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  1. #1
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    Jeep JK Wrangler 2.5" Budget Boost Installation Write-Up



    Thanks to the wide open fender design that the Jeep JK Wrangler has, you can pretty much run a 33" tires bone stock and get up on a set of 35" tires with very little effort. Of course, the easiest and most cost effective way to get the extra clearance you need to run them is to install a 2.5" coil spacer lift. More commonly known as a budget boost, coil spacers are cylindrical blocks that are made of a polymer or sometimes steel and they are designed to sit on top of your factory coils to give you as much lift as they are tall. When installed with a set of shock adapters, you will effectively have a small lift that will not change the quality of your ride and do it all for about $350. This write-up will give you a general idea just how easy it is to install a budget boost on your Jeep JK Wrangler.

    What You Will Need
    • 10,16,18,19,21mm Socket/Wrenches
    • 7/16,1/2,5/8,13/16″ Socket/Wrenches
    • 3/8″ & 1/2″ Drive Ratchets
    • 3″ Ratchet Drive Extension
    • 6″-12″ Ratchet Drive Extension
    • Ft. Lb. Torque Wrench
    • Breaker Bar
    • Crescent Wrench
    • 21″ Floor Jack
    • (2) Tall Jack Stands
    • Wheel Chocks
    • White Lithium Grease
    • Long Ratchet Strap

    What You Will Need to Get
    (2) 2.5″ Front Coil Spacers
    (2) 2.5″ Rear Coil Spacers
    (2) Front Bump Stop Extensions
    (2) Rear Bump Stop Extensions
    (1) Complete Set of Shock Extensions or New Longer Shocks
    (2) Rear Brakeline Extension Brackets
    (2) Rear Sway Bar Links

    Optional Components You May Want
    • Adjustable Front Track Bar
    • Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket
    • Adjustable Front Lower Control Arms

    None of the above is required but, the adjustable front track bar and rear relocation bracket will help you to recenter your axles. Some people may experience a flighty sensation when driving at highway speeds after installing a small lift and adjustable front lower control arms will help you to add back some positive caster and that will help things out.

    This is a pic of all the parts you whould get with something like a TeraFlex 2.5″ Budget Boost with shock extensions. Newer kits come with new rear sway bar links and rear brakeline extension brackets (not shown in the photo below). There are other kits similar to this and so long as you have all the components listed, you'll be in good shape.




    Installation Instructions
    1. Park your Jeep on a level surface and crack the lug nuts on your front wheels loose. If you have an automatic transmission, use an 18mm socket to remove the 3 bolts (one on each frame rail and one on the cross member) securing its skid plate to the frame. Remove the skid plate and set it aside for now.


    2. Chock your rear tires, loosen (but do not remove) the lug nuts on your front wheels, raise the front end of it one side at a time from the axle using a tall floor jack and then lower it back down onto (2) jack stands, each placed just behind the lower control arm frame mounts.


    3. Remove the front wheels using a 19mm lug wrench or socket and set them out of the way for now. Leave the floor jack under the front axle to help support it.


    4.Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolts and nuts securing the front sway bar links to the lower axle mounts.


    5. Slip a 19mm wrench in between the sway bar link and sway bar itself to hold the ball joint stud in place. Then, use an 18mm wrench to remove the outer nut securing it in place. Completely remove the sway bar links discard them.


    6. Using a 5/8″ wrench, hold your front shock can in place just below the upper shock mount to keep it from spinning. Then, remove the stud mount nut above using a 16mm wrench.


    7. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing the front shocks to the lower axle mount.


    8. Use a 21mm socket to remove the bolt securing the front track bar to the front axle mount. Loosen but do not remove the frame mount bolt. These can be tough bolts to remove and an impact wrench or breaker bar will help to make this job easier. Once removed, set aside the flagged nut and lower bolt and leave the track bar attached to the frame.


    9. Being mindful of your brake lines, carefully lower your front axle until the factory front coils can be slipped out of the upper perch and be removed completely with ease.


    10. Firmly grab the yellow jounce stop and pry it out of its retaining cup.


    11. Slide the factory rubber coil isolator down and off the upper spring perch.


    12. Install your new 2.5″ coil spacers up onto the upper spring perch followed by the factory rubber coil isolator as shown in this photo.


    13. If your kit came with front bump stop extensions that install into the factory jounce stop retaining cup, apply some white lithium grease to the connecting end of it as shown.


    14. Place one of your new rear bump stop extensions on top of the front axle lower spring perch and then position a front bump stop extension on top of it just under the retaining cup.


    15. Using your floor jack, slowly raise your front axle up until the front bump stop extension plugs into the retaining cup.


    16. Lower your front axle back down, remove rear bump stop extension sitting on top of the lower spring perch and then install the factory yellow rubber bump stop into the new front bump stop extension.


    17. Install your factory front coils up back onto place making sure that it terminates at the index on the axle spring perch. You may need to push down on your front axle a bit in order to get it in.


    18. If you purchased your Budget Boost with shock extensions like what TeraFlex makes, layout and assemble the pieces to it as shown in this photo. Please note, you will need to reuse the factory rubber bushings and upper washer.


    19. Using a 13/16″ and 5/8″ wrench, install the shock extension main shaft onto the upper stud mount of your factory front shocks.


    20. Slip on the new large washer that comes with your front shock extensions onto the main shaft. Follow this with the stepped factory rubber bushing.


    21. Slip your front shock with new extensions up into your front upper shock mount, slip on the upper factory rubber bushing on to the mounting stud, place the large factory upper washer on top of it and then secure everything in place using the factory nut. A 16mm and 5/8″ wrench will be needed for this job.


    22. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, secure your front shocks to your axle mount using the factory hardware and tighten the nut and bolt to 56 ft. lbs. of torque.


    23. Reinstall your front wheels, lower it back down on the ground, tighten the lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. of torque, remove the wheel chocks from the rear and place them up front.


    24. With the engine off, put your key in the ignition, make sure that the steering wheel is unlocked and then have a friend turn it in one direction or the other until you can line up your front track bar bushing hole with the front axle mount hole. Secure the track bar in place using the factory hardware and tighten it to 125 ft. lbs. of torque. Tighten the frame mount bolt to 125 ft. lbs. of torque too.


    25. If you have an automatic and removed your skid plate earlier, use an 18mm socket to re-install and secure it to the frame of your Jeep JK Wrangler using the 3 factory bolts.

  2. #2
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    26. Lift the rear end of your Jeep from the differential using a tall floor jack and then set it back down onto (2) jack stands, each placed just behind the lower control arm frame mounts. Remove the wheels off using a 19mm lug wrench or socket and set them out of the way for now. Leave the floor jack under front the axle to help support it.


    27. Using a 16mm socket and a 6″-12″ ratchet drive extension, remove the 2 upper rear shock mount bolts.


    28. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing the rear shocks to the lower axle mounts. Remove and set aside your shocks for now.


    29. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolts and nuts securing your rear sway bar links to the lower axle mounts. Then, slip a 19mm wrench in between the sway bar link and sway bar itself and hold the ball joint stud in place while removing the nut securing it in place with 18mm wrench. Completely remove your links and set them aside for now as they will be reused in place of your factory front links.


    30. Remove the rear track bar bolt and nut from the lower axle mount using a 21mm socket. Loosen but do not remove the frame mount bolt. As was the case with the front track bar, this can be a tough bolt to remove and a breaker bar will help to make this job easier.


    31. Using a 10mm socket, remove the 2 nuts securing the emergency brake cables to the bottom of the tub. This is necessary in order for you to get your rear axle to droop enough to install your new coils.


    32. Using a 10mm socket, unbolt the rear brake line brackets which are fastened to the outside frame rails. Leave them dangling at this time.


    33. Slowly lower your rear axle being mindful of the ESP wiring. Once your axle is dropped low enough, your factory coils should just about fall out and can be removed with ease. Set aside the upper rubber isolators as they will be reused.


    34. Take your new rear coil spacers and install the factory rear coil rubber isolators onto the center post as shown in this photo.


    35. Apply a small amount of white lithium grease to the knob on the upper side of your new rear coil spacers.


    36. Plug your new rear coil spacers up onto the hole of the rear upper spring perch.


    37. Re-install your factory coils underneath your new rear coil spacers making sure that it is properly seated on the rubber isolators.


    38. Install 2 of the bolts and washers provided with the kit into the holes on the rear bump stop extension as shown in this photo.


    39. Place the rear bump stop extension on top of the axle bump stop plate making sure that the bolts go through the existing holes. On newer kits, this bump stop will be shaped like a parallagram and have a top that is skewed over to one side from the bottom. Install these with the top surface pointing towards the front of your Jeep.


    40. Using a 1/2″ and 13mm wrench, secure the rear bump stop extension to your axle bump stop plate using the lock nuts and washer provided with the kit.


    41. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, install your new sway bar link onto the lower axle mounts with the factory hardware and tighten them to 75 ft. lbs. of torque. Then, install them to the sway bar using the hardware provided. Once installed, apply some grease to the zerk nipple using a grease gun.


    42. Using a 10mm socket and the factory hardware, install the rear brake line extension brackets onto the frame rails with the bends pointing toward the center of your Jeep and the notches pointing backward.


    43. Secure your rear brake lines to the new extension brackets using the bolts, washers and lock nuts provided with the kit. You will need a 7/16″ socket and wrench for this job.


    44. Layout and assemble the pieces for the rear shocks as shown in this photo.


    45. Loosely install the rear shock extension onto the upper frame mounts using just one of the long bolts provided with the kit.


    46. Slip one of the small bolts and washer throug the top of the frame rail and loosely secure the rear shock extension bracket to it from under neath using one of the lock nuts and washers provided with the kit.


    47. Loosely install your rear shocks onto the lower axle mounts using the factory hardware. This will help you hold everything in place while you secure the TeraFlex rear shock extension bracket and upper shock mount in palce.


    48. Using a 17mm socket and 6″-12″ ratchet drive extension, secure your rear shocks and extension brackets to the upper frame mountwith the long bolts and washers provided with the kit. Tighten these bolts to 37 ft. lbs. of torque.


    49. Using a 1/2″ socket, a 6″-12″ ratchet drive extension and a 1/2″ wrench, tighten the additional small bolt and nut securing your new rear shock extension to the upper frame mount.


    50. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, re-install your rear shocks onto the lower axle mounts using the factory hardware. Tighten these bolts to 56 ft. lbs. of torque.


    51. Using a 10mm socket, re-secure your emergency brake cables hanger to the bottom of the tub using the factory nuts.


    52. Reinstall your rear wheels, lower your Jeep back down on the ground, tighten the lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. of torque.


    53. If you have a friend helping out, have them push on the passenger side of your Jeep until the rear track bar axle mount hole lines up enough for you to insert the bolt through it. Then, secure the rear track bar bolt and flag nut in place and tighten both bolts to 125 ft. lbs. of torque.


    54. Install your factory rear sway bar links onto the front axle mounts and tighten them to 75 ft. lbs. of torque. You will need an 18mm socket and wrench to do this job.


    55. Because of the lift, your steering wheel will now be off just a bit. To re-center it, use a 15mm wrench to loosen the 2 nuts on the turnbuckle as shown in the pic to the left. Then, rotate the turnbuckle clockwise or counter clockwise as needed while a friend watches the steering wheel (or you periodically check on it yourself) go back to center. Once re-centered, secure the nuts and take it for a drive to check your steering wheel. This may take a few tries to get it on 100% but that’s all there is to it.


    56. Because your factory control arm bushings utilize bonded rubber bushing, they will all be in a state of bind now due to the lift. While this isn't a required step, I would recommend that you loosen all your control arm bushing bolts, rock your Jeep side to side and up and down and then retighten them to factory torque spec. All the lower control arm and rear upper arm bolts require a 21mm socket/wrench and need to be tightend to 125 ft. lbs. of torque. The front upper arms will need an 18mm socket/wrench and need to be tighted up to 75 ft. lbs. You can do this with your Jeep sitting on the ground.


    That's it, you now have a Jeep JK Wrangler that's sitting 2.5" taller.

  3. #3
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    This woulda been really cool a few month ago nice write up.

    This step below would have made the passenger side spring go back together allot easier wouldn't have?

    Use a 21mm socket to remove the bolt securing the front track bar to the front axle mount. Loosen but do not remove the frame mount bolt. These can be tough bolts to remove and an impact wrench or breaker bar will help to make this job easier. Once removed, set aside the flagged nut and lower bolt and leave the track bar attached to the frame.
    questions
    Why not do the back first so you have the sway bar links for the front when you have the front all apart ?

    If your lowering the springs and shocks toward the axle shouldn't the travel be the same for the stock bump stops?

    Sorry just curious.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackerdown View Post
    This woulda been really cool a few month ago nice write up.

    This step below would have made the passenger side spring go back together allot easier wouldn't have?
    LOL!! Yep, disconnecting the front track bar from the axle and loosening up the frame bolt will make the installation of spacers or even taller coils super easy. Also, re-tightening the bolts while your Jeep is on the ground and at ride height will prevent your bushing from getting pre-loaded.

    questions
    Why not do the back first so you have the sway bar links for the front when you have the front all apart ?
    There is no reason why you can't do the back first. I just typically do my work front to back out of habbit and docummented what I did accordingly

    If your lowering the springs and shocks toward the axle shouldn't the travel be the same for the stock bump stops?
    Yes, and that's why you install bump stop extensions, to keep the amount of uptravel the same. Failure to install the extensions would result in your shocks bottoming out and you'd run the risk of over compressing your coils.

  5. #5
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    Jeep JK Wrangler 2.5" Budget Boost Installation Write-Up

    Will a BB give you increased ground clearance or just frame clearance to run larger tires?

    I get totally confused on these things. I also heard of a body lift, which doesn't add ground clearance.

    Will this BB also bring ground clearance in addition to gain in clearance from larger tires?
    I think I may consider lifting my Jeep. Or not.
    The Evolution of ENVY

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGS View Post
    Will a BB give you increased ground clearance or just frame clearance to run larger tires?

    I get totally confused on these things. I also heard of a body lift, which doesn't add ground clearance.

    Will this BB also bring ground clearance in addition to gain in clearance from larger tires?
    Ground clearance is gained by larger tires. Body lift or suspension lift will allow you to gain ground clearance. The lift doesn't lift your axle so it won't gain you and clearance. Lifts give you the ability to run larger tires which will move your axle higher off the ground and give you ground clearance.
    1987 Toyota 4 Runner

  7. #7
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    Jeep JK Wrangler 2.5" Budget Boost Installation Write-Up

    Quote Originally Posted by OverlanderJK View Post
    Ground clearance is gained by larger tires. Body lift or suspension lift will allow you to gain ground clearance. The lift doesn't lift your axle so it won't gain you and clearance. Lifts give you the ability to run larger tires which will move your axle higher off the ground and give you ground clearance.
    What about between the axles though? Don't certain lifts actually raise your undercarriage in addition to the lift of tires.

    My reasoning/thinking is that some on 35s look higher than others because of lift height???
    I think I may consider lifting my Jeep. Or not.
    The Evolution of ENVY

  8. #8
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    Jeep JK Wrangler 2.5" Budget Boost Installation Write-Up

    Well yeah a bigger lift will look bigger then a smaller one. Lol

    But ground clearance is more of an axle issue in my opinion.

    To make this easy, the suspension lift will lift everything above the axle, body lift only the body and the bigger tires will lift everything higher.

    With a budget boost and 35's your rig will be pretty capable.
    1987 Toyota 4 Runner

  9. #9
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    Actually, a BB alone will raise your frame up and you better approach and departure angles and give you more ground clearance at the belly and and therefore, better breakover angles. Yes, it'll also allow you to run larger tires as well and that will give you even more ground clearance at the axle.

    A body lift will only lift your body up off the frame and that will only allow you to run larger tires.

    If you're making sure to put your tires on obstacles as opposed to driving over them, it won't matter as much that your axles are the lowest point on your Jeep. At that point and time, approach, departure and break over angles become much more the concern.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the great write-up Eddie.

    When I finally jump on the JK train, I think the first phase of the build must be:
    • TF Budget Boost
    • Poison Spyder Wheel Spacers
    • 35" Tires

    From there I will spend my time plotting and planning further phases of the build.

 

 

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