- Use specialty tools to install the 2-inch lift kit on the XJ Jeep for the best results.
- A two-inch lift makes a noticeable difference, allowing for improved driving and handling in off-road conditions.
- It will cost $800-$8,000 to get a lift kit installed by a professional. You can save a lot of money doing the installation on your own.
If you want to upgrade your XJ Jeep's suspension and tackle tough terrain, a 2-inch lift kit is a great place to start. Let’s find out how to install it.
Installing a 2-inch lift on your XJ Jeep involves a few steps, but it is a straightforward process. Here is what to do:
- Gather tools
- Remove old factory suspension
- Install front lift components like shocks
- Install rear lift components like a sway bar
- Inspect and test drive
- Perform an alignment check
As excited as I was to get started, I prepared all the necessary tools, including wrenches, socket sets, and safety equipment, such as jack stands and wheel chocks. Preparing in advance made the entire installation process smoother and more enjoyable. So stay tuned as I walk you through my experience of lifting my Jeep XJ 2 inches higher.
How To Install a 2-Inch Lift On Your XJ Jeep
The standard Jeep Cherokee XJ has 7.3 inches of ground clearance. This is solid but a lift kit is required for off-road adventures. Otherwise, you risk damaging the undercarriage of the vehicle.
Expect better vehicle performance and improved durability. With this in mind, we recommend at least two inches of lift on an XJ Jeep. This gives you plenty of additional space under the vehicle for off-road driving.
Follow these steps to install your lift kit today.
Before starting my lift kit installation, I ensured I had gathered all the necessary tools. Typically, the kit includes all required installation components like new shocks, U bolts, struts, replacement leaf springs and spring eye bolts, and control or trailing arms.
Other required tools to properly install everything includes:
- Socket wrench set
- Torque wrench
- Pry bar
- Jack stands
- Floor jack
- Wheel chocks
- Coil spring compressor (optional)
Preparing Your Workspace
I ensured I had a clean, level, and well-lit workspace to execute the lift kit installation safely and correctly.
Removing Factory Suspension Components
I began by safely lifting my XJ, placing it on jack stands, and removing the wheels. Then, I proceeded to carefully remove the factory suspension components, such as control arms, shocks, springs, and track bars.
Use the jack to lift the vehicle and secure it on jack stands. You should also remove the lower shock mount and the tie rod. This is required to get better access for the new lift kit installation.
Then, remove the wheels and the old suspension components, such as shocks, sway bars, and track bars. You may also need to remove the brake lines and disconnect the steering stabilizer.
Installing Front Lift Kit Components
With the factory components removed, I installed the polyurethane coil spacers on top of the front coil springs, then reattached the control arms and installed the new shocks.
We need to install two-inch front spacers to get the proper lift for the Jeep Cherokee XJ. We can put the vehicle on a jack to access the axle tube and frame rails. Center pins near the front wheels and a U bolt need to be removed.
The spacers will set out lift height. It’s the trickiest part of the installation process but with specialty tools, it’s not a concern. This is required for a proper suspension lift too.
Installing Rear Lift Kit Components
For the rear, I installed the steel add-a-leafs, tightened the new leaf spring bolts, and attached the new shocks, ensuring everything was securely fastened.
Follow the instructions provided in your lift kit to install the new suspension components, including new shocks, sway bars, and track bars. Use the spring compressor to install the new coil springs. On the rear, we need to add a leaf spring kit.
Inspecting Your Work
After completing the initial installation, I thoroughly inspected my work, double-checking all connections, bolts, and clearances. We always inspect the exhaust manifold after installing a new lift kit to look for cracks too.
Performing a Test Drive
Once I was confident in my installation, I performed a test drive to assess the new suspension's performance, handling, and ride quality. If anything is wrong, you’ll be able to spot the problem immediately before any damage can occur.
Finally, after the test drive, I brought my XJ to a reputable alignment shop to ensure everything was properly aligned and ready for safe, everyday use.
Lifting a vehicle changes the suspension geometry and can cause the wheels to be out of alignment, which can lead to uneven tire wear, poor handling, and decreased fuel economy.
When you install a lift kit, the suspension angles change, and the wheels may no longer be pointing in the correct direction. As a result, you will need to have the wheels aligned to ensure that they are properly positioned and that the vehicle handles properly.
Can You Install Your Own Lift Kit?
I recently decided to make some upgrades to my XJ Jeep and installing a 2-inch lift was on my to-do list. Because I have previous experience, I know I can install it on my own. But is this something for everyone?
It’s not easy but it can save you quite a bit of money. Some shops charge around $600 to $700 for installation, and that doesn't even include the kit itself.
I would recommend preparing yourself for the task ahead. As I began the installation, I made sure to:
- Double-check that I had all the correct parts and tools
- Work in a safe, level environment
- Take my time and follow instructions closely
Remember to always exercise caution and follow instructions carefully, but it's definitely possible to install your own 2-inch lift kit on an XJ Jeep.
Will a 2-Inch Lift Kit Make a Difference?
I discovered that a 2-inch lift could indeed make a noticeable difference, especially for off-road enthusiasts like me. With a 2-inch lift kit, the ground clearance is significantly increased, which helps improve break-over angles for tackling those challenging terrains.
In addition, my Jeep will be able to accommodate larger tires (up to 33-inch diameter) that look awesome and add to the overall performance capabilities.
I couldn't help but get excited about the prospect of taking my XJ on off-road adventures with a bit more confidence and fewer worries about getting stuck or damaging the undercarriage. You can expect:
- Increased ground clearance for better off-roading capabilities
- Accommodates larger tires for improved appearance and performance
- Reasonable cost without going overboard on expenses
Another thing I learned was that a 2-inch lift won't break the bank. It turns out that the cost of a 2-inch lift kit can range from $400 to $800, which is pretty reasonable considering the benefits. I found this to be a huge relief since I wouldn't want to splurge too much on a modification that wasn't worth it.
Lift Kit Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
When I was deciding to install a 2-inch lift on my XJ Jeep, I faced the dilemma of whether to do it myself or hire a professional. I wanted to share my experience with other Jeep owners and help them weigh the pros and cons of both options.
Taking the DIY route can save you a significant amount of money, but it also requires several tools and some technical know-how. I have a few friends who are experienced in automotive work, so I felt comfortable tackling the project with their guidance.
However, if you're not confident in your abilities or don't have the necessary tools, you may want to consider hiring a professional instead. If you choose to install the lift kit yourself, be sure to research and follow installation instructions thoroughly.
Remember that safety should always be your top priority when working on any vehicle project.
Hiring a Professional
Hiring a professional to install the lift kit on my XJ Jeep would have been a more convenient option, but it also comes with higher costs. Professional installation typically ranges between $800 and $8,000.
The benefits of hiring a professional include:
- Expert knowledge and experience
- Access to the necessary tools and equipment
- Assistance with any potential issues during installation
- Faster completion time
Of course, it's important to find a reputable mechanic or off-road shop to guarantee quality work. Keep in mind that cost and convenience should never compromise the safety and performance of your vehicle.
About THE AUTHOR
Corey has been off-roading all his life, starting from a very young age on ATV's and dirt bikes. As he's grown older, his interests have focused more on larger off-roading vehicles like Jeeps and Toyotas. He lives for the slow and calculated crawl up (or down) steep terrain.Read More About Corey Brooks