2.5" AEV vs. Metalcloak

ashtonjarrett

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Hey all,

After a few mods weighing down the the stock suspension on our JLUR we are ready to install a 2.5" lift and have narrowed it down to the AEV dual sport or the Metalcloak GC. I'll be doing the install myself in garage. We've have great experience with products from both companies. For inquiring minds our final build will likely settle with 35" KO2s on a 17" wheel(pending), Gobi stealth rack (pending), JCR stubby and winch on front (installed), Metalcloak sliders (installed), AEV rear bumper and carrier (pending). Our rack will have a roof top tent, awning and a few other items mounted so we're going to have a sizable amount of weight added. We also drive our JL as a DD fairly regularly, sharing time with our Civic hatch so road manners are definitely nice to have.

I've read all the threads we have on both here but not a lot of new reviews or direct comparisons. Thoughts?

AEV

Pros
  • We loved the 2.5" dual sport on our 2 door JK, it was great on and off-road and performed well in Moab and the trails we normally like to hit.
  • No need for an aftermarket front driveshaft.
  • I'm a fan of the Bilstein 5100 shocks.
  • Straightforward install without outboard shock mounts etc.
  • Lower cost.
Cons
  • Reports of off center axles even with the higher trackbar tower; so likely needing adjustable trackbar for the front and rear.
  • Control arm brackets for geometry rather than adjustable control arms; so reduced clearance.

Metalcloak

Pros
  • Corrosion resistant finish and material.
  • Adjustable control arms and trackbars included.
  • Better overall clearance (no brackets).
  • Fixes geometry without brackets.
Cons
  • Higher cost.
  • Need aftermarket front driveshaft.
  • Less desirable shocks and I'm uncertain about the outboard shock mounts.
  • Longer install (not that big of a deal but a consideration for the work largely being done solo).
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Krondor

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Looks like you already made your decision.

Post up pics and your reviews once done.

FTIW: I really love my MetalCloak setup. The outboard shock mounts and drive shaft allow for a bit more droop, and I do like keeping the feet on the ground. I'd really have liked to try both as well. I'll check in to see if anyone has and will share their thoughts.
 

spurly

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If I recall correctly, you only need a new front driveshaft if you use their shocks. Their shocks extended length is around 30 inches. I believe the maximum extended length for the front shocks to avoid clearance issues with the driveshaft is 29 inches.
 
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ashtonjarrett

ashtonjarrett

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If I recall correctly, you only need a new front driveshaft if you use their shocks. Their shocks extended length is around 30 inches. I believe the maximum extended length for the front shocks to avoid clearance issues with the driveshaft is 29 inches.
Oh that’s good to know, so I’d likely be fine if I paired them with the AEV Bilsteins, hmmmmmmm. That’s an idea.
 

Krondor

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Oh that’s good to know, so I’d likely be fine if I paired them with the AEV Bilsteins, hmmmmmmm. That’s an idea.
Balancing springs with the "right" shock rate is quite the challenge. IMHO I would get the springs with the shocks setup for them.

There seems to be no off the shelf "perfect" combo, so this opinion may not hold much weight.
 

Jimmy_jak

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You've had AEV in he last and liked it so consider that strongly. Having said that I went with MC and I'm very happy. Pretty sure you'll enjoy either one.
 

Therby

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I have the AEV on my 2dr JL.

sounds like a good fit for your build has it sounds like it will be on the heavier side.

my opinion, the aev kit has been great. Gave my light weight 2dr around 3” lift.
When loaded with camping stuff etc, it drives and handles very nice too and from the trail. Works great on the trails. When im driving it during the week i have approx 120lbs of sand in the back which smooths out the ride nicely. (Which is almost weight of rear seats if i had them and a hardtop) more my fault than aevs for the stiffness.

I’ve added sway discos in the front (you dont need) and yes the axles are out. I finally got a Old man emu front track bar for it after months and it is a noticeable difference in steering and handling large bumps in the road, id recommend adding a front track bar with it immediately. And worse case front lower arms aren’t too expensive if you’re worried about the clearance.
 
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ashtonjarrett

ashtonjarrett

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Hmmm thanks all, I'm thinking I'm going to go with the AEV Dualsport and add front and rear metalocloak adjustable track bars. That seems like it'll be the winning combo.
 

Jimmy_jak

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Hmmm thanks all, I'm thinking I'm going to go with the AEV Dualsport and add front and rear metalocloak adjustable track bars. That seems like it'll be the winning combo.
Hells yes. Should be great. Remember that on the frame side of the front track bar you'll need to grind open the window a little.
 

Thinman

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Hmmm thanks all, I'm thinking I'm going to go with the AEV Dualsport and add front and rear metalocloak adjustable track bars. That seems like it'll be the winning combo.
The MC ends up getting a little costly as the seemingly unspoken word is that you absolutely end up wanting to do the tie rods and drag link at the same time. Pushes the cost up another $800 or so.

Sounds like you are all set, but if you end up being interested in seeing and possibly test driving an MC 2.5 on 37s, let me know as I am in San Jose as well and just did mine.
 

quietpeen

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The MC ends up getting a little costly as the seemingly unspoken word is that you absolutely end up wanting to do the tie rods and drag link at the same time. Pushes the cost up another $800 or so.

Sounds like you are all set, but if you end up being interested in seeing and possibly test driving an MC 2.5 on 37s, let me know as I am in San Jose as well and just did mine.
Can you post pics, I’m undecided if I should get the 2.5 or 3.5.
 

Thinman

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Sure...

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wheels are 4.75BS, 0 offset
 
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