August 18, 2019
My Overall Experience and Impressions
That 4.5” Backspacing is not actually essential (at least in my case) and No you don’t need exhaust spacers if you use the 9550 VSS Shocks that come with the Teraflex lift listed.
Jeep: 2013 4D Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Lift: Teraflex 2.5 in. Lift Kit w/ 9550 VSS Shocks (07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK 4 Door)
Tires: 35x12.5xR20 Suretrac Radial A/T
Wheels: Panther Offroad 578 Wheel Flat Black 20x9, 5” Backspacing
Overall Height (After lift and tires installed for garage clearance inquiries): ~73 to 73.5”
I would like to preface this review with the fact that I do significantly more highway driving than offroading so my main motivation for installing the above items, was for looks. I have a fairly long commute to work (~50 mins) and this is my daily driver. That being said, I have no doubt that someone would be very happy with this same build for offroading if they just incorporated a more rugged tire tread.
Lift Installation time: 5 hours
I have a decent amount of experience working on cars but this was the first lift kit I had ever installed so I had a lot of questions going into it. I completed this install with 3 people (including myself) on a Saturday morning with no real rush.
I did not have a car lift, as I noticed most of the online tutorials had to install lift kits, so I just used a single jack and 2 jack stands. Basically, I jacked the jeep up under the differential as high as it would go and then dropped it slowly on two stands on the frame in front of the trailing arms for each end. Now I was able to use the jack under the axle to raise and lower each axle as needed during installation. Obviously, I did the back first because you need to reuse the rear sway bar linkage on the front end. Also, in case anyone was wondering, I did not use the stock jack. I used a 3 ton hydraulic jack that has about a 2ft displacement.
I had no real issue with any part of the installation. It actually went together very smoothly. I did have to bend the front brake lines nearly straight to relieve their tension at full droop.
 Lessons Learned:
Personally I had several questions with the requirements listed for this lift: mainly regarding the need for exhaust spacers and the 4.5” backspacing. I could not find a clear answer online that would answer the following questions so I will share my own experience.
How crucial is that 4.5” backspacing that everyone suggests for this lift?
I personally purchased the lift to install myself and then wanted to get my tires and rims done by tire place so they could do the balancing, TPMS installs, etc. HOWEVER, the general consensus online was that I had to have this 4.5” backspacing for proper clearance. I was currently running stock rubicon mud terrain tires and rims (32x10R17, 6.25” backspacing). Obviously, I had concerns that I would have clearance issues if I installed the lift with these stock rubicons and I wouldn’t be able to drive the jeep safely to the tire dealer for them to do the install of new tires. My dad on the other hand convinced me to just go ahead with the lift because he felt I would have plenty of clearance. He was right. I installed the 2.5” lift and had absolutely no clearance issues with running these 6.25” BS Rubicons. Actually, I ended up having to order new tires anyway so I ran these stock Rubi’s on this lift for a week before I got my new tires and wheels. AND THEN, although I did order the panther rims listed above with 4.5” backspacing, there was a mistake and they shipped the 5” backspacing style instead. I decided that it probably wouldn’t be an issue and told the tire place to just go ahead with the install. Low and behold, they work with plenty of clearance (several inches) as well.
Again, I do not do a ton of offroading with this thing so I cannot confirm that there won’t be clearance issues at full flex with this setup. However, if I had to bet, I would think that you will be fine (If someone has the official answer, please share). For my purposes however, it works great.
Do you need exhaust spacers with this lift?
Long story short, you do not need to purchase exhaust spacers with this lift if you use the shocks listed above. I personally could not find a clear answer to this question online before installing this lift so here it is.
Will my stock jack still work anymore with this lift?:
One more random thing to think about: Will my stock jack be able to lift this Jeep high enough if I get a flat? Yes technically, but depending on placement it will be close. I placed it under the back axle because that seemed like the highest starting jacking point and it is able to provide about 1-2” of clearance at most when the screw jack is fully extended. So no you technically don’t need a high lift jack but I personally will probably end up buying one anyway because they look awesome lol.
 Driving Experience:
The overall driving experience of the lift is incredible. I am very happy with the handling and feel this lift has. However, I have not yet tested it on off road trails so I cannot fairly rate it for this situation. I can say that it is great if you will be using this setup for highway driving. I did not install the new wheels and tires right away so I had the chance to directly compare the stock suspension to the Teraflex lift. In my opinion it is has a very similar feel to the stock suspension but maybe handles bumps a bit smoother. I wouldn’t expect a huge difference in handling if that’s what you’re going for, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong though it’s still really good.
However, after installing these new tires and rims with the lift, this is where I saw an enormous improvement. The wider wheel base and the larger tire greatly improved the handling. I am VERY happy with how this Jeep rides. Also since I went from the mud terrain Rubicon’s to the All-terrain Suretrac’s there is a significant decrease in noise from the tires. Yes, I did expect it to be quieter but did not expect it to be this much quieter. Just something to think about depending on how you plan to drive your vehicle.
One thing to consider (if you don’t already know) as you change tire size your speedometer will read incorrectly and the error will scale linearly as you go up in speed. There are devices you can use to reflash the car’s computer and correct for this issue but if you’re cheap and/or lazy like me you can calculate the discrepancy by multiplying the ratio of your new tire size and your stock tire size to your speed instead.
Example (my case at a 50mph reading on the speedometer):
[(New Tire Size)/(Stock Tire Size)]*(speedometer reading) = actual speed
Actual Speed= 54.69mph
Just something to keep in mind.
I am very happy with my setup and would recommend this to others. I am by no means an expert in this area but hopefully my shared experience can help others who plan to lift their jeep. #JeepGang4Life