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Old 10-05-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
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2011 Rubicon looking for lifts and need some advice.

What I've got:
I have a 4 door, manual transmission, 2011 Rubicon. I've recently installed a smittybily SRC JK Front Bumper and smittybilt XRC10 winch.




What I want for now:
3" lift

What I want later:
35" tires after my stock BF's are worn out. (unless I can find someone to buy them now for a decent price :wink

What I want to do with my Jeep:
  • Drive it on the road! :eek2: This is my daily driver so at minimum stock 'comfort' is required. (per the wife)
  • Rausch Creek in PA within the next month or so.
  • I want to eventually go for a rubicon trail trip though not anytime soon. I have a baby on the way so it will be a few years.
  • I bought this car as a daily driver and potential BOV (Bug Out Vehicle). I want to do be able to get out of dodge and get to where I need to go without having to worry about roads. :thumbsup:



Lift Kits I'm interested in:
  • OME JK Lift Kit: $639.95
    • Cheapest of the bunch I'm interested in. Saw the writeup here on Project-JK.
    • My main question is why is this kit suggested if you "have no plans of ever going taller in the future"? This isn't a deal breaker for me but more of a concern. Right now my future plans are 3" with 35" tires, but who knows in a few years.
    • Can anyone who owns this kit chime in with your opinions?
  • TeraFlex JK Wrangler 3in Lift Kit w/Shocks : $973.99
    • What draws me to this kit is it's support from Teraflex. They are all over these forums with great customer service and seem to be very responsive.
    • Does anyone else have this kit? Is there a Teraflex kit that would be better suited for my goals?
  • 3.0" Premium Plus “No Maintenance” Lift: $1199.95
    • I like the 'no-maintenance' marketing but my understanding is that this is just rubber vs. poly bushings, correct?
  • TeraFlex JK 3in Suspension System w/Full FlexArm System & Shocks: $2174.99
    • Everything at once. My idea here is that doing it all now, will save me pain and trouble later. I found this is generally true with everything else in life. Perhaps suspension upgrades as well?



My concerns:
  1. Problems with other parts of the vehicle as a result of the lift installation
  2. Problems with warranty work and general service at the stealership
  3. Death Wobble!
  4. Daily Drivability. Loss of power, agility, MPG, etc.


I don't have a problem saving up and spending the money to do this right the first time if it will prevent me from constantly servicing my rig to upgrade parts on a cheaper kit. I also prefer to do it right the first time and avoid any of my above listed concerns.

If anyone can offer their advice to alleviate my concerns by providing suggestions for the proper kit OR just tell me it's not worth the trouble, it would be much appreciated. I'm all ears! (or eyes, in this case)


Thanks!

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Old 10-05-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
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You have a good plan. You need to factor in re-gearing. You will lose MPG and power going to 35's. If you have the 3.21 you'll be hating life. If you have the optional 3.73 you can get by for a little while.

You should have no problem selling those tires and wheels in the $600 to $800 range.

I would go with option 2 as a bare minimum, but I think the way you do and would opt for #4. Your suspension is important. If you are going to change it, do it right.

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Old 10-05-2010, 02:37 PM   #3
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You have a good plan. You need to factor in re-gearing. You will lose MPG and power going to 35's. If you have the 3.21 you'll be hating life. If you have the optional 3.73 you can get by for a little while.

You should have no problem selling those tires and wheels in the $600 to $800 range.

I would go with option 2 as a bare minimum, but I think the way you do and would opt for #4. Your suspension is important. If you are going to change it, do it right.
This may be a stupid question but here goes; How do I know what gears I have in my jeep? (2011 4dr Rubicon).

I agree with you about doing it right. I've looked at another option from Teraflex that comes with rear upper and front lower control arms.
3" Suspension System with Full Flex Arms by Teraflex for about $1600. though I have to admit that I'm not very familiar with control arms and how they work, why we need them, how to adjust them, etc. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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This may be a stupid question but here goes; How do I know what gears I have in my jeep? (2011 4dr Rubicon).
Rubicons come stock with 4.10's
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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Rubicons come stock with 4.10's
Thanks. I've read that the stock rubicon gears with a 6 speed is not bad with 35" tires. True or false?

nvm. just found this thread:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/g...speed-1075016/

Looks like my stock rubi with the 6 speed should be just fine with 35s without having to regear.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:02 PM   #6
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Rubicons come stock with 4.10's

I totally overlooked the sticker on the hood.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:03 PM   #7
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Thanks. I've read that the stock rubicon gears with a 6 speed is not bad with 35" tires. True or false?

nvm. just found this thread:
Gears and Tire size with Auto and 6 Speed - JeepForum.com

Looks like my stock rubi with the 6 speed should be just fine with 35s without having to regear.
Since you have the MT you should be good, YMMV.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:08 PM   #8
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even though I can not really give you input about what you are trying to do with your rubicon(I am a noob with Vehicles in general).

Nice Jeep!! and that is the most detailed and easiest to follow outline of what you are going to do I have seen so far on this forum. Props to you
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:17 PM   #9
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Ok. STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM FULL TRACTION! Their bushings are absolute garbage, their tech support is horrendous, and the only thing they have going is they're (relatively cheap). Run a web search on Full Traction, JK, and you'll get the picture. For every positive story, there are 4-5 negative ones- NOT GOOD!

Teraflex is ok, but since you mentioned RC, I'm guessing you're here in the Northeast. I can tell you from personal experience that Teraflex's bushings do NOT last vs. salt/sand on the roads. Their grease fittings also are VERY good at snapping off in the cold. Ask me how I know this Their customer support and quality are good, but the aforementioned issues turned me over to...:

Rock Krawler! No grease fittings (they use 3-in-1 oil and TIGHT metal bushings instead of grease/grease fittings at the axle end, and high-quality rubber at the frame end- had them on for over a year, and minus some surface rust where I wanged the arms on rocks, they're good-as-new!), no major headaches, and they're great guys. If you're not too far (I'm between Albany and NYC), I'd be totally cool with taking you for a ride. PM me and I'll tell you more naughty details (like cash-and-carry discounts- ooh! ) Great company, and they won't see you stuff you don't need, which really earns them a gold star in my book (I'm a pro at spending too much! ) Mark W.

Edit:
By the way, if you plan on hitting anything beyond blues (blacks) at RC, you'll really want to re-gear to 4.56's at least, or 4.88's. Still 100% streetable (I run 4.88's and 35" KM2's, and get 17.3 MPG highway average, ~15.6 around town), and much better pick-up with the bigger tires. What 35's were you thinking of running? Mark W.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
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You would be good with any of the Teraflex kits, The OME kits are good also.
Rock Krawler, and BDS also have great stuff and lifetime warranties.


The kit that I like is from Rock Krawler...the 2.5 Max Travel Pro Mid Arm System (Aluminum).

Rock Krawler Suspension, Inc.

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Old 10-05-2010, 08:03 PM   #11
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Old man emu is by far the best out of all the kits you listed, they have been lifting land rovers and jeeps for over a decade
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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I really dig the Rock Krawler kits but my only problem is the welding for the rear relocation bracket. I don't have access to a welder and don't know the first thing about it myself. Anyone know a decent place to get that portion done in the Maryland area? Otherwise I'll likely go with a terflex kit.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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Ok. STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM FULL TRACTION! Their bushings are absolute garbage, their tech support is horrendous, and the only thing they have going is they're (relatively cheap). Run a web search on Full Traction, JK, and you'll get the picture. For every positive story, there are 4-5 negative ones- NOT GOOD!

Teraflex is ok, but since you mentioned RC, I'm guessing you're here in the Northeast. I can tell you from personal experience that Teraflex's bushings do NOT last vs. salt/sand on the roads. Their grease fittings also are VERY good at snapping off in the cold. Ask me how I know this Their customer support and quality are good, but the aforementioned issues turned me over to...:

Rock Krawler! No grease fittings (they use 3-in-1 oil and TIGHT metal bushings instead of grease/grease fittings at the axle end, and high-quality rubber at the frame end- had them on for over a year, and minus some surface rust where I wanged the arms on rocks, they're good-as-new!), no major headaches, and they're great guys. If you're not too far (I'm between Albany and NYC), I'd be totally cool with taking you for a ride. PM me and I'll tell you more naughty details (like cash-and-carry discounts- ooh! ) Great company, and they won't see you stuff you don't need, which really earns them a gold star in my book (I'm a pro at spending too much! ) Mark W.

Edit:
By the way, if you plan on hitting anything beyond blues (blacks) at RC, you'll really want to re-gear to 4.56's at least, or 4.88's. Still 100% streetable (I run 4.88's and 35" KM2's, and get 17.3 MPG highway average, ~15.6 around town), and much better pick-up with the bigger tires. What 35's were you thinking of running? Mark W.
I'm in the Maryland area so I think a test ride might be out of the question. Thanks for the offer though!

I Don't have any ideas for the tires yet. i'm still working on my lift research. Should one beget the other? For example, should my choice of tire influence a particular brand or type of lift system?

Again, I really like the Rock Krawler stuff and that lifetime warranty is super bonus, but the welding portion of the install is the only drawback.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:23 AM   #14
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I'm running a BDS 3" lift with 315/70/16 Mickey Thompson Baja tires and 4.88 gears.

The BDS lift has a lifetime warranty on I believe everything but the shocks.

I would also strongly recommend 4.88 gears or you might feel like you're driving a minivan pulling a camper.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:39 AM   #15
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I'm running a BDS 3" lift with 315/70/16 Mickey Thompson Baja tires and 4.88 gears.

The BDS lift has a lifetime warranty on I believe everything but the shocks.

I would also strongly recommend 4.88 gears or you might feel like you're driving a minivan pulling a camper.
nice looking jeep. That's almost exactly what I'm going for. The whole re-gearing portion scares me though. If that's the route I need to take if I decide to go with bigger tires, it might be enough to deter me from upgrading at all.

I can't do the labor on the gears myself. i know that for sure. I'm a computer programmer that is mechanically inclined enough to just get myself into trouble. I'm sure I'd destroy a set of gears and that's a risk I can't take on my daily driver.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:46 AM   #16
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I am a Rock Krawler dealer and all of the "Mid Arm Systems" are bolt on until you go to the "Plus" systems. No welding required (unless you want the adjustable poly bump stops).

You can get the 2.5" Max Travel in Aluminum or Steel. As far as the ride quality goes, a long arm kit will provide the best street ride. If you want to go with the 35" tires, do the 4.88s. With the 3.8L you will need the gearing to retain your existing power. I would even go to 5.13s with the 35s (possibility of 37s later ). When you read that 4.10s are ok, they are just that, okay/livable! Definitely where you don't want to be if the pocket can handle the extra $$$. Since you have a manual, it's more forgiving.

Allen
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:53 AM   #17
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Gears are definitely something you want done right. The parts aren't too expensive You'll need a ring a pinion for the front and back (the rubicon has a stock Dana 44 in the front and back), new carriers and bearings. The cost of labor is going to depend on where you go. Expect $600-1200.

I think the 4.10s will get you by for a while anyways. I had 3.21s on mine so an upgrade was required. I would get the lift and tires and see for yourself how it drives to determine if you want more low end or not. Good luck with your decision!

Btw my jeep is my daily driver and I try to get on the trails once a month if I'm lucky
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:04 PM   #18
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On the left coast, gears will run you $600+ depending on manufacture and labor is $300/axle unless you are installing an ARB or other locker needing drilling and tapping.

Allen

Have fun with it and built it wisely.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:46 PM   #19
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I am a Rock Krawler dealer and all of the "Mid Arm Systems" are bolt on until you go to the "Plus" systems. No welding required (unless you want the adjustable poly bump stops).

You can get the 2.5" Max Travel in Aluminum or Steel. As far as the ride quality goes, a long arm kit will provide the best street ride. If you want to go with the 35" tires, do the 4.88s. With the 3.8L you will need the gearing to retain your existing power. I would even go to 5.13s with the 35s (possibility of 37s later ). When you read that 4.10s are ok, they are just that, okay/livable! Definitely where you don't want to be if the pocket can handle the extra $$$. Since you have a manual, it's more forgiving.

Allen
If I went with the Rock Krawler system I would probably go with the JK 2.5 MAX TRAVEL SYSTEM.

This comes with the rear track bar relocation bracket. All the install writeups that I have seen weld this bracket. such as this writeup here:
RK 2.5 Max Travel Pro Mid Arm Kit - JkOwners.com - The Community for Jeep JK 4x4 Owners

here is another quote from a Rock Krawler rep on the 3.5 kit:
JkOwners.com - The Community for Jeep JK 4x4 Owners - View Single Post - Rock Krawler 3.5 midarm
Quote:
The only recommended welding is of the rear track bar bracket where it attaches to the axle! This can be completed following the installation as long as it is done before serious off-roading occurs! This is to ensure there is no chance of the OEM rear track bar bracket tearing off the axle like has been done with alot of other systems.
Can you confirm this isn't necessary or maybe even send a link to the installation instructions for this kit? Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:04 PM   #20
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It is highly recommended and can be done after the install. I would not skip this part. You can get any local shop to weld that up for the minimum charge. I definitely wouldn't let that stop you from doing a lift.

Let me dig out the Word doc, upload it to my server, and post a link. It's a good size file (9+ MB).

Allen

Link>>> JK Mid Arm System Directions
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:25 PM   #21
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Check out page 8 on the doc.

Allen
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:13 PM   #22
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Check out page 8 on the doc.

Allen
awesome! Thanks Allen!
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:22 PM   #23
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awesome! Thanks Allen!
Welcome. Let me know if I can help further.

Allen
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:37 PM   #24
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Any shop should be able to weld that bracket for $10-20. It's a simple job- before you take it to be welded, take a grinder and grind around the edges where it'll be welded to remove the powdercoat. There's one bolt that gets removed when you weld it, as that's only for bolted-in applications. Don't let one LITTLE thing like a 5-minute weld job hold you back from a SICK kit! Also, go with the Bilstein 5100's- don't go cheap on shocks, or you WILL regret it Mark W.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:31 AM   #25
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Any shop should be able to weld that bracket for $10-20. It's a simple job- before you take it to be welded, take a grinder and grind around the edges where it'll be welded to remove the powdercoat. There's one bolt that gets removed when you weld it, as that's only for bolted-in applications. Don't let one LITTLE thing like a 5-minute weld job hold you back from a SICK kit! Also, go with the Bilstein 5100's- don't go cheap on shocks, or you WILL regret it Mark W.
I think you're right. I'm going to go with the 2.5 Max Travel System from Rock Krawler: Rock Krawler Catalog along with the Bilstein 5100 shocks.

Anyone have suggestions on where to buy it from? I've been looking at Jeep Parts, Jeep Accessories, & Jeep Tops (4 wheel Drive Hardware) and their prices seem to be msrp. Any vendors around here that give discounts for forum members?
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:05 PM   #26
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Well, MD is MAYBE a 5-6 hour drive to where they are. The discount may well pay for the trip, AND you might talk Jeremy into welding the rear track bar bracket in for you, if you're nice (or at least he'll show you what to have your shop do)- Mark W.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #27
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Well, MD is MAYBE a 5-6 hour drive to where they are. The discount may well pay for the trip, AND you might talk Jeremy into welding the rear track bar bracket in for you, if you're nice (or at least he'll show you what to have your shop do)- Mark W.
Wait, what shop are we talking about?
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #28
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Rock Krawler. They're up here by Albany, NY- Mark W.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:13 PM   #29
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think I could get some input on my wheel and tire choice?
i'm looking at Unique 297 15X8 5-5 -12B rims and BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2 (35X12.50R15C2 113Q W) tires.

Thoughts?

Would these rims work in regard to backspacing? I figured I'd just go with new steel 15" rims instead of wheel spacers.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:17 PM   #30
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Wheel linky no worky!

I'm running those same tires on 15X8 (4" BS) Cragar Soft 8's. Took a bit of grinding on the front calipers, but no major surgery. Love the look Mark W.

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