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Old 04-28-2014, 10:09 PM   #1
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Rough Country - Is it as bad as y'all say?

Hey, fairly new guy here:

2003 Rubicon, 136k, shocks, etc. need to be replaced. Looking for a moderately capable above stock mudder/light rock climber, for use during winter and for weekend excursions.

I was thinking a 2.5" lift with 33"s would be sufficient.

My local shop recommended a RC 2.5 lift for $300. Teraflex minimum $1,000. As a new Jeeper, is it worth it to go with the RC if you have the means to go big?

I hear people hate on RC gear all the time on here so, I'm wondering, what is your opinion on their stuff for someone who may or may not want to drop the cash to have a truly awesome machine? Is it worth throwing $300 away on?

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Old 04-28-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
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I have not run a TJ RC kit so can't comment.. I did run a RC kit on my YJ and it was fine, but apples and oranges as far suspenion.. I did run RC springs on my ZJ and they were fine.

Look into zone lifts.. lots of people like those as a good mid level kit and seem happy with them..

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Old 04-28-2014, 10:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 4Jeepn View Post
I have not run a TJ RC kit so can't comment.. I did run a RC kit on my YJ and it was fine, but apples and oranges as far suspenion.. I did run RC springs on my ZJ and they were fine.

Look into zone lifts.. lots of people like those as a good mid level kit and seem happy with them..
I've heard Zone highly recommended by a number of forum members, especially to newbies like me. I appreciate the feedback - thanks!
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:27 PM   #4
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I've heard Zone highly recommended by a number of forum members, especially to newbies like me. I appreciate the feedback - thanks!
The suspension seems great on my TJ, the shocks just suck. They're as stiff as a virgin in a strip club. Invest in some shocks.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #5
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I have a zone 3" lift with a 3/4" spacer lift in the front to account for the bumper and winch weight, along with 35" tires, and skyjacker hydro shocks. I only get tire rub at full lock bc my rock sliders slight extend into the wheel well. it rides pretty good, although I'm not sure how many miles were on the lift when purchased
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:10 PM   #6
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I installed the RC 3.25 and 33inch tires, I find it rides as good as it did stock and handles at hwy speeds just fine.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:11 PM   #7
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I'd never run a rough country kit.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:15 PM   #8
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My PO had a RC 4 inch on my Rubicon. It was bad, very bad. I now have Currie, Savvy and TF springs with Rancho 9000 shocks. Very smooth, great articulation, smooth and quiet ride. You get what you pay for.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Iowa80 View Post
2003 Rubicon, 136k, shocks, etc. need to be replaced. Looking for a moderately capable above stock mudder/light rock climber, for use during winter and for weekend excursions.
a stock Rubicon with 31s is plenty capable enough for your light usages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa80 View Post
I was thinking a 2.5" lift with 33"s would be sufficient.
no, you'll need more than that.

33's are fit in two common ways on TJ's:

1. 4" suspension lift, with ~2" bumpstop extensions in front and ~2-2.5" in the rear. Requires a SYE/CV shaft.
2. ~2-3" suspension lift, with a 1.25" body lift, with 1-1.25" bumpstop extensions in front and 1.25-1.5" in the rear. The 1.25" BL usually accompanies a 1" Motor Mount Lift to offset some of the driveline angles.

Either way you go, figure on some or many of the following components: longer front brake lines, extended sway bar links front and rear, gears, brake and steering upgrades to accommodate larger tires, SYE, CV shaft, bumpstop extensions, new shocks, adjustable track bars, and a rear track bar bracket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa80 View Post
My local shop recommended a RC 2.5 lift for $300. Teraflex minimum $1,000. As a new Jeeper, is it worth it to go with the RC if you have the means to go big?
I wouldn't recommend either of those. Keep looking, and find a different shop. Better yet, don't go to any shops...do the research and learn for yourself. Install the parts yourself. Also remember a "kit" is nothing but a bundle of components, often a very incomplete bundle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa80 View Post
I hear people hate on RC gear all the time on here so, I'm wondering, what is your opinion on their stuff for someone who may or may not want to drop the cash to have a truly awesome machine? Is it worth throwing $300 away on?
Different strokes for different folks. Remember, free advice is often worth less than you paid for it.

You have to understand some people don't have the knowledge to comment, but they still comment out of ignorance. People often have not driven their Jeep with a wide variety of lift brands, but whatever they just bought is the best. To them it is because they replaced 10-15 year old worn out components...but anything is better than busted junk!!

Some people are happy with mediocrity. Some people have unrealistic expectations. Some people are only concerned with one aspect of "performance".

I happen to be one that is not happy with mediocrity, and want better performance everywhere...better ride, better traction, better safety, better steering, better stopping and more suspension travel - but well rounded travel, I'm not talking about "flex". It's about the package, and how everything works together. Here's my junk running 33s.

Take your time. Save your money. Do your homework, research, search, read, then rinse and repeat. Do that for several months, maybe even a year. Then make an educated decision based on your needs/budget/knowledge.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:01 AM   #10
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I have a 2.5RC lift and so far its fine. I'll probably swap out springs and shocks sooner or later if i want to go bigger, but i'm happy with what i have. Somebody will always say a company is crap, whether it is or isn't. But its what you want. After its all said and done, it is YOUR jeep.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:05 AM   #11
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the new 4'' rough country kit with nitro shocks rides and performs awesome for 500 bucks and u can add whatever u want to it later

u don't need no 1-2k kit to cruise around
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:27 AM   #12
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They're as stiff as a virgin in a strip club.
My wife wants to know whether your analogy uses female or male virgins. I guess it would measure completely different definitions of stiffness...
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:09 AM   #13
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It's not gonna ride like a caddy but it's worth the price. It's not as bad as some people trash it but don't expect lots from it. My tj is a daily driver and I have no complaints. But I'm also 17 so.... Haha
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:21 AM   #14
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Most people on here that claim a RC lift is good never had a really good suspension on their Jeep. So they can't compare the RC to anythng else. They bought a poor lift and now are stuck with it. Save up and buy a quality lift, do it once and do it right.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:34 AM   #15
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I have a 3.25" RC lift on my 03 Tj and I haven't had any problems. Rides pretty good
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:54 AM   #16
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I installed 2.5 RC springs w/o there shocks (used Rubicon's) due to to many people saying they were to harsh, on my buddy's jeep. My jeep has OME 2.5 springs and shocks 1.25 BL IMO I like the OME better, it seems to be a better ride. IMO I would not waste the money on gas shocks, go with standard hydraulic, I think Jeeps are to lite to get the full benefits of gas charged, over the counter shocks. Now if you have unlimited funds.... Fox, King, Ohlins well then that's a different story. You should be able to figure out thru this and other forums what works and what you can afford. Good luck, and don't forget to have fun!
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:56 AM   #17
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I've heard Zone highly recommended by a number of forum members, especially to newbies like me. I appreciate the feedback - thanks!
I don't remember seeing you saying WHAT kind off, if any, offroading you plan to do with the lift. I myself went with the Zone 3" as I can add the 1.25"BL later for cheap if I choose to. But I'm looking for simple trails and light offroading, more family camping and such, so I didn't need to spend a whole lot on a set up to take a ton of abuse. I joined a club thats like minded, tho deeper pocketed, and have some serious rigs, lol. Oh yeah, nice thing about keeping it around a 3" lift is you don't have to upgrade or change much if you don't want to, like angles, SYE (at least for Rubi's), etc)

But there are so many choices here and so many opinions. There are a few folks here I outright just listen too. I recently was on a quest for a front track bar. I'm new to Jeeps so asked for help. Metalcloak, JKS & Currie were the top 3. I ended going with BDS, lol. Why? Local club members use them and swear by them and they have a lifetime warranty they stand by and made in America, plus cheaper than the other 3. So, like it was said before. DO your research, ask around, but in the end, its up to you, its your ride.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:57 AM   #18
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I have a 1.25 Inch BL and 2.5 Inch SL and I love it. Haven't had any problems at all, with that being said Its only a DD and i dont do crazy off roading and no rock crawling ever. So it just depends on what you will be doing and what you're looking for your jeep to do.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Iowa80 View Post
Is it worth throwing $300 away on?
NO

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 View Post
a stock Rubicon with 31s is plenty capable enough for your light usages.

33's are fit in two common ways on TJ's:

1. 4" suspension lift, with ~2" bumpstop extensions in front and ~2-2.5" in the rear. Requires a SYE/CV shaft.
2. ~2-3" suspension lift, with a 1.25" body lift, with 1-1.25" bumpstop extensions in front and 1.25-1.5" in the rear. The 1.25" BL usually accompanies a 1" Motor Mount Lift to offset some of the driveline angles.

I wouldn't recommend either of those. Keep looking, and find a different shop. Better yet, don't go to any shops...do the research and learn for yourself. Install the parts yourself. Also remember a "kit" is nothing but a bundle of components, often a very incomplete bundle.

To them it is because they replaced 10-15 year old worn out components...but anything is better than busted junk!!

Some people are happy with mediocrity. Some people have unrealistic expectations. Some people are only concerned with one aspect of "performance".

Take your time. Save your money. Do your homework, research, search, read, then rinse and repeat.
^^^This^^^
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:29 AM   #20
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I would just replace shocks and be happy. At this point the jeep is 99% more capable a machine than you are a driver. You'll be amazed at how far it can go. I still surprise myself and I'm on an open diff and a worn out LSD. You're golden with 2 lockers
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:51 PM   #21
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Hey guys, thanks for all the advice... I seriously do appreciate it. I know a stock Rubi is probably sufficient for what I have in mind in terms of punishment, but given its age and mileage I need to do something.

It sounds like the consensus is "do your homework" - which is sage advice. Again, I appreciate it.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:54 AM   #22
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I am new here & I just drove my 2001 TJ 4.0 Sahara from Sioux City, IA back to home, Richmond, VA (2166.4 mi; it has 192,000+mi on it now). In 2007, Washington, DC I saw a guy with a very nice daily driver TJ and he said he went up 4 in & out 6 in. He also told his real Jeep (a rock climber) had the 2.5 in it for better low end torque. Since this is a daily driver until I get an additional vehicle, I don't want to get to radical because most of the time it will be on road. I think the lift that that guy had would be what I want (it just looked so good), Thanks for being so informative:UnlimitedLJ04
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:25 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 04-unlimited- View Post
the new 4'' rough country kit with nitro shocks rides and performs awesome for 500 bucks and u can add whatever u want to it later

u don't need no 1-2k kit to cruise around
My lift was less than 1k, and its performed really well. Like he said, I will be able to upgrade at a later date if I want to.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #24
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I would avoid using RC shocks. But springs I don't have any complaints about them. Shock tech has come a long way over the years and there is no doubt a difference in quality shocks! But springs do not have much of a difference, as long as they do not sag and are of the proper rate for the application nothing bad can be said for them.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:26 PM   #25
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I put their 2.5" springs and shocks on my last jeep. Total junk if you ask me. I will never buy anything from them again. If you like your jeep to ride like you have rebar shocks, then go with RC.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #26
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My lift was less than 1k, and its performed really well. Like he said, I will be able to upgrade at a later date if I want to.

Yes, sure, you can upgrade later on if you want---by removing the Rough Country lift completely and installing something else, anything else!!!!!!!

J
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 3X4X4 View Post

Yes, sure, you can upgrade later on if you want---by removing the Rough Country lift completely and installing something else, anything else!!!!!!!

J
I don't have the RC. I went with Zone 4.25" combo. Thought I had it in my signature
.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:56 PM   #28
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I don't have the RC. I went with Zone 4.25" combo. Thought I had it in my signature
.
But we are addressing the OPs question which was anecdotally addressed by you and advice given he could upgrade later?

J
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:19 PM   #29
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When I had my 90' XJ, it had a rough country 3" lift with 31x10.5 tires. I bought it with the lift already installed and I never had any issues with it. I took it through some light mud and trails, but having rode in Jeeps with much nicer suspension, you can definitely tell the difference between a good and low quality lift. For a high school rig, it was a pretty damn good rig but if you can afford a better lift, I would recommend going that route. Such as the Zone lift everyone always talks about. I have a stock TJ now and I'm actually looking into a 3.5" metal cloak lift. I would recommend looking into an MC lift if you want to spend a little more, and get the most out of your Jeep's suspension.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:25 AM   #30
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When I first got my TJ, one of the first things I did was to read about assorted lifts and all the parts that go into them.

My TJ was lifted when I bought it. It had (and still has) a 4" spring lift, but still had stock control arms, a transfer case drop, sway bar link extensions and a few other items. It also has a 1.25" body lift. It did have 35" tires and vibrations from hell.

Like I said, I researched like mad, reading and learning. Thanks to UnlimitedLJ04, Imped and several others I was able to make much needed corrections in what I had. One of the first things I did was to install a SYE kit with Currie rear UCAs to fix the vibrations in the drivetrain. The next was to lose the 35" tires for 33" tires (Dana 35s don't do well with big tires). Since then, any suspension changes have been limited to Currie or Savvy parts.

Basically, what I'm getting at is not to get into a hurry about changing things. You've got a solid base with your Rubicon. Learn what it can do, and what you like to do. Then go from there. In the mean time, do your research and find out what works for the more experienced builders/fabbers that we have around here.

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