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Old 09-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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4" Zone lift and lower control arm sleeve split opened??

I bought a Zone 4" spring lift for our 06' Wrangler Golden Eagle. Installed it
just over 3000 miles ago with the upgrade Nitro shocks. We had it in the sand dunes for a total of 3 days other than that one weekend of trail riding...never placed in 4x4 on the trails--more dirt road riding than anything.....the last few weeks I noticed applying throttle, then shifting the rear end seemed a little soft. Once up to speed let off throttle, then back on...the Jeep had rear steering. Tonight I pulled the lower control arms and looky what I found ...a opened bushing from rolled steel. Anyone else experience this??? IMO, this should of been solid , no seam pipe / tube.

I believe I'll machine a bar stock bushing and maybe change the rubber control arm bushings to Teflon. I can turn those on a lathe too. Kinda BS, being this Jeep has far, far more miles of pavement running than real off road.

I'll call Zone tomorrow and see what they say. They are only 1 hour from me so I may make a road trip to show them the issue. I'll report what I get for an answer to you all.


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Old 09-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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Been machining for close to 10 years....never seen a bushing made of welded tube. That's just dumb....make it out of solid. And it's easy!! Turn od. Drill. Ream. Chamfer. Part off.

On a inc ur talking like 1-2min per piece. Tops!! That's just cheap.


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Old 09-18-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Exactly my point...this part should have NEVER been made so it can open under pressure, ...it's NOT even welded, it's rolled. I'll bring it to Zones attention and see if they have a real turned spacer..NON seamless. If not, get out the flame gun....
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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And this is one reason I continuously wonder why Zone get such high praises.....

That's the cheapest, worst possible way a control arm end can be executed. I use better bushings and sleeves for my cage tie-ins, which are static parts. Zone is nothing more than cheap, budget-conscience parts competing with RC and ProComp.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by timberland View Post
I bought a Zone 4" spring lift for our 06' Wrangler Golden Eagle. Installed it
just over 3000 miles ago with the upgrade Nitro shocks. We had it in the sand dunes for a total of 3 days other than that one weekend of trail riding...never placed in 4x4 on the trails--more dirt road riding than anything.....the last few weeks I noticed applying throttle, then shifting the rear end seemed a little soft. Once up to speed let off throttle, then back on...the Jeep had rear steering. Tonight I pulled the lower control arms and looky what I found ...a opened bushing from rolled steel. Anyone else experience this??? IMO, this should of been solid , no seam pipe / tube.

I believe I'll machine a bar stock bushing and maybe change the rubber control arm bushings to Teflon. I can turn those on a lathe too. Kinda BS, being this Jeep has far, far more miles of pavement running than real off road.

I'll call Zone tomorrow and see what they say. They are only 1 hour from me so I may make a road trip to show them the issue. I'll report what I get for an answer to you all.
]
That's exactly why I tell anyone who asks that the 4" lift from Zone should be avoided. Mine did the same thing, only there wasn't much left of my bushings when I removed them.

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Originally Posted by timberland View Post
I'll bring it to Zones attention and see if they have a real turned spacer..NON seamless.
Good luck with that, I highly doubt they do. When I removed the arms from my Jeep, I was extremely fed up and ordered some quality ones from Savvy to replace them. I then contacted Zone about getting some replacement bushings under warranty so that I could try and sell their arms to get a few bucks back.

Zone told me that before they could help me, they would have to see pictures of the ride height measurement on all four corners, and pictures from the side of the Jeep so that they could get some info about my lift. I told them that the lift was now off the Jeep and physically in my hands, so what they were asking is impossible. I sent a few emails explaining that I could take detailed pictures of the bushings and sleeves to show them the damage, but my emails were never returned. I didn't bother to push it further since I've already got other arms. Zone and their warranty gets a big from me.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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I called and got as much as I expected...zip from Zone. I explained what I posted in the start of this thread....in short 3000 mile on this lift and I have a rolled bushing that is egg shaped. The ...ahem.... "tech" explained to me that this happens when guys tighten the bolts down with a impact to tight. I told him that I tightened them with a socket and wrench. To which he replied...I've seen guys that can break bolts by doing that too. I seen where this was headed and kept my cool... I ask if he thought it might be a better design to of furnished dom ..."drawn over mandrel" steel vs rolled plate that has a open seam? His reply..."you have to choose a method and move on"...Ok I replied that they may want to rethink their idea, because this doesn't work. He did offer to "look around " for new rolled bushings..to which I replied they'll do the same thing, I'll pass and fix it my self.

We are fortunate to have ALRO steel in our hometown...a trip over to see what they have in drops...I found a 3/4"od piece of dom steel....the ID is a little small, which is easily fixed by drilling out to 9/16". I purchase 2' for $14 and was on my way. I cut the dom steel to length, chucked it up in my Dad's ol' Atlas lathe and in 20 minutes I had 4 spacers...enough for the rear. Installed, test drove and the problem I had is now fixed...NO thanks to Zone. Another change that I made was the factory bolts to a grade 8 bolt that allows the spacer to spin rather than the bolt threads "biting" on the ID of the spacer. See above photo for stock bolt look and below for dom steel and new bolt....



This is the second thing I fixed on this lift...first was the track bar mount...it was off and allowed the differential to be off center in the Jeep. I fixed this during the install.

Notice the track bar mount had to be moved over 3/4" to accomodate the lift bracket from Zone...I sent them a email about this when I installed the lift...they never replied..shocking...not.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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Nice job. One of these days, more people will realize who makes good products and who supports the offroad community vs. those who do neither.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by timberland View Post
I bought a Zone 4" spring lift for our 06' Wrangler Golden Eagle. Installed it
just over 3000 miles ago with the upgrade Nitro shocks. We had it in the sand dunes for a total of 3 days other than that one weekend of trail riding...never placed in 4x4 on the trails--more dirt road riding than anything.....the last few weeks I noticed applying throttle, then shifting the rear end seemed a little soft. Once up to speed let off throttle, then back on...the Jeep had rear steering. Tonight I pulled the lower control arms and looky what I found ...a opened bushing from rolled steel. Anyone else experience this??? IMO, this should of been solid , no seam pipe / tube.

I believe I'll machine a bar stock bushing and maybe change the rubber control arm bushings to Teflon. I can turn those on a lathe too. Kinda BS, being this Jeep has far, far more miles of pavement running than real off road.

I'll call Zone tomorrow and see what they say. They are only 1 hour from me so I may make a road trip to show them the issue. I'll report what I get for an answer to you all.
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Originally Posted by timberland View Post
I called and got as much as I expected...zip from Zone. I explained what I posted in the start of this thread....in short 3000 mile on this lift and I have a rolled bushing that is egg shaped. The ...ahem.... "tech" explained to me that this happens when guys tighten the bolts down with a impact to tight. I told him that I tightened them with a socket and wrench. To which he replied...I've seen guys that can break bolts by doing that too. I seen where this was headed and kept my cool... I ask if he thought it might be a better design to of furnished dom ..."drawn over mandrel" steel vs rolled plate that has a open seam? His reply..."you have to choose a method and move on"...Ok I replied that they may want to rethink their idea, because this doesn't work. He did offer to "look around " for new rolled bushings..to which I replied they'll do the same thing, I'll pass and fix it my self.

We are fortunate to have ALRO steel in our hometown...a trip over to see what they have in drops...I found a 3/4"od piece of dom steel....the ID is a little small, which is easily fixed by drilling out to 9/16". I purchase 2' for $14 and was on my way. I cut the dom steel to length, chucked it up in my Dad's ol' Atlas lathe and in 20 minutes I had 4 spacers...enough for the rear. Installed, test drove and the problem I had is now fixed...NO thanks to Zone. Another change that I made was the factory bolts to a grade 8 bolt that allows the spacer to spin rather than the bolt threads "biting" on the ID of the spacer. See above photo for stock bolt look and below for dom steel and new bolt....

This is the second thing I fixed on this lift...first was the track bar mount...it was off and allowed the differential to be off center in the Jeep. I fixed this during the install.

Notice the track bar mount had to be moved over 3/4" to accomodate the lift bracket from Zone...I sent them a email about this when I installed the lift...they never replied..shocking...not.
Please send me a PM or call us (888-998-9663) with your name and the approximate date and time you called in, and I will be happy to review your information and the response you were given.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:03 PM   #9
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Please give me your name and the approximate date and time you called in and I will be happy to review your information and the response you were given.
Zone, welcome to the boards.

I received your message that you were not able to edit the post....ummmm, It was "my" post that is why you were not able to edit it. You can dispute my claims with the owner(s) of this web site and they may pull my thread. Rightfully so, it's their web site and may elect to do so. Or..... they will do the right thing and leave this for all to see.

To further with your question, my name is Richard Jennings,...same one that's in my profile. I called in yesterday early afternoon Sept 19, according to my cell phone it was 12:36pm. I spoke to a person who he referred himself as Jeremy.

Awaiting your reply.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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I received your message that you were not able to edit the post....ummmm, It was "my" post that is why you were not able to edit it. You can dispute my claims with the owner(s) of this web site and they may pull my thread. Rightfully so, it's their web site and may elect to do so. Or..... they will do the right thing and leave this for all to see.
I hope they misspoke and actually didn't want to edit/remove your post. If they actually did, another big .
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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To Timberland, and all the members of Wrangler Forum.

We would NEVER attempt to delete or discredit any post. We respect and enjoy the social and educational aspects of all Offroad based forums. Steven is our head customer service person. He is out of the office today on a trail ride and he asked us to respond on his behalf. As you can see this was his first involvement with this forum, thus making the functions very new to him. After he posted his response he realized it may not have been appropriate to request you share your personal information with everyone. He then went back to attempt to update or delete HIS post. His plan was to communicate with you via a P.M. ,obviously his attempt to improve on his goal to help, caused something to go astray with your post. We are still very much interested in learning more about your issue. Steve will be back in on Monday. If you need anything sooner please give us a call. Thank you.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Zone Offroad View Post
We are still very much interested in learning more about your issue.
This isn't rocket science. Poly bushings + cheap sleeves in a dynamic part in a relatively high-travel suspension. That's the issue and I'm sure you're already well-aware of the shortfalls of such components when used in that application.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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Zone Offroad...I have explained verbally when I called your tech, type written my problem and posted photo's of the issue here...if you can't figure it out from these 3 ways about my issue ...we have a failure to communicate, please accept my apology. It was clear when I spoke to your tech this was my problem. Simple enough,..... I fixed both of them. As matter of fact, I posted how to fix both problems for all here to benefit, thats what these forums are about. Helping each other. It was clear your tech didn't want to fix the bushing issue...other than offer another part that was the same rolled plate that more than likely would of done the same thing. I politely declined his offer and we parted.

If you really want to improve your product, fix both of the issues I have described for the guys that don't have the mechanical ability or shop equipment I have.

I have an offer for you... I'm in Jackson...yup less than one hour from you. How about we get together or you give me and we'll install in my shop, another of your 4" spring lifts, except with my modified parts on my sister and brother inlaws 05' Rocky Mountain Wrangler? I'll wrench and photo the "how too" and post here for all to see. Many questions are ask weekly on how hard is it to install one of these lifts. I'm willing to use your product again and show everyone you have a good product, a couple of tweaks and you'll have a great product.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #14
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I have this same kit on my jeep. Great......
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:21 PM   #15
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I've had this kit for 1.5 years. Always re-torquing the control arms. Always been leary about the bushings.

Anyways, it's in the shop as I speak to get thorough check out due to front tires now starting to cup. Just got the call that the bushings are shot.

Savvy or currie arms were on my next list anyways.

But I do love the ride of the springs in this kit.

And like imped and jerry (and others) say: "research"
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #16
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A while back I asked on this forum about good feedback on Zone lift. Also asked about feedback from serious wheelers that used them. Got a few that said you get what you pay for. Buy cheap and get crap. Makes sense to me
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #17
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One of Steven from Zone's mistakes was to right away blame you for causing the problem, claiming you must have overtightened the control arm bolt. Steven needs to be educated on dealing with customers by someone who knows blaming the customer up front is never a good decision.

Using bushings made of rolled steel was another bad decision on Zone's part. Cheap and won't hold up... as so well illustrated in this thread.

Finally, that type of control arm construction is very similar to the first generation of control arms made by Teraflex and 4Wheel Parts. Its problem is the bushing flexes so poorly that if you take your Jeep on really difficult or at least uneven trails, its lack of flex places too much strain on the control arm mounting brackets which can cause them to tear away from where they are welded to the axle. Which happened to me 12-13 years ago when I naively ran that type of control arm.

To which I have no doubt Zone will say that can't happen or they haven't seen it happen and they have nothing but happy customers.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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Zone Offroad...I have explained verbally when I called your tech, type written my problem and posted photo's of the issue here...if you can't figure it out from these 3 ways about my issue ...we have a failure to communicate, please accept my apology. It was clear when I spoke to your tech this was my problem. Simple enough,..... I fixed both of them. As matter of fact, I posted how to fix both problems for all here to benefit, thats what these forums are about. Helping each other. It was clear your tech didn't want to fix the bushing issue...other than offer another part that was the same rolled plate that more than likely would of done the same thing. I politely declined his offer and we parted.

If you really want to improve your product, fix both of the issues I have described for the guys that don't have the mechanical ability or shop equipment I have.

I have an offer for you... I'm in Jackson...yup less than one hour from you. How about we get together or you give me and we'll install in my shop, another of your 4" spring lifts, except with my modified parts on my sister and brother inlaws 05' Rocky Mountain Wrangler? I'll wrench and photo the "how too" and post here for all to see. Many questions are ask weekly on how hard is it to install one of these lifts. I'm willing to use your product again and show everyone you have a good product, a couple of tweaks and you'll have a great product.
That sounds like a great idea in would love to see a write up on this! I have heard plenty of good things on zone lifts like the ride being great and stuff like that. Also heard bad thing about them as with just about everything. But I don't like when people bash someone when they are trying to make something right. Just give them time to do things right, after that its all fare game

Oh and I'm not talking about anyone specifically in this thread just people in general. I like how how timberland took care of this problem he was polite and kept his cool. Shows character. let's just keep it that way
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
One of Steven from Zone's mistakes was to right away blame you for causing the problem, claiming you must have overtightened the control arm bolt. Steven needs to be educated on dealing with customers by someone who knows blaming the customer up front is never a good decision.

Using bushings made of rolled steel was another bad decision on Zone's part. Cheap and won't hold up... as so well illustrated in this thread.

Finally, that type of control arm construction is very similar to the first generation of control arms made by Teraflex and 4Wheel Parts. Its problem is the bushing flexes so poorly that if you take your Jeep on really difficult or at least uneven trails, its lack of flex places too much strain on the control arm mounting brackets which can cause them to tear away from where they are welded to the axle. Which happened to me 12-13 years ago when I naively ran that type of control arm.

To which I have no doubt Zone will say that can't happen or they haven't seen it happen and they have nothing but happy customers.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:45 PM   #20
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Guy's ..as my original post read, I was curious if this was a one time occurrence or not. NO intent to bash Zone...hell, I've made plenty of mistakes in my business's...HOWEVER, if someone is asking me a question, before I open my mouth I make damn sure I dont blame the customer, make it the customers fault or deny any problems. Man up...is it that tough? I feel the kit still is s good one for 95% of the people owning Jeeps...me included. The manufacturing process is flawed bad, and borderline dangerous when the bushings fail. I can not imagine the cost to add the bushings I made would be any more money of kit adder...I have a feeling the rubber bushings these are mounted into will be the next lathe project. Time will tell. The springs are great...the ride is great, Nitro shocks too. I'm not running the baja 1000 with this jeep..its a weekend toy thats had more wax applied than gas run through it. I've built and toyed around with Jeeps for over 30 years. Had fiberglass CJ5 and 7's. I've had mild 355ci chevy conversions and 337ci Chevy wild hp sand draggers.

I am really curious who tipped Zone off to my thread. At least Zone recognized that there was a problem to at least look into my post. Props...it's a step in the right direction.

I visit many forums from Harleys, camera's, bass boats to washing machines. ...yup washing machines, ....I own a laundromat as well a log home construction business. I've posted how too's on narrowing a Harley fender, lowering a harley fender, rebuilding wascomat washing machines and how too's for outdoor photography.

It is my sincere hope that Zone takes me up on my offer for a install...it would be a great how too for the forum. I look forward to doing another install...although I'm not looking forward that much to take my kit off to reinstall it for you jeepers' .
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:58 AM   #21
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But I don't like when people bash someone when they are trying to make something right. Just give them time to do things right, after that its all fare game
I agree, but on the other hand, when someone tries contacting the company privately and having them fix the problem that way yet they're basically told to go pound sand, I'd have to say its pretty much fair game at that point.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:26 AM   #22
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I agree, but on the other hand, when someone tries contacting the company privately and having them fix the problem that way yet they're basically told to go pound sand, I'd have to say its pretty much fair game at that point.
Exactly. I only jumped in because Zone's "head customer service person" Steven immediately blamed Timberland for the problem by saying it happens when customers use an impact to tighten it too tightly, then continuing in persisting in blaming Timberland even after he explained he hadn't used an impact wrench and actually only used a ratchet wrench. Steven at Zone blamed Timberland for causing the problem no matter how he tightened that bolt.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #23
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I agree, but on the other hand, when someone tries contacting the company privately and having them fix the problem that way yet they're basically told to go pound sand, I'd have to say its pretty much fair game at that point.
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Exactly. I only jumped in because Zone's "head customer service person" Steven immediately blamed Timberland for the problem by saying it happens when customers use an impact to tighten it too tightly, then continuing in persisting in blaming Timberland even after he explained he hadn't used an impact wrench and actually only used a ratchet wrench. Steven at Zone blamed Timberland for causing the problem no matter how he tightened that bolt.
Oh I agree completely, but the zone guy on here isn't Steven (I don't think) so not his fault Steven has little sales training or is just ignorant when it comes to sales. That's all I was saying
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:33 AM   #24
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For the record I spoke to Jeremy on the phone....Steve is the one who posted here on the boards. Lets read the entire post guys before we cast stones. Steve and I will be speaking on Monday, if he's back in the shop. Stay posted for the photo, on how -to install a zone 4" lift.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #25
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Guys, I spoke to Steve at Zone. After a lengthy conversation, I firmly believe he is one of us . He is VERY concerned about how the public views their product and more importantly how they can improve it. He mentioned they are making some changes on their kits and will continue to monitor the concerns of the buying public.

I personally really like my Zone 4" kit and found this kit very easy to install. That said, I'm going to do a Zone 4" lift install on my sisters 04' Wrangler Rocky Mountain edition. Best part...I'll photo most all of the steps and post here the "how-to". I mentioned this to Steve and he is excited that I would be doing this and ask that I keep him informed when I post the install. . I may even try to get him over here to hand me the wrenches .
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #26
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Thats awesome man thanks for the updates!!!
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:24 AM   #27
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It's nice someone is finally taking notice, but it's sad that it took some bad publicity to get any action.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:26 AM   #28
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I still don't get why they thought that was an acceptable way to sell a control arm in the first place.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:36 AM   #29
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Exactly; even if they fix the sleeve issue they're left with a fixed control arm that will most likely still bend the control arm brackets, and I wouldn't be surprised if the bushings still don't last.

Unfortunately it seems they cater more towards looks and being very cheap rather than quality or performance.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:55 AM   #30
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I still don't get why they thought that was an acceptable way to sell a control arm in the first place.
Zone will sell you adjustable control arms and track bar too. You have to remember when speaking of a kit that 95% of the people will drive occasionally off road, where at best its a two track fire road trail....is adjustable control arms really needed? No there not. There are upgrades to this kit just like upgrades to a new purchased vehicle. If you were to commute to work daily 200 miles would you of "ordered" cruise control and maybe air conditioning?? IMO, same with this kit and it's control arms, track bars and transfer case drop. You obviously need to recognize what your going to do with this kit....run SCORE Baja 1000's ? Climb the Rubicon ??? or, put around in the sand dunes and fire roads like we do.

My issue, IMO, should not have happened and was the original question to the start of this thread. Zone and I have worked this out..and like I posted earlier...after a lengthy conversation they are just just us....they like to play off road and speak of their experiences. Call Steve and you'll find exactly what I'm speaking about.

I dont believe there is a "kit" out there for everyone, however, with small changes this kit will with out a doubt satisfy more than the majority.....and it definitely matches most check books. We have zero vibration issues...some kits do. My 73 year young Dad bought a used 06' Wrangler that has a RC 4" lift....it vibrated horribly at highway speeds. The RC lift did not have the small plate differential adjusters like my Zone kit had. Now, before it's taken that RC does not supply the plates to adjust the differential up, I dont know for sure......all I am saying is the kit that was installed when my Dad bought his Jeep doesn't have them. We made adjusters like the Zone kit and it helped tremendously...although still had problems. Eventually we installed a SYE just to remove the vibration issue and two months later installed Nitro shocks because one of the RC shocks had no compression / rebound ( blown). In the long run it would of been less costly to of purchased another Zone lift for my Dad's Jeep.

After the additional costly issues with the RC lift, my sister and BIL are going to lift their 04' Wrangler Rocky Mountain Edition with the Zone kit....my sister DEFINITELY does not do any thing to damage their Jeep....she wont even drive it in the rain .... After comparing the two lifts, we will be installing a 4" Zone lift on their Jeep. It'll be perfect for what they are going to do with it. Stay tuned guys because I'm going to do a full photo step by step of the 4" install...I believe most will appreciate the thread.

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