Clearance! We needed more ground clearance. The curb at our house was nearly as tall as the bottom of the stock sliders. We wanted to install some nice big 35″ mud terrain tires. There were a couple of options. Get some bigger fenders and some leveling blocks or take the dive (aka spend the money) and get all new springs and shocks with a lift kit. We wanted to do it the right way so we decided on the “lift kit” route. I started doing some research. I visited a couple of shops around my area and felt like I was just being pushed to buy their vendor of choice. JKS here, ProComp there…I didnt like it.
After days of perusing the internet, I decided on a company called American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). They have a long reputation of making quality OEM fit and finish parts for Jeeps and Rams. More importantly, they do a lot of B2B sales. In fact, Jeep themselves called on AEV to provide bumpers for certain special editions (MW3) that rolled off the factory floor. Another nice part about the AEV kit is that it came with everything needed to properly lift the Jeep without changing the ride too much. Cheap lift kits can be a nightmare, cause bump steer, and just generally be unsafe at speed. Since my wife and kids were going to be in here primarily, I didnt want to take any chances. The AEV DualSport RS kit was roughly $2500 bucks and it included a set of Bilstein 5160 shocks with remote reservoirs. It provided 3.5″ of lift and plenty of clearance for the 18″ Method Vex wheels wrapped in 35″ Toyo Open Country MT (Mud Terrain) tires.
This is what it looked like when we brought her home from the shop.
We were happy with our decisions and were ready to get it ready for some off-roading and overland adventures!