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Highline or Lift?

High Octane

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OK I'm new here. I've searched but likely have missed what I'm looking for. I did find the sticky about lifts and tire size but I'd rather go with a low center of gravity rig than adding a big lift. So I'm investigating how little lift I can get away with and still not have my 33's rub anything. I need to understand the highline fender mods a bit better before I go lifting anything. I'm kinda thinking wide and low is the way I'd like to go. Anyone have experience with a highland fender job? Is it a viable alternative to a suspension lift? My springs are a bit saggy and my rubber bushings appear to be getting hard and cracked, so I'll likely need new springs and rubber bushings. Are the rubber bushings so hard to replace that just replacing all the arms and links a more viable option? Needing springs and bushings might just make a suspension changes the best option, but i'f like to hear others opinions.
 

jjvw

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There is a lot to consider with that question. Similar to a body lift and simply cutting, a highline is a way to move the body out of the way of the tires. This is a way to reduce the amount of bump stop extension needed to keep the tires from ripping up the body.

However, a highline, body lift or cutting will not be able to add more suspension up travel than stock. It is this up travel and the ability for the Jeep to better conform to the terrain before the rising tire shoves the body up and over that can allow you to increase stability in ways that simply LCoG can't. LCoG in it's most cartoonish form is a series of significant compromises for the sake of one specific goal.

The answer you are looking for is that you might want both a suspension lift and to move the body out of the way. A guideline that makes sense to me is to always make sure that whatever you do, be sure to maintain a minimum of the stock suspension up travel of 4". This means cycling the axles without the coils to see where the interferences to travel are. Remove the interferences as far as you are willing to go. Identify the limits and build to them. If you work to maintain (or add to) that 4", then the rest will fall into place.
 
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Paul Ruggles

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I have a 2 inch suspension lift and a diy highline with 35s. I am probably going to redo it for a 4 inch suspension, stock fenders, and 33s.

It's tough to get more than 8 inches or so of suspension travel with a 2 inch lift. A good set of 4 inch springs will allow 12 inch shocks to be used if outboarded.

Highline seem like a good idea until you do one. It is alot of work to cut the hood, move fenders up, bend the living shit out of them around the headlight, remount the battery, washer bottle, radiator overflow tank,etc. This is just the front.

AEV highline kits address most of the issues, but they are getting rare and almost worth their weight in gold.

Alot of tube fender kits look like they give you clearance, but if you dont move the inner fenders up, you dont gain much. Be aware of this.

I have had suspension lifts and high lines. It's worth the effort in my opinion to do a good suspension lift instead of the highline. A good 3 or 4 inch lift will drive as good stock and clear 33s.
 
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High Octane

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I'm not likely to be much of a rock crawler, mostly DD and lots of trails and hunting roads. So I don't think I need a lot of lift but I want the 33's to roll over more rough surface, washboards and stuff. I will spend what I need to but I don't want to just add every modification just to be cool, not.
 

Chris

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I would want a lift, therefore I could have longer shocks with more up-travel.

Ideally I'd have both, but the lift would take precedence over the highline.
 

jjvw

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I'm not likely to be much of a rock crawler, mostly DD and lots of trails and hunting roads. So I don't think I need a lot of lift but I want the 33's to roll over more rough surface, washboards and stuff. I will spend what I need to but I don't want to just add every modification just to be cool, not.
Keep in mind that stock has that 4" of up. You want to preserve that for any kind of terrain the Jeep will cover. This includes pavement.
 
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High Octane

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I see that the AEV Highline isn't available anymore but the Metalcloak look like they may be a good option. Any thoughts?
 

jjvw

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I see that the AEV Highline isn't available anymore but the Metalcloak look like they may be a good option. Any thoughts?
Look up the fender smack down thread. I'll tell you up front that Metalcloak fenders are not a highline and they do not make as much room as many want to believe they do.
 
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jjvw

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OK maybe a 2" lift and the Metalcloak Overline fenders?"
Better than nothing. Barely. But if you want real clearance, you need to cut the hood and raise the inner fender and the rear wall of the wheel opening further back. This is not what Metalcloak fenders do.
 

JMT

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Metalcloak is not going to give you more than 1” tops, and probably 1/2” is more likely. So unless you’re planning on moving up from a true 32” to 32.5”s you may want to reconsider. To do what you are describing I’d say you need 32’s max. Just run a 2-2.5” lift and save yourself a ton of money and work and have a ball! Going to 33’s is not for most people. I can go almost anywhere in the US on my 33’s but it took $8K to get there. Rock crawling, mudding, you name it, this rig does it.
 
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High Octane

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Better than nothing. Barely. But if you want real clearance, you need to cut the hood and raise the inner fender and the rear wall of the wheel opening further back. This is not what Metalcloak fenders do.
I don't want to do much permanent cutting to my 05 TJUR. So unless I can get a bolt on fender kit I'll likely do a 3~4" lift, But I will hear "I can't get in this thing" a lot!
See looks a little anemic right now.

94031
 
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High Octane

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I just bought the rig, the tires are weather checked and miss matched front to back (same size different tire), the rims are a mess. So I bought a set of 10" rims and 33" 12.5" Duratrac tires. They were delivered yesterday to home in South Dakota, I'm in Texas right now. I'm seriously considering returning them for 8" rims and narrower tires but I'm pretty set on the 33". So I can't say if a shorter tire will hold me back, but I do know that I like larger diameter tires on my pickup trucks.
 

jjvw

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Metalcloak is not going to give you more than 1” tops, and probably 1/2” is more likely. ...
I would guess at about 1.5" additional for 33s. Less as the tire size increases. The gains exist, but there is a lot you can do for the same amount of money that will get you further before that 1.5" will.
 
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High Octane

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And, the springs are saggy and the rubber bushings are cracked and likely shot too. So I figure its time to entertain suspension mods. SWMBO hasn't put the smack down on the check book yet. I figure I have a couple of quick orders before she drops the hammer on me.
 
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Brianj5600

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Aesthetically LJs start looking good at 33s and even better at 35s. It sounds like the way you will use it you don't need the same tire clearance as if you were rock crawling.
 
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Tj Starting

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I'm not likely to be much of a rock crawler, mostly DD and lots of trails and hunting roads. So I don't think I need a lot of lift but I want the 33's to roll over more rough surface, washboards and stuff. I will spend what I need to but I don't want to just add every modification just to be cool, not.
OK maybe a 2" lift and the Metalcloak Overline fenders?"
Ok, considering your post about dd, trails, and hunting roads, I don't see why the lift and fenders wouldn't work, but maybe add a 1 or 1.25 body lift. Then as long as you have the correct bump stops, you shouldn't have any problems with rubbing. Again, as already posted you probably won't have much more travel then factory. At least IMHO, correct me if I'm wrong. I am currently running 33x12.50 on the PO's (terrible, and hopefully replaced with actual lift soon) body lift and have no rubbing issues, but factory travel.
 

jjvw

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.... At least IMHO, correct me if I'm wrong. I am currently running 33x12.50 on the PO's (terrible, and hopefully replaced with actual lift soon) body lift and have no rubbing issues, but factory travel.
This can be confirmed by cycling the axles.
 

JMT

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I would guess at about 1.5" additional for 33s. Less as the tire size increases. The gains exist, but there is a lot you can do for the same amount of money that will get you further before that 1.5" will.
Ok, so for my setup in my signature, what are MC’s going to do for me if I went to 35’s? Will they clear?