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Old 03-09-2012, 04:07 PM   #1
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Rough Country Lift - Difference

Hello,

I'm looking at two different suspension lifts.

3.5" - Jeep JK Wrangler Suspension Lift
4.0" - Jeep JK Wrangler Suspension Lift

The 4.0" are marked down to the same price as the 3.5", so I'm wondering if there is any other difference? I have no real experience in this area so I'm hoping someone with a little more knowledge could give me some kind of an idea here.

Is the 4" equal but just higher or is it missing some helpful parts the 3.5" has?

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Old 03-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #2
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Hello,

I'm looking at two different suspension lifts.

3.5" - Jeep JK Wrangler Suspension Lift
4.0" - Jeep JK Wrangler Suspension Lift

The 4.0" are marked down to the same price as the 3.5", so I'm wondering if there is any other difference? I have no real experience in this area so I'm hoping someone with a little more knowledge could give me some kind of an idea here.

Is the 4" equal but just higher or is it missing some helpful parts the 3.5" has?
I'd pass on both. There's a reason they're cheap.

The RC springs are notorious for sagging. The 3.5" lift comes with fixed front lower control arms...fine if you don't ever have to adjust your caster.

The 4" comes with no control arms...not sure what's up with that, but you'll need em. It does come with cam bolts, which suck.

Both lifts have track bar relocation brackets, so you shouldn't have to worry about your axles being off. Hopefully. Adjustable track bars would be better.

However, you'll need a new driveshaft with either one of these.

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Old 03-09-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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I'd pass on both. There's a reason they're cheap.

The RC springs are notorious for sagging. The 3.5" lift comes with fixed front lower control arms...fine if you don't ever have to adjust your caster.

The 4" comes with no control arms...not sure what's up with that, but you'll need em. It does come with cam bolts, which suck.

Both lifts have track bar relocation brackets, so you shouldn't have to worry about your axles being off. Hopefully. Adjustable track bars would be better.

However, you'll need a new driveshaft with either one of these.
Why would I need a new driveshaft?

Do you have any other lifts you would suggest?
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:33 PM   #4
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Why would I need a new driveshaft?

Do you have any other lifts you would suggest?
If you lift your JK over 3", it puts the stock ds at too steep an angle, and eventually it'll fail. To prevent this you'd need to buy a 1310 driveshaft. JE Reel, Tom Woods and Coast make good ones.

There's also the problem with the ds hitting the exhaust pipe where the two intersect on a '12, if your shocks are 27.5" or longer (which pretty much includes most aftermarket shocks...but which also can be fixed by adding a simple exhaust spacer.)

Is there a specific reason you want a lift over 3"?

A 2.5" lift is all you need to run 35" tires, though 35's come with their own set of extra mods...new tire carrier, decreased mileage, regearing, etc).

A lot of what you should look for in a lift depends on what you plan on doing with your Jeep. Mainly DD, or DD with occasional off-road use? You'd be fine with a BB or a leveling kit. TeraFlex and Full Traction make good ones, among others.

For more frequent off-roading, you'll want a coil lift. Look at TF, FT and Rock Krawler.

You can buy coil lifts with shocks, either those offered with the kit, or separate shocks such as the Bilstein 5100's. For 2.5" lifts, TeraFlex and Rock Krawler are pretty much the standard. A TeraFlex 2.5" lift with Bilstein 5100 shocks is sold by Northridge 4x4 for $775 shipped to your door. Call and order from Dave...it's not listed on their web site.

The good thing about the 2.5" lifts is that you don't have to mess with a new ds. If you're in a '12, you WILL need to buy a TF exhaust spacer, but they're around $50 and very easy to install.

Also, most 2.5" lifts don't come with control arms or adjustable track bars, because they're often not needed (for lifts 3" and up, they're much more necessary). Best bet is to install the lift, drive your Jeep for a little while, and see how it behaves. If the steering feels twitchy on the highway, you might wanna add front lower control arms. The only time you'd need an adjustable track bar is if your axle sits off-center after the lift, which is not common if the lift is correctly installed.

33" tires will look fabulous on a Wrangler with a 2.5" lift and, like I said, if you decide later that you wanna incur the extra expenses and hassles, you can always move up to 35" tires without having to spring for a whole new lift.

That's how I see it, anyway.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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I have installed the rough country 4" lift on a friend's '09 JKU. It comes with LCAs and they are fairly decent. I can say though the springs are too soft. The Jeep did a nose dive on hard braking and squatted on takeoff. This was during a test drive after the install. Tne 2.0 shocks with the kit made no difference. Compared to the Rubion Express lift on mine, it was just too soft.

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Old 03-09-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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If you lift your JK over 3", it puts the stock ds at too steep an angle, and eventually it'll fail. To prevent this you'd need to buy a 1310 driveshaft. JE Reel, Tom Woods and Coast make good ones.

There's also the problem with the ds hitting the exhaust pipe where the two intersect on a '12, if your shocks are 27.5" or longer (which pretty much includes most aftermarket shocks...but which also can be fixed by adding a simple exhaust spacer.)

Is there a specific reason you want a lift over 3"?

A 2.5" lift is all you need to run 35" tires, though 35's come with their own set of extra mods...new tire carrier, decreased mileage, regearing, etc).

A lot of what you should look for in a lift depends on what you plan on doing with your Jeep. Mainly DD, or DD with occasional off-road use? You'd be fine with a BB or a leveling kit. TeraFlex and Full Traction make good ones, among others.

For more frequent off-roading, you'll want a coil lift. Look at TF, FT and Rock Krawler.

You can buy coil lifts with shocks, either those offered with the kit, or separate shocks such as the Bilstein 5100's. For 2.5" lifts, TeraFlex and Rock Krawler are pretty much the standard. A TeraFlex 2.5" lift with Bilstein 5100 shocks is sold by Northridge 4x4 for $775 shipped to your door. Call and order from Dave...it's not listed on their web site.

The good thing about the 2.5" lifts is that you don't have to mess with a new ds. If you're in a '12, you WILL need to buy a TF exhaust spacer, but they're around $50 and very easy to install.

Also, most 2.5" lifts don't come with control arms or adjustable track bars, because they're often not needed (for lifts 3" and up, they're much more necessary). Best bet is to install the lift, drive your Jeep for a little while, and see how it behaves. If the steering feels twitchy on the highway, you might wanna add front lower control arms. The only time you'd need an adjustable track bar is if your axle sits off-center after the lift, which is not common if the lift is correctly installed.

33" tires will look fabulous on a Wrangler with a 2.5" lift and, like I said, if you decide later that you wanna incur the extra expenses and hassles, you can always move up to 35" tires without having to spring for a whole new lift.

That's how I see it, anyway.
Okay, what you are saying makes a lot of sense. I really appreciate your advice so far, but I have a few more questions.

My 2011 Jeep is mainly a DD that I take offroading when I can, so maybe the BB/leveling kit is the better option.

What exactly is a BB or leveling kit? How does it differ from a suspension lift? I've looked up the leveling kits and I'm not exactly sure what it does, is it just a body lift? Also, as I'm doing a few quick searches, I only see 2" for the leveling kits, can you get it at 2.5"?

Once again, I really appreciate your advice, I'm just starting to get into modding my Jeep and learning all the fun that can be had!
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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Okay, what you are saying makes a lot of sense. I really appreciate your advice so far, but I have a few more questions.

My 2011 Jeep is mainly a DD that I take offroading when I can, so maybe the BB/leveling kit is the better option.

What exactly is a BB or leveling kit? How does it differ from a suspension lift? I've looked up the leveling kits and I'm not exactly sure what it does, is it just a body lift? Also, as I'm doing a few quick searches, I only see 2" for the leveling kits, can you get it at 2.5"?

Once again, I really appreciate your advice, I'm just starting to get into modding my Jeep and learning all the fun that can be had!
Sounds like the BB/leveling kit is the way to go. At least in my mind. Basically, it uses spacers to lift your Jeep at the coils. It is NOT the same as a body lift, which lifts your Jeep at the frame. I wouldn't recommend a body lift to anyone with a JK.

A good example of a leveling kit is the one made by TeraFlex. It'll raise your Jeep 2" in front and 1" in the rear, which also corrects the natural rake that Jeeps come with from the factory. You get (4) 1" spacers for the front, and (2) 1" spacers for the rear, plus new sway bar links for the front (because of the increased height).

The difference between that and a coil lift is that you'll still be using your stock Jeep coils. That sounds pretty obvious, but your factory coils are much softer than most aftermarket versions. So if you add, say, a heavy bumper and winch to the front of your rig, you'll lose some height due to the factory coils sagging, whereas with aftermarket coils you may very well see no change in height.

2" is as high as the leveling kits go. BUT, the good thing about em is they're very cheap...the TF kit is $130. So if you decide to go to a bigger lift and larger tires at some point, you're not out that much. And, since it's mainly spacers, you should be able to recoup about 75% of the leveling kit's cost by selling it to someone else.

Probably the best thing about a leveling kit for your situation is, your Jeep will retain its stock handling, since it'll still be using all of its original suspension components (other than the sway bar links, which is nothing).

Does that make sense?
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:33 PM   #8
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Sounds like the BB/leveling kit is the way to go. At least in my mind. Basically, it uses spacers to lift your Jeep at the coils. It is NOT the same as a body lift, which lifts your Jeep at the frame. I wouldn't recommend a body lift to anyone with a JK.

A good example of a leveling kit is the one made by TeraFlex. It'll raise your Jeep 2" in front and 1" in the rear, which also corrects the natural rake that Jeeps come with from the factory. You get (4) 1" spacers for the front, and (2) 1" spacers for the rear, plus a new sway bar links for the front (because of the increased height).

The difference between that and a coil lift is that you'll still be using your stock Jeep coils. That sounds pretty obvious, but your factory coils are much softer than most aftermarket versions. So if you add, say, a heavy bumper and winch to the front of your rig, you'll lose some height due to the factory coils sagging, whereas with aftermarket coils you may very well see no change in height.

2" is as high as the leveling kits go. BUT, the good thing about em is they're very cheap...the TF kit is $130. So if you decide to go to a bigger lift and larger tires at some point, you're not out that much. And, since it's mainly spacers, you should be able to recoup about 75% of the leveling kit's cost by selling it someone else.

Probably the best thing about a leveling kit for your situation is, your Jeep will retain its stock handling, since it'll still be using all of its original suspension components (other than the sway bar links, which is nothing).

Does that make sense?
That does make sense. So, it sounds like I should decide between a 2.5" lift or a leveling kit. If I do go with a 2.5" lift what difference would I see in performance as opposed to the leveling kit? I would assume a high quality 2.5" lift would provide better handling/performance.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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That does make sense. So, it sounds like I should decide between a 2.5" lift or a leveling kit. If I do go with a 2.5" lift what difference would I see in performance as opposed to the leveling kit? I would assume a high quality 2.5" lift would provide better handling/performance.
You'll most likely see better handling with a lift that includes coils and shocks. It'll be a little stiffer on-road, but will track better through turns, depending on the brand of lift.

But with either option, your Jeep will still be highly capable off-road. Let's face it, it's more capable – right outta the box – than just about anything else out there.

Performance (which I equate to the engine) won't change significantly between a BB and a coil lift. A higher lift will reduce your gas mileage, but the difference between a leveling kit and a 2.5" lift won't be very noticeable. What WILL affect both performance and mileage, obviously, is larger tires.

You can run 33" tires vertically with either of those lifts with no problems. However, to run a good 33" tire that's 11-12" wide, you'll need to buy new rims with a backspacing of 4.5" or less (your stock rims have 6.25" backspacing). The smaller the bs #, the farther your wheels will stick out from the Jeep.

If you're gonna go the new tire/wheel route, your best bet is gonna be a 15" or 16" rim. They're cheaper than the 17"+ rims, and tires for them are significantly less expensive, as well.

Does your head feel like it's about to explode?

Here's a really good thread on tire size written by WF dude 4fit, who knows tires/wheels like a skunk knows foul smells. Don't pay attention to the "stock" part of the title...there's some great info in there that you should know before modding your rig.

Largest tire on stock JK? Here's your answer!
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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great write up kb....thanks....
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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great write up kb....thanks....
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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Ding ding another win for wolf. Nicely done.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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Ding ding another win for wolf. Nicely done.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:45 AM   #14
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If you lift your JK over 3", it puts the stock ds at too steep an angle, and eventually it'll fail. To prevent this you'd need to buy a 1310 driveshaft. JE Reel, Tom Woods and Coast make good ones.

There's also the problem with the ds hitting the exhaust pipe where the two intersect on a '12, if your shocks are 27.5" or longer (which pretty much includes most aftermarket shocks...but which also can be fixed by adding a simple exhaust spacer.)

Is there a specific reason you want a lift over 3"?

A 2.5" lift is all you need to run 35" tires, though 35's come with their own set of extra mods...new tire carrier, decreased mileage, regearing, etc).

A lot of what you should look for in a lift depends on what you plan on doing with your Jeep. Mainly DD, or DD with occasional off-road use? You'd be fine with a BB or a leveling kit. TeraFlex and Full Traction make good ones, among others.

For more frequent off-roading, you'll want a coil lift. Look at TF, FT and Rock Krawler.

You can buy coil lifts with shocks, either those offered with the kit, or separate shocks such as the Bilstein 5100's. For 2.5" lifts, TeraFlex and Rock Krawler are pretty much the standard. A TeraFlex 2.5" lift with Bilstein 5100 shocks is sold by Northridge 4x4 for $775 shipped to your door. Call and order from Dave...it's not listed on their web site.

The good thing about the 2.5" lifts is that you don't have to mess with a new ds. If you're in a '12, you WILL need to buy a TF exhaust spacer, but they're around $50 and very easy to install.

Also, most 2.5" lifts don't come with control arms or adjustable track bars, because they're often not needed (for lifts 3" and up, they're much more necessary). Best bet is to install the lift, drive your Jeep for a little while, and see how it behaves. If the steering feels twitchy on the highway, you might wanna add front lower control arms. The only time you'd need an adjustable track bar is if your axle sits off-center after the lift, which is not common if the lift is correctly installed.

33" tires will look fabulous on a Wrangler with a 2.5" lift and, like I said, if you decide later that you wanna incur the extra expenses and hassles, you can always move up to 35" tires without having to spring for a whole new lift.

That's how I see it, anyway.
Subscribed to this thread just so I can have this write up as a quick reference. Thanks wolf!

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