun shade to reattach the fabric to the front and back by pushing the spring plungers on one side and lifting it out of its groove under the slide. You can see the spring plungers in the picture. I used two way trophy tape to hold down the fabric but it was so rotten in spots that I used Gorilla tape on the whole front of it. The back wasn't bad so trophy tape worked just fine.

Next picture is the glass with the old seal on it. You can see how twisted the seal was and in the upper left corner how ripped and damaged it was.

Next step is removing the old seal which just pulls off no problem and installing the new seal. Start at the middle of back side of the glass which is the side with the trademark on it and put the seal in place with the rubber part on the glass side not the metal (frame) side. Use a rubber hammer and stretch it into place and wrap it around the corners gently pounding it into place. Pound it down good and secure. Be careful that you don't roll the rubber part as you install the seal. Make sure it is flat against the glass. Make sure you have straight smooth edges that meet tightly. Follow the maker's instruction on this. At this point I removed all the nuts and put a drop of non hardening thread locker on each one and screwed the nuts in place leaving about a 1/16 inch space between the base of the nut and the frame. That will allow plenty of room when installing the glass on the mechanism.

After you have installed the seal you are ready to put it all back together. If you pulled the sunshade you have to install that first. Just lay it over the opening and push the two spring plungers on one side to drop the sunshade into its place in the groove. Repeat on the other side and make sure it is seated in its groove and moves easily.

Next put the glass with nuts in place over the keyholes, line the nuts up and push down. When all three nuts per side are in place push the glass forward and tighten the nuts with your 10mm wrench. I just tightened good and tight but didn't use a torque wrench.

Almost finished. Now you have to reinstall the covers. Note the clips and the pins they snap on to. There's three on each side and you just line them up and push the cover toward the back of the vehicle.

Now you can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and stay dry too.

· Premium Member
16,273 Posts
Cleaning the IAC (Idle Air Control Valve) - Thanks to HaleyWJ

I figured I'd write up a how to for anyones future reference in attempt to prevent a ton of posts about this (but we all know how the search feature is not utilized, haha). Anyways, the jeep was idling a little rough and at times it would start up at 2200 rpms and slowly settle down so a few had recommended me to change or clean my IAC (idle air control valve). Figured I would clean it first.

Step one: Buy a throttle body cleaner or carburetor cleaner to clean with. Carb cleaner will be much much stronger so I went with throttle body cleaner. I didn't want to ruin anything.

Step Two: Remove the intake tube and reveal the throttle body.


Step Four: Locate the IAC. In my case with my 5.2L V8 ZJ, its on the back of the throttle body. Remove the two bolts and it will come out.

Step Five: Disconnect the IAC from the power connector. This is how dirty mine was!

Step Six: Spray, wipe, spray wipe til clean. And here it is!

You can from here continue to clean out your throttle body. I would recommend this. My jeep idles like butter now!

· Premium Member
10,565 Posts
What is the Budget Boost (BB)?
The 2" Budget boost (BB) uses polyurethane coil spacers to give you WJ or ZJ a 2" height boost over stock. Spacers are sold my almost every offroad company and sometime come with shocks, bumpstop extensions and extended coil spring retaining posts. The BB is easy enough to install in your home garage and should take no more than 5-6 hours. The parts can be purchased for around $300 depending on which site you buy the parts from.

What can a BB do for me?
Installing the BB will take your Jeep from stock and give it a bit more clearance to run larger tires and perform better offroad.


BB with 31x10.5r15 MT's

What do I need to do this lift?

Parts Needed:
- 2" Polyurethane spacers (4)
- Extended shocks (4) , stock shocks can be used but will wear out faster. Black Diamond or Skyjacker shocks are generally used due to the fact that they are affordable and well suited to this lift
- Extended coil spring posts for rear coils (2) If you wheel with your sway bar disconnected you might drop a spring, either the kit or just exhaust tubing welded or epoxyed in place
- Bumpstop extensions
- Quick disconnects for the sway bar can also be added but are not crucial to the install

What size tires can I run on my BB?
The generally accepted max tire size that can be installed after a BB is a 31" tire, with some minor trimming to the front bumper. There is some possibility of rubbing on steering components, especially if you install an 31x10.5 tire onto a stock rim. Wheel spacers, new wheels with correct backspacing and adjusting the steering stops will correct this problem. If you don't want to do this you can run a 30x9.5 tire and be fine. Some people have reported no rubbing with the above combo so check you specific vehicle before trimming, adding spacers or adjusting steering stops.

What should I not do?
- DO NOT STACK SPACERS!! doing so is very dangerous
- Only do a 2" (ZJ and WJ), 2.25" (ZJ) or 2.5" (WJ) spacer lift or you risk dropping a spring, the spring posts should be lengthened anyways.

WJ with 2" BB and 265/65r17 Nitto tires(hammerz71)

How do I install my BB?(Thanks to ISUzj for his write up)

Spring compressor(use a strut compressor,if possible, makes it much easier)
15mm deepwell socket
13mm deepwell socket

This is my jeep before.......

I began with the back of the jeep, First I jacked it up under the rear end and
got the unibody up on a set of jack stands, after making sure the
e-brake was on and that the wheels where chocked.

After I got that done, we left the jack up in the middle of the rear-end and
took the old shocks loose as well as the sway bar...there is less tension
when it is up and that will prevent the nut and rubber bushing from flying up
and hitting you(or in my case) your buddy in the head. Size 15mm I believe

Once that was done, let the jack down slowly and go to one side of the jeep
and jack that side as high as you can(till the bump-stop) or until you can get
the opposite side spring out. take the spring out by taking the spring clamp
on the bottom off and slide the spring off. Then put the 2 or 2.25 spacer up
on the top, be sure that it is all the way up and it halfway seats in the top
of the spring good. Replace spring clamp and go to the other side and repeat.

After both rear sides are done, take the jack and go to the middle of the rear
end and jack it up slowly ensuring that the BB seats in well. Then hook up
the sway bar and put your new shocks in. here is me putting mine in upside

Finished rear end

We never needed the compressor for the back, it may differ for other people


Begin by jacking it up once again and setting jack stands under the uni-body
and make sure the back tires are chocked.

then take the tire off and once again, take the sway bar loose

then follow that up by taking the old shocks out:
This is the top nut, this was a 13mm socket I think, needed an extension
and a hand to hold the top of the old shock from spinning.

then the bottom of the old shock.

Once again, let the jack down easy and go to one side and jack it up as far as it goes, and take the spring on the opp side out after taking the spring clamp loose we accessed it by bending the clamp that holds the brake line, it handled it very well. watch the brake lines carefully as well. Be careful, that spring on the other side is under tons of tension completely compressed!

Then take the rubber bump-stop out( it may be tough but should slide
right-out) and then take the bump-stop extender piece out(13mm)

Slide the 2, or 2.25 BB block onto the the bump-stop extension base(I used
dish soap to help it slide on)

Now for the tricky part:
I used the spring compressor and made the springs a bit smaller, this is
where a strut compressor is better, the local O'Rileys did not have theirs. Put
the compressor on the spring compress it only as much as you need to get it
on easily. When I got here, I left the bump-stop extensions out and just
set them in the spring so later I could bolt them up with a reg socket.

slide the new spring on and then try to get the bump-stop bolted back up.

Then proceed to the other side and repeat, After that is done, jack it up in
the middle again, and put the front sway-bar back on, followed by the new
shocks, it should resemble this. Make sure the spring clamp is on again and put the brake lines back.

and this is it all finished, on to bigger tires and higher clearance!

· Premium Member
16,273 Posts
Thanks go to lvum4x4 for this writeup

Well, since upgrading to the Iceland Offroad bumper, I really dont have a good place for my license plate so I decided to troll through the hardware store today to see if I could rig something up. I am pretty happy with the way it came out and thought I would post up in case anyone is looking for ideas...

I read in another post that someone tried using the hardware you would use to hang a broom or yard tool to clip on the rollers of the fairlead so that is where I started. I was unable to find anything that I thought would look clean enough for me in the housewares dept. but I did find something else that I think works great.

While I was buying a Maglight flashlight to mount up in the Jeep I couldnt help but notice that the Maglights are almost the same size as my fairlead rollers so I wondered if the mounting clips for the Maglights might be perfect for the job? It turns out the rollers are only .020" larger so it was a perfect fit. They fit nice and snug and I have no concerns about them moving or falling off. At $4.99 for a set of clips, the pricetag was perfect too.

I decided to buy an aluminum kick plate for a door and cut it to the size of my license plate. It was pretty thin so I doubled it up, I really just wanted to add some strength and rigidity for the clips and license plate frame.

I am using the aluminum to mount up the clips from the inside of the plate so I counter sunk the holes and used a bevelled flat top stainless steel screw.

I bolted up the clips...

I then bolted the license plate and frame to the aluminum backplates (if you counter sink the clip screws the plate will lay nice and flat and will have plenty of rigidity to support the plate/frame).

I think it turned out perfect; it hides my winch hook and is easliy removable when I need to use it. :thumbsup:
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