Although I still have to deal with the driveline
vibration problem, I must admit that RE's kit satisfied
the majority of my pre-purchase
concerns. Most importantly, I was able to install it
over the weekend and drive it to work the following
Benefits of my new suspension over my old 2.5" spring
- Softer ride.
- Vastly improved axle articulation.
- Improved fender clearance.
- Easier to remove/install sway bar link.
- Use of easily and cheaply replacable spring packs.
- Improved rear shackle clearance.
- The on-street handling is a bit worse than
- The steep driveshaft angle makes it very
sensitive to incorrect angles. I'm not sure if
parallel angles can be maintained over the life of a
spring pack as it starts to sag.
- Minor bumpsteer over hard bumps or hard braking.
Is This Kit Right for You?
Should you convert your Jeep to a spring-over
set-up? It depends, as always, on the types of trails
you frequent and your tolerance for reduced highway
performance. I've been fourwheeling rather seriously for
the past three years and have encountered very few
situations where my combination of 31x10.5 mud tures,
2.5" suspension lift and rear locker were insufficient
for the trail. For the majority of Jeepers, this
kind of modification is not needed. BUT...if
you want to get into the extreme trails then the RE
spring-over is a good route for obtaining better ground
clearance and articulation for a great price.
I must caution you, however, that this kit and its
instructions are only the starting point for a
spring-over conversion. Fine-tuning will be
required. Component fitment problems might be magnified
and need to be rectified. In my case, the steeper angle
on the front driveshaft is causing it to rub against my
My Recommendations to Future RE Installers
- DO NOT accept the installation
instructions as gospel. This is a very critical
operation and you are obliged to exercise extreme
care in all the measurements and angles. Although it
may seem cumbersome, I strongly recommend tacking the
on the rear spring perches and then measuring the
transfer case and pinion angles to ensure that
they're parallel. Only after you've successfully
done this test should you finish the welding.
- See above. I just wanted to re-iterate that
very important point.
- Contrary to what you might have seen in RE's
how-to video, removing the pitman arm and drag link
are very difficult. Spraying them with penetrating
oil helps. A pitman arm puller is absolutely
mandatory. You can also use the puller to pop the
drag link off the pitman arm (I thoroughly mangled
the grease cup on my drag link by using a pickle fork
before realizing that the puller was better suited
for the task).
- Buy the installation video, it's worth watching.
- I have an MIT tail cone eliminator kit on my
transfer case. That makes my driveshaft
approximately 4 inches longer than stock. Even with
that advantage, it's still running at about 20
degrees which seems kind of steep to me. I shudder
to think what angle a stock driveshaft would be
running at. I've thought about this point quite a
bit before committing it to paper (figuratively
speaking, of course): Include a CV joint driveshaft
and tail cone eliminator kit as part of your
From a durability stand point, these are must-have
items. You may be able to get by for a few months or
a year but the broken parts will start catching up to
RE is already offering a CV joint driveshaft for
their kit and will also sell tail cone conversion
kits. Buy them.
I will be researching the need for a CV joint
in more detail so I reserve the right to change
this particular point.
- This is a long job. Make sure you plan at least
two full days for semi-relaxed pace and try to do it
when parts stores are open.
- RE says that you need to attach the front track bar
if you install their kit due to bump steer problems. I
have detected bump steer but it's not much worse than
with my 2.5" lift kit and no track bar. I've been
commuting in my Jeep with the spring-over and no track
bars for the past two weeks and don't consider bump
steer to be a problem. Do be sure to keep the
sway bar attached, however. With the spring-over and
no sway bar, it is now a very terrifying experience to
drive on a curvy road.
- After you complete the spring-over, your steering
wheel will be cock-eyed when the wheels are straight.
To remedy this, you need to adjust the drag link. Just
loosen the clamps on either end of the drag link, spray
the threads liberally with penetrating oil, then use a
monkey wrench to turn the tube in the proper direction
(watch the steering wheel to figure out which way to
turn). Make sure your ignition steering lock isn't
Well, that's all that I have to say about that! Please
send me email if you have any questions.