Today’s stock trail rated Jeeps come pretty well set up for trail riding right out of the box with the fenders, tires, suspension, and Jeep JK bumpers you need to start enjoying adventures right away. Yet there may come a time when you want to do more and you’ll need to modify your Jeep to make it capable on taking more on, trail-wise.
If you want to do some rock crawling or tackle the more aggressive trails, chances are you need to increase your ground clearance. Besides putting on taller tires, the best way to gain a few inches is with a suspension lift.
Why Add A Suspension Lift?
When you start progressing in your off-roading skills and it’s time to start trying the more challenging obstacles, your Jeep needs to be just as ready as you are. Ground clearance is an important element in successful rock crawling and hill climbing, as the bigger those rocks and hills get, the harder it is getting over them.
You run a greater risk of damaging the components under your Jeep as the terrain becomes more rugged. You also run the risk of becoming high-centered or being limited in your hill climbing options without increasing your ground clearance. The best option to gain a few inches under your axles and not just the Jeep’s body is doing a suspension lift.
Suspension Lifts Are Different Than Body Lifts
Before you head out to get a lift kit, it’s important that you understand there are two kinds of lifts you can do:
==>>1. Body Lift - A body lift is just what it sounds like. These kits allow you to lift the body anywhere from 1 to 3 inches by using spacers installed between the body and frame mounts. They are fairly inexpensive in comparison to suspension kits and with good reason. Other than improving the look of your Jeep, body kits really don’t give you much additional performance other than maybe a little more clearance around the fenders.
==>>2. Suspension Lift - On the other hand, a suspension lift raises the body as well as the suspension so you end up with more actual ground clearance. Suspension lifts involve changing the coil springs, control and pitman arms, and other critical suspension components to add anywhere from 2 to 6 inches to the suspension, as opposed to simply lifting the body. When you lift the suspension, you can also add bigger tires and open fenders to fully maximize the effect of the lifted suspension. Suspension lift kits are more expensive than body lift kits and involve a more complex installation; however, you gain performance enhancements with them.
What Are the Other Benefits of A Suspension Lift?
In addition to the added ground clearance, a suspension lift will give you a few other important benefits if you’re trying to upgrade your Jeep to handle bigger things:
==>>More clearance for larger, meatier tires for rock crawling and hill climbing
==>>Greater articulation for climbing bigger obstacles
==>>Improved approach angles and hill cresting
==>>The appealing look of a body lift with the advantage of important performance enhancements.
Although they cost more and involve a bigger installation effort, suspension lifts are a great choice when you need added ground clearance for hitting the trails and rock piles. Combined with bigger tires and the right fenders, a Jeep suspension lift kit is an important modification that will give you the maneuverability you need while protecting your undercarriage. You’ll be able to do much more with your Jeep and really test your skills with a taller suspension and greater ground clearance!