Best budget 2-4" lift kit? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Best budget 2-4" lift kit?

My plan is to run 35s but that may change because of the cost involved.
My JKU has 95k miles and the shocks feel a little worn to me (but I may just be used to my Mustangs stiff ride). I was looking at lift kits and saw that Rough Country has a 2.5" lift that will clear 35s ok and includes new shocks for only $350 (link below for reference). I have a few questions before I go place an order.
Is this a good quality kit?
Are there better kits for the price? Or even cheaper ones with similar quality?
Do I need anything else with the kit?

Thanks guys!
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/rough-c...s-rc-679p.html


edit: I also wouldnt mind the 3.25" kit. Is it roughly the same as far as installation, quality, and required parts?
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/rough-c...s-rc-694p.html
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 03:15 PM
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you are going to get a lot of info on this but here is mine......don't put a $350 lift kit on your jeep....RC is not known for making quality stuff and this is an incomplete lift. sure it will get your jeep higher off the ground but It will ride and handle like crap. do yourself a favor and save your money. the cheapest lift I would recommend is in the $1,000 range with shocks and that is at 2.5 or 3"....any higher than that and the cost goes up. Now that is taking into account all of the geometry problems you get when lifting your jeep. If you want to get new tires and shocks now go with a budget boost from teraflex to clear your 35's and some shocks. This will get you by without trashing your ride quality too bad until you save up for a good lift
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 03:38 PM
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I'd go with the Rock Krawler 2.5" stock mod and a set of Bilstein 5100's.
That'll set you back a bit more but you'll have quality parts and a nice set of shocks.

http://www.rockkrawler.com/ProductDe...tCode=RKJK25SM


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post #4 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 03:38 PM
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Try the old man emu HD 2.5" springs, find some rubicon shocks and shock extensions and you'll be surprised how well it rides and wheels. Ask Rick1340.

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abacabb View Post
I'd go with the Rock Krawler 2.5" stock mod and a set of Bilstein 5100's.
That'll set you back a bit more but you'll have quality parts and a nice set of shocks.

http://www.rockkrawler.com/ProductDe...tCode=RKJK25SM
^ this

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 07:55 PM
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RK 2.5 stock mod and Rancho 9000's


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post #7 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXIS View Post
My plan is to run 35s but that may change because of the cost involved.
My JKU has 95k miles and the shocks feel a little worn to me (but I may just be used to my Mustangs stiff ride). I was looking at lift kits and saw that Rough Country has a 2.5" lift that will clear 35s ok and includes new shocks for only $350 (link below for reference). I have a few questions before I go place an order.
Is this a good quality kit?
Are there better kits for the price? Or even cheaper ones with similar quality?
Do I need anything else with the kit?

Thanks guys!
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/rough-c...s-rc-679p.html


edit: I also wouldnt mind the 3.25" kit. Is it roughly the same as far as installation, quality, and required parts?
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/rough-c...s-rc-694p.html
My 2 cents' worth off the top of my head:
  1. Don't buy that Rough Country kit!
  2. Stick to a 2.5 inch lift if 35s are the biggest tires you want to fit - lower COG, less driveline hassles, etc.
  3. Plan on new rims or wheel spacers to accompany your lift and 35s
  4. Spidertrax or any other good billet wheel spacers will not fail you, used correctly. Chinese copies and cheap imitations may kill you, no kiddidng.
  5. Rock Krawler, Synergy, Teraflex, and others make good components and kits, but skip Rough Country
  6. For a 2.5 inch lift, I strongly suggest adjustable front lower and rear upper arms, adjustable front track bar, and an axle side TB bracket in the rear
  7. I've had a few different Bilstein shocks on both ends of my Jeep, and they give a pretty firm ride if that's what you want. I dig 'em
  8. If you're going to wheel on 35s, reinforce your front axle - gusset the inner C's and sleeve or truss your axle tubes before they get tweaked

    I'm sure I forgot something, but that's a good start. Hope I didn't scare you.

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-21-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.
Another question:
Whats the difference between the Teraflex budget boost kit with shocks and the Teraflex 2.5" lift kit with springs?
Prices on both arent too bad.And if the budget boost kit with shocks is good, should I go with it or with the budget boost and the 5100s?

http://www.summitracing.com/ga/parts...view/make/jeep
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16190_2500_07.htm
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-21-2013, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXIS View Post
Thanks guys.
Another question:
Whats the difference between the Teraflex budget boost kit with shocks and the Teraflex 2.5" lift kit with springs?
Prices on both arent too bad.And if the budget boost kit with shocks is good, should I go with it or with the budget boost and the 5100s?

http://www.summitracing.com/ga/parts...view/make/jeep
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16190_2500_07.htm
Difference is one comes with springs to replace the stock ones while the other comes with "hockey pucks" that sit on top of your stock springs.

And you honestly won't be able to tell the difference between the Teraflex shocks and Bilstein 5100's.


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Originally Posted by 2k2wranglerx View Post
and yet... canada still sucks worse

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post #10 of 17 Old 12-21-2013, 10:51 PM
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I've only had Bilsteins on my Jeep, and I have been happy with them.
My factory Rubi shocks with the TF extenders worked well, as did the 5100s I replaced them with.
I don't have firsthand experience with the TF shocks, but haven't heard anything bad about them.
A budget boost is spacers rather than springs, and your spring rate would be exactly what it is now.

I started out with a TF 2.5" spring lift and loved it, but I added front lower and rear upper arms, new front TB, and an axle-side TB bracket in the rear.
I was totally happy with my lift, but might not have been without doing the control arms and track bars.
Since then, I've stretched the rear and done some weird stuff up front, but still use the springs from my TF 2.5" spring lift with no complaints.

Hope this helps you out a bit.

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post #11 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 12:04 AM
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So, I'm not a newbie anymore but I'm not anywhere close to an expert. But I had someone who is an expert help me decide on and install my lift kit.

That being said, I've been extremely happy with my Teraflex 2.5" lift with shock adapters:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16190_2511_07.htm

That kit let's you keep your factory shocks to save $$ but gives you Teraflex springs. I swear both the ride AND handling improved over stock. I always figured you'd be able to improve one or the other but not both. Maybe it was a placebo effect but I don't think so. At the very least, it's at least as good as stock.

I also installed the Teraflex Trackbar to re-center the front axle:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16191_9102_07.htm

The guy that helped me install the lift kit said it's not the end of the world if you don't get it but your front axle will be pulled about an inch or so to one side without it. All of the angles change with the lift which makes the factory one too short. I figured it would bug the hell out of me every time I looked at it so I spent the money on that rather than shocks.

If you do any rock crawling, you'll also want to get a steering stabilizer relocation bracket or you'll destroy your steering stabilizer like I did:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16195_0110.htm

I'm waiting for the shocks to wear out (and my budget to get a little more healthy) before I get longer shocks. I'll probably get Bilstein 5100's but I'll shop around and search the forum a bit before I decide. At that point, I'll take out the bump stop extensions that came with the Teraflex kit. The combination should give me a little more wheel travel. And I might even add 1" spacers while I'm at it just to get a bit more bang for the buck:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16190_1003.htm

From what I understand, that's probably about the limit of what can be done without a long arms at which point you'll have to start thinking about drive shaft angles and lots of other stuff that will get pretty expensive pretty fast. I might do that at some point but not while it's still primarily a DD.

I'd highly recommend the kit that I got, especially for the price. But I've heard the Rock Krawler and Rubicon Express kits are awesome too.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 01:57 AM
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^^^

What I don't like about the kit "with" shock extensions, it supply's the rear TB drop bracket.
If you buy the kit "without" extensions or shocks-you get the rear axle side bracket. (No drilling to install and more important, roll center is raised which helps handling)
Hell... Add the shock extensions to the kit without -Might be a little more but you get the axle bracket.
Front adjustable track bar- I highly recommended it-always do. "But" your axle won't be off a 1" like whoever told you that. 3/8's tops at 2.5 and hardly noticeable. I like a front aftermarket track bar for strength first and axle center second.
Next shocks. I hated the Bilsteins. Trust me .... Run the Rancho 9000's. I know a bunch of people on the forums that run the TF/9000 combo. Good luck finding many negative/performance related complaints on the 9000 searched. I can't say the same about the 5100's although still a popular shock (can't see why )
Lastly .. Grade 8 9/16 bolt kit from Northridge. There's other kits like grade 9 which is overkill for the JK. More expensive too. The grade 8 kit is around $40.
Between the bolt kit and the new front track bar, there's should be no worry of death wobble.
If you off road look into quick discos for the front, and Exhaust spacers will keep the driveshaft off the cross member.

Recap
- TF 2.5 ( without shocks or extensions)
- option #1 add extensions/run stock stocks
- option #2 Rancho 9000's (29xl front and 30xl rear)
- adjustable front track bar
- Northridge grade 8 9/16 bolt kit

If you plan on off roading.
- front disconnects
- exhaust spacers

Good luck !!



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2007 JKR | PSC Big bore box | Rock Krawler 3.5" x-factor arms l SteerSmarts YETI track bar, tie rod, no drill flipped drag link, Griffin | Synergy frame brace | 37x12.5x17 Nitto RG's | Dana front DS | Fox IFP shocks | Artec front armor kit/Currie JJ's | Teraflex rear axle bracket | EVO Rockstars | Ridged D's, A pillar mounts | VKS sliders l Trek Armor seat covers | Superchips/Sprint booster | Savvy half doors w/ Bestop uppers
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 05:42 AM
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I'm running the Rubicon Express 2.5" spring kit that came with shocks and an axle side rear trac-bar relocation bracket. It also included longer rear sway bar links (the factory rears go up front), extended bump stop pads, and some offset washers for the front lower control arms to correct caster. The kit went in really easy, rides nice, and hasn't held me up yet off road. I want to say it was 7-800$ shipped with RE branded shocks (supposedly relabeled Bilsteins). I took it in for an alignment the next day and my Jeep drives straight down the road without any issues. It is my daily driver. I don't think I'm still at the full 2.5" of lift, especially with added weight from a steel bumper and winch up front and tools, etc out back. Still, I'm happy with it and it was really affordable. Eventually I want to upgrade to long arms and I'll probably go with a entirely new kit at that time.

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post #14 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
^^^

What I don't like about the kit "with" shock extensions, it supply's the rear TB drop bracket.
If you buy the kit "without" extensions or shocks-you get the rear axle side bracket. (No drilling to install and more important, roll center is raised which helps handling)
Hell... Add the shock extensions to the kit without -Might be a little more but you get the axle bracket.
Front adjustable track bar- I highly recommended it-always do. "But" your axle won't be off a 1" like whoever told you that. 3/8's tops at 2.5 and hardly noticeable. I like a front aftermarket track bar for strength first and axle center second.Sent from AutoGuide.com App
I think I found the same rear track bar drop bracket that's in the kit without the extensions:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16191_9004_07.htm

I got the kit with the extensions with the plan in mind that I eventually wanted to replace the shocks but good ones are expensive and I wanted to put off the expense for a little while. I'm happy with it both on and off road so far for the $$ invested but, as always, there's still more to do.

My Jeep expert buddy probably mentioned the rear TB bracket. But, as a newbie, the info he was giving me was like trying to drink out of a fire hose and it might have slipped past me at the time. Thanks for the tip about it. I'll look into some other threads about it.

We installed the lift kit before we put the front track bar on and I remember one tire sticking out about 1" more than the other side but, thinking about it, that would mean it was off center by roughly 1/2". Didn't take a tape measure to it, though, so 3/8" might account for what I saw.

It's tough when you're new at all of this because the experienced guys are very opinionated about the details, and usually for good reason. They get into these debates and you're still trying to figure out what all of the parts do and why you should consider spending $105 on something called a "rear track bar drop bracket"... let alone which one is the "best" one. Hopefully you're starting to see that, as long as you pick a kit from one of the higher quality brands, you can always add components later as you learn more and can afford it. If you buy a cheap kit, then you might find yourself replacing components which will make the original purchase a waste of money. I suppose it also depends on whether you just want your Jeep to look cool with big tires and a lift or whether you're really going to use it offroad.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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One last (hopefully) question.
With the teraflex budget boost with shocks kit, are the shocks longer travel than oem? Will I be able to swap the springs down the road and have longer suspension travel or should I just go with the complete kit to begin with? The $200+ savings in skipping the springs would be very helpful but I do want/need the shocks now (OEMs feel worn out).
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-22-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamnmon66 View Post
I think I found the same rear track bar drop bracket that's in the kit without the extensions:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16191_9004_07.htm

I got the kit with the extensions with the plan in mind that I eventually wanted to replace the shocks but good ones are expensive and I wanted to put off the expense for a little while. I'm happy with it both on and off road so far for the $$ invested but, as always, there's still more to do.

My Jeep expert buddy probably mentioned the rear TB bracket. But, as a newbie, the info he was giving me was like trying to drink out of a fire hose and it might have slipped past me at the time. Thanks for the tip about it. I'll look into some other threads about it.

We installed the lift kit before we put the front track bar on and I remember one tire sticking out about 1" more than the other side but, thinking about it, that would mean it was off center by roughly 1/2". Didn't take a tape measure to it, though, so 3/8" might account for what I saw.

It's tough when you're new at all of this because the experienced guys are very opinionated about the details, and usually for good reason. They get into these debates and you're still trying to figure out what all of the parts do and why you should consider spending $105 on something called a "rear track bar drop bracket"... let alone which one is the "best" one. Hopefully you're starting to see that, as long as you pick a kit from one of the higher quality brands, you can always add components later as you learn more and can afford it. If you buy a cheap kit, then you might find yourself replacing components which will make the original purchase a waste of money. I suppose it also depends on whether you just want your Jeep to look cool with big tires and a lift or whether you're really going to use it offroad.
Yep that's it (axle bracket) Highly recommend that one over the "drop" bracket. The drop bracket lowers the TB whereas the raised raises it.
Actually ... If you go to TF's site. There a video that talks about roll center and it's importance.

1/2" does sound better. Was the jeep at ride height ? The further the axle is drooped the more the axle is shifted.

FYI ... It's very important to loosen and leave all the CA and TB bolts loose. Then torque at ride height (tires on or supported under axles)
This "resets" the bushings so they're not all at a bind.

I understand what you're saying. That's what forums are for. People help each other out. Not all info is going to be accurate and sometimes biased. A little research is required on your end

Good luck




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2007 JKR | PSC Big bore box | Rock Krawler 3.5" x-factor arms l SteerSmarts YETI track bar, tie rod, no drill flipped drag link, Griffin | Synergy frame brace | 37x12.5x17 Nitto RG's | Dana front DS | Fox IFP shocks | Artec front armor kit/Currie JJ's | Teraflex rear axle bracket | EVO Rockstars | Ridged D's, A pillar mounts | VKS sliders l Trek Armor seat covers | Superchips/Sprint booster | Savvy half doors w/ Bestop uppers

Last edited by kjeeper10; 12-22-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-23-2013, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXIS View Post
One last (hopefully) question.
With the teraflex budget boost with shocks kit, are the shocks longer travel than oem? Will I be able to swap the springs down the road and have longer suspension travel or should I just go with the complete kit to begin with? The $200+ savings in skipping the springs would be very helpful but I do want/need the shocks now (OEMs feel worn out).
I would go for new springs and shocks. Depending on the stiffness of your Rubi springs, they may sag if you add armor, bumpers and a winch. Then your 2.5" budget boost won't be exactly 2.5" anymore. The aftermarket springs are designed to hold weight and stay at 2.5".

However, you may have the elusive 19/60 or 18/59 springs that are some stiff OEM springs and should hold extra weight, then my advice is moot.

I would probably still do the springs though.

-Dan

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