Many first time jeep owners don’t realize that a stock jeep is not designed for the heavy of road use often seen in magazines and on TV. If you want to have the ability to take your jeep on those rocky trails and steep hills, you’re going to need an aftermarket lift kit. Suspension kits can drastically influence the way your vehicle handles and performs. For that reason it’s important to choose a kit that best fits your specific needs, whether it is for function or style. There are two basic ways to lift your jeep; Body kits and Suspension kits.
Off road enthusiasts will benefit from the extra ground clearance suspension these kits offer, giving them the ability to climb over large rocks and trail obstacles. If you plan to drive your jeep on off road trails, than a suspension kit is essential.
A suspension lift kit is ideal for off-road maneuvering as it gives your jeep’s suspension more travel as you climb over rocks and steep inclines. They also give you the ability to use larger wheel and tire combinations depending on the amount of lift you choose. Based on how much modification and money you plan to invest, a suspension lift kit can raise your jeep 1-12 inches or more. Keep in mind that the higher you lift your jeep, the more the vehicles ride quality and handling characteristics will change. Many lift kit manufacturers offer additional suspension accessories to help accommodate on-road handling, but please keep in mind that a lifted jeep will handle much differently when compared to a Jeep with a stock suspension.
Suspension kits tend to be more difficult to install than a basic body kit. Depending on the manufacturer and application, suspension lift kits can be bolt on or require custom modification to fit. There are many body shops that can install a suspension lift kit if you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself.
Another reason to invest in a lift kit is to enhance the appearance of your Jeep. For jeep owners who don’t plan on taking their jeep off-roading, but still want to install larger wheel and tires, a body kit is the best way to go. Body lift kits are generally cheaper and easier to install than suspension kits. Body kits allow you to lift the body of your jeep generally between 2-3 inches by installing rubber spacers between your Jeep’s body and frame mounts. An added benefit to body lift kits is the vehicles handling characteristics will remain virtually unchanged since you are not modifying your vehicle’s suspension in any way. Installation can usually be accomplished in a few hours with basic tools.
As you can see there are many things to consider when shopping for a jeep lift kit. Whether you plan on installing a 1″ body lift kit or a 10″ suspension lift kit, it’s important to keep in mind the vehicles center of gravity. Any lifting kit will raise your jeeps center of gravity making it more prone to tipping.