Jeep Wrangler Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know this has been talked about but I would like to get some current advice on the topic.

The questions: Is it worth it to put a high end lift kit (ie; metalcloak gamechanger, rock krawler x factor, evo money stealer etc.) on a rig that is mostly a DD? or would it be more sensible to put a bracket kit on a DD and call it a day (ie; AEV 2.5, metalcloak overland, JKS fox 2.5...)?

I know many of you say the suspension is the heart and soul of the rig and I agree, but are the high end 2.5-4 inch kits really worth it if it will only offroad 2-3% of the time and rock crawl maybe twice in its lifetime? on a personal note, its not that I dont like rock crawling; I just live in south Louisiana where the only rocks I can find are in fish tanks and in river beds.


I would love to spend 50k building the baddest rig to ever ride but aside from renaming my jeep 'Bankrupt" that will never happen. So bottom line is im trying to build a quality rig with good street manners on a moderate budget of about 200 a month dumped into it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,178 Posts
Your entire Jeep rides on the suspension - a "higher end" kit will very much be worth it even on (and maybe even especially on) a mostly pavement Jeep. Also be sure to match it with good shocks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I guess I should be more clear; Is it worth it to buy a full 8 CA kit instead of geo bracket kit if I dont need the extra clearance.

Whatever way I go I will end up replacing both rear and front track bar.

Im trying to keep my budget close to 1k, so im looking at AEV 2.5, metalcloak 2.5 overland rocksport edition( will eventually work up to elite) or JKS 2.5 fox lift with geo brackets.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,872 Posts
As MMC states. You, your Jeep and everybody/everything IN it - rides/handles/corners/stops and goes ON your suspension so the BEST will always be worth it. That said, Budget considerations are certainly real world facts also. So, Best is a compromise between quality and affordability.

I'll go out on a limb here and say the Best offroad suspension may not be the best for pavement BUT a Top shelf pavement lift will probably do everything you need it to do off-road.

Finally, a suspension contemplated and assembled as a Complete functioning unit (every aspect) working in unison is the way to go....right down to the bolts and brackets.
Not a task for the faint of heart and certainly Not a "quickie".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As MMC states. You, your Jeep and everybody/everything IN it - rides/handles/corners/stops and goes ON your suspension so the BEST will always be worth it. That said, Budget considerations are certainly real world facts also. So, Best is a compromise between quality and affordability.

I'll go out on a limb here and say the Best offroad suspension may not be the best for pavement BUT a Top shelf pavement lift will probably do everything you need it to do off-road.

Finally, a suspension contemplated and assembled as a Complete functioning unit (every aspect) working in unison is the way to go....right down to the bolts and brackets.
Not a task for the faint of heart and certainly Not a "quickie".
I'm in no hurry and I have studied a good bit on the forum over the last few months. Striking the balance between affordability and quality is exactly what I am trying to do.

What would you recommend rubiconss?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,353 Posts
The nice thing about high-end kits is that they are well engineered and complete, not a lot of guess work needed. When looking at lower end kits they tend not to be complete and then you are chasing your tail to fix problems caused by the last piece you installed.

But based on your stated usage you have a very cheap and effective solution. Install a Teraflex JK 1.5" Leveling Kit and if you cut your fenders or install flats you can run 35's. Add to this 19/60 springs and you have that lifted look without spending thousands to get it. The up side it will really not affect geometry much but if you are not happy you can add a set of drop brackets in to correct it.

In October take advantage of Rancho's shock sale and put some RS9000 and you will have a very good DD. Then you can look at re-gearing and recovery gear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,872 Posts
I'm in no hurry and I have studied a good bit on the forum over the last few months. Striking the balance between affordability and quality is exactly what I am trying to do.

What would you recommend rubiconss?
Whew, I was afraid of that :) I have had (mostly) OME lifts on both Jeeps as well as Toyotas and was always impressed.
They are quality. Ride well and perform well.
Some of "my" answer is predicated on installation (DIY vs a shop)
IF it's a shop then researching them is as labor intensive as any part of this process.
If they can't/won't stand up to the scrutiny then you have an answer there and time to move on.
Reputation/experience and Hardware matters. What do I mean?
If a shop says "We do all Rough Country because they are the best" say Thank you and hang up.

If the shop says, "We mostly do AEV which we are certified to do and Mopar but we have done our fair share of high-end Frankenlifts..." Dealve deeper into them.
Quality shops aren't going to be inexpensive but I don't think it is wasted $$$.
A LOT goes into and a LOT is derived from Expert service.
I have done Most of my lifts DIY and I do value the "relationship" building process (Man and Machine).

Ok that was the long answer. Short answer: For Off the shelf lifts that come with almost everything you'd need (Caster correction being the part most often omitted) You can't go wrong with AEV or Mopar.
Above them, You get into serious $$$ with diminished return IMO.
Like any Hobby - the rarified air above high-end brings with it empty pockets, minute increases in performance and eventually an empty feeling that comes with falling in love with the process and forgetting about the Joy.

It is First and Foremost - a Jeep. It should be kept as a dutiful slave to its Owners Pleasure. Period.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,353 Posts
I guess I should be more clear; Is it worth it to buy a full 8 CA kit instead of geo bracket kit if I dont need the extra clearance........
The biggest reason for installing new arms is to increase articulation of the system. They have much more capability to flex off angle than stock control arms and they are stronger. And while you can fix things like castor there is a negative impact to geometry. This is one reason you can get a harsher ride. Geo brackets on the other hand address not only castor but also geometry and tends to provide a better ride.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,872 Posts
True. Remember High School Geometry? Doing homework and grumbling.... "I'm never gonna need this crap". Well, with suspensions - Geometry Matters.

Crude example: Take your hand and with a forward thrust jam the heel of your hand into the top edge of your desk. Hurts. it is an abrupt shock transferred up thru your arm.
Now, put your fingers on the edge of your desk and push allowing your fingers to bend back. Not so bad even when done with force.
That difference is illustrative of your Jeeps CA's out of parallel due to a lift and Not corrected.
Hitting a bump and that jarring feeling (harsh ride) vs the CA's functioning as designed and pivoting up/down absorbing shocks in concert with the rest of the suspension.
In suspensions (like Bra's) Geometry matters :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
FWIW, I don't know of any higher-tier kit that's full-on around the $1k mark. I'm about that much into my Frankenlift, but I was looking for good quality at lower price mark.

$440 Qtec 2.5 kit Nitro 8.0 - shocks, springs, rear TB bracket, bumpstops
$105 AEV Geo brackets
$110 front adjustable track bar
$160 extended SS brake lines
$90ish extended rear sway bar links (OE rear links move to front)
$125 alignment

O_E
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
FWIW, I don't know of any higher-tier kit that's full-on around the $1k mark. I'm about that much into my Frankenlift, but I was looking for good quality at lower price mark.


O_E
Yea, I know that most of the high end kits are way over my price range. I dont mind adding to the kit later on. I'm fine with spending 200 here or there 6 months down the road. I just cant afford to spend 5k all at once.

So here I am trying to figure out what will be the best route to take and what is the best 1000 dollar first step.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,872 Posts
Yea, I know that most of the high end kits are way over my price range. I dont mind adding to the kit later on. I'm fine with spending 200 here or there 6 months down the road. I just cant afford to spend 5k all at once.

So here I am trying to figure out what will be the best route to take and what is the best 1000 dollar first step.

You already did. You have a new JKRHR !!

(the Amazon/Athens deal on the Mopar 2" at about $940 is a tough deal to beat when it happens periodically) other than that.... remember to Enjoy the Jeep you have. 10 years ago my entire build wasn't what the Jeep you have already out of the box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
You already did. You have a new JKRHR !!

(the Amazon/Athens deal on the Mopar 2" at about $940 is a tough deal to beat when it happens periodically) other than that.... remember to Enjoy the Jeep you have. 10 years ago my entire build wasn't what the Jeep you have already out of the box.
:drinks:
I have absolutely loved my jeep for the last year and I have fallen in love with modding. I am just to the point in my build that I have most of the lower cost items already installed and am starting to move towards the big ticket items. I will need new tires in about 6 months and I would like to move up to 34s so i figured my options where to either buy a lift or buy nemesis fenders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
True. Remember High School Geometry? Doing homework and grumbling.... "I'm never gonna need this crap". Well, with suspensions - Geometry Matters.

Crude example: Take your hand and with a forward thrust jam the heel of your hand into the top edge of your desk. Hurts. it is an abrupt shock transferred up thru your arm.
Now, put your fingers on the edge of your desk and push allowing your fingers to bend back. Not so bad even when done with force.
That difference is illustrative of your Jeeps CA's out of parallel due to a lift and Not corrected.
Hitting a bump and that jarring feeling (harsh ride) vs the CA's functioning as designed and pivoting up/down absorbing shocks in concert with the rest of the suspension.
In suspensions (like Bra's) Geometry matters :)
:worthy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Oh, and thanks to everyone who chimed in. I really appreciate all the advice on finding the best possible upgrade path to follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
They aren't the cheapest, nor are they the most expensive, but I had the Synergy Stage 3 for 4 years and loved it. Never regretted spending a little more than I originally planned at all. Lot's of road trips and a few off-road, it always performed great. I decided I wanted to use it more off-road since my husbands TJ has no back seat for my Grandson. I upgraded to 4.5" lift and with their kit I just changed springs and shocks. (just for the lift part of my rebuild) Many people that rode with me have mentioned how nice the ride is, I recommend at least taking a look. Good luck on your decision :)
Lisa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
Yea, I know that most of the high end kits are way over my price range. I dont mind adding to the kit later on. I'm fine with spending 200 here or there 6 months down the road. I just cant afford to spend 5k all at once.

So here I am trying to figure out what will be the best route to take and what is the best 1000 dollar first step.
Bank the $1k and keep dropping money on top of it regularly. I've been doing this working towards hardwood floors for my house and am now about halfway to the first (and largest) 2-room job. It's not easy not dipping into it sometimes, but it'll be worth it when I can just get the job done without having to dip into savings / put it partial on charge.

O_E
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,872 Posts
Bank the $1k and keep dropping money on top of it regularly. I've been doing this working towards hardwood floors for my house and am now about halfway to the first (and largest) 2-room job. It's not easy not dipping into it sometimes, but it'll be worth it when I can just get the job done without having to dip into savings / put it partial on charge.

O_E
Do what I do. Put one of these on top!

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,565 Posts
I know this has been talked about but I would like to get some current advice on the topic.

The questions: Is it worth it to put a high end lift kit (ie; metalcloak gamechanger, rock krawler x factor, evo money stealer etc.) on a rig that is mostly a DD? or would it be more sensible to put a bracket kit on a DD and call it a day (ie; AEV 2.5, metalcloak overland, JKS fox 2.5...)?

<snip>
Well here is my take... Even the "bracket" kits that you mentioned are high end kits. They are just designed to do something a little different than the 8 arm "full" kits. I can't imagine thinking I went cheap if I put on a Metalcloak Overland Elite kit for my overland and cross country Jeep...

Where you fall short is with incomplete kits configured just to save $$.

For example this 3" kit:



Kind of missing a few things... and doing the rest of it as cheap as possible.

Or any 2"+ spacer lift without bump stops, sway bar links and a rear track bar bracket... Seems to be a few of them.

If it's a daily driver and even something you hit the road with on occasion, The AEV, JKS and MC "bracket" kits are fantastic. If you use your winch almost every time out, then you should probably look at the "full" kits...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
460 Posts
I ran for about a year and a half with my 2.5" Skyjacker sport lift.

It did alright and only recently did I start to notice some regular squawking from my rear (couldn't tell what it was right off because I am the only driver of my baby). After a while, I noticed my bushing were going out, and I kinda got lazy in trying to find the right bushings for my shocks, so I ordered a set of Bilstein 5100s.

I'm glad I did, because the shock mounts were pretty worn down, the bushings were nearly shot, and the bolts themselves were all worn out.

So all in all, spend the money necessary to be safe.

You can replace a Jeep/part/etc., but you can't replace you.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top