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Unread 04-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
nomembrane
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Rusty's vs Trail Master vs Zone vs ???

Hello all,

I'm in need of your input. After riding around with my crappy lift for three years, I cannot take it anymore. It is way too bumpy and stiff. I do take my Jeep off road, but only twice a month on average and its not rock crawling.

Currently my setup is as such; Front and rear springs are from the upgraded Up Country package (net you 1" or so). Along with that I have a BB lift that uses 2" front spacers, 1/2" rear lift block and longer rear shackles.

I rather keep my Jeep somewhat stock with the body (currently running without the fender flares but not trimmed). So with that in mind I need to be able to clear my 30's as well as a set of 31's sitting in my garage for when the 30's are bald.

I think I should be looking at 3" lift kits so I can clear my tires as well as steer clear of drive line vibrations.

Three lifts that I am looking at all include leaf packs, coil springs and shocks. Please give me your input good or bad, or anther option that is within my $500ish budget.

Rusty's
http://www.rustysoffroad.com/jeep-su...-pack-kit.html

Tail Master
http://www.trailmastersuspension.com...3730-40023.htm

Zone Offroad
http://zoneoffroad.com/product?ki=436&gr=-1

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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
Muddy97Cherokee
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My Rusty's springs are very stiff, I recommend staying away if you want a nice ride. Zone is a cheap lift and heard it rides crappy. Never heard of Trailmaster. I say buy some Old Man Emu leaf springs and really any front coils. Then Bilstein's and you'll be riding close to stock. At 3 inches you can clear 30's easily and 31's. You will need to bump stop so the tires don't rub while flexing. And having backspaced rims help also. 4" BS is perfect for 31's.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
Tom95YJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddy97Cherokee View Post
My Rusty's springs are very stiff, I recommend staying away if you want a nice ride. Zone is a cheap lift and heard it rides crappy. Never heard of Trailmaster. I say buy some Old Man Emu leaf springs and really any front coils. Then Bilstein's and you'll be riding close to stock. At 3 inches you can clear 30's easily and 31's. You will need to bump stop so the tires don't rub while flexing. And having backspaced rims help also. 4" BS is perfect for 31's.
Zone is a BDS Sister company, I doubt it rides bad, Shock Play a big role in how a vehicle rides
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Unread 04-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
nomembrane
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Thanks for your input guys.

I see on Zone's site you can upgrade to nitro shocks for only $21. That seems cheep for nitro shocks.

Anyone have the 3" lift from Zone with full leaf packs? Do you like the ride / flex of the system?

Something odd about the trail master lift, do they uses AAL on a new set of leaf packs?
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Unread 04-30-2013, 12:02 AM   #5
Muddy97Cherokee
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Zone is a BDS Sister company, I doubt it rides bad, Shock Play a big role in how a vehicle rides
I know, that's why I was surprised how the ride was crappy. A few people in local groups have zone lifts and say that it is one of the worst riding lifts they have felt.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
Muddy97Cherokee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomembrane View Post
Thanks for your input guys.

I see on Zone's site you can upgrade to nitro shocks for only $21. That seems cheep for nitro shocks.

Anyone have the 3" lift from Zone with full leaf packs? Do you like the ride / flex of the system?

Something odd about the trail master lift, do they uses AAL on a new set of leaf packs?
You do bring up a good question about the trail master kit. Says AAL but also says leaf leaf spring on details? I would call them to check it out. Not to many times you also see an overload spring in a kit unless it's from OME.
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Unread 12-20-2013, 07:47 AM   #7
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Trailmaster is owned by the same company that owns OR-FAB. I don't really know too much about their stuff. I would say Zone and Rusty's lifts will be about the same. I have heard that the zone lifts with spring packs ride as good as BDS and they make quality parts at an affordable price. Rusty's has been in the game much longer they have decent springs and their 3 inch spring pack will net you over 3 inches. The zone lift will get you about 3 inches. Rusty's also only makes lifts for Jeeps which is a plus. They come with hydro shocks which on a Jeep with 33's and under is fine and will ride better than gas charged. I have heard for the price Rusty's lifts ride good by the way. If you lift up a Jeep you cant expect it to ride like an Cadillac and if the springs are as soft as oem the lift will sag,you'll have bad handling, and forget towing anything. Even the high dollar short arm lifts ride worse than stock. If they think a lifted xj rides bad ride in an old lifted Jeep.
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Unread 12-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEEPNON
Trailmaster is owned by the same company that owns OR-FAB. I don't really know too much about their stuff. I would say Zone and Rusty's lifts will be about the same. I have heard that the zone lifts with spring packs ride as good as BDS and they make quality parts at an affordable price. Rusty's has been in the game much longer they have decent springs and their 3 inch spring pack will net you over 3 inches. The zone lift will get you about 3 inches. Rusty's also only makes lifts for Jeeps which is a plus. They come with hydro shocks which on a Jeep with 33's and under is fine and will ride better than gas charged. I have heard for the price Rusty's lifts ride good by the way. If you lift up a Jeep you cant expect it to ride like an Cadillac and if the springs are as soft as oem the lift will sag,you'll have bad handling, and forget towing anything. Even the high dollar short arm lifts ride worse than stock. If they think a lifted xj rides bad ride in an old lifted Jeep.

For a budget lift go Zone. Rustys makes garbage products and they don't stand behind their products look at their warrantys. Every rustys part I've owned has failed in a relatively short period of time. Some parts with in 2 weeks of install !
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Unread 12-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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I bought the 3" Trailmaster for my 99. The guy at the counter of 4wd said there starting to sell this as a low budget kit to go against the ruff country stuff. It rides a little harder than stock and my only problem was that I gained 4.5" in the rear instead of 3. My only additions to the kit were a tcase drop, boots for the shocks, and additional coil spring isolators to level it out. Overall I'm pleased with it.

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Unread 12-20-2013, 07:40 PM   #10
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For a budget lift go Zone. Rustys makes garbage products and they don't stand behind their products look at their warrantys. Every rustys part I've owned has failed in a relatively short period of time. Some parts with in 2 weeks of install !
Their gas tank skidplate has taken a lot of abuse without failure, and I really like the reinforcement strips for the frame, but their 2" coils sucks. Mine sagged to 1" lift after a rough muddy field run. And now the passenger side is sitting 1/4" lower.

Check out Rough County and Rubicon Express. Both are affordable, and great companies.
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Unread 12-21-2013, 11:55 PM   #11
nomembrane
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Thanks again folks for your input,

bob082484,
Could you let me know a few things? What 3" trail master kit did you get (AAL, full leaf packs or full leaf packs with LCAs)?. I'm looking at the lift with full leaf packs and lower control arms. Did your leafs (and LCAs if you have them) come with rubber or poly bushings? Has the rear settled down at all? Do your tires (31s I'm guessing) rub at any point?

Sorry for all the questions.

James
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Unread 12-22-2013, 02:54 AM   #12
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When it comes down to it, all 3 are basically the same $h!t. All three are going to have $h!tty shocks, with some decent springs. Pick one, skip their shocks, and get some Bilstein 5100's or something on the higher end. You will thank me later.
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Unread 12-22-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
bob082484
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Originally Posted by nomembrane View Post
Thanks again folks for your input,

bob082484,
Could you let me know a few things? What 3" trail master kit did you get (AAL, full leaf packs or full leaf packs with LCAs)?. I'm looking at the lift with full leaf packs and lower control arms. Did your leafs (and LCAs if you have them) come with rubber or poly bushings? Has the rear settled down at all? Do your tires (31s I'm guessing) rub at any point?

Sorry for all the questions.

James
I got the full leaf packs for mine. My old one's were shot and needed cut out. Not sure if there poly or rubber bushings. After about 6 months and 5000 miles it hasn't settled at all. Currently I'm running WJ lower control arms but I'll prob switch to tubes. At the current lift height I only have about an inch of droop before they bottom out on the lower front shock mount.



While turning I had a lot of rubbing from my 31"s so just minor fender flare trimming was needed. Aftermarket flares shouldn't rub at all.



Hope this helps.
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Unread 12-22-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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If you want a good ride go Old Man EMU, end of story. It doesn't really cost that much more and the ride is completely worth it, especially on a DD.
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Unread 12-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #15
nomembrane
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Xride,

Getting a lift is and should be somewhat of an educated decision as well as a balance of funds. I have ridden in two different vehicles (not jeeps) that I helped install an OME lift on, and the ride/flex was greate. Unfortunately $600 for a lift is my max limit. So if you can give a link or two where I can pick up an OME lift for six or under that includes coils, full leaf packs and shocks that would be awesome. As well as a site that sells an actual 3" OME lift and not the 1.5" that you find all day long for $850, cause apparently a 3' OME lift kit is as rare as hens teeth.
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