Rumors are circulating forums that a suspension lift on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is not possible. A reputable shop currently developing parts for the new Cherokee has determined that while it may be possible, "it is definitely not feasible." UPDATED
Utah-based off-road product purveyor Rocky Road Outfitters got their hands on an owner's 2014 Jeep Cherokee (KL) and offered to give them free parts in exchange for letting their Jeep be used for R&D.
The word around JeepForum.com is that Rocky Road made this unofficial statement to a customer:
"The front end does not have alignment adjustability. The only way to align the front is to loosen and slightly shift the "cradle" which doesn't provide enough adjustment to lift the vehicle. In case you might think, "Just build a new lower control arm". You could, but to change the lower control arm, you would have to remove the front 'clip'.
This is an aluminum sub-frame which supports the front of the engine, radiator, and everything in front of the front axles. So to remove that control arm would probably be a thousand $ mechanic job and beyond the skills of most DIY'ers.
Therefore, we had to admit defeat and will not be producing a suspension lift for this Jeep. Really sucks. We're disappointed."
I spoke to a Rocky Road rep on the phone, and they cried bullshit, even saying they were working on a Cherokee lift "as we spoke." But the company's boss Glenn Wakefield just got in touch with us and added the very latest on the subject, which more closely echoes the original remarks of a KL lift not happening.
Here's the update:
"The deal is that there is no adjustment on the front suspension beyond 'toe'. If you need to fine tune the alignment, the only method is to loosen the bolts of the "cradle" which hold the lower control arms. Shifting the cradle can provide a very small amount of alignment adjustment. Absolutely not enough to accommodate alignment after a lift.
And the strut system, the way they have designed it, doesn't allow for modification to introduce alignment into the system. It might be possible then to build a new lower control arm which some alignment adjustment built in. BUT, in order to remove the lower control arm, you must remove the front frame section of the Jeep.
Its an aluminum frame which supports the front of the engine, the radiator, bumper, basically everything in front of the axles. So you'd be looking at hours of labor to just change out a control arms.
No one (or VERY few) are gong to want to spend $1000 in labor to install a small lift on this Jeep. So it may not be entirely accurate to say it is impossible to lift the Cherokee... but it is definitely not feasible.
We were surprised and disappointed when we finally had to make the call that it was a no go. On the bright side, we have been able to design some other accessories like rock sliders, rack system, bumper kits and winch mount."
So while we can expect some off-road goodies for the KL Cherokee, a lift probably won't be among the offerings.
I have yet to hear back from Jeep's engineers, but I'll update you as soon as I do.