Weighing new suspension options …

Metalcloak's 2.5-inch Overland Sport kit for Jeep JK. (Photo courtesy metalcloak.com)

Metalcloak’s 2.5-inch Overland Sport kit for Jeep JK. (Photo courtesy metalcloak.com)

Followers of this site know my long-range plan is to install a 2.5-inch coil spring lift, and that I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of Teraflex’s more off-road-oriented lift and American Expedition Vehicles’ long-drive road-friendly kit.

Like most Jeep owners, most of my time behind the wheel is spent on pavement. While I want maximum capability on the trail, I don’t want to pay for it in terms of ride quality when my family and I are taking a long highway trip. I’ve struggled to decide between these kits, as AEV’s progressive springs hold the promise of a better-than-stock ride, but Teraflex’s more affordable option might offer better articulation.

I now wonder if I haven’t stumbled upon a best-of-both worlds solution. But, is this too good to be true?

The Metalcloak Overland “Sport” kit (http://www.metalcloak.com/JK-Overland-Preferred-2-5-3-5-Suspension-Syste-p/7123.htm) offers the 2.5-inch height I’m looking for, the comfort of a dual-rate coil spring (as opposed to AEV’s progressive springs) and significantly raises the Jeep’s roll center, just as the AEV kit does. The Metalcloak kit also boasts loads of down-travel, though, giving it an edge over the AEV lift and matching, if not exceeding Teraflex, in terms of articulation. The Metalcloak kit also includes geometry correction brackets, which eliminate the need for aftermarket control arms to adjust caster and pinion angle. (These are a $99 option with the AEV kit.) The kit’s adjustable bump stops would allow me to dial in exactly the amount of bump stop I want to run without buying additional parts post-lift.

In my mind, the drawbacks to the kit (and AEV’s), aside from a slightly higher cost (when compared apples-to-apples with the other manufacturers’ kits — see chart below), is the question of using a variable-rate spring on steep inclines. Could the front springs’ push-back really lead to a flop when climbing the steep hills along the nearby Canadian River? The fact is, I don’t have enough experience to say. This sounds like a competitor’s fear mongering, but I want more information to make an informed decision.

So, how about it, my fellow Jeepers? Lets hear your experiences with Metalcloak suspension systems, the good, the bad and the ugly. What do you like and dislike? Are their coils, which hold the lighter rate at coil bind in normal driving, all marketing, or do they really make a difference? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!

Lift Comparison
Advertisements

4 comments

    1. I’ve looked at them. OME has a solid reputation, but I’m hoping to stay all American-made for the major components of my build.

      Thanks for the suggestion, though. OME was one of the first companies I looked at. Between OME and ARB, Australia has a lot to offer the off-roading community!

      Like

  1. Although I haven’t driven a Jeep with the Metal Cloak suspension I’ve driven one with Teraflex suspension and would definitely go that route. I think the theory behind progressive rate vs. dual rate coils is better.

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am curious, though. If you prefer progressive coils, which I certainly understand, why would you choose the Teraflex kit, which uses linear springs?

      Thanks again. See you on the trails!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s