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Squirrel Master
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1,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang.

I haven't been around the forum in QUITE some time, but I thought this warranted a comeback. Long story short - Rubicon Express won't ever get another cent of my money. Now for the reason(s) ... (this is long, but in your best interests, please read)

About a year ago I noticed one of my RE mono-tube shocks (rear) was leaking fluid. I inspected the shock for abnormal wear and saw none, but the seal had clearly deteriorated. I spoke to their customer service who asked that I file the complaint through the vendor (Quadratec). Fair enough - so I contacted Quadratec who is normally very helpful. They spoke to RE for me and came back to inform me that "Rubicon Express will not warranty their shocks if they use salt on the roads where you live." ... Sorry I don't live 20 miles from the Rubicon Trail in sunny California, maybe you should just make your shock seals with better materials. :dunno: Clearly companies like Rough Country, Rancho, Skyjacker, et al. understand this principle.

Anywho, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe it was a fluke. I'm not hard on my Jeep, in fact I hardly ever get a chance to wheel it, but maybe I was just unlucky enough to get a flawed shock. Afterall if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. :brickwall:

So I bought a set of Skyjacker Hydros and called it good (which by the way are still running strong).

But fast forward 9 or 10 months to two weekends ago. After noticing uneven wear on my front tires I had an alignment shop take a look at the front end who deemed that I needed to replace two ball joints. In the interest of not tearing it all apart twice - I replaced all 4. Had I not done so it might have taken me even longer to notice this ...





Yep, that's right ... my driver's side coil spring is literally broken in half. :eek: How long has it been like this? No idea. But in all my years around Jeeps I have never, EVER, seen a coil spring break in half. Not in the mud, not on the rocks, not slamming down off of ledges, and not jumping the front end up and down trying to climb a root-covered hillside. Never. I've seen shocks blow out, I've seen control arm brackets sheered, I've seen tie-rod ends snapped, I've seen driveshafts twisted like a rung-out wash cloth, and I've seen axle shafts break in half and a Jeep left standing there like a three-legged dog. ... But I have NEVER seen coil spring break in half.

Need I remind you that this a DD. It seems at minimum 250 miles a week, but most of time quite a bit more. It's taken off-road maybe 3 or 4 times a year outside of weekend camping trips up old logging roads, in places a stock Jeep could make it but a lift and tires makes it easier. It's babied, because come Monday morning it's got a 20 mile drive to get me to work. So a broken coil spring is the absolute LAST thing I would expect to find next to a broken leaf spring.

Rather than reiterate the entire conversation, here's how the "customer service" transaction went when I contacted RE ...

Mike,

We spoke yesterday about the broken coil spring on my XJ. As I said in our phone conversation, this is a daily driver XJ that sees about 95% pavement. It's seen a few trails but is mostly used for camping trips in areas a stock Jeep could probably make it, but the lift and tires just make it easier. I've seen a lot of Jeeps used and abused to the limits of their capabilities, but I've never seen a coil spring break, even under the most heinous amounts of stress, and my Jeep sees more potholes than rocks. I don't know how long it's been like this, as I just noticed it over the weekend when replacing the still factory ball joints.

What I didn't mention yesterday is that this is actually the second Rubicon Express part that's failed me. Last year I attempted to file a complaint about a broken rear shock (RE mono-tube), that began leaking after about a year and half and eventually seized up under the Jeep. I was told to place the complaint through Quadratec, and after some brief communication I never heard back from them. Being that it's a DD and that it sees quite a few miles in a week, I just bit the bullet and replaced all 4 shocks with Skyjacker Hydros rather than wait it out any longer. At the time I thought maybe it was a fluke - that I just got a bad shock - but now that the coil spring has broken under very little stress (certainly not the amount of stress you advertise your products can stand up to, and I would hope not the amount of stress they were designed to withstand), I'm beginning to hold a poor opinion of RE's products.

From an economic standpoint it would have made more sense for me to go with Rough Country when I decided to modify the Jeep, as I don't make a lot of money, but being that it's a DD and that it sees a lot of miles, I listened to reviews and forum feedback and went with RE. The old adage when comparing RC and RE is that "You get what you pay for." If that's truly the case, then I'm confused on what exactly it is that I paid for ...

Like most Jeep enthusiasts I frequent a lot of online forums and I've shared my experiences with many of them. I don't intend to turn people away from Rubicon Express, but I'm hoping that in the interest of saving face and doing what's right, you'll be willing to rectify this situation.

Thanks Mike. I hope to hear from you soon.

-Kyle


Kyle—I have forwarded your e-mail to the sales manager and production manager.I personally will be out of the office tomorrow so more than likely will not be able to get back with you until Thursday.I am sorry to hear of the issues you had regarding the shock.The dealer who you purchased the product through should have take care of that issue but unfortunately that is not something we are able to control.Thank you for all of the information regarding your purchase however if you have an actual invoice as well that is certainly preferred.Regarding the shock—it is not a run of the mill mainstream type shock.That shock is made by Edelbrock on a private label basis so we do expect to have a good quality It kind of annoys me that they got off so easy.

Mike Koenig
Rubicon Express Sales
916-473-4603 direct line
866-284-7309 direct fax


Thank you Mike. I have the packing list that your warehouse sent with my order. I'll scan it tomorrow at my office and send it to you for verification. Had I known you were relying on someone else for the quality of your shocks (and your name), I would have worked harder to bring that to your attention. I do honestly believe that there was a fault in the shock, as I sold the other three in good working condition to a friend of mine who's still using them on his trail Jeep to this day.


Kyle—we will warranty the one spring but I would probably advise checking the other one more closely.I am somewhat concerned about only one cracking and also if you only replace one it may sit crooked.Let me know

Mike Koenig
Rubicon Express Sales
916-473-4603 direct line
866-284-7309 direct fax


Mike,

I agree with your concerns about the Jeep sitting crooked - a new spring will surely be more stiff than a three year old spring. If you're truly concerned I would hope you would warranty me a new SET of springs. Vehicle inspections in WV are very strict, and if one side of the suspension is within an inch higher or lower, or is even visibly off-kilter, I'll no doubt be red-flagged. Whatever flaw caused the coil spring to crack was no fault of my own, and I stand to gain nothing by getting two new springs except avoiding the headaches that an uneven suspension will cause, both from the inspection station and subsequently the law, not to mention the potential road manners - it's not like I can sell ONE spring.

Your product failed, and giving me one spring will only half-fix the issue and cause several new ones.

-Kyle


Kyle—if only one spring is broken then that is all that gets warrantied.As time goes on springs do settle and that is normal .If you need two springs we will gladly do a pro-ration.


Mike Koenig
Rubicon Express Sales
916-473-4603 direct line
866-284-7309 direct fax


and my most recent response ...


Mike,

I understand that it's normal for a spring to settle -- it's not the other spring I have a problem with. What's not normal is to have a coil spring break in half, putting me in a compromising situation where I have one spring that has faulted and one that has not, meaning that if you were to warranty only that spring, I'd be in a no-less compromising situation because my Jeep would very likely sit crooked. In other words, by fault of your product breaking, and by fault of you only wanting to warranty ONE spring, your company will have caused a chain of compromising situations.

I understand that the other spring has not failed, but sending me ONE new spring doesn't eliminate my problem, it only causes a new one. You have yet to offer me a real solution, which would be to send me a new SET of springs to fully right the wrong. I don't feel this is asking too much.
Again, Rubicon Express WILL NOT receive another cent of my money. They advertise themselves, and forum feedback reiterates their reputation as the "top of the line" suspension provider for Jeep enthusiasts. Perhaps if you live in the deserts of the West, you'll have better luck. But for the rest of us, for them to not once, but TWICE, argue that their products will not stand up to road salt (a shock, maybe, but a coil spring??) - then I would think twice about purchasing anything from Rubicon Express outside of a t-shirt. Although you never know, the California cotton fibers might melt right off your back should you dare to step outside. :thumbdown:
 

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I'm not going to lie, this surprised me. RE is normally one of the more solid vendors out there.

As to the SJ shocks- I've ridden them through some pretty crappy terrain and they're still running strong.

To be completely honest, it could have just been a fluke, and you just got bad metallurgy in your spring.
 

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This still a little unsettling - every aspect of my suspension from the long-arm's to the brake lines is from them, heh. I've had the same issue with two of the shocks (also Mono's) that're on it right now. They started weeping a little, then about a week later two of them just flat shit the bed to the point that I can compress the shock with one hand - was putting the long-arms on, had it up on a lift and just felt like seeing if I could compress it with one hand overhead. Imagine my surprise when the shock actually went to full stuff without much effort.

Hopefully your issues get resolved, I'm sorry to hear about your problems with them. I'm leaning towards you just got a coil with a defect, however the fact that they are only willing to replace one is a little crappy. I understand where they're coming from however, but I still think they should do both - it's a driveability, safety, and IMHO, a customer service issue. I had to fight to get a pair of leafs when I got t-boned... Insurance only wanted to replace one side, with a STOCK pack...

Let us know how it goes bud!
 

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I will say 3 things.
1st. I was a a 4wdr shop a few weeks ago and Ted was swaping out both RE front Coils in the front of an xj that were snaped in half not even a year old.
2nd I do not blame you for not wanting to buy anything from them.
3rd Rough Country, Rancho, Skyjacker Shocks are all Rancho Shocks with different names on them as Rough Country and Skyjacker buy the shocks from Rancho.
 

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Squirrel Master
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1,383 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I will say 3 things.
1st. I was a a 4wdr shop a few weeks ago and Ted was swaping out both RE front Coils in the front of an xj that were snaped in half not even a year old.
2nd I do not blame you for not wanting to buy anything from them.
3rd Rough Country, Rancho, Skyjacker Shocks are all Rancho Shocks with different names on them as Rough Country and Skyjacker buy the shocks from Rancho.
The latest e-mail, after I humbly denied his warranty and pro-ration offer (I had a product fail on me, I'd rather not replace it with the same product), had this to say.

Kyle--from what I have been told the process that the coil company uses in making our coil springs is a cold wound process versus some that use a hot wound process. Here in California where there is milder climate and very little salting of roads it does not seem to affect the coils.We have had a couple of incidents where this has happened previously but strangely it has only been on XJ's. I say strangely because this coil is used on both XJ's and TJ's. We have used the same manufacturer for many years--they are a US manufacturer out of the South so I am certain there are no inferior parts being used.

Mike Koenig
Rubicon Express Sales
916-473-4603 direct line
866-284-7309 direct fax
So apparently this isn't an uncommon issue, and more peculiar is that it's an XJ-only issue.
 

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well the salt thing could be a factor here becasue with our -40 winter temps they do use salt to keep the roads clear...LOL
I am going to be at the shop this weekend and I am going to ask if they recived replacement parts and let them know about your findings with RE just so they know... they are a North American bizz so they probably had no problems with RE replacing the coils...
 

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First off, WELCOME BACK DUDE! :hi: It's been ages since we saw you on here. You are one of the originals of this forum. STICK AROUND SOME MORE! :thumbsup:

Regarding your RE parts, that's a real bummer. I've always heard that RE's customer service was never that great. It was usually the venders, like Jason, who took care of the issues of the customers. I tried calling RE a LONG time ago when I had their 2" bb on my Tj and the front shocks leaked. These were the doetech white shocks offered in their kit. i could not get ahold of anyone from RE ( i ordered directly from RE) so I haven't ordered anything from them in 9 years.

Maybe try talking to Jason from Jeepinoutfitters? I know you didn't buy from him but he's a big RE vender that MIGHT be able to help ya.

I feel your pain though. Check this out. This is Rough Country's new long arm kit, 3 months later and less than 300 miles:








All four shocks are rusted on the rod and i'm sure they will start leaking. I already emailed two of RC's customer service rep, including the famous Ryan, and they never responded. I asked around to see if anyone had similar rust issues but it seems to be just me for some reason. Maybe a bad set of coils, I dunno. :( I guess us guys on the east coast/rust belt gotta suffer. Not really fair but....that's where we live. I'm not dissing RC, cuz they sent me one brand new 2.2 shock FREE when one of mine broke from the shock angle. I guess rust isn't enough of a reason to warranty the parts.


What's weird is I had a pair of Rusty's coil springs on for a year and they barely had a spot of rust on them when I sold em. These are $99 super cheap coils and their paint was far superior than RC's. (they were quite stuff though...bleh)

So what's your plan for new coils? What size coils do you need?

4WheelingPlus.com - Off Road 4X4 4WD Store - Contact Us

Get ahold of Ron at 4wheelingplus. He is AWESOME to deal with and will take care of ya if you got any issues. :thumbsup:


it's good you went with skyjacker. if they leak they will replace it for you. the lifetime warranty is nice to have. my hydros on my tj leaked in the rear and they replaced all four shocks (4wd hardware). :)
 

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Squirrel Master
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Mud! Good to see you too buddy. I'll try to be less of a stranger, but I make no promises. :cheers:

I'm friends with a Rough Country vendor so I'm gonna go with their 4.5" coils. The only thing I'm worried about is with the 2.5L I got 4.5" of lift with a 3.5" spring, so I might be looking at 5.5" with these, which means I'll need to get some shackles in the rear to level things out. But alas, as long as it doesn't mess up driveline angles I don't really care. It just gives me an excuse to go to 33s. :D
 

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Hey Mud! Good to see you too buddy. I'll try to be less of a stranger, but I make no promises. :cheers:

I'm friends with a Rough Country vendor so I'm gonna go with their 4.5" coils. The only thing I'm worried about is with the 2.5L I got 4.5" of lift with a 3.5" spring, so I might be looking at 5.5" with these, which means I'll need to get some shackles in the rear to level things out. But alas, as long as it doesn't mess up driveline angles I don't really care. It just gives me an excuse to go to 33s. :D
If you still got the factory HP dana 30 then you should be ok with the driveline angles up front.

33's are gonna look sick on ur rig. :thumbsup:
 

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huh..this makes me uneasy :eek: i just order a RE 3.5'' kit about 3 weeks ago from 4wheelcustoms.com and am still waiting on getting it to put it in. i live in the pacific northwest so dont really have the salt issues....just worries me to hear such bad things about the company and there products...kinda makes me second guess putting their product on my vehicle if its gonna fail a year later....
 

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well I have to say I am not happy with my RC lift.. it looks like the pics mud put up.. its like 7 months old..
I think from now on Its back to the best for me. Skyjacker.. never had any problems with any of the lifts I had before and chevs, jeeps or fords... so its back to the bear, the Bear of Suspensions that is.... I never did care for the fact that a church group owns the companie but hay maybe with God on their side it makes the lift better...LOL
 

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well I have to say I am not happy with my RC lift.. it looks like the pics mud put up.. its like 7 months old..
I think from now on Its back to the best for me. Skyjacker.. never had any problems with any of the lifts I had before and chevs, jeeps or fords... so its back to the bear, the Bear of Suspensions that is.... I never did care for the fact that a church group owns the companie but hay maybe with God on their side it makes the lift better...LOL
I love skyjacker stuff. Their coils are very nice. :thumbsup:
 

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I love skyjacker stuff. Their coils are very nice. :thumbsup:
Did you find their coils to be stiff? I have two sets of Skyjacker coils that are on the stiff side.
 

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Did you find their coils to be stiff? I have two sets of Skyjacker coils that are on the stiff side.
My TJ coils were soft and flexy. The ride was awesome when combined with OME shocks. I never had the skyjacker XJ coils though.....
 

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I wonder if their (RE) quality has begun to suffer more recently. I bought my RE 4.5" SF w/ Doetech shocks, and all adjustable control arms in June '08 and haven't had any issues with any components of the kit at all. When I wheel my XJ I got all out since I don't get the opportunity to wheel very often. I wheeled and daily drove the XJ for nearly a year and a half before it went to strictly trail duty, and I inspect it closely regularly.

It surprises and upsets me that they're not willing to uphold a certain level of customer service that you expect from a premier manufacturer.

I'd ask to speak with a higher-level manager and express your frustration with the situation.

With this being said... about a year ago, a fellow club member that runs a RE kit on his trail rig TJ requested that RE warranty some parts that had prematurely worn out on his rig. They ended up Youtubing the said member, seeing some of his wheeling videos, and told him that they would not be able to warranty their parts because of how often and how hard he wheels the rig.
 

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Squirrel Master
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Discussion Starter #17
I declined his offer stating that when I first contacted him I hadn't asked for new parts, and would've preferred no offer at all instead of the half offer I received, and also because I had a less than desirable experience with their products, not once but twice, so why run the same parts? Time to move on.

The last thing he told me was:

Kyle--from what I have been told the process that the coil company uses in making our coil springs is a cold wound process versus some that use a hot wound process.Here in California where there is milder climate and very little salting of roads it does not seem to affect the coils.We have hads a couple of incidents where this has happened previously but strangely it has only been on XJ's.I say strangely because this coil is used on both XJ's and TJ's.We have used the same manufacturer for many years--they are a US manufacturer out of the South so I am certain there are no inferior parts being used.
I don't know which companies use a "hot wound" process, or if that's the difference between a coil that breaks in half after 3 years of light use and one that doesn't break in half ever, but between that and the fact that they see breakage on XJs only leaves me no less confused. Alas, I won't be buying from RE anymore.
 

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dude nice to see you around, even though its for a problem

its sucks to hear about the customer service, and its pretty weird that this problem only happens on XJ's and not the TJ's that use the same coil

i got a Rusty's lift and as far as the cheepo shocks that come with the basic lift they are pretty rusty but the springs still have all the paint and no rust

good luck with what ever happens
 

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Wisconsin Wheeler
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1) About time you stop in and say hi TRUE
2) That really sucks about their customer service. You are already paying that much more for their labeled product. The easiest thing for them to do is replace a set of coils and earlier, shocks. I remember back when you had the problems with your shocks. Any time I have had a valid problem with Rough Country stuff, they have been more then willing to help out and fix the problem or come to a compromise.
 

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seems they have started to slide, RE that is. some guy on JF had the welds bust on his TJ LA kit while wheeling. i have a bastard lift with many different company parts but my RC shocks and coils have started to rust pretty bad, i think soonish im going to take them off and paint them. i work at a tire shop and have seen stock coil springs break on 2 aleros and 1 taraus. both in the winter in -0 weather.
 
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