Should I lift my KJ?

hectikart

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My current plan was to add a small lift, either Ironman or OME to get about 2.5" and upgrade to 245-75r16's...then I started having trouble with my 4wd, so it's somewhat on hold until I get that straightened out...but I'm really debating doing the lift at all. I feel like my money can be better spent.

I'm looking at at least $2000 for a good lift and five tires. If my math is correct, a 245-75r16 will be 30.47" tall. Stock tire is 29.3"....so I increase my tire size by 1.17"....giving me a grand total of a whopping .59" additional ground clearance. I know that any bigger tires than that and I have to add in re-gearing as well, so even more expensive.

Whatever I do I want to do it right, but funds are not unlimited. I just don't think gaining a little over 1/2" of lift is really worth $2000+. Granted I'm going to spend $1000 on tires either way. But I'm thinking about staying with stock tire size in duratracs and spending the rest on skid plates, tow hooks, lights instead.

Also, this is my DD, but I do like to go on trails and have fun in the snow. In a perfect world I would like to keep my liberty as a more off-road capable than stock DD, and basically my winter vehicle, and get a TJ built completely for off-road.

Opinions??
 

tommudd

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Lift is not all about running bigger tires, its also about a better riding, better handling vehicle with better control on all road surfaces
Also do not "have " to regear with 245-75-16s
KJs do way more than you think off road
In a perfect world I would keep my current KJ and ............buy another one to build pretty much the same way
Been the CJ/XJ/ etc route :Bye:
 

TwoBobsKJ

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Yea, you may only get .59" of additional clearance for the diffs, rear axle and lower control arms but the gain for the chassis/frame is around 4 inches. And that's significant when it comes to breakover angles, crawling over stumps, rocks etc.

Plus everything Tom said about ride quality and stability and the intangible of having one of the few lifted Liberty's around. And there's nothing like showing a TJ/CJ/JK owner up on the trails :killit:

Bob
 

hectikart

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Don't get me wrong, I love my KJ and I definitely agree that they are underrated by most off-road. Even stock, it's really impressed me.
I meant I would have to re-gear if I went even bigger than 245-75, but I would eventually like to even with 245's.

I guess my point is that if I do it, I want to go all out and do it right. SFA swap and lift, lockers, lots of ARB stuff and so on. But I don't know if I'll ever be able to afford to really do it the way I want....maybe in bits and pieces I guess. For now it will really come down to how much $ I have left to spend after I fix the 4wd...that is top priority
 

hectikart

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Yea, you may only get .59" of additional clearance for the riffs, rear axle and lower control arms but the gain for the chassis/frame is around 4 inches. And that's significant when it comes to breakover angles, crawling over stumps, rocks etc.

Plus everything Tom said about ride quality and stability and the intangible of having one of the few lifted Liberty's around. And there's nothing like showing a TJ/CJ/JK owner up on the trails :killit:

Bob

I guess that's true too...I love wranglers too, not JK's so much, but TJ's and CJ's. But lifted wranglers are a dime a dozen. I probably see at least 6 wranglers a day in my town, and almost as many XJ's...at least half of them are lifted. I don't think I have ever come across a lifted Liberty in person. Alright, maybe I just needed a pep talk lol...Time to get back to work on my wish list
 

tommudd

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Never came across a Lifted Liberty :disgust:
heck I have several in my drive way at least once a month. :happy175:
 

tjkj2002

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I can tell you here in Colorado that extra 0.59" of clearance under the low spot(rear diff pumpkin) can make or break you getting over most obsticals.


But get recovery points,skids,and all other armor 1st as they will protect and save high dollar parts of your Jeep.Plus lockers make a world of difference and turns a KJ into a force to be reckoned with.


But when your ready................
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hectikart

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yea, it's a shame. 9 out of 10 Liberty's I see here have soccer moms behind the wheel....I see tons of ridiculously lifted trucks and wranglers that look like they have never been off pavement...actually the only one's that look like they actually use their 4x4's here are the XJ's because 18yr old kids can buy them for cheap and turn them into mud trucks. I live in Connecticut...lots of people with too much $$ to build mall crawlers with. I was checking out a TJ Rubicon someone had for sale as I was driving by the other day. 2003, 40k miles, barely used...and it had a stupid spacer lift on it
 

J-Thompson

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The KJ is fine for mild to moderate trails with a lift and 245/75's
But if you don't have skids and hooks get them first
Then lift it and bigger tires
Then put a locker out back
 

hectikart

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The KJ is fine for mild to moderate trails with a lift and 245/75's
But if you don't have skids and hooks get them first
Then lift it and bigger tires
Then put a locker out back

I agree, that is my ultimate plan...although I may do the lift first only because I need new tires before winter and I only want to buy them once. I'm thinking about making my own tow hooks if I have any 1/2" steel laying around at work. and will probably make my own gas tank skid out of 3/16"...that one seems pretty simple.

Anyone use mopar skids? I noticed they're alot cheaper then skidrow stuff, and I'm assuming that's probably because they're made out of 11ga or something as opposed to 3/16". does anyone have them know if they hold up ok? Maybe I can get away with them for an area that's more likely to have scraping on rocks than direct hits?
 

TwoBobsKJ

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A lift is in your future in any case so why not do it now along with the tires. With Jeeps you're never really "done" anyway - you're just another step removed from stock. Look at tjkj2002's Orange Beast - betchya he has a few more mods up his sleeves...

I have full Mopar skids. Would I trust them in Moab or someplace that would take lots of direct hits on boulders, rocks? Probably not. But here in Ohio I'm usually crawling over stumps and through mud so it's not as much an issue. I'd love to get full Kilby or Skid Row skids tho.

Tip: Start looking around for a front diff from a 4-cylinder 4WD Libby. Prolly pick one up for less than $200. It'll have 4.10's in it then when you can regear in the back with 4.10's and a locker - then your 245/75's will give you the pop you need.

I'm saving up for the gears and locker for the rear diff in mine then I'll be happier with the power and off-road manners.

Bob
 

Ry' N Jen

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Leave your jeep stock.
Then just drive it in the city and some light rural trails.
That way you'll have fun, your jeep won't cost you an arm and a leg in maintenance costs.
The more you mod your rig the more it will cost to keep in top running condition if you actually go out and wheel your shit.
I know this from first hand experiance. You have to pay to play!
 

J-Thompson

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I agree, that is my ultimate plan...although I may do the lift first only because I need new tires before winter and I only want to buy them once. I'm thinking about making my own tow hooks if I have any 1/2" steel laying around at work. and will probably make my own gas tank skid out of 3/16"...that one seems pretty simple.

Anyone use mopar skids? I noticed they're alot cheaper then skidrow stuff, and I'm assuming that's probably because they're made out of 11ga or something as opposed to 3/16". does anyone have them know if they hold up ok? Maybe I can get away with them for an area that's more likely to have scraping on rocks than direct hits?


I built my own trans skid out of 3/16 and reenforced it with
1/4" thick 1"X1" angle running front to back
The Mopar version is junk
The Mopar x-fer case and fuel tank are made the same as the
skids they put on the TJ and JK as far as materials
The engine skid is or was also a good heavy pcs
 

J-Thompson

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Leave your jeep stock.
Then just drive it in the city and some light rural trails.
That way you'll have fun, your jeep won't cost you an arm and a leg in maintenance costs.
The more you mod your rig the more it will cost to keep in top running condition if you actually go out and wheel your shit.
I know this from first hand experiance. You have to pay to play!


Haha yeah
I am spending $600+ for 4 shocks on a Jeep that I
May drive 3000 miles in a year
Hell I spent over $1000 to get 1 skid plate on
 

hectikart

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Leave your jeep stock.
Then just drive it in the city and some light rural trails.
That way you'll have fun, your jeep won't cost you an arm and a leg in maintenance costs.
The more you mod your rig the more it will cost to keep in top running condition if you actually go out and wheel your shit.
I know this from first hand experiance. You have to pay to play!

but that's no fun...the question isn't really whether or not to upgrade from stock, it's more a question of spending money wisely to get the most out of it.

I'm not too worried about the maintenance aspect, as I want to do it myself, and I'm learning how to do more and more work on it myself...and fortunately I have a few friends that are mechanics that can help me along the way, and having access to the lift at work doesn't hurt either.
 

sevenhelmet

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I'd say if you're worried about the money, then just save up and continue to wait until it doesn't hurt as much to do the lift and tires. I waited a few years before I got an OME suspension on my KJ- and it was worth it when I did. I've wheeled mine in places I was sure I'd never get out of (and almost didn't- impressed some friends of mine that I made it.)

But beware- the more you mod, the more you'll WANT to mod. Mitigate that by not spending too much time on here, which can be hazardous to your wallet. :)
 

ridenby

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I think that upgrading a few things helps.Ever seen a Liberty carry the front wheels up a hill?

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tjkj2002

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I'd get thick skids,sure there heavy and cost you some mpg's but if you wheel it hard you'll want them.

Just think the 3.7 is anywhere from $1000-$2000 for a used engine,$500-$3000 for the trans(used/new/remaned),$250-$500 for the t-case(stock t-case),and $650 for the gas tank/$250 for fuel pump.

My KJ would have been in the junkyard long ago if I didn't run the Skidrow front,trans,and t-case skid,I run the Kilby gas tank skid(best on the market).

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And yes in the last pic the t-case skid is bent.
 

hectikart

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I'd get thick skids,sure there heavy and cost you some mpg's but if you wheel it hard you'll want them.

Just think the 3.7 is anywhere from $1000-$2000 for a used engine,$500-$3000 for the trans(used/new/remaned),$250-$500 for the t-case(stock t-case),and $650 for the gas tank/$250 for fuel pump.

My KJ would have been in the junkyard long ago if I didn't run the Skidrow front,trans,and t-case skid,I run the Kilby gas tank skid(best on the market).

Yeah, I definitely need them. My front differential already had a nice beveled edge from a rock. I think I'm going to see what I can make myself. The skidrow stuff especially looks very simple. I can probably make a full set out of a 5'x10' 3/16" plate, and the cost is probably less than finished skidrow plate.
 

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