Best Spacer Lift Option - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Suspension / Lifts This is the place to discuss the suspension, lift systems, and other stuff underneath your Jeep Commander

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Best Spacer Lift Option

I've been doing a lot of reading to find the most suitable way to lift my commander a bit to fit larger tires without breaking the bank, and it seems that a spacer lift is the best fit for me. I know a number of folks on here have had good luck with the Rough Country spacer lift, however I noticed this on the JBA website while looking into their replacement A-arms:

"So if you buy this cheap piece of junk do not complain to me if the JBA UCAs dont work. It is not the a-arms that are the problem it is the poorly designed spacers, they should have been half the thickness to equal 2" lift." Those are pretty strong words. It doesn't seem like they're trying to steer people toward their own lift, as I don't see anything similar listed on their site.

As far as I've seen, the only other spacer type lifts are Rocky Road and BDS, and maybe perhaps a few other generic types. I'm not interested in the Daystar type lifts, as I don't want to pre-load the springs.

At any rate, what I'm looking for is around 2.5" lift in the front, and maybe 2" lift in the rear to level the jeep (The JBA site says the RC lift is 3.5" in the front). I don't want to go any higher than that in order to keep the additional wear on the front suspension components to a minimum, and ensure that I can still align with the stock A-arms. I only go wheeling a couple times a year, and even then it's mostly rough logging roads.

What I'm thinking at this point is the Rocky Road spacer lift, with Bilstein stock 4600 shocks in the front, and the 5100 lift shocks in the rear. If/when my ball joints wear out, I'll replace the A-arms, but I think I'll leave it stock for now as long as I can get it aligned. I lifted my old KJ a few years back with OME springs, and wasn't all that impressed, so I prefer to stay with the stock springs, but I'll definitely be replacing the shocks while I've got the assembly apart.

Does anyone know if the spacer lifts are any different in terms of ride height, or is the Rocky Road the same as the RC?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 12:40 PM
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I don't know why it says the RC gives 3.5" of lift in the front because it does not. It gives 2 - 2.5". And you will be fine with the RC lift and the JBA control arms. That is the set up that I have. Oh, and the RC lift is NOT a "cheap piece of junk."

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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That's kind of what I figured, but I found it a little odd to find that info on the JBA website. They really have nothing good to say about the RC lift.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 02:06 PM
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I've never seen anyone complain of the RC lift being too high, and certainly not reaching 23.5" hub to fender.

I ran the Crown spacer lift for awhile (identical to the Rough Country lift, but can usually be found a little cheaper) and ended up completely level at 21.5" hub to fender.

With that being said, even if it did lift to 23.5", there wouldn't be any alignment problems at that height with JBA UCAs. 4" of lift is about the limit before needing a cradle drop, but I ran a modified OME at 23.5" for a few months with no issues at all.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 11:38 PM
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Weird, I'm running the "Piece of Junk" with JBA UCAs just fine. I wonder what prompted that claim to begin with.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 01:26 AM
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You see, lots of people here have the RC spaced lift with no problems.

I actually bought a brand new set, never installed, cause I went with a spring lift but nonetheless, have heard no issues with them.

I wonder if the person was trying to do some heavy off roading
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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I kind of figured that was the case, I've read from a number of people on here that the RC lift is descent, so not sure why such negativity on the JBA website. I don't intend to install the UCAs until it becomes necessary down the road, but I do intend to replace the shocks while I've got it all apart.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTF View Post
I've been doing a lot of reading to find the most suitable way to lift my commander a bit to fit larger tires without breaking the bank, and it seems that a spacer lift is the best fit for me. I know a number of folks on here have had good luck with the Rough Country spacer lift, however I noticed this on the JBA website while looking into their replacement A-arms:

"So if you buy this cheap piece of junk do not complain to me if the JBA UCAs dont work. It is not the a-arms that are the problem it is the poorly designed spacers, they should have been half the thickness to equal 2" lift." Those are pretty strong words.
I'll comment on this portion of your post in particular since I have some recent experience with this aspect of it.

I had a WK I ran with the 2 inch RC lift for about 2 years with no problems.

I ran the 2 inch RC lift on my XK with no issues for over 2 years up until recently and the issue I had was one of the bushings in my driver's side JBA UCA started to make an occasional clunk if I hit a bump just the right way - the JBA UCA's were only 11 months old when this revealed itself.

Now despite what Marlin says about the RC spacers, I'll say this: JBA UCA's come with a LIFE-TIME warranty for the Upper control/A-arms but only a 1 year warranty on the bushings.

Now, I may not be a mechanic - but that tells me that he knows that the JBA UCA bushings are the Achilles heal of that product. Now to give Marlin his due credit, he sent me a new set of JBA UCA's at no charge (which I had installed last week) - when I only asked him for 1 replacement JBA UCA. He even pre-paid for the shipping for me to send back the old ones, which I did.

Now all that being said, I can tell you with confidence that the 2 inch RC lift is probably the most reputable & proven spacer lift on the market at present.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 06-07-2018 at 06:20 AM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 04:32 PM
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I've run plenty of spacer lifts without a problem, I can't image why the Commander would be much different that it can't take a spacerlift. If I could afford it I'd drop the ~$400 to get the HD OME springs, but if you can get the same look and clearance (for bigger tires I mean) with a spacer for just under $200, do it.

Should have been a cowboy...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccg1018 View Post
I've run plenty of spacer lifts without a problem, I can't image why the Commander would be much different that it can't take a spacerlift. If I could afford it I'd drop the ~$400 to get the HD OME springs, but if you can get the same look and clearance (for bigger tires I mean) with a spacer for just under $200, do it.
I've really had no problems with my 2 inch RC Lift and I've run it for over 6 years in 2 different Jeeps including the last 3 years that I've been running it in Big Blue.


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