Clara grows again: AEV 3.5"+ - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Clara grows again: AEV 3.5"+

Just wanted to share a very successful upgrade process on my favorite 09 Rubicon Unlimited...

At 18,000 miles, Clara was in need of a serious suspension upgrade again. Her (won't mention brand) 2.5" lift was sagging, rubbing, and just generally worn out and I was never happy with it in the first place.

Talked to Kent, Chris and Mike at AEV Conversions about their hi-steer kit, and they ended up selling me on their lift, also. My biggest complaint about Clara was that she is very heavy--4-door, hard top, reinforced axles and I usually haul lots of equipment around too. I run lots of long highway miles AND lots of off-pavement miles. American EXPEDITION Vehicle Conversions' claim to fame is building trail-ready cross-continent vehicles, so this problem of mine is right up their alley.

I ordered the 3.5" Premium kit. I was very impressed with the engineering--all the holes lined up perfectly and directions were very clear. The only snag we ran into was that I have C-gussets on my front axle, and the front brackets for the sway bars/track bar/drag link are designed to slide into the gap between the spring cup and the factory C's, so we had to cut and weld. All good.

As expected, the factory front driveshaft had to go. I was already experiencing some minor rubbing on both the skid plate and the tranny pan, so the extra lift made it and absolute necessity. Dave and Thean at Poly Performance hooked me up with a Coast 1350 driveshaft. No more rubbing anywhere and it can handle 40's if I ever want 'em!

I already had the 315/70/17 Goodyear MT/R's with Kevlar, and just recently installed the Yukon 5.38 gears, so now it's just for the externals--get the winch and gear bumpers moved over! (I will not use the word "done" with regard to any Jeep...) By the way, I had serious debate between 5.13's and 5.38's and am SO happy with the 5.38's--the Jeep shifts and drives better than stock!

Great ride, the most wonderful handling I have ever had on any lifted Jeep, and the most amazing is what I call the "no" factor: no popping, creaking, or rubbing sounds AT ALL from the undercarriage--only the giggles of glee from the driver!
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Nena Barlow

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 05:18 PM
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Jeep looks awesome! I am looking at the same lift to run 35's on as well. Do you think it would be easier/better to do the gussets before or after the lift has been installed? Also, is the coast a double cardan?
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 05:36 PM
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Yeah Nena aev makes some awesome lifts....I love my 3" Lj springs!

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Definitely do the C-gussets first. Then the lift.

Two more things to mention:
1. I also used 3/4" Daystar spacers with the factory 1/2" pads, so we used the 4.5" settings for all the brackets.
2. The Coast driveline is great (yes, double cardan) though Darryl did have to get on the phone with Coast because of the bolts contacting the transfer case shift lever--we ended up putting the bolts in from the opposite side, problem solved. This would probably only happen on the 1350, not the 1310. ?

Nena Barlow

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post #5 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 05:48 PM
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Awesome, Thanks!
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 06:46 PM
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Who's shocks are you running?

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 10:02 PM
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Good looking Jeep. Interesting, they went back to the yellow Bilsteins??? I have silver on my 2dr!

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagrmaister View Post
Good looking Jeep. Interesting, they went back to the yellow Bilsteins??? I have silver on my 2dr!
No OME

Jason

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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The shocks are silver Bilstein. The stabilizer is yellow OME.

Nena Barlow

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 10:34 PM
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Gotcha. I focused more on just the one with the stabilizer picture and was thrown off. If I had looked closer in the first pic, I would've seen the silver Bilstein. Good looking Jeep regardless.

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 10:39 PM
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Looks great Nena.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-19-2010, 11:04 PM
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Very timely post!!! I am putting the same kit on mine in two weeks. my "2.5" lift has been good, but wth the hardtop, bumper, gobi, and all the gear I'm hauling around daily, the 2.5" has settled some. ,,and i dont have the rear bumper or front winch in yet. My only issue, is I have a terra monster trackbar up front and Rancho steering stabilizer. All my stock parts are gone. So I think I need to hunt down a trackbar and?

jeep school, did you use the new lower control arm brackets or put adj. control arms? If you did the brackets, how much clearance is lost? And last one: sorry for all the Q's. how much height did you gain over the other kit? total height?

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