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Installed my lift kit

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Old 09-28-2017, 04:52 PM   #1  
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Default Installed my lift kit

After putting it off for a couple of months, I got around to installing my Hazard Sky TrailHawk lift kit. Kit was great, instructions were clear and concise. Install went (mostly) according to the book. I used the "Do it in the kids garage with basic tools" technique and deviated from the instructions only on the rear and then only after wasting quite a bit of time with my spring compressors. I gave up on that and just dropped the lower control arm (one bolt plus the sway-bar link) after which it took about 10 minutes per side. For the front I did remove the diddly-brackets on the struts with the bend and twist technique.

I took it for an alignment post-lift and got everything put back in order. The only thing that wouldn't come back into spec was drivers side front camber. It's about .1 out. I just had them set the passenger side to the same and called it good. It's important to note that I didn't get a "before lift kit" reading, but the post-lift before and after were dramatically different. Mostly toe, but some camber in the rear as well. My post-work seat of the pants testing tells me it drives better, tracks better and is a tad stiffer than before. I strongly suspect that the camber was way off (and toe too, probably) before I installed the kit as it always was a bit skittish on the highway. It's much more solid now. I pull a teardrop travel trailer and the lift kit keeps me more level with the trailer on than it did before. A bit more rear preload keeps things less saggy.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the results. I've got about 500 miles since all this happened and really like the "new" drive. Now if I can just learn to lift my foot an inch before swinging it up in, I'll preserve the paint on the rocker panel too....

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Old 10-24-2017, 12:45 PM   #2  
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I'm finally getting around to posting a photo or two. Here's the Jeep, post-lift and a copy of the before/after alignment. Keep in mind, the alignment before/after is the result of: Before alignment but after I installed the lift kit. I didn't get any specs from before I installed the lift kit.

I've got around a thousand miles on the lift kit and love it. It's quieter (tire noise) mostly because it obviously needed alignment before I installed the lift kit. It's also much stiffer, but not obnoxiously so. I pull a trailer (teardrop) constantly and appreciate the new lack of sag when the trailer is hooked up. It drives better on the road. Plain and simple.





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Old 10-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #3  
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Looks good.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:33 AM   #4  
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I like it. How is it going around turns on the street? Does it feel more "tippy"? Do you feel you have to drive any different?
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:55 AM   #5  
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If anything it feels more solid and planted. It's a bit stiffer and doesn't roll as much. Particularly when towing. I suspect most of the difference in driving that I'm feeling is the result of the alignment which I always felt it needed anyway.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:33 AM   #6  
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I crawled under one like this a couple weeks ago, and as much as I prefer to stay close to stock, these absolutely need a lift!
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:46 PM   #7  
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Thanks for sharing in such detail. I am considering a number of modifications; including a slight lift. This is my first 4x4 with all this electronic stuff. So, I worry about how the electronics will react to any changes.
In the photo it looks like your tires might be a "plus" size. Are they? Any problems?
Remain Calm & Carry On.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:26 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamA View Post
If anything it feels more solid and planted. It's a bit stiffer and doesn't roll as much. Particularly when towing. I suspect most of the difference in driving that I'm feeling is the result of the alignment which I always felt it needed anyway.
Your Jeep looks great but any lifting on any vehicle does cause increased roll over. Stiffer does not mean it handles better it only means higher & stiffer. Anytime you shift the center of gravity higher, things get funky. SUVS by design, have the worst handling and roll over characteristics when stock. Lift them and they get worse. Off road, lifts will increase clearance but on steep grades rollover is increased. On the highway at speed rollover is greatly increased. Understanding the dynamics of a lifted vehicle is important as you can adjust your driving habits but don't be fooled into thinking that your jeep actually handles better, it may feel better or different, however, it does not handle better.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:40 PM   #9  
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I beg to differ. The Cherokee suspension felt stiffer and more planted after the lift. The lift did raise the roll center or longitudinal center of gravity. Nevertheless, it drove better as the suspension was stiffer, reducing steering and suspension roll-induced instability. In addition to the longitudinal center, there are about a thousand other factors that cause longitudinal instability. If roll center vs track width were the only measure of vehicle stability, tractor-trailers, buses and UPS trucks would be flopping over at every road cant and wet leaf. Lifted vehicles, when properly done taking automotive geometry into account and driven properly are quite solid and safe. Saying the roll center went up so it's less safe is not necessarily so because there are more factors in the equation. And finally, there is driver input to be considered. The highest cog vehicles on the road are trucks and they seldom roll over because their drivers know how to drive them...

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Old 01-09-2018, 07:01 PM   #10  
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I have to admit.... I wasn't initially a fan of the new Cherokee... but with those wheels, tires, and lift... I have say, that looks pretty damn good man. Nice... has a much more "aggressive" look to it than the average stock suburbia pavement pounding SUV. The roof rack sets it off too.

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Old 02-12-2018, 07:39 PM   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketMouse View Post
I have to admit.... I wasn't initially a fan of the new Cherokee... but with those wheels, tires, and lift... I have say, that looks pretty damn good man. Nice... has a much more "aggressive" look to it than the average stock suburbia pavement pounding SUV. The roof rack sets it off too.
Agreed! It does Look more promising.
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