Jeep lift kits come with different components, and the Rubicon Express 3.5 inch Super Flex lift kit that voters elected to install on our 2000 TJ is all-inclusive, minus shocks. The first thing to do is take inventory of the kit (check to see if anything is missing because you don’t want to take your daily driver apart and get hung up in the middle of your install). Even if this is not your first lift kit, read the instructions to familiarize yourself with the process. To ensure safety and best results, explicitly follow these instructions posted by Rubicon Express for this specific kit.
Next up, get the front of the Jeep on jack stands; remember you can’t support the Jeep by its axles. Support it by its factory recommended lift points then take the front wheels and tires off. It’s also necessary to remove the factory transmission skid plates from the chassis after the suspension installation. Failure to do so will result in a damaged front drive shaft.
To start the installation of the new parts: (From the instructions)
To avoid damaging the brake hoses when drooping the axle this far, remove the caliper from the bracket and zip tie the caliper to the frame to support it and keep it out of the way.
Use the factory hardware at the bushing end (don’t fully tighten until vehicle is back on the ground). The super-flex joint will be installed at the axle with the offset tube being mounted as low as possible with zerk on top. Use supplied hardware for the Superflex end.
Once the coil spring is in place, thread the bump stop bolt into the lower spring pad (refer to step #12). Rotate the coil to index the spring with lower coil cup.
*One trick is to have a friend put some weight on the hub and push down, and you should be able to shimmy the springs into place easier.
-Continued from the instructions
We chose to install the Currie Anti-Rock sway bar and end links and an adjustable Rubicon Express track bar at this time to save installation time later on.
We also knew 3.5 inches of lift is too much for the stock shocks. So we went with the twin tube Rubicon Express shocks for this lift to ensure proper suspension droop and compression.
Once we had re-installed the brake calipers it was time swap out the front brake lines for the extended stainless steel lines included with the kit.
“Remove factory brake lines and replace with supplied lines. Some require positioning the block and line vertically at the caliper. Watch line routing, use angle brackets and e-clips.”
After installing follow the proper manufacturer specified brake system bleeding procedures to make sure there’s no air left in the system.
This should wrap up your front suspension. When putting on the new suspension components, don’t fully torque any of the bolts until the vehicle is sitting on its tires. This will prevent binding or preloading of bushings that will cause adverse drivability issues.
Let’s move on to the transfer case spacer. Put your floor jack with a wood block under the transmission to support it. Installing the transfer case spacers will help keep drive line vibration down.
"If using, install transfer case drop kit by supporting one side of transfer case with floor jack. Remove hardware from one side of crossmember. Install spacers and new hardware. Tighten to 55 ft. /lbs. Repeat on opposite side. NOTE: If used on a vehicle with a 6-speed manual, transmission contact between the shifter and body may occur in 2nd, 4th, and Reverse. In this case, it will be necessary to remove the shift boot to verify for clearance and possibly modify the body to allow a minimum of 1/8” clearance between the shifter and the body."
Now on to the rear suspension, remember you can’t support the Jeep by its axles. Support it by its factory recommended lift points, then take the front wheels and tires off.
If required, use supplied horseshoe shim to take up space between bracket and axle mount at top 5/16” bolt.
It may be easier to do this later with weight on the vehicle.
The offset tube should be mounted as low as possible (zerk on top - see Photo 1). Use the factory hardware at the unibody and supplied bolt at the axle mount (don’t fully tighten until vehicle is back on the ground).
With the control arms: remember the end of the control arm with the flex joints go to the axle side and the grease zerk fitting goes on top. With the Jeep sitting on its tires and carrying its own weight, the next step is to torque all the bolts to spec. You’ll also need to adjust your drag link to re-center your steering wheel and cycle your 4x4 system to make sure that it functions properly as well. You wouldn’t want to get out on the trail to try out your new lift just to find out that your Jeep no longer goes into 4wd. When you’re confident that you’ve tightened and double checked all the bolts, take it to your preferred alignment shop and make sure the suspension and steering are correctly adjusted. Not doing this may cause the vehicle to not drive properly.
After about 100 miles of normal use, go back and check the torque on all the bolts, including your lug nuts. A new lift will sit tall, above the stated height at the time of install. After the springs cycle for a month or two, the lift will begin to settle to its ride height. The handling of the Jeep will be substantially different from stock. Just a few inches will change the roll center of your Jeep. This will make it feel much different as you make turns at speed. Remember, anytime you modify the suspension in your vehicle have it aligned or perform an alignment on it (get out your tape measure).
Suspension systems or components that enhance the off-road performance of your vehicle may cause it to handle differently, on and off-road, than it did from the factory. Care must be taken to prevent loss of control or vehicle rollover during sudden maneuvers. Failure to drive the vehicle safely may result in serious injury or death to driver and passengers. We recommend you always wear your seatbelt, drive safely and avoid quick turns and other sudden maneuvers. Constant maintenance is required to keep your vehicle safe. Thoroughly inspect your vehicle before and after every off-road use.
We recommend that certified technicians perform the installations of our products. Attempts to install these products without knowledge or experience may jeopardize the safety of the vehicle. These instructions only cover the installation of our products and may not include factory procedures for disassembly and reassembly of factory components. Read instructions from start to finish and be sure all parts are present before disassembling the vehicle. Included instructions are guidelines only for recommended procedures and in no way are meant to be definitive. Installer is responsible to insure a safe and controllable vehicle after.