Well, it was not a single thing that sold me on the lift but more a combination of factors. Most of all, it was the fact that RE had trouble getting their parts out and basically an "indefinite" backorder at the time I was out to get the lift ... It was basically down to RE 5.5 and the FT 6".
It's a heck of a lift and very well put together. There is almost no bump steer and a bit of break steer which you won't hear me complain about! It handles and rides great. The lift was not squeeky at all at first ... however, after a few days in moab, it really started squeeking and whining bad. It was all the dryness and the dust getting in there ... I would guess a bit of oil into the joints would fix that but I never bothered with it.
On the streets and highways there are pretty much no noises or squeeks and with the RS9000X's set at 1 (softest), it rides like a luxury car!
I was worried about driveshaft vibrations with the 6" lift but there is no vibration what so ever (had to get a CV-shaft made using some of the Full Traction parts). I am not sure what they provide for the drive shaft as fourxdoctor who did the entire install took care of that part. It also needed some serious exhaust rework.
Total bill, including the lift, install, shocks, drive shaft, and exhaust came close to $5K including taxes and shipping etc. I believe the line item for labor to install the lift was $1K and the lift itself was somewhere around $2300 but I'm not 100% sure on those at the moment. All in all, I am very satisfied with the work they did with the install.
Oh and forgot the $1500 for the wheels and tires ... 35" MTRs on 15x8 Unique 252s.
One thing which I am VERY happy about after the lift is the fact that the belly goes up a few inches in addition to the lift compared to stock Rubicon center pan.
There are some major differences between the RE and Full Traction lifts.
The RE is a 4 link rear that uses a drop trac bar bracket and adjustable trac bar. The Full Traction kit utilizes a 3 link rear. That is the truss you see over the rear diff that attaches to the upper control arm mounts and the sway bar mounts. This allows for the removal of the rear track bar and allows for better flex in the rear.
If you are using these setups greasing the joints is almost mandatory or you will start blowing them up soon after install. Plus the squeeking has to be loud if you don't.
Well yes and no ... I don't think you need to weld anything other than the exhaust work so it is sorta "bolt on". But it's definitely nothing I would have done myself.
You need to cut the control arm pockets off the frame. They give you frame reinforcement brackets for those parts that bolt on and box the frame in. There are a couple of other brackets and things that get cut off. Pretty much everything else bolts into place either using stock locations or by drilling a few holes here and there. Obviously since I didn't do the install myself, I don't know all those minor details that creep up (they are sure to be there). However, the lift is not easily "reversible" back to stock without a lot of work to weld the things that get cut back on.
One thing to watch out for is that there is a different bracket for the manual tranny than the automatic. So make sure you get the right one if you order. Redoing the rear driveshaft is also a must with this much lift or you'll have severe vibrations.
The rest (which I consider the "hard part") is all the adjustments and doing the bump stops. I would guess this is where having the expertise of having done similar lifts in the past really comes in handy.
There are also break line extensions that come with the kit. One problem I had in Moab was that the c-clips holding the break line extensions onto the frame brackets on each side in the front fell off at some point and the lines were just hanging. A bit of slick duct tape work on my part and they are back on there for good but yah there seems to be a slight flaw in the way those c-clips hold the break lines in place. No biggie though.
1blackjeep, I'll get all the joints greased up asap
I need some input on these Heim joints cuz I've heard bad things about them and I was a click away from purchasing an RE 3.5 Super Flex until I saw that thread !!!
Well, they seem pretty solid to me but I only have about 2K miles with only a few serious offroad trips. The major problem I was aware of with this lift was the 3-link in the back breaking off the rear axle. They have redone that as you can see and it seems very very solid right now. But then again, for me at this point, only time will tell !!!
At this point, I would say you can't really go wrong with either the RE or the FT. They are both great kits.
My bad, I didn't even notice that those were Heim Joints. I was only looking at the Uni-ball at the upper rear. I haven't seen them personally, but I would assume that they are greaseable.
Have you really heard of the tri-link bracket breaking off? That's hard to picture if it's installed correctly. Especially with being bolted in at six different locations not including the upper arms. My setup uses a similar bracket in the rear (Although I think FT borrowed the design a little) except it has another piece that bolts up to the rear diff and the back of the bracket for added strength.
MA_Goat, I think that you will have to decide for yourself if you want a setup with Heims, Johnny's, or Cartridge Joints. Different people have different experiences. Mine currently uses 2 and half inch cartridge joints with greaseable bolts, but I hear that Troy is developing a new grease impregnated joint that will replace the current setup and never need maintenance.