Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jeep TeraFlex 2.5" Suspension Lift Install

What's fun about owning a Jeep is making it your own.  There are a ton of aftermarket parts.  One of the most dramatic aftermarket transformations you can make is lifting the suspension.  The suspension lift not only looks cool, it provides more ground clearance and lets you climb more stuff ;)

I did quite a bit of research on Jeep Wrangler JK lift kits and kept ending up with TeraFlex.  They have a solid customer following, excellent customer support and manufacture solid products.  I picked the 2.5" lift kit as the base for two reasons 1) keep the center of gravity low so I don't roll, 2) when you start getting to 3" or more of lift you have to replace the front drive-shaft and make other very expensive components.

The TeraFlex 2.5" lift kit comes complete with all parts needed; however, when you make any lift modification it alters the front and rear axle alignment.  The TF kit comes with a rear trackbar realignment bracket, but nothing in the front.  Instead of using the relocation bracket, I purchased a stronger adjustable trackbar.  I also purchased a front adjustable trackbar as well.  The only other component that could be needed is an adjustable lower control arm (LCA).  LCA's enable you to adjust the front wheel caster.  The stock controls arms are not adjustable.  When going to bigger tires, the Jeep may wonder around a bit on the highway if it doesn't have enough caster.

Here are some pics of what it looked like before the lift

I am capable of doing this work on my own, but I don't have the right tools.  A lift also makes the job a lot easier.  I found Rock 4x Fabrication in Waukegan WI that let me use their facilities and work side by side with them.  They are great guys that know their way around Jeeps.  We were able to do the entire project in a few hours.

We started off by pulling the Jeep into the bay and putting it up on the lift.

We then started pulling the stock shocks, springs etc. off of the Jeep. You have to be very careful when doing this or the axle will fall to the ground.  We used long floor jacks to support the axles as we worked from front to back.

The TereFlex springs come painted in flat black.  I like having color on the various suspension components so it's easier to see if you have leaks or other issues.  I painted the new springs Yellow using Krylon paint

Disconnecting the axles is pretty easy on the Jeep.  All you need to do is use a floor jack to support one end of the axle and disconnect the trackbar, remove the shocks and disconnect the stabilizer link.  Then decrease the tension slowly using the jack until the spring disengages.  It is the exact same process on the other side.

Here's a pic of the rear original spring (black) sitting beside the new TeraFlex spring (yellow).  The new spring is about 2 inches taller in the rear and 3" taller in the front.

Installing the springs is the reverse of removing them.  The next step is to install the shocks.  In my case, I installed Old Man Emu (OME) Nitrogen filled shocks instead of TereFlex.  OME shocks are considered one of the best on the market.  I chose these because they are designed to work well for a daily driver and off-road.

We repeated the exact same process in the front:

The last steps were to install the front and rear trackbars.  Here's a pic of the front TereFlex bar.  It is the one that has the curve in it.

Here's a pic of the guys installing the rear Trackbar.  They were using a tie strap to move the axle to the left to align the mounting holes with the bar.  The strap made the job 100% easier. 

The last step was to install 1.5" wheel spacers.  I have to use my original wheels until the new ones arrive.  Without the spacers stock tires and wheels will rub.

Here's what she looked like after the lift:

YouTube video of the project:


  1. what size tires? after painting the springs, could you even see them / was it worth it?

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