Lifting my Rubicon - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 10:17 PM
Posts: n/a
Lifting my Rubicon

Hope someone can set me straight re. this.

I got me a spankin' new Rubicon cuz I figured it would be a great platform to start out with for building my new toy.
I want to lift it but i'm getting several differant opinions on what to do/not to do.
Back in the 70's when I was into the jeep thing (yeah, ive been away for a bit) the idea was to keep the CG as low as posible. Therefore we used body spacers and maybe an inch longer shackle. This gave me plenty of clearence for my old Tru-Tracks.
Now the guy at one of my local 4x4 shops say "body spacers are no good cuz your floor pan is to week to handle them".
Hugh? looks to me like the stock spacers are sitting there? Am i missing something? He says "you should go with a 3" lift from BDS". Then he says that my Rubicon is already 1" higher than a regular Wrangler (which is fairly obvious just by looking) and that putting the BDS on would give me 4" of lift.
4x4 shop #2 says I can't use a standard lift kit and that I have to use some "special kit" for Rubicons (the confusion starts to set in).
So I say "how bout' coil spacers?... The kid at the shop says because I'm already an 1" taller than the standard Wrangler and because Jeep did this without using longer drag links, steering links, sway bar, etc. and they're already streched to the limit that I would have to get all that stuff put on. The kid goes on to say that I may as well by an entire BDS kit and "do it right" cuz the cost will be almost the same.
The BDS kit comes with Front anti-sway bar w/ duel disconnects, rear sway bar links, rear track bar relocation, bump stop drops,pitman arm, transfer case drop, shocks and 3" pro-ride coil springs. (optional stuff is lower control arms, rear pinion cams, and steering stabilizer)
First of all, is there anyone out there that has done a lift on a rubicon? If so, what kit did you use and are you happy with it.
Will I also have to get longer brake lines?
Will my shift lever be lower? (the book says I may have to cut a larger opening in my floor for the shift shaft)

Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded rants & babbling.

Sponsored Links
post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 10:26 PM
Keyboard Implanted
Rio_Grande's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Southeastern Indiana
Posts: 4,766
Thanks: 3
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Re: Lifting my Rubicon

Trapper I cannot give you any Rubicon specific info cause I don't have one. but I can tell you that a stock Tj control arms and break lines do not need to be extended for a 3 inch lift. so applying that If you are already 1 inch taller and you add 2 inch spacers you would not be beond my 3 inches on a standard tj. You may still need to extend your rear sway bars and install a track bar extention but I would try it without first and go from there. I think you could do that without a problem. as for the tub spacers 4x4 shop got his head up a$$. I do not like body spacers but the tub is plenty strong enough to use them.

Don't know about BDS lifts never used one.
Rio_Grande is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 10:48 PM
Way Outta Control
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Palouse
Posts: 13,432
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Lifting my Rubicon

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
the idea was to keep the CG as low as posible.

[/ QUOTE ] 1. It still is!
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Now the guy at one of my local <nobr>4x4</nobr> shops say "body spacers are no good cuz your floor pan is to week to handle them". Hugh? looks to me like the stock spacers are sitting there? Am i missing something?

[/ QUOTE ]2. I'd agree, he's right.
3. The unsprung to sprung weight is changed,
4. With the COG being raised.
5. This tends to weaken the metal,
6. Around the spacer mount.
7. The tub will fatigue prematurely.
8. If you insist on a BL that high,
9. At least use some plates,
10. Between the cushion and tub,
11. To spread out the stresses.
12. It will help, but not cure.
13. There ain't no cheap lift.
14. You're in for a headache...
15. That only lots of $$$ will cure.
16. Keep researching...
17. Before you commit to a product.
LEVE is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2004, 12:52 AM
Keyboard Implanted
elusive's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: temecula, CA
Posts: 4,893
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: Lifting my Rubicon

LEVE, on a TJ tub, the body mounts are recessed into the tub. You cant relly put plates on them.
If you are looking for a bit of lift for the rubi, heres the idea.....
a 1" body lift is easy to install and I havent heard of any problems from one out of the 10-15 folks I know running them on TJ's.
a 3/4" spacer is as much as I would put into the coils. any more than that and you'll notice that the ride gets really choppy and the steering gets funky. this is what shop #1 was telling you.
shop # 2 was telling you that the lift kits for rubicons are slightly different than the lift kits for other TJ's, and this is also true..
personally I dont like to lift at all without getting a bit wider as well.
are you dragging the belly of the rubi a lot?
elusive is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2004, 01:30 AM
Way Outta Control
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Palouse
Posts: 13,432
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Lifting my Rubicon

1. Thanks for the info...
2. IMHO.. it's time to open up the wheel openings....
LEVE is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2004, 02:04 AM
Way Outta Control
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: usa
Posts: 10,815
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: Lifting my Rubicon

My Rubi right out of the box dragged the skid plate and the tank's plate alot!

I went with a 4.5" Long Arm lift kit from Rubicon Express. They said in order to use 35 x 12.5 tires I'd need a 1" body lift as well. Not true. I have lots of tire clearance with only the 4.5" lift - no matter how I twist it up. The reason I went 4.5 instead of 5.5 was it never would fit in my garage with 5.5. It barely does now.

The biggest difference with the Rubicons is the transfer case, it's physically larger than a regular TJ's, so you can't use a flat skidplate - it has to hang down more.

Sure, the stock coils are about 1" taller, and a bit softer than a TJ's, but not that big a difference. Everything else seems to be the same. The control arms are flimsey little things!

Aftermarket kits need to be made for that larger T-case - everything else is the same. Some use the original skid plate/mount and just space it down a bit. But that original skid plate bends way too easy. If you use it I'd re-inforce it big time.

The sway bar is not a problem -- kits come with disconnects - they are longer than stock links so they keep the sway bar in the original position. Rear sway bar needs longer links too.

A decent kit will come with adjustable track bars - the higher you go the more the track bars pull the axles to the side - so they need to be at least longer if not adjustable. And, the bar needs to keep at the same angle as stock, so a bracket has to be used to change the mountings. When you lift the rear, the lower shock mounts can no longer be used, so new ones need to be installed.

Rather than piecing something together I'd suggest a decent kit -- you won't regret it.

A big plus with the Rubi's is the rear driveshaft -- it already has the splines in the shaft, so you don't need the Slip Yoke Eliminator. But you should go with a CV shaft.

All that stuff should come in a decent kit - there's lots to do.

Since my body hasn't been lifted, shifter linkages, fan, shroud etc haven't moved so there's no issures there.

While you are doing it, I'd also suggest moving the little locker compressors up into the engine compartment - now they are on the skid plate next to the T-case -- right where any rock or branch will hurt them.

Note -- I found the coils came loose on full droop with the RE - both front and rear. That sure could be a problem. I added limit straps.

As far as CG is concerned, yes it's higher. But wider tires and rims widen it as well, so the tip-over angle should be about the same or better - depending on the tires and rims.

Believe it or not -- it corners better in the street than it did stock. Off road it works really well.

Only 2 complaints - it has lots of wind steer, but I think it's from the rear track bar not being level enough. On my list of "Gonna do's" is to lower the frame mount.
And the tires keep slipping on the rims -- I went with the American Eagle chrome plated aluminum rims -- I think they are too slippery for the MTR's to grab onto. I'm switching over to steel rims next week - if they still slip - screws!
RRich is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome