Rubicon Express vs. BDS Suspension: RE is unreliable?

rispony

Scramblin' in the City
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Manhattan
State
NY
#1
I don't know if any of you caught my thread of the eBay 8 that I picked up in Texas and drove back to NY, but now I finally started the build. If you missed it, i basically bought a 100% dismantled scrambler that I am now putting all back together, my way. (The PO gave up after sandblast and prime)

I'm in the process of getting a new suspension system and this is my question. My other DD 8 has a 2.5 OME Custom lift that I absolutely love. This time around I'm looking at a 4.5" lift and I was about set on Rubicon Express's Extreme Duty kit until I heard some talk from pretty much all of my local jeep buddies that RE is definitely not the way to go anymore. Apparently they changed the steel they use along with some other things and now their suspensions systems are highly unreliable. I was told to go the BDS route along with the Fox 2.0 shocks that they offer and was told that it is a far far better kit, cheaper, and will last much longer without any sag. Thoughts, comments? Anything would help, I finally have the money saved to buy a lift kit and want to get this into a rolling chassis ASAP so let me know which route you guys think!
 

Polarfire

Jeep Aficionado
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Columbia
State
MO
#2
This is the first I've heard that about RE. I know they went through some ownership and restructuring changes not too long ago so it's possible things have changed for the worse.

As for BDS, I have no personal experience but I've always heard good things about their stuff.
 

Manhattan

Legacy Registered User
City
Atlanta
State
GA
#3
I've heard the R.E. has taken a nose dive... but it's just that - "hearsay". Haven't heard why, when, etc. So I guess I've got to list my suspension as "Pre___ R.E. 4.5" System" ;-)
 

Julio

Basic User
City
St Charles
State
Mo
#4
Ok, first I got to ask, what kind of wheeling are you doing? Is this lift for looks or do you want superior flex? Alcan springs have always been favored for flex. RE would sell there set up for wider springs without springs, correct? (pitman arm, brake hoses, shackles etc) I'm not familier with BDS, but am with Alcan and RE. Now if things have gone south like everyone has said, then I will have to look at something else maybe because I also in the market for a lift
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#5
Don't know about the 4.5" lift, but I have BDS 3.5" YJ springs on my scrambler and couldn't be happier. Don't have any experience with their Fox shocks, although I'm sure they're pretty good if maybe a little on the expensive side (I went with Bilstein on my Jeep at about half the price of Fox).

I've never used RE springs, and have no idea if they've changed anything. I can say that 3 of the guys I Jeep with have switched from RE to BDS due to sagging or broken springs. I suppose that any spring is subject to failure, but at least BDS will replace them with "no questions asked" (not always the case with RE or so I've been told).

*Edit* I should also mention that I got the "heavy" spring rate on all 4. The folks I've spoken with agree that the softer version won't hold up to significant off-road use. Still much softer ride than any of the CJ springs I've used over the years, and pretty comparable to the OME YJ springs they replaced (liked OME just fine, but needed more lift).
 
Last edited:

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#6
My RE4.5 front has sagged to 3.5" over the course of a year or so. RE offered to replace them under warranty with the heavier rears, but I haven't taken them up on it yet.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#7
I had a used 4" BDS lift on mine that got replaced with the RE 4.5 in 2005, so it would be pre-whatever, but it rides much better than the BDS it replaced.

It has sagged over time, but I have a hard time believing that any springs that are reasonably supple won't sag with real use.

Alcan and Deaver are the two places that I've heard mentioned as the go-to for the very highest end springs if you want to spend for them.
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#8
I have an RE kit on my rattle can military tan 86 CJ 7 it's been on there for about seven years no problems whatsoever i am very happy with it. At the time I think the kit was called a 3 or 3 1/2 , it's basically 2 1/2 inch springs with a one inch shackle IIRC. It settled in great after one year and has tons of flex and rides well.

did have one spring sag abnormally, RE replaced it no questions asked then realized it was the CJ lean issue which I corrected with the spacer.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1381317196.451215.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
#9
I have an older RE 4.5 on my red Scrambler, I love it:thumbsup:

It has probably settled at least an inch, but still plenty of room for 33's. I initially had 35's, and they cleared, except for the back of the rear fenderwell openings (the 33's will still lightly hit this are, too).

Mine squats a little to the passenger side rear, like a muscle car.

I have drove the crap out of mine for 16,000+++ miles, including driving it/wheeling it at Moab/Michigan/Missouri/Kentucky/etc etc, and I wouldn't trade it:twocents:

The springs are soft, that's how you get a great ride and good flex, BUT that also means the springs will settle some:shrug:

My tan Scrambler came with a set of Superlift 4" springs, they ride super stiff compared to the RE springs, but I am pretty sure they will never settle:rotfl:

I have never had BDS, don't know anyone that does. I do know that everyone that rides in/drives my red Scrambler is amazed at the smooth ride:twocents:
 

Jeep Addict

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Baton Rouge
State
La
#10
I also have the RE 4.5. They look nice. I cannot tell you about the ride unless someone is willing to push me around. However, I did drive Spanks Scrambler for quite some time and it did ride very nice. Better than the OME 2.5
 

rispony

Scramblin' in the City
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Manhattan
State
NY
#11
Thank you all for the help, I just purchased my lift and shall have a rolling chassis soon. Build thread coming any day now! I decided to go with BDS for a couple reasons. First, although some of you guys ride RE and stand behind it, I haven't heard any reviews of someone who purchased and rode them within the last year and a half. That's the crucial period when this whole quality issue supposedly occurred so I'd rather not take any chances. Second, BDS has the "no questions asked" replacement policy which, in dealing with suspension parts, is something I just cannot ignore! Thanks again :headbang:
 

C33J

Basic User
City
Tampa
State
FL
#13
Good to see some comparison on the Rubicon Express and BDS here. I've been trying to look for some information since many people compare these products. Is it true that RE's downside is the lack of warranty?
 

YJ-8

Basic User
City
Austin
State
TX
#14
I have 3.5" BDS springs on my YJ-8. I got the HD. When I first got it they were really stiff, so I pulled the lowest leaf, now with full hard top and tire carrier they are slightly soft. All in all they are OK but I have to think there are better options out there. Someday I may link it or switch to Deaver/Alcan/National.

Summary-- They are OK but they are still thick 4 leaf springs, cant help but think some 6-8 or 12 leaf packs would be TONS better.
 
Top