If you don’t lift your Jeep, are you really living? Jeep Wranglers are perfect candidates for even the highest lift kits. They look good and perform well with additional inches in the form of suspension enhancements and even body lift kits, and you can expect a great return on your investment, too.
Here we’ll look at the different types of lift kits available and how to find the best one for your needs plus list our top choices for your Jeep Wrangler.
Bottom Line Up Front
For a cross between performance and aesthetics, we recommend the MotoFab Lifts Full Lift Kit. With a three-inch lift height—complete with shock extenders and spacers—the MotoFab kit is the complete package.
Whether you want to install bigger wheels (the MotoFab kit can accommodate wheels up to 35 inches) or aim to climb over obstacles, MotoFab’s kit is an excellent option. Not convinced? Read on for more on different types of lift kits, how to find the best one, and more recommendations.
Different Types of Lift Kits for Jeep Wranglers
Two basic types of lift kits are available for Jeep Wranglers and other vehicles. One is a suspension lift, and the other is a frame lift. You can use one or both together to get the look and function you want in your Jeep. Apart from suspension and frame options, there are a handful of other components to consider.
Suspension Lift Kit
Suspension lift kits push the wheels down from the frame and involve shocks and other equipment to ensure all the angles and components are safe and efficient. A suspension kit can include shocks and may affect the vehicle’s handling—but often in a good way.
Many drivers prefer suspension lift kits for responsiveness off-road, especially when ground obstacles are a concern. Handling can still vary, so there may be an adjustment period once you install the new equipment and you become familiar with a different center of gravity.
Suspension kits tend to contain high-performance parts, but you may need additional parts to complete the project and get the look you want.
Body Lift Kit
Body lift kits increase clearance to accommodate bigger wheels and use plastic or other materials to provide the necessary gap. Body kits can include other parts to help adjust angles and linkages, which might be affected by the lift.
A body kit raises the frame up higher to allow for aesthetic appeal and keep tires from rubbing on the frame, but it doesn’t involve suspension or shock absorption. Some limitations exist with body kits, but they’re also easier to install than the more extensive suspension lift options.
Body lift kits tend to come in lower-level heights—nothing quite as adventurous as ten inches—but can still make a big difference in the look and function of your Jeep.
Other Lift Kits
Leveling kits are another common lift type for some vehicles. Leveling kits serve the same purpose as other types of kits, except the goal is to raise the vehicle to stock height front and back. You can also use a front-end leveling kit paired with spacer blocks for all-around lift.
In contrast with a lift kit, a leveling kit doesn’t usually involve suspension components or other parts. The primary purpose of leveling kits is to accommodate larger tire sizes which might barely clear the vehicle’s frame—or only clear it on the rear end.
Equipment in Kits
Some kits, especially body lift and leveling kits, tend to come with few parts. Suspension kits, however, often include more accessories such as performance shocks and other elements. For most consumers, buying a kit with all the necessary parts and tools is much simpler than piecing together your own kit.
Both individual parts and all-inclusive kits are available, but it comes down to what your preference is as far as an assembly. You can choose to purchase an entire kit and take it to a local mechanic, or you can take the DIY route if you feel comfortable with it.
Take note of any items the manufacturer notes are not included in a kit so you can prepare before disassembling your Wrangler. Additional parts are also helpful at times, such as reinforced materials or metal versus plastic parts, to prevent rubbing and damage to your vehicle’s frame.
Benefits of Lift Kits
People may joke about the reason why drivers choose lifted trucks, but the fact remains that it looks cool. Most people don’t realize there are other benefits to lifting a vehicle, particularly when the car is a daily driver.
Lifting a truck can help eliminate feedback from roads, reducing the impact of potholes, bumps, and other imperfections in the asphalt. Rather than jostling your entire vehicle (its frame and occupants included) when you pass over a hole in the road, the suspension kit can absorb the impact and help it dissipate.
Explaining the benefit is simple: the more suspension you have, the less you feel obstacles. Larger tires are also a boon for lifted Jeep Wrangler drivers: more tire surface area means impact spreads over a larger area—and you feel less of it.
Moderately lifted trucks may not be ideal for towing, but a truck with an inch or so of lift can help balance out the load you’re pulling. A heavier lead vehicle means less chance of a trailer or towable getting squirrelly, another way adding a lift kit can benefit Jeep drivers.
How to Find the Best Jeep Wranglers Lift Kit
Lifting a Jeep can make the difference between the aesthetic you want and a vehicle you’re not happy driving. A disappointing lift install can not only ruin the look of your Jeep Wrangler, but it may even damage the structure of the vehicle. With everything from ¾-inch kits to those nearly ten inches high, there’s a lot to consider. Here’s what to look for to find the best kit for optimal results.
Look at Height
Height is the first consideration when shopping for a Jeep Wrangler lift kit. If you just want to raise your truck up an inch or two to gain clearance for a set of tires or aftermarket rims, your needs are different than someone who’s seeking a unique look with more height.
Lift kits range from an inch to upwards of four inches, but each kit has specific requirements and specifications. You can expect to have more work ahead the more inches you plan to raise your Jeep, so you’ll want to have a plan before you go shopping.
You can find a lift kit which can raise your vehicle anywhere from one to ten inches (or higher with a custom job), but the higher you go, the better the odds you’ll need professional help with the transition. Beyond the basic suspension kit, you’ll also need to make changes to ensure your vehicle’s performance doesn’t suffer. Expert help is ideal for more extensive jobs, so we’re sticking with lower-height kits in our recommendations below.
Reason for Lifting
Consider the reasons you want to lift your Jeep Wrangler before ordering a kit. If you enjoy (or plan to enjoy) four-wheeling, investing in a lift kit is smart because it can help reduce the impact on your vehicle’s frame. Adding suspension enhancements along with the lift will also give responsiveness off road.
Traction increases when you keep all four wheels on the ground, so lifting helps with that aspect when it comes to traversing difficult terrain. If looks are your only priority, rather than off-roading function, you may get by with a basic kit.
Know that when you adjust or enhance your vehicle’s height, you’re also changing the mechanics of its operation overall. Handling can take a hit, and so can fuel efficiency. The higher you lift the vehicle, the higher the potential for squirrely maneuvering which may result in a rollover if you’re not careful.
For off-roading, however, you may want softer suspension and higher clearance, which can outweigh the drawbacks of driving a lifted vehicle on city streets and highways. Think about how and where you drive most often to decide what type of kit to purchase.
No matter how slight the amount of lift is, it’s possible you can negatively impact your Jeep’s performance. Messing with your vehicle’s suspension can cause the handling to change and can even cause rubbing against the frame.
Recognizing how the accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance is an essential consideration before you start shopping. It’s also critical to use the right tools and follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing the equipment.
Even if you follow instructions properly, you may need additional tools, parts, or expertise to ensure your Jeep continues to perform optimally afterward. Familiarize yourself with the directions for your kit before you start sawing pieces off your Jeep, and you’ll be in decent shape to maintain its performance through the installation.
Most lift kits require at least a few basic tools to install. For more involved projects, you may need to borrow power tools or other equipment to complete the job. Decide how big of a project you want to take on and purchase a kit accordingly.
Manufacturers often highlight what tools are necessary to install their kits, and some highlight when no tools are necessary, though tool-free assembly is less common. More adventurous DIYers might say power tools are necessary—even for sawing off old bolts and hardware—but they’re not a requirement for most jobs.
High-quality materials are crucial not just for the performance of your Jeep, but also for resale value. If you plan to retain ownership of your Jeep, you can make any modifications you want without concern over value.
If you plan to resell at any point, it’s worth thinking about the value of the kit you choose to add and whether it affects any of the Jeep’s selling points. Heavy-duty suspension kits, rugged tires, and other performance additions can add value to your Jeep—and get buyers interested.
Jeep Wranglers already have excellent resale value, but a lift kit is one way to enhance the value even more. Opting for a cheap kit based on price alone isn’t a great way to go about making improvements—although there are budget options which are also high-quality.
A basic two-inch body lift is easy to achieve with the Performance Accessories lift kit.
- 2” body lift
- Rust-free brackets
- Grade 5 zinc plated software
- Reinforced nylon blocks
The manufacturer notes you may need more parts for a complete install, but the instructions are straightforward and a few hours will net you a two-inch body lift on your Jeep Wrangler. You don’t need any special tools—hand tools are sufficient—but the effects are visible.
- Doesn’t affect driveline
- Moderate lift
- Additional parts required
If you want to go bigger with your tires but don’t want major modifications, Performance Accessories’ body lift kit is a good selection.
- 1” body lift
- Accepts up to 35-inch diameter tires
- High-pressure fiberglass reinforced nylon blocks
- Ground strap bracket
- Necessary hardware included
Adding larger tires to your Jeep often requires a lift, but you can get by with a mere 1” lift with Performance Accessories’ kit. Add tires up to 35 inches in diameter without affecting the OEM suspension geometry and install with only basic tools—no advanced expertise required.
- Does not alter OEM suspension geometry
- Only basic tool necessary
- Minor lift
With a long list of components and a full four inches of lift, Mopar’s kit is a must for those who want to raise things up as high as possible without compromising performance.
- 4” lift kit
- Tuned coil springs
- Fox shocks
- Brake relocation brackets
- Track bar bracket
An expansive range of equipment comes with Mopar’s 4” lift kit, so you won’t need anything else outside the one box—and a few tools. You also can’t argue with the results: the amount of lift is impressive, but you won’t notice a dip in performance or the riding experience.
- Includes a range of equipment other kits do not
- Offers a smooth ride/performance driving
- Only suits specific years
- Lacking upper and lower control arms
Rugged Ridge’s coil spacers allow you to bring your Jeep Wrangler up to factory spec stance with ease.
- ¾” leveling kit
- Durable polyurethane
If a minor leveling issue is causing problems with your Jeep, Rugged Ridge’s ¾” spacer kit might be the perfect solution. Whether it’s a sagging front bumper or dipping because of winch placement, coil spacers help level it all out.
Installation is quick and only requires basic tools, so you can get the adjustment you need without much time in the shop.
- Quick install
- Subtle spacing
- May not fit all years
If you’re looking for a bit higher lift for a visibly heightened look for your Jeep, MotoFab’s 3” kit might be the perfect fit.
- 3” full lift kit
- Front coil spacers
- Front and rear shock extenders
- Clears up to 35-inch tires
- Bolt-on installation
- Front and rear brake line brackets
- High-grade steel with black powder coat
All the necessary hardware, plus front and rear brake line brackets, come with MotoFab’s all-inclusive lift kit. You can expect to clear tires of up to 35 inches in diameter, making the kit ideal for wheel upgrades.
- Full kit with brackets and spacers
- Ample clearance
- Doesn’t fit all years
- Instructions are not well written
Nitrogen-charged shocks and performance enhancing features make Rough Country’s lift kit a smart pick for those seeking exceptional on- and off-road performance.
- Full 3.5-inch lift kit
- Premium N3 shock absorbers
- Control arm drop bracket
- Coil correction plates
Coil correction plates are just one part of the package with Rough Country’s lift kit, and those correct the coil spring angle by ten degrees, maintaining efficiency. Some kits mess with your steering and ride quality, but Rough Country’s control arm drop bracket helps achieve the right geometry to avoid issues.
- Durable and high-quality shock absorbers
- Exceptional drive quality
- Doesn’t fit all years
- No shock sleeves or sway bar links included
Comparing the Options
|Performance Accessories 2”||Body||2”|
|Performance Accessories 1”||Body||1”|
|Mopar Jeep Wrangler Lift Kit||Suspension||4”|
|Rugged Ridge Front Spacer Leveling Kit||Leveling||¾”|
|MotoFab Lifts Full Lift Kit||Suspension||3”|
|Rough Country 3.5 Inch Lift Kit||Suspension||3.5”|
Jeep Wranglers lend themselves to plenty of aesthetic and performance updates, and lift kits are no exception. From suspension to body lift kits to leveling solutions, there’s a way to get the look you want in your Wrangler without breaking the bank. Between DIY and full-service offerings and basic to expansive kits, with our guide, you can find the right kit to take your Wrangler from just nice to “wow.”