Lifting a Jeep Wrangler: What You Need to Know
Expand your Jeep's off-road capability by hiking it up a few inches.
The Jeep Wrangler is a star in the off-road world. Available in two- or four-door models, this chunky SUV has solid axles front and rear, removable doors and roof, and is available with a manual transmission. Ground clearance varies from 9.7 inches for the base Sport trim to 12.9 inches for the off-road-ready Rubicon.
But if you want more height than that, you'll need to add a lift kit.
The best type of lift kit for your Jeep Wrangler
Two common types of lift kit are body lifts and suspension lifts. You could install a body lift kit on your Wrangler.
How to lift your Wrangler and keep its factory warranty
Mopar, Jeep's in-house performance division, offers a 2-inch suspension lift kit that will maintain your Jeep's factory warranty. For around $2,000, it includes Bilstein shocks, springs, and extended and lower front control arms with bushings made for larger tires. The kit comes in a Jeep-branded wooden crate. Pricing is for parts only and does not include the required extended brake lines or the recommended professional installation.
If you want to take your Wrangler even higher than the Mopar kit will lift it, then you can turn to the aftermarket, but be aware that aftermarket parts may void part of your factory warranty. Several aftermarket kits allow for up to 5 inches of lift. For instance,
The Fabtech kit also includes a set of front coilover shocks with remote reservoirs for better high-speed damping, remote reservoir shocks for the rear, dual-rate rear springs, upgraded control arms, brake line relocation brackets, and other goodies. You won't need to buy anything else except wheels and tires, but the kit costs more than $7,500.
Other Considerations When Lifting a Jeep Wrangler
Unlike the Fabtech kit, not all aftermarket lift setups can be easily installed onto your Wrangler. Go taller than 2 inches and you'll likely need new wheels with a specific backspace (the measurement from the wheel's mounting surface to its back lip) and width. You might also need to modify your exhaust or add steel brake lines.
Taller lifts will require different control arms, longer shocks, a longer track bar to control the axle's lateral movement, and longer lines for the emergency brake. Some kits include all related parts, and some do not. If the price seems noticeably lower on a kit, look to see what it includes and what it doesn't.
Lifting your Jeep Wrangler can make it much more capable by allowing for bigger wheels, more suspension travel, and better articulation (the way a vehicle's suspension moves to enable travel across obstacles in the trail). However, a higher center of gravity means it will be more prone to tipping over at high cornering speeds, and the SUV's fuel economy will suffer.