A coil spring suspension lift is a great way to get some upgraded looks for your Jeep and increase its suspensions capability. Here’s a simple install on a basic suspension lift.By Jeff White – November 23, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
Jeep Wranglers are great vehicles to modify. There is a plethora of aftermarket companies who cater to these vehicles and with them being designed very simple; it’s not all that difficult to install most of the parts on offer yourself if you have a basic knowledge of mechanical practices.
A great way to get your Jeep looking the part and also increase its capabilities off-road is to install a suspension lift. When it comes to lifts there are a few different ways you can go to achieve that lifted look. But not all lifts are created equal. One of the easiest ways to lift a vehicle is with a body lift. Essentially what you’re doing with a body lift is adding a number of spacers in between the body and the frame. This just makes the vehicle look bigger and will some times allow you to run a bigger tire, but a body lift does nothing in the area of increasing your suspension capabilities. Another type of lift is a coil spacer lift. This kind of lift adds a spacer in between the coil spring and the spring perch. As you can imagine, this adds lift to the suspension, which allows you to clear some bigger tires, but just like the body lift, doesn’t really do much in adding any increase in suspension capability. In order to add an increase in suspension capability, you need to go with a lift that at the least, change out the coil springs with some extended coil springs. Going this route will increase wheel travel and also, just like the others, allow you to clear bigger tires. This is where lifts can really get crazy, especially if you decide to go with longer control arms and other more extreme suspension add-ons.
(Related Article: How to Install Coil Spacers – JK-Forum.com)
Today we’re going to go over how to install a basic coil spring lift kit. This specific lift kit is a Rough Country 2.5 inches Suspension Lift Kit. When it comes to suspension lift kits, this is about as simple as it gets. It’s a very simple install and very budget-friendly. It will allow you to clear bigger tires and also increase your ground clearance. It also has the options of purchasing it with shocks, which I highly recommend. Any time you increase or decrease your ride height, you definitely want to swap your shocks with units that will match that newer suspension height.
Figure 1.Typical 2.5″ lift kit.
- Millimeter sockets sizes 10mm-22mm
- Air impact wrench (if available)
- Millimeter wrenches sizes 10mm-19mm
- 6″ extension
- 12″ extension
- Pry bar
This install will be broken down into two sections: front and rear. First we will cover the front, then move onto the rear.
Step 1 – Remove all four wheels
To begin the installation, you must remove all four wheels from the vehicle. You will be working on both the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as both sides, so to gain access to everything and make it easy on yourself, it is necessary to remove all four wheels. You want to raise the vehicle and support it by the frame to do this, as you will need to be able to move the front and rear axles independently.
Figure 2. Jack the Jeep up and pull the wheels off.
Step 2 – Remove sway bar link from axle
Locate the sway bar on the front of the vehicle and find where it mounts with the sway bar link to the front axle. You want to loosen an remove the lower sway bar end link bolt on both sides and put it aside. You only need to remove the bottom bolt.
Figure 3. Unhook sway bars.
Step 3 – Remove lower bolt from shock
After you have the sway bar disconnected, locate the shocks and remove the lower bolt that mounts the bottom of the shock to the axle. Loosen and remove this bolt on both sides.
Figure 4. Remove shock.
Step 4 – Remove lower brake line bracket from axle
There are two brake line brackets that you will see. One is the upper brake line bracket, which attaches the brake line to the frame, and the other one is the lower brake line, which attaches the brake line to the axle. You want to remove the lower brake line bracket from the axle by loosening and removing the bolt that secures it. You will be working with the upper brake line bracket later, so remember where it is located.
Figure 5. Remove brake line bracket.
Step 5 – Loosen and remove upper nut on shock and remove from vehicle
Next thing you are going to want to do is locate the nut that secures the upper part of the shock to the vehicle in the upper shock mount. Loosen and remove the nut, and then you can remove the shock from the vehicle. It might take two wrenches: one to hold the shock from spinning and one to loosen the nut.
Figure 6. Remove upper shock bolts.
Step 6 – Remove stock coil springs
At this point, everything has either been removed or disconnected and you have enough space to remove the stock coil springs. There aren’t any fasteners that attach the coil spring to the vehicle, so you can just remove it by hand.
Figure 7. Remove spring.
Step 7 – Install new coil springs
Now take the new coil spring included in the lift kit and install it into place where the stock coil spring was removed. There is a difference between the front and rear coil springs, so ensure to install the correct one in place.
Figure 8. New lift spring installed.
Step 8 – Reattach lower brake line bracket
Once you have the new coil spring installed, you can start reattaching some of the components that were disconnected. The first one you are going to want to do is the lower brake line bracket.
Figure 9. Reattached brake line brackets.
Step 9 – Install new shocks
Now go ahead and install the new shocks that were included in the kit. They attach just as the stock ones did, with a stem and nut on top and one bolt on the bottom into the axle. Also, make sure to use the new bushings that should be included with the new shocks.
Step 10 – Reattach sway bar link
Next go ahead and reattach the sway bar link to the axle by installing and tightening the bottom bolt that you set aside when you removed it.
Figure 12. Hook up sway bar.
Step 11 – Remove upper brake line bracket
Everything that you had removed or disconnected has now been installed or reattached, and the last thing you will have to do to the front will be to install the brake line bracket extension that will give the brake line extra slack to compensate for the added ride height. To begin this process, go ahead and remove the upper brake line bracket from the frame. It is secured with one bolt.
Figure 13. Hook up the brake line bracket.
Step 12 – Install brake line extension bracket
Once you have removed the bracket from the frame, you can install the brake line bracket extension. A bolt is provided in the kit, just install the bracket with the bolt into the frame where the brake line bracket was, and then attach the brake line bracket to the bottom of the brake line bracket extension with the stock bolt.
Figure 14. Hook up the extension bracket.
Step 1 – Remove brake line bracket
Now that the front is done, you can move onto the rear. The first thing you will be doing on the rear is disconnecting the brake line bracket from the frame. Just like the front, it is held on by one bolt.
Figure 15. Remove brake line bracket.
Step 2 – Remove lower shock bolt
Next go ahead and locate the lower shocks bolts to loosen and remove them. Just like the front, they are just secured to the axle by one bolt and nut.
Figure 16. Remove lower shock bolts.
Step 3 – Remove sway bar link from axle
After you have loosened and removed both lower shock bolts, go ahead and locate the sway bar and sway bar end links to remove the lower sway bar end link bolts that connect the end link to the axle.
Figure 17. Unhook your sway bar.
Step 4 – Remove upper shocks bolts and remove stock shocks
After you are done with the sway bar end link bolts, go ahead and loosen and remove the bolts that secure the upper part of the shock to the frame. There are two bolts for each shock. After you have loosened and removed the bolts, you can remove the shocks from the vehicle and set them aside as you are not going to be using them.
Figure 18. Remove upper shock bolts.
Step 5 – Remove rear coil spring
After removing the shocks, everything that is needed to be removed to give the rear axle enough room to move enough to get the rear coil spring out has been removed. Go ahead and remove the stock rear coil spring and set it aside. Just like with the front, there are no fasteners attaching the rear coil spring to the vehicle, so you can just remove it by hand.
Figure 19. Pull the spring out.
Step 6 – Install new rear coil spring
Now you can take the new rear coil spring from the lift kit and install it into place where the stock rear coil spring was.
Figure 20. New spring going in