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I do a lot of off roading in the California desert. (Ocotillo specifically). I have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited w/ 4.0 I6. Anyway, I have been wanting to do a lift for a while and did a lot of research. I wanted to add as much travel as possible without having to do driveline work. Eventually I decidd on Rusty's because a friend pointed out that they do pretty much Jeeps exclusively. So I looked at thier 3" basic lift and decided it looked like what I wanted.

Boy, what a mistake.

First, the instructions need work. I mean a lot of work. I think they may have actually made the project harder.

Second, the rear trac-bar bracket they include with the kit is nothing short of a disaster. The instructions tell you to hog out 2 holes that were used for the plastic cover, and guess what? There are no holes. Next, they tell you to use the new 7/16 bolt provided in the original mounting bolt location, and use the original 5/16 bolt in the new mounting location on the bracket. Well....one little problem, the original nut that goes to the original bolt is welded to the bracket. So no go. Oh, and by the way, the 7/16 that now has to be used for the new trac-bar mounting location because the original nut is welded......does not fit through the trac-bar !!!
Sounds confusing I know, but trust me, it was/is a cluster.

Third, what Rusty's does not mention on the webpage for the ZJ 3" Basic Kit, and what they fail to mention when you order it is that if you dont also buy an adjustble front trac bar, the front of the Jeep sits atleast 2" off center of the front axle housing. So you have the drivers side tire sticking out 2", and the passenger side tire sucked in 2". Sweet!

So I called Rusty's and went through the whole deal over the fact that the instructions say to hog out 2 holes that dont exist. It tokk forever for the guy to understand what I was saying. Eventually, the answer I got was, "I guess you'll just just have to drill 'em."

So then I asked about the provided bolt not fitting in the orginal trac bar bracket location, and also not even fitting through the trac-bar itself, and the answer I got was, " I guess you're gonna have to go get a bolt."

Last but not least, I asked about why no one said anything about the front trac-bar pulling the body off center, and the answer I got was, " That doesnt always happen, but if it does, I guess you're gonna need a front trac-bar."

So now, the Jeep sits in the driveway, on jack stands, waiting for the front and rear trac-bars I ordered (not from Rusty's) to arrive. I went ahead an ordered one for the rear too just because I dont feel like screwing around with drilling holes and trying to locate a bolt that will fit.

Wow.........thanks Rusty's.
Boy am glad I picked you over Rubicon or Pro Comp.

To be honest, if I didnt have so much time invested in the install, and I wouldn't loose my a$$ on shipping, ....... I would love to just box this mess up and send it back to them. (Not that they would take it.)

p.s. - The Rusty's website says they suggest 32" tires with this lift. The guy at 4wheel Parts says NO WAY - 31" MAX ! At this point, its safe to assume who I am going to trust when I buy my wheels and tires.
 

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most folks who "do it right" dont screw with brackets at all and just install adjustable trac bars from the start. congrats on that!
(probably why the directions and hardware are wrong as well as the dudes lack of knowledge about it)

32s is prob a bit much to suggest running without bumpstop extensions or mentioning fender trimming, but even 31s will rub if you wheel without some attention there...

im not stickin up for rusty's though. i run a few of their parts, they work, but probably wouldnt buy them again. grade 2 mounting hardware is a complaint of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback.

Yeah, thats pretty much my complaint in a nut shell. The short version is the hardware is second rate, and if I had known (been informed) ahead of time I would have bought a kit that included the trac bars. (Probably from Rusty's since I didnt know any better at the time. They could have "up-sold" me with a little more info.)
 

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imo rusty's seems to be a bit more of an experienced builders supplier. i dont see many new guys going to them and most of what i do see from rusty's is either individual parts or long arms. again, those are neither parts for new guys looking for a bolt on set up.
 

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imo rusty's seems to be a bit more of an experienced builders supplier. i dont see many new guys going to them and most of what i do see from rusty's is either individual parts or long arms. again, those are neither parts for new guys looking for a bolt on set up.
Thats weird, almost everything they sell is bolt on. Also, if they are for the "more experienced" (I have 25 years working on cars, but this is my first lift kit install), I wonder why they sell the "Basic 3" Kit".

I know I am repeating myself, but, my overall complaint is they need to do a better job of making it clear that the kit is not just bolt on. There's drilling involved. Which is minor - - but important to know. And that it does not include everything you need to do the job right.

Seems like info the consumer should have regardless of their experience level.
 

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Wow, I'm glad I joined this forum & read this. I have a 2002 grand cherokee and I want to go with a 2 or 2.5 lift and I had picked out the 2.5 kit froms rusty's. I have not ordered it yet but now I'm having second thoughts.I was planing on goin with the rough counrty 2" lift but when I ordered my 2.2 steering shock it says made in mexico on it. I would much rather buy American made. The rusty's kit comes with just 4 new shocks and springs so thier really isn't to much that can go wrong , I hope. Any ideas please let me know, thanks .
 

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kRustys is junk. Buy a budget boost from Kevinsoffroad Rubicon express iron rock Offroad or anyone else you can find to keep money from them. They build crappy parts sure to fail IMO and I've heard only the worst about their custo.er service.
Crawler Ready sells spacers then add good shocks. Bom budget boost
 

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After a few years of a 3" lift kit and learning the hobby of wheeling, I bought another Grand Cherokee and decided to go long arm. I got my kit from Rusty's and went to install it. I 100% agree that the instructions are terrible, but I also understand it's hard to write down exactly what you mean into words that even a novice can understand. That's why I don't write instructions or even attempt to teach people how to fix cars. I just can't do it. I would suggest Rusty's gets someone who is good at this to write the installation instructions ASAP. But I was happy with the lift kit once it was installed.

Now as far as the track bar goes, I'm sure that since you are a mechanic, that once you installed the 3" taller springs and lowered the vehicle you realized the brain fart you made considering the type of suspension under a Jeep. The Long Arm kit I got from Rusty's came with front and rear track bars. The rear one lasted maybe a year before the threads finally stripped out. And that was after multiple wheeling trips. From that you learn that rear triangulation is the way to go.

Most "basic" kits never come with all the little things you will need for lifting a vehicle.
 

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I dunno why anyone would by his crap. From his lame excuse for a axle truss gusset what ever to his POS track bars to his puny arms cheap bushings... The company cuts corners to save pennies and are the BOTTOM of the barrel when considering Offroad products. I'd say all the rocky mountain ruff country brands are above him. I've seen his from TB break on road and nearly cause a horrible accident. The jks TBs I have will prolly out live most jeeps. I dunno why you'd stick up for the brand I'd say you got the absolute worst long arm kit available.
The write ups on here done by jeep enthusiasts are extensive w pictures etc... Making every task step by step ready. An actual jeep specialist in Offroad products can't meet the same criteria? If I found a kRusty part I'd turn it in for scrap before even giving it away. :thumbs uo:
 

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Ok that's fair I don't frequent their site to stay updated on the products... Hopefully they are better then all cases I've seen heard and read about. This pist off customer lead me to believe they haven't gotten much better. Kevin himself helped me piece together my 3.5 FtoR swap with ALL needed parts that were beef w great instructions great service top notch. So I may be partial to companies that are reputable but maybe they are or aren't for a reason.
 

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There's so many things I could say here.
I used to work in an off-road shop and if people had questions about products or suspensions, they talked to our receptionist, who didn't know much, except which products fit which vehicles.
As a mechanic, you should know that instructions aren't always very clear (adding pictures for every step of the install takes up paper, which means more ink, more paper, more money). We would install a range of products from all kinds of different companies. Generally the cheaper the suspension, the worse the instructions were. I just read over the instructions and they're pretty straight-forward. Anyone with automotive experience should be able to understand.
Also, you're going to get what you pay for. Any time you modify your suspension by more than 2" you need to relocate your trac-bar (by drilling a new hole about 3/8" to the drivers side [though Rusty's doesn't suggest doing this]) or replacing it entirely with an adjustable trac-bar. There were many times that we had to go get bolts for lift kits because for one reason or another they didn't have the correct bolts, or hardware kits at all. (brands including Fabtech, Rancho, Rough Country, etc.) Accidents happen. As long as the major components were there (springs and shocks), I'd say it's a good day.
I have a hodge podge of parts on my WJ (Rusty's, Rough Country, Superlift, OME, Rancho) and everything works as it should (with exception to the Superlift shocks, I had to replace the bushings on the rear).
And you should understand that Basic means just that, BASIC. You get springs and shocks. Rusty's makes affordable parts. If you wanted the more complete kit, you should have gone with the 3.5" Advanced kit. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
 

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I dont have much experiance with rustys, have a set of adjustable rear uppers on the fiances 5.9. they work well for that as a DD, but I put an AD. TB on my brothers XJ an it is less than stellar. I stick with kevins or im pretty much a built not bought guy.
 

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i agree Cajun dave... BUT being a specialist in Jeeps how hard would it be to add some online instructions w pics? have the same receptionist take the pics maybe they learn something. KOR and Claytons did this. the difference in my opinion between an ok company and leaders in the business. most the companies you named are lower brands except fabtech and them too arent great maybe for a ford f 250. OME the best you have rancho rough country superlift and rustys are inferior brands in my opinion. in that order too
 

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All I will say is the only thing on my rig that came from Rusty's is a t-case skid... I bent the crap out of it and I just recently ordered a clayton's belly skid.
 

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i got a skid thats bending, but still doing its job, and some adjustable UCAs. went with rusty's on the uppers cuz they are the only ones in the biz who took the time to put a brake line bracket on the rears, like factory arms. however i was a little disappointed that the bracket was not long enough to accomodate one of the lines, so i had to use one zip-tie. they were also smart enough to utilize stock rubber bushings. most the cheap arms out there have poly bushings which plain suck. i give them an A for effort, and a D for execution. pretty much sums that company up imo. better than ruff or tuff country, skyjacker, and the rest of the cheapos. Id buy their arms and springs over RE. my .03.
 

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i agree Cajun dave... BUT being a specialist in Jeeps how hard would it be to add some online instructions w pics? have the same receptionist take the pics maybe they learn something. KOR and Claytons did this. the difference in my opinion between an ok company and leaders in the business. most the companies you named are lower brands except fabtech and them too arent great maybe for a ford f 250. OME the best you have rancho rough country superlift and rustys are inferior brands in my opinion. in that order too
I don't want this to turn into a pissing contest, but,
Rusty's business is about 50/50 with suspension lifts and builder parts. I've dealt with their suspension lifts and their builder parts both. You have to remember that you get what you pay for. You're comparing a Cadillac CTS to a Chevy Cobalt (Clayton's $2500 lift kit to Rusty's $440 lift kit). I've been through the KOR website and they only offer pictorial instructions for a few items. Clayton's HAS to give pictures with their kits. Have you ever tried installing a LA kit without pictures? Or clear instructions?
How are you ranking your judgment of "inferiority" with those lift companies?
Rancho is one of the best companies I've ever worked with. Their suspensions ride smooth, their instructions are very clear, contain enough pictures for those people who can't seem to make sense of written instructions, and their customer service is excellent.
Rough Country offers affordable parts for people with a budget.
Superlift is one of the oldest names in the game. Some of their parts are really great quality, such as their full-drop kits for GM applications and also their lift kits for the old school solid front axle GMs are pretty awesome for the price.
Fabtech makes an excellent product for several applications. I've done more than 200 Fabtech lifts. The only kit that I ever installed by them that I didn't like was the 6" suspension for 88-98 GM 1/2 tons because it widens the track width by 2" per side.

The parts I have on my WJ are as follows:
Rusty's: 2" spacers, Adjustable trac-bar
RCX: lower CAs, A-arm spacer, rear sway bar extensions, and drop pitman arm (basically, their 4" kit without springs or shocks)
OME: HD coils
Superlift: Shocks (I blew out my Pro Comps on a crawling trip to TX and the Superlift shocks were supposed to be a temporary replacement. at $25/shock, the price was too good to pass up)
Rancho: steering stabilizer

As I stated, all of my parts work as they should and I haven't had any issues with any of them.
 

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Thats cool. the OP provided his dislike for the company as did I. My setup is a bunch of names too.. I happen to prefer mine over yours, no big deal. let me know if you want a list as well
 
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