If you’ve read enough of the articles on my blog, you know I am an auto repair shop owner who’s here to help you.
And I know it can be daunting to decide whether or not to lift your jeep. This dilemma has kept a lot of my clients up at night. So I can see the same happening to you too!
I will give you all the information you need to know to determine if you want to end up lifting your jeep or not.
But the question is, does lifting a jeep cause problems?
Yes, you will face a few problems if you install a lift kit in your jeep. These problems can be the change in geometry that makes it harder to steer, gas mileage concerns, death wobbles, and other issues. However, the benefits outweigh these issues.
And there are ways to fix most of these issues, which I’ll tell you how you can solve in this article.
Issues Caused by Lifting a Jeep and Remedies
You might think when you fix a budget for a lift kit and its installation, you won’t have to pay a cent more.
While this can be the case for a few lucky jeep owners, you might not be one of them. So you should prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario.
There are a few problems you may experience after you lift your jeep. And I will tell you what they are and how you can fix them.
Rattling Noises from the Underbody
After the 500-1000-mile drive of installing a lift kit on your jeep, you might hear some rattling noises from the underbody of the jeep.
It’s the bolts!
Yes, the bolts come loose right after the first few hundred miles of riding your jeep. This is why the lift kit instructions should also tell you to check after a certain amount of mileage.
When you install a new lift kit, you have to unbolt certain components of your jeep’s suspension. And you might even have to install new components, depending on the kit.
So what should you do if you hear this rattling sound because of the loose bolts?
It’s quite simple!
You have to check the bolts of all the components of the suspensions to make sure the bolts are tightly screwed on.
And when you see some of them being loose, tighten them again!
I’ll make it easier!
Usually, the bolts on the leaf springs and the upper and lower control arms are typically the ones that come loose.
So you should check them first!
But you should also check the components you had to detach from the suspensions and later bolt on or the new components you attached.
That’s not it?
You could always check the control arm bushings if you didn’t find the source of the noise. It’s better to take out the bolts of the bushings and retighten them again.
Tip: After you empty your gas tank for the first time after the lift kit installation, you should check if your wheel’s lug nuts are loose or not. If your lug nuts are made out of aluminum, it’s more likely to come loose. But so might steel ones!
After you install a lift kit on your certain brand and model of jeep, you might see the speedometer showing slower speeds.
It’s not the jeep!
When you alter the stock suspension components by installing a lift kit, your jeep’s speedometer can be a bit off.
It could even be 10% off when you’re riding on the highway!
What to do?
I suggest you buy a speedometer drive gear for your jeep. Or you could even get a new speedometer adjuster or an electronic speedometer that can be adjusted.
If you don’t re-gear after altering the ride height a few inches from the stock height, you will face this issue.
But don’t think your jeep became slower just because you installed a new lift kit to gain more ground clearance or for other benefits.
Shackles Don’t Fit
You might also experience this problem where your jeep’s shackles are not fitting the new frame-mounted spring hanger bushings and leaf springs.
Well, there are a few options you can try out if you want to solve this problem, and I’ll explain all of them.
- Liquid Soap: You could try applying some liquid soap on the shackle so it can slide over the components
- Pushing: You could place your spring on a flat surface and get the shackle over the spring by pushing. After doing this, you can put your bolt right through the spring, raising it upwards on the mount.
- Hammer: Even if you keep pushing the shackles, they might not work. So I suggest you use a maul of 3 pounds to keep hitting till it works. Just be careful enough not to end up breaking or damaging the shackle or the bushings.
The bolts on your jeep may get rust on them, making it hard to take them off. In this case, I have a trick up my sleeves to make the bolts come off easily.
You can use this kind of product to soak your bolts for a while to get them loose.
Usually, leaf spring bolts, U-bolts, pitman-arm nut, shock bolts, tie-rod crush sleeves, control arm bolts, tie-rod ends, track bar bolts, and driveshaft bolts are what cause this issue.
The Death Wobble
When you experience sudden and violent vibrations from your jeep’s suspension, it’s called a death wobble.
How to fix it?
Check if the ball joints, tie-rod ends, hub bearings, control arm bushings, and spring bushings are tightened.
This is because if you install a lift kit on your jeep with already worn-out suspension components, you might face this issue.
And if this solution doesn’t fix the issue, you can try decreasing the wheel weights and see if the tires were the problem.
Vibration at Different Road Speed
If you speed up or slow down and feel vibrations depending on road speed, it could be because of your newly installed lift kit.
It’s your driveshaft’s angularity!
If this is the case, you can use a jack to get under your jeep and turn your jeep’s driveshaft without any binding while the jeep is in Neutral.
If there’s binding, fit a transfer case drop or place a slip yoke eliminator on your transfer case’s rear output.
Check driveshaft geometry!
Jeeps with CV-style shafts need a directly-pointing output of the transfer case. So you need to make sure the geometry is correct.
Does lifting a jeep cause problems? Yes, you will face some problems if you install a lift kit on your jeep.
But there are so many benefits to it that it can be worth it!
I suggest you don’t do it just for the looks but for the other benefits like extra ground clearance, being able to fit bigger tires, better vision, and more.
Take the advice!
And if you do decide to get a lift, follow the methods I mentioned to fix the issues you might have to face.