Old Man Emu Jeep JK Wrangler
2″ Lift Installation Write-Up

TeraFlex Jeep JK Wrangler 2.5
 
If you’re looking to give your Jeep JK Wrangler a 2″-3″ lift and have no plans of ever going taller in the future, there’s only one true suspension lift kit you should consider and that is the one made by Old Man Emu. Being that the tallest lift that they make is an advertised 2″ lift, you can be sure that they do all that they can to make it the very best and have actually made a reputation for themselves for doing just that.   Retailing for about $650, the Old Man Emu 2″ suspension lift is by no means a ‘budget boost’ nor is it meant to be. As mentioned, this kit is a complete suspension lift that includes the replacement of your factory coils and shocks with ones that have been specifically designed and rated to offer the best ride possible.

Now, I should note that we did this Old Man Emu 2″ lift kit install on a 2-Door Jeep JK Wrangler X that already had 33″ tires installed on it. And, when all was said and done, I can tell you that this kit yielded closer to 3″-3.5″ of lift and had plenty of room under the fender flares to fit up to a 35″ tire. The installation is extremely simple and can be done in about 2 hours using basic metric tools.

What You Will Need


• 10,16,18,19,21mm Socket/Wrenches
• 3/8″ & 1/2″ Drive Ratchets
• 3″ Ratchet Extension
• 6″-12″ Ratchet Extension
• Ft. Lb. Torque Wrench
• Breaker Bar
• 21″ Floor Jack
• (2) Tall Jack Stands
• Wheel Chocks    

What You Will Get


(2) 2″ Front Coils
(2) 2″ Rear Coils
(2) 1/2″ Front Coil Spacers
(2) Front OME Shocks
(2) Rear OME Shocks    
   

Instructions


This is a pic of all the parts you should get with your new Old Man Emu 2″ Jeep JK Wrangler Lift Kit. Take some time to make sure you have all the parts shown as well as all the tools listed on the left prior to starting this project.
1. Park your Jeep JK Wrangler on a level surface and chock your rear tires. Then, using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolts and nuts securing your front sway bar links to the lower axle mounts. (NOTE: If you have a manual transmission, skip to step #3). 2. If you have an automatic transmission, use an 18mm socket to remove the 3 bolts (one on each frame rail and one on the cross member) securing its skid plate to the frame of your Jeep JK Wrangler. Remove the skid plate and set it aside for now. 3. Remove the bolt securing your Jeep JK Wrangler’s front track bar to the front axle mount using a 21mm socket. This can be a tough bolt to remove and an impact wrench or breaker bar will help to make this job
4. Loosen (but do not remove) the lug nuts on your front wheels, raise the front end of your Jeep JK Wrangler one side at a time from the axle using a tall floor jack and then set it back down onto (2) jack stands, each placed just behind the lower control arm frame mounts as shown in this pic.
5. Remove the wheels off your Jeep JK Wrangler using a 19mm lug wrench or socket and set them out of the way for now. Leave the floor jack under the front axle to help support it.
6. Using a 16mm or 5/8″ wrench, hold your Jeep JK Wrangler’s shock can in place just below the upper shock mount to keep it from spinning. Then, remove the stud mount nut above using a 16mm wrench. 7. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing your Jeep JK Wrangler’s front shocks to the lower axle mount. 8. Being mindful of your brake lines, carefully lower your Jeep JK Wrangler’s front axle until the factory front coils can be slipped out of the upper perch and be removed completely with ease.
9. Slide the factory rubber coil isolator down and off your Jeep JK Wrangler’s upper bump stop tower as shown in this pic. 10. Place the yellow Old Man Emu 1/2″ coil spacer on top of your Jeep JK Wrangler’s factory rubber isolator. 11. Reinstall both your new Old Man Emu 1/2″ coil spacer and factory rubber isolator back on to your Jeep JK Wrangler’s upper bump stop tower as shown in this pic.
12. Install your new Old Man Emu 2″ front coils by slipping them up your Jeep JK Wrangler’s upper bump stop tower and then set it on the lower spring perch. Rotate the coil until the bottom end of it is seated properly.
13. Begin the installation of your new Old Man Emu front shocks by slipping the large washer on top of the mounting stud followed by one of the black polyurethane bushings and then the zinc finished locating washer with the center hole lip facing up as shown in this pic. 14. Insert the Old Man Emu front shock mounting stud through the top of your Jeep JK Wrangler’s shock tower. Then, slip the other black polyurethane bushing on top followed by the zinc finished washer (concave side facing down), smaller washer and nut as shown in this pic. 15. Grasp the Old Man Emu front shock can firmly with one hand and then secure the mounting stud nut in place using a 16mm wrench. 
16. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, secure your new Old Man Emu front shocks to your Jeep JK Wrangler’s axle mount using the factory hardware and tighten the nut and bolt to 56 ft. lbs. of torque.
17. Reinstall your Jeep JK Wrangler’s front wheels, lower it back down on the ground, tighten the lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. of torque, remove the wheel chocks from the rear and place them up front.
18. With the engine off, put your key in the ignition, make sure that the steering wheel is unlocked and then have a friend turn it in one direction or the other until you can line up your front track bar bushing hole with the front axle mount hole on your Jeep JK Wrangler. Secure the track bar in place using the factory hardware and tighten it to 125 ft. lbs. of torque.
19. Reinstall your Jeep JK Wrangler’s sway bar links back onto the front axle mounts and tighten them to 75 ft. lbs. of torque. You will need an 18mm socket and wrench to do this job.
20. If you have an automatic and removed your skid plate earlier, use an 18mm socket to re-install and secure it to the frame of your Jeep JK Wrangler using the 3 factory bolts.
21. Lift the rear end of your Jeep JK Wrangler from the differential using a tall floor jack and then set it back down onto (2) jack stands, each placed just behind the lower control arm frame mounts. Remove the wheels off using a 19mm lug wrench or socket and set them out of the way for now. Leave the floor jack under front the axle to help support it.
22. Remove the wheels off using a 19mm lug wrench or socket and set them out of the way for now. Leave the floor jack under front the axle to help support it.
23. Remove the rear track bar bolt and nut from your Jeep JK Wrangler’s lower axle mount using a 21mm socket. As was the case with the front track bar, this can be a tough bolt to remove and a breaker bar will help to make this job easier.
24. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing your Jeep JK Wrangler’s rear sway bar links to the lower axle mounts. 25. Using a 16mm socket and a 6″-12″ ratchet drive extension, remove your Jeep JK Wrangler’s 2 upper rear shock mount bolts. 26. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, remove the bolt and nut securing your Jeep JK Wrangler’s rear shocks to the lower axle mounts. Remove and set aside your shocks for now.
27. Using a 10mm socket, remove the 2 nuts securing your Jeep JK Wrangler’s emergency brake cables to the bottom of the tub. This is necessary in order for you to get your rear axle to droop enough to install your new coils. 28. Using a 10mm socket, unbolt the rear brake line brackets which are fastened to the outside frame rails of your Jeep JK Wrangler. Leave them dangling at this time. 29. Slowly lower your rear axle being mindful of the ESP wiring. Once your axle is dropped low enough, your factory coils should just about fall out and can be removed with ease. Set aside the upper rubber isolators as they will be reused.
30. Place the factory rubber isolator on top of your new Old Man Emu rear coils and then install both back on to your Jeep JK Wrangler. Make sure that the rubber isolator is seated properly in the upper spring perch.
31. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, secure the factory rear sway bar link back onto your Jeep JK Wrangler’s lower axle mounts and tighten them to 75 ft. lbs. of torque.
32. Using a 16mm socket and a ratchet extension, install your new Old Man Emu shocks on to the rear upper mounts on your Jeep JK Wrangler using the factory hardware. Tighten these bolts to 37 ft. lbs. of torque. 33. Using an 18mm socket and wrench, install your new Old Man Emu rear shocks onto your Jeep JK Wrangler’s lower axle mounts using the factory hardware. Tighten these bolts to 56 ft. lbs. of torque. 34. Using a 10mm socket and the factory hardware, re-install your rear brake line brackets back on to your Jeep JK Wrangler’s frame rails.
35. Using a 10mm socket, re-secure your Jeep JK Wrangler’s emergency brake cables hanger to the bottom of the tub using the factory nuts.
36. Reinstall your Jeep JK Wrangler’s rear wheels, lower it back down on the ground, tighten the lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. of torque.
37. If you have a friend helping out, have them push hard on the passenger side of your Jeep JK Wrangler until the rear track bar axle mount hole lines up enough for you to insert the bolt through it. Then, secure the rear track bar bolt and flag nut in place and tighten them to 125 ft. lbs. of torque.
38. Because of the lift, your steering wheel will be off just a bit. To re-center your steering wheel, use a 15mm wrench to loosen the 2 nuts on the turnbuckle as shown in the pic to the left. Then, rotate the turnbuckle clockwise or counter clockwise as needed while a friend watches the steering wheel (or you periodically check on it yourself) go back to center. Once re-centered, secure the nuts and take it for a drive to check your steering wheel. This may take a few tries to get it on 100% but that’s all there is to it.

Congratulations, you now have a Jeep JK Wrangler that’s sitting on top of Old Man Emu 2″ Jeep JK Wrangler suspension lift. And, from what I have seen, this kit sits closer to 3″-3.5″ lift and would imagine it would clear 35″ tires with ease. Certainly, John’s JK already had 33’s on and as you can see in the after pics below, there is more than enough room to fit more.   Give your Jeep a thorough test drive and after about 100 miles, give your nuts and bolts another check with the torque wrench just to make sure nothing has come loose.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

   

Additional Photos


Before
After
Click on the link below to see all the Old Man Emu 2″ Jeep JK Wrangler suspension lift pics:   Old Man Emu 2″ Jeep JK Wrangler Lift Pics

 

50 Comments

  1. Hi Jeff, I believe the new OME kits are sold with HD coils and so the spacers are not needed even if you have a heavy front bumper and winch. However, this kit was purchased at http://www.northridge4x4.com and I would recommend that you give David a call there at 360-340-0282 as he should be able to help you out.

    Eddie

  2. Dear W.O.L.

    I bought the OME 3″ lift (HD Springs) from Northridge. I have a 2 dr JK. I know you are anal on how you build your JK, but is this gonna be more than 3″?? Will it end up being like 4″ and will it be mandatory that I get a new driveshaft? Still stock, no bumper.

  3. when all is said and done, the lift will sit about 3″ taller than stock. if you have an automatic, there is a good chance that your front shaft will tear off the boot on the tranny at a full flex. while this is not really a problem, over time, water and debris will cause it to squeak – but, it will still work. in the rear, a new shaft will not be needed immediately, but, over time, the steeper angle on the shaft cv boots will cause them to wear out prematurely. once compromised, water and debris will get inside and cause the bearing to fail. at that point and time, you will need a new shaft as well.

  4. Installed OME lift kit HD
    2Dr Rubicon 08, I have a problem with the OME kit a company that installed the OME replaced the rod from the sway bar to the axel. from the oringal 5 inch to a 10.5 inch when compressing and rising the front tires they rub the inside of the tire causing enough damage in a short time to ruin the sidewall of the tire, and two tires more coming out of the run. any feed back would be great

  5. what kind of wheels are you running, how much backspacing do you have on them and what size tires do you have? any and or all of these variables may make what you are experiencing possible.

  6. Stock wheels and tires no back spacing that I’m aware of, Front and rear adjustable track bars,( Your suggestion in one of your write ups)
    Thank you for your time Eddie

  7. are you rubbing only on one side or both? if it’s just one side, your axle probably isn’t completely centered. if it’s on both, your rubbing is most likely being caused by the increase in stuff you are now seeing. while bump stop extensions would address this issue, so would new wheels with less backspacing.

  8. Both front tires. What I can see at this point is the additional length arm 5 1/5 inch longer from factory arm , along with the nut head (not flat) adding an additional 1/2 in, plus the 1 1/2 frame tubing sticking out past the frame another 1/2 in may cause the arm (fresh grind marks axel tube that sticks out form frame), in the right posistion to bind aginst both front inside of the tires, where the nut head (5/8in bold head) adjustable track bars were installed keep axels align.

  9. Everyone,

    Thanks for the very detailed write up. I have the 2 dr x. I will be puting on the OME HD lift along with mopar offroad front and rear bumpers and warn 9000 winch. Also have dual tops, hard in Winter, soft in Nice weather. Any idea how the Jeep will sit? Will I need anything else? I am hoping to avoid new driveshafts, track bars etc… Maybe in the future but not in budget right now.

    Thanks so much again for the write up, questions and responses.

    Vince

  10. Hi you all, I read the entire comments and fpumd it very helpful in all the small details that have to be aware off, I’m not from the states and planning to buy a lif kit for my new 4 door rubicon. I want some budget lift and I was wondering wich one is more reccomended the FT 3″ BB or the OME 2″?

    Thanks for everything

  11. Awesome write up and great comments and questions from everyone.

    One question I still have is on my 08 2 door Rubicon, I am going to put an AEV front bumper along with a Warn 9.5ti winch (220lbs). Using the HD front springs will I still need to use the spacers to get it to set level?

    Thanks 🙂

  12. WOL,

    I just purchased the OME lift for my ’07 JK w/HD front and MD back springs from Northridge 4X4. Dave said spacers are not included nor are they needed. Should they be included even if they are not needed?

  13. the kit i installed was one of the first and changes have been made since then. needless to say, the spacers are more than likely not needed but i do not know for sure.

  14. OME lift kit HD which include front and rear track bars. When installed I had issues with more tire rubbing, not only rubbing, also tire destruction. several things to watch out for, the company that installed my kit they had installed 10.5 inch swaybar arms links with nut head sticking a bit too far (in front). using the JK site. (thanks to all in the JK Forum)I removed the junk sway bar links from the front, removed the rear sway bar links put the rear up front, add 1 1/2 wheel spacers, for now installed the junk links on the rear sway bar. adjust the steering (jk site write up) this has worked out great, and solved my tire busting rubbing problem. Anyone looking for information concerning modifications to our JK will find the information on our Project JK site.
    Thanks for all the comments

  15. Hello Eddie,

    I had seen your write up when I was looking at the EMU 2″ lift kit. I ordered it yesterday and am running a currently stock ’08 Sahara with stock Rubi wheels and 32’s. Do I need 1.5″ wheel spacers to make sure nothing rubs? If they are not needed, if I add them at the same time it would only give me a wider wheel base – is that correct. Thanks in advance.

  16. Also Eddie I am installing a winch at the same time as the lift. Currently my front stock suspension even with an Olympic bumper is 1/2″ taller than my rear so I’m thinking that the height after lift and winch install should be about even – Yes/No?

    Thanks again.

  17. hi steve, yes, you are correct. the OME kit will not come with new longer rear sway bar links and so you will not need to run wheel spacers. however, if you do run spacers, it will just give you a wider stance and that’s a good thing. as for your other questions, it’s hard to say for sure but yes, that does sound right 🙂

  18. Great write up! It almost motivates me to install this kit on my own. This is my first Jeep and first lift so I’m skeptical about doing the job myself. I am by no means a mechanic but I have always performed the basic maintenance on all my vehicles. Do you think I should take the plunge and tackle this job? Furthermore, what other adjustments/upgrades will be needed on a stock 2007 4dr automatic Sahara? Thanks!

  19. yes, i most definitely think you should do this on your own. without adjustable control arms or track bars, you will not be able to make any other adjustments. granted, i might consider adding an adjustable from track bar and front lower control arms so that you can recenter your axle and give it more caster.

  20. Barcelona (SPAIN), 11 May 2009

    A question from a novice to a great expert:

    I have a JK Sahara 2007 with the following modifications:

    OME 2? coils and shocks

    JKS Manufacturing Front and Rear adjustable Trackbars.

    Wheels spacers 1,25?

    Wheels MT 17 x 9, 4,5 Backspace.

    Tires MT Baja MTZ 33×12,5×17.

    Front Bumper Rugged Ridge HXD with winch.

    Rear Jumper High Rock.

    I want to know if it is necessary to change upper and lower control arm.
    And Rear CV Drive Shaft.

    Thank you

    Fernando

  21. So, to reiterate, Adjustable Front Track Bar and Front Lower Control Arms should be in my future if I install this lift kit, correct? How long can I wait to install these after the lift kit is done?

  22. hi fernando, adjustable control arms aren’t necessary but you may want to get at the very least a set of front lowers as they will allow you to add caster.  also, if you have a 2-door, you will want adjustable rear uppers as they will help you to dial in your pinion angle.

    if you have a 4-door, you may not even feel the need for these upgrades at all. but, if you do feel some flightyness in your handling at high speeds, adding adjustable front lower arms and extending them to about 23″ eye to eye will give you about 6° of caster and that will help out a bunch. the track bar is just nice to have but not really necessary.

  23. Great write up !! I had an OME lift on my Liberty, and plan on getting one for my new 4 door JK X. OME rides great, better than stock on my Liberty thats for sure.

    Thanks Again !!

  24. Hi Eddie,

    I had the OME LD 2″ lift installed two months ago.
    Also with the lift I upgraded the 255/55 R18 tyres to 285/65 R18 (no wheel spacers).
    I love the look and the ride. The only thing is that in some sharp, mostly right corners, the ESP fires. It even does it at very low speeds, mostly in roundabout type turns. It didnt use to do that when it was stock.
    I have read up on the subject and centered the steering wheel as good as possible. The next step is probably the caster right?
    It is not as bad as some of the JK owners describe but it still irritates me.
    I guess my question is, if I continue to drive like this will I break or wear down something? and what do I need to order to make this go away? Adjustable front trackbar, front lower control arms or both?

    Thanks and keep up the good work,

    Mike

  25. did you make sure to recenter your steering wheel after the lift. if it is just a bit off as it should be after installing a lift, that would be enough to get your esp to go off. also, how much air are you running in your tires. with 285,s you should only need about 30 psi. anything more and you can get esp issues too.

  26. I am running 30 psi exactly at the moment, having come down from 35 psi, but there is no noticable differance. I have centered the steering wheel 3 times so far. It is hard to judge because almost every road here, either slopes to the left or right.
    I read somewere that the bolts have to face forward, does that have a big impact, cause mine don’t! Do you have any tips for the centering?
    Thanks!!

  27. if you have your steering wheel pretty centered, give it a bit of time and your computer should learn in time. if you still have esp issues, could be you just need a bit more caster

  28. Hi there,

    I installed the ARB lift kit with Cooper Discoverer ATR 305X70XR16. And I am glad to state that the lift is really amazing. However, I am getting a lot of wobble in the JK once I go above 80Km/h. I have changed the steering stabiliser to Rancho and also done the wheel balancing one more time. But the wobble would not go…

    I had taken this lift kit from a friend who used it for about 25000 kms.

    I also want to know is there any difference in the lift kit for 2 door and a 4 door, cos he was using this lift kit on a 4 door. Your help on the issue is highly appreciated as I am scared to take my jeep out and rather than taking it to some other mechanic I would really appreciate to get a reply from you.

    Regards
    KC

  29. a speed related wobble is almost always a tire balancing problem. even if you’ve had your tires balanced, there is a good chance they are still off. large off road tires are difficult to balance and it is not uncommon to have them rebalanced multiple times to get them on right.

  30. I know the writeup install was done early on, but do you know if those springs in the writeup were standard or heavy duty?

  31. Also, I plan on re-using the swaybar links, rear trackbar drop bracket, and brake line drop brackets from my TF BB…see any issues with using those in conjunction with the OME std lift?

  32. Actually, I had ordered the std kit from Northridge, and was hoping it will turn out like the writeup. That’s plenty of lift for me with my 33’s. If that is the case, I guess I can re-use my TF BB bumpstop extensions also…although they are a pain to take off and put back on…

  33. I am putting the OME 2″ lift on my 4 2008 door Rubicon next week. I have an extra set of rims that I am planning on mounting 35″ tires when used off road. I know that back spacers are needed. Do you recommend 1.5″ or 1.25″ spacers or does it make much difference. In Utah they are strict about tires extending out past the fenders and I want to put the smallest spacer on the will work. Thanks. Spirtree

  34. hey my names mike i have recently had a offroad shop install a heavey duty old man emu suspesion kit on my 2004 jeep wrangler tj, and i noticed that my jeep is taller on the driver side then the passanger , i noticed the piece of paper on the coils said A and B varieying per shock. so front left is A, front right B, back left is B , and back right is A i feel the back right and left are mixed up per the shop did not notice the spring lengths. can u tell me which combo A and B, should both A’s and B’s might be the problem or who to talk to. where can i find this out so i can reset the shocks in the proper way????

    thank you
    mevanking@yahoo.com

  35. what you are seeing is common on JK’s and some of us refer to it as the “jk lean”. after installing a lift, this lean becomes more pronounced. the best way to fix it is to install a set of adjustable rear sway bar links and set the passenger side links a bit taller.

  36. hey there, i was wondering about the rusty’s 2 inch lift. it also has coils and shocks. is there good things said, bad things said about this lift? i want to lift my jk but am worried about side effects later down the road, i have a 09 2door and am running 285’s on my stock steels, i just like the steel wheels ha ha. thanks whip

  37. i haven’t run this lift before so i can’t really say anything good or bad about it. depending on the spring rate and how the shocks are valved, it could offer a decent ride or, it can offer a terrible ride. what i like about the old man emu kit is that their coils are known around the world as being some of the most comfortable you can get and the same can definitely be said about their shocks. when it comes to old man emu, you get what you pay for and more.

  38. I am looking to buy an OME 2″ lift, the same one you have. I am confused on which one to buy, though, because it says there is a light load lift and a heavy load lift? I am planning on replacing the front, rear bumpers and the rock sliders, along with some other minor after market pieces…so would that be considered a “heavy load”? Thanks

  39. the light duty kit will give you about a 2″ lift and the heavy duty kit about a 3″ lift. if you are going to install heavy bumpers and rocker guards, i would recommend the heavy duty.

  40. I am trying to decide what size wheel I want to use. What is the size and backspacing on the wheel you are using? Also, what is the tire size you are using, thanks.

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