The Decision to Change Our Jeep Lift
As we adventure forth on our adventures in the Jeep we decided it was time to change the type of lift that is currently on our Jeep. When we purchased the Jeep it had a spacer lift on it. This is also sometimes referred to as a budget boost lift. It lifts the Jeep but doesn't provide any extra suspension or flex capabilities. The spacer lift uses the stock coil springs that come with the vehicle. We were also concerned about how well those rubber spacers would hold up. Would they slowly collapse or dry out leaving us lower in some areas of the Jeep than others? Would they fall out under a heavy suspension flex situation? These were questions and concerns we had so the conclusion was to just replace them with a proper coil spring suspension lift.
Purchasing Our Lift
Because we are moving into off-roading we researched different types of lifts, axle types, tire size, the effects of lifts, and finally went to 4WP and talked to a salesman about lifts as well. He was very helpful and his information was consistent with everything I had been reading. Based on the research results on what components we had on our Jeep we decided to install a 3" lift on the front and a 2.5" lift on the rear. Doing this leveled the Jeep and took out the nose dive effect the Jeep currently had. Obviously there can be more to a lift than just the coil springs. There are heavier tie rods, control arms, stabilizer bars, ball joints, etc that can be upgraded as well. We are not planning on doing any hardcore rock crawling so we didn't upgrade everything dealing with the suspension.
Reasons for the Height
One of the reasons we only went with 3 inches max was because of the type of front axle on our Jeep. It has a Dana 30 axle. This meant that we would be limited to the size of the tires on the front of the Jeep. It is not generally recommended to put tires over 33" in diameter on a Dana 30 axle. Doing so can cause the axle to break. With our tire size limit at 33" we really saw no need to lift the Jeep any higher than 3". This would still provide plenty of clearance for most off-road adventures that we are planning on taking.
Lift Components We Used
Deciding on which manufacturer of lift components can get confusing very quickly. We settled on a variety of manufacturers instead of just one for the entire lift. Part of this decision came down to cost. Our coil springs were Teraflex, the shocks were Bilstein, and the steering stabilizer was Falcon. I honestly don't know from any experience if this was a good decision or not but the price of everything doing it this way was something we could handle. Some of the full lift kits from a single manufacturer were simply out of our price range. Remember, we are new to this. We have the mechanical capabilities to work on the vehicle but not the in-depth knowledge of parts and quality of each manufacturer. In time we'll learn and most likely make more changes.