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Old July 14th, 2011, 10:32 PM   #1
winters98tj
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Default Lift questions from a Dad....

My son has worked this summer and saved enough to put a 2-1/2" or 4" Rough Country lift on his jeep. I have some concerns and questions and would greatly appreciate some info and advise....

1.) Will I have to change the brake lines at all 4 wheels after the lift is installed?

2.) Will I HAVE to do the SYE modification to the transfer case?

3.) If he puts larger tires on it will I HAVE to regear the axles?

and finally: are there any hidden costs to installing a lift that are often overlooked?

I put my son in this jeep to make him happy, keep him busy, and to not have to worry about some of life's other ills....so far so good. It is a great hobby and gives us something to do together. I usually am the banker and final say in what takes place, but I know that many here have much more knowledge regarding such things as this. Thanks in advance for your help.

No Flames please! Thanks again, this site is awesome!

Last edited by winters98tj; July 14th, 2011 at 10:35 PM. Reason: subscribe to post
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Old July 14th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #2
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1.) No you will not have to run all new brake lines.. Just the fronts, and probably only if you go with a 4 inch lift, I have 4 inches now and i'm using stock chevy truck front brake lines(like from a 77ish with a straight axle) and they work good, and cheap with the 2.5 inch probably be fine all around

2.) I ran a 4 inch lift without an sye and the t case drop for a while- didnt like it..messed with the shifter linkage for the tcase and the manual trans shifter was funny, you would be fine with the 2.5 and no need to drop the t case

3.) It depends on how big of tires and your current gears, In my case I have 4.10 and I run 33's.. Im ok with that

4.) I ran into the some extra costs when I decided to go with an sye, I didnt like the 4 inch lift without it, then I needed some adjustable rear upper control arms to adjust the pinion angle.. You might want quick disconnect front swaybar links (depending on what your lift comes with you might want a dropped pitman arm and a dropped tracbar mount, but if it only comes with one I wouldnt install it till you did both at the same time. (probably only need that if you go with a 4 inch lift, but I have a 4 inch lift and run neither of them



I'd go with the 2.5 inch lift for the kid, ALOT more stuff to get into with the 4 inch lift

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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Littletrucker. I appreciate it more than you will ever know! Thanks and I wish you all the best!
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #4
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4 inch lift no sye and 33's on stock 3.55's work out just fine I would suggest drop pitman arm and trac bar and most kits come with either new lines or relocating brackets I wouldn't do transfercase drop with a 4 inch lift there is no need
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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Did a 4" on a friends yj. Stock 4.10's 33's fine. No sye, tcase drop (works fine), brake line relocate brackets. As I remember we didn't have a torch and we broke 2 pitman pullers. Ended up cutting the pitman off. As far as extras, the kit didn't include shackle bolts.(YJ) Rough country expects you to reuse old ones idk about others. We coulda saved half the time if one of us owned a torch.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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Thanks again for more info. The more the better!
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Go with the 4 inch its not as big as you think I took my sway bar off in the front and installed everything that came with the kit did a tcase drop worked great no sye and I only ran 30s with stock 3.73 gears just fine
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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:50 AM   #8
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Don't use a torch on a pitman arm. Tighten up the puller, then hit the pitman arm with a hammer. A torch can damage the seal, and cause a leak.

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Old July 15th, 2011, 05:45 AM   #9
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x2 on not using a torch. You load the pitman arm with the puller and tap the arm at the shaft.

what everyone isn't asking is what year jeep. TJ or YJ?

My 2001 Tj , I put 4.5" BDS springs front and rear. Also installed the according shocks. T-case drop but make sure you adjust the shift linkage. Those that are having problems with the shifter when dropping the case probably didn't adjust the shifter.

I didn't use a drop pitman arm because I don't like how it reduces the total swing (turning radius). The stock arm will work if you extend your track bar.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 05:54 AM   #10
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Is it manual or auto? I did a small lift on my TJ with 33's. No issues other then it liked to pop out of gear, especially reverse. No, I didn't adjust the shifter. Was the next step.......ended up selling it tho and got the money pit I have now. Just realize this is just the beginning, once he gets it lifted he'll want it locked, then better suspension, then a bigger motor.........then even BIGger tires...... Welcome to the addiction

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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #11
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You do NOT use the drop pitman arm on a TJ lift, the axle drop bracket included in most kits maintains the drag link/trackbar parallel relationship. This is covered much on a national forum.

I went 4" thinking I wanted to just go "all the way" for 33's so to speak, as mine came from the dealer with a 2" spacer lift.

You are better off going with the 2 1/2 or someone's 3" and possibly a 1" body lift as
a 4" adds more problems(money) to the equation like the sye/cv or tc drop negating some clearance benefits of the lift to begin with.
Going 4 and then doing a BL to accomodate a tummy tuck down the road just leaves you too high in my OP unless you are also going to spend the bucks to go 35
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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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This sight is amazing. I appreciate the information very much. Looks like we are going to do the lift in the next week or so. The Kid's jeep has an auto transmission. I am sure that I'll have more questions as we go. Thanks to one and all again-this Jeep Tech Forum never lets me down!
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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbrattt View Post
Is it manual or auto? I did a small lift on my TJ with 33's. No issues other then it liked to pop out of gear, especially reverse. No, I didn't adjust the shifter. Was the next step.......ended up selling it tho and got the money pit I have now. Just realize this is just the beginning, once he gets it lifted he'll want it locked, then better suspension, then a bigger motor.........then even BIGger tires...... Welcome to the addiction
Oh, I have created a "Jeep Addict" for sure! Nit so far it is a great addiction. I can see what you mean about being in a constant state of change----my son has been working on this jeep for some time and always "wants to add or change" something. But as I stated, it is a great Father/Son activity, and keeps him occupied and out of other trouble! He just forgets that I am not a money tree or a human money machine!!

I know I haven't spent all that I could, thanks to this site, but I try to put alittle cash aside to keep the Tj going in the direction that makes him happy!

Have a great day and a better weekend to one and all!!!! And thanks!
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Old July 15th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbrattt View Post
Is it manual or auto? I did a small lift on my TJ with 33's. No issues other then it liked to pop out of gear, especially reverse. No, I didn't adjust the shifter. Was the next step.......ended up selling it tho and got the money pit I have now. Just realize this is just the beginning, once he gets it lifted he'll want it locked, then better suspension, then a bigger motor.........then even BIGger tires...... Welcome to the addiction
yes, it's only the beginning Start saving!!!!!
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Old July 15th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #15
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The SYE bit, the details matter, and someones two identical Jeeps with behave a little different there.

The transmissions between manual and auto, have different lengths. The Dana 35 and 44 rear axles also have differnt pinion lengths. So there are several combinations of rear driveshaft lengths and angles over the years. I believe manual trans + 4 liter engine + dana 44 is the shortest combo, about 11" between joints.

I ran a 3" lift on my 98 with that drivetrain combo. Without any other modifications, there was driveline vibrations. I did a 1" transfer case drop and it was OK. As others have noted, dropping the crossmember on a TJ can cause issues with the transfer case and transmission shifters that need to be worked out a bit.

My other TJ with that size of lift, I had an SYE, and like it a lot better.

So, to your questions.

1) The front brake lines should be done. The rear is a single in the middle, because of its placement there, it won't be as necessary. But its only another $20 or $30, might be worth it to by the complete set together.

2) I would say the 2.5" lift is probably OK without any other modfications, possibly need to lower the T-case a little. The 4" lift might need an SYE. It'd be best without, IMO, but just dropping the transfer case might be enough. Or you might be lucky.

3) Depends on the tires, gears, motor, and driving habits. If going to 31" tires, probably any stock gearing works. Typically, the 4.0s came with 3.08 or 3.73, with some early ones getting 3.55s. With 33s, I'd prefer at least 3.73 gears, 4.10s or 4.56 would be ideal. If its a 4 cyl, its got likely got 4.11s or 3.73s with the auto. I'd want 4.56s or 4.88s with 33" tires and the 4 cyl. I've known people with the 4.0, 33" tires, and 3.08 gears. Its not all that bad offroad in michigan, on road, your 5th gear isn't much use anymore but its otherwise not terrible.

I've run 3 lifted TJs: 4.0/5 speed/3.73s/31s, 4.0/5 speed/3.73s/33s, 2.5/auto/3.73s/31s. The 4.0s were good all around, but I would have preferred 4.10s on the first and 4.56 on the second. The 2.5 was good around town, a dog on the highway. but most of the 4 cyls are, and it have over 120k miles...


4) Hidden costs: Well, possibly, in two areas: 1) the more you modify, the more you want to modify it even further :) then 2) You will often find maintenence issues when you are doing the install. Some of that depends on how complete the lift kits are. And what Jeep its going on. Some examples:

If you are replacing shocks (and you should be), you often break the shock bolts on the rears of TJs. So there can be time and money cost fixing those, depending on your level of mechanical skill.

If there are any specific tools you need and don't have, there's cost there.

Bushings in the suspension, tie rod ends, brake components, bolts, etc, you often find these items are worn and need replacing when you are taking off stuff and putting on the lift. A lot of times, bolts break or are frozen, often inside the bushings, and need to be cut off. Bushings sometimes need to be burned and cut out and can't be reused.

Alignment after its done is a very good idea. If you can't set it yourself at home, then that can be a cost. Leaf springs might need axle shims.

Compare the kits you are looking at to other kits on the market that might be more expensive but have more content included, to get an idea of things that you 'might' end up needing, or are upgrades, so you have an idea.

Good luck :)
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Old July 15th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upchuck View Post
You are better off going with the 2 1/2 or someone's 3" and possibly a 1" body lift
this is a good way to go, IMO.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #17
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Larger tires do also beat up on the hub bearings a bit more too.



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Old July 15th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #18
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I would never do a 4" without a sye.my tj had vibes after installing a rc 2.5,untill i installed the suplied transfer case lowering kit.
the r/c 2.5 kit is a cheap lift that comes with shocks and even a 1" body lift,if you want.
It's ez to install and works fine,for a beginer.and i dont know of anyone with better customer service.Im sure there are better,more complete kits(more exspensive) but i haven't used them so i cant comment on them.
There will be a few added exspences,swaybar disconnects on the top of the list,imo.
If money allows,do the sye and a 4",it will save you a step.I thought 2.5 would be enough to run 33s,but my 32s rub at full stuff.
Most importantly,im glad your kid is into jeeps,real ones,not like on ps3 or xbox.I have freinds who's kids could have the baddest jeeps/trucks/cars if they showed an intrest, but they would rather play video games.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post
this is a good way to go, IMO.
x2 - I run a 2" spring lift with 1" body lift and clear 33x10.50 tires on stock 8" rims. Aftermarket rims with more back spacing would let him run 33x12.50 with no issues. A 2" Budget Boost (spring spacers) with shocks would be inexpensive, easy to install and let you/him save $$ for tires, recovery gear, stereo or whatever comes next on the never ending list.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone. All this information is being put on a sheet of paper to weigh the best info to each point! I am sure that it took some real doing and experience to be so helpful to us! Each post is valuable. The kid is pretty set on the 2-1/2" lift and some other minor tweaks and adds. Thanks. I hope to be able to be as helpful to this site in the future, as you all have been to us! Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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