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Unread 11-27-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
kntnrml
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Best all around 2.5" lift, below 1k

Im ready to ditch my RC 2" BB for a real lift. My JKU is primarily used as a daily driver but do take several weekend trips for backcountry camping in the mountains that weigh it down and make it seem floaty on the freeway getting there. I frequently tow a modified M416 loaded to about 1500lbs when making those trips.

I am no longer into rock crawling or anything extreme for that matter, mainly just over landing these days. I am planning a 6k mile X-country trip next year with my family of 5 and Moab is one of the many planned visits though..

I currently have stock bumpers but plan to add a winch to the front using the stock bumper.

My main concerns I guess would be road handling and comfort being number 1, load capacity number 2 and off road ability number 3.

I'd like to stay under $1000 if possible.

Currently, my top choice would be the AEV 2.5, what else should I consider? OME, Teraflex, etc. There are tons of options out there and searching every one of them for reviews can be mind numbing… I'd love to hear from those who use their JK the same as I do and what they like and dislike about what they're running.

SB

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Unread 11-27-2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kntnrml View Post
Im ready to ditch my RC 2" BB for a real lift. My JKU is primarily used as a daily driver but do take several weekend trips for backcountry camping in the mountains that weigh it down and make it seem floaty on the freeway getting there. I frequently tow a modified M416 loaded to about 1500lbs when making those trips.

I am no longer into rock crawling or anything extreme for that matter, mainly just over landing these days. I am planning a 6k mile X-country trip next year with my family of 5 and Moab is one of the many planned visits though..

I currently have stock bumpers but plan to add a winch to the front using the stock bumper.

My main concerns I guess would be road handling and comfort being number 1, load capacity number 2 and off road ability number 3.

I'd like to stay under $1000 if possible.

Currently, my top choice would be the AEV 2.5, what else should I consider? OME, Teraflex, etc. There are tons of options out there and searching every one of them for reviews can be mind numbing… I'd love to hear from those who use their JK the same as I do and what they like and dislike about what they're running.

SB
Kntntml,

I'm glad you provide so much information, it will make it easier for the forum members here to make some suggestions for you.

It is my personal opinion that you would be better off piecing together a lift than you would buying one. You're going to have a unique situation towing the trailer over long highway trips. You'll most likely need different spring rates in the front than the back to keep everything leveled out. Spending that much time on the road, you'll also want a good set of shocks valved for your specific needs. That is the only way IMO to get a comfortable ride for a 6k mile trip.

I know this doesn't really answer your question and someone may jump in here with a recommendation for a kit that will work for you, but this is my opinion FWIW.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

-Ryan
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Unread 11-27-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
ROCKR8R
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I would say either the Teraflex with shock adapters or buy some shocks or the AEV 2.5". The AEV comes with shocks and is barely under $1000 MSRP. A vendor might be able to get it for less. The TF is nearly half of that $1K budget but doesn't comes with shocks, You could pair some nice shocks with it and be near that AEV price but still about $200 under it or just be fine with the shock adapters. Neither comes with front sway bar disconnects (something I would want). The AEV springs are progressive and the Teraflex are linear. We are told progressive springs ride better and hold weight better but I don't see TF springs buckling under weight either or riding badly.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/16190_2501_07.htm
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16502_4424_07.htm

P.S. Quadratec isn't my vendor of choice. It is only for info purposes. Q-Tec is usually more expensive than the "smaller" vendors.

-Dan
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Unread 11-27-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
kntnrml
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Haven't put much thought into just piecing it together.. The RC kit I have now came with new sway bar links and rear track bar bracket. Could I just remove the spacers and replace them with decent coils? If so, other than OME, whats another brand to look at? Maybe a quality set of shocks and sway bar disco's and call it good, or is there more to it?

The teraflex kit is available in two options without shocks, one with shock extensions but no track bar bracket. The other has the track bar bracket but no shock extensions. I can see not needing shock extensions but shouldn't both kits include the track bar bracket?

Thanks
SB
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Unread 11-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #5
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I did 2.5 AEV and loving it.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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You can replace your stock coils and spacers with lift coils that are better suited for a loaded Jeep and will provide a better ride.

Look into a good set of coils and shocks. Old Man Emu, Metal Cloak, and Synergy are my top picks. I chose Metal Cloak because they will provide the most suspension travel.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
brianjw
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The AEV kits handle weight very well. The springs are progressive and designed to carry weight, and the shocks are custom tuned to jeep and the AEV springs. The track track bar bracket raises the roll center more than the standard smaller brackets with other kits. It comes with brake line brackets, bump stop extensions and everything else you need.
I would recommend you eventually either add adjustable lower front control arms, or their geometry correction brackets (these will improve handling and reduce brake dive). The next sensible upgrade would be a quality aftermarket adjustable front track bar.
Whatever you choose, do yourself a favor and install a full suspension bolt upgrade from synergy or similar.

Here is mine with the 3.5" AEV lift.
Towing it works well. Hauling four people and a bunch of camping gear, same thing. Now I have a heavy pop-up top and have been all over the west with the jeep loaded down with gear, it does great on road and off.



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Unread 11-27-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
kntnrml
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Nice setup there brianjw, the aev handles the weight ok it seems. Doesn't appear to sag in the rear in the pics

How about the rock krawler 2.5 stock mod kit along with a set of 5100's? At $714 for lift and shocks including shipping at northridge4x4 it's awfully tempting..

That setup and an engo 9k with synthetic line will only be slightly more than the AEV 2.5. Too bad the AEV is not on sale...
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Unread 11-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kntnrml View Post
How about the rock krawler 2.5 stock mod kit along with a set of 5100's?

Rock Krawlers coils seem short for a progressive or "triple rate" as I think Ive seen them called. Their length is more comparable to the stock single rate coils than a progressive or dual rate coil spring.

Their 2 door front 2.5" coils are only less than .5" longer than a stock 18 coil spring and are 2" SHORTER than Synergy's 2 door 2" front Progressive coils. They are just over 3" shorter than metal cloaks dual rate 2 door 2.5" lift coils.


Rock Krawler's rear coils are comparable to Synergy's rear coil length, but they are still about 3" shorter than MetalCloaks.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
kntnrml
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So do they not net 2.5" of lift or is it just that their spring rate is that much different than the other coils? If they do net 2.5 I'd imagine it would mean they have a very stiff ride since the length is comparable to stock?
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Unread 11-27-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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Those measurements are for 2 door coils. The stock 18 front coils lift the front of a 2 door about 1.75"- 2".

But yes, something seems a bit off with the measurement. Their length is more comparable to a stock single rate coil spring.

It seems a bit odd that Synergy's 2" progressive rate front coil is 2" longer than Rock Krawler's 2.5" Progressive rate front coil spring.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 08:26 PM   #12
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That is preload? I notice different springs from different mfgr for the same lift often measure different without load.
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Unread 11-28-2013, 05:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by RockyClymer View Post
That is preload? I notice different springs from different mfgr for the same lift often measure different without load.

Yea, all measurements are free length.

Yea, there will be different length coils that provide the same ride height, but I would expect there to be some consistency between similar coils though (single rate, dual rate, progressive). I would also expect Progressive and dual rate coils to be noticeably longer than a stock single rate coil spring. Especially a Progressive or "Triple Rate" coil spring that is sold in a "Max Travel" suspension lift.

Just seems hard to put a dead zone for travel, a soft rate for normal street use, a progressive section and a firmer section all into a 2.5" lift coil spring that is only .44" longer than a single rate coil that provides 1.75" of lift.
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Unread 11-28-2013, 05:51 AM   #14
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If the springs are barely longer than stock, either the shocks aren't allowing any more down travel and the ride will suck or the springs are falling out of the mounts when the suspension droops. I'd guess the ride is harsh too with more preload/higher rate.
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Unread 11-28-2013, 06:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjw View Post
If the springs are barely longer than stock
Keep in mind that a stock 4 door 18 coil provides lift on a 2door. All spring measured are for a 2 door.

18's are Stock 4 door coils that provide 1.75"+- on a 2 door. They are noticeably longer than a stock 2 door front coil spring. The other measurements are for the respective company's 2" to 2.5" 2 door lift springs.
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