2.5" AEV vs. Metalcloak

Thinman

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Yeah I am def on the light side right now and can feel it in the wind. Skids and bumpers still to come and will be interesting to see how much it drops. guessing 1/2"
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ashtonjarrett

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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.
Ahhh good call out, I assume the rear track bar should be fine in the AEV tower bracket.
 
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ashtonjarrett

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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.

Thanks for the offer I may take you up on that!
 

m3lover1

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I got mine installed at Metalcloak themselves last year, now running 37s on the 3.5" GC lift. Went back again yesterday to have my uncle's JT installed there as well, also 3.5" GC. I was also looking at AEV in the beginning, but settled on getting the GC as they were local to California (in Rancho Cordova) and has a lot of good feedback from others. The ride definitely is a bit stiffer than stock due to the rocksports, but tradeoff for having excellent articulation. It'll also soften up a bit once I add my rack and roof top tent on it. BTW I have the same color as you! Good selection! I'm also in the bay, Newark. We should all meet up one day!
 
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ashtonjarrett

ashtonjarrett

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I got mine installed at Metalcloak themselves last year, now running 37s on the 3.5" GC lift. Went back again yesterday to have my uncle's JT installed there as well, also 3.5" GC. I was also looking at AEV in the beginning, but settled on getting the GC as they were local to California (in Rancho Cordova) and has a lot of good feedback from others. The ride definitely is a bit stiffer than stock due to the rocksports, but tradeoff for having excellent articulation. It'll also soften up a bit once I add my rack and roof top tent on it. BTW I have the same color as you! Good selection! I'm also in the bay, Newark. We should all meet up one day!
That would be cool to get a Hollister trip together or something for those of us in the bay and maybe a regular meetup. I’ve been looking for one since relocating from Oregon!
 
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ashtonjarrett

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For curious minds I went with the following:

AEV 2.5" dualsport
Metalcloak front and rear adjustable track bars
Teraflex Falcon EF 2.2 Steering Stablizer

Here's some thoughts I have on everything

AEV lift
  • Fitment: 6/10
  • My axles were indeed off center after the lift. Front more so than the rear (the rear track bar tower definitely got it close, it was off by a negligible amount), the adjustable front track bar was definitely needed while the rear was purely a nice to have for my OCD and no normal person would have noticed.
  • The rear tower bracket was a PITA to get on and definitely needed some hammer "persuasion" to fit. Hard to tell if this was a fitment issue on Jeep's end of AEV's.
  • When you bend the front control arm brake line brackets per their instructions (for additional cable clearance) it induces a severe bend in the brake line. I opted to just remove both brackets entirely for A) more clearance at full droop and B) to eliminate the kink C) get rid of the potential trail snag entirely without cutting.
  • While there aren't any clearance issues with the driveshaft (especially after swapping the upper control arms left to right) I think I'm still going to get an aftermarket driveshaft for peace of mind and improved driveshaft geometry down there.
  • The ride is not nearly as harsh as others make it sound. I was previously running 34 PSI all around and running 30-32 all around now feels largely the same. But I also was previously in a JK with the AEV 2.5 and a TJ prior, so I'm not transitioning from something smoother.
  • Overall I remember the JK being a far smoother install.
  • Quality: 8/10
  • The nylon material for the bump stops/sway bar bracket extensions are still an odd choice and make torquing them to spec difficult without just eyeballing the material before it deforms too much.
  • While I have my gripes, I'm overall happy with the lift considering the price and ride quality.
Metalcloak Adjustable Track Bars
  • Fitment: 9/10
  • They're adjustable, they fit great. Front does require the expected grinding a the axle side mount.
  • Quality: 10/10
  • As always great quality from these folks, I don't love gold but I do love the zinc coating from a rust perspective; especially after trail rash happens. The quality and easy service on the Durotrak bushing has me leaning heavily toward Metalcloak over Synergy/Steersmarts for upgrading the tie-rod and drag link prior to 35s. Synergy and Steersmarts make awesome solutions but the price and particularly end link replacement prices are a bit steep for me. Plus I live in northern CA and can get replacement parts from Metalcloak rapidly within 1-2 days.

Teraflex Falcon EF 2.2 Steering Stablizer
  • This forum has many strongly held opinions on steering stabilizers, some that are well informed and others that are less so. But a steering stabilizer has a few jobs, the biggest being to reduce negative feedback to the steering wheel, something I noticed an increase of post lift. I wasn't looking to correct steering, correct pull or fix death wobble (we hopefully all know for the most part a stabilizer is generally a mask for these areas); what I wanted to do was simply dampen the increased negative feedback caused by my new geometry.
  • Fitment and Install: 10/10
  • Install was less than 30 minutes. It probably took more time to get the frame on on jack stands than to actually install. No fit issues
  • Quality: 10/10
  • The Teraflex Falcon EF 2.2 is very well made and a simple yet effective bolt on solution. The different settings are very noticeable and I feel I'll find a lot of value for the "soft" setting on the trail. Otherwise the "medium" setting was an immediate game changer and an improvement over stock pre lift (I personally think the stock stabilizer is more than fine for a stock JL). A side effect to the through body equal force design (EF) is that it's always neutral force, unlike other aftermarket stabilizers that have been seen to cause pull with pressure in the valve being greater at one end than the other. While the stock steering linkage is likely inadequate for more rotational mass on the wheels/tires and a lift I did see an immediate improvement to steering wander and had to baby sit the steering wheel for micro adjustments far less on even the medium setting, while firm kept me firmly planted on the highway.

And as a final note on steering, while I currently don't see much if any flex of the sector shaft near the frame side track bar mount I am also going to install the Synergy sector shaft/track bar brace to prevent this before install 35s.
 
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ashtonjarrett

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Hi Ashton,

How's the long term review of lift?
7/10 from me.

The quality of the parts that are there are great and I'm happy with the end result but I think this lift demands a new front track bar at a minimum, front and rear for perfectionists to recenter the axles. I also had fitment issues with the rear track bar tower that required my trusty BFH. All in all I'd say the install and incomplete kit are the reason for me to ding it to 7. The end product for ride quality is great for me. But I also have a lot of extra weight between the gobi rack, steel front bumper, winch, rock sliders, etc. it'd be a rough ride on a Wrangler running less additional weight.
 

jlur_2019

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7/10 from me.

The quality of the parts that are there are great and I'm happy with the end result but I think this lift demands a new front track bar at a minimum, front and rear for perfectionists to recenter the axles. I also had fitment issues with the rear track bar tower that required my trusty BFH. All in all I'd say the install and incomplete kit are the reason for me to ding it to 7. The end product for ride quality is great for me. But I also have a lot of extra weight between the gobi rack, steel front bumper, winch, rock sliders, etc. it'd be a rough ride on a Wrangler running less additional weight.
thanks for the honest response. I will be getting steersmarts adj front track bar for lift.
i too am a little on the heavy side.
steel bumpers, hardtop, 35" spare, aftermarket rock sliders, swing bike rack and normally at least 3 passengers....
 
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