Why Lift A Jeep: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly

why lift a jeep

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I’ve been around the 4×4 scene for a while and seen a ton of different modifications for Jeeps. But the most common thing I have seen are Jeeps, 2-Door and 4-Door alike, with lifts and big tires. 

So I’ve done some research and put together an article to answer a common question I get from Jeep owners:

“Why lift a Jeep?”

I answer whether you should or shouldn’t lift your Jeep and under what circumstances it makes sense! Follow along to learn whether it makes sense for you to lift your Jeep or not!

Should You Lift A Jeep?

Depending on what the purpose is for your vehicle, the answer can be yes or no. These are a couple of common scenarios Jeep owners find themselves in, as well as some pros and cons of lifting a Jeep.

Looking to build a showstopper that everyone cranes their neck to look at? 

Yes, you should lift your Jeep. 

Just wanting a capable 4×4 vehicle for poor road conditions that is also good on gas? 

No, you probably shouldn’t lift your Jeep.

The Pros Of Lifting Your Jeep

ProsCons
Install Bigger TiresHigher Gas Prices
You Will Turn HeadsHigher Center Of Gravity
More Suspension TravelMay Void The Warranty
Better For Off-RoadingDriveshafts May Wear Faster

Add Bigger Tires

When lifting a Jeep, you gain clearance between the tires and the wheel, which allows you to install bigger tires.

Without the lift, the tires would either not fit at all, or rub on the fenders when turning.

Bigger tires are widely used on Jeeps, giving aggressive looks and big-time performance upgrades in off-road conditions.

The most common large tires seen on Jeeps are mud tires.

You Will Turn Heads

Jeep enthusiasts have rigs that stand out amongst the average vehicle.

A lift is one of the first things typically done to the Jeep with the upgrade of the suspension and ability to put larger tires on for mud bogging or rock crawling!

Trust me…

…you will turn heads.

Wide Eyed Reaction GIF by Laff - Find & Share on GIPHY

More Suspension Travel

Suspension travel is the amount of movement a suspension mechanism (in this case the shocks and wheel axle) allows before it is fully compressed.

Often times with a suspension lift kit, larger shocks and springs will be installed which will increase the amount of movement that will be allowed.

The more movement allowed means the wheels can articulate more and drive over larger obstacles. This is really important in off-road applications, especially rock crawling.

Better For Off-Roading

Ground clearance is necessary for any serious off-roading. Crawling over huge boulders isn’t just about luck, but having your Jeep prepared for it.

With low ground clearance, the odds of getting stuck or smashing your skid plates against obstacles go way up!

Clearance is talked about for putting bigger tires on, but also for how low the base of the vehicle is to the ground.

With those upgrades put together, you can tackle bigger obstacles and perform literal 90° inclines!

The Cons Of Lifting Your Jeep

More Money On Gas

Bigger tires are heavier and harder to get moving than smaller tires. This increase in weight and resistance means your fuel economy isn’t going to be as good as it is when stock.

Plenty of Jeep owners will notice a 1-3mpg difference in their fuel economy after changing to larger tires.

More Chance Of Tipping Over

Whenever you add weight to a Jeep or install a lift kit, the center of gravity is shifted. The larger the lift, the higher your center of gravity will be.

The dangers of this? Your vehicle will become easier to tip/flip over, most notably when making turns at higher speeds. Which, if you are offroading, isn’t very common. It will affect your ride more on pavement than offroad.

a jeep tipping over

How can you minimize tipping over? Bigger tires are much heavier than the stock tires, which helps ground your Jeep with the added weight.

Another feature that could be changed is putting heavier front and rear bumpers on to add more weight to your ride.

However, no matter what you do, your Jeep is equipped with roll bars from factory for this exact reason.

It May Void The Warranty

Anything you do to a vehicle that modifies the OEM parts can and likely will affect your warranty.

Often times a dealer will be willing to work with you if they install it themselves to ensure it’s been properly fitted onto the vehicle.

This is more common with leveling or spacer kits, but less likely with a suspension lift kit that actually replaces most of the factory components.

On a new Jeep, not having a warranty on your suspension can be scary.

However, most lift kits come with their own manufacturer warranty in case there are any issues that arise.

Driveshafts Will Wear Faster

Driveshafts connect the front and rear axles to a transfer case which receives input from your transmission; they are integral to your 4×4 functioning.

Most driveshafts have several inches of play in the yoke that will allow it to extend for smaller lifts (up to 3-4”). The front driveshaft is longer than the rear, and shouldn’t have any issues.

The rear driveshaft will wear out faster with off-road use. Replacing them is a simple process, simply bolting them to the axles and transfer case.

A new driveshaft can range from $200-$500 or more depending on the make and quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Lifted Jeeps Reliable?

Lifted Jeeps are very reliable in off-road and poor driving conditions.

As mentioned above, once lifted you will need to take more care on the pavement and when taking turns quickly.

How Much Does It Cost To Lift A Jeep?

The price to lift a Jeep varies greatly on the style of kit and how big the lift is.

A leveling kit plus installation will land you somewhere between $500-$1800.

A suspension lift kit will be at least $2000 + typically another $1000 per added inch of lift

Do Lift Kits Affect Driving?

A lift kit itself will change your driving because of the shift in the center of gravity. The modifications that typically come with lifting the Jeep will alter your driving more than the lift itself though.

Which Lift Kit Is Right For Your Jeep?

Depending on what type of Jeep you are driving and what you are trying to use it for will determine what kind of lift kit you want to install. 

Looking to even out the stance of your ride? Get a leveling kit. Planning on taking it off-road and mud bogging, get a suspension lift and bigger tires installed.

Here are some links to articles I have written for several different Jeep models and the best lift kits I can find for them!

Final Word

When deciding on a lift kit for your vehicle, definitely take the time to research each product you are considering installing and whether it will fit what you ideally want to use your Jeep for. 

All lift kits can vary in price, knowing what you are getting with it is very important!

If you are looking for advice on what kit is best for your ride, click through the links above for some advice!

Want To Learn About The Latest Jeep Tips & Tricks?

If you enjoyed this read, then be sure to check out my other articles. I have a lot of Jeep informational content to choose from. It’s time to take your Jeep knowledge to the next level, huh!?

Paddy

My name is paddy. I've spent years modifying the best rigs, and am dedicated to passing on my knowledge. If you have any questions, shoot me an email and I will respond ASAP.

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