How far can a 2" lift go? - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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How far can a 2" lift go?

I have a kind of silly question...I have a 2008 Jeep Commander 4.7L Sport that i put the 2" spacer kit on and am running 265/70/17 tires on stock wheels and no other modifications. I'm upgrading wheels and to a KO2 tire this year and staying at the same size, but the question my pops and I are arguing about is trail ability...how far can a 2" lift kit take me?

I don't want a rock crawler or anything near it...its my family 4x4 But I expect i'll be able to catch on moderate trails etc.? Maybe some small Rock roads or puddle jumps. Is it fully capable or do I definitely have to look into a 4" Superlift?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 08:13 AM
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I am assuming your Commander is Trail-rated - since you have the same model & engine as mine, that would mean you have at least 3.73 gearing in the rear-end. As long as you are not doing any major rock-crawling or deep-water submersions, a 2 inch lift is more than enough for any trail riding & off-roading as long as you know how to drive (off-road).

FYI, I was just checking out the 4 inch superlift yesterday on Superlift's website and it's going to be an expensive upgrade if I decide to do it, the parts alone are over $2,100.00


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Last edited by Big Blue; 02-28-2016 at 08:34 AM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 04:17 PM
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With the upgraded tires, it will surprise you how far it will go. I promise you'll be able to hang on most of the trails that aren't super crazy. You as the driver will have the biggest impact on the rigs capability. If you don't go crazy and get throttle happy I suspect you'll be astonished at its capability.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 06:58 PM
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Depends on how much you want to beat on your Jeep
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 08:42 AM
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Putting a spacer, all it does is raise up the body and force the suspension down in its normal travel. You are just trading rebound distance for jounce distance, there is no gain at all in overall suspension travel. Suspension travel is what gets you the articulation and off-road ability.

Having said that, a 2" lift with spacers does get you more ground clearance which also improves break-over/approach/departure angles and allows you to fit taller tires. Those things will give you an improvement in off-road ability. NOT as much as if you had raised the vehicle "properly" by increasing the suspension travel, but that would also be much more expensive.

Your Jeep was already pretty off-road capable before the bigger tires and lift, so despite going the inexpensive route on the lift, you are going to be pretty off-road capable.

The rear suspension is solid axle, the only thing limiting the rebound is the shocks, so fitting longer shocks will give you more rebound. The spacer may make the coil spring bind at full jounce, if so, and provided your kit was engineered properly, there would be rebound bumpers modifications to prevent damage to the coil spring. If they are needed and NOT there, you can damage your suspension if it rebounds farther than it is capable of with the spacers inserted in it.

This is why replacing springs with taller ones to raise the vehicle is far more capable than just putting in "pucks" or spacers.

The front suspension is Independent Suspension. Independent suspension are limited by how much the control arms and joints can swing/pivot, which is far less than a solid axle that can pivot at any point along its beam. So to ride at higher height, the angles on all the suspension pieces and drive shafts change, increasing the load and wear on those pieces. As well, a longer shock is NOT going to increase suspension travel in most cases, and increasing the suspension travel can get very expensive, usually requiring replacement of the most of the components with redesigned parts altogether.

The 4" lift kits I've seen for the Commander, include new redesigned front suspension pieces, and it is very expensive. Increasing the front suspension by 4" with spacers I don't "think" is practical, the angles on the parts will be too far for them to last, I could be wrong, but I suspect that is why you only see extremely expensive kits that replace front suspension components for 4" of lift.

You see why Jeep Purist bemoan the newer Jeeps other than the Wrangler that have gone with Independent Suspensions instead of long Jeep tradition of solid axles Front and Rear.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all...that input is much appreciated as my dad was really pushing me to try to,find money for that 4" lift. No I'm not rock crawling and don't want a huge effect on my factory system which is another reason I went with the 2" spacer. I was just tired of those tiny tires .

One more question...of I go with an 18" wheel and same size tire (31.6) or a 20" wheel and a 32.5 inch tire I should be good still for trails etc. Right?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 10:29 AM
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NO, shorter sidewalls on a tire equal stiffness and less shock absorption and flexibility. Great for a Corvette doing race like driving on a smooth road, Bad for a Jeep doing off-road driving over irregular surfaces and obstacles.

You want the tire to be able to climb over obstacles (The greater the overall tire Diameter or Height the higher the obstacle it can climb up and over) and the taller the sidewall the more flexible the tire will be (Combine that with lowered tire pressure on the trail) and the tire will flex to absorb shock and allow the tread to flex and better grip the ground.

You don't want to go up in Wheel Diameter while keeping the same overall tire diameter, that can only be done by going to low profile tires (i.e. shorter & stiffer sidewalls).

In fact a few purist Jeepers go around sticking "Mall Rated" badge/decals to Jeeps they see with Corvette like 20" wheels and low profile tires. Most good off-road Jeeps have 15" or 16" wheels with 75% or higher profile tires.

I'd stick with 17" wheels and the OEM 29.5" overall tire diameter at least, if NOT higher like the 31.6" or 32.5" tires.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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thanks....I wanted the fuel vapor wheels but they look so crowded in a 17inch lol. I think I may go with rockstar 2 17inch wheels and stick with my 31.6inch tire. Im afraid I'll run with a 32.5 even with the back spacing of the wheel.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Just got home on the PC to fully read the threads in more detail...yes I don't/can't really afford the 4" suspension kit at the moment...it's not that i'm not willing to work with the install myself, but that's expensive for minimal gain in my opinion. This isn't a full time 4 wheeler, if I wanted something that i'd put that on i'd stay with a wrangler.

And yes - I CURSE the new BS they call Jeep Grand Cherokees and Cherokees. Independent suspension and air-ride suspension kill this crap. They are trying to find a way to make the wrangler independent and that would kill it so bad.

I just want to take my 7 year old son and me on some cool trails and to some places only a jeep can go while not going through 5 feet of water or over huge boulders lol. I know there's decent trails here in Colorado I just don't want to be fully incapable .

SO...with that being said, I think my best approach would be to keep with my 2" hockey pucks, a 31.6" tire (unless you think I can fit the 32.5" without rubbing considering the new wheels will have a good back-space) and some decent looking 17" wheels.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 10:28 AM
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There was a rumor the next Wrangler (Model Year 2018) would have independent suspension. The foreign CEO of Chrysler, now FCA, certainly hinted at such. The government safety regs and standards, class action lawsuits, the media, uninformed consumers all push toward going the route of safer, more comfortable ride and handling on highways. People are buying Jeeps in droves just for the image, and never take them off road, so they never know the difference. Even more frustrating are the Jeep owners that complain about their Jeep comparing it to a Honda, as they complain about the ride, handling and need for suspension maintenance, they clearly bought the wrong vehicle, but they think its Jeep's fault their Jeep isn't more like a Honda. The number of Wranglers you see with 22" rims and low profile tires confirm this. Throw in decades of foreign ownership with different priorities, i.e. it doesn't has to be good, it just has to sell attitude; this is where we've ended up.

But, the good news is, enough has been discovered about the replacement Wrangler, it will still be dual solid axle, no independent suspension. So Fiat and its CEO aren't as foolish or shrewd as we thought.

The Bad News, the safety regulators made enough of a fuss, the Wrangler can NOT keep its "Convertible" Exemption for much longer. So, the latest news, Jeep is pre-empting the loss of the "Convertible" Exemption (since that big of a change to the vehicle in between redesigns would bankrupt them) and the next Wrangler will no longer be Open Cab. From what I've read, they are doing something with panels and an open structured integral roof that it will still have a very Open Cab feel to it, but it won't be a true Open Cab anymore.

Back to Hawkeyes questions, your plans sound good. Do a search, there is a thread with max sized wheels and backspacing to make them fit a Commander, that should tell you how big you can go on the tire diameter and NOT get rubbing. There is a pinch-weld mod that you fold over a pinch weld in the wheel well to prevent the rubbing for tires that are close.

Also consider, when you swap out shocks, get Blistien 5100 for the rear, they are 2" longer and thus will provide you more suspension travel on the rear axle. The front can't travel more without expensive mods, so the Blistien 4600 are fine.

Last edited by Mongo; 03-01-2016 at 10:32 AM.
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