2020 Sahara Lift

Ghost7th

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I've been asking a lot of questions lately and I appreciate everyone's patience with me. My last Jeep was a ratty old "90 YJ that I simply welded things to as I made modifications, lol. I never worried about longevity or handling with her. She was my weekend toy and I had a blast with trial and error type mods to her.

Well my Sahara is a different beast; I paid about $45k more for her than the YJ and I have to rely upon her to get me to work each day and also be able to get my 16 year old safely to his destination and home again when he borrows her.

I love the ride that I get from my Sahara on my daily commute and also on the highway. I took her to Va Beach a few weeks ago and averaged 80mph on cruise. It is the nicest 4wd vehicle that I have ever owner. I have driven 100% on the road since I have bought her but will probably venture off road on lite duty trails in the future; nothing extreme. Unfortunately I hate the factory rake and the stance that she has so I have decided to go with a lift.

I originally thought about going with a spacer lift but then I visited the local Jeep/truck/4wd shop. They suggested I go with a Teraflex 2.5" lift and 5100 Bilstein shocks. He says that I will retain the same factory ride and actually improve it on the road and level out the rake and give me the stance that I am looking for. I will also have the capability of being able to do some off roading when I am ready and have the time.

I am on 33's now and I'm hoping to put 35's on her this winter or in the Spring.

There is another lift post that went up this week (I didn't want to hi-jak someone's post) that had one recommendation to add Mopar lca's when lifting (I think it referenced them to be about $60?). Is this something that I need to add to the lift and shock combo?

Is there anything else that I need to upgrade to keep everything the way it should be?

I am assuming that I will need to take it in for a front end alignment once the lift has been installed?

Are the Teraflex lift and Bilsteins quality parts for what I want to do with them? Will this combo give me a good productive life before needing to replace components?

Here is a link to the kit on the Quadratec site: https://www.quadratec.com/p/teraflex/2-5-inch-coil-spring-lift-kit-jeep-wrangler-jl-and-unlimited-jl

Thank you for your time!
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GATORB8

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I originally thought about going with a spacer lift but then I visited the local Jeep/truck/4wd shop. They suggested I go with a Teraflex 2.5" lift and 5100 Bilstein shocks. He says that I will retain the same factory ride and actually improve it on the road and level out the rake and give me the stance that I am looking for. I will also have the capability of being able to do some off roading when I am ready and have the time.

I am on 33's now and I'm hoping to put 35's on her this winter or in the Spring.

There is another lift post that went up this week (I didn't want to hi-jak someone's post) that had one recommendation to add Mopar lca's when lifting (I think it referenced them to be about $60?). Is this something that I need to add to the lift and shock combo?

Is there anything else that I need to upgrade to keep everything the way it should be?

I am assuming that I will need to take it in for a front end alignment once the lift has been installed?

Are the Teraflex lift and Bilsteins quality parts for what I want to do with them? Will this combo give me a good productive life before needing to replace components?

Here is a link to the kit on the Quadratec site: https://www.quadratec.com/p/teraflex/2-5-inch-coil-spring-lift-kit-jeep-wrangler-jl-and-unlimited-jl

Thank you for your time!
The Mopar LCAs will help with caster and should improve driving manners with your lift. They're available from the online dealers and rock auto for $30 each (you'll need two). Best ride is probably with Geometry Correction Brackets, but you'll loose a couple inches of clearance at the mounts.

Bilstein is a well respected manufacturer, and has been around a long time. Which 5100s are you going with? If you do the bump stop extensions per TF's recommendation, you'll have 3" front and 2" rear, that should allow you to use the 3-4.5" version of the 5100s (that's what I run). Those will get you about 28.5" of full extension which is about as much as you want on the stock driveshaft. You'll need to remove the front brake line brackets from the LCA to work with that much droop.

Teraflex's stuff has been pretty high quality from what I've bought and seen. Note, most advertised spring lift is based on a Rubicon, so you'll probably see closer to 3.5" from a 2.5" spring lift. A spacer should get you the exact advertised lift. Note, since spacers don't change spring rate, you'll end up with the same ride as your stock springs. Note, Teraflex builds in 1/2" of rake reduction on their spacer lifts. Since new springs will most likely change the spring rate, you'll probably see a difference in ride quality, either a little softer or a little firmer, depending on which springs you use.

Without adjustable control arms (the mopar LCAs are fixed), there's nothing to align unless you change the tie rod. You may have to adjust the the length of the stock drag link to get your steering wheel back to center (easy and the stock drag link is adjustable while installed.)

You may want to consider adjustable track bars or brackets to recenter the axle. Not necessarily a requirement, but may ride a bit better with the Axles centered. Rough Country has a solid value track bar that can be adjusted while mounted.

Make sure you watch your backspacing when you order your wheels. The Sahara axles are narrower than the Rubicons. If you decide to keep stock rims, you may need wheel spacers.
 
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Ghost7th

Ghost7th

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GatorB8: thank you for the feedback!

None of this looks lit it is over the top. I don't think that by doing any of these upgrades I am going to make my ride worse? Can I do things in steps if I see that I need to make adjustments as I go? The shop didn't think that I needed LCA's. Just as you've stated: reviews on this lift are stating that on the Sahara I will be more like 3" to 3.5". With that much of a lift I will definitely need them?

"The Mopar LCAs will help with caster and should improve driving manners with your lift. They're available from the online dealers and rock auto for $30 each (you'll need two). Best ride is probably with Geometry Correction Brackets, but you'll loose a couple inches of clearance at the mounts."

LCA's are needed for the front only? Is there a guide on the brackets for adjustment? This is all new to me so I there is going to be a steep learning curve with some of this. Are these something that I should do at the same time as the lift install?

"Bilstein is a well respected manufacturer, and has been around a long time. Which 5100s are you going with? If you do the bump stop extensions per TF's recommendation, you'll have 3" front and 2" rear, that should allow you to use the 3-4.5" version of the 5100s (that's what I run). Those will get you about 28.5" of full extension which is about as much as you want on the stock driveshaft. You'll need to remove the front brake line brackets from the LCA to work with that much droop."

I'm not sure which shocks he will pair with the lift. I had the choice between Fox and Bilstein. He said either would work for my application. The Bilsteins are about $240 cheaper than the Fox's. He said the Bilsteins will be perfect for my application if I wanted to save a few bucks.

"Teraflex's stuff has been pretty high quality from what I've bought and seen. Note, most advertised spring lift is based on a Rubicon, so you'll probably see closer to 3.5" from a 2.5" spring lift. A spacer should get you the exact advertised lift. Note, since spacers don't change spring rate, you'll end up with the same ride as your stock springs. Note, Teraflex builds in 1/2" of rake reduction on their spacer lifts. Since new springs will most likely change the spring rate, you'll probably see a difference in ride quality, either a little softer or a little firmer, depending on which springs you use."

The kit description does not say anything specific about the springs. The shop guy says he recommends this kit for on road; it will be as good or better then my current suspension. I'm not sure what way to go on that.

"Without adjustable control arms (the mopar LCAs are fixed), there's nothing to align unless you change the tie rod. You may have to adjust the the length of the stock drag link to get your steering wheel back to center (easy and the stock drag link is adjustable while installed.)"

He had said that my steering wheel will be off center and that I can have an alignment shop correct it for me? The stock drag link is adjustable? I have looked for a video on this but haven't found anything yet. Do I simply adjust it until my wheel is centered again?

"You may want to consider adjustable track bars or brackets to recenter the axle. Not necessarily a requirement, but may ride a bit better with the Axles centered. Rough Country has a solid value track bar that can be adjusted while mounted."

Will I visually be able to determine if the axel is off center?

"Make sure you watch your backspacing when you order your wheels. The Sahara axles are narrower than the Rubicons. If you decide to keep stock rims, you may need wheel spacers."

He told me I will have to run spacers on the rear wheels if I stay with the stock Sahara rims. I really do not like them but I have having a hard time finding something I like to replace them. I am looking for some type of decent spoke type in black.


I have never attempted something like this on a new vehicle. The shop charges $250 for the install. Does that sound like a fair price for what they are doing? The install videos look pretty simple but I do not have a lift and I'm not sure I want or need to lay on the ground to do it for that price.
 

GATORB8

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GatorB8: thank you for the feedback!

None of this looks lit it is over the top. I don't think that by doing any of these upgrades I am going to make my ride worse? Can I do things in steps if I see that I need to make adjustments as I go? The shop didn't think that I needed LCA's. Just as you've stated: reviews on this lift are stating that on the Sahara I will be more like 3" to 3.5". With that much of a lift I will definitely need them?
The spring rate difference may make it ride differently (better or worse is subjective) higher spring rates will be stiffer but will help cornering stability at speed, softer the opposite (softer but more body roll).

A lot of members have noticeable improvements in handling from doing the Mopar LCAs even on a stock Rubicon. Pretty much a no-brainer at $60, and can be installed while the jeep is on the ground, just a set of bolts/nuts at either end, probably 15 minutes a side as long as you have the tools to break them free from the 190 ft lb torque.

You can certainly do the lift, then decide if you want to add the LCAs and track bars later.




"The Mopar LCAs will help with caster and should improve driving manners with your lift. They're available from the online dealers and rock auto for $30 each (you'll need two). Best ride is probably with Geometry Correction Brackets, but you'll loose a couple inches of clearance at the mounts."

LCA's are needed for the front only? Is there a guide on the brackets for adjustment? This is all new to me so I there is going to be a steep learning curve with some of this. Are these something that I should do at the same time as the lift install?
Yes, front only, caster is only a steer axle measurement. The brackets will just relocate the holes for your control arms down, and those with adjustments will indicate which holes to use by lift height.

The best road manners come from the Control arms being more horizontal, and that's what the Geo brackets do. While you can combine both, you really only need one or the other for smaller lifts.

Like the LCAs, you can do the Geo brackets with the jeep on the ground with just four bolts per side.

"Bilstein is a well respected manufacturer, and has been around a long time. Which 5100s are you going with? If you do the bump stop extensions per TF's recommendation, you'll have 3" front and 2" rear, that should allow you to use the 3-4.5" version of the 5100s (that's what I run). Those will get you about 28.5" of full extension which is about as much as you want on the stock driveshaft. You'll need to remove the front brake line brackets from the LCA to work with that much droop."

I'm not sure which shocks he will pair with the lift. I had the choice between Fox and Bilstein. He said either would work for my application. The Bilsteins are about $240 cheaper than the Fox's. He said the Bilsteins will be perfect for my application if I wanted to save a few bucks.
Both the Fox 2.0s and the Bilstein 5100s are ~2" Monotube IFPs. Bilstein's have steel bodies that are a little smaller in diameter, but otherwise they're pretty close. Each is available in different lengths per lift amount. With bump stops in the front at 3", you should be safe on compression with either the Fox or Bilstein 3-4" and still be less than 29" on extension so you won't need a new driveshaft (29" per Rock Krawler recommendations). For the front, this should be around where you're at with 3.5" lift and 3" bumps. Notice how much extra axle angle you get with the longer shocks:
1632936030005.png




"Teraflex's stuff has been pretty high quality from what I've bought and seen. Note, most advertised spring lift is based on a Rubicon, so you'll probably see closer to 3.5" from a 2.5" spring lift. A spacer should get you the exact advertised lift. Note, since spacers don't change spring rate, you'll end up with the same ride as your stock springs. Note, Teraflex builds in 1/2" of rake reduction on their spacer lifts. Since new springs will most likely change the spring rate, you'll probably see a difference in ride quality, either a little softer or a little firmer, depending on which springs you use."

The kit description does not say anything specific about the springs. The shop guy says he recommends this kit for on road; it will be as good or better then my current suspension. I'm not sure what way to go on that.
Ride is extremely subjective. Other than test driving it installed on something, it's hard to really know.

"Without adjustable control arms (the mopar LCAs are fixed), there's nothing to align unless you change the tie rod. You may have to adjust the the length of the stock drag link to get your steering wheel back to center (easy and the stock drag link is adjustable while installed.)"

He had said that my steering wheel will be off center and that I can have an alignment shop correct it for me? The stock drag link is adjustable? I have looked for a video on this but haven't found anything yet. Do I simply adjust it until my wheel is centered again?
Yes, roll the jeep and allow it to drive straight without touching the wheel, loosen the pinch bolt (17mm IIRC), and rotate the silver collar until the steering wheel is straight. May take a couple tries to get it dead on. All this does is adjust the rotation of the wheel at the current steering position.

"You may want to consider adjustable track bars or brackets to recenter the axle. Not necessarily a requirement, but may ride a bit better with the Axles centered. Rough Country has a solid value track bar that can be adjusted while mounted."

Will I visually be able to determine if the axel is off center?
Yeah, but you'll probably need a level and a tape measure to really know. The track bars move the axle in opposite directions, so your front axle will move left and rear will move right when you lift it. IIRC 2" moved my front axle about 1/2".

"Make sure you watch your backspacing when you order your wheels. The Sahara axles are narrower than the Rubicons. If you decide to keep stock rims, you may need wheel spacers."

He told me I will have to run spacers on the rear wheels if I stay with the stock Sahara rims. I really do not like them but I have having a hard time finding something I like to replace them. I am looking for some type of decent spoke type in black.
Lots of options out there. Just remember BS and Offset are different measurements. The stock wheels are +44.5 mm offset, reducing offset will move the centerline of the tire by the difference, so a 0 offset will move each tire outward 44.5mm or 1.75 in. BS will just give you a clearance regardless of width so two different wheel widths with the same BS can have different offset.

Good site for playing with offset options:
https://tiresize.com/wheel-offset-calculator/

I have never attempted something like this on a new vehicle. The shop charges $250 for the install. Does that sound like a fair price for what they are doing? The install videos look pretty simple but I do not have a lift and I'm not sure I want or need to lay on the ground to do it for that price.
$250 sounds fair. For a first time, I'd budget at least 3 hours of your time with the right tools. You may be able to find the parts cheaper (especially with forum discounts) which may make more of a difference if he requires you to buy the parts through him.
 

bajanut

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Yep, 68322798AA
Hi GatorB8 If you don't mind and if you know, are the lift kits LCA's only about a 1/4 to 3/8-inch longer than stock? I just received the "longer" LCA's and compared them with the stock rubicon and that' how much longer they compare, do you know? . thanks
 

GATORB8

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Hi GatorB8 If you don't mind and if you know, are the lift kits LCA's only about a 1/4 to 3/8-inch longer than stock? I just received the "longer" LCA's and compared them with the stock rubicon and that' how much longer they compare, do you know? . thanks
Yeah, 1/4” IIRC
 
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