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Old 04-20-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
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2.5" Lift Woes

Yeah, my fault for rushing to Moab right after the lift but here is what happened after I had my Rock Krawler 2.5 X Factor installed on my 2012 2-door.

Overall, it was a much stiffer/firmer ride but the rear felt really off. It clunked on hits/fast bumps and just did not feel like it was absorbing much. I found the trackbar bolt hitting the side of the bumpstop bracket. Took care of that, but it still felt totally off, like it was not absorbing hard hits at all, and bucked too. So I dropped nitrogen pressure in the RRD shocks to 75 psi. Fronts still feel decent but the back- no improvement. MUCH worse off-road, to the point where I just gave up.

Also noticed my AEV rear bumper was being hit by the tire on bumps and dips. So I figured should move the axle forward since it was moved back by at least in inch. Took it to a local shop that works on Jeeps. He said there was no adjustability left so he could not. Plus, he said the rear control arms looked long- like for a 4" lift, and the shocks looked like they has very little shock-shaft showing- like they were for a taller lift. Plus, the springs were angled back too much and that the rear feel just sucked.

So here I am in Moab, unable to really go offroad, and very frustrated. It is way worse that stock obviously. I shoudl not have done this right before my trip. Is there a chance that they (RK) could have sent me control arms and shocks from a taller lift? That seems unlikely, but anything is possible, I guess. An installer here put it all on. He is experienced with RK.

Anyway, I am probably too frustrated to remember all the details but I think I will at least go check out a few things that do not require much heavy-duty offroading. I'll check my messages and if wifi works here tonight (it is iffy) I'll reply.

Any advice or tips would be appreciated.

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Old 04-20-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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Pm or call Jason at krawl off road. You'll have to look at the part numbers you have cause I believe there are 2 different size control arms you can get with the rk lifts. But he should be able to help

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Old 04-20-2013, 04:55 PM   #3
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Get out the tape measure and check. According to RK instructions, the starting point (from bolt to bolt) for the rear upper is 19.0" and rear lower is 20 15/16" for a 2 door with 2.5" lift.

http://objects.dreamhost.com/rockkra...STRUCTIONS.pdf
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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The shocks are maxed to give you the most flex. Not uncommon for a LCG/smaller lift.
There's not much you can do as far as the pinion angle and rear arms.
Correcting pinion angle bows the coils some. The best fix for this is to cut/reposition and weld in new coil buckets. JKS makes bolt on now that I think about it. The arms are longer to stretch the wheel base. Overkill if not running 37"-40" tires IMO. This is one reason I sold the uppers. I wanted them for pinion angle but realized I needed the longer lowers to do the stretch.
I would not try and suck them in too much.

Really curious what they say about the harshness in the rear. I remember installing the RK coils without the shocks the rear was very bouncy. I don't remember what the TF coils felt like.
With the Fox shocks the ass end is pretty harsh. I wonder If the change in shock angle affects anything, if using something like the synergy relocation brackets will position the shock so it functions better ? could just be reaching here but I know what you mean. RK has reasons for a linear coil in the back and could be the difference maker.

Hope all works out.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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I'll check tomorrow (length of control arms) or just do it when I get back to Denver. It's pretty much impossible to take the Jeep on rough trails, so something has to give. Maybe it is the extreme angle of the springs...not sure. The AEV bumpers are a bit fat but the axle is far back enough to make the 35s hit the bumper (the tube part of the bumper). I don't know enough about all this, so it's probably a bit more frustrating. Given the way the suspension is acting, the Jeep is less capable and feels a lot harsher on trails on 35s that it did stock (and with 32s). One way or another, the axle has to move forward slightly.

I do see shock buckets that were probably welded on. I also think the axle is too far back based on the fact that the trackbar bolt was hitting that RK bracket that the bumpstops touch. It was gouging the rear top of the bracket and taking metal off (and making a racket).

Thanks for the info. I'll check the measurements/part #s and call Rock Krawler and the installer on Mon. I have a hell of a squeak too but that is the least of my worries. My poor girlfriend sat around in 4x4 shops for hours, walked in the rain, and got to see all the knick-knack stores in Moab. I think this is her last Moab trip anyway.

The nice thing was I met another forum member and his wife here. That was really cool, and our highlight. Oh, we also saw a rat on a cat on a dog. We also fed carrots to a camel, llama, a bull, an ostrich, and some donkeys. Next time will hopefully be a little different.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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Oh, my (extended) breather hose keeps falling down and touching the muffler. I forgot to mention that. It isn't suspension related but something I need to fix, once I figure out where it was attached and how. I may as well vent about all my issues, while I'm at it
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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It sounds like it is time to man up and take it to a shop. You could have some things really really screwed up. You could be doing some serious damage to your Jeep and putting you in an even deeper hole.

Take it in and ask what the hell is wrong. Have them measure everything for you etc. and ensure a proper install.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:16 PM   #8
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Everything is closed here. Heading back to Denver tomorrow and will do it there. Good point.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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Oh, the right front tire seems to be rubbing on the control arm when getting closer to right full lock. Installer said that was pretty normal.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Oh, the right front tire seems to be rubbing on the control arm when getting closer to right full lock. Installer said that was pretty normal.
That could be due to the backspacing of your wheels
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #11
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That could be due to the backspacing of your wheels
That can be fixed by adjusting your steering stops, but it seems like you got bigger fish to fry.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:35 AM   #12
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Oh, the right front tire seems to be rubbing on the control arm when getting closer to right full lock. Installer said that was pretty normal.
Do you have an adjustable front trackbar ? Sound like front diff is not centered if only the right tire rubs.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #13
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He has everything

Now if it was installed correctly. It's easy you check for axle center in the front. Grab the tape measure on the spring perch and measure to a common point on each tire.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:45 PM   #14
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I know you just got back but were you able to get anything figured out? Are the control arms the right ones?

It was good to meet you guys and spend sometime together in Moab even if it wasn't wheeling. We definitely need to schedule a July trip to Ouray and spend sometime on the trails.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:02 PM   #15
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I JUST dropped the Jeep off to the shop. He thinks it may be the shocks but he will need to either adjust the control arms or get new ones...was not sure yet. I'll check with him tomorrow. Even my left rear swaybar link is getting bent.

Great meeting your wife and you. Glad we managed to spend some time together as well, and thanks so much for helping.

Ouray-Telluride is a must-do. We should plan that one out well. I was in heaven there. I will send you a few pictures from there too...PM me your email address.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #16
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Interested to hear how things turn out.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:43 PM   #17
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Hopefully it will be an easy fix and the shop will stand behind their work.

We are thinking the week/weekend of July 26-28th for Ouray. Have you made any plans yet?
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:56 PM   #18
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Oh, I can hardly wait. RK may even have to re-valve the shocks given how firm they are, but we will see. Hit an expansion joint, and the rear was usual airborne for a second. I aired down to 26-27 and it was still bad on joints and bumps at speed. I'll let the shop and RK make it right. It was so rough that I actually stopped at home and switch to my 4Runner (which has a pretty firm suspension- FJ TRD stuff) before going to pick up the dog. It felt like an old caddy after a few hundred miles in that Jeep.

Kssting: No plans made yet for Ouray. Will check my work calendar, but I was thinking early-mid July based on potential travel in late July. I will work on moving things around so we can focus on that later week. This advance notice helps.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:47 PM   #19
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Update:

Will have to send the shocks back and get them revalved a bit softer. They may be the primary issue. They cause the Jeep to skip on on bumpy curves. RK will do this pretty quickly, though I may be out my Jeep for a week or two, unless the stock Rubi shocks work okay. Don't want to damage anything.

The rear left swaybar link is hitting a bracket to will have to relocate it just slightly. The other option is to bend the link, which does not sound good. Then again, maybe it is the better option..not sure.

Will not relocate the axle forward for now. Will add a 3/4 inch spacer in the rear to prevent the tire from hitting that fat AEV bumper.

Trackbar bolt head was already shaved and reversed so no issues there.

Address a squeak/creak, a rattle, and center the trackbar.

After all this, things should be pretty normal, and I should be able to really evaluate this lift kit and take advantage of it. Too bad I cannot take back my vacation days from Oracle's HR system, and go to Moab again.

Fingers crossed....will update when it is back together.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #20
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Geeezus.. Glad I went with rubicon express. Good luck
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #21
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At this point, I kinda feel like I am a test monkey for the valving of these shocks and wish I had gone with other shocks. I hope they get it right. They may have changed something on these shocks recently that made it a lot former or has more more friction due to new seals..not totally sure. I do suspect the valving is off.

I don't have any other shocks that will fit safely and they have no temporary replacement program. Anyway, my opinion may change significantly if the new valving works well. That may just be the problem now.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #22
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The 2 door gets shanked with this lift IMO.
Seems like its build/designed for a heavier 4 door.
Now I could be wrong here. I am sometimes lol
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #23
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kjeeper: you may be right. They should also be using different springs for the 2-door. I don't know if they are or not...maybe they are. I will withhold overall judgement till I get my shocks re-valved and on the Jeep. Maybe it will turn out to be amazing!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:32 PM   #24
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kjeeper: you may be right. They should also be using different springs for the 2-door. I don't know if they are or not...maybe they are. I will withhold overall judgement till I get my shocks re-valved and on the Jeep. Maybe it will turn out to be amazing!
They don't.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:15 PM   #25
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Does anyone make different springs for 2-doors and 4-doors? Oh, here is a picture.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:54 AM   #26
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You mentioned there was little shaft showing on the shocks. You need to confirm how much uptravel you have. If you have a lot of excessive bumpstop (which is common with running stock fenders & lifts designed for low height and big tires) you're probably bouncing off the bumpstops and it has nothing to do with the shocks. RK is a reputable company. The complaints of their shocks being ridiculously over valved, I've heard over the years, zero. I'm placing money on other than the shocks. The stock shocks can bolt back on, and other than being shorter on droop, you can get a feel if the symptoms go away with different shocks.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:59 AM   #27
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Good point. Had 2" bumpstops on there. I have the revalved shocks back from RK, and control arms have been shortened a bit. Will be picking up the Jeep today. Of course I have been communicating with RK, directly and through my installer...since Day 1. RK has been working with the installer to get this sorted out. Jeremy has been very good at communicating and being directly involved. I am extremely appreciative that was was so involved. Very hopeful now....
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:11 AM   #28
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While youre slapping on the shocks, I'd suggest double checking how much uptravel you have from ride height.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:04 AM   #29
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If I were to switch coils it would be aev/MC or even synergy.

When I found my Fox shocks I did some looking around. I was afraid of the ride. From what I gather the TF tuned fox shock. BDS as well are perfectly valved for a JK. Big difference over the standard 2.0

I don't know how RK valved their shocks.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:55 AM   #30
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Look at the Pic HK just Posted above.

Look at the Shock in the Front Wheel Well. From here, it looks like it barely has an Inch of Up-Travel.

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