Rubicon Express 3.5" lift kit for $800, talk me out of it


TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Sep 19, 2022
Southern California
I found the kit pictured for sale private party lightly used for $800. I've read enough on this forum to know that this kit is certainly not on par with Currie or Savvy, but for $800 does it become a good buy?

My Jeep is a 99 Sport, 4.0, currently on 33s with as far as I can tell just a 2" body lift the prior owner put on. I'm looking to build this into a capable but streetable rig that I can drive to and from local socal trails in.

Am I opening a bigger can of worms with this lift most likely, drive line vibes, sye, dc driveshaft, mml, etc? Is $800 still not worth it?

There is a reason it’s going for $800 resale… that $800 could go towards much higher quality components that you don’t have to worry about failing.
You stated " lightly used " I guessing you have seen these parts ? Did you ask them why they are removing the kit ? Are they upgrading ?
I had it. Sold it.

The springs don't have enough free length, they'll try and fall out of full articulation. The joints will break after a few wheeling trip.

It's your money. Do what you want.
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Those control arms are trash so when you remove those from the equation there isn't a ton of useable parts there.

If you lift your jeep then factor in adjustible control arms, sye and a new drive line. You are indeed opening a small can of worms.
Thanks for the link! Any idea if this kit which includes the MML should work without needing a sye and DC drive shaft?

Yes sir, that's what the MML is for, to lessen the angle of your drive line. I did however, have to add a couple of fender bolts between my frame and transfer skid to eliminate all vibes. A few of us on here have used this "cheaper" option for quite some time.
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A single data point here coming from a suspension snob (I have a full custom KING setup in my other rig). I believe this kit came preinstalled on my recently acquired '04 Rubicon since the previous owner mentioned it having a 4" Rubicon Express lift and the components pictured look similar to what I have installed.

Two key takeaways from my first use of it off-road at an OHV park last week:
  • Ride Quality - The ride is pretty horrible and harsh, I cant tell if its the suspension itself and being oversprung or just the way live axle 4x4s perform in general. (Ive always had IFS based rigs)
  • Articulation - As the pic below will show the suspension actually articulates quite well which was a big surprise for me given their reputation of making suspension for mall crawlers.

Will I keep the RE setup long term? Most likely not but for now it seems to work and I dont have the desire to replace it since I'm focusing on improving trail reliability of the Jeep.