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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2dr JK. Everything stock at the moment. Just 2 quick questions:

-Do I need a front adjustable track bar? I read you don't need one for a 2.5", but I'm not sure if I'm in a gray area once you get to 3" and above.
-If I use geo correction brackets then I do not need new lower control arms?

Thanks.
 

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IMO at 2.5 inches a adjustable track bar is advisable. Can you get away without, yes, but your front axle is going to be offset.

Geo brackets do not require lower control arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
OK thanks. Could you in theory use a relocation bracket same as the rear?

If not, I know JKS is considered to be very good around here.

Any others that people recommend at that price or cheaper? One of these?
 

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I can't comment on those choices. Everything I needed for my lift came in the kit.
 

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Personally I would not order anything from that company, they are know for bad service and long shipping times. Just find a kit that has what you need and note that most coil kits will give you more than advertised lift height. fF you are looking at a 3" lift I assume it is one of the $500 kits out there. Just about any lift that cost $500 and is not a spacer lift is basically junk that will ride poor. Find a quality kit that gives you what you need for the tire size you are going to run. A good 2.5" lift should run you $1200-1800 and at 3"+ the sky is the limit. I would not recommend Steinjager or Zone to anyone. JKS is a decent company. This kit will pretty much give you what you need and will net you 3"+ of actual lift. JK Wrangler 2.5" True Dual Rate Lift Kits. You just need to add the shocks of your choice.
 

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Even at 2.5, it's advisable to put on a front track bar. The axle shift isn't a lot, but if you are doing it, do it right. I suggest checking out the Core4x4 Tier 3 track bar. I liked my JKS bar, but after I changed out my front diff cover, there was interference. Plus the Core4x4 uses premium joints and has a lifetime warranty.


You do not need control arms if using geometry brackets at 3" of lift, they are perfect for that height.
 

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I just ordered the steersmarts front tb for my 2.5" actual lift. Axel kicked over 1/2 inch to the driver side now. Just enough to give a slight rub on my 2.5" shock on passenger side. Figured at 110k it's worth doing anyway wear wise. Only concern is it weighs a lot. However my sm tie rod and draglink have been excellent. Will see Saturday if it all fits with the attenuator and fox ats.
 

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I would not recommend Steinjager . I have a friend who put one on his JKU when he did a front end refresh. He's running 35's and after a very low number of miles, the joint was destroyed.
He replaced it with a JKS and it has held up with no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
fF you are looking at a 3" lift I assume it is one of the $500 kits out there. Just about any lift that cost $500 and is not a spacer lift is basically junk that will ride poor. Find a quality kit that gives you what you need for the tire size you are going to run. A good 2.5" lift should run you $1200-1800 and at 3"+ the sky is the limit. I would not recommend Steinjager or Zone to anyone. JKS is a decent company. This kit will pretty much give you what you need and will net you 3"+ of actual lift. JK Wrangler 2.5" True Dual Rate Lift Kits. You just need to add the shocks of your choice.
Here's my conundrum. I'm trying to avoid 2.5" kits. I drove a JK with a 2.5" Teraflex lift and 35's. Felt too low to me. 4" lifts tend to be out of my budget. So I figured 3 is the sweet spot.

The 3" kit is only for the coils. I'd be using rancho shocks, rancho brackets, and the track bar recommended above.

I see the Metalcloak link you sent also comes in a 3.5". But I'd still need to add shocks, wheel spacers and I'm not sure what else at that height.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would not recommend Steinjager . I have a friend who put one on his JKU when he did a front end refresh. He's running 35's and after a very low number of miles, the joint was destroyed.
He replaced it with a JKS and it has held up with no issues.
Thanks. Yea I'm gonna go with JKS or the Core 4x4 recommended above.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Even at 2.5, it's advisable to put on a front track bar. The axle shift isn't a lot, but if you are doing it, do it right. I suggest checking out the Core4x4 Tier 3 track bar. I liked my JKS bar, but after I changed out my front diff cover, there was interference. Plus the Core4x4 uses premium joints and has a lifetime warranty.
Thanks. Its the same price as JKS so if you feel its better I'll get it.

My final build was looking like this:

-Zone 3" kit (coils, bump stops, sway bar links, rear bracket, brake line bracket)
-Rancho 5000 shocks
-Rancho geo brackets
-Core 4x4 front track bar
-Exhaust spacer
-1.5" wheel spacer.

Total price: approx $1,000 + tax.
 

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Thanks. Its the same price as JKS so if you feel its better I'll get it.

My final build was looking like this:

-Zone 3" kit (coils, bump stops, sway bar links, rear bracket, brake line bracket)
-Rancho 5000 shocks
-Rancho geo brackets
-Core 4x4 front track bar
-Exhaust spacer
-1.5" wheel spacer.

Total price: approx $1,000 + tax.
JKS, Zone, and BDS are all the same company. But unlike some other companies they don't just rebrand the same stuff. Some of the Zone and BDS are the same, but all of the JKS is its own products. Normally the Zone kits are considered to be missing components and low end. Like using a frame side rear track bar bracket, axle side is much better and no caster correction on included. But the springs and sway bar links, etc are decent.

There have been decent reviews from people that have put on the Zone 3" kit, so there's that. Your list with Rancho 31 front shocks and 30 rears would work fine.

But I'll also say that for $500 more, the Metalcloak 2.5 True Dual Rate with Rocksport is a serious upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now I'm reconsidering my plan to use Zone. I just wanted more height than a 2.5" lift gives.

-The 3.5 Metalcloak kit is the same price as the 2.5. Does going up that high require more parts/expenses?

-Thoughts on doing a 2.5" teraflex kit and adding 1" coil spacers?
 

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The 2.5" Metalcloak lift that @Thedirtman linked to will probably get you 3" of lift, maybe a wee bit more depending upon how much your Jeep weighs. And the spring will not sag over time like with some of the cheaper kits.And if you are needing shocks they sell their Rocksport long travel shocks at a very decent price.


 

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Depending on your build 2.5 inches is plenty for most stuff in southern CA. My Jeep weighs almost 1000 lbs more than it did stock and I am right at 2.5 inches of lift, the way MC designed it to be. The problem is once I am loaded, another 800lbs not counting have the trailer hooked up I drop below that so I will be going 3.5 inches shortly.

Here is the MetalCloak 2.5 inch lift with 37's and flat fenders. I have since trimmed the rear fenders and that will work until I can afford Overlines for the rear.

4475706
 
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Now I'm reconsidering my plan to use Zone. I just wanted more height than a 2.5" lift gives.

-The 3.5 Metalcloak kit is the same price as the 2.5. Does going up that high require more parts/expenses?

-Thoughts on doing a 2.5" teraflex kit and adding 1" coil spacers?
As above, the MC 2.5 will put you at 3" or above. The 2.5 is rated for a fully armored and loaded (heavy) Jeep. Both the 2.5 and the 3.5 give the exact same amount of suspension travel. To decide between the 2, I usually say 2.5 for 35's and 3.5 for 37's to get proper proportions at ride height.
 

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You really need to understand what lifting does to the jeep other than just adding height. That MC 3.5" lift will put you over 4" on a light rig. At 4" you will be looking at replacing just about everything above the axle and below the body if you want it done right and safe to drive on the road. This thread will help you understand the components and what they do. Its on anther forum but you don't have to join it to read it. My thoughts on lifts - JK-Forum.com - The top destination for Jeep JK and JL Wrangler news, rumors, and discussion
 

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Depending on your build 2.5 inches is plenty for most stuff in southern CA. My Jeep weighs almost 1000 lbs more than it did stock and I am right at 2.5 inches of lift, the way MC designed it to be. The problem is once I am loaded, another 800lbs not counting have the trailer hooked up I drop below that so I will be going 3.5 inches shortly.

Here is the MetalCloak 2.5 inch lift with 37's and flat fenders. I have since trimmed the rear fenders and that will work until I can afford Overlines for the rear.

View attachment 4475706
That thing is beautiful. I used to have a 2.5 2 door, and loved it. Switched to a 3.5 also. All I needed to change really was the springs, which was great when going from 2.5 to 3.5. Love MC, and brought them along for my new 4 door. 3.5 again. Love it. Great looking 2 door, and happy to see another running their parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I appreciate all of the feedback. This thing is getting so complicated I'm just about to give up.

Once I add shocks/wheel spacers/exhaust spacer to the MC lift, it comes out to $1700 + tax. That's double what I originally wanted to spend. Ugh. Hard to do when trying to budget for other things like a re-gear, tires and wheels. My only concern with the 3" zone coils is I don't want them to sag over time and give my Jeep an uneven look.

If finances change, then MC will be at the top of my list. Otherwise, are there no good lift kits for around 1100-1200 max? Is it bad to get the Teraflex (or another 2.5") and add 1" coil spacers?
 

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A 2.5" coil plus 1" spacer is still going to be a 3.5"+ lift and needs the same stuff as a kit with 3.5" coils. The issue becomes are the springs going to be long enough not to come unseated at full droop with the shocks you get. Spacer lifts will typical cause this. Metal cloak has one of the longest usable coils available.

And at 3.5"+ of lift you might as well add another $1200 for driveshafts at some point.
 
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