Alright, so I'm a little late on posting this but better late than never right? I purchased the 4" N2.0 suspension lift kit from Rough Country a few weeks ago and immediately began the installation the day it was dropped off at my door. Now, I'm not the most mechanically inclined guy out there and I am certainly no expert when it comes to Wranglers. If I had to rate my proficiency in the automotive department I would probably get about a 4.5.. and that's being generous! With that being said, I completely installed the whole kit on my own in a matter of 2 days with little to no complications. I definitely enjoyed being able to go into this project, not knowing a thing about lift kit installations, and coming out somewhat victorious in the end. Btw, I am installing this kit on a 2006 Wrangler Sport with a manual transmission with absolutely no mods ever done to it.
Ok, down to business now. The purpose of this post is to give you guys a little insight on the process I went through installing this kit and to hopefully get some feed back on what I should look out for now or in the near future. The tools I used included: 3 ton jack stands(x2), 2 ton jack stand(x2), an extensive set of socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench, coil spring compressors(x2), ball point hex key allen wrench(for the bolt on the track bars), a BFH, and a case of Yuengling.
After I went over everything to make sure the packages included all the parts I went ahead and jacked the front end up since it seemed like it would be the easiest place to start.
*Notice: I did not fully tighten the lower control arms, the sway bar links or the trackbars until the Jeep was lowered to the ground on all 4 tires.[/U][/U]
-I placed the stands underneath the frame just behind the front lower control arms.
-Removed both front tires
-Disconnected front sway bar on the passenger side but remained connected on the driver side
-Supported the front axle with 2 ton jack stands and removed the shocks, sway bar links and lower control arms
-Lowered the front axle as much as possible and removed the springs with the aid of 2 coil/spring compressors
-Installed, but didn’t completely tighten, all the hardware that came with the kit: lower control arms, sway bar links, springs and shocks (All on the front end)
-I put the front tires back on and lowered the vehicle
-(Relocated the hole where the trackbar sits on the driver side) When all four tires were grounded I lined the end of the trackbar that I disconnected with the bracket it mounts to, made a mark on the bracket where I needed to drill a new hole, drilled a nearly perfectly aligned hole through the front and back side of the trackbar bracket then connected it back to it’s new spot
* The instructions tell you to drill the hole, for the trackbar relocation, a certain length away from the original mount spot but instead I followed the step that I explained above. It definitely helped mitigate the time and frustration it would have taken me if I had drilled the new hole too far over.
-I raised the back end of the jeep and suspended it with 3 ton jacks on the frame behind the rear lower control arms
-I followed the same exact process with the back as I did the front; removed the springs, shocks, sway bar links and control arms, installed the new RC N2.0 hardware and relocated the trackbar mount location with the new bracket supplied with the lift kit
-I lowered the jeep with all 4 tires on the ground, tightened the bolts on the parts that were replaced and checked over everything to make sure all the parts were secure
-After the front and rear suspension had been fully assembled I moved on to the transfer case(I did not lift the jeep on stands for this portion)
-I removed the carpeting from the driver side where the e-brake is located and removed the bolts that hold the torque shaft bracket
-I dropped the bracket from the body and installed the RC torque shaft extension bracket
-I removed the bolts from the skid plate and installed the spacer, that came with the kit, between the frame rail and the skidplate
-After I installed the spacer on the driver side I moved over to the passenger side and installed the spacer exactly like I did on the driver side
-Lastly, I attached the torque shaft lever back in and mounted the bracket back to the body, tightened the bolts(driver side bellow e-brake) and tucked the carpeting back where it belongs.
…and after 2 days, about 16 hours, of working on it off and on it’s FINALLY FINISHED!
Like I said before, I had absolutely no major complications with installing this kit. Thankfully I did not have to use a ton of PB blaster since the previous owner took excellent care of the vehicle and rarely took the jeep offroading or mudding. I would, however, highly advise that you get a hold of some PB blaster, it helps out a significant amount when removing the trackbar bolts!
Immediately after I finished installing everything I took her out for a spin.. Turned out to be one of the scariest rides I had ever taken! After getting to about 35mph I felt a strong wobble in the front end, it wasn’t quite death wobble yet. As I increased speed the wobble became worse until I hit a pothole, I think we all know what happened after that.. The front end wobbled uncontrollably from side to side, obviously I had just been diagnosed with the infamous “death wobble”. Now a lot of people THINK they have “DW” but in reality have nothing of the sort. The difference between DW and a regular wobble is whether or not you’ve shit yourself by the time you come to a complete stop! All joking aside, it was actually a pretty terrifying experience. Imagine being in an earthquake that was full of strong and very rapid tremors, now imagine being in that same earthquake in your vehicle moving at 55mph. Your vision becomes blurred due to the amount of rapid shaking and all you can think about is keeping your as cheeks tightened enough that you won’t soil yourself.
I wasn’t too worried about the DW since I was on my way to get the suspension aligned and the tires balanced anyways. I brought it to Firestone since I have the lifetime alignment there and had it out within a couple of hours. I took her for a spin and VOILA, the DW was gone! I had DW prior to installing the kit which is one of the reasons I decided to purchase the kit in the first place. I couldn’t figure out exactly what was causing it, but now I’m pretty certain, although not 100% positive, the origin of the problem was caused by one of the parts replaced during the installation.
My current problems..
Some other problems I am having deal with the transfer case drop… I think. When I reach 4th gear and hit about 2200 RPMs I can hear/feel a slight vibration in the drivetrain. This vibration remains throughout 5th and 6th gear as well and tends to become a little more intense as I accelerate. I would rate the intensity of the vibrations at around a 2 out of 10 so it’s not THAT big of a deal but obviously still needs to be dealt with.
I am also having problems with putting the jeep in reverse. I’m also skeptical that the transfer case drop has something to do with this. When I put it in reverse I have to apply a small amount of pressure to the gear stick(since it won’t stay in place on it’s own) and slowly let off of the clutch until the gear pops into place, at this point I no longer have to hold the gear stick in reverse. This problem is a religious occurrence that doesn’t seem to get any better or any worse.
-If anyone knows how I can take care of either of the above problems or have any advice please do not hesitate to respond to this post. Any help I can get, whether it be a professional or “newbie” opinion, will be greatly appreciated and will not go unnoticed.
All in all I really enjoy the kit and for the price of it I would say it was a pretty good deal. It may not ride like a Cadillac but it drives a lot smoother than it did with the stock suspension. I haven’t taken it climbing yet so I can’t really say how well it works off-road but I have taken it mudding a few times and it handles GREAT!
I’ve thrown in a pic of how it looks now and all the components that came with a kit.. There’s also a link to the RC website with a video pretty much walking you through how to install this exact kit on a TJ.
Link to RC installation video:
Jeep TJ N2-Series Suspension Lift