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> Jeep Articles > General - Product Reviews > Rusty?s 4? (3.5 Actual) YJ Lift Kit

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General Articles - Product Reviews

Rusty?s 4? (3.5 Actual) YJ Lift Kit

Article written by Ned Renner

Date Added: 06/13/2006

For the price, Rusty?s supplies the basic quality goods but does require some extras to make it all work together.

A confident amateur with experience in repair, access to some non-basic tools (a three jaw puller, a half-inch drive socket set with long sockets, a large C clamp, and a propane torch), and a helper can perform this work on sweat-equity at great savings over more expensive kits. In my opinion, it is not a weekend project. It took us a good 40 hours, not including time we spent on unique Jeep issues.
Prompt delivery, although $100 was added to get it from Alabama to Maryland. (The total price was $511.) All the major components are of very acceptable build. The shocks are heavy duty Monroe's, and the springs are from a Canadian manufacturer. The bushings kit is a universal pack that leaves you with lots of extras, once you sort out the sizes you need. All the fasteners are there, and an extra U-bolt is included. 
The brake lines must be extended to accommodate the raised stance, and one might expect longer hoses would be included, but not at this price. The kit includes three relocation brackets made of mild steel, and all the additional length comes from bending the stock lines while they?re still attached to the brake system, as indicated in Rusty's instructions. Fitting the front brackets is quite hard due to tight spaces. The rear bracket needed modification to have any chance of installation. However, it can be done and must be completed accurately, or your brake hoses will be torn apart on the first bump. 
The rear leaf springs must have the central-most bolt replaced by one included in the kit. If you don?t know to use a large C clamp to hold the leaves in place, this step becomes impossible. Torque values given, in my opinion, are at times so far off spec that you will abandon them. 
The biggest problems we faced were the instructions, which are an exercise in brevity and devoid of any illustrations. What is covered in a single sentence may take you two evenings to accomplish once you figure out the extra tools needed and theorize how to proceed. (We have framed the two page directions, and they hold a place of high regard on our wall of garage humor.) It is doubtful other companies do any better. 
On The Road:
We were a bit shocked after all our trials at how well it all worked. The vehicle was immediately put into off-road and beach use without issue. The stock brutal ride is only a little more brutal. With the addition of bigger wheels and tires, fifth gear is unusable on our 2.5 four cylinder. Off road clearance is obviously better. The appearance of a taller profile is as desired.
Final Notes:
Our worst installation issues were related to Jeep design, not kit problems. All four leaf springs may need to be cut out where the bolt passes through a rubber bushing on the side closest to the passenger compartment. All six skidpan attachment bolts may break loose at the nut inside the frame rail. My free article addresses these issues and frozen fastener woes. 

Final Thoughts

Lastly, while I typically work alone, there were so many places where a second set of eyes and hands were vital that I?d not consider doing this project without a helper. He/She does not need to be constantly present, but will shorten some alignment and other procedures by hours if not days. 

Would I use this kit again? Yes. For the price, it is a good deal.

Purchase / Vendor Info

Vendor Name: Rusty's Off-Road Products
Address: 7161 Steele Station Rd.
Rainbow City, AL 35906
Phone: 256-442-0607
Website: www.rustysoffroad.com/

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