Dynatrac EnduroSport 2" lift - also fixed my steering issues!

  1. Midwest22

    Midwest22 Well-Known Member

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    This is a long story but if you’re trying to figure out what lift kit to get for your JL, this is WELL worth your time. Spoiler alert: Dynatrac EnduroSport for the win!

    For those of you that haven’t heard my story, I took possession of my JL Unlimited Rubicon on July 1. On July 2nd I was in the mountains doing what it does best…and enjoying every minute of it however it never felt right. The steering sucked and I was always ‘nervous’ driving it on the highway. By August 1 it was in the shop. First for the steering issues that were SEMI-solved with a TSB flash and steering box adjustment, then for a problem with my rear locker light being on all the time. This turned into the Jeep being in the shop for almost 2 months while it waited for a new rear axle.

    During this time I spent just about every day and night trying to figure out what lift kit to purchase. If I spent this much time on my retirement, I’d be retired by now! What I found is that everyone has an opinion about which lift kit to get. I was ready to drop about $5k on King shocks and either an EVO or Rock Krawler kit. The main reason for this is due to the fact that the guys I hang out with have proven to me that they are worth the money (which they are, don’t get me wrong they are great kits but for a newbie like me it may have been a bit overkill).

    Fast forward to an afternoon in which I went to Huntington Beach where I met up with my friends at the Jeep Bash. Still confused as to which way to go, my good friend Alfy, who has an amazing Jeep as well, said you “have to talk to Tony Carvallo before you do ANYTHING!”. I immediately went to talk to Tony who was standing next to the Jeep he built called Code 1 (which is an absolute beast…google Code 1 and I’m sure you will agree!). Heres the thing, Tony, who now works for Dynatrac, was the Jeep Wrangler product planner at FCA. His main job was to define what the JL would be. I figured if anyone knew about the JL it would be him…and this was SO true! Not to mention that Tony is also one hell of an amazing guy. He’s extremely humble even though he probably knows more about the JL than anyone! After talking with him for a few minutes, I was sold that he REALLY knows what he’s talking about! As he pointed out, Jeep engineers have put over a million miles of testing on the platform for which he was privileged to be an instrumental part of. His goal and mission with a JL lift kit was to merely improve upon an already tested platform yet give it the lift thats needed to stuff 37’s on a Rubicon and 35’s on a Sport or Sahara, AND give it a better ride. Tony worked hand-in-hand with Fox shocks and the manufacturer of the springs to get them both to work in unison with each other (one step that that not a lot of manufacturers do). The Dynatrac kit includes new springs, Fox shocks, brake extension brackets, bump stops and new sway bar end links for the rear (the current rears are put on the front). I asked Tony why there’s no need for lower control arms and he said because it’s a true 2” lift kit and you don’t need them since all measurements (pinion and caster angles) are well within spec. If they weren’t then he would have included them.

    This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching and working with Tony while he walked me through the install of the Dynatrac EnduroSport lift kit. So, what’s the end result? I am COMPLETELY blown away! Not only does the Jeep feel extremely “planted” on the ground now, there was also another amazing byproduct that I, quite frankly, didn’t think would occur (actually I thought it would get worse). My steering issues are now 100% fixed! I drove over 350 miles this weekend and would smile every time I took my hands off the wheel at 75 mph and it drove straight down the highway. I didn’t have the typical nervous feeling while being next to a semi truck. Also, I no longer have to slow down and anticipate the body roll for every turn I take. I even had an opportunity to hit a fire trail to test the flex. Again, I was blown away! Honestly, this kit is worth way more than what they are advertising! Oh and yes, there is ZERO bowing unlike another kit on the market that I won’t name (but you know which one I’m talking about).

    If you’re considering going with a 2” kit on your JL, I highly suggest the Dynatrac EnduroSport. You will be blown away at how much better it rides than the factory suspension and if you have steering issues, like I did, then it might surprise you there as well. BTW, the photo with the 37’s is my Jeep and we threw them on for size…I’m still on 33’s (for now). Once I get some 37’s and new wheels I will consider my build complete (until I decide to throw on some real rock rails, roof rack, winch, etc…).

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  2. aug0211

    aug0211 Well-Known Member

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    Great write up! I am considering this lift, and the competition for it in my case is a cheap spacer kit.

    I am OK with losing some of the travel with a spacer kit and extended bump stops vs a full blown lift with springs - but I would consider the lift with springs IF the ride quality (comfort, handling) is significantly better.

    You're one of the few people who has an opportunity to do an apples to apples comparison of the lift - you have the same tires before and after (for now).

    You mention an improvement in handling (that is very clear), and you also note how much better it rides than the factory suspension. For clarity, would you say the ride comfort has increased as well as the handling? Curious about how much softer these springs are than factory springs.
     
  3. OP
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    Midwest22

    Midwest22 Well-Known Member

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    I made the mistake of posting my findings on a popular Facebook group (I'm sure many of the members here are a part of). It brought out the "my kit is better than yours" crowd. As I tried to allude to, I had certain criteria that I was going for (and in this order):

    1. Better handling - I think they handle like shit from factory...way too much body roll for my taste.

    2. Better comfort - sometimes this is a trade off due with the goal of getting better handling - nevertheless, it was desire of mine to have with an 'improved' suspension.

    3. JUST enough lift to put 37's on the Jeep with no to minimal rubbing. Im a huge fan of low center of gravity since I'm often found tilted over on the side of a mountain on the weekends!​

    I quote Eddie from [Banned Site], "is it the biggest and baddest kit on the market, no...but it wasn't designed to be". In my opinion its the best of all worlds and solves MY exact specification for what I wanted in a lift kit. [search [Banned Site] on YouTube for a review and interview with Tony by Eddie]

    What I feel is often overlooked by the Jeep community is the tuning of the shocks with the springs. I come from a racing background (albeit limited - weekend SCCA and Skip Barber). I learned the hard way that adding the latest and greatest shocks to unmatched springs results in a ride that is often WORSE than a stock set up. I still have a BMW in the garage that loves to bottom out due to a mismatching of spring rate and shock combo that I did a couple years ago. I was just about to swap out that suspension but then I discovered how much more exciting owning and wheeling a Jeep can be every weekend in the mountains than a couple times a year on the track. BTW, if anyone wants the other car in my garage, it needs a home since the Jeep gets all the attention now.

    Back on topic...spring and shock rates are what Tony (from Dynatrac) focused most on. They didn't just call Fox and 'say send me a couple pallets of your 2.0s' then match them with some off the shelf springs. Their shocks have custom valve tuning within them to match the specs of the springs. While this is all mathematics, you can clearly feel it with the ride quality and the handling. Everything just feels like its in harmony - this probably the best way of looking at it.

    To make a long story short, you asked "how much softer these springs are from factory". I really can't answer that question as it would best be told by using a spring measuring device. What I WILL tell you is that I have noticed no reduction in the "softness" factor and a hell of a lot of handling improvement. When you add the two together (in combination with the lift amount that I WAS LOOKING FOR) you get a combination that has caused me to fall in love with my Jeep again.

    Given all my issues I was honestly losing faith in and not enjoying driving it anymore. I never felt truly "comfortable" in it other than on the trails (minus the height issue and scraping all the time). The problem is you have to take the highway to get to the trails so I needed to sort this out as best I could to enjoy the overall ride - and the entire day of wheeling, not just a few miles going 2 MPH.

    Nevertheless, I can't stress enough, if YOUR needs are just like mine and you want a no nonsense, no maintenance kit that gives you the height you need along with improved handling and (perceived) better comfort, then I highly suggest you consider the Dynatrac kit. If you desire a 3.5" kit, adjustability of every joint (which you will only do once), constant greasing of your joints, constant changing of adjustable dampeners, then this isn't for you.

    One more thing, as you said above, yes, I was able to to a true apples to apples test. I see a lot of people here who throw on larger tires at the same time as their lift. I would highly suggest you NOT do that. Keep the stock wheels, do your lift and live with it for a while. Get the suspension all sorted out before you add other factors to the equation. Granted, if I had my tires I would have probably thrown them on at the same time but I'm glad I didnt.

    I hope this answers your question. I know how difficult it can be to figure out what lift kit to get given so many differing opinions. And yes, this is JUST my opinion and findings based on my needs...and they (Tony and Dynatrac) hit it out of the park for me!

    BTW, Im really surprised that my findings didn't flush out the my-kit-is-better-than-yours people on this forum like it did on Facebook. Either the people here truly understand the fact that the best kit on the market is the one that solves YOUR needs or those people just haven't woken up yet this morning. Sadly Im sure we will soon see the people posting on this thread saying things like "XXXXX kit is better than this". But, to each their own.
     
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  4. aug0211

    aug0211 Well-Known Member

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    Great response, thanks!

    I'll be surprised if you get much of "that crowd" here. Especially here in the suspension space, people tend to be pretty understanding about varying goals.

    The goals you listed are actually identical to my goals. The only thing I *might* change is that I get a sense that you weighted handling slightly over comfort, and I'd probably go for comfort slightly over handling, assuming neither was taking a hit from my current setup.

    Dynatrac remains up at the top of my list; thanks again for the great info!
     
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  5. Zeus

    Zeus Well-Known Member

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    Nice review... when I had my rally business I spent a lot of time talking many of my customers out of the huge turbos they "wanted" and into smaller setups that they would actually enjoy. I get it.
     
  6. Chocolate Thunder

    Chocolate Thunder Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the review. Your background in vehicles and goals for the suspension setup are very similar to mine. You might have changed my mind as to what suspension I want to use and saved me some money in the process.
     
  7. Four Flusher

    Four Flusher Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything you said, steering is light years better than stock. The only thing I'd add after a 2500 mile trip is I'd never go to a 37" tire on this lift or any other. Why, you ask? 315 KO2s on Mopar wheels weight more than 100lbs, 37" would be another heavierIMG_7346.JPG . Going to 315's I've dropped MPG by at least 2-3mpg, maybe more. Putting on 37" may ultimately require all those adjustable joints. If yours is a DD stay with 35" tires, IMO. Unless 37" are all about the look, then go for it.
     
  8. Redneck_Jedi

    Redneck_Jedi Well-Known Member

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    #8 Oct 14, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    Thanks for the review. Do you happen to know if they have a kit specific to the 2 Door JL?
    I imagine, with how important suspension tuning is, they will have a lift with spring rates and valving specific to the 2 door.
     
  9. Chocolate Thunder

    Chocolate Thunder Well-Known Member

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    Are you aware of any vendors (preferably forum sponsor vendors) that carry this kit other than directly from Dynatrac?
     
  10. OP
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    Midwest22

    Midwest22 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been going back and forth on this topic. One day I want 35s and the next 37s. I’m also having a hard time deciding on the wheels. There are too many choices!!
     
  11. aug0211

    aug0211 Well-Known Member

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    Go with the 37s. If you're considering it, you will always regret not getting the 37s.

    I've been on 37s with no lift for 2 months. It's great. With a mild lift, it'll be even better.

    I have a turbo and may latest tank of gas was 21 MPG combined city/highway with roughly 50/50 average.

    Acceleration is great and I have no problems hitting 8th gear. No regear needed. I really do recommend 37s if you're on the fence.

    Sorry, I'll get back on topic - Dynatrac encountered an issue with the crush sleeves crushing prematurely (under too little torque). They have fixed the issue for all purchases going forward and have offered to send new crush sleeves to anyone who has already purchased the kit and had issues.

    I'd like to wait for someone to do an install with the new crush sleeves at the spec'd torque rates to confirm they do well, before I pull the trigger.

    The other thing holding me up is the bump stops. I wish they were 1" longer to help with 37s :) With 35s, they should be fine. I could of course just buy larger bump stops on my own, I just would love it if they came as part of the kit.

    Trying to convince myself to wait to see what SEMA brings...
     
  12. 31R

    31R Active Member

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    Thanks for the review!
     
  13. ChattVol

    ChattVol Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm surprised you're losing 2-3 mpg going from a 33" ko2 to a 35" ko2(weighs 10 lbs heavier/tire). Considering the 33" ko2 weighs 51 lbs and the 315/70/17 ko2 weighs 61 lbs, that means your mopar beadlock wheels weigh 40+ lbs each. How much do the oem rubicon wheels weigh?
     
  14. Chocolate Thunder

    Chocolate Thunder Well-Known Member

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    Convinced. Pulled the trigger and ordered it today. Now if only my Jeep would get built and shipped to me...

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like this is what I really want. Glad another manufacturer took forever to release their 2.5” lift. If they’d had it available sooner I’d have bought it instead of this kit.
     
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  15. ormandj

    ormandj Well-Known Member

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    #15 Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
    ~21lbs.

    The 77072466AB Mopar beadlock are supposedly ~26lbs a wheel and the 315/70R70 C tires are 64.4lbs. The stock tires are 51.4lbs and with 21lb wheels that's an increase of 18lbs a corner.
    That will drop a bit of mileage.
     
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