Running Gear Question

Lift or Tires?

  • Rusty's Lift

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • New Tires

    Votes: 9 90.0%

  • Total voters
    10

alexfm

Explorer
Im in a bit of a quandry. I'm looking at getting Rusty's 3 inch spring pack lift for my XJ. I guess my problem is, the parts I need are gonna run me about $500 shipped. Im also gonna need new tires fairly soon. I priced out a set of 4, and they came to $473, installed. My question to you, o' wise people of ExPo, is which should I spring for first? Tires or lift? If it helps any, I've already got the $500, I just can't figure out what to spend it on first.

All opinions are appreciated,

Thanks,

Alex.
 

Chili

Explorer
Will you be getting a larger tire size after the lift? How much life is left on your current tires? How long will it take you to save up another $500 to buy the other parts?
 

alexfm

Explorer
Will you be getting a larger tire size after the lift? How much life is left on your current tires? How long will it take you to save up another $500 to buy the other parts?
No, I intend to stay at the size I'm at post lift. Im currently running 235/75/15's. Maybe 40% tread, so its not an immediate need, but I would like something more agressive, as the tire's i've got are a very small step up from street tires. And it'll take me a while to save up the money again. I lost my job, and have been really busy with school.
 

alexfm

Explorer
Given that I'd never send any more $$ to Rusty's.. I had to vote tires.
Care to elaborate? Bad parts, bad service? I'm planning on going with Rusty's because their the cheapest (boy, that sounds like a bad argument already.) and I bought a pair of their lift coils on craigslist locally, so I figured I'd just buy their leaf springs too.
 

BIGdaddy

Expedition Leader
I've said it before and i'll say it again,best lift...EVER

you could do both...

www.rocklizardfabrications.com/home_brew_budget_boost.htm

This is basically what I did. I used two XJ packs to make an XJ/XJ bastard pack for the rear.

For the front, instead of longer springs I just bought 2" spacers. I also have some extended sway bar links for the front sway bar. I tossed the rear one long ago. Not needed.

I'm just now thinking about what shocks I want.

I run 235 75 r 16s, I think. I'll probably eventually upgrade to 31x10.5's or the metric equivilant and use some cutout flares from rusty's or the flat flares from bushwacker.

I use mine as a daily driver/ high sierra conveyance and have no need for any more clearance(Clarence) under the truck. I'm just going to add a few armor bits like an appalacian armor tcase skid, maybe a skid row engine skid plate, along with front/rear diff guards. That's about it.
 

bob91yj

Resident Jackass
Tires are required to get you to work when you do find a job, the lift isn't. If you're going to run the same size tires, why do you even need a lift?

Honestly, the best build is the least amount of lift for the most amount of tire. If your junk is working well now, why mess with it other than for the "look"?
 

alexfm

Explorer
Tires are required to get you to work when you do find a job, the lift isn't. If you're going to run the same size tires, why do you even need a lift?

Honestly, the best build is the least amount of lift for the most amount of tire. If your junk is working well now, why mess with it other than for the "look"?
Thats something thats been floating around in my head for a while. I know I can stuff 235's pretty well with stock suspension, and if anything, I could slap on a BB for a little bit of extra clearance. I really like your perspective, thanks. :)
 

wjeeper

Explorer
Given that I'd never send any more $$ to Rusty's.. I had to vote tires.
Same vote here too..............I helped install two of their kits and I was not particularly impressed with the quality and fit. In all fairness this was several years ago and they seem to have revamped their line. I dont like to bash on companies but it seems that they had some quality control/ customer service issues when they started out.

The biggest reason I vote tires is that I think tires make a huge difference! My jeep had some sad looking balding tires on it and I bought tires. Main reason being purchasing a lift and tires was out of the question financially. Now I don't think I am even going to lift the Jeep now. Some swaybar disconnects and chuck the rear trackbar (YJ wrangler) and it will get me where I need to go just fine.
 

bob91yj

Resident Jackass
Thats something thats been floating around in my head for a while. I know I can stuff 235's pretty well with stock suspension, and if anything, I could slap on a BB for a little bit of extra clearance. I really like your perspective, thanks. :)
I generally recommend a roll cage for any wheeled vehicle as a first modification. With a full bodied XJ that is necessarily needed. If your rig is getting you where you need to get, leave it alone, make it 100% mechanically sound first.

As far as tires, for all around use, I don't think BFG AT's can be beat. I've got Interco TSL SX's on 32 bolt beadlocks on my rock crawler YJ, my LJ expedition rig/daily driver rig doesn't need all of that.

Skid plate/armor everything you can underneath, skid plates are forever, and will generally save you more grief than a cheap lift will.

Save your money, do the research, and buy a quality lift with QUALITY shocks, and build your rig ONCE to meet your needs. A cheap lift is usaully exactly that, a cheap lift...the bare minimum required to make your junk taller, ride quality/driveability be damned.
 

shortbus4x4

Expedition Leader
Good tires will get you farther down a trail and back alot better than a lift so I would say go with the tires first.
 

alexfm

Explorer
I generally recommend a roll cage for any wheeled vehicle as a first modification. With a full bodied XJ that is necessarily needed. If your rig is getting you where you need to get, leave it alone, make it 100% mechanically sound first.

As far as tires, for all around use, I don't think BFG AT's can be beat. I've got Interco TSL SX's on 32 bolt beadlocks on my rock crawler YJ, my LJ expedition rig/daily driver rig doesn't need all of that.

Skid plate/armor everything you can underneath, skid plates are forever, and will generally save you more grief than a cheap lift will.

Save your money, do the research, and buy a quality lift with QUALITY shocks, and build your rig ONCE to meet your needs. A cheap lift is usaully exactly that, a cheap lift...the bare minimum required to make your junk taller, ride quality/driveability be damned.
I've considered starting a rollcage, and I have looked at starting with Rusty's Roll Bar. I like it cause its bolt in, and I dont have to pull anything out of the interior to do it. Tire wise, Im going with a set of GT Radial Adventuro M/T's. They're fairly inexpensive ($473 for a set of 4 installed) and I have heard good things about them. Not to mention they're all the rage in Australia. :sombrero: I figured that If I want to drive a big lifted monster, I can drive my dad's Scout II, after I get it running again. Its riding on 33's with about 6 inches of lift. Skids, I've considered, but I'm not really sure that I'm gonna need them. Where I live, I dont encounteer many big rocks or other things that could smash vital organs, and skids are expensive.
 

alosix

Expedition Leader
Same vote here too..............I helped install two of their kits and I was not particularly impressed with the quality and fit. In all fairness this was several years ago and they seem to have revamped their line. I dont like to bash on companies but it seems that they had some quality control/ customer service issues when they started out.

The biggest reason I vote tires is that I think tires make a huge difference! My jeep had some sad looking balding tires on it and I bought tires. Main reason being purchasing a lift and tires was out of the question financially. Now I don't think I am even going to lift the Jeep now. Some swaybar disconnects and chuck the rear trackbar (YJ wrangler) and it will get me where I need to go just fine.
I should have put in a few more comments with that sort of declaration, but was a bit short on time. This guy summed it up pretty well.

Once upon a time I was short on $$ after doing a bunch of work to the TJ and I needed it back on the road. I ended up with a Rusty's front track bar and a pair of rear uppers because they were cheap. The rears constantly destroyed bushings and were cheap. Also, despite very liberal application of antisieze they became one piece.

Also had another friend that put the full 3" kit on their XJ. The kit was cheap, but far from complete enough to really be drivable without some work. We were running a shop @ the time so I had a bunch of RE odds and ends lying around to finish up that kit to keep the friend on budget. Silly things like longer links for the swaybar, a t-case drop kit (not always needed, but its a 2x2 piece of metal for an XJ and 4 bolts.. EVERY other brand we dealt with came with them, which was good because we had a few extra lying around).

The HD rear spring packs were very harsh, to the point where the Jeep could be brought into oversteer on dry ground pretty easy. I enjoyed it, but sadly the guy with 2 kids didn't think it was too safe. We did some more work on that XJ and got it tolerable.

During the time we were running the shop we were able to provide fairly good deals on RE stuff to many people. A lot of the customers we had were upgrading from parts that they had gotten from Rusty's and were tired of dealing with them. They were really annoyed when they found that we were selling RE links for what they were paying for Rusty's stuff.

Granted, most of this was several years ago. I've met the Rusty's guys @ shows and they were really friendly and seemed to have good intentions. Their target market also appears to be people looking for budget lifts. The downside here is that it takes work or volume to make a decent lift on a budget.. And most lift companies just don't do enough volume, so there's some creativity in the parts or design.

But, having run their stuff and broken their stuff.. I'd much rather wait a little longer and find something a bit better. I've got that luxury now, and sometimes wish I just had a little more patience when I first got the Jeep.

Jason
 
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