- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
Installation of a Jeep Wrangler TJ 2" Lift Kit on 1997-2006 Models and Installation Tips for Accessories on Lift Kit
What we will help you install:
- 2" Front and Rear Coil Spring Spacer Lift Kit
- Bumpstop kit Front and Rear
- Pitman Arm
- 1" Transfer Case Drop Kit
2" Jeep Wrangler TJ Lift Kit with Accessories
The Jeep Wrangler TJ was made in the years between 1997-2006. It was a significant upgrade from the previous wrangler going with an all coil spring suspension, various body style enhancements, and some other updates to the storied Wrangler model.
This is by far the quintessential Jeep with the ability to take the top off and just have fun, the Wrangler has always been the Jeep model everyone associates with the name. This model is fun to drive and easy to fix up. Older models had a rougher suspension. And newer models with their new electronics and other enhancements that require a computer to run make it harder for the average home mechanic to service.
Installing a lift kit on this model is probably one of the easiest Jeep models to do it on. They are light, and the spacers easily go on the four corners of the Jeep. So go ahead and check out the rest of our article and see how you can install your very own Jeep 2" lift kit and not have to pay outrageous shop fees.
Items Needed for Installation Process:
- Floor Jack
- Jack Stands
- Coil Spring Compressor
- Socket and Wrench Set
- Safety Glasses
- Pitman Arm Puller
Other Items Needed
- Penetrating Spray
- Water - you will get thirsty
- Sandwich - its portable and easy to eat when wrenching.
How to Install the Front and Rear Coil Spring Spacers:
So first park your vehicle on a flat level surface with plenty of workspace around the vehicle.
Remember safety first when working under a vehicle, it is always best to have several ways to make sure the vehicle is jacked up securely and also wear safety glasses and gloves.
Loosen all the lug nuts on the wheels while the vehicle is on the ground. Jack up the front of the vehicle so the wheels are off the ground. Use the jack stands to support the vehicle, NOT ON THE AXLE" as we will need to drop this. Keep the jack on the bottom of the pumpkin of the axle for additional support.
Remove the tires and wheels entirely and I usually use the tire as a place to sit in the wheel well. It is easier on my back.
Remove the lower shock from its mount. Also disconnect the lower sway bar end link from its mount. This is all you should remove. You could remove the tie rod ends, and track-bar but I do not recommend it unless you need to replace something on them.
Remove the spring clamp on the bottom of the spring if you have one. Do this on one side only. Now slowly lower the jack that is on the pumpkin so that the axle will start to drop on the one side (please note you may have to remove the jack stands to get the axle to lower)..
Make sure that the brake lines are not over-extending and continue to lower the jack. You now should have enough spacer to get the coil spring out of its mount. Once you do that remove the bumpstop as well (SEE OUR INSTRUCTIONS BELOW ON MOUNTING NEW BUMPSTOPS). If you are not putting in new bumpstops you don't have to remove them.
If the bumpstop mounting cup inteferes with you installing the spacer you may have to unscrew it from its mount. Next slide the spacers with the ridges facing down (this is what the coil spring fits into) over the bumpstop mount cone. You may have noticed a stock coil spring isolator that can be reused for more a lift or discarded. If it is worn out I would discard it.
Once the spacer is installed, then re-install the bumpstop mounting cup, and reinstall the coil spring. You may need two people to wedge the spring back in or you can use a coil spring compressor (if you do not have this tool it can be rented at a local auto parts store for free).
Once the coil spring is installed make sure it is securely mounted in the bottom coil spring seat and mount the clamp.
Reconnect the end link to the bottom mount and the shock as well. If you previously disconnected the track-bar and tie rod then reconnect those.
REPEAT THIS STEP FOR THE OTHER SIDE.
Once both of the front sides are done then install the tires and rims back on and hand tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the front wheel lug nuts in a star pattern.
NOW PROCEED TO THE REAR INSTALLATION.
Loosen all the lug nuts on the wheels while the vehicle is on the ground. Jack up the rear of the vehicle so the wheels are off the ground. Use the jack stands to support the vehicle, NOT ON THE AXLE" as we will need to drop this. Keep the jack on the bottom of the pumpkin of the rear axle for additional support.
Remove the wheels from the vehicle and set aside or use as a stool.
Disconnect the lower part of the rear sway bar mount, and remove the rear shock at the lower mount. Disconnect the rear track-bar if needed.
Now lower the jack which should be under the pumpkin like before (please note you may have to remove the jack stands to get the axle to lower). On the rear you will need to pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to the brake lines as they can overextend and brake easily. You can solve this by disconnecting the mount that is on the frame (DO NOT disconnect the brake line from the caliper of anywhere in-line as you will have to bleed your brake system).
Remove the rear coil springs and the bumpstops from the mounting cups (please see our instalation instructions on bumpstops below). Install the spacer onto the upper mount, Here you need to make sure that when the spacer is installed that the stock bumpstop will go past it, otherwise you will need to get an aftermarket bumpstop kit. See the photo to the bottom as to what can happen.
Re-install the stock or aftermarket bumpstop, and the coil spring in the same location. You may need to wrestle it in or use the coil spring compressor.
You may need to raise the axle to make sure the coil spring seats into its saddles. Then once everything is seated go ahead and reconnect the swaybar mount and lower shock to its mount. You can leave the trackbar unhooked until you finish the other side.
REPEAT FOR THE OTHER SIDE
Now reconnect the trackbar, this may be easier with the vehicle on the ground. Put on the wheels and hand tighten lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground. And tighten all lug nuts in a star pattern.
Next test drive around the block. Get out and make sure everything is still seated. Then after 50 miles retighten all the bolts again.
Why You May Need an Aftermarket Rear Bumpstop Kit
What to Look for in a Good Spacer Kit
When you are looking for a good lift it for your Jeep Wrangler you want to make sure it has the following features.
- High Density Polyreuthane
- Machined Finish not just poured
- Lifetime Warranty
- Made in the USA
- Stylish Look
What is your favorite Wrangler?
How to Install Front and Rear Bumpstops
So from above you have learned that these should be done with the coil springs removed. If your kit came with bumpstops then this guide will show you how to install them.
First wiggle out the stock bumpstop from the retaining cup while it is still mounted on the Jeep.
You should be able to unbolt and remove the bumpstop retaining cup. In some rare instances this may be screwed in with a stud welded to the back of the cup.
Next put the retaining cup into a vise or on a flat surface. Put some white lithium grease liberally on the bumpstop and work it side to side into the retaining cup. It should fit snugly.
Now you can install the bumpstop back into the stock mount using a long socket extension.
The rear kit is an extension kit so you will need all of the stock parts. It goes in between the cup and the frame.
Start off by removing the steel bumpstop cup from the rear mount. Remove the stock bumpstop to get at the bolt. Install the new supplied bumpstop extension between the cup and the mount with the supplied bolt. Reinstall the stock bumpstop.
Now you are ready to go with new bumpstops installed.
How to Install a Transfer Case Drop Kit on Wrangler TJ
Again make sure you vehicle is on a flat surface with a lot of room, all safety equipment is on, and tools are at hand.
You can if you want loosen the engine mounting bolts, this helps with the install process but is not necessary.
Use a floor jack and place it under the transfer case skid plate. Don't jack it up just use it for support. There should be three adjustment nuts on the plate that you should loosen but DO NOT remove.
Remove the 6 bolts connecting the skid plate to the frame. There are 3 on each side. Sometimes this is referred to as the cross member. Lower the jack so you have enough room (about 1 inch) to get the spacer in between the cross member and the frame.
Insert the 3 spacers on each side. Install the washers between the transfer case spacers and the frame. Then install the new bolts. Torque them to 75 ft/lbs. Slowly remove the jack making sure nothing is binding or shifting.
If you loosened the engine bolts tighten back to factory torque specifications. Test drive the vehicle.
After 50 miles or so, re-check the bolts and tighten again.
How to Install a Pitman Arm
First remove the tie rod end from the pitman arm and lower the drag link form the pitman arm.
At the upper end of the pitman arm that is attached to the steering box you want to remove the nut and lock washer. This may be worth spraying penetrating spray on and let it sit overnight.
Next you will need the pitman arm puller to remove the old pitman arm. Next inspect the splines on the steering box for any damage and test fit the new pitman arm.
Install the new pitman arm and remember to install the lock washer and the nut. Tighten to manufacturer torque specifications.
Re-attach the drag link to the pitman arm by inserting the tie rod end through the new pitman arm and attaching the castle nut. Attach the castle nut and after it is tight re-install the cotter pin.
Test drive and re-tighten all hardware after 50 miles.