Cost: $50 – $100
Time Required: 2 – 4 hours
Special Items Needed: 2″ Body Lift, jack, piece of wood, welder
Note: This body lift is on a 95YJ, 2.5L, with manual transmission, and NO air conditioning. Directions change slightly from model to model.
The basic idea behind a body lift is just that, to lift the body to allow larger tires. A 2″ body lift should give you enough clearance to put 32″ tires on an otherwise stock Jeep, without changing the center of gravity or the stock suspension. And, it’s cheap! My lift is a Dick Cepek 2″, and I got it for $69.95
As an overview, you basically add 2″ spacers between the frame and body at 11 different places. This includes 9 round puck-like spacers, and 2 spacers at each side of the grill.
I did this body lift with the help of my brother, and a friend of ours. We began by putting the Jeep in neutral and removing the plastic cover between the bumper and the grill, and the metal bracket that goes across and attaches to the frame just in front of the grill.
Next, we removed the radiator from the body by taking out the 4 bolts that was holding it. We dropped it by mounting 4 metal spacers to the radiator, then mounting the spacers to the body.
We then went around and loosened the 9 body mount bolts. Do not remove them yet! We decided to raise the driver side first, so we removed the driver side body mount bolts. We then took a floor jack with a large piece of wood (widen the area so the body would not dent) and jacked up the driver side about 3″, being careful to watch for any catching, or stretching hoses.
As far as the steering shaft is concerned, it extends on its own (see pict). The rod actually telescopes out of the shaft like a driveshaft extends.
After installing the body mounts and putting in the bolts (but not tightening) we went to the other side, and removed the rest of the bolts including the one in the front center. We installed the rest of the spacers and bolts, including the spacers on each side of the grill. We spot welded the front side spacers to the frame (see pict). We then began tightening the body mount bolts. We tightened them to 90 ft.lbs. Using loctite on these bolts is recommended to make sure they do not loosen.
Some cutting of the front bracket we removed earlier was needed to fit it back on. (Had to cut out the center a little so it did not hit the front spacer.) We then put the front plastic cover back on. It rests against the center spacer in the middle, so there is a little rise in it.
After further inspection, we noticed that a vacuum hose was a little stretched, so we went to the nearest parts store and bought a replacement. You may find the same hose, or different hoses need a little “stretching.” After painting the front side spacers black, we were finished!
Our directions said that we would have to remove the outer and inner shift boots to get to the gear shifters and lengthen them by welding in spacers. However, I didn’t have to do this. With a 3″ lift, this would most likely have to be done.
Our directions also said we would have to lengthen our gasoline filler hose. We also did not have to do that, but did keep an eye on it to make sure it didn’t get kinked in any way.
Adding spacers for the exhaust was also recommended, but we didn’t do this, either! However, I have sinced notice that the exhaust hanger (which is a heavy rubber piece) broke when we raised the body. In my opinion, it’s not a big deal, whatsoever. You may wish to extend the hangers, however.
The lift took us about 2 1/2 hours to do including the painting and trip to the parts store. In my opinion a body lift is worth the money if you want some bigger meats. I didn’t have the money to put a suspension lift, so this is the best alternative in my opinion. Hope it works for you!