Lifting Your Jeep or 4x4: Trusted Brands, Kits, and Recommendations
Lifting a Jeep to accommodate larger off-road tires (or simply because it looks great) is a common reason to look into aftermarket kits. Lifting a vehicle impacts steering, suspension, and wear on various components of your car, which makes it all the more important to select quality parts and install your kit with precision.
Before investing in a lift kit, consider the common uses of your Jeep: Will you be out bouldering every weekend? Is this car your daily driver? Maybe a hybrid of both? Keep your specific needs in mind as we examine the advantages of lifted vehicles, branded kits we trust to get the job done, and what to know before you buy.
Understanding Different Types of Lift Kits
While different types of kits all serve similar functions, they can range from basic, economical kits to labor-intensive long arm suspension lifts with plenty of degrees in between. Each kit type has its distinct advantages depending on what you plan on using it for, the size and type of your tires, and your budget. Here are the major types of lifts you should be aware of:
Coil spring lift kits
These kits give your Jeep a lift through lengthened coil springs. They might also include longer shocks, brake line extensions, bump stops, track bars, track bar brackets, and sway bar links. But aftermarket coil springs do more than just extend the frame of your vehicle for larger tire clearance—they are also designed as an upgrade to your car’s suspension and handling, improving tire contact with driving surfaces and aiding your Jeep in rocky or otherwise extreme terrain.
Short and long arm suspension kits
These kits are the whole package. The short arm kits are common for off-roading, lifting your Jeep up to 4”, and keeping your vehicle within acceptable safety parameters (preserving manufacturer warranties). They are a full-suspension system offering drivers even more articulation and adjustable handling options than coil lift kits do, for better geometry and handling.
Lift Kits You Should Check Out
Here’s a list of brands we trust with quality lift kit systems.
1. Teraflex Jeep Lift Kits: This is a premium quality 2.5-inch suspension kit designed to preserve the handling and stability of your Jeep while adding extra space for up to 35-inch tires.
2. EVO Jeep Lift Kits: For you Wrangler and Rubicon enthusiasts out there looking for more of an edge, this adjustable long arm suspension kit provides clearance for up to 37-inch tires and is designed with both off-road and street performance in mind.
3. Clayton Jeep Lift Kits: This particular kit enjoys eight fully adjustable control arms engineered for superior on-road driving and carries a lifetime manufacturer warranty against bending or breaking.
4. Synergy Jeep Lift Kits: Synergy manufacturing has tiered its kits into various stages, from stage 1.5 (entry-level) to stage 4’s comprehensive suspension kit. Even the most advanced kit won’t require any welding or machining, thanks to Synergy’s hassle-free setup.
5. Rough Country Jeep Lift Kits: If you’re aiming for a self-installation option but aren’t sure where to begin, these bolt-on kits are a great option. Rough Country’s standard kit offers 3” of additional clearance and is one of the best values around.
6. Fabtech Jeep Lift Kits: Jeep owners in the market for kits 5” and above can go all out with Fabtech’s Jeep Crawler long arm setup. This system is engineered to reinforce the car’s frame and is prepared for heavy abuse in the most challenging conditions.
7. BDS Jeep Lift Kits: BDS is a well-regarded carrier of Jeep accessories. This kit built from high-grade steel is an all-around suspension upgrade.
Are Lift Kits Safe?
Lift kits are a common modification, and when installed correctly they can actively improve a driver’s off-road control. Poor installation can lead to problems beyond a higher center of gravity, so proper installation must be a primary goal.
Combining lift kits with bigger tires can be an advantage on off-road trails and in harsh weather conditions, but it’s also important to consider how these upgrades impact handling and braking on normal roads in clear conditions. Your car wasn’t engineered with a lift kit in mind, which means functions like acceleration and fuel economy can be affected. Chances are good you didn’t invest in a Jeep for its speed or gas mileage though, so be sure to weigh your priorities accordingly as you search for quality lift kit options.