Installing a lift kit on your Jeep Cherokee to improve ground clearance and make way for bigger tires is a great first step to creating a capable off-road vehicle. However, many of us get stuck wondering how many inches is enough for our application, and which brand we should go with. The bottom line is that, like anything else, you do get what you pay for. There are several companies that offer lift kits for the Jeep Cherokee, and at drastically varying prices. It is crucial to get the best quality lift kit you can afford, because safety and trail prowess are sometimes compromised if a dirt cheap lift kit is installed. There are three very popular companies for Jeep Cherokee suspensions, and the aim of this article is to highlight each one, and let the reader know a little bit about what they can expect when purchasing from these companies. Let us start with the cheapest kit available that is still acceptable, the Rough Country lifts.
Rough Country manufactures modified suspensions for all kinds of vehicles, and the Jeep Cherokee is among them. The kits tend to have pretty good flex for off-road situations, but are definitely not plush. Most owners of Jeep Cherokees with a Rough Country lift installed report that the ride is, in fact, very rough. This is probably a very good starter kit if the more expensive brands cannot be purchased at the time. Six inch kits are available that will fit 35″ tires without too much hassle. Now let’s take a quick peek at a popular midline suspension manufacturer, Rusty’s Off-road.
Rusty’s Off-road is the middle of the pack affordable kit. Their suspensions tend to have a smoother ride and a bit more flex on the trail, and the components they use are normally a tad beefier. While they are generally more expensive than a Rough Country suspension kit, they are still in the realm of affordable for most people who would like a few more inches out of their Jeep Cherokee. Many people have better luck with the large, solid trac-bar as opposed to the adjustable unit from Rusty’s. Now we move on to the top-of-the-line, best quality manufacturer, Rubicon Express.
Rubicon Express makes a ton of components for the Jeep Cherokee, and their lift kits are second to none. A plush ride coupled with superior off-road performance makes Rubicon Express the Jeep Cherokee suspension king. They offer long-arm kits of a very high quality, and great wheel travel over the bumpy stuff. Usually, their coil springs are gray in color, making it easy to pick out the Jeep Cherokees on the trail who have Rubicon Express suspensions.
The short and skinny of it is that any aftermarket suspension lift that is installed on your Jeep Cherokee will greatly enhance its performance, especially on the trail. However, it is a good idea to do your research and decide what you want out of your Jeep before rushing out and purchasing a kit.
Rough Country: http://www.roughcountry.com/jeep_xj_suspension_lift_kits.html
Rusty’s Off-road: http://rustysoffroad.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=rustys&Category_Code=sus_xj_kit
Rubicon Express: http://www.rubiconexpress.com/Jeep-Cherokee-XJ.aspx