You Guys are JK Haters!
I cannot fathom your reasons to be a hater. Hating it because it is capable? Because it is popular? Just for the record, I see way more fullsize trucks running big lifts than JKs on the street. On the trail I see a few other JKs, but more Toyotas, buggies, TJs, etc. I bought my JK because it is the only rig that can go doorless and topless. It’s a Jeep Thing.
Cheap XJ Lifting
What would be the cheapest and easiest way to lift my ’88 Jeep Cherokee XJ? I’d like to fit 33s if possible.
You can actually piece together a pretty cheap and effective kit onto your XJ.
In the front: The stock control arms can handle up to a 3-inch lift without really screwing up everything. Use a Rancho or RockKrawler or Rusty’s or Rubicon Express or Teraflex or Skyjacker or somebody’s 3-inch-taller coil spring. You can usually find a decent pair for under $150. If you want to go even cheaper, you can probably find 2-inch coil spacers for about $80. And just ditch the sway bar for off-road use since you’re being thrifty.
In the rear: Get longer shackles—Skyjacker makes a good pair. They are 2 inches longer and will give a 1-inch lift in the rear. Use the longer shackles with the stock leaf springs and you’ll get more travel out of the rear end, too.
Get four new shocks. Be as cheap (or not) as you want with shocks.
And with only two or three inches of lift, you might be able to get away with stock brake lines, too.
You’ll be able to get on 31s or maybe even 32s, but for 33-inch tires you’ll have to do some fender chopping. Luckily, this is very easy on an XJ and you can find multiple articles on our website http://www.off-roadweb.com regarding this subject.