Body lifts only good for high-speed...? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Body lifts only good for high-speed...?

So in putting on some 37s I got to thinking about a body lift to increase clearance for my tires, and I think I finally realized something.

When you start to flex a tire up into the fender, you're going to do one of two things:

1) Without body lift:
You hit the bumptop, and then you lift the body up higher ~1"

2) With body lift:
You have an inch to go before you hit the bumpstop (because you removed an inch due to better fender clearance), and the body is already lifted up higher.

So in the end, you're at the same place re:COG, it's just that with the body lift you are ALWAYS there, higher COG.

So, is a body lift really only useful if you want more uptravel before bottoming out on the bumpstop, perhaps in high-speed applications (street or off-road; i.e. not your usual crawling)?

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post #2 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 06:09 AM
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A body lift does not raise the bumpstops. The only clearance you gain with a body lift is where a tire would contact the fenders and the height of the rocker panel.

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post #3 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 06:26 AM
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it simply lifts the body. A body lift.


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post #4 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 07:13 AM
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Your profile says you have the 3.5 Metal Cloak suspension.

You should be able to run 37s just the way you are.

Im in the same situation, and Fenders are what Id change if I wanted to roll on 37s.
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post #5 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRock0740 View Post
A body lift does not raise the bumpstops. The only clearance you gain with a body lift is where a tire would contact the fenders and the height of the rocker panel.
Allowing you to run less bumpstop...

I edited and clarified the OP

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post #6 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 08:44 AM
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A body lift is a cheap way to gain some some height for tires. Like you say it will raise the COG just like a lift will but it will do it without messing with steering geometry or driveline angles. It will also give you room above the transmission and transfer case if you want tp push those up for a flab belly. Excessive body lifts can make the jeep look funny with big gaps above the fenders. One place it really helps out is with a long arm so you can get more separation of the frame side link mounts for some better geometry. I would not worry about putting on a 1"-1.25" at all.

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post #7 of 39 Old 03-16-2019, 11:17 AM
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I remember body lifts from back in the mini truck days, when 3" body lifts were the norm. I hated them then and I still think they're a waste.

First, think of a body lift as putting your body on stilts. The pucks add leverage on the rubber body mount which will increase body movement compared to the frame.
Second, it raises the COG without increasing ground clearance or suspension travel.
Third, there's better ways to raise the Jeep that actually have some benefit.

A 1" body lift is probably in that grey area of not mattering. But it's probably easier to trim an inch off something or hammer the tub an inch.

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post #8 of 39 Old 03-18-2019, 06:22 AM
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There can be quite a few benefits to a body lift, it just depends on how you use them. They can compliment the suspension, help with budget, increase suspension travel or tire clearance, allow for more room for suspension mounts, clearance for flatter belly, easier to clean/work on, lower COG when paired with a suspension lift than a suspension only lift, may help with cooling/airflow around engine/exhaust, it all depends on how you use them.

They can have benefits on the street, trail, rocks, or going fast.
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post #9 of 39 Old 03-18-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so could help with flat belly, link separation, maybe under hood temps?

But as a way to make room for larger tires, I don't know...unless your uptravel is so little.

If you're not looking for more uptravel for driving at speed, I don't know why you wouldn't instead just add an inch of bumpstop?

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post #10 of 39 Old 03-18-2019, 07:29 AM
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Yes, it would give you more room for taller tires. A 1" body lift should be enough for 2" taller tire. Not sure why you are talking about bump stops as the two really have nothing to do with each other. A proper suspension set up takes into account tire clearance, shock length, drive line angles, overall height, desired travel. Bump stops are just one thing in the system that has to be looked at as a whole.

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post #11 of 39 Old 03-18-2019, 07:43 AM
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Body lifts are directly related to bump stops the same way flat flares and cutting/trimming is directly related to bump stops. They all increase tire clearance without limiting suspension travel (extending bump stops).

Decrease the amount of bump stop needed for tire clearance and you can better bump stop for shock clearance alone (avoid wasted travel due to the shocks being over bumped for tire clearance). Whether you want to use wasted travel in the shocks you have, Keep your travel sprung, or move up a tire size without increasing bump stops and replacing shocks to better fit the longer bump stop, addressing tire clearance with a body lift, flat flares, and trimming helps take tire clearance out of the equation.

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post #12 of 39 Old 03-18-2019, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitown35 View Post
Ok so could help with flat belly, link separation, maybe under hood temps?

But as a way to make room for larger tires, I don't know...unless your uptravel is so little.

If you're not looking for more uptravel for driving at speed, I don't know why you wouldn't instead just add an inch of bumpstop?

BL increases the distance between the bump stop and body/flares. Similar to how trimming and flat flares increase tire clearance.


Jeeps don't have an abundance of up travel/compression at stock height. If you increase the bump stops 1" for every 1" of lift, you're still left with only the bare minimum or less uptravel than you'd like to have. Not to mention, your shocks will more than likely be over bumped leaving you with roughly the same travel you had stock (just able to droop lower).

It's not just about increasing compression to go fast, but using the travel in your coil springs (solid-free length). maintaining 4"-5" of compression for 10"-12" shocks is not excessive. Shocks don't always increase in stroke when they have longer collapsed lengths (look at the rear 5100 specs) and I wouldn't consider trading 1" of sprung travel for 1" of unsprung travel a good trade.


I'm not building my Jeep to go fast and I have a 1.25" body lift, flat flares, have trimmed/cut metal and I have just under 4" of up travel on 2"-2.5" bump stops. I used the additional space from the body lift to raise the upper shock mounts higher than I coul have without the body lift which allows for a longer shock without extending the bump stops. After I put the 3.5" coils on I'll be just under 5" of compression with a 13"-14" travel shock. Without the body lift and no more trimming, I would be sitting at under 3"of compression and a longer shock would trade sprung travel for unsprung travel.
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post #13 of 39 Old 03-19-2019, 07:26 AM
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There's only one situation in my mind where a body lift is a good idea, and it's when you want more up-travel, don't really need more ground clearance, the fender is your limiting factor, and you're not willing to modify/change the fender any further to allow more up-travel without a body lift.

You should always cut the fender, body, etc. to gain the wheel travel unless you for some reason refuse to do so.
  • Lifting fenders doesn't really raise your CG so it's best
  • The next best thing is a body lift, because it only raises the body's CG but not the engine and frame.
  • The worst thing you can do is lift the whole vehicle just to get wheel well clearance because then the body and frame's CG increase, unless you need more ground clearance then that's simply how you do it.

If you're not limited on up-travel due to the tire hitting something (such as if you cut your fenders and now you have way more room), then you should always do a suspension lift without more bump-stop, because then you're actually increasing your up-travel which is the best of all worlds.
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post #14 of 39 Old 03-19-2019, 08:38 PM
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A 1" body lift from M.O.R.E. (aluminum pucks) has been a great component for me to make my oddball setup work.

I shoved the rear axle back 4" while lifted 2.5" on 35s but I wanted it to look "stock" from the back, and a 1" BL made it possible.


To clarify: the rear edges of the rear wheel wells are cut back a decent amount.


Last year I went to 37s and I had to flatten my fenders, but I still just miss the body under compression out back.


Pros:
  • 1" more separation between body and frame makes cleaning and servicing much easier
  • Gets my PSC reservoir 1" further away from the exhaust manifold it lives over
  • I took the opportunity to knock a bit more "elbow room" into the driver's footwell at the trans. tunnel
  • Tires that "fit" a 3.5" lift now "fit" with a 2.5" lift
  • It gave more room under the grille to route the hydraulic lines to/from my hydraulic winch

Cons:
  • Manual transmission shifter takes a bit of custom fawkery to make everything right
  • Everything else may need a bit of custom fawkery (bumpers, sliders, etc.)
  • Some people will talk shit about body lifts (not really a con - fawk 'em )

I'm sure I missed something, but ^^^ there's a bunch of shit to confuse your decision
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post #15 of 39 Old 03-19-2019, 09:06 PM
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I had not seen / didn't know when you went to the 37"s that you flattened - trimmed your fenders, @ExWrench
; isn't it a much better aesthetic when a small edge of the downturn is left on the factory flares ? Like, a huge difference.

You got that thing dialed in about perfect.

It's rear looks great with the way you've got it setup.





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post #16 of 39 Old 03-19-2019, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post


I had not seen / didn't know when you went to the 37"s that you flattened - trimmed your fenders, @ExWrench
; isn't it a much better aesthetic when a small edge of the downturn is left on the factory flares ? Like, a huge difference.

You got that thing dialed in about perfect.

It's rear looks great with the way you've got it setup.

Thanks j3ff3ry! I'm function-over-form, but leaving an edge wins on both fronts.

I left just a lip on the rears, but was able to re-shape and reconnect the inner fenders up front.



EDIT: shit, we're derailing this thread.

Here's what I did to the front fenders: Front Fender Fawkery

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post #17 of 39 Old 03-20-2019, 04:35 AM
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FWIW, I'm finishing a hemi swap with manual trans and added a 1.25" body lift strictly for several different clearance issues. None of the issues had anything to do with suspension or wheel travel. I actually already had a "3.5" lift on the jeep; and with the body lift I'm considering going down to 2.5" springs. One problem with reducing the suspension lift is that I may need to notch the frame for track bar / drag link clearance with the high steer setup (otherwise I may be hitting bumpstops all the time).
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post #18 of 39 Old 03-20-2019, 05:38 AM
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Yeah, srry to OP for us taking this down Highjack Road !
@ExWrench , I'll PM you a picture /two of my ' customized' front liners. You'll lol yer a$$ off.

Back to our @chitown35 thread - apologies!

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post #19 of 39 Old 03-20-2019, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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No worries.

It's interesting to see so many people are using a body lift to address issues NOT related to wheel travel/clearance, or with setups that are quite custom. Should've figured that on this forum.

My initial thoughts were more related to the tire size, should I add an inch of body lift or an inch of bumpstop part of the question, but I see there are many more aspects to it for a lot of people here.
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post #20 of 39 Old 03-20-2019, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitown35 View Post
No worries.
Thanks chitown35!

With your blessing, I'm going to address rockystock's post (with tech., not chat this time ).



Quote:
Originally Posted by rockystock View Post
FWIW, I'm finishing a hemi swap with manual trans and added a 1.25" body lift strictly for several different clearance issues. None of the issues had anything to do with suspension or wheel travel. I actually already had a "3.5" lift on the jeep; and with the body lift I'm considering going down to 2.5" springs. One problem with reducing the suspension lift is that I may need to notch the frame for track bar / drag link clearance with the high steer setup (otherwise I may be hitting bumpstops all the time).
You probably already know this, but . . .
Changing springs makes no difference but if swapping in shorter bump stops you probably need to notch the frame.
If you do notch it, I suggest plating over the cut section with 3/16" material.

Here's what I did (working well so far): Notching for track bar

And a photo (because pics make threads moar funnerer )

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post #21 of 39 Old 03-20-2019, 11:33 AM
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Exactly. Shorter springs to bring ride height back down. But that would leave less travel before hitting bumpstops, so I think I'd be hitting the bumpstops more often (like on the road over just moderate bumps which would be annoying). I'd need to correct clearance issues to allow for shorter bumpstop protection (which I think at this point is mostly the frame to TB bracket and DL).

I may just throw on the 2.5 springs and see how she goes; notch the frame if needed. But it is tempting to just start cutting while the jeep is still apart. Looks like a fairly quick job anyway.

Back to topic - again none of this has to do with body lift, other than I don't want/need the extra height from the BL. The family and I don't like being off camber anyway; and extra height would just make those situations even more sketchy. I'd say the better way to change height or tire clearance by more than an inch would be the suspension route (much better ground clearance, no other issues like you mentioned before). But for other clearance issues a body lift may be the only solution. I'm building the exhaust system and might be able to get two Spintech 9000XL mufflers almost flush with the bottom of the frame rails, in the back, under the little tool compartment where stock muffler sits. Wouldn't be possible without either BL or cutting out the compartment.

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post #22 of 39 Old 03-21-2019, 07:18 PM
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If you are entertaining a body lift you are falling into the Im on a budget category. I cannot think of one good reason to get a body lift other than Im poor and even that is a poor excuse.


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post #23 of 39 Old 03-21-2019, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkineater View Post
If you are entertaining a body lift you are falling into the Im on a budget category. I cannot think of one good reason to get a body lift other than Im poor and even that is a poor excuse.


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Did you actually read the other posts?
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post #24 of 39 Old 03-21-2019, 08:26 PM
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Did you actually read the other posts?

Obviously not.


Nothing new though, there is alot of ignorance regarding a BL when it comes to JKs. He would rather show off his ignorance than learn something new.

I'm actually sorta surprised it made it this far without something like this.
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post #25 of 39 Old 03-22-2019, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkineater View Post
If you are entertaining a body lift you are falling into the Im on a budget category. I cannot think of one good reason to get a body lift other than Im poor and even that is a poor excuse.


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