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Old 05-15-2018, 12:20 PM
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Doing it RIGHT- ride quality.

Hey Guys- bought my first Jeep about a year ago, Blue 2013 JK Rubicon. I have done some pretty superficial stuff so far: lights, rock rails, bumpers, air intake. Now it’s time for me to get into the next part of my build- thinking leveling kit, tires, shocks. I don’t want to have to upgrade parts, I want to do this the right way once with good solid gear. I live in NYC and use this car to escape to go hunting, skiing, golf, beach drive/ fishing etc. I don’t do a ton of off-roading, good amount of highway with a lot of dirt roads and bumpy terrain, but not rock crawling. I’m hoping to lean on your experience to get great ride quality/suspension system, definitely very rough ride over potholes and dirt terrain now. Thinking I will go with 285/75/r17 mud tires (255s now), a leveling kit or 1.5” lift. Do you have suggestions on great shocks to smooth things out (or on any of the other parts)? Besides shocks should I upgrade anything else like coils? I don’t want to go crazy on budget but I’m willing to pay for high quality where it’s worth it. Sincerely appreciate and welcome all suggestions, thank you!! Pic of Jeep currently attached.

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Old 05-15-2018, 12:50 PM   #2
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You've added additional weight so a coil lift would help. Check out the RE 2.5 kit. They have updated linear coils or progressive coils. Paired with a drop bracket, it rides very very smooth especially when the jeep is full of adults during highway road trips. Its wallet compared to others and if you choose their monotube shocks, they are tuned bilstein 5100's.

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/ru...ew-254067.html

There are other drop bracket style lifts such as AEV or Metalcloak which gets great reviews too.

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Old 05-15-2018, 02:02 PM   #3
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I am the same mind frame as for use as you are. Everything but rock crawling, plus it is my DD. Being the owner of a 2(JK) & 4dr(JKU), I have come to the conclusion there is nothing that you can do to the JK that will not jar the kidneys on dirt roads. The JKU rides like a cadillac compared to the JK. This comparison is when both were stock and then with the same TF 2.5, Rancho 9000s and GY Duratracs.

Suspension:
When I started off, I was debating between a leveling and lift kit. The thing to remember that a leveling kit uses the same springs as stock and are "engineered" for that weight combination. This is why you will hear people say they got 3"+ from a 2.5" lift because that is the first thing they did. The lift kits (new springs) are engineered for Jeeps with the extra weight of front bumpers with winches and rears with bumpers and a heavier tire. With all the stuff I have added, my Jeep weighs 800-900 pounds more. I can feel the rear more bouncy when I have the spare off when I had the flat. For my suggestion is that you look into a lift vs a level kit. I'm a TeraFlex and Northridge 4x4 fan, but there are plenty of other options. For a difference a hair over $200 you can get a lift over a budget boost (BB). This will allow the option of 33-35s with stock fenders and 37s with flats. (never say never).

TF Budget Boost

TF 2.5 Basic lift

These kits both include the Rancho 9000 adjustable shock. I have a love hate relationship with them. I bought them to fine tune the wife's JKU and as stated before they are great for that. In the case of the JK, I bought them for their adjustability for when towing the #1900 popup and between the cold of winter and warm of summer. IMO, they fail in that regards. If you set it and forget, they are great. But with all the adjustments I do, they fail. The detents are almost none existent, the knob has gotten harder and harder to turn. There are the people that put marine grease in the adj portion, to combat those issues. I have replaced my rears because one shock was damaged and either the adj thing isn't working, it's a lot of hype or they both went bad. I did comparisons between 1 and 9 and they did not fell an different on compression rebound. It was easy to compress and extend them. With the fox adventure 2.0, I had to use a jack to compress it when the shipping band broke before I was ready.

Tires:Tire Calculator
255/75 vs 285/75 is about 1 3/4 taller and will knock your speed off by about .05%. At 30, 31.7 isn't bad but at 80, 84.4 is getting into the territory for regearing and calibration.

I had 285/70s (before lift or anything) on mine and it wasn't the added height that was the problem, it was the added width. The minor suspension rub was fixed with adapters (spacers). But this created another issue, the outer tire wall was no longed tucked in the fender and it would hit the fender lip. This actually decreased my flex ability. Heck 2x I popped loose a rear fender just going over the pothole on the dirt road I live on. Here you have a choice (without a form of suspension raise) you can get a lift/BB, cut your fenders or get flats.

Now comes the reality check time. When I first started, it was "oh I only want better tires". Well Now I ride 2.5", control arms (replaced geo brackets), adj rear track bar, 35s, truetracs and a regear and flats. With this setup, I have something that will handle most of what my needs are. My only regret is that I did the 285s instead of going with 35/regear to start with. The cost of the 285s was about the same cost of the regear, then the cost of 35s onto.

So to break down my setup before tires & rims
TF 2.5 lift with Ranchos, exhaust spacer, fixed control arms, fox shocks, TF adj rear trackbar, Procal & regear with True Tracs $3715 (parts only)
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYRBlueshirts30 View Post
Hey Guys- bought my first Jeep about a year ago, Blue 2013 JK Rubicon. I have done some pretty superficial stuff so far: lights, rock rails, bumpers, air intake. Now itís time for me to get into the next part of my build- thinking leveling kit, tires, shocks. I donít want to have to upgrade parts, I want to do this the right way once with good solid gear. I live in NYC and use this car to escape to go hunting, skiing, golf, beach drive/ fishing etc. I donít do a ton of off-roading, good amount of highway with a lot of dirt roads and bumpy terrain, but not rock crawling. Iím hoping to lean on your experience to get great ride quality/suspension system, definitely very rough ride over potholes and dirt terrain now. Thinking I will go with 285/75/r17 mud tires (255s now), a leveling kit or 1.5Ē lift. Do you have suggestions on great shocks to smooth things out (or on any of the other parts)? Besides shocks should I upgrade anything else like coils? I donít want to go crazy on budget but Iím willing to pay for high quality where itís worth it. Sincerely appreciate and welcome all suggestions, thank you!! Pic of Jeep currently attached.
Hi NYR! As I read your thoughts on the next phase of your build, two things come to mind. 1) Ride quality/Daily Driver. 2) Do it right once with quality.

Regarding 1) Don't NYC roads qualify as off roading...seriously? I think you will find that when asked about our choices with lifts and their performance, each of us can generally speak to the lift we are running. To that end, after a lot of research, I chose to go Metal Cloak. It came down to two things that stood out with MC. Their Dual Rate springs, and and their DuroFlex joints. Both of these features can be looked at closely on their website.
https://www.metalcloak.com/JK-Overla...cks-p/7147.htm

My MC lift transformed the way my JKU drives on all levels. It's quiet and comfortable. Body lean has been greatly reduced, brake dive is gone, corners incredible flat as well, and that quick up/down motion found on stock Jeeps was eliminated. It surprises people when they ride with me for the first time, especially in corners. You don't think a lifted Jeep should perform like this.

The DuroFlex joints are the secret, allowing amazing flex, while controlling NVH.

Another thing I really liked about MC, was they developed their RockSport shocks to work perfectly with their springs. This is key to dialing a great ride. My Jeep is my daily driver as well, a good riding lift was key for me.

2) We as Jeepers are working with a vehicle that will evolve with us. Buy into a lift that can grow with you. You may in fact want to run a 35" tire at some point. I linked to you to one of MC's more basic lifts. You can go from there. I'd go 2.5" for height from what you are saying. Good luck with what ever you choose, this is one of the best, most gratify mods, watching your Jeep "grow up".

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Old 05-15-2018, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawhitesJKU View Post
You've added additional weight so a coil lift would help. Check out the RE 2.5 kit. They have updated linear coils or progressive coils. Paired with a drop bracket, it rides very very smooth especially when the jeep is full of adults during highway road trips. Its wallet compared to others and if you choose their monotube shocks, they are tuned bilstein 5100's.

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/ru...ew-254067.html

There are other drop bracket style lifts such as AEV or Metalcloak which gets great reviews too.
Thank you so much for this- really helpful to know, I hadn’t thought of a drop bracket!
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:14 AM
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@Buildit and @DAW hites - Thank all of you so much for your help and input! I’m honestly speechless at the time and thoughtfulness you put into responding. I’ve spent the past 8 months boring my friends to tears with this kind of talk- so great to hear from people who get it! I very sincerely appreciate it, what a cool blog!

I think you both hit on something that’s true- I should go with a bigger lift. I’m digging into your suggestions now as far as brands- should I plan to buy one kit that has all the matching equipment from one brand? Or can I say “OK I want these shocks, these coils” etc. Can I piece together? LAST question I promise- is tire rack a good website to buy tires? Any ideas on where I can sell my tires? THANK YOU!
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYRBlueshirts30 View Post
Hey Guys- bought my first Jeep about a year ago, Blue 2013 JK Rubicon. I have done some pretty superficial stuff so far: lights, rock rails, bumpers, air intake. Now itís time for me to get into the next part of my build- thinking leveling kit, tires, shocks. I donít want to have to upgrade parts, I want to do this the right way once with good solid gear. I live in NYC and use this car to escape to go hunting, skiing, golf, beach drive/ fishing etc. I donít do a ton of off-roading, good amount of highway with a lot of dirt roads and bumpy terrain, but not rock crawling. Iím hoping to lean on your experience to get great ride quality/suspension system, definitely very rough ride over potholes and dirt terrain now. Thinking I will go with 285/75/r17 mud tires (255s now), a leveling kit or 1.5Ē lift. Do you have suggestions on great shocks to smooth things out (or on any of the other parts)? Besides shocks should I upgrade anything else like coils? I donít want to go crazy on budget but Iím willing to pay for high quality where itís worth it. Sincerely appreciate and welcome all suggestions, thank you!! Pic of Jeep currently attached.
Well I am going to give you a 3rd option as I don't like anything from RE and while I love Metalcloak, that is what I run I think it's true prowess is in the more technical off road stuff. Still good on road but there springs are designed for major articulation.

I would go with AEV's JK 2.5" DualSport Suspension - XT. Throw out the cam bolts in favor of Geo Brackets and you are done. Excellent on the highway and good off road. If at some future time you want to swap in control arms then get MC's Duroflex control arms. IMO the best on the market due to the joint. A little stiffer than stock which I feel is much to soft and contributes to the harshness you get with when hitting pot holes and expansion joints.

As far as mix and matching things I would stick with a kit. Shocks and springs need to be matched to the vehicle using them. Buying a spring from one company and using a shock from another is asking for a poor ride unless you know what you are doing.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:58 AM   #8
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@Buildit and @DAW hites - Thank all of you so much for your help and input! Iím honestly speechless at the time and thoughtfulness you put into responding. Iíve spent the past 8 months boring my friends to tears with this kind of talk- so great to hear from people who get it! I very sincerely appreciate it, what a cool blog!

I think you both hit on something thatís true- I should go with a bigger lift. Iím digging into your suggestions now as far as brands- should I plan to buy one kit that has all the matching equipment from one brand? Or can I say ďOK I want these shocks, these coilsĒ etc. Can I piece together? LAST question I promise- is tire rack a good website to buy tires? Any ideas on where I can sell my tires? THANK YOU!
Glad to help! My point about buying Metal Cloak's RockSport shocks with their kit is that the springs and shocks are tuned to work together. This is what will get you the ride quality you are after, without breaking your budget.

The Tire Rack is great place to buy tires. I've dealt with them many times.



-Steven
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:12 PM   #9
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I would stick with a kit too for uniformity. Or you can piece out specifics coils and do a hybrid kit. The majority of shocks are universal, but there are specifically tuned shocks to match specific coils, hence the uniformity.

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