Jeep newbie - lift kit and couple of other questions

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alexap

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There you go! $982 isn't bad at all. I'm of the mindset that the majority of the time it's easier if you piece a lift together yourself, as oppose to buying a "kit". Often times you'll get better components this way too!
I have stupid question now.
You have linked two track bars.
Do I need both or just one of them?

Edit:
JMT catched it! So I just need one!

Also, I would love to do work myself but I'm not sure if I dare.
Having someone next to me who did this before would be so helpful!
 

Chris

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I have stupid question now.
You have linked two track bars.
Do I need both or just one of them?

Edit:
JMT catched it! So I just need one!

Also, I would love to do work myself but I'm not sure if I dare.
Having someone next to me who did this before would be so helpful!
Ideally you want both, yes. One is the front track bar, the other is the rear.
 

JMT

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You can just add the lift first and see how off your axle is. Some guys with that lift are only around 1/2” off. It’s unnoticeable and does not affect driving.

I still don’t have a rear adjustable trackbar after 3 years
 
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alexap

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And that would probably be okay if I'm doing work myself and I'm not depending on anyone.
But if I take it to the shop I just want to get it all done right away so I don't have to come back and wait until they have time to do it etc etc..
I'm debating to get on it but I feel I will do something wrong or brake something. :)
 

cliffish

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And that would probably be okay if I'm doing work myself and I'm not depending on anyone.
But if I take it to the shop I just want to get it all done right away so I don't have to come back and wait until they have time to do it etc etc..
I'm debating to get on it but I feel I will do something wrong or brake something. :)
really not that hard...I would try and tackle it on your own.
 

JMT

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And that would probably be okay if I'm doing work myself and I'm not depending on anyone.
But if I take it to the shop I just want to get it all done right away so I don't have to come back and wait until they have time to do it etc etc..
I'm debating to get on it but I feel I will do something wrong or brake something. :)
An alternative to the rear trackbar is the trackbar relocation bracket for $20.
The OME springs will net about 2”. At that height trackbars not really necessary. Really. Read the FAQ about lifting your TJ. We’re you planning for 2.5” of lift? You’ll need the 10mm OME Spacers. What are you doing for bumpstops?
You could easily do this yourself if you have any mechanical inclination and desire. I’ve done 5 lifts, gas skid tuck, MML, bl, et al in the last 3 years having never done any mechanical work before. Besides, as we’ve opined before, shops don’t always do it right. I don’t trust anyone more than myself on the rig.

EDIT: especially since re-reading the light use of your rig. You’ll never know the difference without the trackbars and it won’t drive different at all. Your wallet will just be $400 lighter
 
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gottifour

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I was in a similar situation smile back though yours looks nicer than mine started out.

I managed to install the lift myself and I'm FAR from a mechanic! Another jack may have helped me out because getting the old springs out was tricky. The top bolts on the front shocks were a challenge due to rust. I had to drill one out. The rear top bolts were a little tough too..... Almost took a cutting wheel to my tub for access but finally managed to get them out with LOTS of F-Bombs, several with mother in front of them. 😁

Screenshot_20200109-095650_ExtremeTerrain.jpg

Screenshot_20200109-095746_ExtremeTerrain.jpg
Screenshot_20200109-100823_Photos.jpg
 
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RMETeeJay

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Don't rush in to a lift. Based on what you've described doing with it, you most likely don't need one.

Did the seller provide service records? If not, replace all fluids, overhaul the cooling system, inspect brakes, etc.

Then, enjoy it! Drive it how you intend to and see how it does. Address any shortcomings then.
 
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gottifour

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Experience......
Thank you! Yours looks great and good work on doing that yourself!
I see you are in Chicago area and you have experience! I have beer! :)
Experience yes..... Confidence.....iffy. I do like beer though. 😁
 
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alexap

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An alternative to the rear trackbar is the trackbar relocation bracket for $20.
The OME springs will net about 2”. At that height trackbars not really necessary. Really. Read the FAQ about lifting your TJ. We’re you planning for 2.5” of lift? You’ll need the 10mm OME Spacers. What are you doing for bumpstops?
You could easily do this yourself if you have any mechanical inclination and desire. I’ve done 5 lifts, gas skid tuck, MML, bl, et al in the last 3 years having never done any mechanical work before. Besides, as we’ve opined before, shops don’t always do it right. I don’t trust anyone more than myself on the rig.

EDIT: especially since re-reading the light use of your rig. You’ll never know the difference without the trackbars and it won’t drive different at all. Your wallet will just be $400 lighter

Thanks for the tips!
I'm totally okay with 2". Do I still need spacers?

@RMETeeJay Maybe but my shocks and springs are due for change anyways.
If I have to do it I could do lift then. And it's for looks as well :)
 

chino1969

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Hello wonderful people!

I have spent so much time lately here researching and reading so before I start with questions I just want to say THANK YOU ALL for being such a great and helpful bunch! Jeep is not just vehicle, it's a way of life!

Please forgive me in advance on my questions, I know newbies come here all the time and ask same stuff but I guess that's just how it goes!

So, recently I scored completely stock `99 Sahara and I'm two miles away of hitting 111111. I bought it from a girl who owned it for 16 years and took a pretty good care of it. Maintenance was in time and most important of all, frame is very clean with some small surface rust which is extremely difficult to find here in Chicago area. Girl I bought it from lived in Georgia and moved here couple a years ago.

View attachment 133230

So far most of the work I did was related to cleaning. We were blessed with couple of really warm days around Christmas so I pulled all carpets out, washed them, vacuumed and wiped everything. I removed that front bumper, sanded it completely and spray painted it and it looks much better! Also, got the new fog light and replaced that busted one. Oh and those mirrors, I have spent way too much time removing paint from that aluminum but they came out nicely after painting!
Also got some new LED headlights so I can finally see where to drive at night. :)

As soon as springs come I'm planning on touching up dents and doing some buffing & polishing hoping to get rid of some scratches I see around. I am also planning on getting under, scrapping that surface rust on frame and depending on how it looks after treating those parts with phosphoric acid, then spray painting and protecting everything with fluid film or something similar.

Anyways, we are in winter now so I want to use that time to get some lift kit and turn this baby Jeep into adult Jeep. I swear, every other TJ I see around is bigger than mine! :)

So I did a lot of reading and went through that master thread "which lift kit to choose" couple of times.
Fact is I could probably go with 1" body lift and I would be okay as I'm not planning on doing any big off-roading.
I'm planning on driving this Jeep couple a miles daily to a train station and back and using it in on weekends for pleasure rides. During summer I could hit beach and some light trails. Really I would prefer to get comfortable ride on pavement more than extreme performance off-road. I would love to be able to sit in this Jeep and drive it 8 hrs on highway and have as smooth ride as possible.

However, car has regular Rancho 5000 shocks on it right now and they are completely rusted and look really nasty. Coils are also sagging so it's time to refresh those as well. With all that needed to be done why then just don't get a lift kit??!!

So I decided 2"-2.5" lift kit is probably best option!

1. BDS lift kit
I read really good stuff about them. Talk to some guys and they are recommending upgrading shocks to Fox but I'm feeling that might be overkill. Now when it comes to this lift I have read about settings diff slightly off center so getting a front and rear adjustable track bar is recommended.
Help me understand, is that specific to this lift or generally for every 2" lift?
This lift goes around $430 with NX2 shocks or $790 with Fox. If I add track bars that's around $350 more which is getting out of budget a bit.

2.ProComp springs with Rancho RS5000x shocks
Thank you Jerry for this! I have read somewhere you recommending this and I believe Chris is running Rancho's and sounds like you guys are happy with these.
This combination comes around $450 and that is totally acceptable. My question would obviously be what else I need to include with this?

3. Terraflex
Have some people recommending this but it does not seems like a great choice for TJ and price is almost double than option above.

4. ?? Maybe something else ?? Recommendations welcome!

So really, 2nd option seems like a best but I would like to know what else I need to make this process as smooth as possible. I know that TC drop is one thing that will most likely have to happen. What I'm trying to figure out is what other components I might need for this lift to perform smooth and don't cause any issues?


Now with lift kit I'm planning to add new tires as well. I think I have decided to go with 31x10.50r15. I don't think that I should have any rubbing issues with these and as far as I understood there is no any other extra work needed, these should just fit perfectly?
Again, question that's been asked hundred times but with everything I said above, which tires should I go for? :)

My gear ratio is 3.73 and with these tires re-gearing is not must?

Last but not least... as it's getting colder here I noticed that shifting into 2nd gear is getting a bit difficult. If I'm driving longer it gets a bit better.
I have read about transmission fluid and synchros and ordered some RedLine GL-4 so I'm planning on flushing that in hope it will fix it a bit. Also I remember seeing something about some bushing that could be removed to help with this but can't find that topic. Did I dream that? :)

I'm very sorry about my long post. If admin thinks we could split it into introduction and couple of other posts we can do that.
I thought it might be easier to have all at one place.

Thank you all!

EDIT:
If you know any shop or a good mechanic to recommend around South-West Chicago burbs please let me know.
I will have to hire someone to help me or do this for me because I would not dare to this myself yet!
Stick with asking questions of people on this site. Go slow and methodically on what upgrades you select. Probably the first thing you should do is figure out what you want to do, the off roading you want to do and concentrate your research and questions in these areas. Resist the temptation to go out and spend a ton of money that may not be warranted.
 

cliffish

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Also get your self some kroil and spray down every nut you will be turning for a few days before you start. Pay particular attention to the upper rear shock bolts as they love to shear off and they are a PIA to drill our and fix. I eventually "punted" that aspect to my mechanic and had him drill out and tap them after I shear 1 on each side off. I ignorantly used WD40 which now that I have found out from here is virtually useless on rusted bolts.
 

bobthetj03

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My suggestion, for what it's worth:

Get the H&R springs. They will net you 1"- 1.5" of lift.
Get the Rancho RS5000X shocks for 0"-2" lift option. You should not need any additional bump stops for 31's since you won't be disconnecting your front sway bar for extended articulation.
With this small of a lift, you won't notice the axles off center, so don't worry about adjustable track bars. Just make sure you factory track bars are in good order.
I doubt you would get any drive line vibes with a 1" lift, but if you somehow do, a few washers on the t-case skid to lower it would take care of that.
The only other issue you might run in to, is the 31's might rub a bit at full turn against the lower control arm, or the front sway bar. If they do, a washer on the steering stops located on the front spindle will do the trick.
There, I just saved you a bunch of fun coupons!
 
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Stretch

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Nice looking TJ!
I just got my 2004 RME TJ last July... I spent a lot of time on the forum before I decided to make any moves.
I can tell you my experience so far...
I went with Rancho 2.5" lift and Rancho 5000x shocks. So far everything has been great. My TJ is also a 3.73 and it's fine enough on flat and some incline but I live near the Rockies... this past fall I drove up in the mountains and on a few of the inclines had to gear down to 4th to not lose speed.
The RME TJ was equipped with 29" from the factory and I debated between 32x12.5x15 K02 and the 33x11.5x15 Goodyears... went with the 32's and there is tonnes of room to spare... the 33's def would have fit and the 11.5 might be better in the snow (mind you I've had no issues yet). I stayed at the 32 mostly because of the 3.73 gear ratio hoping to regear to 4.56 in a year or so and then move up to 33's. (i did add a spacer in there as well... I believe it's 1.25" and absolutely zero rub to date) That being said I really like the look of the stance right now... but that's the fun with the TJ's...
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alexap

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Yh
My suggestion, for what it's worth:

Get the H&R springs. They will net you 1"- 1.5" of lift.
Get the Rancho RS5000X shocks for 0"-2" lift option. You should not need any additional bump stops for 31's since you won't be disconnecting your front sway bar for extended articulation.
With this small of a lift, you won't notice the axles off center, so don't worry about adjustable track bars. Just make sure you factory track bars are in good order.
I doubt you would get any drive line vibes with a 1" lift, but if you somehow do, a few washers on the t-case skid to lower it would take care of that.
The only other issue you might run in to, is the 31's might rub a bit at full turn against the lower control arm, or the front sway bar. If they do, a washer on the steering stops located on the front spindle will do the trick.
There, I just saved you a bunch of fun coupons!
More I'm thinking more I'm liking this idea.
It would definitely be something I would dare to do myself and it's less complex considering I would not have to deal with trackbars etc.
Also, significantly cheaper!
If I go this route would things drastically change if I add 1" body lift? I'm bouncing that idea only because I would get some clereance on the frame and it would make it easier for maintenance and keeping it clean.

I also like CodaMan's build a lot!
 

bobthetj03

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Yh

More I'm thinking more I'm liking this idea.
It would definitely be something I would dare to do myself and it's less complex considering I would not have to deal with trackbars etc.
Also, significantly cheaper!
If I go this route would things drastically change if I add 1" body lift? I'm bouncing that idea only because I would get some clereance on the frame and it would make it easier for maintenance and keeping it clean.

I also like CodaMan's build a lot!
A body lift is never a bad idea. It opens up certain possibilities, and like you said, gives you some clearance to make it easier to clean debris. A couple pitfalls however. If you do a BL without also doing a motor mount lift, you will have to move the engine fan shroud by notching the mounting holes. Secondly, you may get some binding of the t-case shifter linkage since the linkage is attached to the tub. Sometimes you can adjust it, or as many will suggest, get the Savvy cable linkage kit. If you decide to get a BL, get ones that use aluminum pucks and that retain the factory cushions. Savvy makes one of the best 1.25" BL's, Rokmen has 1" and 0.5" BL's that are nice as well. I have Rokmen's 0.5" BL because I only needed a little bit of clearance, and I dislike the "butt crack" in the rear that the taller BL's give you.