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Lift kit install cost?

NewJeepGuy

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Location
North Dakota
Current Rides
2022 Freightliner
So, I have been back and forth over doing this myself or not. I’ve never done any suspension work. Starters, brakes, alternators, replaced the heads once, but no suspension work. I’m sure I can do it, but frankly, I’m in my 50s and also sure I’ll feel it for a few days lol. So, I called a local shop last week and told them that I had the kit already on the way, just needed it installed. The estimate they gave was $680-900, depending on what it all included. That included an alignment. I thought that was reasonable. I was told when the kit came in, call and set an appointment. So I called yesterday to do that, talked to a diff guy who apparently was on vacation last week, and is the person who normally does this, and the price went to $1700… not so reasonable lol.

So, for those of you who had a lift kit installed, what did you pay for labor?
 
The $680-900 seems top end of "fair." 1700 is just insane. Plenty of folks post costs for a couple hundred, to probably 500 average. It's only going to take a shop a few hours, at a rate that will typically hover around $100/hour

I got a feeling they heard "392" and saw $$$
It's no different than a standard Rubi - just firmer tuning needed for the weight of the HEMI
 
After looking around, they are really the only shop in town that does it. That’s probably the biggest factor. I found a shop a couple hours away that will do it for 700 including alignment
 
Yah that sounds like it could be a 'we're the only guy in town so we can charge whatever we want'.

Out of principle I'd drive the few hours...after I called the in town shop, let them get one last bid, and then tell them I'm driving out of town to get the $700 job if they didn't match it.
 
What lift are you getting installed? Pucks and new shocks? Yeah, $1700 is too much.

If it's a long arm kit with coil-overs, etc. then that might not be outrageous. It also depends on what part of the country you're in. Rates at _reputable_ off-road shops near me are in the neighborhood of $100/hr. Two people for a full day at that rate gets you right to your number.
 
Metalcloak 3.5" game changer with new shocks. So a mid arm kit.
 
I couldn't find the manufacturers recommended install time for MC lifts, but on Qtec, the Icon system that's close to what you're buying says about 4-6 hours. Given two people that's a max of 12 man-hours. 12 man hours x your local shop's rate (assuming $100) is $1200.
 
I couldn't find the manufacturers recommended install time for MC lifts, but on Qtec, the Icon system that's close to what you're buying says about 4-6 hours. Given two people that's a max of 12 man-hours. 12 man hours x your local shop's rate (assuming $100) is $1200.
I guess 700 is a good deal then
 
I couldn't find the manufacturers recommended install time for MC lifts, but on Qtec, the Icon system that's close to what you're buying says about 4-6 hours. Given two people that's a max of 12 man-hours. 12 man hours x your local shop's rate (assuming $100) is $1200.
If it’s 4-6 hrs, is that for 2 people and not 1? If that’s the case, should 2 people do it in half the time? I certainly think that there is no way 2 people can install all of that in 2 hours, so those numbers seem really low. I called another shop and they were closer to the $1700 mark. Both 1700 shops said they wanted the jeep for 2 days. The $700 shop said if he started it first thing, he could probably get it done in a day.
I’m not paying 1700, I’ll do it myself first. 700 I can justify
 
I always do my own, but do know many who paid, and I’m always curious, so every time, I call around.
$1700 is way too high.
$1200 for that set up would be the average high.
$700-$900, maybe $1k, is reasonable.
It’s not difficult. Just takes time and much easier with the proper tools. Also, the subtle tribal knowledge helps. Things like only torque your CA bolts when it’s fully weighted.
 
I really need to look into the whole process. I think there would be a certain satisfaction from doing it myself. I have the tools needed. Of course I don’t have a hydra lift which would make things infinitely easier.
 
I really need to look into the whole process. I think there would be a certain satisfaction from doing it myself. I have the tools needed. Of course I don’t have a hydra lift which would make things infinitely easier.
It’s definitely a rewarding experience, if you do it right :)

Spend a six pack on a good buddy and go for it.

Get a set of jack stands, a torque wrench and follow the directions closely. Proper torque is very important, especially on your control arms.
 
I have a pair of jackstands and torque wrench already. Anything else that would be out of the ordinary?
 
It depends on your lift kit, but some kits have a giant jam nut on the control arms that you may not have a wrench for already. Others use a compression sleeve with smaller nuts.
 
Impact driver helps
 
I installed a Clayton Offroad 3.5" premium lift the weekend before last. Did all of it myself...no other help. It took me two full days to do it. The things that certainly helped:
  • Two (2) 4-ton hydraulic floor jacks
  • Four (4) jack stands (you really only need two at a time, but I had extras just in case)
  • As mentioned, ft-lb torque wrench (along with all the other tools you probably have on-hand)
  • Impact wrench
  • Cordless ratchet
  • Come-along (had on-hand, but did not need it)
  • Patience
Good luck @NewJeepGuy! If you decide to do it yourself, and need help via phone, PM me and I'll try to assist.

On another note - I saved $900 installing it myself.
 
I installed a Clayton Offroad 3.5" premium lift the weekend before last. Did all of it myself...no other help. It took me two full days to do it. The things that certainly helped:
  • Two (2) 4-ton hydraulic floor jacks
  • Four (4) jack stands (you really only need two at a time, but I had extras just in case)
  • As mentioned, ft-lb torque wrench (along with all the other tools you probably have on-hand)
  • Impact wrench
  • Cordless ratchet
  • Come-along (had on-hand, but did not need it)
  • Patience
Good luck @NewJeepGuy! If you decide to do it yourself, and need help via phone, PM me and I'll try to assist.

On another note - I saved $900 installing it myself.
I recall 10 hours time to install mine. Pretty much the same tools. Except I also used a laser level. 🤓
 
I installed a Clayton Offroad 3.5" premium lift the weekend before last. Did all of it myself...no other help. It took me two full days to do it. The things that certainly helped:
  • Two (2) 4-ton hydraulic floor jacks
  • Four (4) jack stands (you really only need two at a time, but I had extras just in case)
  • As mentioned, ft-lb torque wrench (along with all the other tools you probably have on-hand)
  • Impact wrench
  • Cordless ratchet
  • Come-along (had on-hand, but did not need it)
  • Patience
Good luck @NewJeepGuy! If you decide to do it yourself, and need help via phone, PM me and I'll try to assist.

On another note - I saved $900 installing it myself.
I think I have all the necessary tools. Only 2 jack stands. I’m hoping it doesn’t take me 2 days though. I have a lot of other stuff to get done besides the lift lol. It would end up saving me at least that much as well. The shop estimated 700, but a 3 hr drive each way, plus sitting around all day somewhere with no wheels while they do it. I’d have to take a day off work vs me doing it on the weekend.
 
I think I have all the necessary tools. Only 2 jack stands. I’m hoping it doesn’t take me 2 days though. I have a lot of other stuff to get done besides the lift lol. It would end up saving me at least that much as well. The shop estimated 700, but a 3 hr drive each way, plus sitting around all day somewhere with no wheels while they do it. I’d have to take a day off work vs me doing it on the weekend.
"Two days" was misnomer by me. I took a few long breaks between checking off a step and getting started again. You could probably get it done in one day. I will say, the Clayton premium lift had more steps to do than say the Clayton basic lift, so perhaps that's why it took me longer.

I can't stress enough how handy the two floor jacks were. When you're lifting the front, placing the jack under the differential will cause the axle to tilt due to the diff. being off-center. I could not get the jack pad under the center of the front axle due to interference, so I placed one under the diff. and the other under the lower control arm axle mount. Worked perfectly! I adjusted where necessary. Some folks on here could probably give you better advice, but - as mentioned - it worked perfectly for me.

Cheers!
 
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