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Jamie Fitzmaurice

Typical newbie asking about lifts

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New to the jeep community with a highly stock jku and 33’s.  Been reading about different lift types and it’s a bit much to sort through. Body lifts, spacers, spring lifts, short arm, long arm… this jeep will be 75/25 pavement/offroad (won’t go beyond level 4/5) . Thinking of going to 35’s at some point and am looking for recommendations for a 2-3” lift.  I know I’ll need to update fenders and bumpers but for now am starting with the lift. 
 

Current recommendations from local shop is an AEV 2.5” lift with springs/shocks (4D dual sport XT).  Any thoughts on a different way to go?

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A friend of mine offered me this advice, and he was right.  Drive it a while as it is, take it out on some trails and see what it is capable of.  After that you can decide on what lift you want.  I have been driving my TJ for over 17 years now with just a 2 inch spring lift and 31 inch tires.  I go where the club goes with a few exceptions. I don't do trails rated difficult.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jamie Fitzmaurice said:

New to the jeep community with a highly stock jku and 33’s.  Been reading about different lift types and it’s a bit much to sort through. Body lifts, spacers, spring lifts, short arm, long arm… this jeep will be 75/25 pavement/offroad (won’t go beyond level 4/5) . Thinking of going to 35’s at some point and am looking for recommendations for a 2-3” lift.  I know I’ll need to update fenders and bumpers but for now am starting with the lift. 
 

Current recommendations from local shop is an AEV 2.5” lift with springs/shocks (4D dual sport XT).  Any thoughts on a different way to go?

 

2 hours ago, Curly said:

A friend of mine offered me this advice, and he was right.  Drive it a while as it is, take it out on some trails and see what it is capable of.  After that you can decide on what lift you want.  I have been driving my TJ for over 17 years now with just a 2 inch spring lift and 31 inch tires.  I go where the club goes with a few exceptions. I don't do trails rated difficult.

 

great advice Tim! however, i know some folks also want to change the overall look of their rig right away. 

 

here's my 2 cents for when you are ready to lift:

 

a good friend has that same AEV lift along with their optional front geometry correction brackets (which i would recommend). he was surprised that the Jeep rode/handled better overall after installing it than from the factory. AEV isn't known for making the most flexy rock-crawling lifts, but they do make well thought-out, quality products. i think you would be happy with them, especially if you've found a shop you like and they are familiar with supporting AEV products.

 

Teraflex is the only other company i would recommend for your situation. there are plenty of other companies including RockKrawler, MetalCloak, and Clayton that make quality lifts, but i think you will be happiest with the fit/finish and ride quality from an AEV or Teraflex lift. Stay away from RoughCountry, Smittybilt, and Rugged Ridge or anything else too cheap to be true!

 

note that those AEV geometry correction brackets are not needed if you go with a lift that has adjustable front control arms. besides those brackets, you'll also want a front steering stabilizer relocation bracket and an engine/trans skid right away. both the stabilizer and oil-pan are extremely vulnerable on the JK even for mild trails. also consider a relocation bracket or aftermarket skid plate for the evap canister.

 

a set of rock-rails will protect the body and should also be on the shopping list soon. you can often find the factory Rubicon rails for cheap on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. those would be fine for moderate trails. if you go with aftermarket rails, look at how they mount and be sure it's solid and doesn't have brackets or clamps that hang down low.


speaking of Rubicon, if you have one then you can get away with 35's on the factory 4.10 gears, otherwise you will definitely want to re-gear to be happy on 35's. maybe stick with some quality aggressive tread 33's for a while if you don't want to drop the coin for a regear yet ($1,500 - $1,800).

 

be sure to post some before/after pics!

 

Edited by theksmith
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We've been running the AEV 2.5 w/ geometry brackets and have to agree with the increase of ride quality on and off road. We roll heavy with and without a trailer. Zero complaints and highly recommend.

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I would throw out the suggestion of talking with Joe at On Point Performance & Off Road.  He came highly recommended from a few members here on ORP and I can see why.  I visited him today about getting a bunch of work done on my rig and this guy is AWESOME!  VERY friendly, knowledgeable and easy to talk to, he opened up my eyes to a few things I wasn't aware of and made suggestions I ultimately agreed with.  I'm looking forward to working with him and getting some major upgrades done to my rig, hopefully this summer. 😎

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4 hours ago, Curly said:

 I don't do trails rated difficult.

Except for that one time on Woodcutter's Pass, but she did just great! 🤓

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Thanks for the replies all.  We do have the AEV 2.5 w/ geometry brackets in the quote, I just failed to mention them.  I'll do some thinking about the skids and brackets and see what we want to go with.  The lift seems like a good investment, especially if the ride is equal or better than it is now.  Jason took us on a slightly technical trail a few weeks ago and we really enjoyed it (the trail and the group!), but we did learn that we need a few more inches of clearance and this lift looks like a great way to start.  The 35's are going to be gnawing at me I'm sure, but I think the 33's are going to work fine until they need replaced.

 

Another question: is a sway bar quick disconnect worth the few hundred dollars?  I haven't disconnected mine for a trail yet, but would like to at some point to see the difference.  Seems like while the tires are airing down, it would be a good time to manually disconnect them and won't be a waste of time.  Maybe the quick disconnect will be easier and I'll probably like it better, it doesn't sound like a must have for now.

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1 hour ago, Trail Toy said:

I would throw out the suggestion of talking with Joe at On Point Performance & Off Road.  He came highly recommended from a few members here on ORP and I can see why.  I visited him today about getting a bunch of work done on my rig and this guy is AWESOME!  VERY friendly, knowledgeable and easy to talk to, he opened up my eyes to a few things I wasn't aware of and made suggestions I ultimately agreed with.  I'm looking forward to working with him and getting some major upgrades done to my rig, hopefully this summer. 😎

Thanks Jason, always looking for other shops to talk to.  Really happy with J&W Auto to fix the jeep so far, and Desert Rat for options as well.

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2 hours ago, dzJeepChic said:

Except for that one time on Woodcutter's Pass, but she did just great! 🤓

I was "misled"! ;)   Its easy, it'll be fun! he said.

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12 hours ago, Jamie Fitzmaurice said:

Thanks for the replies all.  We do have the AEV 2.5 w/ geometry brackets in the quote, I just failed to mention them.  I'll do some thinking about the skids and brackets and see what we want to go with.  The lift seems like a good investment, especially if the ride is equal or better than it is now.  Jason took us on a slightly technical trail a few weeks ago and we really enjoyed it (the trail and the group!), but we did learn that we need a few more inches of clearance and this lift looks like a great way to start.  The 35's are going to be gnawing at me I'm sure, but I think the 33's are going to work fine until they need replaced.

 

Another question: is a sway bar quick disconnect worth the few hundred dollars?  I haven't disconnected mine for a trail yet, but would like to at some point to see the difference.  Seems like while the tires are airing down, it would be a good time to manually disconnect them and won't be a waste of time.  Maybe the quick disconnect will be easier and I'll probably like it better, it doesn't sound like a must have for now.

 

I would have to say sway bar disconnects are worth it!  There's been a couple times I got lazy and didn't disconnect and I sure ended up regretting that.  Along with airing down, disconnecting really helps with making a smoother ride and gives your rig more flex to help with traction while off roading.

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