Installed: April 2001
Written: Spring 2002
Updated: April 2010
To lift a Tj there are so many options and so many different combinations but I’ll try and put them into 4 main categories
– Spacer lifts
This is when you simply put a spacer between the coil and the coil mount. Kits come normally from .75 inch to 2 inch. You can get away with running factory shocks but you will not flex well.
– Body Lift
In this method you put a puck between the frame and body creating a large void between the two. It is cheap but has some safety drawbacks if you go larger than 1 inch. Plus it doesn’t look nice. But no need to change anything else if you only go 1 inch (other than move the fan shroud).
– Coil lift
This is pretty simple take out the old coils and stick in a new ones in. These normally range from 2 to 5 inches. But normally if you go more than 2 inches you need to do more modifications then just changing the spring.
– Suspension Systems
This is the same as a coil lift but normally includes new control arms, trac bars, brakelines, and the list goes on. There are also two main types here:
A. Replacement control arms
B. Long Arm kits –
They are by far the best but cost the most as well.
So I just had bought my Tj and knew a lift was needed because I was wanting to run bigger tires. However having just bought a new Jeep and being on a budget I couldn’t afford much. So I decided on a Rubicon Express 1.75″ spacer lift.
I went with this kit for a few reasons:
It was cause it was the cheapest I could find
It came with shocks.
This kit used to be a 2″ kit but Rubicon Express found that that some people got vibes at 2 inches and decided to decrease the size by a 1/4 of an inch. But most people still refer to it as a 2″ spacer kit.
This article is done a little different because I didn’t get many photos when I installed the kit on my Jeep. And after a year running it I decided to install a TeraFlex 3t kit. I’ll explain later why, don’t get me wrong the spacers are excellent and a member of my jeep club and a good friend of mine Dan Martin bought them off me and is still running them. So Dan and myself installed the spacers on his jeep the same day as the new Teraflex kit went on mine. So photos are a mixture of my install and Dan’s install.
Options to consider
The Rubicon Express 2″ kit comes with all you really need: 4 spacers, 4 shocks, bump stop extenders and hardware. This will give you more height but chances are you will not flex well if the sway bar is connected so I installed a Teraflex sway bar quick disconnect at the same time. (Click here for writeup)
Socket set (just a standard set)
2. Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels
3. Start with the rear so block the front wheels and jack the jeep up from the frame (not the axle) and support with jackstands under the frame. Then place some stands under the axle.
4. Take off the rear wheels
6. Disconnect the rear sway bar (on both sides)
8. Remove the bump stop hardware from the jeep. It too will get stuck inside the coil.
9. You know should be able to take the coil out by pushing on the axle. If this doesn’t work you can use the floor jack on the opposite side and the coil should come out. If your lazy like me you can rent a coil compressor. It really isn’t needed but makes the job easy. Plus a lot of places rent them for free. We always borrow them from Canadian Tire.
10. Now take the spacer, new bolt and bump stop and assemble as shown in the photo.
11. Put the coil back on and make sure to remember to put the bump stop inside the coil before trying to put it on. This can be harder than taken it off cause you’ve got 2 inches less space.
13. Now do the other side
14. Reattach your sway bar links
15. Put on the new shocks
16. Make sure everything is up to torque and put wheels back on and lower vehicle! Easy eh! Stand back admire your hotrod look and have a beer. (If you have a buddy helping you give him one too)
17. Now for the front which is very much like the rear. Block the rear wheels, jack up the frame and put stands under the frame and axle
18. Remove front tires
19. Remove front shocks this can be hard but you can access the top of the shock mount from the engine compartment
20. Remove swap bar links on both sides
21. Remove bump stops
23. Slide coil spacer up the post of the bumpstop.
24. Put coil back on remembering to put bumpstop in first.
25. Slide bumpstop back into place
26. Reconnect sway bar
27. Put new shocks back on
28. Make sure everything is up to torque put tires back on and lower vehicle and geez your done
Get your vehicle aligned asap and test drive it to see how it feels. Check all bolts for tightness after a first ride and then again after a few days.
– With any problems first make sure you have the vehicle aligned – If you have a shake feeling then you most likely have driveline vibes. Fix this is to put washers between the transfercase skid and frame.
Conclusion (Check updates at the bottom for more info)
Right off the bat I really liked it for 2 reasons
A. I’m now taller
B. It handles and feels just like it did before the lift. Honestly it handles better because of the new shocks. On-Road – As I said above it feels the exact same if not better I love it on the road I love being taller too much better view and not the least bit top heavy feeling. Off-Road – I really like it, I have to admit I didn’t drive off-road much before the kit. The day after I got the kit installed actually I had a 5 hour drive to the Analpolis Valley Jeep Jamboree in Nova Scotia. It performed excellent on the trail and she flexs some crazy. I highly recommend this kit to someone who wants to run 31 or 32 inch tires and is on a budget.
Before and After Photos
My Jeep Before
My Jeep After
July 1st, 2001 – I’ve had the kit on now almost 2 months and its great! I honestly can’t even tell on the road I’ve got the kit it handles just as it did before I lifted. Performing awesome off-road as well, however I’m still running my 30 inch AT tires. I hope 32 inch mud tires are coming soon.
January 1st, 2002 – I have come to a real decision point.. I’m still running my 30 inch AT tires and know I’m going to get Mud tires come spring but do I get 31s, 32s or 33s. My plan was get 32s and maybe do a 1 inch body lift but I’ve noticed my front coils are sagging. So I decided to do a 3 inch teraflex suspension lift. Maybe I should have done this in the beginning but live and learn I say. And don’t get me wrong the spacers are a great lift and very good if you only want to run 31 or 32 inch tires. But I knew I wanted 33s so the switch was a good deal for me especially since I was able to sell my old spacers to Dan from my jeep club. So I do still highly recommend this spacer kit to anyone who wants to lift their jeep cheaply and still maintain your factory feel.