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Old 05-28-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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4WD $#!+ show!

To those wishing to lift and mod your rig, here's some food for thought.

In the past three months I've dropped seven grand;
R&P re gear
Truetracs front and rear
G2 diff covers
Procal
Rubicon express 2.5" coil over suspension lift
Steering stabilizer
Rugged ridge aluminum alloy wheels
Duratracs
KC windshield mount trail lights
Installs

Began with the drivetrain provisions.. All was well, but with the factory 32's.. Was way over geared.. Solution, re gear again or run larger tires.. Enter problems.

Not 2 days after the lift and tires, I have diff fluid leaking from the driver side front axel near the "c" ..bring the rig back a few days later, the shop determins that the fill hole on diff covers is to high, to much fluid was added, thus the leak. Replace inner axel seal.. I'm on my way

I noticed the jeep pulls to the left.. Oh, drivers side front tire is losing 4+ PSI a week.. K.. I'll deal with it.. Couple weeks later I'm under the rig checking driveshaft boots.. To my surprise, diff fluid leaking out front axel where drive shaft connects! All the while I've noticed a scuffing sound..

I fill the diff with fluid, as to not shred the gears and call shop.. 3 weeks out they get me in... Replace pinion seal... "Did you check the tire?" ...no... He crawls under rig to notice something suck between the tire and rim (shop rag) takes jeep back in to "fix"

Couple days later, I notice the tire continues to loose pressure.. Take to dealer this time cause oil change was due, and they're not 100 miles away.

Desk fella says "you gotta see this!" (Now, I didn't mention anything going on, just too fix my leaking tire) he takes me into the bay.. Rig on lift.. There's the tire with a fuggin rag still in it!!! You've got to be kidding me?!

They break the tire down, remove the foreign object.. Seal it back up.. Alls well there...

The dealer goes on to show me my maxed out break lines labeling them as DANGEROUS and reports my drive shaft ange is to steep and they recommend spacers...

So here I sit.. Deep in the hole.. With shoutty worksmanship from an installer in columbiana OH WHOM WILL NEVER SEE MY RIG OR ANOTHER PENNY FROM ME..

Needless to say, my head was ready to explode in anger.. guess what? Now she pulls to the RIGHT.. All tires PSI are steady.. Take to Goodyear for an alignment the following morning.. They say there's nothing they can do, must be the tire or something else.

Guess I didn't notice this because originally, the front drivers tire was loosing pressure, counter balancing the pull...

So now I have a rig. Not even two years old or at 25k... Pulls to the right, scuffing noise that the dealer can't locate.. Break lines maxed out (was advised to NOT wheel until corrected) driveshafts at a bad angle, and a instaleller whom I refuse to return too to even attempt to correct the issues... And Just waiting for the Dana 30 to leak again..


But she looks good!

:/

Choose your mods and more importantly the installer WISELY! So much for a lift that is advertised as "no other modifications necessary."

Good luck everyone

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Old 05-28-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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Okay, my jeep pulls slightly left, some larger tires cannot be balanced perfectly. Also, if you have an adjustable track bar, make sure that it's correctly adjusted.

Now for the diffs just get the owners manual out, see what amount of oil it holds, measure, and put in.

And the brake lines, any quality kit should include extended stainless steel brake lines. If you don't have them and they were included in the kit, whoever did the install screwed you and you need to go back and raise hell and threaten a law suite.

Driveshaft, get a cv shaft and SYE. That will correct your angles. Idk if JKs can do T-Case drops or MML but either of those will work if those are available.

Anyways, all your problems aren't that bad, the scuffing sound is beyond me. But you got screwed by shitty installs and is where 2/3rds your money went. The best install is your buddy's shop with a case of beer. Hope everything works out brother! Good luck!

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Old 05-28-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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My tires are balanced. There's no steering wheel shake even at 70 MPH.

Diff owners manual? That's funny I got not such literature.

Rubicon express 2.5" lifts are advertised as not needing break line extensions, and are not included in the kit.

Sending me on my way, with a known shop rag in my tire, saying its been fixed but nothing had been done to correct it... Yeah. I'd say I got screwed.. With my pants on.

My problems may not be that big in the grand scheme of things, but it's horribly inconvenient, frustrating, and expensive.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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JK, you're the second person today that has warned me about the complications of lifting. I have a 2011 Sport JK, unlifted. Just pulled into the parking lot this morning, a lifted JKU with 35" Nittos parks next to me. Pretty young woman gets out, and before I even get the questions out of my mouth, says "Don't do it. Leave it as is." She starts on about lack of power, steering, driveline, brakes, gas mileage, etc. I doubt her vehicle was re-geared, and I'm sure the driveshaft had no modifications. Your info. and hers makes me pause and think a little before I do any mods.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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My steering wheel doesn't shake at all, stable as can be, still pulls slightly left. If it's not in the owners manual, it will be on the forums. And get extended break lines then, they can advertise till the cows come home but jeeps are as unique as the people that drive them. They all have they're little quirks.

Once you lift a vehicle with bigger tires ect. It won't be the same it was before. It will never drive the same, ever again. If you do it RIGHT. And cover all your bases from top to bottom and don't be a cheap mall crawler shit bag, it will drive okay or decent on pavement and perfect off road. But you can't have both. It's the sacrifice we make for offroad capability. Also, bigger is not always better. Sometimes a stock rig can out perform the correctly setup rig on certain obstacles.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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All of mine have been bone stock and I have not experienced any of these kinds of issues..... just saying......

Nothing says "Give me trouble" like messing with perfection.......I'll take a $1600 bone stock YJ any day.......
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
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This is the reason I did the work myself. I also did the research to know that a lift "kit" does not mean its all inclusive. The ones that are will be over 2K for 2" of lift. Someone here said for every 1" of lift its going to be about 1k in parts for it to be done right.

Goodluck fixing the problems that the installers caused. Its going to be difficult to figure it out.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paullgj View Post
JK, you're the second person today that has warned me about the complications of lifting. I have a 2011 Sport JK, unlifted. Just pulled into the parking lot this morning, a lifted JKU with 35" Nittos parks next to me. Pretty young woman gets out, and before I even get the questions out of my mouth, says "Don't do it. Leave it as is." She starts on about lack of power, steering, driveline, brakes, gas mileage, etc. I doubt her vehicle was re-geared, and I'm sure the driveshaft had no modifications. Your info. and hers makes me pause and think a little before I do any mods.
Don't let other peoples problems keep you from modifying your rig. Learn from them in every way that you can though.

For each major modification I made on mine, I averaged somewhere between 2 and 3 months of research before I pulled the trigger and have had no issues related to the modifications or the workmanship of the installers.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:27 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your problems. I heard Rubicon Express is crap.

I have a 2.5" TF full lift and am super happy. 35s with no pull, no shimmy, nothing and I am really glad I did it.

Just like any mod, there is a right way and a wrong way. Doesn't mean the mod isn't worth doing....just ensure it is done right.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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Did your kit include a new steering stabilizer? If yes...remove it and go for a test drive. Some of them can push the tie rod, which seems like the jeep is pulling to the left.

I have a 2012 4.5" lift 37's regeared, perfect alignment and it drives perfect. To bad you don't have a quality shop that knows how to set up a lifted jeep. Yes most every change requires additional changes because its all engineered to work together, but when done right...it will drive right.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #11
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i feel your pain bro, in all reality when you mod a vehicle problems always come up, regardless of how expensive a mod is or how good of a installer you have doing the work installs it. i would suggest not going back to that place EVER again.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:10 AM   #12
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You get what you pay for. End of story. U try and go cheap. At a cheap shop cheap parts you get a shitty Jeap. Pay the extra. And get good quality. I got a 3 inch lift and 35s. From a good shop. No issues. Drivers better then it did stock. Tires rims and lift and back bumper came to 10k. Do your research. Take your time. Don't jump at the first shop that tells you ______ is the way to go. Go To different ones talk to the guys and the shop. U can get a good feel if they're shady or not by hangin around their shop for a half hour or so. Research is key.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:40 AM   #13
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You get what you pay for. End of story. U try and go cheap. At a cheap shop cheap parts you get a shitty Jeap. Pay the extra. And get good quality. I got a 3 inch lift and 35s. From a good shop. No issues. Drivers better then it did stock. Tires rims and lift and back bumper came to 10k. Do your research. Take your time. Don't jump at the first shop that tells you ______ is the way to go. Go To different ones talk to the guys and the shop. U can get a good feel if they're shady or not by hangin around their shop for a half hour or so. Research is key.
Cheap is a relative term. A 7k build is not exactly cheap to lots of people. Then again I know an idiot that has more then 7K tied up in just the front axle.

Sucks that you had such a bad experience OP. No way that your jeep should be pulling to the right very hard though. Did the ailment shop check to see if the rear axle was set square?
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:41 AM   #14
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Sound's like you went to a crap shop to have your Jeep worked on. That sucks.

I'm not a mechanic. I'll give you the best honest advice I can to get you headed in the right direction with some of your issues.

AFTERMARKET DIFF COVERS - Just about all of them have a high fill hole. I guess the extreme rock crawler guys like that or something, and they don't care if it overflows? With the factory differential covers you keep putting gear oil (in most cases 80W-90) in until it oozes out. With aftermarket covers you need to measure it out. The amount to put in is in the user manual, with the white cover, under "MAINTAINING YOUR VEHICLE - FLUID CAPACITIES". It's near the end. (You have to call a number on the somewhat worthless user guide to get the free user manual. It's also on the CD, and you can download a PDF on the jeep website I recommend putting the PDF version on your smartphone). It will be a bit less than 2 quarts per axle to fill them. It's my understanding that if they are overfilled that the stinky oil will come out the breather tubes. I would at least think it would go out there first as the path of least resistance. I haven't hear that it will come out of the end of the axle housing, by the "C", like your talking about. I think you just had a crap axle seal maybe. This links shows were the breather hoses end if you wanted to check them for an overflow(http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/ext...se-185089.html) . It's worth noting also that you may need to extend your axle breather lines so they don't pop off under extreme flexing. I know the back axle breather tube is attached to the frame so you would want to disconnect that and give it a few inches of slack.

C's- I have heard that you need to upgrade the C's when you get 35" tires. That for on road it's probably ok, but with off road use it can put too much stress on them. It's something you may want to look into.

BREAK LINE- With a 2.5 inch it wouldn't surprise me if the lift didn't come with extended brake lines, but it should come with a bracket to lower them. Doing a quick search it looks like your lift should have come with that brake bracket part. It's basically a piece of metal that would lower the factory location by 2.5". You would want to follow the large straw sized hose from your break to where it mounts on the frame. You should see a small bolt on part that lowers that mount point 2.5" or so. If not then you need to make a bracket or buy one to lower that.

ROAD MANNERS - It looks like you need an adjustable track bar and or adjustable control arms, or all you can really do is center the steering wheel. This should help you more than I can. Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignment . Instead of getting the adjustable control arms you can get the AEV control arm brackets (AEV Conversions NTH20410AD - AEV Geometry Correction Front Control Arm Brackets for 07-13 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec) and you get better road performance. Thats at the cost of ground clearance which isn't great for off-roading.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:15 AM   #15
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I am not familiar with the Rubicon Express lift and I am not going to pretend to but it sounds like your problems were more then likely caused by who installed your lift as opposed to the type of lift that was installed. I have a 4" Zone lift which only cost me about $500 but my installer did a great job and sent it to a great alignment shop after the lift to get it all squared up. Drives like a champ! Best of luck!
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:57 AM   #16
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Lifting a Jeep is a bit of a crap-shoot. It's not really for the guy who is on a tight budget and doesn't know his way around a garage. You may get lucky and you may not. The expense can get really high if you are paying to have everything done.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:11 AM   #17
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Terraflex 2.5" spring lift $475
Rancho 9000 shocks $275
Lift install $350
MB TKO 15" $440
GY DT 33X12.50 15 $800
AEV Procal $150
total $2490

You can get a good lift for cheap.
Toss in another 4k for lockers and gears plus install.
OP you got hosed.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:45 AM   #18
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We have been running TF 2.5" lifts for 5 years with no such issues or driveability problems. The ride and handling is as good if not better then stock. But ride is also hugely dependent on the tires you choose, the pressure you choose to run, and who works on your rig.

Most all the issues the OP is experiencing is unfortunately caused by the initial installers. Changing diff gears is a major job and very easy to screw up, hence, I still have factory gears, no body around hear that I trust. As much as I get good service from my dealer I won't let them touch the diffs.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:23 AM   #19
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I'm running 3.5" coils with with factory control arms and the stock track bar. It rides and steers perfect. I'm betting the installer goofed something. Sorry your having so much trouble with it. I'd take it to a reputable shop and see what they say.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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I appreciate all the feedback. It'll all get correct, in time, with money.. Just a heads up to stay away from 4WD in columbiana OH. They might be a good mail order company, but don't let them touch your rig.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:59 PM   #21
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You also have to make sure the alignment shop knows what they are doing. On a lifted vehicle you don't necessarily want to have everything "zeroed" out on the alignment. Watching the Terra Flex videos about lifts he was talking about how lifts change so much of the geometry that they actually drive better with some of the settings either positive or negative depending on what they are.

So many alignment shops just shoot for as close to zeros on everything and call it good. The key is finding a mechanic who really understands a lifted vehicle.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:26 PM   #22
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Unless you have adjustable control arms or trackbars, you will be wasting your money and time with taking your jk into an alignment shop. Your stock trackbar/control arms are not adjustable. The only thing an alignment shop can do is recenter your steering wheel or install cam bolts, which you never ever want to do.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:38 PM   #23
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Points noted. Thank you.

Update. Raised enough hell, got in touch with the right people, and will be visiting certified mechanics at another shop to go over every mod they made, with me standing there, correct whats needed, and add the break extensions and something for the driveshaft.. Though it wasn't spacers. Information overload. I can't express how relieved I am to know this will be corrected and that I'm not alone in this.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:10 PM   #24
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Honestly with a 2"-2.5" nothing really needs to be done with the driveshafts. Was the dealer suggestion a t-case drop? (which is not made for the JK but the TJ) Or was it exhaust spacers? Your front lines can actually be used (with some simple modifications) all the way up to a 6" kit.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:44 AM   #25
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Unless you have adjustable control arms or trackbars, you will be wasting your money and time with taking your jk into an alignment shop. Your stock trackbar/control arms are not adjustable. The only thing an alignment shop can do is recenter your steering wheel or install cam bolts, which you never ever want to do.
Good to know. I just put 2" spacers up front bc I got a new bumper and hadn't had a chance to go get an alignment. Wheel is still centered so ill just save my money.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:26 AM   #26
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Honestly with a 2"-2.5" nothing really needs to be done with the driveshafts. Was the dealer suggestion a t-case drop? (which is not made for the JK but the TJ) Or was it exhaust spacers? Your front lines can actually be used (with some simple modifications) all the way up to a 6" kit.
I found out today my 09 Rubicon 2dr has a busted driveshaft. I have a RE 2.5" coil and spring lift with 33" wheels. The dealer tells me that they can't cover it under warranty because it's lifted. They are saying the rear pinion angles are far too great to be able to function normally and that if they put a new shaft on it, the same thing will happen again in due time. I have consulted numerous 4x4 shops and vendors, even spoke with the kind folks at Rubicon Express, and everyone echoes roughly the same answer that nothing needs to be done.... I even asked the dealer to check the parts list on the 2.5" lift Mopar offers to see if there was something there possibly... When they said "No." I asked if they wouldn't mind checking the 4" Mopar lift and see what they offered....nothing! So I began to inquire about the actual factory specs for these pinion angles and they scratched their head all afternoon and couldn't provide me with anything other than "you have a lift on your jeep and a broken DS. The DS broke because of the angle. If we fix it, the same thing will happen again down the line. Your warranty isn't covering this repair nor will it cover your next". Am I wrong to assume that there is a fact spec that we can compare the current angles to? They have offered to shim the TC about a half inch to lessen the angles there..... Is this a good idea or not? I haven't come across this solution anyplace and thought you guys could help me out. Thanks in advance for your response!
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:28 AM   #27
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I found out today my 09 Rubicon 2dr has a busted driveshaft. I have a RE 2.5" coil and spring lift with 33" wheels. The dealer tells me that they can't cover it under warranty because it's lifted.
They are saying the rear pinion angles are far too great to be able to function normally and that if they put a new shaft on it, the same thing will happen again in due time. I have consulted numerous 4x4 shops and vendors, even spoke with the kind folks at Rubicon Express, and everyone echoes roughly the same answer that nothing needs to be done.... I even asked the dealer to check the parts list on the 2.5" lift Mopar offers to see if there was something there possibly... When they said "No." I asked if they wouldn't mind checking the 4" Mopar lift and see what they offered....nothing! So I began to inquire about the actual factory specs for these pinion angles and they scratched their head all afternoon and couldn't provide me with anything other than "you have a lift on your jeep and a broken DS. The DS broke because of the angle. If we fix it, the same thing will happen again down the line. Your warranty isn't covering this repair nor will it cover your next". Am I wrong to assume that there is a fact spec that we can compare the current angles to? They have offered to shim the TC about a half inch to lessen the angles there..... Is this a good idea or not? I haven't come across this solution anyplace and thought you guys could help me out. Thanks in advance for your response!
You should start your own thread. If you need help let me know through PM. I will help.

You have a 2 door. The rear DS is very small and any lift put its at a greater angle. Some jeeps will go 15-30k even more and not have any issues. Often a person will install a lift and the DS will sling grease a week later. I don't know what the stock pinion angle is. What I do know .. Lifting actually raises the pinion a little. Not enough for the short 2 door DS to be at a safe angle.
I have a stock 2 door shaft that might work. From a 08 manual.
After you replace the DS (which is something you can do yourself In the driveway with basic hand tools) you are going to want to install upper control arms at minimum. These will be able be adjusted longer then stock to raise the pinion up.
What you are shooting for is about 2 degrees less than the driveshaft. The pinion will rise under acceleration so you need to account for that.

You will have to spend a few hundred dollars but not as much as a dealer will charge you for a new shaft.

Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions.

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Old 11-16-2013, 03:30 AM   #28
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Couple more things -

Like TF said there is no TC modifications done to the JK like the TJ. The only fixes for pinion angle are control arms or cam bolts which I don't recommend.

Since you quoted TF here's their rear upper CA's

http://m.quadratec.com/products/prod...=16196+0003+07
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:45 AM   #29
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I found out today my 09 Rubicon 2dr has a busted driveshaft. I have a RE 2.5" coil and spring lift with 33" wheels. The dealer tells me that they can't cover it under warranty because it's lifted. They are saying the rear pinion angles are far too great to be able to function normally and that if they put a new shaft on it, the same thing will happen again in due time. I have consulted numerous 4x4 shops and vendors, even spoke with the kind folks at Rubicon Express, and everyone echoes roughly the same answer that nothing needs to be done.... I even asked the dealer to check the parts list on the 2.5" lift Mopar offers to see if there was something there possibly... When they said "No." I asked if they wouldn't mind checking the 4" Mopar lift and see what they offered....nothing! So I began to inquire about the actual factory specs for these pinion angles and they scratched their head all afternoon and couldn't provide me with anything other than "you have a lift on your jeep and a broken DS. The DS broke because of the angle. If we fix it, the same thing will happen again down the line. Your warranty isn't covering this repair nor will it cover your next". Am I wrong to assume that there is a fact spec that we can compare the current angles to? They have offered to shim the TC about a half inch to lessen the angles there..... Is this a good idea or not? I haven't come across this solution anyplace and thought you guys could help me out. Thanks in advance for your response!
I would ask them to give you factory specs. They have them they just do not want to give them to you. Compare factory to what you have now, then have them explain how the lift caused the damage. They need to be able to tie the damage done to the mod, not just say it's lifted so oh well. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:00 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepers29 View Post
I would ask them to give you factory specs. They have them they just do not want to give them to you. Compare factory to what you have now, then have them explain how the lift caused the damage. They need to be able to tie the damage done to the mod, not just say it's lifted so oh well. Good luck.
Regardless, it most likely will not be covered. Pinion angles correct or not .. It's still lifted and caused the failure. He would have to prove otherwise which I highly doubt will happen.

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