Jeep Wrangler JK SkyJacker 2 in. Value Suspension Lift Kit w/ Shocks Review & Install

Jeep Wrangler JK SkyJacker 2 in. Value Suspension Lift Kit w/ Shocks Review & Install


Hey, guys. So today, I’m here with the SkyJacker 2-inch
value lift kit with shocks, fitting all 2007 to 2018 JK Wranglers. So the spacer lift kit is a very easy way
to gain some extra height on your Wrangler at a very affordable price. And this option by SkyJacker is gonna do just
that. So this is gonna open up a lot of room in
the wheel well for larger wheels and tires and better articulation. This is going to increase your ground clearance
for the trail and this is also gonna do a really good job at leveling out the rake in
your hood, creating a more aggressive stance with your Wrangler. Now because this comes with shocks, this is
also going to improve your ride quality in comparison to some other space or lifts. So you get four options when it comes to the
shocks. You have a hydro shock, a nitro shock, a Black
MAX shock, which is gonna be the one that’s behind me, and then you also get the option
for an M95 monotube shock, which is going to be their highest performing shock. Now there are a couple of differences between
the four, but I personally like the fact that they give you that option so you can tailor
this lift kit to your application. Now I’ll get into the details about those
different kinds of shocks in just a minute, but the hydraulic shock and the Black MAX
one behind me, those are gonna be hydraulic shocks, perfect for somebody who’s looking
to do some daily driving and some very comfortable riding. Now the nitro and the M95 are gonna be higher
performing shocks. They are gonna be a little bit stiffer but
they’ll be able to take a lot more abuse when you’re out on the trail, so it really comes
down to your application on which one you need to choose. Now this lift kit is also gonna be perfect
for somebody who’s not looking to get too involved in their suspension, they’re just
looking for a starter lift to get some extra height and improved ride quality and they
want to leave the option to grow in the future and add a couple more components. So as far as tires go, this is gonna fit up
to a 33-inch tire very comfortably. So it’s gonna fill out the wheel well really
nicely while still leaving you a lot of room for up travel and articulation. Now as far as a 35 goes, you will be able
to mount them up, however you may have rubbing from wheel lock to wheel lock, especially
if you have that factory splash guard, and the bump stop extensions in the kit are not
going to accommodate for that extra diameter. So I would recommend just sticking with a
33-inch tire. So as far as the pricing goes on this lift
kit, considering that you have four different options, it is going to range from roughly
$350 all the way up to $500 depending on the shocks that you choose to pair with the spacer
kit. Now once you get into the higher performing
shocks, those are gonna be a little bit more expensive and some of the budget-friendly
shops like the hydro and the nitro, those are gonna bring the price down a little bit. So this option that I have behind me with
the Black MAX, that’s gonna be roughly $400, and I personally think that that’s a really
good option for somebody who’s looking to gain some good, comfortable ride quality but
also have a higher performing hydraulic shock. Now in comparison to a lot of other lift kits
and spacer lift kits on the site, you’ll usually see that the more cost-effective choices are
not going to include shocks, so you already have a one-up on those other ones with this
lift kit. Now in comparison to some more expensive options
are usually just gonna come more components. So you’ll either see spacer lift kids that’ll
come with extra components like sway bar end links or even a couple of other accommodating
pieces. And then you’ll start to see lift kits that
will incorporate springs and all of those extra components to accommodate for that added
height. Now I personally think this is a really good
middle ground and this is perfect for somebody who’s looking for a starter lift kit, again,
who’s looking to improve their ride quality and gain some extra ground clearance for the
trail. Now install is gonna be a three out of three
wrenches on the difficulty meter considering that this is a lift kit, so you will need
about six hours to get the job done if you are looking to do this in your driveway and
also some pretty basic hand tools. So speaking of that install, let’s jump into
that now. The tools that I used for my install were
impact wrenches, pneumatic and electric, a drill, a dead blow, a socket set ranging from
21-millimeter down to 10-millimeter, also swivel sockets, 7/32-inch Allen socket, pair
of channel locks, pair of pliers, a pair of side cutters, a open-ended wrench set ranging
from 18-millimeter all the way down to half-inch, a 3/8-inch drive ratchet, a quarter-inch drive
ratchet, step it, a trim removal tool and assortment of extensions ranging from an inch
to 15 inches, a 3/16-inch, and 3/8-inch drill bit, a center punch, and a bungee cord. So the first couple of things you want to
do is get your Jeep up in the air whether that’s on a lift, like we have it, or on a
jack and jack stands and you want to take off all of the wheels. Now we are going to be starting in the back. So if you are on a jack and jack stands, you
want to make sure that you keep the front wheels on and chock the front wheels and then
remove the rear wheels. Now the next thing you want to do is support
the rear axle. I have two pole jacks here and then we can
start by taking off our rear shock. So I’m gonna be using an 18-millimeter socket
and an 18-millimeter wrench to take out that bottom bolt. So we have to give it a little tap if it’s
stuck in there. Great. Now we can move up to our top bolts. So you’re gonna have two bolts in the top
bar pin. I’m gonna use a 16-millimeter swivel socket
and a 15-inch extension to remove those and clear the sway bar. So when that second bolt is out, what we can
do is remove our shock. So our next step is to disconnect our sway
bar end link at the bottom here. So we’re gonna take out this bottom bolt using
an 18-millimeter socket and wrench. We don’t have to completely take this off
because we will be reconnecting this in the future. We can do the same thing on the other side. So in order to get our axle to drop as low
as we want it, I am gonna remove the truck bar bolt on the axle side using a 21-millimeter
socket. So our next step is to remove our brake lines
from our frame to make sure that they’re not maxed out when we drop our axle. I’m gonna remove this brake line on the frame
first using a 10-millimeter socket. You can unhook that from the frame and then
we can move on to our ABS line. So I just have a trim removal tool and I’m
just gonna pop these clips out of the frame, and then we can repeat that on the other side. So the last thing that we want to do before
we drop our axle or lower it down is just disconnect this breather tube on the axle
here just so we don’t end up ripping it and then we can start to lower our axle down. So once the axle is low enough, then we can
go ahead and remove our springs. So before we go ahead and install our new
suspension system by SkyJacker, I wanted to tell you guys a little bit more about it and
all of the benefits that you’re gonna receive from this lift kit in comparison to your factory
suspension. Now, right off the bat, we are gonna be keeping
our factory springs so you will still receive all that comfortability out of your drive
that your factory springs are able to give you. However, we are gonna be adding a coil spacer
up on top and that’s gonna be responsible for that height that you’re getting. So this is gonna go right on top of your spacer
and give you that extra two inches of lift. Now to accommodate for that, you also are
getting bump stop off extensions for the front as well as the back that are gonna reduce
any tire to fender contact and accommodate for that extra height. Now the big thing about this lift kit or the
big difference between these two lift kits is gonna be the shock. So we are gonna be replacing these shocks
with the Black MAX option by SkyJacker where you have three other choices for a shock when
it comes to this specific lift kit. So you are gonna have a hydraulic shock, a
nitrogen-charged shock. You’re gonna have the Black MAX shock, which
is gonna be an upgraded version of the hydraulic shock, and then you’re gonna have a M95 monotube
shock, which is gonna be their upgraded and higher quality version of their nitrogen-charged
shock. So when you’re looking at shocks all across
the board, you’re usually gonna have two groups. You’re gonna have a hydraulic shock, which
is similar to your factory suspension. It’s gonna be very comfortable, very fluid-like,
perfect for factory suspension and daily driving applications. However, they are susceptible to shock fade
over time if you work them really hard like bumps at fast speeds and that’s gonna cause
cavitation or foaming forming inside the shock body, which will make them squishy over time. Now a nitrogen-charged shock, that is going
to reduce shock fade over time since it is charged with gas, and that is going to be
a little bit stiffer, but it’s going to obviously reduce that shock fade and last for a longer
amount of time. Now if you are looking at a nitrogen-charged
shock, those are gonna be more for somebody who’s looking for a little bit more performance
out of their shock. However, if you’re looking for a very comfortable
and fluid-like ride, a hydraulic shock is gonna be right up your alley. Now this Black MAX shock is gonna be an upgraded
version again from the SkyJacker hydraulic shock that they offer as a value option and
this is going to have a chrome-plated shaft. This is also going to have a little bit more
fluid in the twin-tube construction, which will help out with heat dispersion and that’s
gonna be a big upgrade from our factory twin-tube shock. This is going to perform a lot more efficiently
and it’s going to last a longer period of time than our factory shock is able to give
us, so this is gonna be a perfect upgrade as well as a replacement if you are looking
to do some maintenance. So enough for me, let’s go ahead and mount
up our new suspension system. So our first step to this install is to install
our bump stop extensions. Now I’m gonna do that before we install our
springs just because it’s gonna give us a little bit more room to work with. You want to make sure that that offset there
is facing forward, that shelf on the back here, because when the axle compresses this
is going to move a little bit farther back and you want to make sure that that’s hitting
this top surface. Now we’re gonna take the provided bolts, provided
hardware, and put those through the pre-drilled spots in the bump stop pad and there’s gonna
be a hole at the front as well as at the back here. So once both of those are threaded in, we
can take a half-inch open-ended wrench and another half-inch ratcheting wrench and tighten
those down. Then we can repeat that process on the other
side. So what we can do now is install our springs. Now we want to make sure that the factory
isolator is in between our spring and our new spacer here, then we can go ahead, put
this up into place. We’re gonna do the same thing on the other
side. So once the springs are in place, what we
can do is put a little bit of pressure on our axle and our springs, make sure they stay
in place. So what we can do now since our axle is raised
back up is reconnect our sway bar end links using our factory hardware. They can tighten them up with the 18-millimeter
socket and wrench that we removed them with. Then we can repeat that on the other side. So our next step is gonna be our shocks. Now we do have to press in our bushings as
well as our bar pins and metal sleeves in order to install those on our Wrangler. So you are gonna need a vise press in order
to do that or a vise grip in order to do that. And I would recommend to grab some grease,
you can either use PB B’laster or WD 40. I’m gonna use a lithium grease here and that’s
gonna help us get those bar pins and the metal sleeves in just a little bit easier. So what we can do first is actually install
our boots, so your boots are gonna be provided as well as a zip tie. So before we press anything in, we do want
to make sure that our boots are on first so you don’t have to slide those on after. Now the larger openings are gonna go around
the shock body down here and we are provided with zip ties. Then we can snip off the excess with a pair
of side cutters and then install our bushing. So our front shocks are just going to receive
a standard bushing as well as a standard metal sleeve. So these actually should be pretty easy to
push in. Just gonna put a little bit of grease on there,
hop it up, open a place, press them into place. So once the bushing is in, what we can do
is install our sleeve. Now sometimes they can go in by themselves,
but it looks like we’re gonna need a little bit of grease and the press for this. So we can repeat that process with our other
front shock. All right. Now we can move to the rear shocks. So, again, the first thing that we want to
do is install our boot and then we can install our metal sleeves and our bar pins. Now these are gonna be set up the same way
as our front shocks. We want to make sure that we’re installing
our bar pin up at the top here, so the shock body is facing up. And then down at the bottom, we’ll install
the standard metal sleeve and standard bushing. So first we’re gonna install our bushing,
then we can grab our bar pin. Now you’re gonna have a closed side as well
as an open side. I’m going to put the closed side in first
just because I don’t want these teeth to chew up this bushing, but it is gonna be a little
bit difficult to get this in. Then we can move to the other side, press
in our standard sleeves and bushings. All right, so now we can clean these up then
install the rear ones on our Wrangler. So we can start installing our shocks up at
the top. I’m gonna be raising that factory hardware. Once that’s threaded in, we can tighten it
up with that same 16-millimeter swivel socket. Then we can secure the bottom with our factory
bolt. Since these are hydraulic, they are easy to
adjust. And then we can tighten that up with our 18-millimeter
socket and wrench. Then we can do the same thing on the other
side. So our next step is just to reconnect our
brake line here, the factory location with the factory bolt, tighten that back up with
a 10-millimeter socket. So what I’m gonna do is just take a pair of
pliers and bend this down a little bit just so we have some extra slack in our brake line. You want to make sure that this line, the
soft line is not stretched out because our axle is at full droop right now. This is going to be okay for when we max out
our axle in the future. Then we can reconnect our ABS line. Now if you find that these are a little maxed
out, you can just reconnect one clip, but it should be okay with two, and then we can
head up to the front. So the last thing that we have to do in the
back is just reconnect our rear track bar, but we have to do that while the Jeep is on
the ground and on its own weight. So in the meantime, we can move up to the
front. So the first thing that we’re gonna do is
support our axle just like we did in the rear and then we can start with our sway bar end
links. I’m gonna use an 18-millimeter swivel socket
and an 18-millimeter wrench to remove that lower bolt. Then we can repeat that on the other side. So what we can do next since we’re in the
front is disconnect our track bar on the axle side. I’m gonna use that same 21-millimeter socket,
but I’m also gonna use a 5-inch extension so we can clear our drag link. So our next step is to remove our shocks. Now I’m gonna start with our bottom bolt using
an 18-millimeter socket and 18-millimeter wrench. Now, again, you might have to mess with the
axle height in order to get that bolt out. All right, and then we can move up to the
top. So our next step is remove the hardware off
of the top stud on our shock here, so I have an 16-millimeter open-ended wrench that I’m
gonna put it on the shock body to keep it still. And then I’m gonna use a 16-millimeter ratcheting
wrench to remove that nut on top. I also sprayed this with a decent amount of
PB B’laster just because these can be very stubborn. So after the shock is removed you want to
make sure that you grab the hardware that’s up on top of that shock perch. So while we’re over here, what we can do is
disconnect our brake line from our frame using a 10-millimeter socket. Then we can also remove the bottom bracket
for our brake line down at our axle. So it’s gonna be right at the bottom of our
spring perch here. I’m gonna take a 10-millimeter socket and
a quarter-inch drive ratchet and remove that bolt. Great. Then we can unhook this from our spring perch
and do the same thing on the other side. So for this side, you do have the bottom of
your battery box here, now you can trim this or break off this bottom piece, it’s not going
to mess with this structural integrity of the battery box, but it might give you a little
bit more room to work with. You’re also not gonna be able to use a ratcheting
side on this side because it will get stuck once you actually remove that nut on the top
there. So I’m still gonna use the 16-millimeter open-ended
wrench for the shock body but I’m gonna use the open-end inside of my wrench for that
top nut. So at this point, what we can do is lower
our axle and remove our springs. Now you are also gonna have a breather hose
for this axle, it’s right on the back of the dif. All you gotta do is just pull back, take that
off. So it looks like we’ll be able to take out
the passenger side spring. We want to make sure that we also have our
factory isolator here. But for the driver’s side, we will have to
disconnect our drive shaft in order to get the axle to drop low enough. But we need to drop our axle a little bit
lower and disconnecting our drive shaft is gonna help us out with that. So first I’m gonna make a mark on both of
the flanges here just to make sure that we mounted up properly once we reconnect it. Then I’m gonna take a 15-millimeter socket
as well as an extension to clear this lanch and remove all four of those bolts. And what we can do is actually pull this away. And just so we’re not maxing everything out,
I’m just gonna put a bungee cord over this, just put it from the top. Then we can continue to lower down our axle
and take out that driver’s side spring. So before we install our spring, we want to
make sure that we drill a hole first to install our bump stop spacer, that’s gonna go on top
of our spring perch here. So what I’m gonna do is just line this up
where I want it, take a center punch, and just mark where we need to drill our hole. So I’m gonna start by drilling a pilot hole
with a 3/16-inch drill bit. So what I’m gonna do next is use my step bit
to drill this out to three-eighths of an inch. Now you can just keep on stepping up your
drill bits until you get to three-eighths but a step bit is just a little bit easier
and quicker. So after I’ve used my step bit, I just want
to make sure that the three-eighths fits through there fine, and it does so we can wipe that
off and do the same thing on the other side. So what we’re gonna do now is make sure that
the spacer is pre-installed over our jounce tube here. So it may be a little bit difficult to get
over at first. We can give it a tap with a dead blow, we
just have to fit around that. So once that’s in place, we can install our
spring. So making sure that the factory isolators
on top and that we have our bump stop extension inside the spring down at the bottom we can
install our factory spring. You want to make sure that you twist the spring,
so the pigtail sitting in the back on the driver’s side and in the front on the passenger
side. And I could put a little bit of pressure on
the axle and get that to sit into place. We can do the same thing on the other side. So what we can do next is secure down our
bump stop extension using the provided Allen head bolt and thread that into the back. So we can take our provided nut to the other
side and go to the back of the spring perch. So once that is threaded on and into place,
we can use a 7/32-inch Allen key. I’m gonna use an Allen socket, tighten up
the top here, and I’m gonna use a 14-millimeter socket to tighten up the other side. Once I tightened up, we could do the same
thing on the other side. So what we can do now is reconnect our brake
line, so I’m gonna use that 10-millimeter socket. Now because we are lifting this and it didn’t
come with brake line drop bracket, I am gonna do the same thing I did in the rear and just
straighten out this hard line of our brake line. Now I would recommend to get drop brackets,
however, if it’s a little bit easier to do this, I recommend it for the time being just
to give you a break line some extra slack. Just be very careful when you do this. Then we can resecure this bottom bracket with
that 10-millimeter bolt that you used before. Tighten it down with that 10-millimeter socket
and then we can install our shock. Then you’re gonna grab the rubber bushing
with the indent in it and we’re gonna put that up on top with our cup washer, send the
shock up on through, grab our provided nut, and thread that onto the stud there, and then
we can tighten that down with a 9/16th-inch ratcheting wrench. So we can secure down the bottom with our
factory bolt. You may have to mess with the axle height
again in order to get that install. What we can do now is reconnect our sway bar
end links using our factory hardware and then tighten them down with an 18-millimeter socket
and wrench. Then same thing for the other side. And last but not least, we can go re-secure
our driveshafts, so I’m just gonna take this bungee cord off. Then we can re-secure it, making sure that
that mark is lining up. Now you will need blue Loctite for the threads. Once all those bolts are threaded into place,
we can use a 15-millimeter socket to tighten those down. So now that we have the Jeep down on its own
weight, we can reconnect our track bars. I’m gonna start with the rear. So you can have somebody wiggle the back end
of the Wrangler and you should be able to get it to line up. So once you have your flag nut threaded on,
we can tighten it down with a 21-millimeter socket. Now we can head up to the front. So for the front bolt, you can have somebody
jump in the driver’s seat and steer the steering wheel back and forth. So once you have the bolt through, you can
thread the flag nut on the other side, then we can tighten it down with a 21-millimeter
socket, and I’m also gonna use an extension to our drag link. So after your track bars are reconnected,
I would recommend to torque everything down to spec and to take your Jeep to go get an
alignment, and then you’ll be all set to go. So that’s gonna wrap it up for my review and
install. Make sure you like and subscribe. And for more videos and products like this,
always keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.

About the Author: Michael Flood

4 Comments

  1. Shop this SkyJacker 2 in. Value Suspension Lift Kit: https://terrain.jp/2pH8KSb

    Subscribe for Daily Jeep Videos: http://terrain.jp/SubscribeXTyt

  2. I’m curious are these jeeps your customers Jeeps? or just jeeps you have around to make these videos with/your personal jeeps

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