For anyone who scoffs at the mere mention of using a Rock Krawler product due to their past reputation I have to say, open your mind, and take a closer look at Rock Krawler's products, engineering and the company as a whole. I have seen a lot of maligning of Rock Krawler across the internet on forum groups and discussions and it is usually due to ignorance by a small few that because their friend 5 years ago used a first generation lift kit and had a bad experience, they don't like or won't give Rock Krawler a chance.
The RK of the past is not the RK of the present. There has been a change in company organization behind the scenes and the new generation of kits including the X-Factor kits are vastly different than the first generation products. I have been unable to find anyone who has anything bad to say about the new RK lifts. Much to the contrary those that are using the new RK long arm lifts are extremely pleased with their performance and cost. I think if you look at the old engineering that some of the big names are offering for much more money you will agree that the new X-Factor lifts from Rock Krawler make a lot of sense.
So with this in mind, pay no attention to the pundits that have never used an RK lift but are all to willing to give their opinions and take a look at the X-Factor kits based on their own merits. You owe that to yourself, your Jeep and your wallet.
Our first impression of the RK lift was that when opening the boxes with the control arms and those massive 2" solid arms roll out on your toe, it hurts! Upon close inspection of the component parts of this kit you see that it isn't light and it isn't weak. The control arms, mount brackets, skid plate and other components are HEAVY! Almost everything is 1/4" steel. The front and rear lower control arms are 2" solid stock. Holes are drilled into each end of the arms and then treaded for the joints to screw into unlike much of the competition that uses tube with welded in bung fittings.
The X-Factor lifts were inspired by an article in JP magazine a few years back where the writers were dreaming of the best all around on and off road suspension you could put under a Jeep and what it would consist of. Rock Krawler engineers stepped up to the challenge and built that system.
The X-Factor lifts utilize a triangulated 4-link rear suspension system, much like many of the competition rock crawling rigs out in the field are using. This means that the rear upper control arms bend inward and meet together right above the rear differential. This system keeps the axle centered under the Jeep and allows for greater articulation of the rear axle without binding. It also means that you can ditch the rear track bar all together. Front and Rear lower control arms are very intelligently bent so as to gain the best ground clearance and prevent you from using your LCAs as rock sliders. Why the rest of the industry hasn't followed suit I don't understand, but only a few of the more progressive (and expensive) companies in the market are offering this type of system.
Included in the kit is just about everything you will need for the install. For the front the kit includes:
The front swaybar quick disconnects basically work the same way as the venerated Teraflex discos' that we had been using but just look a little different. Hitch pins are pulled on the axle end and the discos' are pulled free. One thing we would like to see that isn't included here is pins for the frame that would allow you to pin the discos' up and out of the way and negate the need for zip ties. We made our own pins and life is good.
For the rear the kit includes:
Rounding out the kit is the center mount brackets which tie the suspension all together at the frame and a removable skid plate made from 1/4" steel plate. The system is engineered so that you can remove the center skid without disturbing the suspension thus making it easier to do maintenance on your T-case and transmission if needed.