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View Full Version : Lift Bigger than Expected...Complications?



MDK210
07-25-2018, 03:54 PM
First post so hello to everyone. With every vehicle I've owned I have always picked one forum to register at and after 2yrs of Jeep ownership Wayalife has been picked. Love the YouTube videos and the fact Wayalife actually provides some input into these forums. Glad to be here and I hope to learn and share my experiences as well.

Anyway; I recently had a Rubicon Express 2.5" RE7141M installed on my 2016 JK Willy's (2dr). The RE part number is actually a JKU kit so presumably the coils will be a little higher than the JK, even the part numbers are different between the JK and JKU coils. It's been a week and I know settling will occur but comparing stock JKU measurementsI found online and the measurements from my front axle (tube to frame) and coil (top perch to spring tower) are fairly close giving me about 3.75" lift in the front. Remember I have a JK not a JKU so this may play a factor.

Based on my research it's pretty normal to get about an inch over the advertised lift, Teraflex acknowledges this as well. But my concern is possible driveline issues. My Jeep has 14K miles and I noticed yesterday the right side is off center from the left side by about 1/2in. Thankfully it's equal on both front and rear but this tells me an adjustable track bar would need to be in place front/rear to re-center this. That was unexpected and although it may not be necessary right away it's still "something else" that's popped up. Is there anything else I need to worry about on my JK with this unexpected lift height? Thanks for any info.

wayoflife
07-25-2018, 04:20 PM
At almost 4" of lift, you rear drive shaft will most likely blow a CV boot sooner than later as it is so short and now sitting at a much steeper angle. This will put your CV boots in a constant state of pinch and that will cause it to fail. Once it does, the bearings inside will fry. You really NEED to be thinking about an aftermarket u-joint style double cardin drive shaft and rear adjustable upper control arms to set your pinion angle. I should note, at almost 4" of lift, this will be something you need to think about on your front drive shaft as well.

Regarding axle shift, your front should be pulled to the driver side and the rear to the passenger side. While this will not effect how your Jeep tracks, it can cause rubbing at a full flex. Also, being so tall, your steering geometry will be off enough to cause handling issues. Some people don't mind it and maybe you won't but the fix for this is a drag link flip or dropped pitman arm and a track bar relocation bracket. This is a BETTER solution over an adjustable track bar.

BaddestCross
07-25-2018, 04:44 PM
Everything Eddie said, but also you're probably gonna feel it flighty as hell going down the road because your caster is gonna be off enough at that lift height that it'll affect your handling. Adjustable control arms are needed to correct this.

I'm at about 3.75" on my 2 door and the steering geometry is fine for some reason so I didn't do the drag link flip and raised track bar but will probably do an adjustable track bar at some point because my axle is shifted towards the driver's side about an inch or so.

You'll definitely need a front driveshaft as well. My stock shaft only lasted about a year at a 2.5" lift height... 3.75" will probably kill it a lot quicker.

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MDK210
07-25-2018, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the replies. Guess I'm kind of disappointed since I never wanted a tall lift but just enough so I can full flex 35". The 4x4 shop aligned it the first time then checked it again yesterday because I asked them, everything came out fine and they gave me the print outs of the results which seem normal. Since seeing is believing I've attached some photos hoping some of you experienced folks can tell me if the angles on both shafts are too crazy.

Side note; when I initially got the lift about a week ago I kept the stock 32"s on there and did notice the steering wheel vibrated a tad around 35-50mph if I kept that speed. Had new 35"s put on there yesterday and it made the issue worse. Went back to the 4x4 and had them rebalanced which smoothed it out a lot, there's a tad bit of steering wheel shake at 50mph however. Given this all started after the lift and now with two sets of tires I wonder what part of the lift affected that...maybe the overall height?

wayoflife
07-25-2018, 06:18 PM
Everything Eddie said, but also you're probably gonna feel it flighty as hell going down the road because your caster is gonna be off enough at that lift height that it'll affect your handling. Adjustable control arms are needed to correct this.

Good call on the caster issue. Not something everyone complains about but it will be off and correcting it with adjustable control arms will help out a lot.


Thanks for the replies. Guess I'm kind of disappointed since I never wanted a tall lift but just enough so I can full flex 35". The 4x4 shop aligned it the first time then checked it again yesterday because I asked them, everything came out fine and they gave me the print outs of the results which seem normal. Since seeing is believing I've attached some photos hoping some of you experienced folks can tell me if the angles on both shafts are too crazy.

An alignment won't do anything to correct your drive shaft angles. Looking at your pics, I can clearly see that your CV boots are in a state of pinch. Sooner than later, they WILL fail and the bearings inside WILL fry.


Side note; when I initially got the lift about a week ago I kept the stock 32"s on there and did notice the steering wheel vibrated a tad around 35-50mph if I kept that speed. Had new 35"s put on there yesterday and it made the issue worse. Went back to the 4x4 and had them rebalanced which smoothed it out a lot, there's a tad bit of steering wheel shake at 50mph however. Given this all started after the lift and now with two sets of tires I wonder what part of the lift affected that...maybe the overall height?

A speed related shimmy is almost always a tire balancing issue. Bigger off road tires can require multiple balancings to get it right. You may just be feeling it more due to your lack of caster.

-AINOKEA-
07-25-2018, 06:21 PM
Holy hell you definitely need new driveshafts and adjustable control arms.


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MDK210
07-25-2018, 06:30 PM
Crap, how the heck did I get myself into this. This all sounds expensive, should I just have them take the tires and lift back ha? Do all 2.5” lifts do this?

BaddestCross
07-25-2018, 06:47 PM
Crap, how the heck did I get myself into this. This all sounds expensive, should I just have them take the tires and lift back ha? Do all 2.5” lifts do this?
Honestly, you could've run 35s with a leveling kit. 🙄

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Build Thread - Adventures of Fiona - https://wayalife.com/showthread.php?t=47407

BaddestCross
07-25-2018, 06:49 PM
A good shop would've told you all this up front... 🤔

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MDK210
07-25-2018, 06:58 PM
Honestly, you could've run 35s with a leveling kit. ��

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Build Thread - Adventures of Fiona - https://wayalife.com/showthread.php?t=47407

And still fully flex? That was my main concern with the trails here in Colorado and a trip to Moab planned in a couple of months.
I called the shop back and they are unsure why a 4dr kit was installed on my 2dr so they are more than likely going to replace the coils. Does anyone know what acceptable driveshaft angles should be?

fiend
07-25-2018, 07:00 PM
The lift is taller than you need or wanted. The JKU (4door) springs are likely stiffer than the JK (2door) springs. I’m not sure why you went with the JKU springs, but if it was someone else’s error, I’d see if it can be fixed by swapping for the correct parts. Your lift should be shorter and some of these problems will be ameliorated. Alternatively, just ditch those springs and get some 2” springs, designed for a 2 door, from a quality vendor. Eg EVO, Synergy, etc.

WJCO
07-25-2018, 07:01 PM
Does anyone know what acceptable driveshaft angles should be?

On the front, focus on your caster angle, rather than your driveshaft angle. Once caster is 4+, the driveshaft angle will be whatever it is. However, it likely will still fail because of the design with the boot. Upgrade to a ujoint style.

As far as the rear, the driveshaft and rear pinion yoke should point right at each other. You'll need adjustable rear upper arms to correct this.

fiend
07-25-2018, 07:18 PM
On the front, focus on your caster angle, rather than your driveshaft angle. Once caster is 4+, the driveshaft angle will be whatever it is. However, it likely will still fail because of the design with the boot. Upgrade to a ujoint style.

As far as the rear, the driveshaft and rear pinion yoke should point right at each other. You'll need adjustable rear upper arms to correct this.

From the photos, it looks like the angle at the rear axle is not bad. The problem is the angle at the transfer case. Adjustable control arms won’t solve that. He needs a double cardan style drive shaft for the rear. Or, a shorter lift, as suggested.

BaddestCross
07-25-2018, 08:25 PM
And still fully flex? That was my main concern with the trails here in Colorado and a trip to Moab planned in a couple of months.
I called the shop back and they are unsure why a 4dr kit was installed on my 2dr so they are more than likely going to replace the coils. Does anyone know what acceptable driveshaft angles should be?
With proper bump stop and possibly trimming your stock fenders unless you have highline fenders, yes.

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Build Thread - Adventures of Fiona - https://wayalife.com/showthread.php?t=47407

MDK210
07-25-2018, 10:20 PM
I truly appreciate everyone's prompt and accurate info. So here is the resolution:

Spoke with the Manager and he talked with the salesmen who sold me the 4dr kit instead of the 2dr kit and admitted it was their fault and apologized saying they'll make it right. The plan now is to get the proper kit on which will reduce the lift and by doing this should space out the axles more hopefully resulting in no need for adjustable control arms, it should also help with the track bars so they're not so far off. That's a lot "should's" I know. Then they will re-align it and he'll personally make sure everything is spec'd out, for whatever that's worth.

Since I have them on the ropes I did some research on the front driveshaft upgrade a coupe of you guys recommended and he came back a few hours later saying a lot of the front driveshaft lengths, especially Double Cardan, were for bigger lifts than mine. Closest he could get was a Rubicon Express Double Cardan but said if it didn't work he would have to send it out for cutting. I called Adam's driveshafts and they basically said those Rubicon Express driveshafts are more or less "cookie cutter". Also said I should stick with a 1310 since I have a basic setup so if I do blow something up it's cheaper than axle components which makes sense. Now I don't mind doing extremely basic mechanic work but driveshafts have me spooked so I'm wondering what installation would costs...

At the end of the day though, he said he first wants to get the correct lift on, align it and then go through and see what issues I may have going forward which I agree with. Let's start with the appropriate kit, take a step back, then reassess for any future issues.

Thanks again everyone, I at least have more insight now than I did before and I've learned to read my invoice to make sure the part #'s match up to what I ordered ha.

Wethy
07-25-2018, 10:42 PM
I have the RE7121M that you should have gotten in the first place. With every part that came with that kit i was able to stuff my 35" ridge grapplers under factory flares. I did still tear the front shaft boot as it did rip at the Rzeppa joint on the Tcase. Has since been replaced with a Double cardan style and i havent had issues since.


Heres some pics what height mine sits at with a winch bumper and 35s.
The last picture the tires could still go up more just happened to be one of the only flex shots i had with the tire up visible

306745
306746

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MDK210
07-25-2018, 11:03 PM
I appreciate the pics/info Wethy!

Got off the phone with Tom Woods Driveshafts and had a very detailed conversation. He stated that since I have a 2dr the rear driveshaft is typically more problematic than the front but if it was a 4dr the front would be more concerning. Based on this he recommended I run a 1350 on the rear and if I wasn't getting too crazy off-road then run the 1310 upfront. However, due to the fact I'm running 3.73 gears with no future plans to change them he recommended I run 1350 upfront as well simply because of the 3.73 ratio. He stated if I was running 4.88s, for example, he would still recommend a 1350 rear but a 1310 front would be fine in that scenario.

Wethy
07-26-2018, 02:48 AM
I appreciate the pics/info Wethy!

Got off the phone with Tom Woods Driveshafts and had a very detailed conversation. He stated that since I have a 2dr the rear driveshaft is typically more problematic than the front but if it was a 4dr the front would be more concerning. Based on this he recommended I run a 1350 on the rear and if I wasn't getting too crazy off-road then run the 1310 upfront. However, due to the fact I'm running 3.73 gears with no future plans to change them he recommended I run 1350 upfront as well simply because of the 3.73 ratio. He stated if I was running 4.88s, for example, he would still recommend a 1350 rear but a 1310 front would be fine in that scenario.
Your situation/jeep setup is basically identical to mine. I have a a 6spd and 3.73s. But i did forget to mention in my first post, when i originally installed my lift i thought it looked nose high so i ended up installing the 1" teraflex spacers in the rear. But id let them install the kit first and see what you think before doing that. I also have a 1350 up front. I went with an Adams shaft not a tom woods. But i have had the stock rear shaft in place with no issues for 150,000km(90,000M) but the front only lasted 20,000km. Ha ha

306768

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Sharkey
07-26-2018, 04:48 AM
Do not let Woods sell you those pos “gold seal” joints.

MDK210
07-26-2018, 08:10 AM
Do not let Woods sell you those pos “gold seal” joints.

I thought Tom Woods was pretty reputable? Who should I go with then?

Arrcherr
07-26-2018, 09:11 AM
This is 2.25" of lift, 2" bumpstops and 315's(metric 35's). No rubbing at full stuff. I did add 2" shock extensions to regain some droop after this was taken

MDK210
07-26-2018, 05:04 PM
Tom Woods front/rear 1350 driveshafts are on their way. Preventative maintenance ladies and gentlemen.

TrainWreck618
07-26-2018, 06:12 PM
I thought Tom Woods was pretty reputable? Who should I go with then?

JE-Reel, Adams, a local shop...


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jesse3638
07-27-2018, 11:45 PM
I thought Tom Woods was pretty reputable? Who should I go with then?
The shafts themselves are fine it's the gold seal u-joint. You can get them with spicer or neapco for an additional charge. JE-Reel, Adam's, and others come standard with spicer or neapco.

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MDK210
07-28-2018, 12:00 AM
The shafts themselves are fine it's the gold seal u-joint. You can get them with spicer or neapco for an additional charge. JE-Reel, Adam's, and others come standard with spicer or neapco.

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Gotcha and yeah they explained all the u-joint options and the gold seal. I know other companies have good warranties but Tom seems to stand behind these gold seals pretty well to the point if anything happens to the product or other drivetrain damage caused by it, they’ll make it right. That and their 10% military discount sold me. Other companies may do the same but customer service was top notch and I felt like I could trust them. Time will tell :)

fiend
07-28-2018, 12:35 AM
Gotcha and yeah they explained all the u-joint options and the gold seal. I know other companies have good warranties but Tom seems to stand behind these gold seals pretty well to the point if anything happens to the product or other drivetrain damage caused by it, they’ll make it right. That and their 10% military discount sold me. Other companies may do the same but customer service was top notch and I felt like I could trust them. Time will tell :)

FWIW, my Tom Woods driveshafts have served me well for 5+ years, “gold seal” and all. No issues.

MDK210
07-28-2018, 12:37 AM
FWIW, my Tom Woods driveshafts have served me well for 5+ years, “gold seal” and all. No issues.

Great to hear!

BaddestCross
07-28-2018, 12:44 AM
FWIW, my Tom Woods driveshafts have served me well for 5+ years, “gold seal” and all. No issues.
Yeah, but do you even wheel bro? 😎

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Build Thread - Adventures of Fiona - https://wayalife.com/showthread.php?t=47407

fiend
07-28-2018, 12:56 AM
Yeah, but do you even wheel bro? [emoji41]

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True, never, but still .... they are “gold” .... which means quality, as we all know.

306900
306901

BaddestCross
07-28-2018, 01:11 AM
True, never, but still .... they are “gold” .... which means quality, as we all know.

306900
306901
🤣🤣 Maybe, but you haven't lived until you experience platinum.

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Build Thread - Adventures of Fiona - https://wayalife.com/showthread.php?t=47407

OverlanderJK
07-28-2018, 01:14 AM
Gotcha and yeah they explained all the u-joint options and the gold seal. I know other companies have good warranties but Tom seems to stand behind these gold seals pretty well to the point if anything happens to the product or other drivetrain damage caused by it, they’ll make it right. That and their 10% military discount sold me. Other companies may do the same but customer service was top notch and I felt like I could trust them. Time will tell :)

I love customer service when I’m broke on the trail. It’s so helpful.


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Jkzinger
07-28-2018, 02:21 AM
JE-Reel, Adams, a local shop...


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Too Late for him!!


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