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  1. #1
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    Question Newb Lift Kit Advice

    I just bought a 2000 4 door with stock suspension and stock wheels. I have a set of takeoffs from my 2017 JKU that I am planning on putting on the XJ. I bought wheel adapters so I have that part covered. I read the sticky on lift kits/tire sizes and think I have confirmed what I had thought - I need a 4.5" lift kit and I am fine with that because I think it is going to look very good. There a couple of things I am not sure of though and hope someone on here can help. The rims from my JKU are 255/70/18 so its a 32. Everything I have read has been referencing the same size tire but in 17". Is a 4.5" lift still going to work? Does the fact that its 18" instead of 17" mean that 4.5" lift will not work? Confused on that one! The other thing I am wondering is about the leaf springs for the back... are add a leafs ok for a 17 year old Jeep? It has never been modified and I doubt it has ever done anything other than street driving or hauled behind an RV (it has a towbar under the front bumper). It doesn't sag and the springs do not appear to be cracked that I can see. Will I probably be good with adding a leaf? I dont mind spending the extra for new leaf springs with my kit but if I really dont need them then all the better. This is a toy not a serious project. Here is the lift kit I am considering: https://www.amazon.com/Cherokee-Susp...rds=item+%23j9
    It seems like a well equipped kit for a good price. Is there anything that you see that I will need to buy outside of this kit to be ready to go? Thanks in advance and sorry for the mini novel!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Welcome James. Lots of questions there. First, the diameter of the rim doesn't matter in this instance, it is the diameter of the tire that counts. So, with a 32" tire, 4.5" lift will be plenty. However, you didn't say you were going to trim your fender wells. A 31" tire will stuff into them with no lift and give just a slight rub in the rear fender wells. So a 32" tire would rub when the suspension is compressed fully. So there is a thing you may have to do called bump stopping. It means you will probably have to put a spacer between your bump stops and the frame. It is a common practice. As far as a add a leaf goes, they work but a full spring pack works better and lasts longer
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by 4.3LXJ View Post
    Welcome James. Lots of questions there. First, the diameter of the rim doesn't matter in this instance, it is the diameter of the tire that counts. So, with a 32" tire, 4.5" lift will be plenty. However, you didn't say you were going to trim your fender wells. A 31" tire will stuff into them with no lift and give just a slight rub in the rear fender wells. So a 32" tire would rub when the suspension is compressed fully. So there is a thing you may have to do called bump stopping. It means you will probably have to put a spacer between your bump stops and the frame. It is a common practice. As far as a add a leaf goes, they work but a full spring pack works better and lasts longer
    I cant help much for tires, but i would shy away from the Add-a-leaf. I ran them on my Xj for like 6 months, and I ended up replacing it with a full leaf pack from IRO. The AAL was sagging pretty bad on my tired and wore out stock leaf springs within a few months.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Thanks for the quick answers! I think I will buy the kit with leaf spring replacements as I am not trying to build a monster but I want to do it right. I am hoping to not cut or trim anything as most likely the biggest obstacle I will probably ever traverse is a speed bump in the neighborhood, and that will be going at an angle! The lift will also help out with the frequent flooding here in Houston. I just want a cool looking XJ that is done right. I was on the fence about the add a leaf and it seems like when you do massive amounts of research you end up with more questions than you start out with and every website says something different. I will make sure and post some pics when I am done. I think those rims and tires on my dark green XJ with a nice lift is going to look really good.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Yup, you do get some weather there in Houston. This would be a good combo I think for what you are wanting
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Sawzall...makes any tire fit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 51MeOu1ebaL._SL1491_.jpg  
    One more part and I'll have a new Jeep

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Seems like the lift setup you are looking at will work great for your plans.. I'd say as the others have said, is that if you can swing the money to pickup the full leaf kit over the AAL.. I ran Rusty's 4.5" lift kit on my 98 and didn't have any issues with that.. and I know a few others that have run Rough Country 4.5" lift kit, and what few issues they have had with anything RC took care of replacing for free, and pretty quickly, and the few things I've had issues with my RC parts they've taken care of quickly and free of charge... Not sure what Zone's warranty and customer service is like...
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    I went ahead and ordered the kit with leaf springs, I figured doing it half-assed would just lead to more work down the road and putting in the full leaf instead of taking the old one apart would probably end up being easier anyway. I called Zone for some questions about the kit and they were very helpful. The warranty is not bad pretty much standard, components like brackets are lifetime warranty and shocks have a one year warranty. If I understood it correctly Zone and BDS are subsidiaries of Fox so should be good stuff. I researched Zone on the internet for a long time before buying and really couldnt find any negative reviews that were not debatable. Just waiting on shipping now while spraying PB blaster everywhere I can think of in the meantime.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Sounds like a good plan
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    I was gonna say, start spraying it down now!

    To add to the info a 4.5" will fit your tires well, but I will say you may need to trim a slight bit of the front flare for turning. Now flexing will be another story entirely. I'm running the Rubicon Express 4.5" and 33s but have trimmed a fair amount so I can't comment whether for sure either way.

    One thing you may encounter is driveline vibration. With that much lift the angle of the rear driveshaft can be a bit much and most likely you'll feel it. There's two real ways of elevating this, a drop kit for the crossmember or a slip yoke eliminator. If you don't plan on wheeling it hard the drop kit is fine and much cheaper, not just for the parts but the slip yoke eliminator requires a different driveshaft. Also the rear pinion angle may need to be adjusted with shims that go between the axle and springs.

    Keep us updated! Oh, and glad to see another local XJ owner here. I'm up in the Conroe area.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    XJ I am glad you didnt beat me to the craigslist ad for my jeep! The guy I bought it from lives in Cypress and compared to ALL of the other ads at the time and the current ones this one was a really good find. Decent condition for its age and 160k miles for 2K. It even had the user manual in the glovebox. I dont know why but I have some deep seated aversion to cutting anything so hopefully I can avoid it. The kit comes with a drop kit for the xfer case and they claim I will not need an sye or anything else. Hopefully they are right because this thing is turning into a bigger money pit than my boat! Since I will have alot of things taken apart I went ahead and bought new XRF ball joints and will probably be ordering grand cherokee tie rod ends and all the rest of the suspension stuff that has probably never been changed. Considering prices I have seen these things in decent shape going for around here even if I lose interest in this project which I doubt I will still be able to get what I have spent back seeing what little I paid for it. Too bad I live on the complete opposite end of town at the moment I would be terrified to drive that thing on the Houston freeways to come show it too you! I am in OKC for work now but coming home today and will be able to post some before pics soon. Thanks for the help!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jnelson101 View Post
    XJ I am glad you didnt beat me to the craigslist ad for my jeep! The guy I bought it from lives in Cypress and compared to ALL of the other ads at the time and the current ones this one was a really good find. Decent condition for its age and 160k miles for 2K. It even had the user manual in the glovebox. I dont know why but I have some deep seated aversion to cutting anything so hopefully I can avoid it. The kit comes with a drop kit for the xfer case and they claim I will not need an sye or anything else. Hopefully they are right because this thing is turning into a bigger money pit than my boat! Since I will have alot of things taken apart I went ahead and bought new XRF ball joints and will probably be ordering grand cherokee tie rod ends and all the rest of the suspension stuff that has probably never been changed. Considering prices I have seen these things in decent shape going for around here even if I lose interest in this project which I doubt I will still be able to get what I have spent back seeing what little I paid for it. Too bad I live on the complete opposite end of town at the moment I would be terrified to drive that thing on the Houston freeways to come show it too you! I am in OKC for work now but coming home today and will be able to post some before pics soon. Thanks for the help!
    Oh, you're safe from me getting it. I would love another but funds are going to other things right now.

    Not a bad deal at all! They do seem to be going up in value. Hopefully not too much for future buys but I'm a little biased because I never plan on selling mine. They can be the biggest money pits because it's virtually endless the mods that can be done to them. More than most and the amount of aftermarket support will surely be happy to reach deep into your wallet!

    The drop kit "should" be good enough. I'm running one. But yours being a later model could worsen the chances. Just have to try and see. It's an easy install either way.

    There's a few of us on this site that live in the houston area. We gotta set up a meet up or wheeling trip or something! But I don't blame you for not wanting to drive through town. I try to avoid these highways in my xj. Gets nerve wracking around these people at high speeds and I need to work on the handling characteristics of mine.


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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Status update: Got the front done and thought to myself great... I have the hard part done now on to the easy part... man I was wrong!!! The rear is the where all the real work is at! I was lucky and did not have any of the nuts inside the frame break but getting the bolts free of the shackle bushings was a real p.i.t.a. The heads of the shock bolts broke off as expected and had to drill them out that was a little bit of a pain. I havent used it in years and when I tried my air chisel of course it didnt work so my only option was to drill the broken bolts out. Once I did that I had to get a chisel and sheer off the rest of the nuts that were left in the frame pocket. Not a super hard job but dirty and a little time consuming. I have all 4 of the 18" JKU rims on it with plenty of wheel well space to spare. For some reason I cannot seem to get a pic posted otherwise I would show it off as it looks really good!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Nice. Those wheels are gonna look good. also will have room to go to disc brakes in the back or to bigger discs in the front. Not a fan of the spacers, just make sure you retorque the spacers AND the wheel lugs after a few miles.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Newb Lift Kit Advice

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20171103_120952.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	286.9 KB 
ID:	14248 Finally able to load a pic! Here is the finished product... I think it looks pretty damn good!
    Last edited by jnelson101; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:52 AM.

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