How does your Jeep handle after 4" of lift?

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  1. #1
    JK Newbie
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    Default How does your Jeep handle after 4" of lift?

    Installed a Rough Country 4" kit the other week on my 09 JKU. I have 315's on it now and even with the 3.21s it drives well. The problem I'm having is the way it reacts to bumps in the road - if I go over a dip in the road on the left or right side of the jeep it has this crazy kind of floating and shifting feel to it. Can't quite put my finger on it but it doesn't feel natural. If it's a dip in the road and both the left and right tires hit it at about the same time, it handles it fine - it's just when it's a dip on one side of the jeep or the other. It kinda feels like the body is floating or twisting. Has anyone else experienced it? I've lifted a ton of leaf-spring trucks and did my 97 TJ a while back and don't remember this kind of handling. The kit uses track bar brackets on the front and rear. Sway bar bushings are snug and I've re-torqued everything I could see. I've heard that you shouldn't torque anything until it's on all four tires sitting on the ground but I haven't tried that yet and am not sure that's going to make a huge difference. Kinda feels like the track bar is the culprit because it's being pushed up (when one wheel hits a bump) and maybe because the angle is different now, it's pushing the body towards the driver's side instead of pivoting like it's supposed to. I don't know. Just doesn't drive very well right now. I did get it aligned but that didn't do much for this problem.

  2. #2
    Former Vendor
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    Hey Deman, the first thing I would do is re-recheck the torque on those track bar bolts and brackets with the truck on the ground, as well as the other suspension components. Also, not sure if the tires you're running are new, but I've heard many times that if the tires are over inflated it can make the ride rough and squirrely going over bumps. Double checking to make sure all the tires are at the same psi can't hurt either. Hopefully this helps you out, or at least gives you a base to work off of!

  3. #3
    JK Newbie
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    Thanks guys - really appreciate the suggestions and support. I didn't get the printout from the alignment - I'll swing by and see if they have it in the computer still (doubt it).

    XTJim - I checked the tire pressure this morning and it was 40psi - dropped it to 32psi and it rides quite a bit better - not as jarring and twitchy. Thanks for that one! I'm going to loosen everything a bit this weekend with the jeep on the ground, give it a good bounce and twist in the garage to settle things, and then re-torque to specs - the guy from RC support also suggested that (not sure why they don't tell you in the instructions to drop it down on all 4s before torquing everything down).

    mpkelley20 - good points - the stiffness isn't bad - I'd rather it be firm vs feeling a lot of body roll - and the shocks are decent for the price. I did pick up some RC x-flex LCAs and will throw them on this weekend and get the caster a little closer to normal (though I've read on Project-JK not to try to get back to 4 degrees with 4" of lift b/c the driveshaft won't survive the angle - so I'll shoot for 2 degrees).

    I'm thinking of moving down to a 2.5" kit - I can always add .75 spacers to get to 3.25" which is what I originally wanted (got a deal on the 4" kit so said WTH). After installing this kit I got over 5.5" of lift vs the original springs - not sure if my old springs were shot or these were just ambitious but it's a little too tall for me and the driveshaft angle at the t-case is not good. I'd like to ditch the track arm brackets too and get some adjustable arms in the near future.

    Work in progress. Thanks for the help - I'll post up with what I try and the results.

    <Jeep wave>

  4. #4
    JK Enthusiast Cfitz22's Avatar
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    Did all of the above on mine. Got better each with each thing. Did the drag link flip and made all the difference in the world. Look into it especially if you went up 4inches.

  5. #5
    JK Newbie
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    Good deal - I still have to go through and check the tie rod ends to see if they have a little play in them - not getting anything near death-wobble but at 62k I know they are getting close to replacement time. I will definitely dial in the caster with the adj LCAs - that's got to help.

    Seems like there's a whole series of things that most people do *after* they are done with the lift kit manufacturer's instructions to get things right - why don't these companies include that stuff in their instructions? I'm going to suggest it to RC.

    It's a 4 door - rear d/s angle looks decent, front doesn't - can't believe a new front with normal joints is like $600 WTF? There's probably an F-150 or Suburban driveshaft out there that would fit right in there with minor modifications.

  6. #6
    JK Enthusiast Cfitz22's Avatar
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    I just got a front from JE Reel. 1310 for $488.08 total. Got it cause I tore the boot off and was slinging grease. Have not had a chance to put it on yet. My RK came with the drag link flip. Kit was expensive but came with everything but shocks.

  7. #7
    JK-Forum Founder
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    Quote Originally Posted by deman View Post
    Installed a Rough Country 4" kit the other week on my 09 JKU. I have 315's on it now and even with the 3.21s it drives well. The problem I'm having is the way it reacts to bumps in the road - if I go over a dip in the road on the left or right side of the jeep it has this crazy kind of floating and shifting feel to it. Can't quite put my finger on it but it doesn't feel natural. If it's a dip in the road and both the left and right tires hit it at about the same time, it handles it fine - it's just when it's a dip on one side of the jeep or the other. It kinda feels like the body is floating or twisting. Has anyone else experienced it? I've lifted a ton of leaf-spring trucks and did my 97 TJ a while back and don't remember this kind of handling. The kit uses track bar brackets on the front and rear. Sway bar bushings are snug and I've re-torqued everything I could see. I've heard that you shouldn't torque anything until it's on all four tires sitting on the ground but I haven't tried that yet and am not sure that's going to make a huge difference. Kinda feels like the track bar is the culprit because it's being pushed up (when one wheel hits a bump) and maybe because the angle is different now, it's pushing the body towards the driver's side instead of pivoting like it's supposed to. I don't know. Just doesn't drive very well right now. I did get it aligned but that didn't do much for this problem.
    i didn't see you mention it so, i'm gonna have to ask, did you make sure install a dropped pitman arm with your front track bar relocation bracket?

  8. #8
    JK Newbie
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    Is your tie rod and track bar pretty parallel? Sounds like your getting bad bump steer more than anything.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail_creeper View Post
    Is your tie rod and track bar pretty parallel? Sounds like your getting bad bump steer more than anything.
    he said he installed a front track bar relocation bracket so, he should be good here. what he didn't say is that he ALSO installed a drag link flip or dropped pitman arm. failure to do this would result in the handling he is now experiencing.

  10. #10
    JK Newbie notyou21's Avatar
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    I am having a similar problem with the Rough Country adj front track bar. I have the 3.5 series II kit. I just put the adjustable front track bar on mine and now I am getting the bump steer too. I mounted the track bar with the bend in the bar to match the stock one because the instructions didn't say how to position the bar except for having the adjustment side mounted to the axle. I have the drop pitman arm and I removed the track bar drop bracket. I am wondering if the track bar needs to be flipped?

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