So many lifts out there to choose from–Aargh!

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2017 at 10:10 pm
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So my brand spankin’ new Willys, 2 months old, is my daily driver. I live and work in the city and don’t really want to mess with the monster tire thing. But I also live about an hour away from a National Forest in the Pacific Coast Range with lots of trails, and I’ve already been out there twice, plowing through the snow. I know I need a lift, a winch and bigger tires. Either that or at some point I will get in over my head and will have to walk out and hitch hike back to civilization. (Not really because I go with a buddy in his Rubicon.)

I’m still paying off the stereo upgrade, so I don’t want to spend crazy money all at once. I’d rather pay as I go.

As far as tire size, 35s are my max and I could live with less and be pretty darn comfortable. This should help me pull the trigger on the lift but…

I keep going back and forth. I could get a Teraflex leveling kit, either with plastic looking bumper things or do a spring leveling kit. I’d get 2 inches on the front and one inch on the back. Not as much of a lift as a 2.5, obviously, but probably good enough for the trails I’ll run. This would allow for bigger tires than 32s, but I’m not sure if I could run 35s, which would be the biggest.

Or I could just go all in and get a 2.5 lift, either Teraflex or AEV through my dealer. Then I could definitely get 35s, but I’m thinking I’d also have to get a new rear bumper and a new tire carrier for the spare. Visibility isn’t the greatest out the back to begin with, even with the back seat pulled out–sold it–and would be even worse if I start lugging around a 35 back there. My rock rails would need trimming on the back, too, I think. And there’s the whole sync with the computer thing. Money, money, money.

Here’s Plan A: First, do the Teraflex “performance” spring lift, 2 inches in front and 1 in back. Keep my stock tires until they wear out but put on 2.5 inch spacers to give it a more macho, er, hefty look. Wouldn’t have to mess with anything else, I think, for that to work. By “performance” Teraflex means I could then replace the front bumper and put on a winch without causing my front end to droop, so I could do that next. Then once my weenie 32 inch tires wear out, I could go with 33s for sure and not mess with the rear bumper/spare tire carrier.

But I really do like the looks of the 35s, sigh, and am drawn to them like a moth to the flame. Plan B would be to do pretty much the same things in the same order except do a 2.5 regular lift, probably AEV, then the bumper/winch, then the back bumper/carrier when I switch to 35s.

Plan A is cheaper and makes for an easier transition, but I wonder if after I’m done I’ll be thinking, “Sh*t, should have done Plan B.”

Decisions, decisions. Input appreciated.

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