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Old 04-21-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
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4.5 Bds lift vs. 4.5 rubicon express

Any opinions I what is better a bds 4.5 short arm lift or a rubicon express 4.5 short arm?

Also anyone with these lifts could you tell me how you like them?

Or any other 4.5 Inch short arm lifts that anyone recommends?

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Old 04-21-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
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I run 4.5 BDS coils but I opted to use better quality shocks and control arms. The coils seem to ride nicely and have a high spring rate to compensate for a winch. I used to have a 3.5 RE lift with super flex arms. The front springs sagged, shocks were stiff, and flex joints constantly squeaked.

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Old 04-21-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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I run 4.5 BDS coils but I opted to use better quality shocks and control arms. The coils seem to ride nicely and have a high spring rate to compensate for a winch. I used to have a 3.5 RE lift with super flex arms. The front springs sagged, shocks were stiff, and flex joints constantly squeaked.
Ok so you run 4.5 bds springs and what control arms do you run? And I was looking at the fox/bds shock? Good bad?
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Ok so you run 4.5 bds springs and what control arms do you run? And I was looking at the fox/bds shock? Good bad?
I run savvy control arms and bilstein shocks. No experience with fox shocks
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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I run savvy control arms and bilstein shocks. No experience with fox shocks
Ok an what website did you get those from ?
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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And do you have any pics of to set up? Also are yiu running 35's?
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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WWW.savvyoffroad.com for the control arms and a vendor on jeepforum named kolak for the shocks. I run 33s. A body lift would be necessary to fit 35s
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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WWW.savvyoffroad.com for the control arms and a vendor on jeepforum named kolak for the shocks. I run 33s. A body lift would be necessary to fit 35s
Ok and do you have to buy. A certain control arm for the 4.5 lift
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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Anyone on here running any of these lifts or anyone have some experience with them?
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
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I run 4.5 BDS coils but I opted to use better quality shocks and control arms. The coils seem to ride nicely and have a high spring rate to compensate for a winch.
This ↑ .

While BDS make decent coils and shocks, I would go with different control arms and other suspension components.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #11
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This ↑ .

While BDS make decent coils and shocks, I would go with different control arms and other suspension components.
Ok so you agree I should get savvy upper and lower control arms ??
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #12
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Ok so you agree I should get savvy upper and lower control arms ??
The key performance added component in those arms are the "johnny joint" ends. There are other manufacturers that have those ends in their arms. Currie and Rokmen for example. Currie, from what I understand - is responsible for bringing the design into the 4 wheeling world. Savvy would also be a great place to start - make sure you get the forum discount .

Note: I run Rokmen arms and I am happy with them too.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:31 PM   #13
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[QUOTE="IslandTJ;3669463"]

The key performance added component in those arms are the "johnny joint" ends. There are other manufacturers that have those ends in their arms. Currie and Rokmen for example. Currie, from what I understand - is responsible for bringing the design into the 4 wheeling world. Savvy would also be a great place to start - make sure you get the forum discount .

Note: I run Rokmen arms and I am happy with them too.[/

Ok so the only bad thing about the bds lift kit is their joints they use in their control arms?
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:44 PM   #14
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Ok so the only bad thing about the bds lift kit is their joints they use in their control arms?
Essentially - yes. From what I can tell, BDS uses bushings at each arm's end. The ends combined with rigid arms, places more stress on the mounts/brackets - which may contribute to bracket failure or diminished bushing lifespan. IMO, the factory control arms offer better movement by design and are not as harsh on the control arm brackets compared to the BDS design.

Johnny joint control arms offer similar, if not better lateral and vertical movement as an OEM control arms with additional length options vs. a fixed bushing which is limited by the bushing's material's compression travel.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:52 PM   #15
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just gonna throw another option out there METALCLOAK. I've got their control arms and couldn't be happier with the quality. I don't have any experience with the JJ, but the metalcloak duroflex joint is basically suppose to give the Jeep it's stock ride back while lifted. The only part of Metalcloak's lift I would opt out of is maybe the front/rear trackbars, because they are meant for their complete lift system at 3.5" and have heard of a couple people saying they hit, but that is just he/she said. Just another option though
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by IslandTJ View Post

Essentially - yes. From what I can tell, BDS uses bushings at each arm's end. The ends combined with rigid arms, places more stress on the mounts/brackets - which may contribute to bracket failure or diminished bushing lifespan. IMO, the factory control arms offer better movement by design and are not as harsh on the control arm brackets compared to the BDS design.

Johnny joint control arms offer similar, if not better lateral and vertical movement as an OEM control arms with additional length options vs. a fixed bushing which is limited by the bushing's material's compression travel.
You give those p.o.s. tin foil factory arms too much credit. Please ask me how I know.

to the O.P.:
Look, when using factory mounts on a tj suspension, one of the only things that matters is the joints used on the control arms. Period, end of story.

Also if you would do a search on the Bds fox shocks you'd find they're too long and yield shitty travel . They are not rebuildable, and don't even come close to something tuneable such as fox's resi shocks. Invest is some tuneable shocks or some Rancho 9kxl's and be done with it. In the large scheme of things shocks are the last on the list.

Example: shitty suspension geometry offers a horrible ride, like a 6" short arm kit, no matter which shocks you put on.

Build around your goal tire size. What's your goal?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:16 AM   #17
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You give those p.o.s. tin foil factory arms too much credit. Please ask me how I know.

to the O.P.:
Look, when using factory mounts on a tj suspension, one of the only things that matters is the joints used on the control arms. Period, end of story.

Also if you would do a search on the Bds fox shocks you'd find they're too long and yield shitty travel . They are not rebuildable, and don't even come close to something tuneable such as fox's resi shocks. Invest is some tuneable shocks or some Rancho 9kxl's and be done with it. In the large scheme of things shocks are the last on the list.

Example: shitty suspension geometry offers a horrible ride, like a 6" short arm kit, no matter which shocks you put on.

Build around your goal tire size. What's your goal?
Goal tire size are 35's
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:49 AM   #18
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Goal tire size are 35's
Definitely get Johnny Joint type, control arms .
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #19
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Ok so what do I need to make my own complete lift?
4.5 bds coils
Savvy upper and lower control arms
Currie front an rear trac bar
Jks quick disco
And more I'm forgetting ad to the list?
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:55 AM   #20
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SYE kit and rear DC driveshaft to right your pinion angle.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #21
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Goal tire size are 35's
You need ~5" of lift. Best way to do that would be 4" shirt arms and a 1" body lift.

You understand what goes into turning 35's right? Brakes, steering, in most cases a rear axle swap to a Dana 44, and gears front and rear..

35's is a huge step..
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:02 PM   #22
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You need ~5" of lift. Best way to do that would be 4" shirt arms and a 1" body lift.

You understand what goes into turning 35's right? Brakes, steering, in most cases a rear axle swap to a Dana 44, and gears front and rear..

35's is a huge step..
I have 35's now with a 4"in lift I have a Dana 44 rear stock gears
but plan on changing to 4.11's putting a locker in the rear
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #23
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35's is a huge step..
It's the drop off into the Jeep's money pit. Derp's right on the brakes and the upgraded steering - those are safety upgrades that I consider essential for running 35's properly.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:18 PM   #24
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I agree that eventually I will need to upgrade the brakes and the steering... But the lift I have now the lower control arm joints are getting pretty bad and I'm just trying to figure out what's a the best way of lifting the jeep a little and have a nice solid suspension system with no clunks and creeks while going thru the trail cause That's my problem now

This is what it looks like now an I just want a lift that has better quality and will give me some more articulation
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:25 PM   #25
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I'm running the 4.5" re short arm with bilsteins. Control arms are creaky. Greased them up and seems to have subsided. Have only done a couple decent trails on the suspension but it was way bigger improvement over stock suspension and rough country 2.5" suspension. Drives nicer on the road as well. Running 32" tires atm
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #26
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I'm running the 4.5" re short arm with bilsteins. Control arms are creaky. Greased them up and seems to have subsided. Have only done a couple decent trails on the suspension but it was way bigger improvement over stock suspension and rough country 2.5" suspension. Drives nicer on the road as well. Running 32" tires atm
Ok so right now your running the 4.5 re lift on 32's? Do you have a pic?
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #27
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I have 35's now with a 4"in lift I have a Dana 44 rear stock gears
but plan on changing to 4.11's putting a locker in the rear
What trans do you have?

You'd also better look into steering and brakes. Your steering won't last long trying to keep those 35's pointed where you want them off-road.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #28
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What trans do you have?

You'd also better look into steering and brakes. Your steering won't last long trying to keep those 35's pointed where you want them off-road.
I have a 5 speed and I'm going to have someone make my steering with hd piping and some hime joints.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #29
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I have a 5 speed and I'm going to have someone make my steering with hd piping and some hime joints.
You need to read up more.

For a 5spd you need 4.88's end of discussion. Been their had the wrong ratio it sucked.

Don't waste your time fabbing steering either unless it's a high steer OTK setup. For the time and effort it'll take and the cost, you're better off with Currie steering.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:51 PM   #30
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You need to read up more.

For a 5spd you need 4.88's end of discussion. Been their had the wrong ratio it sucked.

Don't waste your time fabbing steering either unless it's a high steer OTK setup. For the time and effort it'll take and the cost, you're better off with Currie steering.
Ok...... Ive had ppl tell me that the 4.88 end up being too low ... What about 4.56's

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