We Take an In-Depth Look at Jeep Lift Kits, Covering all the Details You Should Know!
Jeep lift kits are the first modifications to consider if you are looking to upgrade to larger tires or to improve your Jeep’s offroad performance and handling. There are many options available these days, from budget lifts to advanced Jeep suspension upgrades, but choosing the best jeep lift kit can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.
Not to worry, in this post we cover some of the main points and factors involved when considering different lift options available, as well as links to our Jeep lift kit reviews where you will find some of the most in-depth details and insane sale prices!
(Links to our reviews will be added towards the bottom of the post)
Frequently Asked Questions
We review some of the most frequently asked questions about Jeep lift kits, so you can put those “excuses” to rest and start modifying your Jeep!
Q: Will modifying my suspension void my manufacturer warranty?
A: This is the most commonly asked question we hear quite often and the answer is no, your manufacturer warranty will not become void. However, the replacement parts you install will not be covered by the manufacturer, but instead covered by the aftermarket company’s warranty. Most aftermarket companies have lifetime warranties on their products.
Q: Will my jeep become more prone to rolling over when I lift it?
A: Lifting your jeep does increase the center of gravity however, body roll is primarily controlled by your sway bars (also called anti-roll bars).
Good quality Jeep suspension upgrades (with up to 4″ lift or so) can drastically improve handling and stability on and off the road by using progressively rated springs and improved gas charged shocks. Adjustable control arms can be used to increase your wheelbase, and upgrading your wheels and tires with less offset (wider track width) will add to your jeep’s overall stability as well.
Q: How much lift will I need to run xx tire size?
A: This depends on many factors, especially your jeep model and trim, but a conservative measure to consider is 1″ lift will safely run a 1″ larger diameter tire. However, there are no particular “rules” that you have to lift x amount to run x tire size.
Fender clearances are usually the determining factor for tire sizes, which explains why a Jeep JK lift kit can run a much larger tire compared to the same size Jeep XJ lift kit or a Jeep TJ lift kit.
Q: What other supporting upgrades do I need to consider if I decide to lift my jeep?
A: This question is complex since it depends on the type of jeep you are planning to modify, the type of Jeep suspension upgrades and height you choose, and your overall purpose of the jeep build (daily driver, weekend warrior, hardcore rock crawler).
Most Jeep lift kits come with the basic suspension components needed to successfully lift your jeep and be on your way, but you might need to also consider other upgrades if you plan to install a more aggressive setup, such as drive shafts, gear ratios, adjustable control arms, adjustable track bars, etc.
Q: Do I need an alignment after my lift kit is installed on my jeep?
A: Jeep Wrangler body lift kits do not alter your suspension components and will not require a steering alignment. On the other hand, Jeep suspension upgrades will adjust the front axle position and require a front toe-in alignment after installation.
In addition to our FAQs and content below, here are a few referenced articles worth checking out…
Different Types of Jeep Lift Kits
There are many Jeep suspension upgrades on the market today, with conflicting reviews and opinions making it difficult to decide what the best options are for your jeep. That’s why we put together the following information to help you understand the basic details you should know, including our Jeep lift kit reviews and recommendations for your jeep model and trim.
Here’s an awesome video of Jeeps rock crawling at Moab, where you can see that quality Jeep suspension upgrades combined with driver experiences make all the difference:
We take a look at three common types of jeep lift kits that will benefit your jeep…
Jeep Body Lift Kits (BL)
Available for jeeps with solid frames (i.e. Wrangler CJ, YJ, TJ, JK), jeep body lift kits are a great way to gain an extra inch or so of lift without compromising your jeep’s suspension or drive train in any way.
Body lift kits are usually comprised of spacers made from polyurethane, plastic, or aluminum and either install over your existing body mounts or replace your body mounts altogether, lifting your jeep tub from the frame based on the size of the body lift kit.
There are a number of different jeep body lifts available, but we only recommend 0.75″, 1.00″, 1.25″, and 1.50″ lift sizes. Any taller and you will notice an undesirable gap between the jeep body and frame. Body lift kits under 1.5″ are subtle, unnoticeable, and can be beneficial in many ways.
Jeep body lift kits are an excellent option for gaining additional fender and tire clearances and give your jeep that extra lifted appearance without disrupting your suspension. They are also necessary for most high clearance skid plates (transfer case tummy tucks, gas tank skids), allowing extra room to lift and tuck your drive train.
Affordable, easy to install (usually 2 hours), and usually do not require any suspension modifications or wheel alignments since they only modify the body mounts above your frame. Just install and go!
Jeep body lift kits (up to 1.50″) are an awesome upgrade for jeeps that have a solid frame and need an extra inch of lift to accommodate larger tires and high clearance skid plates. At the cost of $150 or less, this decision is a no brainer!
You can find body lift kits we recommend for your specific jeep further down the page.
Jeep Motor Mount Lifts (MML)
Jeep motor mount lifts go hand in hand with body lift kits, keeping the motor positioned correctly in the engine bay when a body lift is installed by raising the engine mounting locations (usually 1″lift).
Motor mount lift kits are heavy duty replacement brackets with upgraded urethane (or rubber) bushings and improve engine stabilization by limiting engine rotation under torque loads.
MMLs are also a secret method used to reduce rear drive shaft angles by lifting and angling the engine and transmission back towards the rear drive shaft. This will be beneficial for jeep suspension lift kits that experience slight drive line vibrations.
Jeep Suspension Lift Kits (SL)
A Jeep suspension lift is the first modification to consider when you are looking to install larger tires, enhance your jeep’s appearance, and improve handling and performance. We cover some of the most common jeep suspension lift kits that you will find available today!
Budget Suspension Lift Kits:
Are you planning on lifting your jeep on a tight budget? If so, then you should consider starting out with a budget suspension lift kit. jeep budget lift kits are an affordable option to gain a couple inches of suspension lift with polyurethane (or metal) coil spring spacers and shock mount extensions (or longer replacement shocks).
Jeep budget lift kits are the best option if you have a relatively new jeep and want to gain a couple inches of lift without replacing your new suspension components.
Budget lift kits are a great starting platform if are looking for a simple solution to increase ground clearance, make room for larger tires, and enhance the overall look of your jeep. However, if you are looking for improved off-road performance and greater suspension articulation, then we recommend you take a look at the next category of jeep suspension kits.
Basic Jeep Suspension Lift Kits:
A “basic” jeep suspension lift is the next best choice if you are interested in installing upgraded suspension components that provide better articulation and off road performance while remaining budget friendly.
Most basic suspension lift kits will include the following:
- linear, lifted coil springs (or leaf springs for CJ, YJ, and XJ) for lift height accuracy and increase in suspension articulation.
- gas charged shocks with increase in travel.
- fixed lower control arms (corrects wheelbase and caster angles)
- extended sway bar end links (correct sway bar angles)
- track bar relocation brackets (relocate the track bar mounting locations to center the axles from side to side)
- high quality replacement hardware (grade 8 fasteners)
Most jeep lift kits that fall under this category provide just the “basic” components necessary to obtain a well rounded lift kit at an affordable price. These basic suspension upgrades are ideal for first time lift kits or weekend warriors looking to have improved off-road capabilities on a budget.
The main differences are related to the individual jeep suspension components included, and the intended use of the lift kits. If you are looking for an affordable, good quality lift kit to get you out on the trails and back, then basic suspension lift kits will be your best options.
On the other hand, if you intend to push your jeep to the limits and require fully adjustable suspension components, or jeep long arm suspension configurations, then you will want to check out the next suspension category below.
Advanced Jeep Suspension Lift Kits:
At the top of everyone’s wishlists are “advanced” jeep suspension lift kits, fully adjustable, durable, and completely badass suspension systems for the hardcore jeep enthusiasts. Advanced suspension lift kits are the elite of all suspension kits, offering the best short arm and long arm lift kit configurations.
Here are some of the components you can expect to find with advanced suspension lift kits:
- duel and triple rated progressive coil springs
- high quality, variably tuned shocks (adjustable dampening and rebound tuning w/ remote reservoirs)
- fully adjustable upper and lower control arms (short and long arm applications)
- adjustable front and rear track bars
- stronger / durable flex joints for control arms and track bars.
- control arm brackets and cross members used to relocate the control arm mounting locations for long arm jeep suspension kits
- air or hydraulic bump stops (used to cushion hard impacts)
Learn about the differences between linear rate and duel rate coil springs with this awesome video from Metalcloak:
Advanced jeep lift kits are a huge step above basic jeep suspension kits, offering improved suspension geometries that allow you to “point and shoot” your jeep at any obstacle with incredible precision and control, and capable of handling extreme levels of abuse. If rock crawling and high speed off-road handling are two things you want your jeep to excel at, then you will need to consider saving up for an advanced suspension lift kit. You won’t regret it in the long run!
Jeep Lift Kit Reviews and Suspension Component Recommendations
We offer detailed reviews on some of the best jeep lift kits on the market today! We also locate the best values and discount prices for each product we review, so you have access to some killer deals through our links!
We are always adding new jeep lift kit reviews to this post, so please check back regularly for new reviews and recommendations!
Recently updated on: 1/18/2016
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