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
3/8″ & 1/2″ Drive Ratchets
3″ Ratchet Drive Extension
6″-12″ Ratchet Drive Extension
Ft. Lb. Torque Wrench
21″ Floor Jack
(2) Tall Jack Stands
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.
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.