New to lifted jeeps (or anything lifted) and have questions

  1. @CBEUnion

    @CBEUnion Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the planning stages right now of things I'd like to do to my JL and all this planning has brought up some questions about what/ if I need things. I had been considering the MOPAR lift, but having read about so many people having big problems with that lift I've pretty much decided to go with another company.. probably JKS, but my mind isn't made up yet. My budget is really going to be the deciding factor.

    So when I look at these kits, I notice different manufacturers include or exclude some parts. For instance, the Mopar lift has front lower control arms (fixed, I know) but no upgraded or adjustable track bar. The JKS kit, and a few others, DON'T have the control arm upgrade but DO have adjustable track bars. This really has me scratching my head. If the upgrade control arms are needed to fix geometry, why not include them? If an adjustable track bar is something that should be in the kit, why isn't it? Now I get the whole "They make money on add ons", but the inconsistencies of what's in the kits has me puzzled. SO.... understanding that I will go off-road but not hardcore, am I wasting money buying adjustable lower control arms to go with a 3.5 kit? What's the benefit to me? Are upgraded fixed arms ok? Should I look at bumping up the quality of the rears as well? The plan is to go 3.5", with 35's.
     
  2. Karl_in_Chicago

    Karl_in_Chicago Well-Known Member

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    This is why many providers sell their full suspension kits in "stages". Some people just want to start with some kind of lift, now, at the minimum price - so those entry level kits just sell springs and maybe shocks to lift. Moving up some will include CA's (as you have seen, fixed CA's at the lower end). As you move up you'll see more CA's (upper and lower) with more sophistication (adjustable vs fixed length), adjustable track bars, etc. Expand your search - maybe go to a site that resells lots of different providers, Northridge 4x4 would be a good start, and compare all of the various different offerings. If you see things there that pique your interest you could then go to that suppliers site for more detailed info. It really comes down to cost and compromise - the simpler it is the cheaper (usually) and the more sophisticated the more expensive. This is, of course, a broad generalization but hopefully it helps get you pointed in the right direction.
     
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  3. AnnDee4444

    AnnDee4444 Well-Known Member

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    Technically, all you need for a lift kit is taller springs (or spacers). The problem is that just lifting the suspension puts certain components at the edge of their effective operating window. The further you lift from stock, the more noticeable the issues become.
    • Control arms are used change caster. If you lift with stock control arms, your caster decreases, effectively lessening the self-centering steering effect that caster gives. They arn't necessary, but many people will have difficulty keeping the Jeep steering in a straight line without them.
    • A Track Bar is what dictates the centered-ness of the axle. It's not necessary either, but just a spring lift could put the axles off-center. Suspension bind could also become an issue with enough lift, negatively effecting ride quality.
     
  4. Krondor

    Krondor Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to come in and tout the advantages of staying stock, but then what fun is that? I would really recommend sitting down and figuring out how you want to wheel and then plan a path to get you the best bang for your buck. Also, whatever budget you have: double it.
     
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  5. Thinman

    Thinman Well-Known Member

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    The stages thing is what always brought me back to MetalCloak when doing my research. If you look at the staged approach, regardless of the maker and how many stages they offer or market, there are really basically two stages and that is exactly what MC offers.

    A lower end kit that uses relocation brackets where possible and a higher end kits that replaces everything.

    Anything outside of those two general approaches, in my opinion, is either cost cutting at the sacrifice of geometry, or just plain marketing.
     
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  6. Toniagp

    Toniagp Well-Known Member

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    We have a Mopar Kit on a JLUS with 35" tires. Drives great! We drove it from Florida out to California and back, and did trails all along the way... Moab; hells revenge, poison spider, gold bar rim, golden spike, rusty nail, top of the world. We had a blast... and the Jeep did everything we wanted to try! Sure there are more expensive and elaborate lifts to buy... but do you need them?
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    @CBEUnion

    @CBEUnion Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like boats and Jeeps are a lot alike! :CWL:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    @CBEUnion

    @CBEUnion Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you're having a good experience with that Mopar kit. I've talked to a few people who had them and their experience was not great at all. Bowing springs and rubbing all seem to be the theme.
     
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  9. OnlyOne

    OnlyOne Well-Known Member

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    There’s nothing wrong with the Mopar kit, as long as you get the correct pads. The springs weren’t the issue. Those problems have been taken care of a long time ago. There are better kits out there. Just depends on how much you want to spend.

    Control arms might be warranted if your caster is out of spec. If you’re staying at 2-2.5” track bars aren’t needed, unless you have a severe case of OCD.
     
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  10. Toniagp

    Toniagp Well-Known Member

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    I agree those problems have been taken care of a long time ago, and with the addition of some sway bar disconnects it works and articulates great. Of course, you can go spend all the extra money on bigger and better(Mopar kit will give you 3 1/2") but do you really need it?
     
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  11. OnlyOne

    OnlyOne Well-Known Member

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    If you get the correct kit, you wont get that much lift. Mine only netted about 2.5 and after winch and armor I was less than 2”. I added some spacers to correct. But yes, I agree.
     
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  12. Roky

    Roky Well-Known Member

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    If your plan is to go with a 3.5” kit , you’ll need both adjustable track bars and adjustable lcas to make your Jeep ride and drive sweet. I wouldn’t mess with anything less than a complete kit when lifting that much.
     
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