Leveling Kit vs. Budget Boost - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-10-2012, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Leveling Kit vs. Budget Boost

Newbie here,
Please help me understand the benefits / faults of a Budget Boost vs. a Leveling kit. I want to do a slight lift in advance of a 2.5 inch lift in the future, but cash is king. I have gathered some basic understanding, but the more knowledge the better.
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-10-2012, 12:41 PM
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Leveling kits and budget boosts are often the same thing depending on the manufacturer of the kit. Both use some form of coil spacer that is placed between the upper spring perch and the coil. The spacers are usually made from a hard plastic and resemble a hockey puck with a hole in the center.

Budget boosts usually run between 1.5" and 2.5" in height. Some budget boosts are also leveling kits in the sense that the front spacers are 3/4" - 1" taller than the rear to "level" out the JK's factory front rake. Most, but not all budget boosts have this leveling feature. Some budget boost kits also include brake line extensions, shock extensions and longer sway bar links.

Leveling kits, however, are budget boosts that strictly level the ride height of the JK and remove the factory front rake. Some leveling kits only include front spacers to remove the rake and don't include anything for the rear coils.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by taxman; 02-10-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-10-2012, 04:51 PM
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Stay away from spacer lifts they throw off the geometry of the suspension enough to cause uneven wear in the tires, and put undue stress on the springs causing premature wear... ask me how I know. My advice save some cash and do it right, any suspension mod that doesn't include some form of trackbar correction scares me. If the rake bothers you that much go with a strictly leveling kit.

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post #4 of 6 Old 02-10-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepersheart View Post
Stay away from spacer lifts they throw off the geometry of the suspension enough to cause uneven wear in the tires, and put undue stress on the springs causing premature wear... ask me how I know. My advice save some cash and do it right, any suspension mod that doesn't include some form of trackbar correction scares me. If the rake bothers you that much go with a strictly leveling kit.
Sorry but that post is completely untrue. Just how do you get premature wear on a spring from a spacer on top of it? It has no affect on it. It's just like moving the spring bucket down 2", no more weight on the spring. Uneven tire wear? Im curious to hear the reasoning behind that....

I wheeled the shit out of spacers with no spring problems or adverse tire wear for two years.


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post #5 of 6 Old 02-10-2012, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
Sorry but that post is completely untrue. Just how do you get premature wear on a spring from a spacer on top of it? It has no affect on it. It's just like moving the spring bucket down 2", no more weight on the spring. Uneven tire wear? Im curious to hear the reasoning behind that....

I wheeled the shit out of spacers with no spring problems or adverse tire wear for two years.
I agree! On a solid axle, a spring spacer kit won't wear out tires or wear out springs. Many people run spacers. I installed a 3/4 spacer to compensate for bumper and winch. No issues.
I would recommend an adjustable sway bar link. A 1"-2.5" spring spacer will cause the sway bar to pull downward and roughen the ride a bit. I adjusted mine so it was just higher than level and the ride was much better after the spacer. Even at 3/4".

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-10-2012, 07:29 PM
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I think what jeepersheart meant to say was that the axle will not be centered with the purchase of a basic budget boost (mostly with the more popular 2" or 2.5" boosts) because there is no trackbar correction, either by a relocation bracket or after-market adjustable trackbar. Without this correction, some JKs have experienced issues with ESP inadvertently triggering on sharp corners, off-ramps, etc.

However, this is NOT a result of the budget boost. This may also happen with traditional coil lifts if no trackbar correction is made. This and other issues are the result of how high you lift the JK without correcting other critical suspension and steering components. The higher you go, the more components you need to address, such as driveline angles, caster and steering linkage.

DO NOT BE PUT OFF BY BUDGET BOOSTS. They are probably the most popular suspension "upgrade" for JKs and allows people to run larger tires inexpensively. People run them all the time and are very satisfied with them. If you stick to 1.5" or 2", you'll be fine.

On our 2011, we have the TF Leveling kit that uses 2" in front and 1" in rear. We run 33s with no problem and gives the JK a great stance. I didn't correct the trackbars and have no issues. Don't overthink this and make it more complicated than it is. You'll be fine with a budget boost and you'll love it!

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