Lift Kit Needs - Steel Bumper, future winch, trying to limit cost


Well-Known Member
May 21, 2018
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St. Louis, MO
2018 Wrangler JLU Sport S Ocean Blue
Vehicle Showcase
Howdy all,
I think I'm finally at a place where I'm ready to pull the trigger on doing a lift and committing myself to actually installing it as opposed to paying someone. I like the idea of having the ownership, but also to help keep labor costs down. With that in mind, I have a few questions:

  • I added a Quadratec QRC full bumper about 2 weeks ago, swapping the sport s plastic bumper and moving it to steel. I haven't looked super close to see how much the rake changed, but I know I'll add a winch in the future at some point, which will likely drop the front even further. There are a few lifts I'm looking at, including budget boosts, but I'm concerned that if I don't get the aftermarket springs, I'm going to have a constant forward rake. Does that sound right? For example, the RR 2.5" budget boost seems cost effective, but I don't want to screw the overall rake long term by not upgrading springs.
  • With the above being considered, I've been looking at lifts that have springs and some with shocks as well. For the kits that have springs and shock extensions, what is that experience like? I assume it makes the ride a bit stiffer with the more sturdy springs, but with stock shocks, it may not change that much overall? Also, how limited do you end up being with shocks that are on extensions vs just longer shocks included in some kits?
  • I'm planning on running 315's or 35"s as of right now. With a 2-2.5" lift and the larger tires (sticking with 17" rims most likely, maybe stock), is there anything I need to do with control arms or steering? I don't mind a drop in economy or smoothness (within reason), but a jerky ride is something I'm not willing to sacrifice. I have read that unless you're 3" or more in lift, you don't need to do anything, but I have no idea what all this is about.

I appreciate the feedback. I know that's a lot of questions, but I'm closing in on getting this done, so the help is great.
Thanks in advance,


First Name
Nov 19, 2018
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Mohegan Lake, NY
2018 JL Unlimited
It may not be the most popular opinion - i dunno - but I've been happy with shock extensions on my other lifted vehicle. I originally ran longer lengths shocks, but they were cheap, rode like S and two of them broke within a couple of years. I bought a pair of highly recommended shocks for a stock vehicle and spacers and it helped the ride out a lot. Eventually did the same in the front and couldn't be happier. I've run these shocks in the past and was always happy with them. Was worried about them "handling" the extreme weight of the big tires but 4-5 years later I'm still happy.

So I'm fine with shock extensions.

But shock extensions are not going to give you the same total travel as a longer shock would. So it depends on what you are going to do. A lot of extreme, full articulation offroading? Skip the extensions. 99% on road with a little off road fun here and there? Go with extensions.

A quality lift spring is not going to make your jeep ride like a brick. Remember, these springs and jeeps are designed to flex off road - you're not gonna get rock hard springs.

You should search for specific lift kit threads. Lots of info out there. You'll also find that many kits lift the front higher than the rear intentionally. You could probably mix and match spacers to get the correct height with winch etc. 2.5 RC kit and find a set of 1.5 rears for example.


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