Join Date: Aug 2000
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Re: Still searching for answers - lifting \'03 saha
Wow 4 million questions, i'll see what i can do but first off my pet peve you have a tj or a wrangler, sahara is just an option package that really menas nothing when you go to build up your jeep. All you have different from any other tj is some fancy plastic rockers, wider painted fender flare, some stickers, and different seats. X, SE, Sport, Sahara, all the same thing besides the motor they have, the rubicon that's a little different though still shares 99% of parts with a normal tj. Ok i'm off my soap box.
2.5" suspension + 1" body is a good combo to stay low and run 33's. I ran 32's with 2" spacers and sagged out factory coils. When disconected i would rub on my fenders to the point they had a little bend to them but then i really pushed my old tj.
You don't need a motor mount lift with a 1" body lift, the main reason people to them is to help their rear drive line angles to to move the motor up so they can install a flatter skid plate.
There is nothing wrong with a little tire rubbage on the flares, it won't do any damage and isn't anything to worry about. You could probably still rub 33's with 4.5" of lift but they make something called bump stops. There's no reason not to use bump stops to control your rubbing. You dont need gobs and gobs of flex. I garuentee on the trail a jeep with not a lot of flex and lockers front and rear will drive right by a tj with tons of flex and open diffs.
Wheel Backspacing, you factory backspacing is 5.5" with 15x8 wheels. You will rub on the factory lower control arms when you turn though it's not really a bad thing and there are tons of jeeps out there that rub on them. After running wheel spacers i'm not a huge fan. For jeep steel wheel check out summit racing they have 15x8 black steelies for $36.95 each which is probably less then wheel spacers
A slip yoke eliminator, easiest way to explain one is go under your jeep and look at the style your front drive shaft is and then look at the style of your rear drive shaft. A sye will convert your rear shaft to the same style as your front shaft. With 2-3" of lift you may need to drop your t-case. I know in my old tj with a 4.0/auto and 2" spacers i had minor drive line vibes at 70mph.
I ran 32" swampers with stock 3.55 gears and it wasn't too bad on the road, the 4.0 auto jeeps were never rocket ships but the bigger tires doesn't make them too doggy.
Trans coolers are always a good idea and with tj autos you have to worry about filling the thing with water because water likes to come in the breater. Do some searching for tf999 or tf727 vent mod. I know i ate 2 transmissions because i filled them with water.
Of course going with bigger tires increases your chances of breaking parts.
Look for a local 4x4 or jeep club, start hanging out with them, ride along on a run or 2, ask some questions, see how their rigs are built and how they were in your local terrain. You can ask all the questions you want on the net but it helps to see and have things explained in person. There's also no shame in wheeling a stock jeep, many of us have and still wheel stockers.