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Old 06-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #1
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Zone 3" vs BDS 2"

Just wanting to get some opinions on these to lifts. From what I have read on here both get very good reviews. How does the on road drivability compare between these with the shocks that come with the coils. I would prefer to go 3", but don't want to have to adjust drive lines. There seems to e a grey area here. Some ppl claim u can do upto a 3" wo adjustments others say anything over 3" needs adjustment. Also how much actual lift did each of these lifts give? I've seen the BDS sometimes gives almost 3". My ride is a 2002 Se 4cyl with 100k miles. I expect new springs will give max lift.

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Old 06-28-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
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I've heard anything over 4". Zone and BDS, I think are run by the same sister companies. I run the Zone 4.25" Combo lift and have been very happy with it. You don't need the transfer case drop. Plus it comes with everything you need. Here's the link to it.

4.25" TJ Combo Lift J25/J26

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Old 06-28-2013, 10:59 AM   #3
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BDS springs are excellent springs(scragged and shot peened) but extremely stiff. Zone springs aren't quite as stiff, but the quality overall is poor.

For a 4 cylinder SE wrangler your better off looking at a 2-3"(total lift is dependant on your weight and springs chosen) OME lift kit. Much better quality for the money, and you have the ability to mix and match proper spring rates based on your ride.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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You will most likely have to adjust your drive line with a 3" suspension lift. You may have to adjust your drive line with even a short 2" lift (I had too).

For a 3" lift (or all lifts for that matter), the proper method of drive line alignment is using a SYE kit, an accompanying DC driveshaft, and rear SYE type trackbar bracket. To actually adjust the angles, you will need rear adjustable control arms (upper and lower).

On the other hand, with a 2 inch lift, you may not get vibes but if you do, the methods of realignment do not have to be as costly as the above. With a 2" lift, a motor mount lift (MML) or a transfer case drop is usually sufficient to impact your angles to mitigate any vibes. Else, if either solution does not 100% work, many will do a combination MML and a slight transfer case drop.

I am a fan of the simple BDS 2" lift. It's not complicated and it performs well both on and off the road. Note I am currently running an OME lift but I still would recommend a BDS lift for your use. If you're planning to pack your Jeep a lot or weigh it down with various aftermarket parts, then I would actually recommend OME for the option of varied rate coils.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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You will most likely have to adjust your drive line with a 3" suspension lift. You may have to adjust your drive line with even a short 2" lift (I had too).

For a 3" lift (or all lifts for that matter), the proper method of drive line alignment is using a SYE kit, an accompanying DC driveshaft, and rear SYE type trackbar bracket. To actually adjust the angles, you will need rear adjustable control arms (upper and lower).

On the other hand, with a 2 inch lift, you may not get vibes but if you do, the methods of realignment do not have to be as costly as the above. With a 2" lift, a motor mount lift (MML) or a transfer case drop is usually sufficient to impact your angles to mitigate any vibes. Else, if either solution does not 100% work, many will do a combination MML and a slight transfer case drop.

I am a fan of the simple BDS 2" lift. It's not complicated and it performs well both on and off the road. Note I am currently running an OME lift but I still would recommend a BDS lift for your use. If you're planning to pack your Jeep a lot or weigh it down with various aftermarket parts, then I would actually recommend OME for the option of varied rate coils.
So your recommending a 2" BDS lift that have spring rates of 158/200 for a 4 cylinder SE wrangler? Yet you run an OME lift (which is no more "complicated").........
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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Yes, I needed the HD OME coils when my Jeep started gaining weight. The last time I weighed it, the Jeep was 4,200+ lbs. The OP's Jeep would be ok with either BDS lift heights.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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Yes, I needed the HD OME coils when my Jeep started gaining weight. The last time I weighed it, the Jeep was 4,200+ lbs. The OP's Jeep would be ok with either BDS lift heights.
The OME "HD" lift coils (2933/2942) are 140/160lb respectively. And thats what I run on my LJ, which is probably a good chunk heavier than your TJ.

But for the OP's much lighter 4 cylinder SE TJ your recommending BDS coils with 158/200lb rated springs?
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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The OME "HD" lift coils (2933/2942) are 140/160lb respectively. And thats what I run on my LJ, which is probably a good chunk heavier than your TJ.

But for the OP's much lighter 4 cylinder SE TJ your recommending BDS coils with 158/200lb rated springs?
Ok NJO, I do realize that OME offers a light duty coil that may be ideal for the OP's Jeep .
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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Ok NJO, I do realize that OME offers a light duty coil that may be ideal for the OP's Jeep .
Yeah, they do, but OME's "HD" coils are also lighter as well than the BDS coils you're mentioning.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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I see.

Out of curiosity, have you experienced the BDS ride quality? During the 6 years I ran the BDS 2" coil lift I found the ride to equal if not better my Jeep's OEM suspension when I bought it new in 1997.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #11
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I see.

Out of curiosity, have you experienced the BDS ride quality? During the 6 years I ran the BDS 2" coil lift I found the ride to equal if not better my Jeep's OEM suspension when I bought it new in 1997.
How many miles did you put on your oem suspension before you switched over? And what shocks did you use? Plus accessories etc. Added on......
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jsb0032 View Post
Just wanting to get some opinions on these to lifts. From what I have read on here both get very good reviews. How does the on road drivability compare between these with the shocks that come with the coils. I would prefer to go 3", but don't want to have to adjust drive lines. There seems to e a grey area here. Some ppl claim u can do upto a 3" wo adjustments others say anything over 3" needs adjustment. Also how much actual lift did each of these lifts give? I've seen the BDS sometimes gives almost 3". My ride is a 2002 Se 4cyl with 100k miles. I expect new springs will give max lift.
I'm currently running the Zone 3" with the nitro shock upgrade and the provided 1" TC drop. I think there might be some slight driveline vibes in first gear between 0-5 mph and maybe some in 5th around 60 mph, but they're so slight I've had a hard time even noticing them. The ride quality is very much what I'd expect for a Jeep. It's a bit stiff and you'll notice a lot of slight bumps, but it holds to the road well. Good luck in your decision making.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #13
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BDS springs are excellent springs(scragged and shot peened) but extremely stiff. Zone springs aren't quite as stiff, but the quality overall is poor.

For a 4 cylinder SE wrangler your better off looking at a 2-3"(total lift is dependant on your weight and springs chosen) OME lift kit. Much better quality for the money, and you have the ability to mix and match proper spring rates based on your ride.
When I talked with the local shop who did the install on my Zone, I was told that the last person, (a 4 months before I got mine) he put the lift on ordered the nitro upgrade and they were stiff. I've come down on mine pretty hard (up over a rock and back down) with no issues. If the OP talks with other Zone users they will give a great ride quality all around. It's what a lot of shops are doing as well.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:30 PM   #14
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When I talked with the local shop who did the install on my Zone, I was told that the last person, (a 4 months before I got mine) he put the lift on ordered the nitro upgrade and they were stiff. I've come down on mine pretty hard (up over a rock and back down) with no issues. If the OP talks with other Zone users they will give a great ride quality all around. It's what a lot of shops are doing as well.
Unfortunately people who tend to recommend or praise Zone products have no to very little experience with higher quality products to compare to.

Again, if all you have is 4-500 bucks to allow you to slap on 33's etc. then fine........but if the budget can be stretched, there are much better choices out there like OME or Skyjacker for kits in the 5-800 range.

Heck, Skyjackers spring/shock lift combo for 4-500 bucks is miles better than what zone offers. Skyjacker's springs are relatively close to stock spring rates at 150/170, so they aren't obnoxiously stiff and bouncy, plus they are available with their excellent M95 series monotube shocks which are probably the best bang for buck if price is a concern, and they have excellent travel and compressed lengths that match up well with springs that are stiffer than stock for the TJ/LJ.

Zone products aren't piss poor like RUsty's products, but its also quite a few steps below the quality vendors too where alot more thought and care is implemented into the design/combination of kits.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:37 PM   #15
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I just installed the BDS 2in kit on my 98 TJ and I love it. It is a firmer ride, but it's better. It's not harsh. It feels better on the road, on the highway and offroad. I'm still going to add 3/4 spacers to the front to compensate for the winch, plate and heavier bumper.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:25 PM   #16
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How many miles did you put on your oem suspension before you switched over? And what shocks did you use? Plus accessories etc. Added on......
Not sure on the mileage, but my Jeep has been my daily driver since the day I bought it brand new and still is. I was running the factory suspension from 1997 - 2006 and if I were to use a conservative 10k/year I would be at 90,000 miles running stock. In the summer of 2006, I began my Jeep build with the 2" BDS lift and ran that from 2006 - 2012, estimating 60,000 miles. Last summer someone offered to buy my BDS lift so I sold it and installed the OME lift last summer 2012, so 10,000 miles on the new lift. My upgrades can be viewed here:

Jeep Space - IslandTJ

Both BDS and OME 2" suspensions in my experience, are great.

OME coils = 2933 & 2942
OME shocks = 60047 & 60048
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:08 PM   #17
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Unfortunately people who tend to recommend or praise Zone products have no to very little experience with higher quality products to compare to.

Again, if all you have is 4-500 bucks to allow you to slap on 33's etc. then fine........but if the budget can be stretched, there are much better choices out there like OME or Skyjacker for kits in the 5-800 range.

Heck, Skyjackers spring/shock lift combo for 4-500 bucks is miles better than what zone offers. Skyjacker's springs are relatively close to stock spring rates at 150/170, so they aren't obnoxiously stiff and bouncy, plus they are available with their excellent M95 series monotube shocks which are probably the best bang for buck if price is a concern, and they have excellent travel and compressed lengths that match up well with springs that are stiffer than stock for the TJ/LJ.

Zone products aren't piss poor like RUsty's products, but its also quite a few steps below the quality vendors too where alot more thought and care is implemented into the design/combination of kits.

Ignore this guy, suggesting skycrapper products over Zone. I have been running the zone 3 inch basic kit for a several years now and the quality is excellent. I get complements about the soft ride and how well the springs have stood up to time and a heck of a lot of offroading. However with your lighter jeep you may want to go with something with a lower spring rate after all. Something you need to decide. If you think big tires (spare) bumpers winch etc are in the future go ahead with the zone.

Of course Zone isn't as good as OME for quality, or so I have heard. But why spend twice as much for a product that is only marginally better?
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:12 AM   #18
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Unfortunately people who tend to recommend or praise Zone products have no to very little experience with higher quality products to compare to.

Again, if all you have is 4-500 bucks to allow you to slap on 33's etc. then fine........but if the budget can be stretched, there are much better choices out there like OME or Skyjacker for kits in the 5-800 range.

Heck, Skyjackers spring/shock lift combo for 4-500 bucks is miles better than what zone offers. Skyjacker's springs are relatively close to stock spring rates at 150/170, so they aren't obnoxiously stiff and bouncy, plus they are available with their excellent M95 series monotube shocks which are probably the best bang for buck if price is a concern, and they have excellent travel and compressed lengths that match up well with springs that are stiffer than stock for the TJ/LJ.

Zone products aren't piss poor like RUsty's products, but its also quite a few steps below the quality vendors too where alot more thought and care is implemented into the design/combination of kits.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and with mine on for going on 3 years come this August, nothing has been broken on it.. yet. But like every suspension lift there is out there, everyone will have their pros and cons.

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Ignore this guy, suggesting skycrapper products over Zone. I have been running the zone 3 inch basic kit for a several years now and the quality is excellent. I get complements about the soft ride and how well the springs have stood up to time and a heck of a lot of offroading. However with your lighter jeep you may want to go with something with a lower spring rate after all. Something you need to decide. If you think big tires (spare) bumpers winch etc are in the future go ahead with the zone.

Of course Zone isn't as good as OME for quality, or so I have heard. But why spend twice as much for a product that is only marginally better?
I agree. Plus it comes with everything someone needs to adequately lift their rig.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:23 AM   #19
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Of course Zone isn't as good as OME for quality, or so I have heard. But why spend twice as much for a product that is only marginally better?
Idk, why buy a Browning Over/Under instead of a Beretta... there is something to be said about buying the higher quality product, especially if you plan on upgrading further while saying with a 2-3inch spring lift.

Not to say zone is bad, but when do you hear people complaining about OME stuff? I haven't, and when you pick your own spring rates depending on whether you want to crush your spleen so you can add tons of armor, or have a caddy smooth ride, all you have is yourself to blame if you don't like it. I chose spleen crushing
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:55 AM   #20
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Idk, why buy a Browning Over/Under instead of a Beretta... there is something to be said about buying the higher quality product, especially if you plan on upgrading further while saying with a 2-3inch spring lift.

Not to say zone is bad, but when do you hear people complaining about OME stuff? I haven't, and when you pick your own spring rates depending on whether you want to crush your spleen so you can add tons of armor, or have a caddy smooth ride, all you have is yourself to blame if you don't like it. I chose spleen crushing
This is the first guy I have ever heard complain. And if anything when planning to build off a basic lift platform I would go with zone who has quality springs which would be the only thing I kept, which is the reality in my build.

Your argument is sorta of like why not drive a Bentley over a caddy IMO.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:11 AM   #21
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Ignore this guy, suggesting skycrapper products over Zone. I have been running the zone 3 inch basic kit for a several years now and the quality is excellent. I get complements about the soft ride and how well the springs have stood up to time and a heck of a lot of offroading. However with your lighter jeep you may want to go with something with a lower spring rate after all. Something you need to decide. If you think big tires (spare) bumpers winch etc are in the future go ahead with the zone.

Of course Zone isn't as good as OME for quality, or so I have heard. But why spend twice as much for a product that is only marginally better?
Ignore me? Because I speak the truth? Since you have been running "Zone" for YEARS, then what other lifts have you run previous? What else do you have experience with? Obviously not OME, probably not many others either. Which means you're just taking blind stabs at assumptions.

Curious, do you know what your zone spring and shock specs are? Whats the lb rating of the springs? The coil turns and diameter, free and bind lengths? How about the shocks specs? Valving etc?

To blindly recommend a specific product without knowledge of certain specifications for someone else who most likely will have different needs, driving habits and expectations is relatively useless in many cases.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:16 AM   #22
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I agree. Plus it comes with everything someone needs to adequately lift their rig.
To "adequately lift their rig"..........well I can see your standards are sky high. Which hits on one of my points.

Does anyone even know what the OP's own standards are? Or his budget? Or what his expectations are?

Whats needed to adequately lift a Jeep for 33's? Sure isn't cr@ppy poly bushing control arms.....better off with stock until adjustable joint arms can be purchased. Transfer case drop? Talking about doing things @ss backwards.....both are not needed.

The OP wanted opinions. Mine is that zone products are a substandard overall.

WHat I would like to know is what the OP's budget is, what he plans on using the jeep for/ his goals etc.......it would allow for better options and better opinions recommendations on the path to the OP's ultimate goals.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:37 AM   #23
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To "adequately lift their rig"..........well I can see your standards are sky high. Which hits on one of my points.

Does anyone even know what the OP's own standards are? Or his budget? Or what his expectations are?

Whats needed to adequately lift a Jeep for 33's? Sure isn't cr@ppy poly bushing control arms.....better off with stock until adjustable joint arms can be purchased. Transfer case drop? Talking about doing things @ss backwards.....both are not needed.

The OP wanted opinions. Mine is that zone products are a substandard overall.

WHat I would like to know is what the OP's budget is, what he plans on using the jeep for/ his goals etc.......it would allow for better options and better opinions recommendations on the path to the OP's ultimate goals.
How can you say ZONE is substandard at all?? I had Zone as well as a Skyjacker and the Zone was just as good. Unless you are climbing 10 foot boulders then????
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:55 AM   #24
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How can you say ZONE is substandard at all?? I had Zone as well as a Skyjacker and the Zone was just as good. Unless you are climbing 10 foot boulders then????
The springs Zone uses are not scragged or shot peened. Their shocks are about as cheap as it gets for a twin tube with a tiny valve. It is what it is. And good luck getting any specs on their products too. Lets be real here, kit/accessory markup is HUGE. So when your offering a kit for $500 that includes 4 springs, shocks, 4 control arms, and a few other brackets and items......do you really think the quality is oozing in spades? The retailer is still making a few hundred bucks off the kit.......and the mfg. has to as well. So what do you think that leaves left for the actual cost of production?

At least with Skyjacker their springs are scragged and shot peened, the values are also available for them. Their shocks.......specifically their M95 large bore monotubes are excellent. And you can purchase just the springs/M95 shocks in their 2.5" packages and bypass the other cr@p like the lca's etc.

As for the control arms, I wouldnt touch either brands offerings. No thanks to fix arm setups that use stiff poly bushings. Better off sticking with stock arms until some quality units can be bought.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:21 AM   #25
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Ignore me? Because I speak the truth? Since you have been running "Zone" for YEARS, then what other lifts have you run previous? What else do you have experience with? Obviously not OME, probably not many others either. Which means you're just taking blind stabs at assumptions.

Curious, do you know what your zone spring and shock specs are? Whats the lb rating of the springs? The coil turns and diameter, free and bind lengths? How about the shocks specs? Valving etc?

To blindly recommend a specific product without knowledge of certain specifications for someone else who most likely will have different needs, driving habits and expectations is relatively useless in many cases.
How long have you run the zone suspension to talk about how terrible it is? I have ridden in jeeps with OME, rough country, bds, skyjacker, teraflex. and many other suspensions. Just because I haven't spent the last 20 years buying basic lift kits for the Tj means nothing. I have experience with many of them. All of those questions you asked me are important, but there is a big gap between theoretical quality and actual application and function of those qualities and characteristics in the real world.

Yes the OME was nice, but I didn't notice a huge increase in ride quality over my zone. To "blindly" recommend a product I have used for 3 years? Because I can't tell you specific shock valving? If those things are important to you look them up. General quality, life, performance offroad, ride, spring and unsprung spring lengths, etc.

Yes I would ignore you. The bad attitude doesn't help. You're just another opinion on a message board bud.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:17 AM   #26
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How long have you run the zone suspension to talk about how terrible it is? I have ridden in jeeps with OME, rough country, bds, skyjacker, teraflex. and many other suspensions. Just because I haven't spent the last 20 years buying basic lift kits for the Tj means nothing. I have experience with many of them. All of those questions you asked me are important, but there is a big gap between theoretical quality and actual application and function of those qualities and characteristics in the real world.

Yes the OME was nice, but I didn't notice a huge increase in ride quality over my zone. To "blindly" recommend a product I have used for 3 years? Because I can't tell you specific shock valving? If those things are important to you look them up. General quality, life, performance offroad, ride, spring and unsprung spring lengths, etc.

Yes I would ignore you. The bad attitude doesn't help. You're just another opinion on a message board bud.
I have plenty of experience with different configs that feature zone shocks and springs on TJs.

As you state, the OME was nice, and its implied that it was still an improvement over the Zone setup. But what wasn't really gone into was the specific OME parts used or your choices on them.

Which is really something that is being missed here. The OP still hasn't chimed in on the intended use of his Jeep, his budget, the ride characteristics he prefers etc etc.....the OP wants OPINIONS, he is going to get em, but he really can't get good advice on what will point him in the best direction for him until he chimes back in. Until then, the quality of the parts that come with the kits can be discussed. Mfg's like BDS,ARB(OME)etc offer overall a higher quality product for not much more money vs stuff from a company like Zone or Rusty's etc.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:52 AM   #27
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Here are some pics of my Jeep when I was running 2" BDS and 1.25" JKS bodylift = 3.25" net lift. Tires are 33".





And one to show BDS flex
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #28
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This is the first guy I have ever heard complain. And if anything when planning to build off a basic lift platform I would go with zone who has quality springs which would be the only thing I kept, which is the reality in my build.

Your argument is sorta of like why not drive a Bentley over a caddy IMO.

Not really, it's more like buy the higher quality product if you plan on running it for a long time, especially if the initial price difference is negligible.

Zone is owned by BDS... but again, there is a reason Zone sells everything for hundreds cheaper, it's cheaper stuff. Whether you utilize the quality difference is a thing to consider, but I usually don't go with the option that's 50% cheaper than the competition, especially if you can afford the better stuff.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by IslandTJ View Post
Here are some pics of my Jeep when I was running 2" BDS and 1.25" JKS bodylift = 3.25" net lift. Tires are 33".





And one to show BDS flex
I like your TJ. Always loved the "Sahara" Edition. Looks like you were a smart boy going with 33x10.5's too. What were you running for shocks on those BDS springs? I know the rear springs require a really good shock to keep under control and not fade.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by n00g7 View Post
Not really, it's more like buy the higher quality product if you plan on running it for a long time, especially if the initial price difference is negligible.

Zone is owned by BDS... but again, there is a reason Zone sells everything for hundreds cheaper, it's cheaper stuff. Whether you utilize the quality difference is a thing to consider, but I usually don't go with the option that's 50% cheaper than the competition, especially if you can afford the better stuff.

So just because someone says it's higher quality, meants it will last longer. Am I following you? The initial price between the 2.5" OME and 3" Zone is quite a bit. The zone lifts have proven to be quality and to stand up well with little to no spring sagging or shock fading. Compare that to rough country, rustys, etc. Then you have currie, savvy, OME on the upper end, where you are more or less paying for a slightly better product but even more important a name. I love the zone because they gave me exactly what I NEEDED and nothing more, and it performs flawlessly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NJO View Post
I have plenty of experience with different configs that feature zone shocks and springs on TJs.

As you state, the OME was nice, and its implied that it was still an improvement over the Zone setup. But what wasn't really gone into was the specific OME parts used or your choices on them.

Which is really something that is being missed here. The OP still hasn't chimed in on the intended use of his Jeep, his budget, the ride characteristics he prefers etc etc.....the OP wants OPINIONS, he is going to get em, but he really can't get good advice on what will point him in the best direction for him until he chimes back in. Until then, the quality of the parts that come with the kits can be discussed. Mfg's like BDS,ARB(OME)etc offer overall a higher quality product for not much more money vs stuff from a company like Zone or Rusty's etc.
NJO, I am sure you have a TON of experience with zone, I won't question that. The OME was nice, but nothing that really amazed me. I don't remember noting a marked improvement over my jeep, but whatever. Assume what you want. If you would rip your head out of your ass and read my first post, I suggested to the OP that because he has a 4banger and a lighter jeep, OME and there various springs and different shock valvings are something that he might want to look at. He needs to decide for himself though where his priorities are. I agree with your last paragraph, until you again trash zone. Why do you feel the need to bash them. You could bash RC, TF, Skycrapper, tons of other brands. Zone has a good quality name. Most of the guys touting OME or savvy typically trash BDS as well. I am going to continually disagree with you about Zone's supposed "low quality" until you post up some irrefutable, substantial evidence showing that their quality is bad. Not just some general spring manufacturing qualities or the fact that you are having trouble finding specific spring rates and shock valving. FYI a stiffer spring can often be a good thing in an offroad rig.


I don't know, though. This zone lift looks pretty crappy to me...








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