Best Jeep Lift Kit For Me AEV 3.5 DualSport SC Lift Kit N0234100AA

Jeep JKU Wrangler Lift Kit AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit

I have spent many hours reading forums, blogs amd manufacturers information regarding Jeep JK Wrangler Lift Kits in an effort to find a lift kit that best suits my needs. What are my needs you ask? On the surface they seem simple but I learned they aren’t once I started to dive in.

Jeep JKU AEV Dualsport SC Lift Kit 3.5"-4.5"

Jeep JKU AEV Dualsport SC Lift Kit 3.5″-4.5″

I’m going to be honest the first need is appearance. My 2018 JKU is beautifully boring and I want my Jeep to look more aggressive. That aggressive look comes from more ground clearance and taller, wider tires. There are many ways to achieve that look but there’s additional considerations. A body lift or budget lift easy easy to install, inexpensive and other than a higher center of gravity it doesn’t change the handling characteristics of the jeep. Unfortunately I do want to change the way my Jeep handles both on and off road. That means I need a suspension lift which also changes the geometry of the vehicle.

That geometry change often means a vehicle that works great off road can beat you up on every day driving. These changes can also make the vehicle harder to control on highways at speed. In my youth I spent a lot of time driving a lifted monster wheeled Jeep and a Dodge Power Wagon with 44″ wheels. The Power Wagon was a bear to drive and required a lot of correction to try and keep the vehicle traveling in a straight line. I can’t have that, my Jeep needs to remain highway friendly not just for me but for the other driver in my house, my girl.

Off road use is actually my last criteria because I live in Connecticut we simply don’t have much land available to the public for off road use. During winter I can experience deep snow, while warm weather hiking, fishing, photo excursions and mountain biking can send me off road in most cases it’s terrain even a stock jeep can safely navigate. Connecticut is a mall crawler state by default. Of course when I travel to New York’s Adirondacks or Vermont or New Hampshire I can do real jeep stuff but those trips are infrequent.

Fortunately all my research lead me to the conclusion that there’s a single lift kit that will give me the look I want and actually improve the street handling of my jeep while making it more than capable for any off road adventure I am willing to take on.

For my needs the best lift kit is the AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit Part Number N0234100AA for the JKU Wrangler.

American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) is the supplier to lift kits for Chrysler Jeep. AEV lift kits are original equipment on factory lifted jeeps. They have been tested extensively by Jeep. American Expedition Vehicles also has a staff member who was an engineer at Jeep. AEV knows Jeeps, Suspensions and lift kits, this is why I am purchasing and installing the AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit.

The Best Jeep Lift Kit For Me is the AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit

The AEV 3.5″- 4.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit is a best of both worlds lift kit. The AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit improves the road handling and ride of a Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU while also making the same Wrangler a capable off road vehicle.

I have explained why for my purposes and my 2018 Jeep Wrangler JKU the AEV 3.5″ Dual Sport SC Lift Kit is the best lift kit but that doesn’t mean the kit is perfect or complete. My research has shown me that not every part of the AEV kit will be used as their are other areas that can be improved and there’s additional hardware to not only make my Jeep JK Unlimited even better but I can also eliminate any potential for the death wobble Jeeps are known for. I will spell all that out on another page.

Lastly to install and make use of the AEV 3.5″ Dual Sport SC Lift Kit requires that aftermarket wheels and tires also be replaced at the same time. The AEV 3.5″ Dual Sport SC Lift Kit cannot be used with factory wheels and tires.

Download: Jeep JKU Wrangler Lift AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit Installation Instructions

from American Expedition Vehicles AEV

AEV’s DualSport Suspension Systems have taken off-road suspension engineering to the next level. At American Expedition Vehicles, suspension development is about more than just adding lift height, articulation, or flashy-looking components. It’s about bringing OE-level suspension engineering to the aftermarket to create a true do-anything “dualsport” suspension – one that is both extremely capable off-road, while offering unparalleled on-road performance and handling.

AEV 3.5" DualSport SC Wrangler JKU Lift Kit N0234100AA

AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Wrangler JKU Lift Kit N0234100AA

To achieve this, American Expedition Vehicles relied on factory engineering methodology. We started with the JK’s control-arms, track-arms and steering. The geometry of each component was optimized to accommodate the new lifted posture of the JK. It may surprise people to learn that proper geometry is where AEV’s Dualsport Suspensions get much of their tremendous cornering and braking characteristics. The fact is, when the geometry is right, the springs and shocks don’t have to compensate for poor performance in these areas.

Once the geometry was correct, we turned our attention to the springs, again relying on OE methods, which in the case of springs means frequency tuning.  Frequency-tuned coil springs share harmonious oscillation characteristics that allow them to work as a matched set, front and rear.  The benefit is that they help to keep the JK balanced and in contact with the road, even when driven at high speed over rough surfaces.

After the springs were tuned, the next step is shock tuning. Rather than use an off-the-shelf shock tune, we partner with the engineers at Bilstein to develop a proprietary tune matched to our unique suspension. Together we spent days at a proving grounds facility testing numerous valving combinations in an array of simulated driving conditions. Thanks to the previous optimization of AEV’s geometry and coil springs, it allows us to tune the shocks with a focus on damping suspension movement – rather than on trying to mask unwanted handling problems resulting from poor geometry or spring tuning.

Overall, no matter which Dualsport Suspension System you choose, no matter where you drive it or how you load it, you can count on your Dualsport-equipped JK to remain comfortable, balanced and ready to explore.

Key Features:

  • Expedition-Ready / Daily-Driven Practical. More so than any of its predecessors, the JK Wrangler is not just a trail-mastering off-road specialist, it’s a truly “street able” on-road transport too. The AEV DualSport enhances the JK to raise its performance in both arenas.
  • Tuned Vehicle Dynamics. The DualSport system has been thoroughly tuned for impeccable behavior in every situation you might put it in – and especially the ones you didn’t intend to.
  • Complete. AEV DualSport JK systems are truly stand-alone packages that include everything needed to elevate your JK properly, including shocks.


Please note: The AEV/Bilstein 5100 series shock absorbers included in this kit feature a Bilstein Triple C zinc plated finish. This finish must be serviced regularly in order to maintain its luster. Particularly in moist climates, a protective coating, such as wax or lubricating oil should be applied to prevent tarnishing. The finish is not covered under warranty.

Actual lift height may vary depending on vehicle weight.

Parts Included:

  • Frequency-tuned, progressive rate springs
  • (4) AEV-tuned Bilstein 5100 series shocks
  • Bump-stop spacers
  • Rear stabilizer end links
  • Rear track-bar tower
  • Custom rear track bar
  • Brake line Drop brackets
  • Geometry Correction Front Control Arm Brackets
  • High Steer Kit
  • Heavy-duty steering damper
  • ProCal Module
  • Jack Base

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make exhaust modifications to install AEV’s DualSport Suspension Systems?

On 2012+ JKs, exhaust modifications are now necessary. The point of interference is where the exhaust crosses below the front driveshaft. Customers should anticipate using an exhaust shop to create the necessary modification, which will be as simple as welding in a mildly ‘u-shaped’ section of tube just below the driveshaft.

Can I use my stock wheels with AEV’s DualSport Suspension Systems?

The factory wheels will not have the correct offset to allow you to use them with our 3.5/4.5 DualSport Suspensions. Aftermarket wheels are recommended both for adequate width to mount larger tires and decreased backspacing for chassis and steering clearance. Any AEV JK Wheel will solve the clearance issue, or set of 1.0″ thick wheel spacers with the factory 17″ or 18″ wheels.

What do the Dualsport Suspension System’s Drop Brackets do?

The first and most obvious thing that AEV’s Drop Brackets do is improve the approach angle of the front control-arms. If you look at a stock JK you will notice that the front control arms are nearly level with the ground. This is an optimal situation because when the front axle/suspension encounters a bump, the control-arms do not interfere with free upward movement. However, if the control-arms are steeply angled, as they often are on lifted Jeeps, they begin to interfere with upward movement. This is because the front axle/suspension must now move forward as it moves upward. This creates conflict and it reduces ride quality and handling. The Drop Brackets eliminate this by restoring near-factory positioning for the front control-arms.

The second and far less obvious thing that AEV’s Drop Brackets do is reposition the front axle’s instant center. If you look at a stock JK you will notice that it has upper and lower front control arms. If you look very closely you will notice that the upper control-arms angle slightly downward toward the lower ones as they run fore to after along the vehicle. If both upper and lower control-arms were allowed to continue on out past the tail of the JK, they would eventually intersect. This intersection is called an instant center and it is the imaginary point around which the front axle pivots. In stock form this instant center is out behind the JK, but AEV brings that instant center closer in toward the middle by increasing the downward angle on the front upper control-arms. By doing this, AEV is able to play with physics and reduce nosedive when the JK’s brakes are applied.

In test drives, AEV employees will virtually lock up the brakes for customers so they can witness the minimal nosedive taking place. We don’t encourage our customers to do the same thing, but if you ever have to stop fast, you’ll feel more in control and you’ll feel less sensation of being jettisoned from your seat.

Can I use a drop pitman arm with your DualSport Suspension System for better steering?

No. While a drop pitman by itself is not a terrible concept, mixing geometry-altering components together indiscriminately is. A drop pitman means that the track-bar must also be lowered at the frame end. We do not do this because it lowers the vehicle’s roll-center, which is undesirable. Instead, AEV’s High Steer Kit raises both the track-arm and the drag-link at the axle end. This improves the angle of operation of both arms and raises the vehicle’s roll-center. To then add a drop pitman would give terrible results causing ‘bump-steer’ and creating an unsafe combination

What size tires can I run with each kit (3.5” and 4.5”)?

This is always a tricky question because there are so many factors involved such as wheel width and offset, body/fender modifications, spring rates and bumpstop spacing, etc. The short and simplified answer is that if running our wheels (or dimensionally equivalent), we recommend a 35×12.50 tire with our 3.5″ kit, and a 37×12.50 tire with our 4.5″ kit. That said, each kit can accommodate larger tires and it becomes a personal decision based on how the vehicle will be used and whether you’re willing to put up with any tire rubbing.

Do I need to change my drive shafts to use your kit?

On all pre-2012 JKs equipped with automatic transmissions, you will need to replace your front driveshaft with a narrower unit.

On all pre-2012 JKs equipped with manual transmissions, you will not need to replace your front driveshaft.

On all 2012+ JKs equipped with automatic or manual transmissions, you will not need to replace your front driveshaft.

The Best Jeep Lift Kit For Me! The AEV 3.5 DualSport SC Lift Kit N0234100AA


The AEV 3.5″- 4.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit is a best of both worlds lift kit. The AEV 3.5″ DualSport SC Lift Kit improves the road handling and ride of a Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU while also making the same Wrangler a capable off road vehicle.

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