Budget Lift Kit
by … Chris @ SDJC
One of the initial modifications many Jeep Wrangler owners do is put bigger tires on their ride. The problem with that is wheel well space. A set of 31″ inch tires will usually fit under a stock Wrangler but under a flexing condition they may rub. There are a couple of ways to alleviate this problem; one way is to purchase different wheels with a different back spacing. This will push the tires outward away from the body to give a slightly wider stance and more clearance from the frame and wheel well liners. However, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to buy new wheels and would like to keep your stock rims, go with a small lift. There are many ways this can be achieved; new shackles for a leaf spring, new springs or pucks (spring spacers).
My example is based on a 2006 Wrangler X edition. There are several types of kits companies available such as Daystar, Teraflex, Quadratec and Skyjacker to name a few. These kits are available from such vendors as Quadratech, Morris 4×4 and 4WD Hardware and run around $100-$150. Amazon also offers Jeep items at a good price. A safe maximum lift height without any additional modifications is two inches (2″). This will allow you retain use of the stock shocks and all other components in your vehicle. The puck or spring spacer fits on the top of the spring were it meets the body. Some assemblies also come with an extended bump stop as part of the kit. There are two ways to install the pucks, either using a spring compressor or a partial disassembly of the suspension. If you’re like me, I prefer to disassemble part of the suspension and the springs will fall right out. Be sure to carefully read the instruction manual before installation as it will differ between Jeep Models. In some isolated cases Jeep owners experienced drive train vibration with a lift. If this occurs an easy fix is a transfer case drop. This will cure the difference in angle on the very short rear drive shaft and smooth out the ride.
In later articles, we’ll cover larger lifts and what is entailed to get efficient use of the new ride height. We can be found on Face book at Southern Delaware Jeep Club. Come join us at our events for a great Family Friendly Time and “Keep on Jeepin”
Chris @ SDJC