Jeep Wrangler 2.5 Inch Lift Before & After: A Visual Comparison

jeep wrangler 2.5 inch lift before & after

Have you ever wondered what a 2.5 inch lift kit can do for your Jeep Wrangler? Let’s find out!

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including:

  • What changes visually with a 2.5 inch lift
  • The parts included in a lift kit
  • Step-by-step installation
  • Ride quality and drivability
  • Before and after photos
  • FAQs on lift kits

After reading, you’ll have a complete understanding of how a small lift kit can transform the look and performance of your Jeep.

What Exactly Does a 2.5 Inch Lift Kit Do for a Jeep Wrangler?

In short, it lifts the body and chassis 2.5 inches higher off the ground for improved off-road clearance.

The slightly taller stance gives you better approach, departure, and breakover angles so you can tackle more rugged terrain without scraping or bottoming out.

Visually, it fills out the wheel wells better and gives your Jeep a more rugged, capable look. The subtle lift retains comfortable on-road manners while improving off-road performance.

Now let’s look at the details…

Overview of Stock Jeep Wrangler Suspension

The stock suspension on Jeep Wranglers consists of:

  • Coil springs – Provide cushioning and absorb impacts from the road. From the factory, these give an overall ride height of around 9.7 inches.
  • Shock absorbers – Control spring oscillations and damping forces to keep tires planted on uneven terrain.
  • Control arms – Connect the axle to the frame allowing it to move up and down. The control arms have fixed lengths.
  • Track bars – Located at each axle, track bars center the axle beneath the vehicle.
  • Sway bars – Improve handling and reduce body roll by stabilizing side-to-side movement.

While very capable off-road, the stock suspension leaves something to be desired:

  • Limited ground clearance – Can limit the trails you can attempt without scraping or bottoming out.
  • Exposed differential – No skid plate leaves the differential vulnerable.
  • Minimal wheel well gap – Large tires can rub at full steering lock.

Now let’s see how a lift kit improves these areas…

How a 2.5 Inch Lift Enhances Your Jeep Wrangler?

The subtle 2.5 inch lift height increase provides some key benefits:

  • Increased ride height – Raises the body, frame, and differentials up. This improves ground clearance.
  • More wheel well gap – Allows you to fit larger tires without rubbing at full turn.
  • Better approach angle – The front bumper can clear taller obstacles and steep inclines without scraping.
  • Improved departure angle – The rear tires have more room to clear obstacles when cresting hills or trenches.
  • Enhanced breakover angle – The underbelly clearance rises to drive over taller rocks, logs, and uneven terrain.
  • Greater articulation – Allows more up and down wheel travel before components bind up off-road.
  • Confidence off-road – Conquer trails and obstacles that would bottom out or high center the stock Jeep.
  • Aggressive stance – Fills out the wheel wells for a masculine, rugged look.

For moderate off-roading, a small 2.5 inch lift hits a nice sweet spot between capability and ride comfort. Next, let’s look under the hood at what’s included…

What’s Included in a 2.5” Jeep Wrangler Lift Kit

Many components work together to lift the body up and improve clearances:

  • Coil spring spacers – Made of rubber, polyurethane or metal, these increase spring compression height. Available in 1-3 inch sizes for fine tuning ride height. Easy to install above or below the coils.
  • Strut spacers – Raise the front strut assembly up from the strut towers. Like coil spacers, they come in 1-3 inch sizes.
  • Track bar relocation bracket – Drops the track bar mount down on the frame to recenter the axle. Required to align the front wheels after lifting.
  • Rear track bar brace – Reinforces the thin factory track bar mount which can bend under heavier loads. Provides stability.
  • Sway bar disconnects – Allow you to temporarily disconnect sway bars for improved articulation off-road. On-road handling is restored by reconnecting them.
  • Brake line extensions – Extend the rigid brake lines so they aren’t over stretched with the lift. Needed on taller lifts.
  • Shock extensions – Allow you to adjust shock travel by 1-2.5 inches if needed. Keeps the shocks operating ideally.
  • Adjustable control arms – Replace fixed control arms with adjustable ones to properly realign the suspension and steering geometry after lifting. An optional upgrade.

With all the parts integrated, you gain additional ground clearance while retaining a civilized, controlled ride.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

While you can pay a shop for installation, with some mechanical aptitude the 2.5 inch lift can be DIY’ed in a weekend. Here are the key steps:

Safely Lift and Support the Jeep

Use a professional automotive lift or floor jacks with jack stands for safety. The Jeep needs to be lifted with the suspension at its normal ride height to start.

Remove Stock Components

  • Remove the wheels first to access components.
  • Unbolt the track bars, sway bar links, and shocks from the axle and frame one side at a time.
  • Carefully release the coil springs. Have a spring compressor tool handy.

Install Coil and Strut Spacers

  • Clean any debris from the top of the springs and strut towers.
  • Place spring spacers on top of the coils, or below if using a spring compressor.
  • Install taller strut spacers under the strut mounts on the strut towers.

Reconnect Suspension and Steering

  • With the Jeep lifted 2.5 inches higher, reconnect the shocks, track bars and sway bar links. They will be looser and need readjusting.
  • Adjust the track bars evenly side-to-side to recenter the axles under the Jeep at the new ride height.
  • Use a wheel alignment to precisely realign everything to the lifted geometry.

Retest and Enjoy!

  • With all precautions, carefully test drive at low speeds and work up to highway speeds before off-road testing.
  • Get a feel for any new driving dynamics. Adjust components as needed.
  • Hit the trails and conquer more challenging obstacles worry-free!

Having the right tools and mechanical skills are vital for proper installation. For difficult steps, don’t hesitate to ask a knowledgeable friend or take it to a professional.

How Does Ride Quality and Handling Change?

A question many Wrangler owners have is will a 2.5 inch lift ruin the smooth factory ride or make handling unpredictable?

Fortunately, a small lift done properly retains very similar on-road manners. However, here are some subtle changes you may notice:

  • Slightly firmer ride – Shorter shocks and less suspension droop can transmit more road impacts into the chassis. It’s a minimal change though.
  • Increased body roll – The higher center of gravity results in a bit more lean in hard cornering. Sway bars help counteract this.
  • Heavier steering feel – The increased leverage on the steering links can make the steering feel slightly heavier.
  • Larger turning radius – Slight clearance differences can increase the turning radius an inch or two.
  • More alignment maintenance – Lifting strains some components leading to faster alignment drift. Stay on top of alignments.
  • Harsher braking – The modified geometry changes brake bias and feel. Focus on slowing down smoothly.

On the highway at speed, the Jeep will handle and ride very similar to stock. Low speed maneuvering just requires some adaptation to the new dimensions and responses.

Before and After Photo Comparison

Seeing is believing! Here are photos of a stock Jeep Wrangler next to one with a 2.5 inch lift installed:

jeep wrangler next to one with a 2.5 inch lift installed

The increased tire gap and ride height are visible from the side. The overall stance looks more rugged and capable.

increased tire gap and ride height are visible from the side

The front bumper and differential gain valuable clearance – you can see the skid plate underneath. Approach angle is improved.

the front bumper and differential gain valuable clearance

Similarly, the rear departure angle benefits from the body lifted higher off the axle.

The enhanced breakover angle is hard to see in photos, but allows you to crest taller obstacles without scraping the underbelly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will a 2.5 inch lift void my factory warranty?

A: A mild lift kit alone won’t void the overall warranty, but any damaged related to it would not be covered. Keep the stock parts to reinstall for any work under warranty.

Q: Do I need extended brake lines or adjustable control arms?

A: On a smaller 2.5 inch lift, typically not. Much beyond 3 inches would require extended brake lines and adjustable arms to correct the alignment.

Q: How much does it improve off-road traction and articulation?

A: The lift itself doesn’t improve traction – good off-road tires do. But the extra clearance allows you to take on more challenging trails. Disconnecting the sway bars also increases articulation.

Q: Is this a good first lift for a new Jeep owner?

A: Absolutely! A 2-3 inch lift dramatically boosts capability while retaining a civilized ride. It’s a smart first step into the Jeep lifting world.


Hopefully this guide gave you a comprehensive understanding of how a 2.5 inch lift kit elevates the look and performance of the Jeep Wrangler.

The subtle increase in ride height pays dividends in improved ground clearance, approach angle, departure angle, tire clearance and overall off-road capability.

With attention to proper installation, the small lift retains the smooth highway ride while transforming your Jeep into a more unstoppable off-road machine.

Time to start planning your next off-road adventure!

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