Is it time to lift your Jeep? That is a question that eventually pops up in the minds of most Jeep owners, and it applies to both seasoned off-roaders and first-timers alike. Lifting your Jeep can change the way it handles, and there are both pros and cons to doing so.
A lift kit is a tool used to raise your Jeep's suspension or body, allowing it to scale larger obstacles and drive over rough terrain with greater ease. Whether you want to prepare your ride for a trip through some rocky grounds or you simply like the tall, imposing look of a lifted Jeep, there are many options on the market that can help you reach the desired effect.
How do you choose the best Jeep lift kit? In order to help you find the answer, we will tell you everything there is to know about Jeep lift kits, and then share some of the best picks with you.
Types of Jeep Lift Kits
There are several options when it comes to lifting your Jeep. Read below to find out which one works best for you.
Body Lift vs Suspension Lift
A body lift is a typically rather budget-friendly solution that uses spacers made out of polyurethane or rubber. They come in a few height variants but are not the ideal solution for high lifts above 2 inches. It's important to note that a body lift is cosmetic because it doesn't add any additional ground clearance or provide an increase in wheel travel.
A suspension lift is generally more expensive, but unlike a body lift, it also brings real off-roading benefits and allows you to tackle rough terrain. Suspension lift kits improve the ride quality and enhance tire contact with the ground. This is done through the use of coil or leaf springs.
A leveling kit levels out the front and the rear of your Jeep. Fresh out of the factory, a Jeep's front sits lower than the rear. With the use of a leveling kit, you can balance your car out without adding a whole lot of lift.
Coil Spring Spacers
This is a budget boost option installed for aesthetic reasons only. Your Jeep is lifted by placing coil spacers on top of the car's coil springs, adding up to 2 inches of height. Coil spring spacers allow you to add larger tires without changing your ride quality, but they're not helpful for off-roading purposes.
Adding coil lifts to your Jeep increases articulation and lets you get into some serious off-roading. This is a type of suspension lift, and while not cheap, it can add up to 3.5 inches of height to your ride.
Short Arm Lift Kits & Long Arm Lift Kits
A short arm lift kit is similar to a coil spring lift kit but better. It also includes front and rear control arms as well as larger sway bar links and shocks. Short arm lifts allow up to 6 inches of lift and are commonly used by off-roaders.
Long arm lift kits, on the other hand, are expensive and difficult to install (you'll need welding equipment to mount them). A long arm lift is a kind of lift kit that includes mounting long control arms onto your Jeep's frame. This provides improved suspension angles and is typically used by professionals for serious off-roading trips.
Things to Consider Before Picking a Jeep Lift Kit
The main consideration to keep in mind is just how high you want the lift to be. The higher the lift, the more difficult the installation. Body lifts take quite some time to install but can mostly be mounted without going to a mechanic. Smaller suspension lifts can also be installed at home, but mounting lower control arms and adding longer shocks might require the help of a professional.
In general, any lift above 3.5 inches calls for the use of a short arm lift kit with lower control arms. This means lengthening the front and rear brake lines. Going above 4 inches should make you consider getting upper control arms too, as well as replacing the track bar and adding longer emergency brake lines.
Best Jeep Lift Kits in 2021
You've got the knowledge you need to pick the best Jeep lift kit. To make things even easier, check out some of our recommendations!
This is an affordable suspension lift kit that will add up to 1.5" of lift to your Jeep Wrangler JL, making it possibly the best Jeep lift kit for highway driving, but also off-roading. You can use it with tires that measure up to 33 inches in diameter. The installation process should be easy thanks to the simple bolt-on technique used, and you're getting everything you need right in the kit.
We're entering the big leagues here with this 3.5" kit which gives your Jeep Gladiator JT a huge lift, accommodating tires up to 37" in size. Arguably the best Jeep Gladiator lift kit, this is a suspension lift system that any off-roader will appreciate. It comes with dual-rate coil springs and vertex reservoir shocks. You'll also find a forged adjustable track bar and sway bar links, ensuring that your Jeep will be ready for your next adventure.
For those who want a truly superior off-roading experience, this Teraflex product might just be the best Jeep Wrangler Unlimited lift kit. It comes with everything you need, including adjustable track bars, progressive bump stops, and shocks (if you will want them). It can raise your vehicle by 4", allowing you to traverse even rocky terrain with ease.