What lift do I need for XJ with 35 tires?

Thread starter #1
Hi everyone, I am new to this community! This is my first post and first question. So I plan to turn my stock XJ Cherokee to a rock crawler, this is my first project build and I plan to start with the wheels and suspension. 35" seem to be enough to do the job and I was wondering if 5" lift is enough to clear them. Also should I change gearing?


eternal noobie
Staff member
What's your current tire/suspension/drivetrain setup??

5" should be sufficient for 35's, just don't be afraid to clearance fenders if needed.

IMO, diff gearing is a must....hard part is justifying the cost. The stock XJ axles are fairly small, so it becomes a slippery slope....gear upgrades, plus axle upgrades, plus lockers (while yer in there....do it ALL and spend it once)

Best short-term bang for the buck would be transfer case gearing, helping you in low range but not changing high range. IIRC, the XJ runs the 231 case, which runs a slip-yoke...whatever you do, get rid of that (if you haven't already)

Welcome :)

( @ATPJoey - thoughts?? )
Last edited:

Lil Rich

Addicted Member
Media Partner
I love the cherokee's. I had a skyjacker lift on my last one but the hiem joints rattled like crazy. The rest of the lift was legit though. Change out the Hiems for some FK bearing Hiems (which I have run on Trophy Trucks, Ultra4's, and all my rock crawlers); you will enjoy the ride and sound. Other Hiems (particularly Hiems with just tephlon liners) will seem tight and affordable, but give them 6 months and they will make all sorts of racket.
Thread starter #4
Awesome, thanks guys, looks like I have to do more homework on the gearing, because I concentrated on the lift too much, which doesn't appear to be a big deal. As for the wheels, I am looking at 15x10 with beadlocks, was a little worried about rubbing but, looks like I will have to trim the fenders anyway.


eternal noobie
Staff member
IMO, do NOT go with a 15" wheel diameter....16's minimum, 17's preferred...and stick to 8" wide.

Simply put, resale. Braking systems on newer vehicles will not fit a 15" wheel, and even 16's aren't big enough for some. 16's and 17's will offer far more options down the road as well.

A few new tire patterns are simply not being offered in 15's, or in very limited sizes.

Spend the $$$ once.


Addicted Member
This is my old XJ. I had a 4.5" Rubicon Express lift on it. I used the 4.5" coils and leaf springs and then bought the long arm upgrade. Its on 35/12.50/15 KM2 with 15x9" steel wheels. I trimmed just along the fender line and bump stopped it.

Most use 6.5 or 7.5" lift on their XJs to clear 35" tires but I think it makes them too high. Just my opinion





Addicted Member
Also on the gearing I ran 4:56 gears on this XJ and I had a XJ before this that I had 4:88 gears with 35" tires. Both worked great, I had a D44/30 combo in the old one and Ford 8.8/D30 combo in the white one above.