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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the expense of sounding like a complete fool, I have a question about installing a lift on a CJ or YJ. Is it easy? I preface that with the following observations:

1. I see tons of Jeeps (and other vehicles) with lift kits installed on them. I can't imagine that every one of them are suspension experts.

2. I was reading through some of the posts here which were discussing lifts. One of them was referring to a Rubicon Express lift. After visiting their website, I happened upon the "Instruction sheet" to install the lift. It was exactly that, a two page instruction sheet which I can only assume is printed back to back on one sheet of paper.

How is it possible that a large modification to a vehicle's suspension consists of 40 steps on two pieces of paper?

I understand that it is possible that it is quite easier than it appears to be, but I am quite skeptical. It is one of those situations where the installation instructions are as simple and generic as possible, meanwhile when you try to do the install yourself you run into 500+ other things that you wouldn't even know where to begin.

Rubicon Express 2.5" Lift Instruction Sheet


Some things to consider when lifting a vehicle. Why are you lifting it, for the "look" or more for added off-highway enjoyment.
With any lift, you are changing the orginal suspension geometry. The instructions sometimes don't say you need this or that, but you do. Get a lift kit with all the components. Here is a small list of things to look for.
Longer Shocks
Sway bar end links
Longer brake lines
Longer parking brake cables
Maybe a drop pitman arm
Changing the bump stops
A 2" lift isn't too drastic so some things may not be needed. On leaf sprung vehicles it is simple, u bolt plate with 4 bolts, 2 bolts for the shock, 1 main leaf eye bolt and 1 shackle bolt. Getting it all back together is the key.

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729 Posts
To answer your question about the installation...

I installed my lift by myself in my garage. It took me about 4 or 5 nights. I had never attempted something like this before, but feel very confident with mechanical things. I probably would have done it without instructions, and for the most part just referenced the instruction sheet and reference manuals that I have.

Things to keep in mind --
1. You are working with springs. Springs store energy. This energy can hurt you if it is released when you are not expecting it.
2. You are working underneath a Jeep. At some point, you will be underneath a Jeep that does not have tires or an axle to catch it should it fall. Make sure that you have more than adequate support. If you are doing this in your garage without a lift, make sure to have big jackstands, a good hydraulic jack, and probably a Hi-Lift. I ended up using 6 jackstands of various sizes and two jacks.
3. If your jeep is as old as mine, things won't come out. I ended up having to cut the spring eye bushing to remove the old springs. This was not an easy task. I thought that I was being smart by using cardboard on the floor to catch oil. That is a bad idea when you are shooting sparks... I used a sawzal to keep the sparks to a minimum. I ended up using 4 blades on 4 bolts. Also, keep in mind that your gas tank is around.
4. You will have to disconnect your brakes and install longer brake lines if you go 4 inches. See number 3. This time, be prepared to bend new brake lines if needed. I bought preterminated lines to size at the parts store then just bent them.
5. Just take your time, be careful, look at what you are doing, stop and ask questions if it does not make sense.
6. If you live alone, keep a phone handy and let someone know that you are working under your truck. Should the truck fall or you get hurt.
7. Make sure that you have the right tools -- good wrenches, torque wrench, and sockets are a must. An impact wrench, sawzal, grinder, and a pitman arm puller all make the job much easier.
8.If you do a lift, just take it easy. I highly recommend having someone around to help. There are parts that would have been much easier if I had someone around to help. Also see 6.


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108 Posts

i agree with all of the things mentioned above. i did my lift with the help of my uncle and we did it on a saturday when time wasn't a factor. that was a good thing because it took us a straight 12and 1/2 hours without stopping to finish. i would not recommend doing it yourself, it was hard enough to do with 2 guys. i installed the rubicon express 2.5" lift that you show the instruction sheet for, but my instruction sheet was much less detailed. we used a 2 floor jacks, 6 jack stands and a motorcycle jack for the transfer case drop. i went with the rubicon express lift because it came with everything you need for the lift, except the tools. good luck with whatever you choose.

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566 Posts
Wow, thats a long time to put in your guys lifts......Not to sound like a total dick but me and my pops threw my 3 inch sus lift in my YJ in a little under 4 hours. Started right after a Nascar race and was done by dinner. Although we didn't have a problem with anything not wantin to come out, and a air wratchet and a impact wrench helped out a lot. ALso threw some prolong penetrating spray, night before.
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