The Jeep Wrangler is a classic SUV that cuts a utilitarian profile, especially when lifted. Adding a few inches to your Wrangler is a great way to give it an off-road edge and an even more intimidating look.
Figure 1: A lift kit on a Jeep Wrangler is a classic mod that gives it a mean stance and high performance off-road. Source: ClaytonOffroad.com
The stock Jeep Wrangler has a ground clearance of 9.7” on the standard model and 10.8” on the Rubicon. While this is still a higher clearance than many other utility vehicles or 4×4 trucks, it may not be quite enough for those looking to do serious 4-wheeling. For those who want that type of high performance in the dirt, larger wheels and tires or a new suspension may be the answer. Because of that, you might be wondering what is the best lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler.
There are tons of different lift kits available and it can be difficult to find the one that will be a good fit and get you the stance you’re looking for. Luckily, today’s post is all about the best lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler.
Difference Between a Jeep Wrangler Body Lift Kit and Suspension Lift Kit
When looking for a lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler, you are usually going to encounter a couple of different types. The type of lift kit you decide to go with will depend on things like what kind of look you are going for, how much lift you need, and whether or not you want the lift to affect the handling of your Wrangler.
Jeep Wrangler Body Lift Kit
A body lift kit is an easy, more affordable way to get a few extra inches of height on your Jeep Wrangler. This type of kit does not affect the suspension or ride quality of your jeep. Instead, it uses spacers between the body mounts and brackets to lift the body up off the frame. This can give your Jeep Wrangler 1” to 2.5” more height and help you achieve the lifted look you’re looking for.
The major benefit of a body lift over a suspension lift is the price. Body lift kits are much cheaper than an entirely new suspension kit. They can also usually be installed yourself in your home garage with nothing more than a few tools and an afternoon.
Jeep Wrangler Suspension Lift Kit
When searching the market for the best lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler, you may find yourself wishing you could add even more lift. This can be achieved by a suspension lift kit. A suspension kit will add actual lift to your Wrangler’s entire frame, giving you more ground clearance.
Figure 2: Installing your own lift kit is possible, but it may require some extra tools and skills that might be better off being done at a pro garage. Source: GenRight.com
It also allows for larger wheels and tires if the Jeep’s stock 17” and 18” wheels aren’t large enough to meet your standards of off-roading. With a suspension lift on your Wrangler, you could fit tires with a diameter of 40” or more.
Sources: Cars.com; ExtremeTerrain.com.
What Makes a Great Lift Kit for a Jeep Wrangler?
Searching for the best lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler can yield many options. All in all, the most important thing is to find a kit that will get you the look you have been dreaming of. We spoke to a specialist at Benjamin Tire who told us that “the lifted look is so popular right now. Even folks who aren’t going out mudding are still looking for the big-rig style. It’s really more of a style of choice for the most part.”
If you find a kit that will get you the right height and the look you want, the next most important thing is the kit’s build quality. This is especially true if you are doing a full suspension lift. The kit will replace the stock struts and hydraulics on your Wrangler, so it is important that you pick a set-up made with high-quality materials.
The best lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler will have parts made of either brushed steel or chrome hardened steel. Either of these will be sufficient to prevent bending due to more tension from the Jeep’s higher center of gravity. The higher your lift is, the more tension will be on your struts and hydraulics, so it is important that your kit comes with quality machined parts.
Sources: ExtremeTerrain.com; JeepGladiatorForum.com; Interview with specialist at Benjamin Tire conducted 10/30/2020.
How Did We Pick the Best Lift Kit for a Jeep Wrangler?
We looked at a huge variety of lift kits all across the market. By doing this, we were able to create a shortlist of the 3 best lift kits for a Jeep Wrangler. They are all built with heavy-duty materials and will be sufficient for even the most punishing off-road applications.
Figure 3: One of the best things about a lift kit is that it can accommodate much bigger wheels and tires. Source: AnthemWheels.com.
We have also made sure that our shortlist includes both suspension lifts and body lifts. This ensures that there is a lift kit on this list that will satisfy everyone’s ground clearance requirements.
1. Rough Country 1.25-Inch Body Lift Kit
Figure 4: A body lift kit is a great choice for those who don’t want to add a lot of height and want to avoid costly installations. Source: ExtremeTerrain.com.
This body lift kit by Rough Country will give your Jeep Wrangler a small but mighty 1.25 extra inches of height. This kit works by placing fiberglass-reinforced nylon pucks underneath the body mounts and lifting up the entire body of the Wrangler. This allows you to achieve the steeper approach and the higher angles that a lot of people are looking for in a lifted Jeep Wrangler.
This body kit will give you a lift of 1.25”. While this may not seem like much, it is enough to give your Wrangler a taller stance without affecting its center of gravity. Center of gravity is calculated by dividing the sum of the weight of all the points of contact with the ground divided by the total weight of the Jeep. By only lifting the body, you are not changing this equation in the same way that you would be if you were using a full suspension kit.
The tensile strength of the body lift pucks is a key element of this kit. They allow the body to sit on a stable surface and prevent any cracking or bending that could compromise the structural integrity of your Wrangler. The build quality is supplemented by zinc coated hardware that helps prevent corrosion. This is an important feature for any Wrangler that might be taking some abuse off-road.
Source: GRC.NASA.gov; ExtremeTerrain.com.
2. Teraflex 2.50-Inch Suspension Lift Kit with 9550 VSS Shocks
Figure 5: A full suspension kit can work wonders for your Jeep’s ride height and feel. Source: ExtremeTerrain.com.
This suspension kit by Teraflex is a full lift kit that will give you an entire 2.5” of extra ground clearance on your Wrangler. It is a comprehensive solution for those who want to replace the stock suspension and give themselves an edge on rocky terrain. While this is a slightly pricier kit, it is of superb quality and is sure to get your Wrangler turning heads.
This kit will accommodate a 35” tire, which is a huge upgrade for those looking for higher performance on tougher territory. The high performance springs and Performance 9550 VSS Shocks have velocity valving that is meant to work in tandem with the rest of the suspension. The entire kit is tuned to react perfectly with itself for a smooth ride on both paved roads and undeveloped terrain.
The springs that come with this kit are rated much higher than the factory springs that come stock with your Wrangler. The spring rate determines how stiff the suspension is, which is key when changing out your springs for off-roading. Having a stiffer suspension will give you a smoother ride on very uneven roads and terrain.
Source: RoadAndTrack.com; ExtremeTerrain.com.
3. Rough Country 3.25-Inch Suspension Lift Kit with Shocks
Figure 6: A lift of over 3” is a wild look that will take any Jeep Wrangler to the next level. Source: ExtremeTerrain.com.
This full suspension lift kit by Rough Country will give you a whopping 3.25” of lift for your Jeep Wrangler. If you are looking for an extreme lift, this could be a great option for you. Lifts over 3” tend to give the look that most people are looking for when they talk about putting a lift kit on their vehicle.
This kit perfectly levels the front and rear of your Wrangler to achieve a balance that gives it a smooth ride. The installation on this kit has the added benefit of being completely bolt-on. Many lift kits require a huge amount of cutting and drilling which many people do not feel comfortable doing. All of the fitments are specifically designed and machined to work with the Wrangler and makes for an easy installation.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO ON INSTALLING THE ROUGH COUNTRY 3.25-INCH SUSPENSION LIFT KIT