Have an 04 Rubi. Mostly stock. Have had it as the second owner since 60K miles. Now have 110K on it. Its been a great rig. Use it for daily driver, some traveling and camping, beach sand running, NE mountain trails and lots of snow, and a lot of trailer towing a 1000 to 1500 lbs expedition type trailer. So it sees a lot. Over time I have added a ton to it, had fun modding and stuff. Some day maybe I will get a JK Rubi but for now I love this thing. Lately I was tired of looking at the stock springs. Pretty dead and the usual gangsta lean. Shocks on their last legs. Springs and shocks all Original OEM. The stock control arms were all still tight. Running 32" BFG All Terrain KO2s just clearing.
That being said I decided it was time for springs and shocks at a minimum and would check out moderate lifts. Didnt want to go 4 inches or more since I dont really rock crawl it and highway stability and ride was a factor. Plus was not interested in Transmission/Engine lowering mods, or new drive shafts at this time. Looked around for some stock takeoff Rubi springs and shocks and thought about them. Had two guys on here that offered some to me. Thank you to both again. Shipping was a killer both USPS and UPS. Then i was told to go with Airlift Air springs. Have had them before on several vehicles and they are good for what they are but were not really what I wanted and didnt really amount to a lift. Just a band aid on sagging coils. Couldnt afford new control arms at this time. SO I settled on 2 1/2 to 3 inch lifts and read and looked around.
Checked out a lot of products out there and suppliers. Looked at all the big names which were good but went out of my budget. Saw a lot of springs and shocks used people were selling because they didnt like them Read all the reviews on progressive vs non progressive springs. Finally settled on the Rough Country Spring and N3 gas shock package for their 2 1/2" lift kit. It was reasonably priced, the springs were really well made. They had good reviews from customers. The massive N3 gas shocks had the extra travel. They werent Bilstein or other name brand like the 5100 but are 10 valve, gas charged, large heavy duty shocks with a 3 year warrantee. I hope I dont need that. The kit is designed to work with the Rubi stock control arms so the total cost is on budget. The springs were all progressive rate. I gave it a shot.
Took me a 3 days work to install everything including a bunch of other stuff like rust control I had to do. Had to use a spring compressor, rented from AutoZone to get the new springs in. The front axle align re. the track bar did not move much. It was fine. The rear track bar needed either a new adjustable track bar or having the axle track bar relocated about 2 1/2" higher. Was going to spring for the new adjustable bar but the OEM one was still tight at both ends, so I got the mount relocate bracket from Rough County. Also reasonable price on Amazon plus it was really well made, boxed design 3/16 to 1/4 steel. It was set up to mount with 2 bolts but I modded it so it had 3 bolts coming from 3 different directions. I also did not use the 5/16 hardware they sent. Instead I drilled out the holes and went with grade 8 3/8" bolts for 2 of the bolts and 7/16" for the stock location. It came out really rugged.
In the end when it first hit the road it measured all around front and rear about 3" over stock. After a month of driving it on and off road, it has settled maybe 1/2". SO it ended up being 2 1/2 to 2 3/4" lift. Front and rear drive shaft angles are fine. No vibration from the stock Rubi driveshaft and SYE.. Ride is excellent. I really like the progressive springs. The ride is better than stock. There is no question about the springs being a higher capacity so that does affect the ride when you hit a large hole or rock. Its not real soft like stock was with dead springs as expected. The shocks are excellent. You get really good control. Side to side on road control is good with less sway than stock. Same swaybars with aftermarket control links being used. I was glad to see there is zero gansta lean haha .
Front to back is still level with no rake. I was concerned I would be getting blasted by peoples high beams, if it was not level as before especially with increased height. I have pretty high powered LED headlights that were adjusted correct before so I didnt blind oncoming people, and I have not had to adjust them at all. I have not lowered the skid plate/engine/transmission mount or had to fool with the t-case shift linkage. Have great belly clearance which I wanted to preserve. If I had vibration from the rear Ujoint which is common I was prepared to get a new rear shaft with CV joint. I will do that some time if I have to deal with the rear shaft but right now I dont have to. On front end alignment. Front and rear axles are centered and track correctly. The front axle lost a little caster and I was concerned with that. However it is still on the limit of stock settings, and has no issues with positive steering return to center even after a small turn. And there it no dreaded death wobble or instability at all speeds up to 70. I dont go over that in this thing lol. That is also with the feeble OEM steering stabilizer in there. Another future mod, when I have to do the tie rod/drag link. Also the steering geometry is OK lock to lock with the stock pitman arm. No bump steer issues noted.
So I am really happy with how it turned out. It made a lot of improvements to an already decent Rubi, without any real drawbacks. It was cost effective considering some of us have to deal with money limits and have to choose between having a big name lift or no lift, or maybe something a little lower cost that performs decently. Rough Country products can be a solution thats works fine in some situations. Other suppliers may be better I would agree. I did take some pics of the Rubi with the Rough Country 2 1/2 inch lift which I am going to try to post. I am sure you all know what stock looks like so I am not going to post that. Other guys reviews have always been helpful to me in the past, so I wanted to take the time to post this review and hope if some others are looking at different things maybe this helps out. Later Glenn 04 Rubicon