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Old 06-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
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$3000 to spend but what lift?

Im new to all this and would like to hear some of your opinions of how I can get the most for my money with making a good decision on a lift.


Quick Info to take in consideration:
2012 JKU
3.21 rear axel ratio
Dana 30 solid front axel
90% highway 10% Off road
Majority wheeling opposed to minor rock crawling
Definitely want to run 35ís (will not be running 33ís or 37ís)

I was looking into the AEV 3.5Ē Dual Sport SC lift for $1674. Iím looking for quality and performance so I'm willing to spend around 3k, give or take for a lift. Obviously the less I spend the better and the savings will go towards other parts. I will be installing myself so I donít want anything too complicated. Iím also a little worried about the other components such as replacing the ball joints, axel housing, etcÖ with stronger parts to handle the 35ís over a long period of life use. I was also planning on using the Pro Cal to regear to a 3.75 or 4.10. Any thoughts or opinions are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!



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Old 06-30-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Ive been doing research on this exact thing for months. Ive a bunch of mods, but the lift and wheel change has been something that I have agonized over as I feel like its "The" mod that makes your whole build.

Here's what Ive learned.

1. AEV is a rookie jeeper's choice. Take your time and really research this, Some guys in this forum are die hard Teraflex, others Rockkrawler, Metal cloak just made a crazy system. Why are these the big ones in this forum? because they are meat and potatos lifts. Bang for the Buck. AEV is a good company with excellent advertizing.

2. 3.5" inches may be too much for your purposes, Look at a 2.5, you can still run 35s, but with less wind resistance so you will get better MPG. 3.5 is for max articulation (rock krawling).

3. Gears- If your going to do a gear change, You want to really make sure that your getting the RIGHT gears. If you going to do it, you probably want to go bigger than 4.10, Probably 4.88 or 4.56. Look for a chart on crawl ratios, They are posted here, maybe wolf or daggo will chime in with one to explain the ratio you want for 35" tires.

4. 90% highway 10% offroad - With lifts today, they all will perform well on the road. That comes down to shock selection and spring ratio. Remember, we dont all take our jeeps offroad or rock crawling, but the whole reason we buy these trucks with poor gas mileage and poor cargo space, and poor rear seat leg room, is becasue we want the option to go offroad, or crawl rocks. You want the lift that gives you the best capability.

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Old 06-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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I would recommend a 2.5 inch lift from Metal Cloak, Rock Krawler, or Teraflex.

I have the 3.5 inch Metal cloak paired with Bilstien 5100's and its exceptional on and off road. Their arms use a Duroflex joint that has great vibration dampening properties which results in a beefy adjustable arm that feels as good as stock or better. The coils are dual rate which offer a great ride on road and flex well offroad.

I also ran the 2.5 Teraflex coil kit for many years but It does not compare in ride quality in my opinion to the Metal Cloak but it is a great kit for the price. Two things that I did not like with it was the rear track bar bracket was a frame side drop versus axle side bracket, the second is their use of linear spring. Most of the other companies are using a progressive type spring which offers a better ride on road. I also have heard people say that their joints wear quickly.

I have run Rock Krawler control arms and they are high quality and it if it wasn't for me wanting to stray away from the popular crowd I would of went with a Rock Krawler kit versus the Metal Cloak but I am very happy that I went with the Metal Cloak and I have zero regrets.

I don't have any personal experience with AEV so I will leave that one alone other than they seem pretty expensive for what you get in comparison to other companies.

Here are some usefull links:

JK Wrangler Unlimited 2.5" Dual-Rate Lift Kit
JK Wrangler Duroflex Control Arms

Rock Krawler Suspension, Inc. (2.5 Max travel)

JK 2.5 Inch Lift Kit | TeraFlex Suspensions (looks like they use a axle side bracket now)
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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I was doing the same as you, but had my eye on Full Traction 4.5. But that is going to mean I need 37s to fill the gap. 37s mean new gears. And if I've got the diffs open might as well add lockers. Damn jeeps get expensive quick. Good luck. And thanks for starting the thread.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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I've got the AEV 3.5" dualsport SC kit and love it on my 2012 JKUR. AEV doesn't get much love from most forums, since they aren't sponsors. Its designed by former Jeep engineers that understand how everything works on these things. The price tag shocks people at first glance, but add up all the options in the other kits to match AEV, and you'll find out they'll all cost you the same. The AEV 3.5" (and probably any 3.5") will require at minimum the AFE exhaust y-pipe and maybe a new front ds. Its also designed to be 3.5" after heavy aftermarket bumpers, so if you stick with stock bumpers, you'll get more than 3.5". The AEV 2.5" kit will fit 35s, and you don't have to worry about the exhaust. But that extra inch looks good, and the 3.5" kit is easily upgradable to 4.5", whereas the 2.5" kit is not. I went through the same nightmare of trying to pick one, ultimately if you pick any of these mentioned here, including AEV, you'll be good to go and happy from what I gathered. I got to meet a guy from AEV at a local show and ask a bunch of questions, and then found the kit locally for 10% off, so thats what sealed the deal for me.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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As far as exhaust relocation...any one have issues with the stock suspension, or with upgraded shocks? Looking at the pipe, I can understand why they routed it that way...but, damn, I wish they'd spent a little extra time on it, because there is plenty of space under there to place the exhaust in a better location. Hell, unless my exhaust and rear end got cozy, they even put a pre-made dented section in for clearance because they didn't choose a better location...oy!

I keep looking...not being the hard core type, all I really want is about 2-2.5 inches. I did not see it mentioned here, so I'll throw out that I was also looking at ARB/OME. OME generally makes pretty decent stuff, been at it a while. Anyway, worth a look if you want something basic (you can get just springs and shocks) that you can add to, build on with your own components (track bars, etc.).
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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I'm in nearly the same situation as the OP. 3.21 and the Dana 30 solid front.

For a 2.5" lift, would I have to upgrade the 3.21 gears or anything else?

I don't want too much work as this is my first Jeep and I've only had her about a month now, but I do want it lifted eventually.

Also, I am not the mechanic type at all, how easy are lifts to install myself? Or would I be better off having the dealer do it or something?
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HashtagAmerica
I'm in nearly the same situation as the OP. 3.21 and the Dana 30 solid front.

For a 2.5" lift, would I have to upgrade the 3.21 gears or anything else?

I don't want too much work as this is my first Jeep and I've only had her about a month now, but I do want it lifted eventually.

Also, I am not the mechanic type at all, how easy are lifts to install myself? Or would I be better off having the dealer do it or something?
Lift has nothing to do with gearing. What you choose for tires will.
Friend runs 33" duratracs on a 12 w/ 3.21's and it's doable.

Reach out locally and find a buddy to help with Install. The Jk Is pretty simple to work on. Stay with a simple 2.5 coil lift or even a budget boost. It's when you go higher and include control arms and deal with pinion angles things get a little more complicated.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:46 AM   #9
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Lift has nothing to do with gearing. What you choose for tires will.
Friend runs 33" duratracs on a 12 w/ 3.21's and it's doable.

Reach out locally and find a buddy to help with Install. The Jk Is pretty simple to work on. Stay with a simple 2.5 coil lift or even a budget boost. It's when you go higher and include control arms and deal with pinion angles things get a little more complicated.
Thanks a whole heap man.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:07 AM   #10
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Rk 2.5 max travel 1300 go for it. I have the 3.5" max travel on 37s for my 2012 rubi
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:14 AM   #11
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Thanks a whole heap man.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:10 PM   #12
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First off, thank you all for the feedback on this thread. It's been extremely helpful. I've been listening to what everyone has said and Iíve been doing a bunch of research on what it is I really want to spend my money on.

I've decided to go with the RK 3.5 Factor System w/ Bilstein 5100's


haven't pulled the trigger yet on the purchase but I will next week. Figure Iíd sit on it for a week and see if there is any decision deciding opinions out there.

Anyone try the RK Racing Remote Reservoir Shocks? They've got me thinking itís a possibility over the Bilstein 5100's


I'm still on the fence of whether I should run 35's or 37's. I thought for sure I didnít want to go above 35's but to get what I really want, it would be to run 37's. Just worried about the front Dana 30 holding up with running the 37's.

I'd figure down the road (a year or so) Iíd upgrade to the Dana 44. I only plan on putting about 10,000 miles per year on the jeep. It is a Daily Driver but it's like an avg of 15-25 miles per day.

Also, with going to a 3.5" lift, I know I will need muffler spacers but will I need to replace the front and rear driveshat because of the angle it will be on? Thanks in advance
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jeep4x4Life View Post
First off, thank you all for the feedback on this thread. It's been extremely helpful. I've been listening to what everyone has said and Iíve been doing a bunch of research on what it is I really want to spend my money on.

I've decided to go with the RK 3.5 Factor System w/ Bilstein 5100's


haven't pulled the trigger yet on the purchase but I will next week. Figure Iíd sit on it for a week and see if there is any decision deciding opinions out there.

Anyone try the RK Racing Remote Reservoir Shocks? They've got me thinking itís a possibility over the Bilstein 5100's


I'm still on the fence of whether I should run 35's or 37's. I thought for sure I didnít want to go above 35's but to get what I really want, it would be to run 37's. Just worried about the front Dana 30 holding up with running the 37's.

I'd figure down the road (a year or so) Iíd upgrade to the Dana 44. I only plan on putting about 10,000 miles per year on the jeep. It is a Daily Driver but it's like an avg of 15-25 miles per day.

Also, with going to a 3.5" lift, I know I will need muffler spacers but will I need to replace the front and rear driveshat because of the angle it will be on? Thanks in advance

Get with Jason at KOR. I got mine from him and you can't beat his price or service.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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I'm still on the fence of whether I should run 35's or 37's. I thought for sure I didn’t want to go above 35's but to get what I really want, it would be to run 37's. Just worried about the front Dana 30 holding up with running the 37's.
If you're even on the fence, DO NOT go with 35s. This is also my DD and I was less on the fence than you are in the debate of 37s and I ended up selling my 35's 6 months later for 37s.

How much and what type of off roading do you forecast? If it isn't anything harder than the videos in my signature, than you should be just fine. Stay away from re-gearing it and locking it and you'll be fine. Breaking the Ring and Pinion inside your dana30 comes down to how hard you press down on the skinny pedal when limbing over an obstacle. I see people breaking dana60's on the trail and I see people like myself running 37's on a dana30 without any issues.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:27 PM   #15
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Also, with going to a 3.5" lift, I know I will need muffler spacers but will I need to replace the front and rear driveshat because of the angle it will be on? Thanks in advance
Yes. Get the cheap exhaust spacer.

Drive shafts will not fail right away. Maybe you get a few months and maybe you will get 2 years out of them. Hit and Miss
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:29 PM   #16
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Great choice on the lift, you will more than happy with it. I don't have any experience with their shocks but there are a lot of people happily running them.

That 3.5 lift looks best with 37's. DO NOT worry about that D30 based on your 90% on road. DO sleeve and gusset it when you do the gears and slap some chromoly shafts in there when you can. I personally put 30k miles on a D30 running 35's sleeve and gusseted with stock shafts with no issues. It was wheeled hard around 2 times a month. Obviously everyone results may vary and some would disagree but you should definitely get many years of trouble free use with that D30.

BTW I was running 5.13's in my D30 but I do agree with not locking it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:58 PM   #17
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Stay away from re-gearing it and locking it and you'll be fine. Breaking the Ring and Pinion inside your dana30 comes down to how hard you press down on the skinny pedal when limbing over an obstacle. I see people breaking dana60's on the trail and I see people like myself running 37's on a dana30 without any issues.

I will def need to re-gear since my current axel ratio is 3:21. Since i was going to re-gear i thought i might as well install lockers.

I plan to wheel 2x a month but nothing too seroius (no rock crawling).
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:07 PM   #18
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I will def need to re-gear since my current axel ratio is 3:21. Since i was going to re-gear i thought i might as well install lockers.

I plan to wheel 2x a month but nothing too seroius (no rock crawling).
You don't have to regear. I know guys who've ran your gear ratio with 37s for years ttd.

I wouldn't recommend regearing and locking the front with a dana30. Its your Jeep.

It is recommended to install lockers and regear at the same time that way you avoid labor costs. Or atleast you save a.good portion on labor being in their already.

Having said all that, I run 37s with my dana 30 with 513s and ARB air lockers.

I just don't recommend it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:14 PM   #19
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Excellent choice. Can't go wrong with rock crawler. And no I don't run it. I have Tera flex
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #20
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I will def need to re-gear since my current axel ratio is 3:21. Since i was going to re-gear i thought i might as well install lockers.

I plan to wheel 2x a month but nothing too seroius (no rock crawling).
Yea i would recommend gearing with the 37's. You have 2012 so you don't have to go with 5.13's anyways. Is it an auto or manual?
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:34 PM   #21
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Yea i would recommend gearing with the 37's. You have 2012 so you don't have to go with 5.13's anyways. Is it an auto or manual?
It's an Auto. Ya think a 4.88 would suffice?
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:41 PM   #22
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It's an Auto. Ya think a 4.88 would suffice?
Have you checked out the gear chart for the 2012? I believe the sweet spot for autos is 4.56 so i wouldn't go above 4.88 with a DD.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:42 PM   #23
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You don't have to regear. I know guys who've ran your gear ratio with 37s for years ttd.
I will have to re-gear because it will drive me crazy otherwise. I wouldn't mind even installing a RIPP kit down the road. There's a high possiblity of that happening. Nice Videos btw
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:44 PM   #24
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I will have to re-gear because it will drive me crazy otherwise. I wouldn't mind even installing a RIPP kit down the road. There's a high possiblity of that happening. Nice Videos btw
We got a 12' rubicon automatic that's getting 538s. Currently running 37s and will go bigger sometime later this year! Thanks for the compliment, Cheers
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #25
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We got a 12' rubicon automatic that's getting 538s. Currently running 37s and will go bigger sometime later this year! Thanks for the compliment, Cheers
Damn, is that gonna put you at around 2800rpm at 70mph?
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:09 PM   #26
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Damn, is that gonna put you at around 2800rpm at 70mph?
Ya it ain't our dd and it will get 40s later ( Our 4 door)
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:56 AM   #27
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Get with Jason at KOR. I got mine from him and you can't beat his price or service.
Thank you my friend!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep4x4Life View Post
I've decided to go with the RK 3.5 Factor System w/ Bilstein 5100's


haven't pulled the trigger yet on the purchase but I will next week. Figure Iíd sit on it for a week and see if there is any decision deciding opinions out there.

Anyone try the RK Racing Remote Reservoir Shocks? They've got me thinking itís a possibility over the Bilstein 5100's
Pluke hit the high points with everything else and maybe we can help...

If your looking to do 35's or 37's and want to stay away from the driveshaft issue, I would really take a look at the Rock Krawler 2.5 Max Travel PRO! This is a AMAZING kit especially for daily driving. It takes the Max Travel and kicks it up a notch! It replaces all the arms with high strength aluminum arms which really saves some weight to help out on the MGP's! PLUS it adds in the aluminum front tie rod which is a nice added feature! Hands down one of the best DDing kits out there. Now, pair this with some nice shocks (Fox IFP's) and you have a amazing ride that will last you the length of your JK!!!

-Jason
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #28
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Im new to all this and would like to hear some of your opinions of how I can get the most for my money with making a good decision on a lift.


Quick Info to take in consideration:
2012 JKU
3.21 rear axel ratio
Dana 30 solid front axel
90% highway 10% Off road
Majority wheeling opposed to minor rock crawling
Definitely want to run 35ís (will not be running 33ís or 37ís)

I was looking into the AEV 3.5Ē Dual Sport SC lift for $1674. Iím looking for quality and performance so I'm willing to spend around 3k, give or take for a lift. Obviously the less I spend the better and the savings will go towards other parts. I will be installing myself so I donít want anything too complicated. Iím also a little worried about the other components such as replacing the ball joints, axel housing, etcÖ with stronger parts to handle the 35ís over a long period of life use. I was also planning on using the Pro Cal to regear to a 3.75 or 4.10. Any thoughts or opinions are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Skimmed through the whole thread and didnít see if anyone addressed this:

The Pro Cal DOES NOT regear. It is simply a calibrator to tell your Jeep you have regeared, added bigger tires etcÖDonít know if you mis spoke/typed or confused on what a regear consists of. To do a regear you need a new ring and pinion and an overhaul kit for both axles. Parts around $600 then labor costs.

Your axle housing can handle 35's. It isn't the housing that breaks, it is the shafts usually first. You can get a truss or inner tube sleeves and inner C gussets.

If I had that budget and started a 2012 JK build: Rock Krawler 2.5" Max Travel, regear to 4.88, 35x12.50R15's, AEV Procal

-Dan
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:14 PM   #29
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I was also planning on using the Pro Cal to regear to a 3.75 or 4.10. Any thoughts or opinions are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel_M View Post
Skimmed through the whole thread and didnít see if anyone addressed this:

The Pro Cal DOES NOT regear. It is simply a calibrator to tell your Jeep you have regeared, added bigger tires etcÖDonít know if you mis spoke/typed or confused on what a regear consists of. To do a regear you need a new ring and pinion and an overhaul kit for both axles. Parts around $600 then labor costs.

Your axle housing can handle 35's. It isn't the housing that breaks, it is the shafts usually first. You can get a truss or inner tube sleeves and inner C gussets.

If I had that budget and started a 2012 JK build: Rock Krawler 2.5" Max Travel, regear to 4.88, 35x12.50R15's, AEV Procal

-Dan
Thanks for pointing that out but I did mistype... ment to say I will be using the pro cal "AND" to re-gear...
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #30
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Iím truly having a dilemmaÖ This is by far has not been an easy decision at all. I feel like the suspension is the foundation for a great build so I want to make a good decision. I know after the lift things will be easier since I already know what I will be buying.


SoÖ I just spoke with my local 4x4 shop and they are really pushing AEV. I know the owner so heís able to help me out with the cost of whatever they sell me so I will definitely be doing my business there. Heís mentioning how AEV is strictly a jeep wrangler company and that their products were designed by former jeep engineers.


I told him I was seriously looking at getting the RK 3.5 X Factor System and he told me to take another look at AEV. He also mentioned if I was going to be doing some serious off roading then that would be a good choice but for my needs AEV would be the best choice. He said the AEV parts would last longer and give me a better ride especially since I have a brand new JKU. (not sure why having a new vehicle would make a difference on what lift I choose). If it was an older vehicle such as a TJ then the RK lift would be betterÖ His approach was somewhat convincing but overall it didnít seem right but it got me rethinking things. After everything Iíve been reading I still like RK and just visually comparing each lift through the pictures, you can see the difference in the quality of parts favoring RK.

I'm pretty much at the point to where I just want to stop thinking about this and just buy something to get things moving along. I guess a lot of it has to do with being new to all this so it's making me a little too cautious.

Once again thanks for all the input, everyone has been extremely helpful

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