Rough Country 4-Inch Lift Kit - Rough Country JK SuspensionPosted in How To on May 1, 2010
Exploring the aftermarket for a suitable lift kit for a Jeep Wrangler JK can be a daunting task. With so many lift systems available for the latest model Wrangler it can be difficult to decipher which kit will provide the best ride and handling on both the trail and the pavement while not leaving you too broke to afford a set of wheels and tires. One manufacturer that has consistently delivered quality product at an affordable price is Rough Country Suspension Products. Rough Country offers a wide range of suspension products for the JK, including front leveling kits and front and rear spring spacer and shock lift kits, as well as partial and complete kits offering 2.5 to 6 inches of lift.
Rough Country manufactures lift systems for many vehicles, including Chevy/GMC, Ford, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, and Toyota models. In addition to suspension products a variety of other components are also available. The company was formed in the early 1970s and is owned by Heckethorn Products, which many of you are likely to remember as the manufacturers of the classic Heckethorn yellow shocks that were an industry standard in their time. Rough Country continues this tradition of setting the standard with its Performance 2.2 Series shock absorbers.
The Rough Country 4-inch Series II system for the Jeep Wrangler JK includes front and rear coil springs, upper and lower control arms, track bar drop brackets, extended sway bar links, a drop pitman arm, brake line relocation brackets, and a set of Performance 2.2 Series shock absorbers. We had already installed a variety of suspension components on this particular JK so some of the parts in the Series II kit would not be needed. We also opted to add some extra Rough Country items to the kit, including new, longer brake lines and a dual steering stabilizer.
A step above the 4-inch Series II kit is Rough Country's 4-inch X-Series kit, which adds adjustable control arms equipped with X-Flex flex joint rod ends and an adjustable front track bar to the mix. Rough Country also offers these components separate from the X-Series kit should we elect to upgrade to the adjustable arms sometime in the future. So far, however, we've been impressed with the performance of the fixed-length arms with Urethane ends. The front lower arms connect to the axle using adjustable camber bolts so pinion angle can be raised as needed. Should we opt for larger tires later on we'd go with the adjustable arms with the X-Flex joints, but for now we're pleased with this set up.
We didn't require the track bar drop brackets because we had previously installed JKS adjustable track bars and braces at the front and rear of the JK ("JK Tech," January 2010). The JKS adjustable track bars require 3 inches of lift to function properly.
We were just making it with a set of Old Man Emu heavy rate springs up front and medium rate springs in the rear, but were experiencing some minor rubbing on the stock steering stabilizer. The 4-inch Rough Country coil springs provided the extra lift needed to eradicate the rubbing issue and also better position the JKS components within their recommended operating range.
Taking advantage of the extra 4 inches created through the installation of the Rough Country Series II system we picked up a set of 35x12.50R17 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radial tires mounted on 17x9 Mickey Thompson Sidebiter wheels. This tire-and-wheel combo looks like it belongs on the JK and functions great in a variety of terrains.
With parts in hand we traveled to Tri-County Gear in Pomona, California. The qualified crew completed the installation quickly and professionally like they always do. Follow along as we take you through some of the installation process and put the transformed JK to the test.