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HELP-! Lift kit needed Which one? / Problems?

Captain803

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So it's time to lift. I finally got Jeep to give me part numbers for stiffer front springs but then the strike has jacked up availability and I need to lift anyway. 2023 Gladiator Rubicon. I need 2.5 to 3 inches of lift and I'm running about 190lbs on the front bumper over stock due to winch install. I am thinking the AEV kit, maybe the HD so I never run out of spring. I'm towing some off and on, but want really good quality and maintainability in a kit. I need to be able to set exact alignment as well. AEV says no track bar needed but... questionable. What about metal cloak and others??? What am I missing in getting this right? I would like to order parts this weekend, maybe some black Friday sales... Help please-! What parts to avoid? What's the best track bar??
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Scott L

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Depends who you ask
Hey Captain what is the end goal? You talked about towing but what about anticipated offroad? Will this be a rock crawler or a mall crawler? What size tires are you planning? Or are you building a overlanding rig? There are some great sales for black friday this week but it's better to buy once and not have to keep redoing stuff because it's not what you wanted to end up with.​
 
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Captain803

Captain803

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I would say overlanding/ camping. I tow a 12ft cargo trailer for motorcycles but that's road only. I also tow a Taxa Whoolly Bear overland edition (love it) with my rooftop tent. I'm for sure not a mall crawler but I'm also not likely going over 35 or 38" tires on my daily driver. Hit some bad roads in Louisiana over the weekend and I'm pretty over the crap shocks on the 23 rubies. I don't need extreme articulation for rocks, but I see a lot of sand and ruts weekly.
 

whysoserious

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I have a Metal Cloak on my '21 JT Mojave. Had a Metal Cloak on my '17 JKUR (sold to friend). MC is two I would run simply for the quality and completeness of the kit (3.5" Game Changer). The other would be Clayton. I can't speak personally about Clayton kits, but have not found anyone yet who said anything negative about them, and their kits are also very complete; if not for MC, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a Clayton kit. The only thing about either of these, is the final ride height is quite dependent on what else you have bolted on. By that I mean, I have an Arcus front bumper (steel) with Warn 10k and Icon rear bumper (steel) as my significant weight-and-on. Right now I am at 4.25" of lift from the 3.5" GC. On my JKUR, I had about 3" of lift from a 3.5" GC. My '17 JKUR rode very comfortably on Falcon shocks. My friend still owns it and loves driving it. My final comment would be buy a complete kit from which ever company you decide, including adjustable control arms and seriously consider some front geometry correction brackets (they slightly reduce ground clearance but improve ride quality and potentially reduce the amount of caster you loose with a lift). My $0.02.
 

Scott L

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Depends who you ask
I can't really add anything to Whysos response other than personally I've ordered a 3.5 Metalcloak Game changer but I'll be running 37s and enjoy rock crawling. I'd suggest calling Metalcloak and Clayton, maybe Teraflex and or a couple of others and picking their brains. That's what helped me decide on the Metalcloak.
 

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Captain803

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Thanks everyone. I'll check them out, may still go with the AEV but like the Clayton for more articulation too.
 

Scott L

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Depends who you ask
I have zero experience with AEV stuff but a lot of folks really like them. Might want to have a look at the sister site for Wranglers as there are a crap ton more of them on the road so there's a lot more experience with different equipment.
 
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Captain803

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Done, but..... Still advice needed. The AEV kit is now installed, I am VERY pleased with the ride and ride height. A few things left out of the instructions... Heat shields on the upper front control arms- were not addressed, but I trimmed mine and reattached in the stock location. Also the instructions on the rear track bar bracket... little unclear on the bolt to nut new vs old but I sorted it out with the factory hardware on the bar. Strangely the U bolt for the rear bracket to axle broke before reaching the torque spec, may have been defective so I replaced it with Stainless steel.

But... Ya it needs a front track bar, it is off by about 3/8" of an inch I am guessing, maybe 1/2" and that will not stand. So : Who makes the best track bar ? - Need to get that coming ASAP!!
 

Scott L

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Depends who you ask
Far as I can tell there are a ton of good ones out there but since youre with AEV why not stick with theirs? As far as BEST probably Rustys but someone gave me a Rancho one and I gotta say it's pretty impressive I'd not hesitate to recommend it. If you were closer I'd give it to you since my Metslcloak GC came with them so it's just sitting in my garage.
 
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Captain803

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I didn't see an AEV one listed on their site for a front Gladiator bar... maybe I am missing something? Steer Smarts maybe a good one from what I can tell. Does anyone have an opinion on their Yeti bar? I like that it does not have a lock nut but a clamp..
 

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Scott L

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Depends who you ask
I didn't see an AEV one listed on their site for a front Gladiator bar... maybe I am missing something? Steer Smarts maybe a good one from what I can tell. Does anyone have an opinion on their Yeti bar? I like that it does not have a lock nut but a clamp..
Oh sorry as I said earlier I don't really know much about their stuff. Personally not a fan but I know a lot of folks are. But I'm funny like that. Steer smarts makes good stuff clayton or Metalcloak also would be at the top of the list. I think it's going to depend on what you anticipate you may want in the future too.
 

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I'm a huge Metal Cloak fan but not for my gladiator. I've run them in the past on JKU's and they're fantastic. I have a major issue with the Gladiator lift however. It's the fact that it's focused on leveling the truck leaving the rear too low for folks who tow. Having sag in the rear when towing is no bueno.

The picture is an ecodiesel w/ Superlift 4' and 37's.

20210709_205622.jpg
 

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I didn't see an AEV one listed on their site for a front Gladiator bar... maybe I am missing something? Steer Smarts maybe a good one from what I can tell. Does anyone have an opinion on their Yeti bar? I like that it does not have a lock nut but a clamp..
The yeti is beefy and has been rock solid on our JLUR. It's been handling the 39s for the past 7k miles including lots of rocks. As far as kits go, I think most are overpriced and/or lacking in some way. I'm a big fan of the metalcloak drop brackets but they don't include them in any of their kits but instead push 8 adjustable control arms on you that you don't need, especially with the brackets. We run their 3.5" springs on the JLUR, their drop brackets, their lower shock outboard mounts up front, and their full belly skids so obviously I'm a fan of their products. Steering was upgraded to the steersmarts flipped tie rod and raised drag link kit. Front LCAs are Rubicon express as I had them left over from our previous JL. With the bilstein 5100s we around $2500 into the suspension including upgraded steering and it is by far the best riding and handling JLU I've ever driven and the upgrades are far more complete than any kit. I like that AEV includes drop brackets, but theirs don't appear to be nearly as stout as the MC versions. I went with the AEV 2" spacer kit on the new mojave as I wanted to retain the factory handling/ shocks that are dialed or in the desert at speed. I'll probably add drop brackets and a track bar and call it "done"...
 
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Captain803

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Steer Smarts YEti has been ordered! - Thank you to everyone for your support and feedback. My AEV kit gave me a few degrees of rake still so when I add towing weight it will be level so I am pleased with that overall as well.
 

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I'm a huge Metal Cloak fan but not for my gladiator. I've run them in the past on JKU's and they're fantastic. I have a major issue with the Gladiator lift however. It's the fact that it's focused on leveling the truck leaving the rear too low for folks who tow. Having sag in the rear when towing is no bueno.

The picture is an ecodiesel w/ Superlift 4' and 37's.

Jeep Gladiator HELP-! Lift kit needed Which one? / Problems? 20210709_205622
Murdered out!!! I love all black...I just live in the woods on a farm and can never keep it clean. My first love was my all black CJ-7...although back then polished aluminum wheels and chrome front bumper was necessary...no such thing as all black back then ?

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