Very happy with this kit. I heard horror stories about RK's 1st (or 2nd.. what gen are we up to now?) generation kits. Apparently, RK's finally got their stuff together. Also, this kit can flex! There's not much up-travel to this kit if you're using RK's in-house shocks, but a ton of droop! It's real easy to drop a spring out of it's bucket.
I love the control arms. When I was looking for a new lift, long arms had me worried about bending them up and getting hung on them on the trail. Then I saw RK's kit. The arms are 2" solid stock, meaning they're not hollow in the middle, and they're bent upward (or "doglegged") for better clearance. The track bars are also made from solid stock, and all the brackets are made from .25" plate. This equals up to be a lot
of weight, but in my opinion, is well worth the security.
The front is a 3-link+t-bar design(technically a 4-link), meaning there are two lower control arms, a track bar, and only one upper control arm. This design is used by the pro rock crawlers because it flexes so well. On the downside, if you damage one of the arms, brackets, or bolts holding the axle to the control arm, you're in a heap of trouble. If you're on the road, that means no brakes, steering etc. On the trail, it means you have to fix or replace whatever broke. You can't really limp off the trail like you could with a radius arm set up or a standard 5 link.
The rear is a triangulated 4-link which eliminates the track bar. RK offers 2 different trusses to mount the upper arms- a bolt-on, and a weld on. To me, the bolt-on truss doesn't look real beefy, so I went for the weld-on truss. A word of advice: make sure you clock the truss forward a bit, and do NOT follow RK's instructions of welding it flush with the back of the diff
. With the pinion rolled back for the CV driveshaft, the rear truss will be real close to hitting the gas tank skid. The rear-end does feel like it's got a good amount of anti-squat though. The back-end will actually raise-up a bit when you get on the gas, which is good for hill climbs, as it pushes the front end down.
People used to gripe about the joints RK used on their old kit. The new ones seem to be squeek free, even after a few months of running them through east TN mud, and daily driver duties. The "Krawler" joints are sealed, which are used on the axle end of all the lower control arms (poly joints are used on the other end), unlike the old generation's rod ends. The upper rear arms use rod-ends (heim joints) at the axle end. I'd like to replace them with Johnny Joints or something before they get contaminated, but I think they would be too big. No squeeks or clunks yet though.
The Krawler joints are the biggest PITA to install though. Unlike RE or Currie's joints, they don't have the spacers attached to the joint. To install you have to put in a spacer, slide in the bolt, slide the Krawler joint in, then another spacer, then push the bolt though. Very poor design. (see Edit)
The belly skid is nice and flat with button head bolts to hold on the belly plate. The brackets that hold the upper/lower control arms and belly skid were a bit of a pain to install. The instructions said you could either bolt-on (drill 4 half inch holes in the frame
), or weld it on. Welding the brackets on is much quicker. RK says the skid design adds more rigidity to the frame.
The price was very attractive as well. For ~$2000
, I got the lift shipped to my door, with
long travel shocks.
EDIT: It's been over a year since my install, and everything is holding up great. It also appears that RK has a new style joint that doesn't have seperate spacers. Should make the install much easier now.