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Old 06-04-2014, 11:05 PM   #1
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Rubicon express 3.5.. no longer

I was dead set on ordering my lift this week. It was set to be the Rubicon express 3.5 inch standard coil lift for $579.. $479 after a $100 instant rebate. I was planning to add procomp es9000s and lower control arms until,..... This past Saturday I went to a jeep wash at a local twin peaks.

I met a man there that runs a local shop and is a retailer for a few different parts companies. He notified me that rubicon express will give me the height I want but is basically 'shit' in every other aspect. He recommended Metal Cloaks 3.5 inch ARB kit. Comes with shocks and upper front control arms. This kit is $1599..

Major price difference and I will have to push my expected lift date by a month or two. Is this worth it.. I've heard you get what you pay for and I don't want to end up replacing the RE kit down the road. What is your experience with the Metal Cloak kit?? What is comparable??

Ps. He also told me if I bought it through him he and his guys would install for free. With my help of course.

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Old 06-04-2014, 11:19 PM   #2
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I know a guy that has the MC 3.5 lift.. it is pretty awesome. And if the shop installs it for free that is over a $1000 value. The MC kit is at the top of my lift list, with Rock Krawler a close second.

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Old 06-04-2014, 11:22 PM   #3
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RE is by no means "shit" while they are not the creme de la creme in the jk world they are still an excellent lift. Dawhite who was a frequent member here ran the kit and was happy with it. I think he had the 2.5" however. Ive done a ton of research on companies, their components, and talked to their staff and my conclusion was that RE is an excellent brand. I was going to purchase their kit a while back. Im now tossing up their 3.5 superflex kit or tera's 3" with flexarms kit. The standard kit your are looking at is just very incomplete. Hence the price. Metalcloak is an excellent manufacturer. However so is RE. Another thing to consider is parts generally take a MUCH longer time with MC should anything happen. They are very small in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:40 PM   #4
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Well his main complaint with RE was their lack of articulation capability as well as on road ride quality, Being that they offer a single rate spring.

I was also told if I decide to order the MC kit it will take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks just for the kit to arrive.

The RE kit would be $479 after the instant rebate, before tax and roughly $200 for procomp es9000s. Also the cost of front lower control arms which I don't know the price of. Then I would have to add a $450 install price at 4wheelparts.

I'm thinking $1350 after everything for the RE kit..

$1600 for the MC kit after everything...

The more I think the more I believe I've found an answer.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:18 AM   #5
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Well sir, I ran the 3.5" Standard on my rig and loved it. Articulation is non existent???

Here is the missus with here 4.5" And a little bit of 'articulation'.







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Old 06-05-2014, 12:20 AM   #6
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And I could tool down the road at 70 with 1 finger on the wheel. Sheesh.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:28 AM   #7
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I wouldnt say they are "shit", but they are not top quality.

we had a guy install a $3500 RE longarm on his 06 LJ, drive it all the way from Fort Worth to Gilmer, Tx on the highway, and while driving on a dirt road his lower control arm split in two. the threaded portion that mates to the tube had a pretty weld around it, unfortunately said weld was not on the seam. He just drove 4 hours with about 1/8" of actual weld between the two pieces. easily could have killed someone.

then we have a guy running the same suspension on an 06 TJ on tons and he has never had a problem.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:38 AM   #8
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I run the 3.5 super flex and love it. Did have to replace .ca bushings but they replaced all bushings for free. And great customer service. I have no complaints.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:00 AM   #9
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Well sir, I ran the 3.5" Standard on my rig and loved it. Articulation is non existent??? Here is the missus with here 4.5" And a little bit of 'articulation'. Bob K.
Show em how its done bob! Lol thats some awesome flex man.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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Thanks Trevor. I hate to see RE take a beating when they've been good to me. I really like their lifts. I like the 3.5" standard so much I wheeled it on my 07 JKU for 4 years. Then transferred it to a '14 Anvil 2 Door. Netted about 4.5" of lift. Wheeled that one for about 4 months. I like their stuff so much I installed a complete system on the missus' rig.
To be honest they do have a few QC problems. Bushings took a big hit a few years ago.
But I still stand by their stuff.

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Old 06-05-2014, 10:07 AM   #11
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Yeah, I agree... while RE isnt the big name, they dont try to be. They are the entry level lift kits that someone (like me) would get just to get some height while saving up more for a RK or MC lift that is more specialized. Ive gotta get new tires, so going to just get 35's... which means a lift. And since the lift I want is $3k.... it will take some time to save up. Instead I spend $500 on a 2.5" lift from RE and get the height to get me by, being able to hit the trails still.

If you have the money for the nice big lifts... then get them. If you need something to start off with, get the RE.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:17 AM   #12
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Well after all is said and done the MC lift will come with more components and even the guys who love the RE kit have said it is a higher quality. And for a $250 price difference I think it is just a better decision.

I've heard so much good about the RE kit and I don't mean to put it down. In the end MC just seems to offer more without hitting the $3000 range.

Mainly I'm looking forward to the dual rate springs.. old man emu shocks and a set of upper control arms. Doesn't hurt that they throw in the front brake line replacements. I'd say the $250 is well worth it for someone who can't install the lift alone.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:18 AM   #13
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I have the RE 3.5 SuperFlex Short arm...basically the kit you looked at with all 8 arms.

The RE shocks are Bilstein 5100's with the RE name on them. The coils matched with the Bilstein shocks rides really well.

As for articulation....there is plenty. The key is keeping your tires in contact with the ground for traction. Your shocks are your limiting factor so people with 2 different lifts could have the same articulation due to the shock length.


I am always suspicious of people who want to talk me out of something and start using the words free in their pitch.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:20 PM   #14
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Get some experience under your belt with different components, manufacturers and designs and you'll know where to place RE on the suspension hierarchy.

They're not high on that list and the sole reason is for the low quality control arm and track bar components.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:36 PM   #15
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Get some experience under your belt with different components, manufacturers and designs and you'll know where to place RE on the suspension hierarchy.

They're not high on that list and the sole reason is for the low quality control arm and track bar components.
I'm trying to avoid that and learn from others experience. The last thing I want is to drop over $1000 on a suspension just to replace it down the road. And from what I've heard from a majority, not all obviously, is that you will want to replace RE.

To me the term "entry level lift" is just crap. That's another way of saying affordable. Just because someone is new to the wrangler or lifting doesn't mean they need to settle with less than high quality.

It may be expensive but I want something worth having. And by no means do u have money to blow it just means more time without with out a lift and more saving so I do not have to spend more in the long run replacing parts that do not last or are not going to allow me to do what I want.

Better over prepared then under. Especially when I'm dealing with a vehicle that is worth what it is.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:05 PM   #16
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Aaah there you are. Good to hear from you again.

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Old 06-05-2014, 01:09 PM   #17
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I'm trying to avoid that and learn from others experience. The last thing I want is to drop over $1000 on a suspension just to replace it down the road. And from what I've heard from a majority, not all obviously, is that you will want to replace RE.

To me the term "entry level lift" is just crap. That's another way of saying affordable. Just because someone is new to the wrangler or lifting doesn't mean they need to settle with less than high quality.

It may be expensive but I want something worth having. And by no means do u have money to blow it just means more time without with out a lift and more saving so I do not have to spend more in the long run replacing parts that do not last or are not going to allow me to do what I want.

Better over prepared then under. Especially when I'm dealing with a vehicle that is worth what it is.
And you suggest just blowing $10k right off the bat rather than getting something and piecing parts together over time? Affordable or Entry Level... really its the same thing. Perhaps you are made of money but not everyone else is... and would like to enjoy the trails just as much as any one else, even in a less than ideal lift. Lift kits arent elitist items. They are functional equipment.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:13 PM   #18
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Get some experience under your belt with different components, manufacturers and designs and you'll know where to place RE on the suspension hierarchy.

They're not high on that list and the sole reason is for the low quality control arm and track bar components.
Really? I bent my $600'currie tie rod before i broke any RE components.
I have banged the front lower CA and they have not failed me....Where another guy bent his Metal Cloak arms on the same obstacle....weird
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:14 PM   #19
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And you suggest just blowing $10k right off the bat rather than getting something and piecing parts together over time? Affordable or Entry Level... really its the same thing. Perhaps you are made of money but not everyone else is... and would like to enjoy the trails just as much as any one else, even in a less than ideal lift. Lift kits arent elitist items. They are functional equipment.
By no means am I made of money. I'm referring to the $1300 for a RE express lift. And a $1600 metal cloak lift. And I'm saying why not save a little longer for the $300 difference to have a better quality product. Why spend $1300 dollars just to replace it later when you can do it right the first time. Entry level is a good BB. If your going coil do it right. I'm not bashing anyone. So calm down big guy.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:25 PM   #20
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Yes.... I do agree on that. When it comes to the upper price points, some people do choose to go with RE but its a personal choice at that point. I have heard more mixed reviews on RE than I have with other brands which as I said is why I stay at the entry point with them. Even spending just a couple hundred bucks more right now wasnt in the cards... but next year however I will be spending a lot more than that. For now... the cheap entry 2.5" RE kit is perfect for me and getting my 35's on.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:27 PM   #21
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Really? I bent my $600'currie tie rod before i broke any RE components.
I have banged the front lower CA and they have not failed me....Where another guy bent his Metal Cloak arms on the same obstacle....weird
I'm not talking about the links themselves. I'm referring to the components used in the joints and bushings. If this is news to you, the quality/longevity issues have been documented for years.

As for your Currie tie rod, it's designed to bend in order to save the components downstream, such as the TRE's and knuckles. Straightening that tie rod is a piece of cake and it will continue to do its job very well. The same 'issue' arises often with the Currie TJ steering and the same concept applies there, as well. I run a heat treated 4340 tie rod that uses Currie TRE's. Here's what happens when the tie rod doesn't bend (permanently) but instead transfers those loads to the TRE's:



Look closely at the studs and you'll see that they're bent. In that condition, they will no longer allow a zero-clearance connection and are all but ruined. Straightening a tie rod is free or close to it. Currie TRE's, while very durable and of very high quality, are wear items and are quite pricey. Look a little deeper before you blame a part for doing the job it was designed to do.

I'd venture to say that I have more experience with suspension than 99.9% of the people on this forum. I've replaced a ton of RE parts and have spent a lot of time with their joints and bushings. They're slightly better than junk and this isn't news.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:58 PM   #22
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RE use to be Chinese owned, since 4 Wheel Parts bought them the quality hard improved dramatically.

Some people seen to think of it costs more it must be better....not always true.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:02 PM   #23
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I'm not talking about the links themselves. I'm referring to the components used in the joints and bushings. If this is news to you, the quality/longevity issues have been documented for years.

As for your Currie tie rod, it's designed to bend in order to save the components downstream, such as the TRE's and knuckles. Straightening that tie rod is a piece of cake and it will continue to do its job very well. The same 'issue' arises often with the Currie TJ steering and the same concept applies there, as well. I run a heat treated 4340 tie rod that uses Currie TRE's. Here's what happens when the tie rod doesn't bend (permanently) but instead transfers those loads to the TRE's:

Look closely at the studs and you'll see that they're bent. In that condition, they will no longer allow a zero-clearance connection and are all but ruined. Straightening a tie rod is free or close to it. Currie TRE's, while very durable and of very high quality, are wear items and are quite pricey. Look a little deeper before you blame a part for doing the job it was designed to do.

I'd venture to say that I have more experience with suspension than 99.9% of the people on this forum. I've replaced a ton of RE parts and have spent a lot of time with their joints and bushings. They're slightly better than junk and this isn't news.
Your EGO is big....I'll give you that. My point is everything can break...I know guys running Re short and long arm lifts for years with no issues.

Just search this forum....Guys complain about all brands....
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:47 PM   #24
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Your EGO is big....I'll give you that. My point is everything can break...I know guys running Re short and long arm lifts for years with no issues. Just search this forum....Guys complain about all brands....
You're not going to win here
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:17 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by gorillahydrographics View Post

Your EGO is big....I'll give you that. My point is everything can break...I know guys running Re short and long arm lifts for years with no issues.

Just search this forum....Guys complain about all brands....
May want to check his build thread, he knows how to build a Jeep.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:55 PM   #26
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Awww c'mon guys. It is good spirited discussion and hopefully will remain as such. We can all say good and bad about lifts. I have been under about a dozen JKs in the last few years. Folks buy what they buy. And I have seen quite a few. The latest being a box of parts bought off of a friend. There are enough manufacturers out there to make everybody happy. I would not discredit Imped or GHD. Their opinions matter greatly and they weigh in often. And I appreciate that. I have 35 years wrenchin' as a hobby. And have been a wheeler for about 30 or so. I buy what I buy for function over price point or scuttlebutt. And what do I have in the drive now???

4" Rough Country
4.5" Rubicon Express
3" Old Man Emu


Each serves a purpose. Some may get replaced if they do not serve the purpose it was put in place to support. Am I a solid on any? No. I like them all, they server their purpose. Each rig has a different function for each driver.

That said. I enjoy the discussions going forward when someone starts another thread about a 'lift' they are planning.

I have been on the soap box long enough. Back to your regularly scheduled banter.


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Old 06-05-2014, 03:58 PM   #27
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Awww c'mon guys. It is good spirited discussion and hopefully will remain as such. We can all say good and bad about lifts. I have been under about a dozen JKs in the last few years. Folks buy what they buy. And I have seen quite a few. The latest being a box of parts bought off of a friend. There are enough manufacturers out there to make everybody happy. I would not discredit Imped or GHD. Their opinions matter greatly and they weigh in often. And I appreciate that. I have 35 years wrenchin' as a hobby. And have been a wheeler for about 30 or so. I buy what I buy for function over price point or scuttlebutt. And what do I have in the drive now??? 4" Rough Country 4.5" Rubicon Express 3" Old Man Emu Each serves a purpose. Some may get replaced if they do not serve the purpose it was put in place to support. Am I a solid on any? No. I like them all, they server their purpose. Each rig has a different function for each driver. That said. I enjoy the discussions going forward when someone starts another thread about a 'lift' they are planning. I have been on the soap box long enough. Back to your regularly scheduled banter. Bob K.
Agree
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:40 PM   #28
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May want to check his build thread, he knows how to build a Jeep.
Ya apparently more than 99 percent of us....whatever.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:43 PM   #29
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All I can say is that I myself went with the RE 3.5" coil lift with mono's. As I am not a "seasoned" wheeler, I did some independent research and went with what I thought was better bang for my buck. According to what I found was that the coils used in the RE lifts are manufactured by the same company who makes coils for military HMMWVs...hence super strong with minimal sag. Additionally, the shocks are bilstein's wrapped in RE logos. This is a reputable brand that many keepers are using. I also like the ability to upgrade as I see fit. I have also noticed that many of the "hardcore" wheelers don't use one specific brand for ALL suspension components. It seems, at least to this novice, that each company has their niche and that some components are better from some companies than they are from others. Is there another lift out there that is "better" than the on I have? Perhaps but I have no regrets and love my lift, rig and ride...and at the end of the day...that's all that matters...at least to me anyway.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:48 PM   #30
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You're not going to win here
Unless there some beer or money at the end of this rainbow.....iam just telling you what I have seen, not trying to win a discussion that is like saying Ford is better than Chevy.

For the money, RE is a decent lift that for me has stood up against, metal cloak, teraflex, and others.

I always say buy what you can afford and how you plan to use it.

Right now RE did that Bill for me and until it breaks, I probably won't change it.

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