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Old 03-26-2014, 11:04 PM   #1
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Zone vs Rough Country

What's your opinions on the two. I know they are both "cheap" lifts but I'm only 17 and only have $2700 to spend. I want to go with a 4 inch suspension lift and 35's. I know I don't have enough to do the whole process correctly because I'll most likely need a SYE and driveshaft. Also I want to run tube fenders, because the stock are starting to rust out. Let me get your feed on how easy it is to install a lift kit by myself in my garage and if 2700 bucks would be enough to accomplish this.

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Old 03-27-2014, 02:48 AM   #2
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If you are only 17, learning and with a limited budget then go with a smaller lift. 3.5"+ lift kits will place higher stresses on the joints, particularly cheap ones that don't correct the geometry properly, and will place excess stress on the driveline. Both of these will require additional expenditures. A wiser and lower cost choice is a 2.5" lift even if you buy an "cheap" brand.

It sounds like you are a long time Jeeper in the making and there is no better experience than to start by installing your lift kit. Get some help from someone who has done it before if you are unsure. It requires more planning, patience and the right tools than anything else. Read the instructions for the kit you select in addition to the one for other kits. They provide different useful hints. Watch a couple of installation videos on YouTube. They will all build your comfort level. And ask plenty of questions. There is a lot of help available on this forum.

Bigger lifts require bigger bucks or they can lead to bigger headaches.

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Old 03-27-2014, 05:41 AM   #3
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With a 2.5" lift and tube fenders you can run 35s. You will save a ton of money in parts, time and future trouble. You could go with a 2.5" spring lift and still afford some nice Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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As I see by your avatar that you have a TJ, my thought would be the Zone 4.25" combo lift and an adjustable track bar. The 4.25" is a 3" suspension with 1.25" Body Lift. It also includes a 1" Motor Mount Lift. The BL/MML combination should help reduce your vibrations so you 1) don't need a transfer case drop and 2) can put off the SYE/CV Driveshaft upgrade until you inevitably want to do a tummy tuck. The adjustable track bar is so you don't need to drill a new hole to re-use the stock track bar. Good aftermarket track bars that get good reviews and seem to not have clearance issues are Currie, Metalcloak and JKS. I think Metalcloak is the cheapest at around $200.

This lift also gets you the clearance you'll need for 33's. It does give you the clearance for 35's, but there are numerous other things needed to make your TJ ready for 35's.

My personal advice with your funds would be to do the Zone Lift/Trackbar now along with new wheels/33" tires. You'll want between 3.75/4.5 backspacing for 12.5" wide tires or you can stick with stock if you only ever plan to have 10.5" wide tires. I say this because you'll have an initial setup that you can upgrade over time(see: when funds allow) to achieve what you want and by the time you are ready to replace the 33's, you should be good to go to 35's.

I'm sure more experienced people will chime in.

I agree with Spinlock on the actual installation.

Here is a link about 35's on a TJ: I want to run 35's on my TJ or LJ
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:38 PM   #5
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I times 2 with Zone. I've heard bad things about Rough Country and that their springs will start to sag within a few months of driving. I've had my Zone combo (4.25") for close to 4 years and haven't had any issues with it, knock on wood. It's held up very well on the trails, up to a medium of 8 out of 10. Right now I'm running 33's because I didn't have the funds for 35's. Though I regret not getting 35's when I got the lift. Not a huge deal for me though. But my .02 is to get the Zone instead.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:06 PM   #6
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Honestly though I wanted to just spend the money to get the 35's because I don't wanna be stuck with 33's and regret having to look at them. I want to go with metalcloak tube arch fenders and a 4 inch suspension lift and then I'll buy a SYE. I'm going to need new wheels for the 35's and I just want to get what I what now instead of having to upgrade later. When I get the funds I'll go all out with a tom woods drive shaft, tummy tuck, bumper, winch, KC's I just want it to be a project at work. As for tires what would you recommend? I was thinking about getting the bfgoodrich at's 35x12.5x15 and complementing it with a 10 inch wide wheel? I just want something that has a really wide stance because I can't stand the pizza cutter look, and something that is going to last.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:38 PM   #7
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Honestly though I wanted to just spend the money to get the 35's because I don't wanna be stuck with 33's and regret having to look at them. I want to go with metalcloak tube arch fenders and a 4 inch suspension lift and then I'll buy a SYE. I'm going to need new wheels for the 35's and I just want to get what I what now instead of having to upgrade later. When I get the funds I'll go all out with a tom woods drive shaft, tummy tuck, bumper, winch, KC's I just want it to be a project at work. As for tires what would you recommend? I was thinking about getting the bfgoodrich at's 35x12.5x15 and complementing it with a 10 inch wide wheel? I just want something that has a really wide stance because I can't stand the pizza cutter look, and something that is going to last.
MTR/Ks are prime in a 35" tire.

Also. You CAN do a MC tube fender with no lift and 35s. And piece together a lift. Which is cheaper in the long run anyhow. A solid 2" coil paired with great shocks goes a long way. Keep it close to stock and avoid the usual "lifted jeep" problems.

Or not and keep it stock height. Do a sye and go with a tummy tuck. Add a 1" body lift for good measure and to clear t-case. Keep drivability and center of gravity whilst avoiding issues.

MC isn't the only option with fenders either. Take a look at Poison spider, Rokmen they off hilines. True hi-lines.

Anyway. Good luck mate. I remember when I was 17 and got 35s haha. I went with the RC coil. Never regretted it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:51 PM   #8
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You are 17 with a very limited budget. Patience young Jeeper! Do it right - or live to regret it and do it twice or spend many dollars fixing it when things go wrong. I am let's just say quite a bit more than twice your age, and my "budget" is many times yours to do what you are talking about.

So you are going to spend as much or more on fenders than your lift? I don't know exactly how much the MC are for your Jeep, but I know MC isn't cheap because I plan to get them for my JKU. Think about it.

Do you have gearing to run 35s? A tire carrier? Axle armor?
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:59 PM   #9
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I do have the gearing to run 35's and yes metalcloaks are expensive but I need something that are durable and something that won't rust out with all the salt they throw down here during the winter.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:00 AM   #10
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So you are more worried about rusted fenders than what is going to happen to your Jeep when you put a cheap 4 inch lift on it?
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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So you are more worried about rusted fenders than what is going to happen to your Jeep when you put a cheap 4 inch lift on it?
if stuff breaks or wears on my jeep then I'll fix or replace it It's still cheaper to spend 500 on a lift and have to fix things as it progresses than to spend 3,500 on a good lift. I don't really need a super good lift most of my driving consists of driving 3 miles to school and back during the week and then some mild off-roading during the weekend. I know what your talking about but my jeep already has high mileage on it and by the time everything breaks it will be time to get a new one.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFloreancig View Post
if stuff breaks or wears on my jeep then I'll fix or replace it It's still cheaper to spend 500 on a lift and have to fix things as it progresses than to spend 3,500 on a good lift. I don't really need a super good lift most of my driving consists of driving 3 miles to school and back during the week and then some mild off-roading during the weekend. I know what your talking about but my jeep already has high mileage on it and by the time everything breaks it will be time to get a new one.
It sounds like you understand that the lifts you're looking at aren't the top of the line, and you're ok with that. I would go with the Zone 4.25" Combination Lift Kit. That will allow you over 4" of lift without a transfer case drop or SYE/CV drive shaft. That combination with arched fenders should allow you to run those 35's. I have had MTR's and I'm currently running KM2's and really like them. I don't have much experience with AT's though.

Let me know what questions you have or if you'd like a quote on a lift or Wheel/Tire Kit!

-Ryan
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by XTRyan View Post

It sounds like you understand that the lifts you're looking at aren't the top of the line, and you're ok with that. I would go with the Zone 4.25" Combination Lift Kit. That will allow you over 4" of lift without a transfer case drop or SYE/CV drive shaft. That combination with arched fenders should allow you to run those 35's. I have had MTR's and I'm currently running KM2's and really like them. I don't have much experience with AT's though.

Let me know what questions you have or if you'd like a quote on a lift or Wheel/Tire Kit!

-Ryan
You realize that not everyone can drop thousands of dollars on a lift. And quite honestly the Zone has gained popularity since I got it. It may not be top of the line, but at least it can still ride the trails with the bigger Jeeps who have put thousands of dollars into their rigs. Sorry, but I hate people where the OP's only "good option" is to get a $2500 kit.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:23 PM   #14
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You realize that not everyone can drop thousands of dollars on a lift. And quite honestly the Zone has gained popularity since I got it. It may not be top of the line, but at least it can still ride the trails with the bigger Jeeps who have put thousands of dollars into their rigs. Sorry, but I hate people where the OP's only "good option" is to get a $2500 kit.
This was point exactly. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, or maybe I'm just misreading your post. But just to clear it up, I support people running whatever lift they can afford or putting as much money into their Jeeps as they want to. The Zone kit is a great kit to fit big tires and get out on the trails. I ran a 4" RC kit as my first kit in high school. I still have some RC components on my rig now. There is nothing wrong with building on a budget!

-Ryan
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:59 PM   #15
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This was point exactly. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, or maybe I'm just misreading your post. But just to clear it up, I support people running whatever lift they can afford or putting as much money into their Jeeps as they want to. The Zone kit is a great kit to fit big tires and get out on the trails. I ran a 4" RC kit as my first kit in high school. I still have some RC components on my rig now. There is nothing wrong with building on a budget!

-Ryan
No worries just irks me some that so many people think the Zone and a few other low budget lifts won't even be decent within a few years. Which some are true.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:24 PM   #16
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It sounds like you understand that the lifts you're looking at aren't the top of the line, and you're ok with that. I would go with the Zone 4.25" Combination Lift Kit. That will allow you over 4" of lift without a transfer case drop or SYE/CV drive shaft. That combination with arched fenders should allow you to run those 35's. I have had MTR's and I'm currently running KM2's and really like them. I don't have much experience with AT's though. Let me know what questions you have or if you'd like a quote on a lift or Wheel/Tire Kit! -Ryan
I would like a quote on the lift and I would like a set of wheels and tires but I noticed that the tires on your website seem to be a little steep. How much would it be for the zone 4.25 lift for a 2001 Jeep wrangler Sport and a set of Rugged Ridge D widow 15x10 and bfgoodrich 35x12.5x15 AT's? The lifts on your website are very well priced but the tires I noticed are pretty highly priced.

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