Let's clear the air on Rough Country lifts

TJDave

TJ Enthusiast
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Oct 27, 2015
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San Jose, CA, United States
Okay, I personally have NEVER run anything by Rough Country and I don't think I ever would. However, I am consistently hearing negative things about Rough Country, but at the same time I am also hearing tons of positive things about Rough Country.

Part of me always wants to steer people away from RC products since I read a lot of bad stuff. But, since I've never run any of their products I feel like trash talking their stuff would be premature.

What are your guys experience with RC products (those of you who've actually used their suspension)?

Is it really as bad as people say? Is it poorly designed, made in China? What am I missing?

Just trying to gather the facts and actual real world experience versus people just saying things because they can.
 
I have no real wold experience with RC. However, the two positives that I always read about is 1)price and 2)customer service.

Price, I fully understand. Customer Service however, I would rather never have to deal with them. If I'm dealing with customer service, more than likely I'm not happy about something. How many people call customer service just to say "hey, there is nothing wrong with your product I just wanted to tell you how much I love it".

That being said, I think Rough Country is fine for people who lift their vehicle for aesthetic purposes, or only see very light trails. The main issue that I see is that people don't take the time to ask what the end user has in mind before providing an opinion on what should be purchased.

If I post "hey guys, I want a 4" lift do that I can stuff 33" tires under my Jeep to look cool. I've never been off road, and have no plans to go off-road". There is bound to be someone that says "Currie or Metalcloak are your only good options" without thinking or paying attention to what I'm saying my use of the Jeep.

I think Rough Country has its place.
 
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My first lift was a RC kit. It was rougher riding than what it replaced but I just figured new vs 20 year old spring. I kept hearing great things about RE and OME and then I got a great deal on an RE kit that had never been installed. Tried it. What a difference.

Has RC improved over the years? No idea. But I've been using RE ever since.
 
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I had a Rough Country kit on an old XJ back in the day. I replaced it with a OME lift since the RC rode like crap. What a difference, I mean night and day. The OME was so much smoother than the RC.

I think an RC lift works for people who aren't too concerned about ride quality and are only after the lifted look. Honestly though, I love the Jeep Wrangler and I have nothing against anyone who wants to run Rough Country. Personally I wouldn't spend my money on any of their stuff, but you know what they say, "to each their own". I believe that too!
 
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I have done a lot of off-roading with rough country and not just the mild trails and never had any issues with them on a tj and xj
 
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I think one of the major issues with Rough Country (I'm not saying the ONLY issue, just a major one) is the quality of the shocks. They're bottom of the barrel shocks that ride really, really rough in my experience.
 
Haven't owned any RC stuff, but from anecdotes and pictures I've seen, their control arm joints are shot within a few thousand miles. Their track bar also has terrible clearance issues. Like if you installed it on a 2.5" lift, you'd need more than that in bumpstop to compensate for it, and that's just counter intuitive.

Granted, this was a few years ago and haven't looked at their stuff since. I've heard they redid the CA joints, but that they are still only marginally better at best.
 
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I've always ran OME both Light duty and heavy duty springs and it's really comfortable and smooth. My best friend had a 3" RC spring and we always called it his rebar lift because it rode terribly, he actually didn't even have bump stops because the springs were so stiff that the tire would never get close to the fender even with tires off the ground. When you see a speed bump you brace and on the high way it's a nightmare. You feel everything. Almost would have been a smoother ride if he had rubber blocks from spring perch to spring perch instead of coils


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Yep, that's my experience with Rough Country as well. They ride so rough it gives the meaning to the name. My OME rides smooth as hell compared to an RC lift.
 
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The jeep shop by my house tried to sell me an RC lift. It was 1/4 the price of the OME kit I showed them. He spoke very much against the body lift that was included in the OME kit. He said he has seen nothing but problems with even minor body lifts.
 
The jeep shop by my house tried to sell me an RC lift. It was 1/4 the price of the OME kit I showed them. He spoke very much against the body lift that was included in the OME kit. He said he has seen nothing but problems with even minor body lifts.

OME doesn't include a body lift in their kit. That must have been a kit someone else pieced together.
 
Also I should mention that I've had my OME kit 7-8 years and it rides a thousand times better than his RC lift that he got 2-3 years ago so it's not like his was warn out


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"This Complete Kit includes: **4-OME Sport Series Shocks, 4-OME Coil Springs, (your choice of coil rates) JKS “Quicker” Disconnects, JKS 1.25″ Body Lift, JKS 1″ Motor Mount Spacers, JKS Adj. Track bar (front) JKS Adj. Johnny Joint Track bar NEW! (rear), DPG 2″ Extended Bump stops (Front & rear) and JKS Adj Rear Swaybar End Links. It’s the Ultimate kit for your Jeep!"

I have the OME coils and shocks, the JKS body lift, and JKS MML all of which I've been very happy with. As for the other items I can't speak for, but I would recommend products by JKS and OME anyday. Those bump stops won't be needed unless you plan to run 35's I have 33's with stock bump stops and they don't rub at all.

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This is the amount of articulation you can expect with the sway bar disconnected.

The only thing I will say about that kit is it looks like it doesn't have a transfer case drop. Unless you have an SYE or a fixed yolk rear output I would recommend a transfer case drop.


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But how does it look in terms of quality, price, and completeness?

I have that exact lift on my Jeep. Never installed the BL or MML.
I have since switched the front JKS track bar out for a MC one. Still have the rear installed. If I did it again, I would have gotten springs and shocks from Dirk (DPG Offroad owner), track bars from MC, and forgotten about the JKS discos and spent the extra money to get a Currie Antirock. I'm currently saving up to buy an antirock and plan on selling my quick discos.
I bought into the whole mess about not running a sway bar up front and now that I know better, I'm amazed I ever thought going disconnected was a good idea.

Those bump stops won't be needed unless you plan to run 35's I have 33's with stock bump stops and they don't rub at all.

The only thing I will say about that kit is it looks like it doesn't have a transfer case drop. Unless you have an SYE or a fixed yolk rear output I would recommend a transfer case drop.

The rear does need bumpstops to prevent the shocks from bottoming out. The front will likely need them to prevent your JKS track bar from contacting your diff. Have you ever cycled the axle with the springs out? If not, give it a try and you'll see what I'm talking about.

And most people don't need an SYE or t-case drop with a 2.5" lift. Very rarely will people need one.
 
You will still get driveline bend if you don't get a tc drop and I've had this set up for many years and it's never been an issue anywhere under any circumstances


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@badlieutenant to completely answer your question
The kit is very complete. The JKS track bars are great products and I wouldn't mind running them on my jeep. I'm just very anal about my suspension travel and I wanted that extra 05.-0.75" of up travel.
The price is very fair and even a bit of a discount when I bought it 2.5 years ago.