Rough Country 2.5" Lift Kit
When I purchased my first Rubicon, Lucy, the first place I took it was straight to Broken Arrow. Sedona's most challenging trail. I put it through its paces, used the sway bar disconnect, engaged the lockers, and aimed it at every obstacle I could find. In stock form, it was a monster! It easily handled everything I threw at it. I did notice however there were a few times that despite careful line selection, I would scrape the belly on some of the larger rocks and drops. To give Lucy a little bit more clearance, I decided to add a 2.5" RC lift.
I ordered the 2.5" JL lift kit made my Rough country from Amazon and it arrived in a compact and heavy box. Everything was very well packaged or organized.
The kit consists of coil spacers, bumpstop extensions, shock relocation brackets, longer swaybar links and all of the needed hardware. The instructions are detailed but printed in black and white and can be a bit tricky to see what the picture is trying to show. The Metalcloak box is not part of the kit and will get its own review.
The kit took about 2 hours to install at a very leisurely pace. Everything was very well made and nothing had to be modified to get it to work. The hardware is all high quality as well. The powder coating on the parts seems durable and survived the shipping and install without a single chip. Overall very pleased with the quality and install.
Adding a lift to a jeep changes the suspension geometry. Not for the best either. It increases pinion angle, raises the center of gravity, decreases caster, increases anti-squat and lowers anti-dive. This is not great for handling and driver comfort. Honestly, though, I have driven one of my lifted JL's and a showroom fresh JL back to back on the highway... and I can't tell the difference. I chose a spacer lift because I wanted to maintain the smooth factory ride. Often lifts include new longer coil springs, but these springs have a higher rate for additional weight, they assume you will be adding heavy bumpers, winches, and armor. If you are not increasing the weight of your jeep this causes a firm, sometimes harsh ride.
With these coil spacers, there is no change in ride quality that I could perceive and the Jeep drives great on the road, and off. With the factory control arm lengths, a little caster is lost, about 2 degrees (6 to 4) so the steering does feel a little more vague than stock. I will be addressing this issue in the future with adjustable control arms.
So in a nutshell... The ride and drive post lift is nearly, almost, pretty close to factory.
The components are well designed for the most part. Sturdy, and fit well. The powder coating is nice. All full flex the coils are still tight in their seats and the ride is near stock. In my opinion, the look is just perfect. Like enhanced stock, but not overboard. it is perfect for the trails in Sedona
The RC 2.5" lift comes with provisions for bump stop extensions. When you put a longer coil or coil spacer in, you need to add bump stop extensions to prevent damage to the shocks. The idea being that the bump stops bottom out right before the shock does, preventing damage to both the shock and its mounts. The rear of the RC kit comes with a nice flat extension that works perfectly. The front, however, has a plastic block that has recessed holes and a bolt that sticks out of the top... the result is that it shreds the foam rubber jounce bumper.