Whether you’re a frequent or an occasional off-roader, upgrading your Jeep model with a good suspension lift kit will help to increase your ride’s height to give it enough ground clearance. If you own a Wrangler, then you’re aware of how notorious it can get when it comes to off-roading. But, without the right ground clearance, this beast cannot clear all obstacles it comes across when traversing on rough terrains. Due to this reason, a jeep lift kit installation is an absolute must if you’re looking to improve your ride.
Now, when it comes to jeep lift kits, there are several key factors you need to consider. Factors such as your budget, the size of the tires, and your intention for installing this suspension kit will be integral and will influence your decision immensely. With that said, this short guide will get down to business to discuss a step-by-step procedure on how to install a Jeep lift kit.
How to Install Jeep Lift Kit: Step-by-Step Guide
Before we commence, I would like to mention that the process of installing a Jeep lift kit is not simple. This will demand you to hire a professional mechanic to do the installation for you. However, if you’re an enthusiastic DIYer, then you need to follow the installations to the latter to prevent any unintentional damage to your Jeep’s suspension system.
Finally, lift kits are not universal. For instance, the 3.5” kits are not similar to the 4.0” kits. Although both are larger lift kits, there are differences in the spring rates where some will require longer shocks as well as shorter or longer upper control arms.
So, with that said, lets now start the process where we’ll commence with the front wheels then finish with the rear wheels.
Front Installation Instructions
- Step 1:
To begin, you’ll first need to pack your Jeep on a level surface then set the parking brake.
- Step 2:
Next, secure the Jeep on four jack stands on the frame rail just behind the lower control arm mount to guarantee maximum safety. When you’re done, remove the tires and place another jack underneath the axle to make it easier for you to lower it when removing crucial components.
- Step 3:
Since there’s enough clearance, start by removing the shocks starting with the upper nut using a 13mm socket and wrench. When you’re through, remove the lower nuts using an 18mm socket.
- Step 4:
Once the shock is out of the way, remove the track bar using a 21mm socket. Next loosen the bolts on the control lot to allow the axle to droop up and provide some space to remove the suspensions. Don’t forget to remove the brake lines and the brake bracket using a 10mm socket. Also, remove the sway bar links and the track rod to allow the axle to droop easily. The reason why you’ll need to remove the brake lines is because you’ll need to replace them with new extended brake lines provided in the kit.
- Step 5:
Once you’ve removed the factory springs, it’s now time to replace the suspensions with the new lift kit. But, before you begin, you’ll need to make some preparations. First, you need to remove the spring isolator and the factory bump stop. Note that these two will be reused later on so don’t dispose of them.
After gently cleaning and lubricating them, restore the spring isolator and spacer back in the bump stop tube. Next, install the new bump stop extender that came with the kit, and don’t forget to add the factory bump stop you had removed earlier. In the case of Jeep Wrangler JK 2012 to newest editions, exhaust modification may be required by pushing it a little bit backward.
- Step 6:
Now it’s time to install the new coil spring into the upper and lower spring pockets. When you’re done, install the new shock absorbers in both the upper and lower mounts using the OEM bolts and washers which we removed earlier from the factory shock absorbers.
- Step 7:
Now install the front track bar, the control arm, and the front sway bar. When installing the front sway bar, you need to install the supplied sway bar hoop (which is usually U-shaped) on the bottom side then secured with a bolt, washers, and a flanged lock nut.
- Step 8:
Finally, it’s time to install the front track bar. If you have a newly supplied track bar, you might need to drill a new hole to fit it. But to do that, you’ll need to mark a spot which can be around ¾ “ from the center of the stock hole.
- Step 9:
Once you’re done, reinstall the wheels and the tires and you’re good to go.
Rear Installation Instructions
- Step 1:
Start by placing jack stands under the Jeep to support the frame rail. Place another floor jack under the differential to support the rear axle lightly. Use an 18mm and a 13mm wrench to remove the stock shock absorbers. Next, use a 15mm wrench to remove the rear sway bar links from the sway bar. Lastly, remove the track rod from the axle, and don’t forget to disconnect the brake lines.
- Step 2:
With everything out of the way, lower the axle slowly to create some clearance to remove the factory-installed coil springs. With the stock coil isolator positioned on the upper coil pocket, install the new coil springs.
- Step 3:
When you’re done, start installing the new track bar, the sway bar, and the track rod using the supplied bolts and bushings. Once you’re through, lift the axle using the floor jack slightly to compress the coil springs.
- Step 4:
The last step is to install the new shock absorbers on the factory mounts. This can be accomplished using a 15/18mm socket on the lower part and a 13mm socket on the upper part. You will also need to use the supplied bolts and bushings to ensure every component is tight and well secured.
- Step 5:
Once you’re done, install the wheels and the tires before lowering your Jeep to the ground. Note that, just as you did it with the front brake lines, the rear brake lines will also need to be extended further using the new extended brake lines supplied with the kit.
So, there you have it. If you’ve followed each of these steps to the latter, then congratulations! You’ve just replaced your Jeep’s OEM suspension system with a new high-quality aftermarket lift kit. The only thing I have to warn you though is that you need to be sober and really careful when installing a Jeep lift kit. You need to ensure that all bolts are tightened up perfectly as a small armature mistake can mess up your ride and cost you a lot to fix the affected parts.