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Old 04-11-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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RE 3.5" vs RE 3.5 Super Flex

I'm thinking it's going to come down to these two lifts for my '00 TJ. But my question is, is there is a big difference in the way that they both ride on the highway and street? It doesn't look like the hardware is much different, except that the Super Flex comes with more included. And lastly, it seems that many of you use at least one of these kits, and was wondering if you'd recommend it? Any pros/cons to either? And is one more favorable than the other?

Thanx for all the help

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Old 04-11-2010, 02:06 PM   #2
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The regular 3.5 uses bushings on all the control arms and they are also fixed length. The 3.5 Super flex uses joints for better flex and plus the arms are adjustable to adjust pinion angles.

If your looking at kits do it right the first time, get the RE 4.5 SF kit and sub out the springs for the 3.5 ones. The 4.5 kit is the most complete one.

Depends on how much wheeling your going to do, but once you lift it more then likely you'll wheel it so go with the RE SF

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Old 04-11-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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That's good to know. I'll look at it and see if I'm able to afford it as my budget is fairly limited and tight as far as what I'd like to do, which is get 33's on it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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I've had the RE 3.5" SF kit now for three years...love it! No problems. I would also suggest you consider adding their monotube shocks and a rear adjustable track bar.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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I would suggest you buy the standard kit that DOESNT come with the control arms. Buy your control arms somewhere else. RE's rubber bushings are garbage. They are defective, and the company knows well about the issue.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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I dont see there being a difference with the street/highway ride,the superflex is just a more complete kit.I have the 4.5 SF kit (3.5 springs ) and finally got it dialed in good and love it!.THe 3.5 SF kit actually runs closer to 4.5" and I would compare it in lift to others 4" kits at least.You should consider a SYE/Cv driveshaft kit along with the lift.I got mine from 4x4 groupbuy along with all eight control arms adjustable,and a advance adapters SYE and Tom wood CV driveshaft for under 1500 bucks complete.IM not sure about this control arm bushing issue.Mines been on for 6 months now,and I just last week made some front and rear CA adjustments,and my rubber bushings are fine?
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #7
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Could one ride around for awhile on the basic kit and the stock shocks. I know I would probably have to get a sye and driveshaft to do that just curious.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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why would you swap out the 4.5" spring for the 3.5" just curious as to why this seems so common.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Manalive67 View Post
Could one ride around for awhile on the basic kit and the stock shocks. I know I would probably have to get a sye and driveshaft to do that just curious.
I dont think I would run that lift with stock shocks,hell I dont know if they would even extend far enough to bolt them ....
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #10
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why would you swap out the 4.5" spring for the 3.5" just curious as to why this seems so common.
Well it was a mistake for me cuz I ended up adding poly bushings on top of my springs.I just couldnt make up my mind,between 4.5 and 3.5,so I bought the 3.5 springs and 8, .750 poly bushings to play with.I like to be able to level the Jeep to my liking,and am now running 35" tires,so it works out fine,but the 4.5 springs would have worked too.People buy the 4.5 " SF kit and substitute the springs for 3.5" ones because the 4.5" is a more complete kit,but they dont need that height to run 33" tires
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Manalive67 View Post
Could one ride around for awhile on the basic kit and the stock shocks.
No, stock shocks are too short. Make sure not to go with RE's basic twin-tube shock, it is so rough/stiff riding you'll think that you are riding on a buckboard wagon. RE's Monotube is fine though. Also avoid the Rancho R5000 and ProComp ES-3000 or ES-9000 as those are all WAY too stiff for a Wrangler too. An inexpensive shock that rides & works well with the RE kit is the Skyjacker Hydro (not the Nitro).
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:20 PM   #12
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The issue with the bushings is a problem they been having for quite a while now. It doesnt effect all users, but once i had the problem I asked about it on this site and was given links to read about ALL the other people who have suffered from faulty RE bushings. Many other people have the same problem and its not resolved form switching the bushings to new ones..Because the new ones will eventually breakdown as well.

Will it happen to yours...maybe...maybe not. Just keep it in mind though. Beside that issue, I like the RE lift still. I will just run different CA's from now on.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:43 PM   #13
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i was thinking of getting the Bilstein 5100 series shocks. Are they a good choice I thought they were supposed to be and they don't seem that expensive.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:49 PM   #14
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The issue with the bushings is a problem they been having for quite a while now. It doesnt effect all users, but once i had the problem I asked about it on this site and was given links to read about ALL the other people who have suffered from faulty RE bushings. Many other people have the same problem and its not resolved form switching the bushings to new ones..Because the new ones will eventually breakdown as well.

Will it happen to yours...maybe...maybe not. Just keep it in mind though. Beside that issue, I like the RE lift still. I will just run different CA's from now on.
Stupid question: Did you grease the bushings regularly? Like I said, I've had mine on the road for 3 years (approx 30K miles) and absoolutely no issues with the bushings.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:07 PM   #15
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Stupid question: Did you grease the bushings regularly? Like I said, I've had mine on the road for 3 years (approx 30K miles) and absoolutely no issues with the bushings.
The rubber bushings dont have grease fittings. Only the heim/superflex bushings do.
Mine started going bad after 2-3 months..and maybe 2 wheeling weekends.


Heres a link to a thread I had going once and there is some pics and good links somewhere in the middle concerning RE's issue with bushings..... http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/scho...ngs-39526.html
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:22 AM   #16
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why would you swap out the 4.5" spring for the 3.5" just curious as to why this seems so common.
Because the RE 4.5 SF kit is more complete then the 3.5 kit and most people only want to run 3.5 anyways.

Plus RE's springs tend to ride higher then what's listed, so the 4.5 tend to ride about 5"-5.5" and same with the 3.5 springs, tend to ride around 4" or so.

Yea RE's bushing are still a known issue, I believe. Also just do some research and look at a couple other ones, such as Teraflex and Full Traction.

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Old 04-12-2010, 01:06 PM   #17
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So thanx to all, and I'm thinking I'm gonna lean more towards the RE 3.5, but use different shocks and bushings. What type of bushings would you all suggest I use? I have looked at Teraflex, and my mind was pretty much set on it, but seeing that I'm more or less on a budget crunch at this time, the 3.5 was working well with what I have to put into it. And as far as full traction, I've heard mixed reviews about it.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:37 PM   #18
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Hmmm for your budget, are you installing the lift yourself, with group of friends or paying to have it installed???? If paying that can typically run anywhere from $500-$800 for installation, depending on the shops in your area.

What type of wheeling do you plan on doing... are you mainly looking to get some 33's and hit the occassional trails... if so there might be a more budget friendly way to do this. RE 2"BB / 1" BL / 1" ML and 33's usually can be had or done right around a $1k or so.

I don't think you can swap out bushings, unless you go with different control arms. You could buy the basic 3.5 stuff and then buy Terflex control arms.

The adj. control arms will help dial in your pinion angle, with going to the 3.5 kit there's a good chance you'll need the SYE kit (Slip Yoke Elminiator) and Rear CV driveshaft. You could always use a t-case drop / spacer kit, but why lift then, when you have to drop the t-case 1" down.

Just some other thoughts that people tend to over look, basically trickle factor...

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:02 PM   #19
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I agree with KBR97. Bushing problems seem to be hit and miss . . . some of us have nothing but problems and burn thru bushings every couple of runs while others run them for a year or more with no issues whatsoever. Based on my personal experience with both Rubicon Express and Full Traction, I will never install another control arm on a TJ with bushings. If it were me, I'd go with a Currie 4" kit or if you really like the RE stuff, I'd go with KBR97's advice and get the basic kit and then buy some Currie Arms with Johnny Joints on both ends.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:34 PM   #20
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Question..why does RE use a johnny joint on one end ,and a rubber bushing on the other? is it a cost thing,or actual engineering ?
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:44 PM   #21
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Lots of suspension lift manufacturers place a bushing in one end and a super-flex (Johnnie-Joint) at the other end. It's a compromise between the crappy low-cost arms with bushings at both ends that can tear control arm bracket away from their welds, and the much more expensive ultimate-performance control arms with flex joints at both ends.

For 90% of the wheelers out there, a flex joint at one end & a bushing at the other is fine.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #22
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Hey I have the basic 3.5 installed and honestly for the money it is worth every penny. I have pretty much maxed out my shocks in the front though. The instructions were crap not going to lie and I was missing instructions for the sway bar links and transfercase drop. You will be able to do quite a bit of wheeling with this lift installed. Great first lift in my opinion.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:10 PM   #23
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I just installed the RE SF 3.5" last weekend. It really is around a 4.5" lift but I am sure it will sag a bit over the next few months. Here are my suggestions from my first hand experience over the last week or so.
-Go with an adjustable front track bar (I got lucky and already had an adjustable rear track bar)
-Go with adjustable lower control arms. That lift is big and being able to adjust your caster angle in the front will improve your highway driving. Mine is still a little rough but plan on making more adjustments over the next few weeks. I went w/ the RE ones but haven't used it long enough to know about the problems mentioned before.
-I wish I would have added a .75" spacer up front to level it out a bit.
-When it comes down to it take your time and do it right the first time. I spent months going back and forth between the standard and SF like you mentioned. I am glad I spent the money and did it all at once. I wish I would have done upper adjustable control arms and the SYE kit.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:47 AM   #24
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Gumpy dont be suprised if your springs dont sag a bit. Mine havnt in 4 almost 5 years. having a johnny joint on both ends really doesnt do anything but cost more. the johnny or RE joint will just last longer then rubber. but as far as articulation or ride or control its gonna be about the same in performance. I do have a friend with a full traction long arm kit on his XJ and hes had to replace both frame end johnny joints on the kit and he barely wheels it.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:17 PM   #25
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Chris, I'm probably going to have to have either one of my friends, who put his 6" on his TJ Rubi, or if he's not available, get a 4 wheel store to do it for me. And yea, mine is mostly a DD, with some occasional four wheeling during the weekends, and I would like to still run the 33" if at all possible.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:38 PM   #26
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having a johnny joint on both ends really doesnt do anything but cost more. the johnny or RE joint will just last longer then rubber.
I won't argue the performance aspects of having double JJ's over a JJ and bushing combo . . . in my opinion there is a noticable difference . . . but I think you are really down playing the difference in life expectancy of the bushings vs JJs . . . unless this is intended to be a mall crawler that rarely flexes its suspension. Many of us with Jeeps that see a lot of off-road time, have found that the bushings simply don't last at all . . . myself and others (do a google search on RE bushings if you question whether I'm the only one with this issue) have had the RE bushings split and tear in just one or two outings, whereas most find that the JJ's are still going strong and tight after a year or two and outing after outing. Replacing bushings is a hassle and when you consider the cost of $85 + shipping for one set of six bushings, that cost savings quickly vanishes. If you wheel once or twice a year, maybe it's not a big deal, but if you plan to wheel once or twice a month, you may find yourself calling Currie and ordering up a set of quality arms with double JJ's or chopping the arms and welding a JJ on to replace the bushings like so many others have ended up doing. I've yet to have a bushing last for more than a couple of months . . . whereas the Currie arms have been going strong for over a year now and are still very tight.


P.S. - When you hear people rave about their RE kits and say that their bushings held up well . . . be sure to ask if they are running the newer hourglass style bushings (the ones that RE has had all the problems with) or the old style with the OEM style bushings (why they changed, I'll never know).
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:46 PM   #27
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The issue with the bushings is a problem they been having for quite a while now. It doesnt effect all users, but once i had the problem I asked about it on this site and was given links to read about ALL the other people who have suffered from faulty RE bushings. Many other people have the same problem and its not resolved form switching the bushings to new ones..Because the new ones will eventually breakdown as well.

Will it happen to yours...maybe...maybe not. Just keep it in mind though. Beside that issue, I like the RE lift still. I will just run different CA's from now on.
I have had a clunking noise mostly in the rear of my Rubicon mainly because of these joints and just recently found they were the cause. I have the 3.5 SF but sprung for the Adj. uppers front and rear. All rear, frame-mounted poly bushings have play in them and the lowers are cracked after 18 months of use. RE has admitted they had a defective batch and they are shipping out a set of 4 for replacement.

Other than the clunk that has been driving me crazy, I am happy with all my RE stuff. If you havent purchased the kit yet I would recommend the Adj Uppers and the Adj front/rear track bars.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:00 PM   #28
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I have had a clunking noise mostly in the rear of my Rubicon mainly because of these joints and just recently found they were the cause. I have the 3.5 SF but sprung for the Adj. uppers front and rear. All rear, frame-mounted poly bushings have play in them and the lowers are cracked after 18 months of use. RE has admitted they had a defective batch and they are shipping out a set of 4 for replacement.

Other than the clunk that has been driving me crazy, I am happy with all my RE stuff. If you havent purchased the kit yet I would recommend the Adj Uppers and the Adj front/rear track bars.
exactly what mine was doing but in the front. The whole front differential was moving back and forth.

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