Red Jeep Club


. Red Jeep Club's collection of Technical Jeep and 4x4 related articles
My Jeep

"The Chili Pepper"


This is my 1999 Jeep wrangler TJ, standing tall with a 4 inch TeraFlex lift.


TJ Questions and Answers

The information supplied here is my own perceptions and understanding of how products work. If I am way off base please let me know and I will quickly updated/debate the facts.

How do you lift a TJ and keep it from vibrating?
I have been running the TeraFlex S3T since 3-0-99 when my 99 TJ was brand new. The secret to a good street ride is the combination of the front quick-disconnects for the sway bar, and the adjustable control arms. These allow you to fine tune both axle angles after the lift. A slip yoke eliminator kit will also alloy you to raise the transfer case(I did this when I added a Tera-low 4-1 kit, after bending my rear shaft.), or you can use the transfer case lowering kit to keep the angles in line. This 3 inch lift clears my 33x12.5 BTG Mud Terrain tires on 15x8 rim with a 3.75 inch offset without any problems. The suspension does flex enough to really cram the tire into the front wheel well but it doesn't even really bend. Rocks do a good enough job at bending things. The street ride on this setup is really good, (At least I think so.) It's a bit softer and higher than stock, but now not as radical as some of my buddies rigs.

What size tires will fit on a stock TJ?
I know Jeeps come new with a 30 inch tire package. (This is the first thing I made the dealership take of my Jeep when I was buying it.) I got the standard small tires that come on the stocks rigs. From what I have read a stock TJ will clear 31 inch tires without much need to modify the suspension or add a body lift.

What kind of lift is needed to fit 32 inch tires?
If you want to clear 32 inch tires then you will need a 2 inch lift and rims with a 3 or 4 inch offset. A 2 inch lift on a TJ is easier than a 3. It generally consists of 4 pucks that you put above all the coils and then you keep everything else stock. This will allow 32 inch tires and will not really effect handling. It generally won't effect the drive line angles either.

What kind of lift is needed to clear 33 inch tires?
On a TJ a three inches lift will accommodate 33 inch tires. It is recommended that you get new wheels that have at least 3.75 inches of offset. Any good tire store will know what this means and set you up. But remember to bring your check book.

What kind of lift is needed to clear 35 inch tires?
On a TJ a four inches lift will accommodate 35 inch tires. It is also recommended that you get new wheels that have at least 3.75 inches of offset.
What is the difference between a three and four inch lift?
The only real difference between a three and a four inch lift is the size of the springs and the amount of shock travel you will need. The lengths of the the track bar brackets may also be a bit longer. The real complications come from the drive line angles. The four inch lift raises the transmission and transfer case enough that the rear drive shaft is too short and the angles are to steep. So a slip yoke eliminate kit and a new double u-joint drive line are needed. This adds to the cost.

What is a body lift and when do you need one.
A body lift is a set of rubber bumpers, and longer bolts that fits between the Jeep body and the frame. They generally come in 1, 2, or 3 inch sizes. They allow the Wheel wells to open up or be farther from the axles thus allowing for larger tires. We all know that larger tires will lift the whole jeep above the ground. When a body lift is installed you will need to be careful that the radiator and shroud are properly positioned in front of the fan, so they don't rub. In my opinion a body lift can be a complement to a good lift kit, but is not a substitute.
Here is a question I got from someone that found this wed site:

Question:
I just bought a brand new 2003 Wrangler sport and I want to put 35" tires instead of 33"s. With the Teraflex suspension and 2" body lift. Also 4:56 gearing. Would this greatly compromise the power and ride for an everyday driver.
Answer:

This is a good, question. The answer is yes and no. 8-). Does your Jeep have the I6 cylinder engine? I assumed it does, most sports have the bigger engine.

The best power my Jeep ever had was with the stock 235/75 tires. It was really fast really peppy, and would also most spin the tires, like your now in stock form. Then I went to a 3 inch lift and 33's and aluminum rims. The al rims are lighter that steel so this helped to rob less power. When I first lifted it I stayed with the stock gears 3.73. The power went WAY down. It was still very capable and fun to drive, and was very capable on the trails. Starting and Stopping were no problem, and getting up to 40-50 mph's was not much problem. Where it suffered was at 60+ The rpm's were just a bit too low, so around here in the mountains of Utah I would find my self shifting into 4th to pull up and over hills. On the flat down the freeway I could still go 75+, but wind could slow me down and I would have the pedal floored.

So then I went full mechanical lockers, and 4.56 gears. WOW the power was back, Of course it's not a sports car but it was quicker off the line and the more often need to down shift to 4th for hills was gone. The rpm's were at this point a little bit higher than stock for any gear or speed. This is because I have 33's and not 35's. When I put 35's on it will be about as close to stock as I can get. I will be getting 35's soon.

So a long story, short. This is a good combination 35's with 4.56's make the rig still go very well on the street. The "Worst" thing I did as far as street driving was the mechanical lockers. It really seems to have a mind of it's own when starting and turning with the lockers. It will raise on it's suspension a bit and the tires will chirps and the lockers will snap. The mechanical lockers also convinced me to go on harder trails so I have also broken more stuff.

Keep in mind that with a 4 inch lift you can get away with a 1 inch body lift and still run 35's. Either way a 2 inch will give you more clearance to the rockers. The other thing you will need to consider is the drive line angles. I would strongly suggest a SYE kit for you transfer case and a new rear drive line And while you have the transfer case out toss in a 4-1 Tera-low. This makes doing hard trails really easy and fun.
I hope this helps, Have fun with your new rig.

Question:
Do you drive around with your front stabilizer disconnected or do you disconnect it for offload use only? I'm planning on removing it full time because it`s only a minor difference in handling. We will see if it changes after the 2" lift is installed.
Answer:
NOTE: Keep your Jeep safe and highway worthy, Make changes to the suspension that DO NOT make you rig unsafe.
With a stock rig, or a Jeep with a 2 inch lift (spring spacers and stock coils) the handling is very different compared to a rig that has 4 inch lift with different aftermarket softer coils.
I have tested many different combinations of driving with or without the front stabilizer bar. I added The TeraFlex Quick disconnects so I can easily add an remove the bar. My Jeep has a 4 inch lift and 33 inch tires. I can tell it is defiantly safer when the tires are aired up and the bar is connected. When the tires are aired down and the bar is disconnected, I would not recommend this situation. It is very soft and could easily get you in trouble at an higher speed. I have driven around Moab for the week like this, But I would not go Highway speeds like this. The other two combinations, tire up, bar off, Or tires down, bar on are about the same a bit better than nothing. I have one other consideration that I will mention. When I tow I like to have the tire aired up and the bar connected as well, It keep the Jeep from moving and bouncing around on the trailer as I drive down the road and take corners. The Currie Anti-Rock front sway bar is a very popular product and seems to work very well. I have a number of friends using them and they all like them. I am thinking about this issue a lot now, because I want to re-do my front steering to have a straight bar, and raise it up above the ground a bit more. When I do this I will need to either remove or move the front stabilizer mounts because they get in the way of the new steering parts.

Question:
Now for the Rancho question. Can Rancho 5000's be mounted upside down? I don't believe they can. Reason I ask is that at full droop the shock tube will hit against the coil spring perch resulting in damage to the shock. Don't know if it would damage the inner wall/piston or not but it definitely will damage the outer wall the first time the axle is at full drop. Now I know the lower control arms could be extended further out to try and roll the axle and get it away from the coil spring perch but then we run into the TeraFlex warranty that states warranty on control arms are voided if the control arm is extended more than .75". So.. suggestions? Is there a bolt on bracket to get the shock tube away from the perch if they can't be hung upside down?

Answer:
Don't mount the Rancho 5000's upside down. They'll thump around--it seems like the piston has to travel through an inch or so of air before it smacks into the oil. (not sure if that's exactly what's happening, but that's how it acts) The only shock I know of for sure that can be run upside down are the Doetsch Tech ones. (until you get into more expensive varieties)
The Doetsch Tech shock do work very well upside down, and as far as I know this is the only shock that can be mounted this. YES, TeraFlex sells a shock relocation bracket that will go on and move the mount out about 1-1.5 inches, for about 35.00 bucks. This makes them clear ok. We did this to a TJ and they lasted about 1 yr of wheeling, until the whole bracket was ripped off. This is a reflection of how cheap the brackets are on a TJ axle and not really a reflection of the TeraFlex bracket. I would seriously recommend that on a TJ you weld covers and extra brackets on the axle brackets, especially the rear one the has a control arm and the track bar. I have seen and fixed a number of these after they were removed on the trail.


What does a TJ lift have in it?
A suspension lift comes in two formats, basic and full systems. The basic is about $400.00 plus labor and will get your Jeep up in the air and will clear 33's. The basic kit will have springs, a pitman arm, and maybe longer sway bar links. A full system ($1000.00 + 300-400 labor) will have all these things and adjustable control arms, skid plates, Shocks etc.

3 inch TJ kit
  • Run 33 inch tires.
  • 3 inch lift springs
  • Front sway bars quick disconnects
  • Rear sway bar extensions
  • Rear track bar relocation bracket
  • drop pitman arm
  • steering box cover
  • 4 control arms
  • New shocks are required.
  • 4 inch TJ kit
  • Run 35 inch tires
  • 4 inch lift springs
  • Front sway bars quick disconnects
  • Rear sway bar extensions
  • Rear track bar relocation bracket
  • drop pitman arm
  • steering box cover
  • 4 control arms
  • New shocks are required.

  • Transfer Case options
  • 4to1 Low range kits
  • 2 low shifters
  • slip yoke eliminator kits.
  • Misc Options
  • Gas Tank skid plates
  • Lockers
  • Gears
  • Rocker Panel guards


  • How does a TJ suspension work? TJ suspension 101
    The Suspension on a TJ is a five link, coil suspension the five links are the 4 (2 upper and 2 lower control arms (Control arms are mounted to the frame and the axle the run almost parallel to the frame and keep the axle from rolling) The fifth link is the track bar, It mounts on the axle almost at the end of the the axle and the runs the same direction as the axle and then mounts to the frame. This keeps the axle tracking straight, or keeps it from moving to the drivers or passengers side of the rig. The other essential part of a TJ suspension is the sway bar. This mounts on each end of the axle and is u shaped and mounts to the frame. This keeps the body from swinging(rolling) too far either way when cornering. I have disconnects for this so I connect it on the road and disconnect it on dirt. All of these parts are on both the front and the rear axles. So to lift a Jeep all of these parts need to be lengthened or at least checked to see if they will still function if it is lifted. The other thing you need to consider is the drive line angle. A TJ with up to a 3 inch lift will work OK with a transfer case lowering kit. This will keep the drive line angles low enough that it should not vibrate. Once you go 4 inches of lift or more ALL of these parts must be upgraded. I ran mine with a 3 inch Full suspension lift for a year and it went great on and off road. Once I went 4 inch lift and full lockers it became a bit weird on the road, so it graduated to a trailer queen.

    This is my Jeep in action. Providence Canyon, Logan UT.

    Even when it was a lot newer, I wasn't afraid of a couple of rocks.


    Lifted Jeep Pictures:

        Lifted 99 TJ  |   Lifted 93 Cherokee XJ  |   Lifted 93 Grand Cherokee WJ 

    Jeep Technical Information:     TJ Lift Q&A |   TJ Heavy Duty Steering |   The President  | Bumper Brush Hoop  | On Board Air
    Trail Stories & Pictures:    Rock Crawling  | Moab 1999 | Moab 2000Moab 2001  | Moab 2005  | Kanab 2005  | Team Trophy Challenge 2005

    RJC Home    Members   |  Official Spokesman
    If you like this site or found it helpful please consider a donation.

    Copyright 1999-2011 RedJeepClub.com. RedJeep.com All Rights Reserved. All artwork, logo, and the name RedJeepClub.com, RedJeep.com are trademarks of RJC Enterprise. Jeep is a registered trademark of DaimlerChrysler.
    email addr in imageNOTE: My email address is shown here in the picture with my Jeepin Dog. I had to put it in a picture so I wouldn't get so much spam email. If you have questions please email me.