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Old 07-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
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Rubicon Express 2.5 Monosteins Review

My resume is pretty diverse with a 14 year history of owning different vehicles from different car cultures. To me, ride quality should be responsive, firm, spirited and not fatiguing during long trips. I’m regularly disturbed with minor road irregularities on the stock setup…I'm not saying its really bad, but its noticeable. You can feel the disturbance through the steering wheel as well as unneccessary body motion. I really want to minimize that. The level of confidence of taking the sharp turns on freeway onramps/offramps should also drastically improve. I usually find myself in the passenger seat when taking 35mph easy 45 degree turns. My comfort zone for that with the stock suspension is 20-25mph. I know that i can't make my jeep perform like my Mercedes SL600 but i should feel confident in evasive maneuvers like i do in my Benz. Jeep engineers did great, but like most vehicles, theres a lot of room for improvement. Take it for what it is… the suspension is either


Without any further ado,


Here's my current setup. Fuel Offroad Mavericks 17x9, 4.5 backspacing wrapped in the lightest p285/70/17. Its my dd so i wanted great looking wheels/tires without the noise, and to attain great mpg. And I Did. High 19's, Low 20's!! AEV Procal adjusted. All thanks to the great archives from the WF community.




I initially purchased a different kit during a local 4wp truckfest event, however, after a few hours of contemplating, I switched my decision and managed to change everything couple of hours before the discount deadline and here’s why…

1, the initial kit is NOT upgradeable.

2, the lack of information the rep had regarding the kit (he said that 35’s tires wouldn’t fit, but they in fact do)

3, the lack of encouragement provided to me (see part 1, … he also stated and I quote “its not for offroad use” even though many of our wf enthusiasts use em offroad)


Now back to RE customer service.

RE representative informed me that the kit is fully upgradeable. He told me that my 2012 will have issues with the driveline w/out the need of exhaust spacers, y pipe, or an aftermarket driveshaft… just the lil things like this tells me that RE reps are well versed in our JK’s. Best part of all, his phone started ringing and didn’t even bother to pick it up as he was talking to me. His attention to detail without having to look into his bible for resources and the attention he gave me …. from a consumer standpoint, that’s a win.

Now for the goodies… I ordered the RE 2.5 kit w/ “monostein” shocks, JKS quick disco’s, Teraflex Exhaust Spacer, and courtesy of wf member Kjeeper10’s review…. I went with the AEV LCA Geometry bracket.

Shocks – I call the monotubes Monosteins because during the 4wp event, RE rep told me that the monotubes were in fact tuned bilsteins. We already know about all the reviews regarding bilstein. +1
Rear Shocks come pre-assembled with the PTMEG Bushing. "Bushings are made from PTMEG or Polytetramethylene Ether Glycol. This material has a 88A durometer rating and is the toughest most durable bushing material available commercially"

Up Close of PTMEG bushing

Front Shocks

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Old 07-06-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Coils – Custom tailored for our application. I have yet to hear any problems with their spring sagging even in the past. Of course it will sag if heavily loaded with a winch/bumper but sagging shouldn’t be an issue especially with my current setup….for now lol
Front

Rear


Rear Links – From the looks of it, it’s pretty flashy with the coating. Other than that, it looks aesthetically strong. Pre-assembled w/ the PTMEG bushing.


Rear Trackbar Relocation Bracket – Very durable aesthetically and it comes with sleeves for bolts to prevent crushing when torqued down to specs.

The sleeves look so strong. It will definitely do its job.


Bump Stops – Not necessary if your running 33’s. I always tell myself that I’m not going bigger than 33’s. Then why did you put on the bump stops Dwight? Because I’m a procrastinator lol.

What’s not included – rear brake line bracket. Not necessarily needed if you don’t plan to use your jeep as a jeep, but I do. It’s a very cheap fix. You could also bolt the existing bracket a lil ways down from the existing mount. So there you have it…it’s a complete kit for a 2.5 without altering the geometry too much.

Warranty – “Rubicon Express warranties its full line of products to be free from defects in workmanship and materials for the life of the product.” That means if you ever decide to pass on your jeep to another person, it’s still warranted.

Now for the non RE parts...
JKS Disconnects

AEV Geometry Correction Brackets

Teraflex Exhaust Spacer

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Old 07-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #3
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Installed Pics
Stock Front Passenger

2.5 Front Passenger

Stock Rear Passenger

2.5 Rear Passenger


All Done





Disco Disco Good Good

AEV Geometry Correction Bracket




Honest Review:
On Road – Compared to the stock sport setup… I feel more in control. Not harsh, just firm, very responsive (compared to stock), which leads me to feel more confident in evasive maneuver situations… God forbid. Oh, and that easy 45 degree turn I mentioned earlier…. I’m not finding myself in the passenger seat anymore. In fact…that easy 45 degree turn is just…EASY. Right now its still settling in but isn't as harsh as the first 5 minutes of my drive home. After 30 min on the freeway it was very enjoyable. Its not fatiguing as i thought it would be. I can steer with 1 finger and still very confident due to less vibrations (not that i can't do it in stock form…i could relax and not be as cautious as before) Usually I’m holding on to the wheel with one hand when it was stock for the “just in case” moment. Taking an approach one wheel at a time at my apartment complex usually wobbles me around to and fro… i have to hold my ornament that hangs from the rearview mirror or it will hit the front window several times. Not anymore!! same approach, less wobble, and no more need to hold my dangling ornament. You get the point. The best part of all, the braking improved significantly. Very minimal nose dive during hard braking….i had to test it out. This kit is not smooth…just firm. If you want smooth, stay stock. lol. It will absorb harsh roads as i took the hard way home (railroad tracks, uneven roads, and potholes). Less body wander and i'm not clenching like i would in stock form. I love it so far.

I am totally satisfied beyond satisfaction on what an amazing kit this is. It Looks great, Feels great, and most of all which I forgot to comment… Sounds like my Toyo AT2 on/offroadQUIET. Thanks Rubicon Express. You turned this doubter into a believer. A couple months ago, i wouldn't even put a Rubicon Express sticker on my jeep if they gave it to me for free. Well, i got these for free and i'm Proud to display it on my jeep… They earned their stripes. Pending install after carwash.


Side Note: I will be consistently doing reviews regarding my setup including 500, 1k, and every 5k thereafter in this thread…also Offroad Review on the 07/14/2013…Stay tuned.

I know its a pretty long thread and i'm only limited to 15 pics per post so i tried to make it fun. Comments, Concerns, or any Questions? Please feel free to


-Dwight
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Alignment #s

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Awesome job with the review thread! I am happy to hear that another company is making a quality 2.5" for the jk's. The jeep looks great!!!
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:53 PM   #6
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On an unrelated topic.... I ripped my boxers trying to get in. I just had Chinese food and my fortune cookie states "Confucius say: man who lifts jeep will need new rock rails or will rip underwear"

Fortune cookie is right. Next month another upgrade.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:46 PM   #7
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Great write-up dude!

Looking forward to hearing how you like it once its been on a while.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:55 PM   #8
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thanks guys. I forgot to mention that the jeep feels a just tad heavier on the freeway. i'm not sure if its the added weight of the suspension components, load (i was hauling the stock components which is pretty heavy in its own right) or the height due aerodynamic resistance or the combination of all. it's not significant though.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #9
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Very decent write up, not bad at all! Are you referring to a left turn or a right turn as a 45 degree turn? Because those would actually be 90 degree turns.

And rubicon express suspensions are simply the best (in my opinion) for two door JK's combined with the parts that you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCourtney3700 View Post
Very decent write up, not bad at all! Are you referring to a left turn or a right turn as a 45 degree turn? Because those would actually be 90 degree turns.

And rubicon express suspensions are simply the best (in my opinion) for two door JK's combined with the parts that you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!
about 50m 45 degree turns. (i can take that turn going 45-50 pushing my Mercedes SL600...just for reference) not the red light left/right turns. RE had problems in the past with the release of the jk. they kinda rushed into it and used less than satisfactory bushings which led to premature failure. It was either a hit or miss with the jk. Some had problems, some didn't. Now after trial and error, seems like they got it right. There are still other reputable brands out there which i don't mind buying, but this kit fits my budget... and even if 4wp own RE... 4wp doesn't make their shocks/coils/bushings/control arms, etc. Heck, fiat owns jeep...but fiat doesn't make jeep.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:51 AM   #11
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Impressive review

Just like to add. ALL.... Yes ALL "lift kits" which are essentially coils and shocks are upgradable. Think about it ?
This is the biggest sales gimmick ever. It does work though

Again..... Great review. I did not know RE shocks were Bills.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:19 AM   #12
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Looks good, thanks for posting.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:24 AM   #13
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Excellent review man, i still havent placed my order yet i wanna be 100% before i do. If you wouldnt mind sharing. What company said their lift is not an "offroad" suspension? Lol im surprised anyone would say that in the jeep market
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tab22092 View Post
Excellent review man, i still havent placed my order yet i wanna be 100% before i do. If you wouldnt mind sharing. What company said their lift is not an "offroad" suspension? Lol im surprised anyone would say that in the jeep market
I had my heart set out on it. 2 inch rancho sport kit. I was kind of bummed all night hearing that their rep said to me about not going offroad. Many forum members love it and one of my local jeepers and wf member "jeep Matt" goes offroad with it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawhitesJKU View Post

I had my heart set out on it. 2 inch rancho sport kit. I was kind of bummed all night hearing that their rep said to me about not going offroad. Many forum members love it and one of my local jeepers and af member "jeep Matt" goes offroad with it.
Say whatttttt

That guy should be fired lol.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #16
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He probably had a long day. All of us have our moments but it did break my heart coming from a rep. He was trying to sell me the 3' inch kit but I was on a 1k budget to include all the extra necessities to do it once (discos, exhaust spacer, FOOD). In the end, I got everything I needed for 920 which included aev geometry brackets, teraflex exhaust spacer, jks discos, and $80 left over for some steak. Boy did I miss steak trying to save up. Lol
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:07 AM   #17
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A 18mm wrench and bungee cord works for discos
Edit: 2 bungee cords
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #18
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Great write up Dwight! Nice read. Glad it's all worked out.

I've really enjoyed my RE 2.5 monotube lift.

Just had the RE stainless steel brake lines installed for piece of mind off road. Long live rubicon express!
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #19
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^I'm glad it's working out great for u too. Money well spent I'd say.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:35 PM   #20
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Thanks dawhites! You didn't disappoint on the review. I'm sold....gotta go let the wife know. . I do have a few questions to clarify - mainly about the added parts. sorry if these sound somewhat ignorant.

I have a 2011, so I don't think the muffler relocation is needed...am I correct?

What are the bump stops for, as I plan to go to 35s?

What are the benefits of the geo kit and the other parts?

How much did your install run you, and was done at a chain or local shop?

Hanks again and happy wheelin!!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:53 PM   #21
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Looks good, congrats on the upgrades and +1 for the review being more fun to read then normal.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oOoYTSEJAMoOo View Post
Thanks dawhites! You didn't disappoint on the review. I'm sold....gotta go let the wife know. . I do have a few questions to clarify - mainly about the added parts. sorry if these sound somewhat ignorant.

I have a 2011, so I don't think the muffler relocation is needed...am I correct?
-Correct. U may not need it for ur application. You may not need it for the 2012-current if ur not planning to disconnect and flex...but I intend to. Lol

What are the bump stops for, as I plan to go to 35s?
-They limit the travel of the flex. If ur running 33's u may not need it, 35's u will definitely need if planning to disconnect.

What are the benefits of the geo kit and the other parts?
-if u look at my lower control arms, they sit level just like stock. Ur jeep will think its lifted only an inch instead 2.5 (or whatever height u go with) if not used.... Meaning ur frame might take most of the punishment the road dishes out rather than the suspension. Kjeeper10 has an excellent review on them. It's only 100, so I figured to try em out.

How much did your install run you, and was done at a chain or local shop?
-I shopped around for a month. Shops were charging me 150 to do the aev geometry brackets alone. 800 was the most for all parts installed, and 500 was the cheapest I found including alignment.

Hanks again and happy wheelin!!!
Thanks, first couple miles will be rough, but it will definitely smooth/firm out. I'll have my 500 mile review by Sunday. So far it seems to improve more and more when I drive it.

And thanks @rmiller31.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:25 PM   #23
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100 Mile Review

My guesstimate is that the new suspension is about 100 miles old right now since install. I had to do an early review since I had been testing it out rigorously on paved roads.

To my surprise, it really softened up since the first couple of miles. Soft enough to have a full glass of water in the cup holder without spilling going 75 on the freeway, and firm enough to withstand some uneven roads (4 successions of railroad tracks) without bouncing around in your seat.. So far it’s been a joy to drive and I have no problems whatsoever. Doing “S” turns at about 45mph is a breeze and I have yet to hear the tires squeal doing so. I have newfound confidence in the streetability.

The front suspension improved dramatically over the first day. The rear still seems a little stiff but should improve over time. It isn’t that bad at all but noticeable when taking the speedbumps (I also have 80lbs of extra gear in the back). I have a wheeling trip on the 14th and I’m camping in Lake Cuyamaca on the 26th-28th of this month so I’m hoping the rear should soften up just a tad bit by then. So far, so good.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:27 PM   #24
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Offroad/ 500 mile Review

Early AM Meetup









Offroad

Compared to my last wheeling trip on stock suspension, the switch was like going from a pager to a smartphone. That big a difference! The transition from paved roads to Offroad went fairly smooth…I couldn’t tell that I was on dirt road (if I were blind) until the group started slowing down for some obstacles. I'm over exaggerating but the transition of road was minimal at best. Dirt road wasn’t harsh as stock form, and the custom dampened monosteins were even more incredible offroad. I’m not banging my head like a bobblehead doll anymore. The suspension was absorbing all the hits and punishment that I would usually absorb. I aired down to approximately 17psi btw.

Disconnectted








There's no ramp to give a guesstimate on its max flex, but the terrains here are proven real world offroad obstacles however during the first 10 min, my buddy damaged his doors, and evo rock rails from doing some major rock crawling and that took a big hit on my confidence so i didn't really flex much.

I've had the lift for around 500 miles so i assume that the suspension has settled. If you've been following the review, i noted that the rears were just a tad stiff…It really did firm and smoothen out and feels just as good as the fronts. When RE said that these were specifically tuned Bilsteins 5100's, they really did mean it. (i have a buddy with 5100's and the RE is way better…. although my buddy doesn't have the AEV geometry brackets so its pretty subjective.) In my opinion, the 5100's are a lil harsh whereas the RE monosteins are smoother from the perspective of firmness. They are both quick to respond to uneven roads but the RE smoothes out. I noticed that during my last trip (stock) the rebound was pretty brutal towards the end of the run… After a nice 1 hour run, the shocks still felt the same.







So far, the lift gets better with age. Since it proved its worthiness, the decals will stay. I'm probably forgetting other details about the lift going offroad but i'll be happy to answer any questions. So far, its a great investment.


So.....
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:34 AM   #25
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I'm hoping this is enough "on-topic" for this thread. I sheared off my Rear Passenger Shock mount Bar pin over the weekend on a medium difficult trail. I had to crawl off the mountain until I was on level enough ground to remove the shock and drive home with a spongy rear end.
The question I have is two fold. First, it already had the Rubicon Express Lift on it when I bought the Jeep about a year ago. Question is, how can I tell what size lift was put on it? The RE shocks are RXT2420 if that helps. The shock has an extended length of 25" and 16" when compressed.
I ask this question, because this is the 3RD TIME I've had suspension issues! In fact, every time I've gone off-roading on what would considered to be rather mild trail riding, I break something in the Suspension. Is this normal? Should I expect to have a $80 - $150 repair bill each time I come back from a trail?
Second thought, should I consider replacing this whole lift because of these little issues I'm having, or just beef it up and upgrade it? I'm really tired of throwing money at my Jeep every time I get back from the local mountains!

Dawhites....glad to see you're having such great success with your lift kit. I'm hoping that there is an easy solution to my problems as well.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:07 AM   #26
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Great review Dwight! Thanks for sharing. Keep it up. I'll be checking in on this review.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:57 AM   #27
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What was the price on your set up? Maybe I missed it.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:04 AM   #28
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I'm hoping this is enough "on-topic" for this thread. I sheared off my Rear Passenger Shock mount Bar pin over the weekend on a medium difficult trail. I had to crawl off the mountain until I was on level enough ground to remove the shock and drive home with a spongy rear end.
The question I have is two fold. First, it already had the Rubicon Express Lift on it when I bought the Jeep about a year ago. Question is, how can I tell what size lift was put on it? The RE shocks are RXT2420 if that helps. The shock has an extended length of 25" and 16" when compressed.
I ask this question, because this is the 3RD TIME I've had suspension issues! In fact, every time I've gone off-roading on what would considered to be rather mild trail riding, I break something in the Suspension. Is this normal? Should I expect to have a $80 - $150 repair bill each time I come back from a trail?
Second thought, should I consider replacing this whole lift because of these little issues I'm having, or just beef it up and upgrade it? I'm really tired of throwing money at my Jeep every time I get back from the local mountains!

Dawhites....glad to see you're having such great success with your lift kit. I'm hoping that there is an easy solution to my problems as well.

Any help would be appreciated.
Completely normal IMO. That's why people upgrade. Some upgrade it to start, some upgrade as things break.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:22 AM   #29
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Lol ask me about my wheeling trip this weekend where i rock gouged my rims. 280 bucks. And i still have to get em em mounted and balanced! But honestly i dont think you should be straight up breaking stuff. I would check your lines better next time and keep it slow.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:04 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlobalResponder View Post
I'm hoping this is enough "on-topic" for this thread. I sheared off my Rear Passenger Shock mount Bar pin over the weekend on a medium difficult trail. I had to crawl off the mountain until I was on level enough ground to remove the shock and drive home with a spongy rear end.
The question I have is two fold. First, it already had the Rubicon Express Lift on it when I bought the Jeep about a year ago. Question is, how can I tell what size lift was put on it? The RE shocks are RXT2420 if that helps. The shock has an extended length of 25" and 16" when compressed.
I ask this question, because this is the 3RD TIME I've had suspension issues! In fact, every time I've gone off-roading on what would considered to be rather mild trail riding, I break something in the Suspension. Is this normal? Should I expect to have a $80 - $150 repair bill each time I come back from a trail?
Second thought, should I consider replacing this whole lift because of these little issues I'm having, or just beef it up and upgrade it? I'm really tired of throwing money at my Jeep every time I get back from the local mountains!

Dawhites....glad to see you're having such great success with your lift kit. I'm hoping that there is an easy solution to my problems as well.

Any help would be appreciated.
RXT2420 are the twin tubes. Think of the sport vs rubicon shocks. I had the same feeling (spongy) when I was in stock form after a 2 hour offroad trip. Those shocks have to cool down before taking more abuse. Come to out local meets in Long Beach once a month and ill be glad to help u out.

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