Most newbies to the off-road sport get a 4x4, and then buy bigger tires and try to make them fit. All too often this results in expensive suspension systems, lots of labor, and cut-up sheetmetal. For many that is the way to go, especially for those fabbers who can build a cool custom suspension. But what about the vast majority of wheelers who just need a bit of lift for bigger tires for better performance? That’s where we were with our long-term Rubicon JK that we treat like a lease vehicle: We can’t dent it, cut off the suspension, or anything else wild, just like many of you. But as capable as the Rubicon is in stock form, we wanted a more manly look and better performance without killing our budget.
The Jeep comes with LT255 BFGs that measure just shy of 32 inches on a good day. While these tires are sufficient, we really wanted some 35-inch Interco tires for the extra ground clearance. Of course that meant a suspension lift was needed for tire clearance, but we hated to lose the ride quality of the stock Rubicon.
After looking around for the best bang-for-the-buck solution, we finally picked Daystar’s 13⁄4-inch spacer lift. The Daystar kit comes with four poly pucks that fit on top of the coils, and hardware for the rear sway bar. We also opted for Daystar’s twin-tube shocks for a bit more travel. Overall the package was the easiest to install and the least initial investment. It kept the ride quality the same, and it can still be easily removed so the Jeep can be returned to stock when we send it back. We even did the work ourselves in the driveway with handtools, and after a few thousand miles took it back off. While it is a simple and straightforward install, here are a few tips and tricks to make your install a breeze.