Over the last year, I’ve been looking at options to lift my 2015 Jeep Wrangler JKU. I’m guessing if you are a stock Jeep Wrangler owner, this might be a question you also have. After visiting with friends in my local Jeep community and researching options on costs online as well as at my local 4 Wheel Parts store, I finally have a good idea of my plan to lift my JKU and a really solid idea of two different cost options which I’ll share in this article.
How much does it cost to lift a Jeep Wrangler? There are basically two options you can take. The body lift should cost you no more than $200 if you have the tools already. A suspension lift is more expensive and likely to cost you between $1,410 and $1,610.
What is a Jeep Wrangler lift?
A Jeep Wrangler lift kit either raises the body of the Jeep or raises the Jeep by changing its suspension configuration. Below I will share what I’ve learned about the difference between these two ways to lift my Jeep Wrangler. For this article, I have decided that I want to run 35-inch tires with a 2-inch lift.
Why would I lift a Jeep Wrangler?
When it comes to lifting a Jeep Wrangler, this is really the million-dollar question. Every Jeep owner I have talked with has a different reason as to why they lifted their Jeep Wrangler. However, when I boiled down all of the responses, I got by asking others in my local Jeep club are even in for forums it most often refers back to two primary reasons: Off-road clearance or the badass Jeep look, aesthetics. Your reason for lifting your Jeep Wrangler will probably dictate which of the two methods you chose. Yes, there is a hybrid version; however, I won’t cover that in this post as it’s not an option I would choose for my Jeep Wrangler.
If you are serious about getting off-road more than just the mall, the desired outcome is probably ground clearance, suspension articulation, and to put on bigger tires better capable of handling rough terrain. On the other hand, if your desired outcome is better looks, you might choose to spend less. Check out these two options below.
1. Body Lift
Body lifts are quite common due to the lower cost for the desired outcome. A body lift adds distance between the Jeep’s frame and its body. For almost everyone, their Jeep Wrangler is a mix of a daily driver, off-road vehicle, and sometimes tools for getting to the outdoors with toys such as campers and boats. A body lift is designed as the most cost-effective way to add bigger tires on a Jeep Wrangler and to make it look great and it doesn’t affect drive quality (at the size of 2-inches).
- Badass Look
- Bigger tires
- Lower cost
While there are some cons of the body lift, such as a little less ground clearance and the idea that your Jeep’s frame might be more visible than you’d like, this is a great way to get that look you are looking for without breaking the bank. This is also a pretty simple lift to install yourself, but I’m not that guy, yet. The biggest benefit is the fact you can get your desired outcomes (above) for a decent cost.
How Much Does a Body Lift Cost?
About $200 if you do the installation yourself and if you already have all the needed tools. Check out my list below.
Estimated parts cost: $120-$200
- Jack (Tall enough to reach body of jeep) – the Hi-Lift HL484 48″ jack is a good choice for this job
- Wheel chalk
- Pry bar
- Wood blocks
- Flat head screwdriver
- Wrenches (Sizes: 9/16, 5/8, 3/4)
- Sockets (16mm, 18mm, 9/16, 5/8)
- Long Extension
- Torx Wrench (Size: T45)
- Allen Wrenches (Size: 6mm, 1/8”)
- WD 40
Everywhere I read about the body lift, it seems like a fairly easy job. There are several YouTube videos of how to do the work, again I’m just not that guy, yet. Everywhere I could find it states that the body lift takes moderate mechanical ability and roughly 6-7 hours to complete. My guess is that it would probably take a pro an hour or less.
2. Suspension Lift
Suspension lifts are more expensive than body lifts; however, there are many increased benefits when it comes to the desired outcome. I’ll share those benefits and cost info I have found below. First, though a suspension lift increases the space between the Jeep’s frame and its axle and gives the Jeep owner some different desired outcomes. Note: if not done right the suspension lift can affect the handling of the Jeep Wrangler. Seek out a professional with this one.
- Highest ground clearance
- Suspension articulation
- Increased tire clearance
Made for smoother off-road trips and increased clearance. When navigating rocks and rough terrain, this is important. Probably the kit I’ll go with.
Mopar 2-inch lift: $910 or around $1,500 if you go the whole hog and get the MOPAR 2″ Lift Kit with Front 1310 Double Cardin Driveshaft and Fox Racing Shocks.
Labor: $300 – $500
Total: $1410 – $1610
As you can see this is nearly 2x the cost of the body lift; however, for the trade of the increase in clearance and the better off-road ride, it’s a deal for me.
Don’t forget this cost!
Tires and wheels. While you can effectively install one of these 2-inch lift options on your Jeep Wrangler for a pretty good price, many people forget to think about the cost of the tires and wheels they want. These can get expensive fast.
When I looked at my cost with 4-wheel parts the 35-inch BF Goodrich tires I wanted were just over $200 each. The wheels came in at about $175 without the color customization I’d really love to have on my Jeep Wrangler. Just plan on another $2000 for all five tires and wheels and you should be able to get what you need to both help your Jeep Wrangler look badass and preform to the best of its budgeted ability.
How much does it cost to lift a Jeep Wrangler? The answer as you saw is it depends on your budget and the benefits you are seeking. We all know that Jeep stands for “Just Empty Every Pocket” while this is my review, I have friends that have $20K plus in their suspension lift. Just too rich for me as I’d have to give my wife $20K to spend as well. Whether you are looking for a great look or great off-road performance for somewhat of a limited budget, these are a couple of great options.
How big of tires can I get away with if I don’t lift my Jeep Wrangler?
Without good backspacing, stay stock. Otherwise, you might be able to get away with a 32-inch tire. However, wheel size plays a role in this decision.
Does a 2-inch body lift impact the stability of the Jeep Wrangler?
Body lifts typically don’t have much negative impact on the stability. However, the taller your Jeep Wrangler is the more tip you might find. Wind can play a factor as well.
What is the most clearance I can get from a 2-inch lift?
Not much from the lift kit alone. You’ll find some additional clearance under certain spots on the Jeep Wrangler; however, without increasing your tire size your axle and differential stay about the same. In other words, add bigger tires.
More info: How much does it cost to lift a Jeep Cherokee XJ.