09-08-2013, 03:17 PM
5-Year WF Supporting Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Yazoo City, MS
Agreed. Rusty's is one of those companies that continues to baffle by managing to stay in business. And 8" of used, XJ-specific, Rusty's parts mounted on a TJ is a formula for unhappiness.
Notes for you:
A lift gives you two things:
1.) More ground clearance beneath pumpkins and TC skid plate
2.) Room for larger tires beneath your fenders, giving you more room beneath your pumpkins and TC skid plate
Lowering your TC takes away some of the very lift you are trying to get because your skid plate (hatefully referred to here as "the shovel") is not much higher than when you were stock.
I have learned here that the "correct" way to do things is via a slip yoke eliminator kit (to remove the slip yoke from the transfer case) and a drive shaft with the slip part built into it and a double Cardan universal joint, incorrectly but commonly called a constant velocity shaft. (A CV joint is not the same as a double Cardan.)
Of course, this is insanely expensive. It takes half the workload off the U joint where the transfer case and shaft connect and allows space for a longer shaft by removing the rather long slip yoke on the TC by moving this bit to the shaft itself.
Lots of us want this but cannot afford it. The three most common routes to remove driveline vibrations are via a transfer case drop (counter productive but cheap) a motor mount lift, or a combination of the two. [I do not have any experience with MML kits, so I cannot attest to their cost.]
You can get a fairly inexpensive lift by getting some Old Man Emu springs and shocks. The ride is great and the lift is not that expensive. Add in a TC drop or mml and you will be good to go. Sort of. You really need to have the pinion and the shaft be exactly in line with one another. So you need adjustable upper control arms to correct that. And your axles will no longer be centered, but too close together, so you need adjustable lower control arms to correct that.
These are some of the numerous gremlins that can rear their ugly heads once you begin screwing with your suspension's geometry by lifting. But part of the fun is trying something and then coming here for advice on how to fix, correct or minimize problems. Just make certain that you do not butcher how it drives on the road.
Anyway, my suggestion to you would be to get a cheap Rubicon Express 2.5" (or equivalent) budget boost.
If you are able to figure out how to run 33x12.5s on a stock suspension, then that ought to do you pretty well, and it is ~ C H E E P ~ when compared with an actual lift kit. It is like some 2.5" hockey puck-like spring spacers and longer shocks. And that small of a boost ought not screw with your driveline. Every Jeep is different, though, and you might go up 4" and have no vibes, and you could go up 2" and have really bad ones. You will not know until you give it a try.
I would, in all honesty, remove all the Rusty's stuff from the XJ and bury it in the woods in an unmarked grave, man. The XJ deserves a decent burial in hallowed ground. But that Rusty's stuff needs to be hidden from the rest of civilization. HAHAHA!!!
Whatever you do, post up pics for us to gawp at when you get it done.
You a Marine? Ex-Army, here, man. Thanks for your service!
2003 Shale Green Metallic TJ Sport
2013 Black JK Sport S
A yellow bird with a yellow bill landed on my windowsill. You know the rest...