JeepForum.com

JeepForum.com (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/)
-   JK Wrangler Technical Forum (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/)
-   -   Rough Country 4" X-series review and install (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/rough-country-4-x-series-review-install-1355656/)

sonic289 04-11-2012 08:57 PM

Rough Country 4" X-series review and install
 
Long post, sorry a head of time.

I decided to lift my 2011 4 door and I spent months researching every site and forum online that I could find. Price played a role in my decision but it was a small role. My preferences were that it be American made, had great customer support, lifetime warranty, be able to accommodate 35's now and have room for 37's later down the road. After reading the cam bolt debate threads (I'm not trying to start the debate again) I decided that adjustable upper and lower control arms would ease installation. This is my daily driver and I drive 102 miles to work and back every day so road manners were important but it needed to perform well off road also.

None of the lifts met all the criteria but I narrowed it down to AEV, BDS or RC and I finally chose RC after reading all the reviews good and bad. After weeding out most of the cruft, replies like "My cousin's friend had an RC lift on his TJ and the driveshafts shot out and burst into flames" or "I heard about a guy that had an RC lift and...", I wanted real replies from actual RC customers and the replies were mostly the same. The springs may or may not sag, the shocks may or may not leak, it rides like hell, the x joint may or may not fall apart, but everybody agreed that customer service is top notch and the control arms are massively overbuilt.

After multiple calls to customer support with a million questions I was convinced to give RC a try. I also ordered 3/4" Daystar spring spacers to combat the spring sag since I was going to be running a heavy full sized spare and a winch. Customer support assured me that the shocks could accommodate the additional spacers.

Here are the before and after pics before I get into my review:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y11...ide_before.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y11...side_after.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y11...ont_before.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y11...ront_after.jpg

MilesOfMachines 04-11-2012 09:22 PM

So how DOES it ride? It looks awesome though! Im about a week or 2 away from choosing a lift for my 2 door.. Its between Rock Krawler and Rough Country for me, alot more on the RK side.

sonic289 04-11-2012 09:25 PM

Install:
 
The install was pretty straight forward. I read the online instructions a million times, ensured that I had all the correct tools, it calls for a pitman arm puller and a giant socket (33mm maybe) but NEVER uses them in the instructions. Not the printed instructions with the kit, not the newer updated instructions from their site :confused:. Regardless, all the other tools listed were needed. Also there is an additional set of instructions about assembling the X-joints which is nowhere online so that was a surprise.

The fit and finish of all the parts left something to be desired. I wouldn't call it bad but I wouldn't call it great either. A lot of the threads on the bolts needed to be cleaned up some. I have a tap and die set so it was no big deal and it probably would have assembled with brute force but chasing the threads helped. Again, not awful but not stunning either.

The control arms are HUGE and seem to be built well. They also needed to be chased some. Again, probably would have went in with some force but since I had the tools I cleaned them up.

I assembled all the X-joints first, which was a good thing since I could not get the end cap to thread onto the last joint, which was an upper control arm. The threads looked good but something was wrong with it. A call to support and they shipped a new one no questions asked but it set me behind a week on getting it installed. Thankfully I ran into this before I started to really tear things down. The new joint they sent was black (instead of silver like the others) and looked way better fit and finish wise but the sleeve was smaller in diameter. Also they claim to include a bolt to replace the one you cut off for the upper control arm. Mine didn't have this bolt, not included with the kit or the additional joint they sent. We have a killer place locally that sells bolts but some people that only have Home Depot for their nut and bolts needs will be jacked since they didn't carry it. Also there are two different widths of sleeves that go into the upper control arms but no mention in the instructions of which go where. Just be aware.

I noticed in a lot of places that they said use XXmm wrench or XXmm socket but the sizes were wrong. This is splitting hairs since its obvious that its wrong and you can just get the right size but just something I thought I would mention.

The brake line mounts that they sent with the kit were all the exact same. So technically they would only bolt into where they were supposed to on like the front driver side and rear passenger side (basically two of them should have been reversed). For the other two I needed to drill a hole into the frame and tap it and just bolted it directly to the frame. This was the most annoying thing since it seems like common sense and seemed real careless. It was an easy fix but it just annoyed the hell out of me.

Speaking of brakes, there is no mention to which brake line goes where and they all have a place to go. Again this was annoying as hell. I ended up finding this picture of the front driver side brake line from the Rubicon Express install instructions for their lift. The view is behind the driver side caliper looking toward the front of the Jeep. Circled in red is how your line should look. Leaving this out was dumb on RC's part.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y111/wz56km/brake.jpg

Other than those things everything else is straight forward. Again, all that stuff is not a deal breaker but it was like the fit and finish, not perfect and slightly annoying.

sonic289 04-11-2012 09:44 PM

Ride:
 
Ride:

On Road:
The ride is fair. I have a friend that has an AEV 3.5 on his Jeep and this is no AEV lift on road. The ride could best be described as firm or leaning toward a little harsh on square edged bumps. Not awful, I don't hate the ride, but its just more firm than stock. Granted I only have about 2000 miles on it so there is probably some break in that needs to happen still.

Off Road.
I've had it off road a couple of times and one place gives me a real good chance to flex it out pretty hard. I can say this is where it shined. I would put this up against the AEV off road any day. It just really performed well off road, flexed real well, did everything I asked and more. It had a good mix of mud, gravel, sand, woods, rock gardens, logs down, etc. It just gobbled it all up.

Now I am running my stock drive shafts. I had our local alignment shop do an alignment and correct the pinion angles. No vibes at all. However, while wheeling I did tear my front drive shaft boot when it rubbed on the transfer case skid plate like everybody said it would. This only happened at my last off roading trip so if you going to stay on road or wheel kinda tame at frist then stock driveshafts should work for a bit.

On a strange side note my springs did not sag at all so I'm closer to 4.75" of lift currently so hopefully the do sag a bit.

My overall verdict is that I got what I expected. I feel like it was money well spent and if I had to do it all over again I would probably make the same lift choice just based on the adjustable upper and lower control arms and how massively overbuilt they seem. Would I suggest somebody else buy it? Not sure. It's for sure a great value but based on the fit and finish there is a little extra work above and beyond what the instructions say so if you want to just pull something out of the box and slap it in... keep looking. However if you don't mind doing a tiny bit of tinkering then I honestly don't think you can beat this value. But that was why I created this post, so anybody thinking about buying a RC X-series can see if its right for them or not by my actual experience with it.

MilesOfMachines 04-11-2012 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sonic289
The install was pretty straight forward. I read the online instructions a million times, ensured that I had all the correct tools, it calls for a pitman arm puller and a giant socket (33mm maybe) but NEVER uses them in the instructions. Not the printed instructions with the kit, not the newer updated instructions from their site :confused:. Regardless, all the other tools listed were needed. Also there is an additional set of instructions about assembling the X-joints which is nowhere online so that was a surprise.

The fit and finish of all the parts left something to be desired. I wouldn't call it bad but I wouldn't call it great either. A lot of the threads on the bolts needed to be cleaned up some. I have a tap and die set so it was no big deal and it probably would have assembled with brute force but chasing the threads helped. Again, not awful but not stunning either.

The control arms are HUGE and seem to be built well. They also needed to be chased some. Again, probably would have went in with some force but since I had to tools I cleaned them up.

I assembled all the X-joints first, which was a good thing since I could not get the end cap to thread onto the last joint, which was an upper control arm. The threads looked good but something was wrong with it. A call to support and they shipped a new one no questions asked but it set me behind a week on getting it installed. Thankfully I ran into this before I started to really tear things down. The new joint they sent was black (instead of silver like the others) and looked way better fit and finish wise but the sleeve was smaller in diameter. Also they claim to include a bolt to replace the one you cut off for the upper control arm. Mine didn't have this bolt, not included with the kit or the additional joint they sent. We have a killer place locally that sells bolts but some people that only have Home Depot for their nut and bolts needs will be jacked since they didn't carry it. Also there are two different widths of sleeves that go into the upper control arms but no mention in the instructions of which go where. Just be aware.

I noticed in a lot of places that they said use XXmm wrench or XXmm socket but the sizes were wrong. This is splitting hairs since its obvious that its wrong and you can just get the right size but just something I thought I would mention.

The brake line mounts that they sent with the kit were all the exact same. So technically they would only bolt into where they were supposed to on like the front driver side and rear passenger side. For the other two I needed to drill a hole into the frame and tap it and just bolted it directly to the frame. This was the most annoying thing since it seems like common sense and seemed real careless. It was an easy fix but it just annoyed the hell out of me.

Speaking of brakes, there is not mention to which brake line goes where and they all have a place to go. Again this was annoying as hell. I ended up finding this picture of the front driver side brake line from the Rubicon Express install instructions for their lift. The view is behind the driver side caliper looking toward the front of the Jeep. Circled in red is how your line should look. Leaving this out was dumb on RC's part.

Other than those things everything else is straight forward. Again, all that stuff is not a deal breaker but it was like the fit and finish, not perfect and slightly annoying.

Well, that does sound like some mickey mouse **** going on with that kit. But.. Now its all installed in your jeep, so how does it handle both on and off road then?

bonestockracing 11-16-2013 09:25 PM

Sonic,
Now that time has passed, any updates? I am interested in this kit as well. I just bought a 14 Rubicon and planning 35's for the first set but I also have a set of 37" Pitbulls I want to run around on.

How is the ride now?
Any issues with the flex Joint?

Tim

222Doc 11-17-2013 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonestockracing (Post 17767377)
Sonic,
Now that time has passed, any updates? I am interested in this kit as well. I just bought a 14 Rubicon and planning 35's for the first set but I also have a set of 37" Pitbulls I want to run around on.

How is the ride now?
Any issues with the flex Joint?

Tim

this was a year ago and he has not posted since. maybe he strained it flexing:cheers:

spyder6 11-17-2013 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonestockracing
Sonic, Now that time has passed, any updates? I am interested in this kit as well. I just bought a 14 Rubicon and planning 35's for the first set but I also have a set of 37" Pitbulls I want to run around on. How is the ride now? Any issues with the flex Joint? Tim

Save your money. Rough country is garbage

bonestockracing 11-24-2013 02:28 PM

Everone says that its crap but, they just say cause "its junk" and not a lot of real reasoning. . If you search the forum there is qjite a lot of folks that say their AEV springs sag, and the OME rides a lil rougher than stock.. I don't get why everone flames RC, I think they have some of the best Customer Service around..

Do the X series arms suck? Why?

spyder6 11-24-2013 07:49 PM

Their joints are awful Johnny joint knock offs, their arm geometry is terrible, their springs are awful and not even tuned to the JK. Their shocks are poor and they don't understand anything about steering geometry and how it correlates to track bars and roll center

Rough country and procomp are literally the worst thing you can buy.

ROCKR8R 11-25-2013 11:26 AM

Pretty much what Spyder6 said. Their springs do sag all the time, their joints are crap, their arms are hollow and thin, their shocks suck. Their customer service is great and trust me you will use it.

Oh and their stuff isn’t US made. For someone who spent “months” researching, doesn’t seem like the OP got his facts straight. Most of the pro reviews of RC lifts are people who have a freshly installed RC lift and are reviewing it when it is brand new. Give it a year and your truck will sit lower than it did when it was first installed and you will probably need new joints by then.

-Dan

COLOUXJ 11-25-2013 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonestockracing (Post 17977546)
Everone says that its crap but, they just say cause "its junk" and not a lot of real reasoning. . If you search the forum there is qjite a lot of folks that say their AEV springs sag, and the OME rides a lil rougher than stock.. I don't get why everone flames RC, I think they have some of the best Customer Service around..

Do the X series arms suck? Why?

He himself in this post said that its a harsh ride. And personally I would rather get a product that does not need great customer service, but is actually right the first time.

bonestockracing 11-25-2013 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COLOUXJ (Post 18001970)
He himself in this post said that its a harsh ride. And personally I would rather get a product that does not need great customer service, but is actually right the first time.

"He Himself Said",, Was this reply to me or about me... LOL! Not trying to Hyjack this thread but just trying to find out why they are so terrible..

So I guess you have had terrible products from rough country as well or did your buddy's friends coworker tell you about a guy who did? What was so bad about them?

I have the Series II on my TJ (Cheap) and with the 5100's it rides as good as the 3.5" Rubicon Express lift on a TJ in our club. I have about 35,000 on that lift and no problems other than the BDS track bar (Bushings went out 9 mos after I installed it).

I seen a 2 door JK the other day with the 4" x-Series, new driveshafts and 35's.....he had about 6,000 on it with no problems as of now....

spyder6 11-25-2013 08:17 PM

a lot of us know better than to buy rough country, but despite our best efforts even our closest friends have bought it. both of my best friends that ive wheeled with for years sported various rough country components, of various and ever changing vintages due to replacement until they finally saw the light and started removing them all together.

Imped 11-25-2013 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bonestockracing (Post 18014882)
I have the Series II on my TJ (Cheap) and with the 5100's it rides as good as the 3.5" Rubicon Express lift on a TJ in our club. I have about 35,000 on that lift and no problems other than the BDS track bar (Bushings went out 9 mos after I installed it).

Everything mentioned here is bottom to mid-shelf. Get some experience with a rig with quality parts under it that's been setup right. You'll understand then.


The time now is 07:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.