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Need lift advice for 03 Sahara

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  • Need lift advice for 03 Sahara

    Im new to off-roading; a real greenhorn (sorry in advance if my thinking or terminology is off). I got my first Jeep (03 Sahara w/ 4.0 L, auto trans, In-line 6, 39K miles) this July. Love off-roading in the many mountainous trails in/around NE Tenn. Would like to lift but am a bit blown away right now with all the things to consider

    I expect to be going on off-roading day trips (~3-5 hrs of decently difficult mountainous trails every third or fourth weekend). What repercussions would I need to consider when lifting 3 inches? (driveline angles, axle gearing adjustments, overall handling and smoothness of ride, etc.) Also, what size tires at this height lift would be the biggest I should go to while keeping the stock 15 x 9.50 wheels? At what tire size should I expect rubbing fenders/wheel wells without modifying axles, getting new wheels, adding spacers, etc.? How would a 3 lift coupled with the largest recommended tire affect the life of my transmission? Also, would I need to consider making any adjustments to the transmission and axle gearing? Hopefully Im worrying about way too much stuff at only a 3 of liftbut you never know.

    Ive heard that pretty aggressive off-roading with body lifts leads to the body shifting around on the frame. Should I avoid body lifts because of this?

    Can you give me any personal experience feedback or opinions on different combinations of budget boosts, body lifts and lift kits? If the downside of body lifts and budget boosts are not too bad, I might consider either or both with a shorter lift kit (expense is my main consideration in this line of thinking)

    Im also seeing options such as brake line extensions, transfer case shifter linkage relocation brackets, anti-sway bar disconnects, etc. more options I need to consider, huh

    With all Im asking, I kinda feel like the kid brother that wont stop asking questions. Ill gladly try to piece together any information I can get from you all here. Thanks.
    '03 TJ Sahara, A/T
    D44 rear @ 3.73
    2.5" OME HD springs/shocks
    fr. adj t-bar
    1.25" wheel spacers
    1" BL/MML
    Quick disco's

  • #2
    Originally posted by jkilday4
    Im new to off-roading; a real greenhorn (sorry in advance if my thinking or terminology is off). I got my first Jeep (03 Sahara w/ 4.0 L, auto trans, In-line 6, 39K miles) this July. Love off-roading in the many mountainous trails in/around NE Tenn. Would like to lift but am a bit blown away right now with all the things to consider
    Welcome Aboard

    I expect to be going on off-roading day trips (~3-5 hrs of decently difficult mountainous trails every third or fourth weekend). What repercussions would I need to consider when lifting 3 inches? (driveline angles, axle gearing adjustments, overall handling and smoothness of ride, etc.)
    At 3 inches with will need a Slip yoke eliminator, and a new rear drive shaft. Axle gearing doesnt have anything to do with lift, it has to do with the tires. Ride: Its a Jeep. Smoothness: Its a Jeep


    Also, what size tires at this height lift would be the biggest I should go to while keeping the stock 15 x 9.50 wheels?
    you can fit 33's, but you will need spacers or new wheels. New wheels is money better spent. The stock wheels are probably 15x7 or 15x8.

    At what tire size should I expect rubbing fenders/wheel wells without modifying axles, getting new wheels, adding spacers, etc.?
    See above. If the kit you buy doesnt have extended bump stops, you will have to buy some. They keep the tires out of the fender.

    How would a 3 lift coupled with the largest recommended tire affect the life of my transmission?
    bigger tires strain the rest of the drivetrain. One way to cut back on this is installing lower gears in the axle. The lower gears offset the tire size and bring the performance back closer to stock.

    Also, would I need to consider making any adjustments to the transmission and axle gearing? Hopefully Im worrying about way too much stuff at only a 3 of liftbut you never know
    See above

    Ive heard that pretty aggressive off-roading with body lifts leads to the body shifting around on the frame. Should I avoid body lifts because of this?
    Most of us here run anywhere from a 1 inch to a 2 inch body lift. Just make sure you keep the bolts tight. There is nothing wrong with them. And trust me, we wheel pretty hard.

    Can you give me any personal experience feedback or opinions on different combinations of budget boosts, body lifts and lift kits? If the downside of body lifts and budget boosts are not too bad, I might consider either or both with a shorter lift kit (expense is my main consideration in this line of thinking)
    Most people will probably agree that Rubicon Express makes some of the better stuff out there. If you dont have the money to jump right in to that, there is no shame in parting together a lift. I've done it before. You can usually find some pretty good deals on used parts here and there.

    If there is one thing that you will probably see in all these "lift" posts is this: Figure out what you want to do with your Jeep, and build it to that first. Try to do it right the first time. I say try, cause sometimes thats hard.

    Im also seeing options such as brake line extensions, transfer case shifter linkage relocation brackets, anti-sway bar disconnects, etc. more options I need to consider, huh
    Most of that stuff is included in lift kits. Thats one of the benifits to buying a kit.

    With all Im asking, I kinda feel like the kid brother that wont stop asking questions. Ill gladly try to piece together any information I can get from you all here. Thanks.
    Good luck.
    [COLOR=blue]Chris[/COLOR]
    SAVE JOHNSON VALLEY!!! - CLICK HERE
    Ya Savvy?

    Motech Performance

    Comment


    • #3
      here is a spin on Dukes advice

      Like he said, you will need a SYE, Infact I think all jeeps need a SYE
      Okay if you are going to SYE, go ahead and Belly up, I mean one of the best mods out there for clearence is a belly up
      and to use a belly up you need a 1 inch body lift
      so
      go get a good 2 inch lift with all the bells and whistles, not a BB, but one with the discos, lower contril arms, add adjustable uppers for the rear(It really helps with the SYE) and get adjustable track bars, you know the entire enchelada, do the SYE and belly up, you will end with 3 inches of lift with more center clearence than a regular 3 inch lift and be set up really nice.
      and all that in a jeep you will easily daily drive and of road

      and by all means, came back and ask questions, I will admit, I spent to much on lifting the jeep because of changing mid stream on the build. I have a few extra parts because of that. Like dukes said, get a good plane together first
      come back and ask away, we do not mind. I think most of us would have liked to have somewhere to ask around the first time we started throwing money at our jeeps.
      Last edited by blackZZR; 12-11-05, 12:22 AM.
      censored for having an opinion

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jkilday4
        ...I expect to be going on off-roading day trips (~3-5 hrs of decently difficult mountainous trails every third or fourth weekend...
        Everyone has their own opinion on whats difficult and whats not. What is your opinion?

        Dirt roads with lost of ruts? MUD? Dirt roads with some rocks? Rocks with some dirt? Have you seen Rubicon? What is your opinion of difficult?

        Only reason Im asking, is that a mildly built Jeep can do the majority of the trails out there. The only drawback to building your Jeep to suit your needs now, is that its very addicting, and with every new trail and increase in difficulty, youll redefine your opinion of difficult

        I used to think difficult was Miller Jeep Trail, Calico, John Bull (all local stuff...but no where NEAR difficult)...then Rubicon, Moab...but now I think of difficult in terms of Johnson Valley That said, Ill probably never build my Jeep to play out at JV. Look up a few of these places, look at the pics, and tell us what you THINK youre going to want to do. At that point, we can help you more determine how to build your Jeep.

        Good luck! And welcome to the board

        Tam
        2002 TJ on 35s a bit of lift with some stuff
        Rock-ItMan all the way around

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JeepGal
          I used to think difficult was Miller Jeep Trail, Calico, John Bull (all local stuff...but no where NEAR difficult)...then Rubicon, Moab...but now I think of difficult in terms of Johnson Valley That said, Ill probably never build my Jeep to play out at JV. Look up a few of these places, look at the pics, and tell us what you THINK youre going to want to do. At that point, we can help you more determine how to build your Jeep.

          Good luck! And welcome to the board

          Tam
          Amazing what a weekend at JV wil do for your thoughts on difficulty. JV definately changed my idea of difficult.
          1994 Toyota, dual cases, 5.29 axles with ARB's

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JeepGal
            Everyone has their own opinion on whats difficult and whats not. What is your opinion?

            Dirt roads with lost of ruts? MUD? Dirt roads with some rocks? Rocks with some dirt? Have you seen Rubicon? What is your opinion of difficult?

            Only reason Im asking, is that a mildly built Jeep can do the majority of the trails out there. The only drawback to building your Jeep to suit your needs now, is that its very addicting, and with every new trail and increase in difficulty, youll redefine your opinion of difficult

            I used to think difficult was Miller Jeep Trail, Calico, John Bull (all local stuff...but no where NEAR difficult)...then Rubicon, Moab...but now I think of difficult in terms of Johnson Valley That said, Ill probably never build my Jeep to play out at JV. Look up a few of these places, look at the pics, and tell us what you THINK youre going to want to do. At that point, we can help you more determine how to build your Jeep.

            Good luck! And welcome to the board

            Tam
            Yes it's hard to quantify difficulty - especially for me as I don't have any frame of reference to these local trails...all I can tell you is that I'd like to get into the steeper, rockier mountain trails & not have to worry so much about pounding the underside. Some places I would like to try (steep uphills, deeper mud holes, rock piles, rock stairs, deeper ditches, etc.) but know that I'd just get into trouble. I'm sure even with 3" lift & 33's I'll still encounter more places I won't be able to go - but just not as many. Does that help?
            '03 TJ Sahara, A/T
            D44 rear @ 3.73
            2.5" OME HD springs/shocks
            fr. adj t-bar
            1.25" wheel spacers
            1" BL/MML
            Quick disco's

            Comment


            • #7
              Advice

              Generally in this case I would say install a Rubicon Express 3 1/2" Lift with 33's........Wait on the body lift for now, invest the rest of your $ in a SLE and CV driveshaft.........Let us know what u ultimately decide. B.J.

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