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J-Rated: A lift kit designed for you!
Say hello to J-Rated. A visual terrain scale and collection of suspension systems that take the guesswork out of building your Jeep’s chassis. It’s like asking a JKS suspension tech to join you on your next Jeep adventure. They could ride along and evaluate your Jeep’s performance. With that knowledge, that same JKS rep could point you towards the ideal lift kit for the way you drive your Jeep. JKS has done just that its new J-Rated Terrain Scale and complete suspension packages.
The team at JKS has been testing, driving, wheeling and, in general, “adventuring” our Jeeps for years. We’ve been hanging out with you on the same trails, at the same events and riding along with our customers. The JKS testing team has a motto: Driven, never trailered. They refuse to put their Jeeps on a trailer and drag them to an adventure. From Michigan to Moab or Michigan to the Rubicon Trail, JKS has probably been there, had a blast and driven home.
The sum total of JKS Manufacturing’s on and off-road experience has been translated into a range of suspension systems designed for every style and usage of Jeeper imaginable. The J-Rated terrain scale compares the performance of suspension across a wide variety of terrains. JKS focuses on 4 main categories that challenge your suspension in different ways. The ratings are based on the performance of each category, but also include any compromises that might affect one of the other categories.
The J-Rating Categories
ROAD J-RATING: “How good is your suspension on-road?” Often overlooked by many enthusiasts, JKS has mastered the art of maintaining on-road manners while improving off road performance. Engineering systems that perform better-than-factory on road while improving benefits off-road is what a complete suspension system is all about! The JKS “Road” rating factors in ease of component maintenance, ride quality on traditional road surfaces and stability at highway speeds. A system with a high road rating is great for a daily driver that gets out on mild trails a few times a year. You and your Jeep can even explore some more difficult terrain from time to time.
TRAIL J-RATING: For such a small word, “Trail” casts a wide net of performance driving scenarios. Trail is what Jeepers spend most of our off-road time on. It’s the space between the obstacles and the backcountry where we overland. Trail driving encounters speeds up to 25mph (and sometimes faster) off road. It’s the terrain that can make you embrace your suspension choice, or make you regret it. Small rocks, potholes, slight ruts and small ledges can test the “tune” on shocks and springs, and the life and performance of bushings and arms. Its were your buddies cheap, squeaky lift kit is driving him nuts. Systems with high Trail Ratings will also have good Road Ratings based on vehicle speed, however Trail Rated Systems also have more robust strength upgrades and improved wheel travel.
CRAWL J-RATING: JKS does not take the term “Crawl” lightly. This is where your Jeep encounters the big, nasty rocks, ledges and boulders. It’s the hardcore stuff that many of us dream about. This is where skill and experience meet geometry and wheel travel. It’s where we need big flex and the right combination of strong parts to work in unison. To earn a big Crawl J-Rating, a suspension system must make some compromises in other areas. If you and your Jeep play with rocks, those compromises are worthwhile.
BAJA J-RATING: This category might be the most fun type of driving to “test”. The word “Baja” brings thoughts of wide-open throttles and blasts through sand and dirt at speeds exceeding 25mph. The Baja category is for sand dune runners, desert lovers and anyone that likes to go fast in their Jeep. A high Baja J-rating mean that the suspension system includes serious shock absorbers. Valving must soak up movement, but also have the fluid capacity to stay cool and consistent for miles and miles of action. Suspension geometry is key here. High speeds require careful engineering with respect to angles and handling. You get to focus on the trail and the fun rather than worrying about your suspension system.
Now that we know the four different “J-Rating” categories and their criteria, lets look at the full range of JKS Suspension Systems and their individual J-ratings.
J-Venture is the baseline system from which all other systems are created. This system includes what is needed to properly lift the Jeep while maintaining great on road manners with off road abilities. From JKS dual rate springs, adjustable front track bar and famous JKS Quicker Disconnect sway bar links, J-Venture packs a lot of performance. This system is going to be at home on a daily driver that is not afraid to hit the trails and have a little fun. Adding FOX shocks punches up the ratings on performance terrains.
Check out the J-Venture Kits here.
As the name suggests, J-Kontrol steps things up. Compare the J-Rating with the baseline J-Venture lift kit. The J-Kontrol system provides superior on-road handling and control thanks to the addition of JKS control arm relocation brackets. These stout, one-piece brackets reposition your control arms to flatten angles. They also dial in vertical separation between the upper and lower arms. J-Kontrol geometry changes allow for significantly improved anti-dive characteristics during braking, while increased caster improves steering feel. You get better ride quality with the flatter angles. The J-Kontrol system is as good as it gets for a daily driver on the road, but don’t be fooled by the rating, it will still get down to business off the pavement.
Check out the J-Kontrol Kits here.
The J-Konnect system kicks things up yet another notch higher with the addition of beefy JKS J-Link lower control arms front and rear as well as a drag link flip (JK models only). The J-Rating scale reveals improvements in all categories. The control arms are going to correct the caster in the front allowing for factory-like stability at all speeds on and off road. Adding these massive rear lower control arms will get the axle center in the wheel well after the lift and provide industry-leading strength to tackle any terrain. The J-Konnect system is at home on your weekend wheeler that is still serving daily driver duties. J-Konnect has no problem tackling all terrains. It’s not afraid to mix it up in the rocks when needed.
Check out the J-Konnect Kits here.
When off roading is life, J-Krawl suspension makes life that much better. To tackle the toughest trails, you need a Jeep that is dialed in front to back. JKS adds J-Flex adjustable upper and lower control arms-- front and rear. J-Flex Control Arms are the biggest on the market with 2” .250” wall construction, an OE rubber bushing on the axle and our JKS Flex joint on the frame end. You can fine tune caster, pinion angle and even correct wheelbase. Comprehensive geometry correction complements the systems serious flex capability. Very specific FOX shocks are chosen for this system. Combined with our dual rate springs, these custom-valved shocks provide maximum articulation without the worry of unseating a spring or causing a brake line issue. NOTE: Due to the extreme flex, an aftermarket front driveshaft is required with the J-Krawl system.
Check out the J-Krawl Kits here.
When it comes to building Jeeps, too much is never enough. JKS just about maxes out the J-Rated scale with the J-Max Suspension System. While it gives up some road going capability, J-Max is a bolt-on terrain monster in a box. Featuring all of the benefits of the J-Krawl system, JKS adds bolt on front and rear FOX Factory Race Series 2.5” diameter coilovers! JKS takes the guesswork out of getting coilovers on JK’s and JL’s. Custom-tuned for Jeep JK’s and JL’s, J-Max is packed full of adjustable features to help you dial in your ride to your specific liking. JKS developed front and rear systems that create more ground clearance in the rear, as well as clean, usable wheel travel front and rear. With tens of thousands of testing miles under its belt, JKS engineering has developed matching coilover calibrations to go along with the J-Max system. Additionally, you can fine tune the coilovers in your J-Max system to your liking without having to start from scratch. J-Max can conquer your daily commute and is perfectly at home on some of the hardest trails in the world.
Check out the J-MAX Kits here.
J-Lander is one of our most exciting new systems offered by JKS. Working hand-in-hand with adventure-camping community – better known as overlanders -- JKS developed a unique, high-load system that performs well in a wide variety of environments. J-Lander provides you with the confidence to explore far off the beaten path. The J-Lander system is designed around the concept of an adventure Jeep. Add at least 500 additional pounds of weight to the rear of your Jeep in the form of a roof top tent, water storage, camping and survival supplies. Using the supplied JKS rear ACOS adjustable spring spacers, you can load your Jeep with gear and still have it sit level. Adding a trailer? Adjust the spacers accordingly. For the front of your Overland Jeep, JKS includes J-Link control arms. These fixed length, beefy control arms feature 2” .250 wall construction with OE rubber bushings at both ends. When you’re off the grid, special parts are not an option. JKS filled the J-Lander system with readily available parts that very rarely need maintenance, but provide great performance on and off road.
Check out the J-Lander Kits here.
So, there it is, the new J-Rated line of suspension systems from JKS covers every type of surface, driving style and adventure. As you can see, no matter how you use your Jeep, the J-Rating terrain scale makes it easy to choose the right system for your Jeep. We hope to see you and your J-Rated Jeep on the trails.