The first major upgrade to the jeepfan.com 2016 JKU Rubicon Hard Rock is the installation of a lift. Like we described in our introduction article we indicated that we would use the Teraflex 2.5″ Budget Boost system. This system is simple but yet very comprehensive and provides all you need to get your Jeep some clearance. We are no stranger to Teraflex lifts and have installed the Budget Boost lifts in both TJ and JK Jeeps.
This system works especially well on a Rubicon or a Jeep equipped with lockers. The Budget Boost achieves the lift by simple spacers that lift the Jeep while retaining the stock springs and shocks. One drawback with this kind of lift is that there is no additional wheel travel gained by adding the spacers. The shocks are typically the limiting factor and they will be in this system. Like we mentioned, a Rubicon or Jeep equipped with lockers will not be as hindered by the limited (when compared to spring lifts) wheel travel since the locked axles will keep the Jeep moving in case a wheel becomes airborne.
The Teraflex products come with excellent instructions that will aid you in a successful installation. We follow the directions and add our own tips and procedures along the way. A Jeep lift isn’t difficult and can be done at home without a lift..the installation requires good tools, a jack, and GOOD jack stands. Be safe and make sure the Jeep is secured since the wheels will be off. We often leave the tires under the Jeep as an added safety net incase the Jeep gets loose.
Start with the Rear
The main reason for starting here is that the rear sway bar links will be reused in the front. If you are doing a home install it’s helpful to not have to switch from front to rear to front.
Support the Jeep by the frame and remove the wheels support the axle for now with a jack. Remove the track bar and sway bar links. Unbolt the shocks at the axle followed by the top bolts. Tip: If you leave a top bolt in and loose the shock won’t hit you in the head and you can remove the shock by sliding it to the side. Unbolt the rear brake line brackets from the frame.
In addition to removing the above components you should observe items that will hinder the axle from lowering like the axle breather tube, locker wiring (if equipped) and parking brake cables. Unhook the parking brake cables from the hooks attached to the bottom of the body. Remove the hooks since they will no longer be useable.
Lower the axle until the springs are loose and remove them. The spring isolator should fall out, remove it if it’s stuck up in the upper mount.
Pop the isolator on to the Teraflex spacer. Apply some grease to the top center section of the spacer, this will help the spacer pop into the upper mount. This lip keeps the spacer in the mount and prevents it from falling out if the suspension is fully extended. Trick: Teraflex claims a real man can pop the spacer into place by hand but we’ve never been able to do it. We use a bottle jack setting on the bottom spring perch to apply enough pressure to the spacer and with a little twisting the spacer will pop right in.
After the spacer is in place replace the spring. It’s easiest to place the top in first and work the bottom back over the perch, it may take a little prying. Sometimes it’s useful to rotate the spring in a corkscrew like motion to allow the coils to thread themselves into place.