OME 2.5 Lift with Goodies Installation Guide (2023)

I wrote this in July 2008. The lift was great - no issues other than my 35" BFG KM2s rubbing against the rear mudguards at max flex. I took them off on the Rubicon Trail - but you won't have any problems most of the time. If I ride often - I would get a higher lift. 1 year and over 10,000 miles later - in my opinion this lift still rides better than that Stock.EDIT: This install was before OME offered the Long Travel shocks as an alternative idea. The installation procedure should be the same except for the addition of extended bumpers and coil spring clips. There are threads that discuss this, such as help with research if you want to go this route.
After using and enjoying my 2008 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon off-road in Eastern California, I started thinking about getting some more clearance. Amazing how the rocks come alive in this part of the country and my Jeep was mysteriously bitten along the way. See you don't believe me A small lift with 35 inch tires would give me the ability to go anywhere I wanted with peace of mind.

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In the younger days I rebuilt everything that was on a vehicle - engines, automatic transmissions, even interiors - but didn't touch the rest of the drivetrain and suspension. Doing a raise to accommodate 35" tires made me nervous since I'm a newbie there. A big raise isn't needed as 35" only adds <1.5" radius to the wheels compared to my stock 32" Rubicon tires.

I like the handling of the stock JK and had experienced "back then" how unruly a raised vehicle could get on the Autobahn. I was probably more concerned than most about the elevator, so I was willing to throw a little more cash into the matter.

After looking around a bit on the internet I settled on Old Man Emu but wanted to be sure. I bought a suggested "OME HD kit with all the goodies... and call it a day".
Old Man Emu Front Coil Springs (OME619) with Front Nitrogen Shocks (N196)
Old Man Emu Rear Coil Springs (OME618) with Rear Nitrogen Shock Absorbers (N198)
JKS Adjustable Front Tie Rod (OGS121)
JKS Adjustable Rear Tie Rod (OGS159)
Currie Enterprises Adjustable Front Upper Control Arms (CE-9807FUA)
Crown Performance JK stainless steel front brake hoses
Crown Performance JK stainless steel rear brake hoses
EDIT: Currie Enterprises Rear Sway Bar End Left (CE9807RSBX). Do not use Rubicon Express Rear Sway Bar End Links (RE1157), these were a problem for my stock rims without shims, see why in the instructions)
For the front stabilizer links, I reused the stock links from the rear (works great).

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My planned AEV front bumper (116 lbs), skid plate (23 lbs) and Warn 9.5ti winch (89 lbs) would put 238 lbs on the front and I was concerned about sagging. I already had TeraFlex JK 1" Front Coil Spacers (001953075) intended for my stock coils to reduce weight and I decided to add them to this lift.

My goal was to add some height but keep the feel of the stock ride. I completed the install 2 months ago with the AEV bumper and I love how it drives. For now, I'm still using my stock 32-inch Rubicon wheels. I don't see a rake. When I place a four foot level on top of the side rock rail it shows level. Today it is measured from the fender lip over the center of the wheel hub to the garage floor 38 3/8 inches front and rear. This is a 2 1/2 inch lift from stock. When first installed without the 238 lbs of AEV bumper/skid plate/winch, the front measured 39 5/8" (3 3/4" stroke). I've lost between 1/2 and 1mpg on the freeway, presumably due to increased wind resistance (I'm driving 75-80mph).

This is a looong "step-by-step" guide, but the installation isn't difficult. I also go into details on why the rear anti-roll bar links cause problems when using wheels without spacers. Installation can be completed in 8-10 hours, less if you are knowledgeable about installations.

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The images in this installation guide are linked to a larger size - just click on them.

- Metric socket and wrench set.
- Torque wrench - 1/2" drive.
- Large adjustable or 1 7/16" open-end wrench (for Currie control arms and JKS tie rod locknuts).
- Brake fluid and one man brake bleed kit.
- Large vehicle jacks - I have 6 ton jacks that go from 15 to 24 inches.
- Normal jacks to support the axle.
- Wheel chocks
- Hydraulic Jack - Long reach (over 15") floor jack (best) or long reach bottle jack.
- Heavy-duty ratchet strap (to center vehicle over axle during trackbar installation)
- Tape measure (for adjustable trackbar alignment)
- Drill and 1/2" drill bit (for Currie wishbones and Rubicon Express stabilizers)
- Reciprocating saw or hacksaw (to remove the original upper arm bolt)
- Zip ties (Reattach ESP wiring to new brake hoses and wire harness to Currie wishbone)
- Grease gun (Currie wishbones have grease nipples).
- Anti-seize lubricant (for adjustable trackbar).
- Optional: crowbar if you don't have a long handle ratchet.
- Optional: Using an air compressor saved me time and energy by using an impact wrench and air ratchet when disassembling.

You are about to lift a vehicle and sometimes drive under it - be careful not stupid. I have scars from starring in Stupid Automotive Tricks and its accompanying program Stupid Engineering Tricks. Non-floor jacks can tip over very easily when used to raise the vehicle. Wheel chocks and jack stands on the frame are required. If necessary, use smaller jack stands on the axle. Pay attention to vehicle stability when applying force to a bolt, etc. Keep someone close who can hear you.

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I cut a 4X4 post into pieces that came in handy. I don't own a jack, but I have an unusual hydraulic jack with a remote hand pump that I got over 30 years ago that I used to lower the axles so I wasn't under the vehicle.

The vehicle must be on level ground and must not be loaded, otherwise some settings will be incorrect. I did the tail lift first. Do not discard the removed hardware as many components are reused.

Wheel chocks on the front wheels. Keep the vehicle on the ground. The trackbar screws have a torque rating of 125 lbs and the force used to loosen them can make the vehicle unstable on stands. Using a wrench and socket, loosen (do not remove) the rear tie rod bolts from the axle and frame mounts before jacking the vehicle up. A pry bar will be needed if you don't have a long handled ratchet.
OME 2.5 Lift with Goodies Installation Guide (1)

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Slightly loosen (do not remove) the rear wheel lug nuts. Raise the vehicle side by side on jack stands located near the lower control arm frame mounts. Remove the wheels. Place a hydraulic jack under the differential and raise it to relieve stress on the tie rod fasteners. Also support the axle with jack stands. Remove the axle and frame rail hardware. Remove the stock tie rod from the vehicle.
OME 2.5 Lift with Goodies Installation Guide (2)

Using a wrench and socket, remove the two rear stabilizer links from the anti-roll bar (anti-roll bar) and axle brackets. Have the links and hardware ready. The bolt and nut are used with the new rear links and the rest are used with the front lift.
OME 2.5 Lift with Goodies Installation Guide (3)
OME 2.5 Lift with Goodies Installation Guide (4)

Remove the upper rear shock absorber mounting bolts. Remove the bottom nut and bolt from the axle brackets. Remove the shock absorbers.
OME 2.5 Lift with Goodies Installation Guide (5)

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