Lifting a Jeep enhances the vehicle’s off-road capabilities and allows you to put larger tires on your Jeep Grand Cherokee. But you may ask how high should I lift my Jeep Grand Cherokee? The height of your Jeep Cherokee’s lift kit depends on numerous factors but arguably, the most important factor is how you intend to use your Jeep. Although lift kits are great for Jeep owners who spend a lot of time on dirt and gravel roads, rocky trails, and mud pits, lift kits can bring some downsides when it comes to normal driving on paved roads and highways. So, how does intended use affect what size lift kit someone should have installed in their Jeep Cherokee?
Table of Contents
- What’s the most common size lift kit for a Jeep Grand Cherokee?
- What size lift is best for normal commuting?
- What size lift is best for off-road adventures?
- How does tire size affect the size of the lift kit?
- What is the biggest lift you can install without needing to modify the Jeep?
- Should you DIY your lift kit or have it professionally installed?
What’s the most common size lift kit for a Jeep Grand Cherokee?
Most Jeep Cherokee owners who have lift kits have a lift that is between 1 and 3-inches. If you are planning to use your Jeep solely for offroad adventures, then you may even consider a 4 to 6.5-inch lift kit. However, if you do a lot of commuting, then a smaller lift may be the better option.
Also, it is important to note that although intended use is typically the most significant factor that you consider when deciding what size lift you would like to purchase and install, sometimes a minimum size is required. For example, if you would like to purchase larger tires for your Jeep Cherokee, then you may be required to purchase and install a minimum-sized lift kit to accommodate the larger tires.
For example, if you own a 2022 Jeep Cherokee and would like to put on larger tires, the largest recommended tire size for a stock Jeep Cherokee would be 30.5”, or 245/75-16. Anything larger than that and it is strongly recommended to have at least a 1.5-inch lift or higher.
So again, the size of the lift kit you should install on your Jeep Cherokee depends on how you intend to drive the vehicle, what size tires you would like to put on, and a few other things, including budget, if you are going to install the kit at home or have it professionally installed, and if you want to do further vehicle alterations to accommodate a higher lift.
Let us take a closer look at some of these factors to help you make an informed decision about what size lift you would like to purchase and install in your Jeep Cherokee.
What size lift is best for normal commuting?
If you love to off-road, but you have very few opportunities to do so, you may be using your Jeep Cherokee more on typical paved roads and highways while you commute to and from work, get groceries, run errands, and drive your kids around. A Jeep Cherokee with a 3, 4, or 6.5-inch lift drives completely different than a stock Jeep Cherokee or a Jeep Cherokee with a 1.5-inch or 2-inch lift.
A Jeep Cherokee with a higher lift kit is going to handle much differently and steering may be more difficult when you are not off-road and when you are simply driving on paved roads and highways. Additionally, when you lift a vehicle, you are raising its center of gravity.
A higher center of gravity means that the vehicle will be less stable. The risk of a rollover occurring from taking a turn or a corner too fast increases greatly when compared to a stock Jeep Cherokee or a Jeep Cherokee with a lift kit of less than 3-inches.
Other potential consequences that should be considered before installing a larger lift kit than what is needed for simple commuting include the fact that often installing a lift kit can void the vehicle’s warranty and a high lift kit can increase the wear and tear on your vehicle.
If you are not planning on going off-roading very much or not at all, then is installing a lift kit worth potentially voiding your warranty?
When it comes to adding unnecessary wear and tear to your vehicle, is it really worth decreasing the life of the vehicle and potentially needing to spend money on additional repairs over time to have a lift kit in your Jeep when most of the time you are simply driving on paved roads and highways? Lift kits require additional parts and can put additional stress on the axles, ball joints, and shocks of your Jeep, especially if you also have larger tires.
This additional stress on these components can increase the speed that which your vehicle begins to wear down. Additionally, additional parts and components can increase the chance that you will eventually need to fix or replace something.
What size lift is best for off-road adventures?
If you are planning on spending a great deal of time driving your Jeep Cherokee off-road, through mud, gravel, dirt, sand, and up and down rocky trails through mountainous terrain, then you may want to consider a minimum lift of 3-inches.
A three-inch lift should be the minimum amount of clearance that you would need to safely operate your Jeep off-road and allow you the option to put on larger tires to further enhance your off-road experience.
Although a three-inch lift may be considered the basic minimum for a Jeep Cherokee that will be spending a lot of time in the mud, on uneven terrain, and on unpaved roads, some Jeep Cherokee owners go even further by installing a 4, 5, or even 6.5-inch lift kit.
It is up to your preference which size you go with, but keep in mind that if you do go with a minimum 3-inch lift, then you can easily accommodate 32-inch tires, and if you go a little further by adding a 1-inch body lift, you can even purchase and install 33-inch tires. Larger tires also enhance the off-road experience and they simply just look great on the body of a Jeep Cherokee.
How does tire size affect the size of the lift kit?
As mentioned before, having larger tires on a Jeep Cherokee greatly enhances the off-road experience. The larger tires will have more sidewall which helps to unstiffen the turning and handling of the Jeep when driving on uneven terrain.
Additionally, larger tires give your Jeep Cherokee a larger footprint where more tire surface area is gripping the ground for better traction and stability while climbing rocky trails and driving through wet or muddy terrain. Also, the improved traction does wonders if you happen to live in an area with snowy conditions. Lastly, larger tires create the necessary extra distance between the Jeep’s undercarriage and the ground to help prevent damage to the undercarriage components when driving over rough terrain. Overall, your off-road experience will be much smoother with larger tires.
Now, remember if you have a stock Jeep Cherokee with no lift, then the largest tire size that you can have installed is approximately 30.5-inches. However, if you go with a 3-inch lift, then you can install 32-inch tires for improved traction and enhanced off-road capabilities.
Lifts greater than 3-inches can accommodate even larger tires, so depending on what kind of terrain you are planning to tackle, you could install an even higher lift kit and put on 33-inch or even 36-inch tires.
What is the biggest lift you can install without needing to modify the Jeep?
Keep in mind, that depending on the size of the lift kit you ultimately choose, you may have to make additional modifications to your vehicle, especially if you pair the new lift kit with larger tires. This may include upgrading the shocks, widening the wheel well, or raising the fenders to accommodate the lift kit and/or larger tires. The higher the lift that you go with, the more modifications you may have to make and the more expensive the entire installation will be.
Typically, a small lift kit of 1.5 or 2-inches does not need too many additional modifications, however, if you do not upgrade the shocks when installing even a small 1.5-inch lift kit, you could experience an extreme reduction in overall ride quality. When it comes to tire size, you may be able to get away with a 32-inch tire without needing to make drastic modifications to your vehicle, however, depending on the year of your Jeep Cherokee, a 34 or 36-inch tire may require some additional adjustments.
Should you DIY your lift kit or have it professionally installed?
This is always a conundrum for Jeep enthusiasts. To install a lift kit yourself or leave it to the professionals. Unless you are yourself a trained mechanic or you have many years of mechanical experience, it is almost always recommended that you leave the installation of a lift kit to the professionals. When you are installing a lift kit, you are making drastic changes to the core of the vehicle.
An improperly installed lift kit can ultimately cause damage to the suspension, body, and frame of the vehicle. Damage to these core components of a Jeep Cherokee can cause larger issues down the road and they can be extremely expensive to address or they may result in you needing to scrap your vehicle.
Another thing to consider is that the installation of a lift kit and/or larger tires will greatly affect how your Jeep Cherokee handles and steers.
Because of this, it is strongly recommended that you have a professional alignment done after the installation of a lift kit or larger tires, no matter if you have the kit installed professionally or you do it yourself at home.