Installing a 2" lift on Red, My 90 Cherokee XJ

I purchased the Kit from Rusty's Offroad. The kit included; Shocks, 1.75" coil spacers, Full Lenght Add-A-Leafs, and the necessary hardward.

I had three fellow Jeepers come over to lend a hand (thanks Cory, Eric, and Paul).

First off I soaked every nut and bolt we would be removing for three days with WD-40.

Raising The Rear

We started with the rear. We braced the front tires, loosened the rear lugnuts and jacked the rear end up. We used jackstands to support the Jeep. Next, we removed the rear tires and then the shocks.

We placed C-clamps on the Leaf pack and removed the u-bolts.

Then we lowered the axle with the jack while the Jeep was supported with the jack stands. Then we removed the center bolt which holds the leaf pack together. Next we loosened the C-clamps and removed the leafs. I discarded the smallest leaf. Rusty had suggested that if I didn't plan on towing I wouldn't need the short spring. I saved it just incase. Next we cleaned of the leafs using an old wire brush and a rag. Then we sprayed each spring with a Lubracating spray. We reinstalled the leafs in the following order, the longest stock leaf went against the main leaf, then the Add-A-Leaf, then the remaining stock leafs from longest to shortest. We used the C-clamps to pull the leaf pack together and installed the new longer center bolt that came with the lift kit. Then we raised the axle back up and reconnected it to the leafs with the U-bolts. Then we cut the center bolt shorter with a hacksaw. The center bolt is about 2 inches longer than necessary. Next we installed the new shock and repeat everything on the otherside. Finally we reinstalled the tires and lowered the rear back to the ground. The initial lift was 4", by the next day it settled to 3 1/2" and to date it has settled to 2.25".

Raising The Front

Next came the fun part, the front. First we blocked the rear tires and loosened the lugnuts. Then we lifted the front, supported the body with jackstands, and removed the front tires.

I had gotten a lot of advice on the XJ Forum, and many said I didn't need spring compressors nor did I need to disconnect the Lower Control Arms (LCAs). So I went with that. We removed the shocks, the spring retaining clip, the bumpstop, and disconnected the anti-swaybar. Next we lowered the axle as much as we could. Well the spring wouldn't just come out. We jacked up the other end of the axle and with me standing on the brake disc of the end we were working on, one of the guys was able to pry the spring out. We sprayed the new spacer with lube and installed it.

Then we reinstalled the spring using the same technic as when we removed it. Next we moved to the other side. Here we repeated the same steps as the first side except with the new spacer and spring installed already, we could not jack up the first side high enough to reinstall the spring on the second side. Hind site being 20/20, I would use spring compressors. Here's what we did. We took the stock bottle jack and placing it between the axle and the uniframe framerail.

We spread it apart enough to get the spring back in. You must watch your brake line because it will be close to fully extended. Next we reinstalled the spring retaining clips (one striped and will need to be tapped out), the new shocks, the bump stops, and reconnected the anti-swaybar. Then we reinstalled the tires and lowered it down. With 1.75 inches in the front and 4 inches in the rear, it still looked like a hot rod.

(From left to right; Cory, me, and Eric, Paul didn't hang around long enough to get in the picture.)

Now with that done, it was time to test it out. So, we all went to a local area with some mud holes and gave it a workout. It did fine.


I took it on a trail run the following weekend and it performed like a champ. The ride is firm but not harsh. For the money this seems to be a realative easy way to gain a couple of inches lift. I do recommend you have some help.

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