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I want to do this and have it stickied so it is READILY available for those who want to know and don't, so that they don't have to sift through everything and post everything over and over... And allow for people to add to it maybe...

There are 4 basic types of lifts for OUR Grands
1- Budget Boost( BB for future reference)
2- Front to Rear Swap (F>R)
3- Short arm lift(SA lift)
4- Long arm lift(LA lift)

1 The Budget Boost

Commonly called, hockey pucks. They act similar to body lifts(which are NOT available for our Grands). They are round disks that sit on top of the factory or aftermarket springs to add extra height. They don't do anything for suspension travel but will give you a boost in ground clearance. The best things to go along with a BB are shocks, an alignment, and taller tires. THE TALLEST tire you can fit without trimming your fenders is 31s, usually 31x10.5. The tires and shocks are not necessary but the alignment is. You may want to get a track bar bracket or a new adjustable track bar just to help keep your front axle centered. Also, a new steering stabilizer may be needed if you go to taller tires. This is a great kit for beginners or those who have already lifted their Grands and want just a little more height.

2 Front To Rear Swap

This is an inexpensive way to get about a 3" lift out of stock components with fewer addons. It utilizes the factory front springs, which are swapped to the rear and NEW taller front springs are added. Stock control arms are used to keep the price low. Parts that are neccesary are front 3"-3.5" springs, front adjustable track bar or bracket, shocks, and an alignment is a must. What is highly recommended for this type of lift are at least lower control arms and a steering stabilizer. Without at least lower control arms the maximum tire size without trimming would be about a 30" tall tire.

3 The Short Arm lift

Alot more complex than the BB the SA lift involves more parts and time to install. Short arm lifts range in height from 2-4" in height. They can come in either a "Fixed arm" version or an "Adjustable" version. Parts usually included are lower control arms, shocks, front track bar(or bracket depending on the manufacturer), springs, and some times a steering stabilizer. Other parts to consider when doing this lift are upper control arms, Swaybar links or disconnects, rear track bar, steering stabilizer, Slip Yolk Eliminator(for the NP 231 transfer case only--2 WD w/ 4x4 option), extended brake lines, and transfer case drop. On the Adjustable kits you have the adjustable control arms, either upper, lower or both, so that you can adjust your pinion angle to help reduce vibes. About the maximum tire size with 4" of lift and no trimming is a 32x11.5 tire. This is a good kit for begginers and inter-mediate Jeepers who want more than a budget boost and like to moderately wheel their Grands. Also, an alignment should be done.

4 The Long Arm Lift

LA lifts are far more complex and involved than both the SA and BB lifts. I don't know alot about them so I won't go into much detail with this section. The LA lift relocates the control arm mounts to your frame closer to the center of your Grand, reducing control arm angles and allowing for more suspension travel. Most of these kits are weld-in kits and should be installed by professionals. They allow for a higher lift and better ride and provide more adjustability. LA lifts range in height from 4.5" to 7" when sold in kits. You tire size is pretty open as you increase your height or trim your fenders from here.

Steering Upgrades

When lifting a Grand, and adding larger tires some steering upgrades should be made. For slightly or moderately lifted Grands an upgraded stabilizer is a good choice. For moderate-extreme lifted Grands a 1-ton setup or crossover or over the knuckle steering would be a good idea to help reduce bumpsteer and to improve steering geometry.

Axle Upgrades

After having lifted your Grand you can go to a larger tire. With tires up to 32" tall, your axles are ok and may not have to be updated/upgraded depending on your driving habits and/or wheeling style/preference. With a 33" tire and up stock D35 axles are more apt to break under heavy load or wheeling. Gearing should be upgraded at or above 33" tires to maintain driveability. There are several options for upgrading axles as well. Popular options are to swap axles out to D44A or Ford 8.8 or do a Super 35 kit on stock D35s. Super 35 kits which include all things necessary for a 30 spline upgrade along with a locker. The other option, possibly even cheaper, would be to upgrade to a Ford 8.8 or a D44A(which also came stock on some Grands).

Miscillaneous Upgrades

Taller tires and higher lifts affect brakes and their system too. You may look into brakeing upgrades as you get larger tires as your Grand will be harder to stop. EXTENDED brakelines should be used at ANY point when you decide to have your sway bar disconnected and is a good idea with any lift at or above 3"(tho at 3" it is not necessary--unless your sways are disco'ed). The higher your lift is also affects your cornering as well, sway bar upgrades should be taken into consideration as well. Along with taller tires one should consider upgrading your Grand's bumpstops, these will help to prevent your springs from unseating in full flex and help keep your tires from rubbing your fenders in full flex.

Things to Consider

Things to consider when lifting your Grand are: Center of gravity, as you lift your Grand higher, this will raise your center and will make it easier to flip/tip/roll your Grand. Your drive line angles will be increased and will increase wear on you drive line. You may also notice new vibrations after lifting, this is also due to the driveline angles--a transfer case drop or adjustable control arms may HELP correct this. Once you lift your Grand it will be open to our nemesis known as DEATH WOBBLE, this is hard to diagnose and hard to cure. Here is a write up on DWhttp://www.nagca.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8730. Another thing to consider, when going to 33" tall tires or taller your axles have a ton of stress added on them and may not stand up to moderate-heavy wheelin, and you may need axle upgrades, like a 30 spline upgrade for your rear axle or an axle swap/conversion. One other thing to consider is that as you lift your Grand the axles are pulled towards each other the higher the lift the closer they come to each other, bringing the tires closer to the fenders, if you have a non-adjustable kit then you will want to be aware of this if you go to a taller lift amount. NOTE: Any type of suspension or steering change warrants an alignment, having an alignment done will help prevent Death Wobble and help the wear pattern on your tires.

Decisions

There is alot out there about lifting and modifying our Grands, do your research and decide which is right for you. I hope this helps anyone who needs it and gets the ball rollin.
Disclaimer

I am NOT an expert nor am I a Jeep tech. This is readily available information that I have found over a couple of years and have learned about Grands. Some of it is opinionated and some of it is factual. I just felt the need to say that.

Now, if I've left anything out please feel free to add to it.
 
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I agree... Sticky... this is a great thread.

Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll add more as it comes to me, hopefully others will add their wealth of knowledge too.
 

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Wow, That is good, wish you've done that earlier.

Don't forget to mention Vanco's dual piston front discs brake upgrade. The only one in the market and ABS compatible & fit 15" wheels (and good for 35" tires). Or their Hydro-boost brake upgrade (ABS not compatible)

Plus need to mention that height are addictive, once you started, you won't stop until 7"~8" long arms and 35"~37" tires, or bankruptcy. If you are not ready for that, don't even try BBs. Everyone who got big lift started with BBs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thankyou Wes! And thanks all for the positive feedback.

RTINGDDS- I belive the condition you're refering to is "Inch-itus"... lol and its true.
 

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Now that is some great information for a newbie like me. Thanks for taking the time to break it all down like that. Even I can understand it all. [smilie=bal_cool.gif] [smilie=bal_thanx.gif]
 

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2 More Commonly Asked Questions:

1) Will I need longer driveshafts?

The general consensus this:

No, you will probably not, but every ZJ is different.

Some people have had issues, some haven't. There are some people who are at 7" with stock driveshafts and others who say they needed 3" more on 4.5" lift. It depends on your Jeep and other residuals. But here's some options:

The ZJ came with different driveshafts, depending on the engine and transfer case. Here is a picture and measurements of the three rear shafts:





The longest one is 35 3/4" long, the next one was 34 1/2", and the last one was about 32 1/4" measured from the centers of the U-Joints.

And here are the fronts:





Measurements to come soon (hopefully).

So the answer: after you install your lift, get under there and see if you think you need longer shafts. If so, you can probably find a longer driveshaft in a junkyard. If you already have the longest shafts, you more than likely won't need any longer.

2) What lengths should I set my Adjustable Control Arms at?

Once you get a bit higher, you'll need to push your axles out closer to center of the wheel wells away from the fenders. Contrary to what some people think, you do not want them in the center of the wheel wells, but as close to the fenders as you can manage without rubbing (there's always trimming, too).

So the question arises: What lengths should I set them at? While it is specific to your vehicle taking into consideration everything we just mentioned, there is one universal measurment that has developed and is at least a good starting point for you:

Texas ZJ1 said:
"My control arm measurements are:

all four lowers on mine are at 17 1/2
front uppers are 16 1/2
rear uppers are 14 1/2


For 6.5 of lift. That is measured from center of bolt eye to bolt eye.

Hunter"
Note that this is on Hunter's 6.5" lift, but as mentioned, it is at least a good starting point.
 

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Question on the F>R lift.

I am currently on a stock lift with the I6 engine running 265/75/16's. Yes I do rub although it is only on the plastic fender inserts.

Could I get the front springs from a wrecked Grand Cherokee with the 5.2/5.9 V8 and use those upfront with my current front springs moved to the rear?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
 

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Could I get the front springs from a wrecked Grand Cherokee with the 5.2/5.9 V8 and use those upfront with my current front springs moved to the rear?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
1) Welcome! 2) No. :) Those V8 springs will do nothing for you in the front. You need to put those V8 ones in the rear and put aftermarket 3" lift springs in the front.

**EDIT**

I see from another post that you have a WJ... all above info is true only for a ZJ. WJ front and rear springs are different diameters. Won't work at all.
 

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Hey
i was looking into a BB and getting 33" tires probly 10.5 wide.
what wheels do i need to keep the wider tires from rubbing?
and do you think that 2" will keep them from rubbing the fenders or will
i need to cut before i can put the 33s under it.
thanks for the info!
Samwise
 

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oh? why's that?
do you think i should stick to getting 31s? thanks for the advice.
Samwise
 

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33's and BB= not so good together...
not true. if hes willing to trim the heck out of his jeep it will work great. And hes going with the 33x10.5, which isnt as wide so wont require as much trimming.

***Caution*** You will need to trim a BUNCH to fit 33's with a BB, lol
 

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I would go with a 31/32 type tire with a BB. I just think a 33 with fixed arms is going to be difficult to fit in there. The narrower 33 will help.
 

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Hey
i was looking into a BB and getting 33" tires probly 10.5 wide.
what wheels do i need to keep the wider tires from rubbing?
and do you think that 2" will keep them from rubbing the fenders or will
i need to cut before i can put the 33s under it.
thanks for the info!
Samwise
It really depends on what you plan on doing with your jeep. I have heard people putting 31s under a stock ZJ, and they did fit, but I doubt it would take much flexing for the tires to start grabbing things under the fender wells. I only have 2" of lift on mine and I have 31s and I still had to trim the front plastic facia, and I also hammered the pinch seam just to be sure. Ont he other hand anything will fit, as long as you don't mind cutting a lot of sheet metal!
 

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Yea, if you wanna hack the crap out of your jeep it will work, but its not the greatest idea.

The best question that needs to be asked is what is your goal?

DD or Rockcrawler on a buget?
 

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um my main goal was to get ground clearence for rocks but mostly colorado trails which can have a lot of rock so not like total rock crawling but something all terrian.
um do you think for most meduim to light trails the 2" and 31s would do or do you think
it would be better to cut for the 33s?

another question could i clear 33s with a 4" lift? or if i went for a 4" would 35s fit without trimming. just wondering. thanks for the info.
Samwise
 
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