A "Value-Per-Inch" Suspension Kit
You don't have to break the bank to go big. Sometimes you can just shake out a few dollars and get the desired effect. This was the case with our '07 Jeep Wrangler JK when we decided to up-size the tires. All we wanted to do was get a set of 33x12.50 tires underneath without enduring an extensive installation or paying through the nose to make the leap. After exploring the aftermarket for just the right system we came across the 2-inch Coil Spacer kit from Zone Offroad Products. The kit is offered for the less than $150 and creates the needed space to fit larger than stock tires under the fenders.
While we easily could have fit the 33x12.50R17 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Radials on the JK in its stock form, we weren't eager to rub the fenders in every turn and bump. Also, this wouldn't afford us much improvement since the wider and taller MTZs would likely rip the fenders to pieces once fully stuffed in to them on the trail. Zone's 2-inch coil spacer kit uses Urethane coil spacers that mount above the coil spring to add the needed lift so the tires would fit without issue.
The Zone Offroad Products' 2-inch coil spacer kit includes front and rear coil spring isolators (spacers) and bump stop extensions. As the Zone kit was designed the company completed extensive testing to ensure that the correct durometer material was used to maximize vibration absorption and to absorb harsh impacts. This resulted in a spacer kit that rides like stock while still offering the needed clearance for larger than stock tires. We paired the spacer kit with a set of Zone's valve-specific shock absorbers, which are slightly longer and heavier duty than the factory shocks. The shocks aren't included in the base kit but are an excellent upgrade for those whose rigs see a lot of trail action.
We had the qualified crew at Offroad Evolution in Fullerton, California, complete the installation of the Zone components and mount up the larger 33x12.50R17 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Radials on a set of 17x9 MT Classic Lock wheels with black simulated bead rings. Installation took less than one hour with two Offroad Evolution crew members tackling the job. Once the kit and tires and wheels were in place we took to the street to feel the results. On-road impressions were relatively unchanged from stock although the wider tires did afford more stability in cornering. The recent fires in California kept us from immediately hitting our favorite local trail but we did get a chance to flex the suspension a bit to see where the tires would hit and to find our new limitations.
While a complete 3-inch or 4-inch lift system will certainly afford the greatest overall improvements in regards to suspension performance, a coil spacer kit such as this one from Zone is a great way to fit the tire size you desire without months of saving your dollars. One of the greatest aspects of the kit is that you can swap back to the stock stance in no time. Also, many of those who install spacer kits continue to use them in conjunction with more complete suspension kits to maintain an added boost up front to level the vehicle front to rear. Check out the photos and captions for the rest of the details.