Rough Country Lift Kit - More For Less Jeep XJ Lift

    What More Could You Want For Your Cherokee?

    Wes DrelleshakPhotographer, Writer

    We started off with this 1989 Jeep Cherokee that was picked up for 900 bucks, so we were not into this new off-road toy for very much money. With 200,000-plus miles on the odometer, the engine and transmission were in surprisingly good shape. The suspension, on the other hand, was not. Death wobble was terrible, too, so we started looking into optionsto fix the suspension.

    We had to get lower control arm bushings, shocks, and other suspension parts that a lift kit would come with, but we didn't want to spend a lot on an XJ that didn't cost us much in the first place. In fact, we put our cap at $500. We were only running 31s and didn't need some big lift, so when we found Rough Country's 3-inch Series II kit for $345 with control arms and nitrogen-charged shocks, it was an easy choice.

    This XJ can get away with a 3-inch lift without doing a slip-yoke eliminator kit. If we want to move up to 33s or even 35s, we can chop enough fender metal to make do with only 3 inches of lift. We also wanted to replace the track bar because of the death wobble issue. Rough Country's optional track bar is much larger and adjustable, allowing for lateral front-end alignment—something not possible with the factory track bar.

    For around $500, we were able to make our XJ handle off-road adventures better than it did when new, with more off-road prowess.