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Old 01-04-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
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Aev springs shocks rk lift?

Hey everyone, My jeep is almost here. Ive been watching the forum for what seems like forever now, and Im about to make a final decision about my lift.

Im going to be on road mostly, but I want to have the capability to go offroad as Im in need of a new hobby and wheeling sounds like it will fit the bill. I do love to drive on roads tho and really want good handling. Ive driven the AEV 231 R package with 4.5 inch lift and 37s and a hemi and it drove great, but that was months ago now. I was sold on a AEV lift until someone on this forum tore it apart in comparison to another lift with lower control arms and other parts that are more robust.

The point was that AEV was for "expedition" not neccessarily rock crawling. Enter Rock Krawler. I love their solid steel parts, and their shop is close to me, so definatly going to make the few hour trip there to have it installed correctly from the source., In the NYC area (north jerz) I imagine that there are not many wheelers, so I dont really want to go to a shop thats learning how to install on my truck.

Here's the question, I like the AEV ride and the Rock Krawler durability. I was thinking that I might take the AEV springs and AEV tuned Bilstein shocks and pair them with a RockKrawler lift, of the same height.

AEV is coming out with a 2.5 inch coil lift right now, (should be out any day) and I was hoping to buy the springs and shocks and pair them with the Rock Krawler Max travel 2.5 inch lift. This would also work with AEV's 3.5 springs and shocks, with a Rock Krawler 3.5inch lift.

The goal is for flat racy handleing on road and capability off road. The AEV I drove was excellent, but now that someone here (ill find the thread) really explained that its mostly stock parts relocated and bracketed, and for the money I'm spending on a lift, I really want a LIFT.

I want to kill the wandery feeling in the fast lane and make it flat in the turns. And anyone who wants to tell me not to buy a jeep for wanting this hasnt driven an AEV. That thing handled like a sportscar. Is what made it do that the springs and shocks? can I cross that with a RK and build a winner?

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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Here is what changed my mind about the AEV lift

AEV 3.5" DualSport SC lift kit - : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

The guys name was 2k2wranglerx and he made a very good argument. Here is is-

I've stated this opinion over and over in these threads so i'll try to be brief in this one. Every time someone brings up this kit and i mention the shortcomings of it, the response is "well that's not what that kit was designed for". The concensus is that it was really built for trail riding and road use mostly. That rock crawling or hard wheeling really wasn't in the scope of the kit.

My BIGGEST issue is the way the kit is designed. If that's as big as you'll ever want to go, and all you're ever going to do is mild trails and street (which is what most of the jeep owners do anyway) then it's 100% fine.

HOWEVER, if there's ANY possibility that you'll want to get more into the sport and keep upgrading... Then it's not a good kit. Basically, when you start getting into tougher wheeling, other than the springs and shocks, everything else in the kit eventually gets thrown away (not that it comes with that much stuff to begin with).

Also, the components that come in the kit really aren't very stout. The rear tracbar that comes with the kit is a stock trac bar that has had a bend added to it, the overpriced steering upgrade is just a RHD drag link that costs 45 bucks online (but they charge 300 for the kit), When we were building jeepnick's hydro mount i was able to bend the front trac bar bracket with my bare hand, the LCA mounts are a good bandaid but eventually you'll want real control arms, no disconnects for non rubi models (front links go to rear and you get new rear links... whoopdie doo), the "aev tuned" Bilsteins are overpriced when you smash them (normal bilsteins are 75 bucks each from most vendors, "AEV TUNED" are 135... ya no thanks), the rear dual rate springs ride ok, but are REALLY difficult to add spring retainers for when you want to do shock relocators like evo rockstars or the poly ones, etc.

I hope it does work out for you. But whenever this subject comes up i always recommend a kit you can build off of. When i built the 2 door jk (i've had both) i started with a 2.5 stock mod from RK and i ran the AEV brackets up front. They were an ok bandaid for a little while. When i upgraded the control arms and pulled the brackets though, WOW what a difference. Everything tightened up, bumps felt better, it felt more direct. Also, my alignment shop was able to PRECISELY dial in the perfect amount of castor and cross castor for correct handling. this was something that couldn't be done with the AEV brackets. Also, my front end lift was MUCH less without the brackets. I never took the time to figure out if it was lift up front or squat in the back, but it went away with the new setup.

I added coilovers and longer brake lines as well. And in the end i didn't have to throw ANYTHING away. i sold my front shocks and springs but i didn't buy anything i ended up throwing in the trash...

On the other hand... most AEV suspension owners that i have spoken to (or know) end up ditching most if not all of the kit once they get more into tougher wheeling. Which really doesn't take long considering how little you really get in the kit.

the things i do like:
Procal is nice (and will be necessary for '12's who regear)

If the kit wasn't so much money i wouldn't care so much. Or if i didn't always have to hear JPK going on and on about the fucking engineering. All they did was get the roll center right and drop the LCA's (something XJ owners have been doing for decades). It's really not that impressive.

Anyway, that's my rant... so much for it being short. Good luck with your jeep and hopefully it serves you well.

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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I'd just get the RK kit you want, add the Bilsteins, and be done with it. I doubt "AEV Tuned" Billies are that different from the typical (outstanding) Billies. So you're really just talking about coils, which RK does very well.
2010 JKU "Mountain" Edition
TeraFlex 2.5" Coil Lift : Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Shocks : 33x12.5R15 Goodyear DuraTracs : 15x8 Black Rock 909s : Other Stuff . . .
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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RK all the way. There shop is right down the road from my house. They rock.
2012 JKU Rubicon
Silver | 4.10 Gears | Hard Top | Connectivity | Remote Start

-Faulty driver side head replaced at 23,000 miles
-New AB head possibly faulty and being replaced at 29,000 miles
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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how about the steering, RK trackbar? love it? steering damper?
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #6

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I'd go with the entire RK suspension. It is all engineered to work together. If you every have a problem, you only have one company to contact for warranty work and as an added bonus, the company is close to your home.

I have the RK 3.5" Max Travel suspension (Rock Krawler Catalog) with the RK HD Pro Tie Rod and I could not be happier. It rides great, tracks straight, corners flat, uses beefy components, and has great offroad capabilities. It also uses progressive springs in front for better ride and more offroad articulation. I can also upgrade the suspension to a 3-link rear for even more articulation, lift it higher with the RK 5.5" springs if I need too, or install a long arm setup without throwing out most of what I've already paid for.

I'm using RK's RRD 2.0 shocks, so I don't know how the Bilsteins ride with the RK suspension. I'm guessing that you will be perfectly fine with the Bilsteins because RK suggests them as one alternative and they are well received by many Jeep owners.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MTH View Post
I'd just get the RK kit you want, add the Bilsteins, and be done with it. I doubt "AEV Tuned" Billies are that different from the typical (outstanding) Billies. So you're really just talking about coils, which RK does very well.
Exactly, i don't know what AEV does differently to the Bilsteins being that they are already a GREAT shock. I am opposed to AEV too, primarily due to price. If it wasn't so god damn expensive for middle of the road stuff, it be cool.

OP, go Rock Krawler and call it a day. Why piece together a kit when RK will perform great on and off road.

By the way, there are tons of wheeler's in NY, NJ area. Ever hear of the Jersey Crew? They are on Jkowners and Pirate 4x4 i think


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