Were you aware that the first Jeep Gladiator was introduced to the automotive market in 1962? This vehicle was initially built on the frame of this unique brand’s Wagoneer station wagon. Ever since, Jeep has kept making improvements to this model, and the new 2023 Gladiator is set to be released soon.
Although on their own, Jeep Gladiators are suited for various terrains and are durable enough to last you a decent amount of years, many people like to make modifications. One of the most popular modifications involves lifting a Gladiator with a lift kit. According to many Gladiator enthusiasts, installing a lift kit is one of the best decisions you can make for your vehicle.
This is primarily because installing a lift kit improves your Gladiator’s off-road capabilities. After all, when you lift a Gladiator, you allow for more ground clearance, which means you can traverse more hazardous or challenging trails without getting stuck or dragging. Additionally, those who plan on upsizing their tires also choose to install a lift kit because who doesn’t want their Gladiator to look bigger and meaner?
Yet, if you’re planning on purchasing and installing a lift kit on your Jeep Gladiator, there’s much you need to consider. This is especially true considering lift kits and components can drastically vary in capability and price. Some are extensive and require you to replace various aftermarket parts, springs, and spring seats. On the other hand, some vehicle lift kits are little more than a few spacers for your vehicle suspension.
You should also remember that besides lifting your Gladiator, a lift kit will significantly upgrade many of your components like your control arms, springs, and shocks. Since this is a lot to consider, I want to make the process easier for you. That’s why I’ve found a few of the best lift kit options for a Jeep Gladiator. Let’s dive into everything you need to know.
Bottom Line Up Front
There are many Jeep Gladiator lift kits available, but not all of them are worthy of being put on your car. Of the few genuinely great options, I always recommend the ReadyLift 69-6041 4-inch Terrain Flex 4 arm lift kit, available on 4WD.com.
This lift kit will give you the performance you crave without you needing to make too many adjustments to the original parts and specifications of your Gladiator.
Picks at a Glance
- Mopar 77072468AB 2-Inch Lift Kit – Best Handling Capabilities
- Rough Country 3.5-Inch Lift Kit (fits) 2020 – 2022 Jeep Gladiator JT 4WD Models – Best For Off-Road Driving
- ReadyLift 69-6041 4-Inch Terrain Flex 4-Arm Kit – Best For Performance
- Daystar KJ09192 0.75-Inch Rear Lift Kit – Best For Fuel Economy
Why Do People Choose To Lift Their Jeep Gladiator?
A stock standard Jeep Gladiator is indeed more than capable of off-road activities, but some people need or crave more than the original components. It’s believed that two of the reasons why people choose to install a lift kit is to accommodate larger tires and improve road performance, while others simply want their Gladiator to look beefier.
Moreover, with greater height, better articulation is guaranteed. With your Jeep flexing its suspension better, thanks to a lift kit, you’ll be able to navigate extreme terrain while climbing and straddling frightening obstacles.
What Are Three Types Of Jeep Gladiator Lift Kits?
Depending on how clued up you are when it comes to lifting kits, you might not know that there are different types. Before we look at the best lift kits for a Jeep Gladiator, I want to tell you more about three lift kit types so that you can determine which one best suits your preferences. Yet, if none of these options appeals to you, trust your gut and go with one of the other lesser-used lift kit options.
The Short Arm Lift Kit
Short arm lift kits are usually ideal for those who don’t want to lift their Gladiator more than four inches. When you install a short arm lift kit, you will be attaching a short arm component to the stock control arm mount of your Gladiator. When you purchase a premium short arm lift kit, it should include everything you would get in a coil spring lift kit. The main difference is that you will also get longer front and rear control arms that are adjustable.
Unlike other lift kits, a short arm lift kit is far easier to install because you often won’t need to cut, weld, or complete any major suspension or fabrication modifications during installation. You should also be able to avoid driveline vibrations with these kits since the adjustable control arms let you correct your Gladiator’s wheelbase and pinion angle.
Another benefit of using a short arm lift kit is that most will come with track bars that are adjustable. These track bars will allow you to recenter the axles underneath your Gladiator’s frame after you lift them. If you use a short arm lift kit that will lift your Jeep higher than 3 inches, it should also include the other components you need, like brackets.
Most automotive fundis recommend short arm lift kits for the Gladiator because they are an entire suspension system, which is something that many other kits don’t often provide. With one of these kits, you’ll be able to lift your Gladiator safely without damaging your steering and suspension geometry. Even though short arm kits can be more expensive than other options, it’s usually best to invest in one to save money.
The Long Arm Lift Kit
At one point, I had a long arm lift kit installed on my Gladiator. However, I quickly removed it because I found it wasn’t what I wanted. This narrative is not uncommon in the Jeep community.
Many drivers find the long arm lift kit an acquired taste. Yet, if you’re looking for a kit that will raise your Gladiator 4 inches or more while ensuring it rides smoothly on and off-road, this kit type is suitable.
Out of all the lift kit types, the long arm lift kit is the most expensive (even when compared to a short arm lift kit). These lift kits are often much harder to install because they require fabrication and welding.
Unsurprisingly, long arm lift kits include control arms that are 10 inches or longer. This means you will have to have new durable aftermarket control arm brackets to equip these control arms. In many instances, you could also be required to remove the stock brackets on your Gladiators frame, and we don’t need to tell you how dangerous this can be.
Yet, a long arm lift kit could be ideal if you need crazy crawling capabilities and intend to often participate in challenging off-road trips.
The Coil Spring Lift Kit
You should consider a coil spring lift kit if you only want to lift your Gladiator 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches. When you choose this kit, you’ll receive stiffer or longer coils that lift your suspension. Some coil spring lift kits will also include various components like track bar brackets, brake line extensions, bump stops, and sway bar links. I have a coil spring lift kit on my Gladiator, and I have no complaints thus far.
One of the best things about equipping a coil spring lift kit is that you’ll be guaranteed increased articulation. This improved articulation will result in your tires making better contact with driving surfaces, and we don’t have to tell you why that’s a good thing.
However, you need to note that you shouldn’t lift your vehicle too high with a coil spring lift kit. If you go taller than 2.5 inches with this type of kit, you risk experiencing improper pinion angles and driveline vibrations.
Selection Criteria: What To Consider When Looking For In A Jeep Gladiator Lift Kit
Before we take a closer look at the different types of lift kits and the best ones for your Jeep Gladiator, we want to share a few tips. Below you will find a few of the top tips surrounding what to consider when looking for in a Jeep Gladiator lift kit. Following these tips makes you less likely to encounter vehicle problems and waste your money.
- Determine your budget: One of the most important things you should do is determine how much you’re willing to spend on a lift kit for your Jeep Gladiator. Since lift kits range in price, with many costing more than $500, it’s an excellent idea to first know how much you’re willing to spend so that you can search for a lift kit in that price range. It doesn’t help to choose a lift kit that is out of your budget, wasting time you could have spent finding the right one.
- Consider how much lift you need: You must consider how much lift you need. Most lift kits for a Jeep Gladiator lift your vehicle 4 inches or less. Yet you can get lift kits that will lift your Gladiator between 0.75 inches to 4 inches or more. You can also choose a kit that will only lift the rear if you want to improve fuel economy and gain more clearance, and don’t mind the odd appearance. In my opinion, I would suggest not lifting your vehicle more than 4 inches, with 2 inches being perfect for off-road and on-road activities.
- Establish what type of lift kit you want: Arguably, one of the most important things you need to do is establish what type of lift kit you want if you plan on lifting your Gladiator. There are many different lift kits, such as body lift kits, short and long arm lift kits, and coil spring or suspension lift kits. When choosing a Gladiator lift kit, you should also consider why you want to lift your car, as this will factor into the type you choose. This is because some are better for performance and durability while others are best for fuel economy, aerodynamics, and comfort.
- Determine what tire size you want: If you want to upgrade your tire size, you might have to install a lift kit. Additionally, how high you lift your Jeep Gladiator will depend on how big you want your tires to be. For example, if you want to put 37-inch tires on your vehicle, you must lift them between 3.5 inches and 4 inches to fit them safely.
What Are The Four Best Jeep Gladiator Lift Kits?
Now that you know more about the typical lift kit types for a Jeep Gladiator, it’s time to learn about your vehicle’s best lift kit options. See below to see if any of our favorites catch your eye.
Arguably, the most popular lift kit brand for Jeep Gladiators is Mopar. If you’re seeking a lift kit designed and engineered by off-road enthusiasts and brand engineers, then the Mopar 77072468AB 2-inch lift kit is exactly what you need.
Since one of the biggest problems with lift kits is that they can worsen handling, Mopar thought to address it by including high-performance front and rear Fox shock absorbers. These shocks consistently help your Gladiator maintain precise handling because they feature an impressive high-pressure nitrogen gas charged design.
This design does this without compromising ride quality. You can also expect maximum performance from these shocks because they feature high-grade aluminum alloy shock bodies.
Yet the sturdy front and rear coil springs provide the lift you crave. Since these durable coil springs are manufactured from high-quality spring steel, they will ensure your Gladiator always experiences a stable and comfortable ride. You also don’t need to worry about corrosion as the springs feature a black powder coating.
Another attractive component included in this Mopar kit is the heavy-duty control arms. You can trust that these control arms will not steer you off course. These control arms offer perfect front-end geometry thanks to the longer design of these control arms, and you can expect smooth engagement since they are made out of high-grade steel and premium quality bushings.
Additionally, you will love that installing this lift kit is incredibly easy. You won’t even need to worry about cutting or welding anything together, and all you’ll need is a complete toolset and some intermediate automotive mechanical knowledge to equip this kit for your Gladiator by yourself.
- Reasonably priced.
- It can accommodate 35-inch wide tires.
- Improved off-road experience.
- You need intermediate mechanical knowledge.
- Only fits the Jeep Gladiator JT models.
Those who want to make their Gladiator’s presence more commanding need to use the Rough Country 3.5-inch lift kit. I have friends who have equipped this lift kit and have never looked back.
This is because, unlike other lift kits, this one offered by Rough Country perfectly blends high-performance capabilities, stock standard comfort, and aggressively good looks.
With this kit, you can expect to benefit from significantly improved ground clearance that will allow you to outfit 37-inch tires if you feel the need.
In addition, this lift kit isn’t difficult to install and can often be equipped within a few short hours since you needn’t do any fabrication or welding to assemble it.
This lift kit includes a set of incredibly durable front and rear dual-rate coil springs. These springs are perfectly calibrated to ensure you enjoy a smooth ride with your Gladiator’s impressive lifted height.
You can also look forward to using Rough Country 10-stage variable valving nitrogen charge N3 shocks which will ensure you’re stable and not too jostled while driving off and on-road.
Yet, what’s most attractive about these shocks is that they will give you a long lifespan of improved performance because they feature an 18mm durable spring-loaded piston rod, reinforced seals, and a massive 54mm shock body.
You can find the kit, along with installation instructions, on 4WD.com.
- Easy to install.
- Has a Lifetime Replacement Warranty.
- Offers a superior ride experience.
- Doesn’t fit the Gladiator Mojave models because of shock mount differences.
If your sole purpose in getting a lift kit for your Jeep Gladiator is to improve its performance, you need to purchase the ReadyLift 69-6041 4-inch Terrain Flex 4 arm lift kit.
Unlike a few other kits on our list, this one comes with everything you need to lift your Gladiator. Additionally, one of the biggest pros of this lift kit is that it creates a significantly taller stance, allowing you to equip up to 37-inch tires.
When you purchase this lift kit, you can trust it because performance-minded industry experts created it. This kit has been engineered and developed to perfection with months of quantifiable results. The creators of this kit tested it on many extreme rock crawling adventures and thousands of miles of interstate travel, so you can rest assured it will handle whatever you throw at it.
This kit includes 4-inch lift replacement springs that accommodate an increased load and increase suspension travel. Another benefit to this lift kit is that it includes a top mount heavy-duty ¼ wall steel coil spring spacer.
With this spacer, you can retain your Gladiators factory dual-rate springs. This means you will retain your original rear coil springs and not lose hauling, towing, or driving performance.
Lastly, the ReadyLift 69-6041 4-inch Terrain Flex 4 ark lift kit includes Falcon 2.1 mono tube performance shocks that have been carefully engineered specifically for a Jeep Gladiator JT model. With these shocks equipped, you’ll be able to drive better on the road while capably navigating trails and rocks.
- Easy bolt-on-installation.
- Has every component needed.
- Rubicon trail rated.
- Highly expensive at more than $1,800
- Sometimes shipped without bolts.
From first-hand experience, I know how frustrating it can be to drive a Gladiator that has used a lift kit that has raised it too much in the front and rear when I have only wanted the rear raised slightly.
Luckily there is a lift kit for those who only want to minimally elevate the rear of their Gladiator. Thus those who want to only raise the rear of their Jeep Gladiator should consider the Daystar KJ09192 0.75-inch rear lift kit.
By raising the rear of your Gladiator with the Daystar KJ09192 0.75-inch rear lift kit, you will reduce wind resistance and benefit from improved fuel economy. Lifting only the back with this kit will also help you reduce your chances of rolling over when tackling rugged terrain.
Unlike other rear lift kits, this one is designed to raise your Gladiator while leveling its factory stance. Included in this kit are heavy-duty polyurethane spacers.
With these spacers equipped, your Gladiator JT will maintain its comfortable stock factory ride quality while improving clearance performance. Best of all, it only takes one to two hours to install this kit.
Therefore, if you don’t mind a front look that is a little odd with the rear lifted, this kit is likely right up your alley.
- Easy and quick to install.
- It doesn’t mess with your Gladiator’s ride quality.
- Only raises the rear.
- Doesn’t come with many components.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Before installing a lift kit on your Gladiator, it’s a good idea to determine if installing one will cause your vehicle to experience problems. It’s believed that although lift kits are, for the most part, great additions to a Gladiator, they can cause various issues.
For example, raising its center of gravity makes the vehicle less stable and more likely to end up on its side during swerving or panic braking. Additionally, a lifted Gladiator can encounter handling issues and ‘wobble’ on the road in an uncontrolled swaying manner.
Answer: It’s imperative to follow state rules and regulations when installing a lift kit on your Jeep Gladiator. Some states don’t have laws surrounding lifting limitations, but others have strict requirements that you’ll need to adhere to.
For example, some US states only allow drivers to lift their vehicles a maximum of four inches. Failing to adhere to your local laws will often result in you receiving a hefty fine, so before making any modifications, research as much as possible.
Answer: If you install a lift kit on your Jeep Gladiator, you can expect your ownership costs to increase. With a lift kit, you can expect to experience a decreased gas mileage, and your insurance costs could increase.
This is because many insurance companies deem lift kits as modifications, and some will see these modifications as risky and thus raise your premiums or refuse to cover you altogether.
Over the years, I have used many lift kits, but the ones on this list have proven superior. Since many different types of lift kits vary in capability and price, you will have to think long and hard about which type you want.
Yet, luckily, you won’t need to look very far for a Jeep Gladiator lift kit that will suit your budget and preferences. I’m sure that at least one of the ones we spoke about could be right up your alley.
If you really can’t decide, you can choose my favorite lift kit, the ReadyLift 69-6041 4-inch Terrain Flex 4 arm lift kit, available on 4WD.com. It’ll improve performance, and you won’t need to replace your durable factory standard Jeep Gladiator springs.