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Unread 09-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #1
Leffnasty
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Zone vs BDS lifts

Comparing the Zone Offroad 4.25" combo for TJ and the BDS 3" suspension which I would include a BL/MML with.

On one hand we have the Zone which comes with BL, MML, bumpstop extensions, rear track bracket, and some more goodies. For around $500.

BDS's $400 kit comes with just shocks and coils. BL and MML would be another $160ish, the stops and rear track bar relocation about $100. Almost $700 depending on the extras I get.

My real question is what are the differences in quality between the two brands?

I have heard that many zone parts are actually the same as BDS except without the premium warranty since they are sister companies. Yet I looked at Zone's warranty and it is nearly the same.

Thoughts?

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Unread 09-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
06JeepLJ
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You are on the right track with your thinking... I put the Zone 4.25" combo lift on my LJ, and am still loving it. It came down to money for me, had I been building to do more extreme wheeling I would have went BDS. But for what I do, I could not justify the $$$$. The 4.25" lift on my LJ rides better than stock. Fixed the sporadic Death Wobble I had, went from looking like a mail man to a real Jeep (according to my Brother in-law)... The only negative I have is a weird squeak from time to time, that unfortunately I cannot seem to track down... again real sporadic...
dscf6144.jpg

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Unread 09-26-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
06JeepLJ
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the one above is before....

below is after!
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Unread 09-27-2013, 10:24 AM   #4
tyvanwie
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You can go wrong with either really...
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Unread 09-29-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
Charley3
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I don't know anything about BDS, except I've heard their spring rates are stiff and ride harsh. I don't know from personal experience. That's just what I've heard.

I do know from personal experience that I was NOT impressed with the Zone diff guard I bought. The workmanship was inferior and I returned it. The mating surface wasn't even flat, the paint had bubbles in it, and the welds were ugly and sloppy. If they can't make a proper diff guard, what does that imply about their other products?

I recommend Savvy, Metalcloak, OME, and Rancho.

Yes I said Rancho. They are the low cost good stuff, IMO. The others I mentioned are the best (IMO), but cost more.

Rancho makes good TJ/LJ stuff, and probably good JK stuff. When I had an LJ, I was impressed with Rancho springs, shocks, and other things. Rancho products compared favorably to OME. I had both brands of lifts on that LJ at different times. I also had some great Savvy stuff on that LJ.

If on a tight budget and wanting something good for not much money, Rancho is hard to beat for TJ/LJ and probably JK. However, I do not like Rancho's XJ products. Their XJ springs are to stiff, IMO. I now have an XJ and no longer use Rancho products.

On my XJ, I am using OME springs and Metalcloak arms.
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Unread 09-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #6
Cavasar
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I can't speak for their other products, but the Zone 4.25" kit has made me very happy. Does what I need it to do, maybe one day I'll swap out the springs for MC and shocks for Bilsteins but for now things are just dandy.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
I don't know anything about BDS, except I've heard their spring rates are stiff and ride harsh. I don't know from personal experience. That's just what I've heard.
In a TJ like OPs? Absolutely not. Springs are probably the best thing BDS makes and something like a 3" front/2" rear combo in TJ works quite well. I do have personal experience.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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Unread 10-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #9
The_Dealer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
In a TJ like OPs? Absolutely not. Springs are probably the best thing BDS makes and something like a 3" front/2" rear combo in TJ works quite well. I do have personal experience.
it works for me....

Btw bds coils are about 158lbs front 200 rear. Not in anyways stiff compared to other companies. Stock is 140. I have noticed my rear was a little stiff, but not bad. I do have a decently heavy rear bumper and a 32" spare on 15x8 steel rim, and a huge sub box in the back


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Unread 10-01-2013, 09:28 AM   #10
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I did a review of my 5.25" Combo kit that Zone had put together for me several years ago when they were a new-kid. I have been VERY pleased with the whole package. The ONLY negative that I can say about the kit is the sleeves for the bushings are rolled metal, they are NOT solid. I have had a fairly loose rear end for a while now (let the jokes begin!!) and have gone through about 4 sets of rear LCA bushings. The mounting holes on the frame for the LCAs were no longer round so I re-welded a piece of 3/16" steel to it with a new 31/64" ROUND hole drilled in it and have taken almost all of the play out of it. The issue I was running into with the sleeves for the bushings was they were separating at the seam where the metal was rolled. It was then allowing MORE play. The bushings were then shot due to the rear-end jumping all over the place in the oblong hole, with an open sleeve, and only the bushing trying to hold it in place. When I re-welded the new metal "mounting holes" to it, I also ran a bead down the seams on the sleeves. Ground it down to where it was smooth and slammed them in. Only been a couple weeks, but am happy with the work and the nice tight rear end I have now! ha ha ha!


If you want to read my review that I did on the lift back when I first bought it, it can be found here:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f239/...ackage-861921/


I have since added a Ford 8.8, 4.88s, Detroit locker (which I think my backlash is a little off.... that's the added "looseness"), SYE and Adam's DS. Have had it offroad many of times with the tires rubbing the pinch seam in the rear fender wells (cuts in my tire tread to prove it!) and have not missed a beat. Can't say enough about the Zone kit. Very happy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 06JeepLJ View Post
The only negative I have is a weird squeak from time to time, that unfortunately I cannot seem to track down... again real sporadic...

I had a very interesting squeak on mine as well. I finally pin-pointed it to the front quick-disconnects. If you have them, throw a little bit of grease on the upper ball-joint and work it in. Should help, if not eliminate it.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 10:08 AM   #11
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leffnasty View Post
BDS's $400 kit comes with just shocks and coils. BL and MML would be another $160ish, the stops and rear track bar relocation about $100. Almost $700 depending on the extras I get.
thats a bit high for estimates on extras, rear track bar brackets are around $20, bump stops front and rear shouldnt run you any more than $30. i'd say the mml and bl are about $40 over priced as well

very happy with the bds stuff i have, originally went with the 2" springs and have since gone to 3" up front and 2" in the back. there is nothing harsh about the ride and i'm on e-load tires
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Unread 10-01-2013, 10:28 AM   #12
stump1
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Originally Posted by tyvanwie View Post
You canT go wrong with either really...
fify
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Unread 10-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #13
etsubchief
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I installed 3 inch zone on my LJ. Its been about 6 months, no issues yet.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stump1

fify
That's what I meant lol. Didn't catch that.
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