Monday, May 10, 2010

Economical Ways To Lift Your Jeep JK Wrangler

Face it. If you love your Jeep JK Wrangler and enjoy taking it off-road, then raising its ride height is inevitable. Be it for added tire clearance, improved approach angles or greater ground clearance, lifting your Jeep has its advantages.

While the benefits of a lifted Jeep are obvious to most enthusiasts who love to take their vehicles off-road, the methods and cost of lifting your Jeep can vary. Some of the most inexpensive methods are the most reliable and can still be used if you eventually move up to a full suspension system.

Coil Spring Spacers

Polyurethane coil spring spacers replace the factory coil spring isolators on your Jeep’s coil and shock assembly. Most will lift the vehicle an additional 1 to 1.75 inches and will provide additional tire clearance, as well as level out the front-to-rear ride height of your Jeep. The total cost is near $30.

Body Lifts

Another simple method of raising your Jeep JK’s ride height is to use a body lift. Body lifts use nylon-reinforced polyurethane body blocks that are installed in addition to the factory body mounts on your Jeep. A one-inch body lift can help you gain back .5 to 1-inch of ground clearance; especially if you’ve added a winch, spare tire carrier and gear into your Jeep. A two-inch body lift will give you enough tire clearance to run larger diameter tires without rubbing the factory fenders. One-inch kits sell for around $120. Two-inch kits retail around $130 and come with a CNC machined steering column extension.

Premium Lift Systems

When you want to fit 35-inch tall tires but don’t want to fork out a few thousand dollars for a full suspension lift kit, a Premium Lift System can give your Jeep JK up to three-inches of extra ride height at a cost around $220. Premium Lift Systems combine coil spring spacers and a body lift to provide the added ride height that won’t affect the factory suspension geometry. These kits include reinforced nylon body blocks, high-grade hardware, front spring spacers and a unique CNC machined steering extension. This type of lift system even includes a set of urethane Gap Guards to cover the space between the frame and body.

Full Suspension Systems

While a full suspension system isn’t cheap, there are some out there that are very complete and provide a more economical and reliable purchase if you’re intent on going this route. A full suspension system raises the vehicle with new control arms, coil springs, and shocks to gain as much as 4.5 inches of ride height and improved articulation for better traction over obstacles. When lifting the Jeep JK over three inches, the factory Rzeppa joints on the drive shafts are put to extreme angles and can break. This makes a full suspension kit more expensive as you have to replace the drive shafts and U-joints with heavy duty aftermarket pieces.

Some Jeep 4.5-inch suspension kits come with new heavy-duty front and rear drive shafts, longer Kevlar lined stainless steel brake lines and everything you need to raise the vehicle correctly. The additional parts in a complete kit like this typically make it less expensive than purchasing the same components individually. This makes it a better purchase choice that can save you money and add greater reliability on the trail.

Also, several suspension systems are using Flex-joint technology which improves the longevity of the systems’ bushings and outlast standard Heim-joints and urethane bushings. A typical suspension system with drive shafts, brake lines, shocks, and Flex-joint technology, typically runs about $3,200.

No matter which method you choose, it’s always wise to do your research and find Jeep lift kits that are made in the U.S.A, and contain all of the parts you’ll need to finish the job. Many of the Jeep lifting methods mentioned, can be done by an experienced home mechanic with the right tools and a proper method to raise and support the vehicle. For more information, visit
DS Media

No comments:

Post a Comment