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Jeep Wrangler TJ Suspension Guide

Christian Lee | Writer
Posted March 15, 2004

Lift Options for Your Wrangler

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We've yet to meet a Jeep owner who could leave well enough alone. After all, the factory suspension under the '97-'04 Jeep Wrangler TJs is the product of more than 60 years of vehicle testing, and is arguably one of the most versatile off-road suspension designs ever used in a production vehicle. In its stock form, the Jeep Wrangler is pretty darn capable. But always eager to take it a step further, Jeep TJ owners consistently desire more. From the basic longing to stuff bigger tires under the fenders to the yearning to leap giant boulders in a single bound, the aftermarket has responded to such requests in storm.

A number of aftermarket suspension systems are available for '97-'04 Jeep TJs, including basic kits for the mild-mannered 'wheeler seeking 31-inch meats to long-arm, coilover conversion systems and air suspension kits aimed at big-tire, mega-flex-hungry enthusiasts. However you use your Jeep TJ, the aftermarket has you covered. The only decision left to make is which system is right for you and your vehicle -- that, and what size tires you'll need to conquer the trail. But that's another issue.

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BASIC KITS
ManufacturerLift HeightMax Tire sizeContact
BDS Suspension1-3/4, 2, 3 inches33 inches(517) 279-2135, www.bds-suspension.com
Black Diamond3, 6 inches35 inches(866) 680-6666, www.blackdiamondoffroad.com
BTB Products 4 inches35 inches(702) 568-1511, www.btbprod.com
{{{Explorer}}} Pro Comp1-1/2, 2, 4 inches33 inches(800) 776-0767, www.explorerprocomp.com
Fabtech Mottorsports2-1/2, 4 inches33 inches(909) 597-7800, wwwfabtechmotorsports.com
4 Wheel Drive Hardware2, 3 inches33 inches (800) 333-5535, www.4wd.com
Full-Traction4 inches33 inches (800) 255-6464, www.full-traction.com
Genuine Suspension1-1/2, 2, 4 inches33 inches (800) 421-1050, www.4wheelparts.com
Jack-It Accessories2, 3, 4 inches33 inches (888) 452-2548, www.jackit.com
Off Road General Store5-1/2 inches35 inches (949) 770-9300, www.offroadgs.com
Old Man Emu2 inches and up31-32 inches (206) 264-1669, www.arbusa.com
Performance Accessories2, 3 inches33 inches ({{{928}}}) 636-7080, www.performanceaccessories.com
Rancho2-1/2 inches33 inches (734) 384-7805, www.gorancho.com
RCD3, 4 inches33 inches (619) 588-4723, www.racecardynamics.com
Rock Krawler Suspensions2, 4 inches33 inches(518) 270-9822, www.rockkrawler.com
{{{Rocky}}} Road Outfitters4 inches33 inches(888) 801-7271, www.rocky-road.com
Rubicon {{{Express}}}2, 3-1/2, 4-1/2 inches35 inches(916) 858-8575, www.rubiconmfg.com
Rusty's Off Road3 inches32 inches(256) 442-0607, www.rustysoffroad.com
Skyjacker2-1/2, 4 inches33 inches(318) 388-0816, www.skyjacker.com
Superlift1-3/4, 5-3/4 inches35 inches(318) 397-3000, www.superlift.com
Teraflex1-1/2, 2, 3, 4 inches35 inches(801) 288-2585, www.teraflx.com
Tomken2, 3, 4 inches33 inches(719) 395-2526, www.tomken.com
TrailMaster2, 4 inches33 inches(909) 736-8686, www.trailmastersuspension.com
Tuff Country2, 4 inches33 inches(800) 288-2190, www.tuffcountry.com

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LONG-ARM SUSPENSION SYSTEMS
Manufacturer Lift Height Max Tire size Contact
Clayton Off Road 4 inches 35 inches (203) 591-9583, www.claytonoffroad.com
Fabtech Motorsports 6, 8 inches 37 inches (909) 797-7800, www.fabtechmotorsports.com
Full-Traction 6 inches 35 inches (800) 255-6464, www.full-traction.com
RCD 3, 4 inches 33 inches (619) 588-4723, www.racecardynamics.com
Rock Krawler Suspensions 4, 5-1/2, 7, 9 inches 38 inches (518) 270-9822, www.rockkrawler.com
Rubicon Express 3-1/2, 4-1/2, 5-1/2 inches 35 inches (916) 858-8575, www.rubiconmfg.com
Skyjacker 4, 6, 8, 10 inches 38 inches (318) 388-0816, www.skyjacker.com
Teraflex 4, 5 inches 37 inches (801) 288-2585, www.teraflx.com
Tomken 6 inches 35 inches (719) 395-2526, www.tomken.com
Tuff Country 6 inches 35 inches (800) 288-2190, www.tuffcountry.com

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LONG-ARM SUSPENSION SYSTEMS
Manufacturer Lift Height Max Tire size Contact
Clayton Off Road 4 inches 35 inches (203) 591-9583, www.claytonoffroad.com
Fabtech Motorsports 6, 8 inches 37 inches (909) 797-7800, www.fabtechmotorsports.com
Full-Traction 6 inches 35 inches (800) 255-6464, www.full-traction.com
RCD 3, 4 inches 33 inches (619) 588-4723, www.racecardynamics.com
Rock Krawler Suspensions 4, 5-1/2, 7, 9 inches 38 inches (518) 270-9822, www.rockkrawler.com
Rubicon Express 3-1/2, 4-1/2, 5-1/2 inches 35 inches (916) 858-8575, www.rubiconmfg.com
Skyjacker 4, 6, 8, 10 inches 38 inches (318) 388-0816, www.skyjacker.com
Teraflex 4, 5 inches 37 inches (801) 288-2585, www.teraflx.com
Tomken 6 inches 35 inches (719) 395-2526, www.tomken.com
Tuff Country 6 inches 35 inches (800) 288-2190, www.tuffcountry.com

Batteries Included?
We've all been there. You finally got that brand-new suspension system and you're ready to begin the installation, but what's that? You're missing parts? Of course you are. That's because you didn't spend enough time on the phone talking to the sales guy. Most Jeep TJ suspension kits require more than just springs and shocks to correctly achieve the desired lift. Many companies include extended brake lines, extended bumpstops, and even extended antisway bar links in the price of the lift system. Some don't, however, so make sure you do your homework and know beforehand what's included in the bill of materials. Vehicles receiving more than a 2- to 3-inch lift will require additional parts, such as a transfer case lowering kit or slip-yoke eliminator (SYE) for the stock NP231 transfer case. New CV driveshafts are also recommended by many lift manufacturers and are often required in order to complete the installation. Save yourself the hassle of missing that first trail ride on a fresh suspension because you're waiting on parts you should've ordered in the first place. Ask lots of questions when ordering your kit, even if you think they're stupid. This will aid in assuring that you get a complete lift system that's ready to be installed on your vehicle.

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