Best Jeep Lift Kits for Next Years Crawling Season

  • Supreme Suspensions Wrangler Lift Kit. …
  • Skyjacker TJ401BPH Lift Pallet Kit. …
  • Rough Country 653.20 Suspension Lift System. …
  • Liftcraft 3-Inch Spring Spacers Lift Kit. …
  • JKS 9904 1.25-Inch Body Lift System. …
  • Liftcraft 2-Inch Spring Spacers Lift Kit. …
  • Mopar Jeep Wrangler Four Door Two Lift Kit.

What is a Lift Kit?

A lift kit replaces your Jeep’s springs and shocks, increasing your ride height. Wranglers are notorious off-roaders, but they can’t clear every obstacle you’ll come across. A lift kit will allow your rig to traverse rougher terrain, and as a general rule of thumb, the taller the lift, the more you can tackle.

There are two types of lift kits: suspension lifts which are the most common, and body lifts. A body lift increases the distance between the frame and the body while a suspension lift increases the distance between the axles and the frame

Why Should I Lift My Jeep?

If you’re planning on doing any serious off-roading, you will want to lift your Jeep to increase ground clearance, suspension travel, and be able to fit larger tires better suited for off-roading. People also tend to lift their Wrangler because it makes it look better. When it comes to lifting your Jeep you should factor in what you are planning to do with it, how much you want to spend, and how difficult it may be to install. Everyone has different reasons to install a lift kit. Whether it’s for off-roading or simply aesthetics, your reason for lifting your Jeep will dictate what kind of lift you install.

For most of us, our Jeep is a combination of a daily driver, off-road toy, camping vehicle, and perhaps a little towing here and there. If you are looking for a Jeep suspension lift kit for this multi-use situation, the goal is to find the proper balance between on-road drivability and off-road suspension flexibility. If you have the luxury of owning a dedicated wheeler, most of its higher speed handling traits can be sacrificed to maximize suspension articulation.

Just remember your Jeep’s suspension is only one part of the equation. Be sure to address your rig’s wheels and tires along with the drivetrain. The key is to get all three systems working together to provide the best possible traction at all times, on and off-road. Some of the more important questions to ask:

  • How will you use your Jeep?
  • What size and type of tires would you like to use?
  • How much are you willing to spend on your Jeep’s lift?

 

 



If you’re not an experienced mechanic, it may be best to have your lift professionally installed to ensure it is done correctly to avoid any unintentional damage to your rig. If you install the lift yourself, you will likely spend hours under your rig tweaking everything over and over again… until it’s just right.

If you’re going for a larger lift (3.5 inches plus), then different lower control arms and longer shocks become a consideration. You will also need to lengthen the front and rear brake lines.

If you lift 4 inches or more, then you’ll likely need longer upper control arms as well. Plus, you will need to replace the track bar, as well as longer emergency brake lines. As there are hundreds of kits to choose from, we’ve broken down the basics of each type to make it easier to decide.

Keep in mind that the 2-door and 4-door kits are indeed different from one another. The main difference is spring rates. The 4-door springs are going to be beefier in order to handle the extra weight

Jeep Leveling Kits and Body Lifts: 1 – 2 Inch Lift Kits

A leveling kit is exactly as it sounds; it levels the natural rake the factory gives Wranglers. Rather than having the front sit lower than the rear, the leveling kit will ensure everything sits, well, level. A common upgrade for Jeepers looking to balance things out after adding a heavier steel bumper and winch. Leveling kits don’t exceed more than an inch or two in lift height in most cases. Some coil spacer kits will even have 1-inch of lift in the front and 2-inches in the rear to both achieve lift and level.

Body lifts are similar in they tend to provide one to two inches of lift. Leveling kits are usually body lifts, but not all body lifts level your rig. Body lifts vs suspension lifts: body lifts are rubber spacer pucks that separate the body and frame where suspension lifts increase the distance between the frame and suspension. This makes body lifts inexpensive, but time consuming to install. You can typically get a 1-3 inch lift without new shocks for under $200.00. It’s important to keep in mind that body lifts are mostly for appearance purposes since they don’t increase wheel travel unlike suspension kits.

If you just want a little more clearance under the transfer case or a little more room to run 31-inch tires but you don’t want a body lift, coil spacer kits are the next option. Coil spacers are placed under the stock springs to give your ride a little bump in height, and if you have YJ, longer shackles in the rear. 1.5 inches to 2 inches is the most common “small lift”.

If you install a lift larger than 1.5 inches without new shocks you could reduce ride quality. Your shocks won’t have the same travel since they’ll be sitting extended most of the time, meaning you won’t have the same dampening qualities as stock. 2-3 inch body are where you start to encounter major suspension issues since the stock components won’t be long enough to compensate for the extra height. With larger body lifts, you will have to install extensions or new brackets for things like the radiator, shifter, fuel filler tube, and possibly your steering linkage.

You’ll have to install new brackets so your radiator can be in the correct position for proper function, but you’ll have to forego the fan shroud. You’ll need to extend the shift linkage for it to fully engage properly due to the body moving while the transmission stays in place. Without an extension, the fuel filler tube won’t be long enough to reach between the body and the tank. Your steering linkage support may have to be lifted to correct steering angles. If you don’t change the steering linkages to handle the change in distance, stiffer steering is highly probable.

Pros:

  • Can fit 31-33 inch tires (depending on the kit)
  • Retain factory ride quality
  • Inexpensive
  • Quick and easy to install
  • No change to driveline angles
  • Gives extra room to allow for high clearance skid plates
  • No need for slip yoke eliminator
  • 1-1.25 inch body lifts work well with Jeep suspension lifts

Cons:

  • Larger lifts require extensions to shifter, fuel filler neck, 4WD shifter
  • Larger lifts require new brackets for radiator
  • Lifts above 1.5 inches could reduce ride quality
  • May require engine mount lift
  • Ground clearance is not gained from a body lift
  • No increase in wheel travel
  • Must remove the fan shroud
  • Occasional buyer’s remorse: wishing you had a bigger lift to begin wit

    How Much Does it Cost to Lift a Jeep?

    A common question, and lift kit pricing varies depending on how high you want to go and what Jeep suspension parts you’ll want to replace. On average, the cost to lift a Jeep is $1000. Below we’ll detail the more common lift kits for Jeeps and additional parts (assuming you end up purchasing said parts separately from the lift kit). Wheel and tire combos are excluded from this list.

    1 inch – 3.75 inch lift kits: While the smaller lift heights (1-2.5 inches) are usually body lifts, this height range also has more inclusive adjustable kits. Expect to pay $100-$200 for a Jeep body lift kit, $400 for a basic suspension kit, and several thousand dollars for the higher end, adjustable kits. YJs, because of their leaf springs, can expect to shell out closer to $600 for a basic 1 inch – 3.75-inch kits.

    4 inch – 4.5 inch lift kits: Here’s where things get expensive. At four plus inches of lift height, you’ll be replacing more than shocks and springs, and the price tag reflects as much. Expect to see suspension lift kits in the several thousand dollar range to reach these heights. YJ specific lift kits are around $800 or more.

    5 inch lift kits: More expensive than the 4-4.5inch lifts, these kits frequently see $3,000 price tags. Again, for similar reasons as the 4-4.5 inch kits. Most of these kits will include everything you need to reach five inches or higher without the need for purchasing additional parts. YJ Wrangler kits will hit the $1,000 mark.

    Additional parts to consider are long arm conversion brackets ($500). These brackets are weld-on units designed to provide a solid mounting place for the longer control arms necessary for more aggressive Wrangler lift kits. Other items include:

    • Slip yoke eliminator kits (YJ, TJ): $250-$300
    • CV driveshafts (YJ, TJ): $500 to $900
    • Exhaust spacers (JK): $50
    • Aftermarket control arms: $300-$600
    • Track bars: $250-$400
    • Extended brake lines: $60-$150

    Keep in mind shop installation prices will vary from area to area. Getting a quote for replacing shocks and springs is a way to get a rough estimate for having a lift kit installed. Should you need longer control arms or other components, that price will naturally increase.

    Can Fender Flares Make Room for Larger Tires?

    Fender flares do not increase tire clearance unless the fenders themselves are altered. This is because flares stick-on or bolt-on to the outside of the wheel well. Flared fenders increase the room available to the tires within the wheel well but still leave very little room for larger tires to work with small lift kits.

    With wider fender flares and fenders, the larger wheels may be brought outward to reduce binding issues while still being covered by the flares, and keeping you out of trouble with the law. Though, with tires that are too big for the lift kit you are using, you will still likely run into rubbing or binding issues with suspension components.

    Slip Yoke Eliminators – Keeping Your Driveshaft Spinning

    While irrelevant on JKs because of their CV driveshafts, TJ and YJ Wranglers with any form of suspension lift over 2 inches should consider adding a slip yoke eliminator as well as a CV driveshaft to prevent driveline vibration. After about 3 inches it should be considered essential. This is because 3 inch lifts can cause driveline vibration, accelerated wearing of U-joints, and in some extreme cases your rear driveshaft could slide out of your transfer case when your Wrangler flexes. A slip yoke eliminator gets rid of the slip yoke in your rear drivetrain and replaces it with a fixed flange in order to allow a CV driveshaft to be installed. A CV driveshaft allows for greater driveline angles without vibration.