Which Rough Country 3" lift kit is better? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 22 Old 09-07-2013, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
briandunning
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Which Rough Country 3" lift kit is better?

Hi - We just bought my 15-yr-old (soon to be 16) HIS FIRST JEEP!!!!! A 99 XJ in great shape. He is stoked. First step is a 3" lift.

I see Rough Country offers an entry level for $255 and a Series II for $345 that includes control arms. Is there a compelling reason to spend the extra money?

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post #2 of 22 Old 09-07-2013, 09:14 PM
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Maybe someone else will chime in with a compelling reason but I don't have one. I have that 3" RC kit, mine came with shocks and when preparing to install it I was least concerned with control arms. Pretty quickly my lift budget expanded for an adjustable track bar (then, two months later, a double shear track bar) and sway bar links, which are cheap if you don't need to disconnect them quickly.

I still have my stock control arms but maybe I've been missing out!
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-07-2013, 09:19 PM
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Overall it'll most likely ride smoother and articulate better!
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-07-2013, 09:32 PM
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If you think you might want 31x10.5 tires under that 3" lift, you would probably rub a little on the control arms. In that case you could shim the steering stop bolts with washers OR buy control arms with a bend to accommodate wider tires and save that little bit of turning radius. I have been riding on 31's for two weeks and am on the fence between the new control arms or smaller tires.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-07-2013, 09:42 PM
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I wouldn't waste the money on RC, but the longer controls arms will give you better articulation in the front. Your best bet is to piece together a lift. As for tires rubbing, steel wheels with correct backspacing are cheap. If you're going to put new tires on anyway you might as well shell out $200 on wheels and keep the turning the same. If you're trying to keep the price down stick with a 2" budget boost and some 30s or stock 235s and you won't need new wheels. You don't NEED new control arms at 3" but you're about at their limit at 3".

Honestly though, I wouldn't lift my kids first vehicle until he'd had it a while. New teenage drivers and a higher center of gravity on an SUV isn't a good idea. I'd give it 6-12 months to see if he wants to keep it or you actually need to lift it before spending the money on a lift and what all you'll need to go with it.

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Originally Posted by Ron Swanson
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-07-2013, 09:58 PM
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I concur that keeping it stock is a good idea for a new driver.
Once you are confident in his ability to drive on-road, then take it off-road and see how well the Jeep performs.
Proper tire tread, recovery points, and skid plates will probably take him anywhere a small lift would; But if you feel that he needs bigger tires to do the off-roading he wants to do, decide what size you want to get and lift accordingly...
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 03:35 AM
LimeLJ
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I can not think of a compelling reason to spend money on anything Rough Country.

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1997 Jeep Comanche - 4.7L Stroker, Lifted, "Restored", and soon to be supercharged.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 05:39 AM
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Lime, did you see the part about $255? That is a compelling reason. It's a first car for a 16 year old, keep it cheap but keep it fun.

OP, will your son be helping with the install?
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJmaine97 View Post
Lime, did you see the part about $255? That is a compelling reason. It's a first car for a 16 year old, keep it cheap but keep it fun.

OP, will your son be helping with the install?
You typically get what you pay for and thats true 99% of the time with cheap lifts. Doesnt take much searching to find out why you dont want a RC lift.

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Originally Posted by Ron Swanson
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only inadequate clothing and transportation.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 10:28 AM
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I have a full rc kit and it came with everything, I have never had any issues with it. But I guess I got Lucky


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post #11 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 10:49 AM
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Maybe I got lucky too. When I bought my 3" kit I had a broken leaf on the driver's side and shot shocks. I knew I'd want to go to 4.5 eventually but I couldn't afford bigger tires or the SYE or even a T-case drop and I rarely go offroad. I knew at the time that I would only be asking a few years out of any of it, so I bit the bullet and bought Rough Country. Now, my experience has been fine. Great customer service, no problems with what they sent me or how it has performed over the last 2,000 or so miles. I spent the money knowing I would re-spend it later but now I'm wondering if it will even be necessary.

I see a lot of people ragging on RC because "it's a waste" or "it's not worth it" but I don't buy it yet. I need some carnage photos or horror stories or at least something more specific. Is RC terrible for wheeling vehicles or all vehicles? Is it all the lift sizes? What if you buy a full kit and not AAL and coils? Is it at least better than a sagging stock ride? Is it worth the relatively small price tag?

What is the biggest concern? Is it shoddy workmanship or low-quality materials or poor design? Are the spring eyes going to fall off one day or is the suspension just going to wear faster and need replacement sooner?
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 12:05 PM
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They don't ride as well as other lifts, their shocks aren't very good, their coil springs are prone to going bad, their bushings don't last, and they're bad about honoring their warranties. It's not like they're going to blow your rig up or taco it but to a lot of us it's a waste of money when you can get something significantly for a couple hundred more.
You can piece together a much better lift for not much more.

That RC lift with full packs is $500 before shipping. You can get 2" OME full pack leafs, 1" shackles, 3" front coils and some Rancho RS5000s or BDS shocks for a good bit less and it will ride and last much better. You can also get all of that from Quadratec and get free shipping if you let them know you're a member here.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Swanson
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only inadequate clothing and transportation.
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post #13 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 12:57 PM
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I bought the stage two kit way back when. I have to say while the control arms were strong the bushings wore very quickly. I've got RC's adjustable lowers and they seem to be holding up pretty good. I've read that there are some that don't care for RC. I had a saggy coil that came with the kit and they replaced it without any problem....although like I said it was saggy. I've added onto to the kit over time and the add a leaf has held up well. If you're really looking for the kid to hit offroad I'd add armor, at least a gas tank and transfer case skids.
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post #14 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge View Post
They don't ride as well as other lifts, their shocks aren't very good, their coil springs are prone to going bad, their bushings don't last, and they're bad about honoring their warranties. It's not like they're going to blow your rig up or taco it but to a lot of us it's a waste of money when you can get something significantly for a couple hundred more.
You can piece together a much better lift for not much more.

That RC lift with full packs is $500 before shipping. You can get 2" OME full pack leafs, 1" shackles, 3" front coils and some Rancho RS5000s or BDS shocks for a good bit less and it will ride and last much better. You can also get all of that from Quadratec and get free shipping if you let them know you're a member here.


^ This !


I have $800 wrapped up into my Suspension It rides great and works very well I used a Rubicon Express Coils, Leafs , Trackbar, Bilstein 5100 shocks, Crown Extended braided brake lines front and rear, Upper and Lower Teraflex Adjustable control arms . My wheel travel amazes guys with long armed rigs

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post #15 of 22 Old 09-08-2013, 02:42 PM
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Okay, I'm convinced. I didn't realize there were other kits, or pieced-together kits, on the market for similar prices. When I bought my lift I remember being hesitant about piecing together a lift. It was comforting to buy the whole package from one place.

Motorcharge, thanks for a good answer. I hope I didn't come across as snarky.
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