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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well this weekend I had the pleasure of installing the Rubicon Express 2.5" coil lift with their mono tube shocks, on my 2014 Freedom Edition JKU. I searched for a while for a full review of this and could only find 2 good full reviews so here goes.

Out of the box, the kit looked good. All of the parts needed were there as well as the instructions. While the instructions were not best, and lacked detailed photos of critical steps like other instructions do, they were not that bad.

We started with the install on the back, since the rear sway bar links would be used on the front. Jacked up the rear and put on jack stands, unbolted the sway bar links, the shocks, and the track bar on the axle end. The instructions did not include to unbolt the brake line bracket from the frame, but that is a must to get enough clearance if you are not using spring compressors.

With everything unbolted and the rear axle dropped, we removed the coil springs and installed the new ones. This was an easy task. The rear track bar bracket was next to be installed. The instructions did not say that the track bar bracket goes on the FRAME side. Being we unbolted the axle end per the instructions I assumed it went there, hence the lack of detailed photos. After figuring out that the bracket goes on the frame side the rest of the install on the rear went smooth. We did have to take a drill bit and make the holes SLIGHTLY larger to get the new hardware to fit.

Now to the front.

Piece of cake. But again, remove the brake line bracket from the axles to have enough clearance to drop the axle to put the springs in. The instructions called to drill the spring cup with a 5/16" bit to install the new bump stops. I would start the included self tapping bolt BEFORE putting the new springs on, it's much easier to get it started after the springs are in.

After the install I drove the jeep for about 40 miles to get a feel for it before putting the AEV geometry brackets on. Now back in the shop to install those.

The AEV brackets had very good instructions with detailed photos. And the install went relatively quick. You will need help to push the axle back inward to get the control arms lined up to bolt them back on.


Now after putting about 150 miles on it after the install here is my review.

The ride is SLIGHTLY stiffer than the stock ride. But with the monotube shocks, the bumps and washboard roads are MUCH SMOOTHER. Overall I am extremely satisfied with the ride. The jeep corners much better than the stock suspension as well. So far, the lift is very favorable for a great price.

PROS: The RE mono tube shocks are actually bilstein 5100's. While the shocks themselves have rubicon express all over them, they were packaged in Bilstein packaging. And the look just like the bilsteins without the yellow! lol

Very easy to install, with some mechanical knowledge and understanding.

Better than stock ride and handling.

CONS: inadequate instructions and lack of detailed photos.

had to drill out a few bolt holes for the new hardware to fit.


THE AEV geometry brackets are AWESOME. They completely take the NOSE DIVE when braking out. And they lower the control arms to almost the factory angle, thus moving the axle back to where it should be, without having to spend the extra money for adjustable control arms. The purpose of the brackets is to push everything back to factory angles, and they do just that. Great product and great price.

Overall I am very happy with both the lift and the geometry brackets. I did install Spidertrax 1.5" spacers to accommodate the backspacing on the factory wheels. They are not needed really unless you are running 33" plus tires, but they make the stance look great.

 

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I just installed this kit on my '13 Sport S yesterday. I removed the rear track bar at the axle as well before realizing that the bracket needed to be installed on the other side. Drilled out the one hole so that it would line up and moved on. My next issue was installing the front mono tube shocks as they require an allen wrench. Ended up breaking off the bottom side of the battery tray to make room for the allen wrench. My final obstacle came while I was putting the rear sway bar end links on the front. The driver's side was not close to lining up, but eventually got it correct.

The kit is very nice for the price and the quality is there, save the non-detail oriented instructions. The install took my gf and I about 6 hours to complete between Saturday and Sunday. I am very happy with the ride quality, just not so much with myself because I forgot to order black lug nuts for my new wheels and tires!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Menasor....my mono tube shocks didn't require an allen wrench.........and I could access them from the fenderwell, barely but I could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My final obstacle came while I was putting the rear sway bar end links on the front. The driver's side was not close to lining up, but eventually got it correct.

yeah mine didn't line up either. I ended up bolting the links to the inside of the frame mounts, instead of the outside. But I'm taking it to get it aligned this week so I'm sure that will change.

The alignment isn't bad off. The steering wheel may be off center 1/8", and it pulls slightly to the right.
 

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Menasor....my mono tube shocks didn't require an allen wrench.........and I could access them from the fenderwell, barely but I could.
Consider yourself lucky on that one! That step alone took me damn near two hours. I wonder why yours didn't require the allen wrench? I also had to bolt the sway bar end links to the inside of the mounts, and the steering wheel is straight. Alignment is scheduled for Wednesday, as I am putting the new wheels and tires on then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's weird. Mine had, I think, a 15mm nut. Did you get the mono tube shocks or the regular rubicon express twin tube shocks?
 

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I just used the AEV kit with my Rough Country 3.5" install. AEV has the 3 holes to use based on a 2.5, 3.5 or 4.5" lift and I had to use the holes for the 2.5" setting to get the castor angle as close to normal as possible. With mine, I don't get the nose dive but even with alignment done, I still get tiny bit of noticeable feedback in the steering wheel when I hit bumps or dips.Overall I like the ride a lot better than before though.
 

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That's weird. Mine had, I think, a 15mm nut. Did you get the mono tube shocks or the regular rubicon express twin tube shocks?
I got the kit with the mono tube shocks, and the nuts on the front were 11/16 I believe. Overall, I was really surprised at how easy the install went, and with only simple hand tools, jacks stands and a floor jack. What size tires are you running Sharpie?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got the kit with the mono tube shocks, and the nuts on the front were 11/16 I believe. Overall, I was really surprised at how easy the install went, and with only simple hand tools, jacks stands and a floor jack. What size tires are you running Sharpie?

I'm running the stock 255/75/17 BF Goodrich T/A mud tires. I thought they would look small with the lift, but they don't look that bad for now. I'll eventually bump up to a 33", maybe 35"
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry man, don't mean to Hi-jack the thread, but a few pics of my lift can't hurt!





haha! no worries! looks good! you're like me and need bigger shoes!
 

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Hey guys, I installed this lift on my 14 in October.
the one with monotube shocks.
mine had a nice beefy rear axle mount trac bar bracket.
no drilling in the rear.
what did you guys do for caster correction?
Did you use the square washers?
I put on synergy fixed front lower control arms.
At the end of the day I love the lift, rides great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey guys, I installed this lift on my 14 in October.
the one with monotube shocks.
mine had a nice beefy rear axle mount trac bar bracket.
no drilling in the rear.
what did you guys do for caster correction?
Did you use the square washers?
I put on synergy fixed front lower control arms.
At the end of the day I love the lift, rides great.

I'll be honest, I didn't use the square washers. I put the AEV geometry brackets on. Until I take it to have it aligned I won't know if I need them or not. Just using a tape measure and a level, it's not off very much at all.

So now that you've had it on for a while, how do you like it? Have the springs sagged at all? Has the ride changed since install?
 
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