Tuff Country Lift Kit Experience

JimVG

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Posts
14
Reaction score
19
Location
Gig Harbor, WA
First Name
Jim
Truck Year
1978
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
Hello, this is a bit long but detailed in hopes of saving someone else from the nightmare I am experiencing.

When researching for recommendations for a quality lift kit for my 1978 K20 I discovered that Tuff Country was recommended consistently across popular square body sites, including this one.

I ordered a 2” EZ-Ride complete kit from Suspension Connection, whom a Tuff County tech recommended as a reputable authorized dealer.

My purpose for writing this is to post the multitude of problems that I have experienced with Tuff Country support, poor product quality, and extremely bad product fit and finish. That said, Suspension Connection simply sold me the kit.

First and foremost, I was sent the kit including (4) springs via FedEx. The front springs were in an open, battered box that was inadequately packaged. The rear springs were shipped without any packaging, or the box may have been completely destroyed and discarded somewhere in-route.

All of the springs that I received were in very rough shape. Tuff Country informed me pre-sale that their springs were powder coated. All of the springs that I received were painted, and very poorly done. In addition to the unsightly appearance, there is a good percentage of these springs that are devoid of any paint at all, exposing raw steel. The simple construction of these springs is also inferior, with no attention to quality construction.

In addition to all of this, one of the rear springs was incorrectly labeled with the correct part number but the wrong spring. I photo documented the obvious differences in the two rear springs, and sent them to both Tuff Country and Suspension Connection. Suspension Connection dismissed the problem completely, stating that the springs were labeled correctly, and the packaging information was correct. This is unacceptable, as the photos I sent clearly show that one spring has a 1-1/2” higher arch and is 1“ longer eye-to-eye.

So I contact Tuff Country, sending them the same information. Their tech immediately recognizes the problem from the photos, agrees to send a replacement but does not get back to me with shipping info and an ETA. After two days of trying to acquire that information, I finally get connected to a supervisor. He informs me that a replacement spring will be shipped in about two weeks. My truck now will sit on jack stands until that spring is received. This is completely unacceptable, and I should have been sent a replacement spring over-night. Tuff Country is in Utah and I am in Washington State, so it certainly could have been accomplished. The blatant lack of accountability is completely unacceptable.

Other issues include inferior Grade 8 hardware that is incorrectly sized for the application. The intended use of front brake line re-location brackets simply do not work. I purchased extended front brake lines that are essential with this kit and should be included. The kit came with (4) shocks as well, which were also inadequately packaged, mis-handled at some point, and are considerably scratched. The eyelet sleeves supplied with the shocks are the wrong size. Instructions are not accurate And incomplete.

The bottom line is that Tuff Country is lacking concern for customer care and support, has apparently abandon any standard for quality control, and has no regard for post-sales problems that are entirely their responsibility.

I sincerely hope that your experience is much better than mine!

Jim
 
Last edited:

Redfish

Full Access Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Posts
650
Reaction score
2,609
Location
Prairieville, LA
First Name
Andrew
Truck Year
1987
Truck Model
V1500
Engine Size
350/5.7
The first two thoughts I have here are:
1. I am sorry this happened to you.
2. Your first post on this forum is a rant about a vendor that normally gets great reviews so are you a legitimate source?

Can you include/attach some pictures?

When I ordered my Skyjacker 2.5" front springs they made no attempt to put them in a box. The labeling was very firmly attached to the springs but they were shipped with no box, no packaging of any type. I would think that with something as awkward and heavy as a set of springs creating a box would be problematic.

I am in no way defending Tuff Country, I have never done business with them. I will point out that the shipping companies have been showing less and less regard for taking care of packages recently. There are lots of reasons for that but I have seen some awful service from shippers recently with boxes crushed that should have been easy to protect.

I hope you get your springs sorted out. Please post some pics of the work and the truck!
 

Bextreme04

Full Access Member
Joined
May 13, 2019
Posts
3,335
Reaction score
3,373
Location
Oregon
First Name
Eric
Truck Year
1980
Truck Model
K25
Engine Size
350-4bbl
I agree. Sucks that this happened to you. It really sounds like suspension connection is the one giving you the shaft though. I'll also point out that the recommendation for Tuff Country is really a best bank for the buck evaluation. Also, you don't need brake hoses or a lift arm for only a 2" lift. You will likely need them for a 4", but not always. What "relocation bracket" are you talking about?

I have 4" Tuff Country EZ Ride HD's on my K25 because I got them locally for $100. I bought the rest of my suspension stuff from ORD and paid about the same as that kit, but got kevlar greasable bushings/hardware, HD front shackles, Tuff Country sx8000 shocks, and ORD front/rear brake lines. The springs I got seem to be the same or better quality as the OEM ones that they replaced, so I'm not really sure what you were hoping for and what you actually got. Maybe things have changed? Pics of what you actually got would be helpful too.
 

waterpirate

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Posts
582
Reaction score
991
Location
delaware
First Name
Eric
Truck Year
1987
Truck Model
v10
Engine Size
5.7 tbi
I put the rough country 2" lift on my truck as well. Parts were shipped as you described, so what. All my stuff fit, arrived on time, and installed in the 7-10 hour window they prescribed.
I however made sure that I had parts that fit prior dis mantling anything. Call me old fashioned, but I have rode the ride your on now and did not like it any more than you do.
Eric
 

JimVG

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Posts
14
Reaction score
19
Location
Gig Harbor, WA
First Name
Jim
Truck Year
1978
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
Thank you to all who have taken the time to respond. Much appreciated.

I woiuld like to clarify that my intention was not to post a rant about Tuff Country and/or Suspension Connection as companies, but simply to post my unfavorable experience in hopes that anyone else dealing with them might be forewarned and verify pre-sale that these issues would not be repeated for them.

I made the mistake of expecting that I was getting what I paid for; good customer service, and quality parts. I now realize that I should have dug deeper into others experience with these companies and products. After this all occurred, I did check the Better Business Bureau and discovered some negative reviews. That link is here: https://www.bbb.org/us/ut/west-jordan/profile/new-auto-parts/tuff-country-suspension-1166-10062138 (cut/paste into a browser).

I have attached some pics per your request. The first is a partial pic of the order with the part number labels that were attached to the springs. These labels are correct for the springs I need, and were attached at Tuff Country. Although the order was placed through Suspension Components, the entire kit was drop shipped directly from Tuff Country. The second pic shows the 1-1/2” difference in height as the lay inverted on my flat shop concrete slap. The third pic shows the difference in length. It looks minimal in these pics, but when measured along the arc of the spring, one is about 2” longer than the other. The last pic is both rear springs side-by-side from the top. You can see that the spring clamps are in different locations from spring to spring.

You may agree from the second pic that these are very poorly painted, and definitely not powder coated as I was told. This coating easily flakes off.
 

Attachments

  • E1973429-87A9-4B06-8330-A74A6270D44E.jpeg
    E1973429-87A9-4B06-8330-A74A6270D44E.jpeg
    127.1 KB · Views: 45
  • D311D1C9-C75D-465A-8F54-624CE84B2053.jpeg
    D311D1C9-C75D-465A-8F54-624CE84B2053.jpeg
    148.8 KB · Views: 46
  • F7270DE3-72B6-467D-B67A-618F6B0C7D14.jpeg
    F7270DE3-72B6-467D-B67A-618F6B0C7D14.jpeg
    189.9 KB · Views: 45
  • 6704FA57-E0A5-4FF7-A6D7-A59D895BB872.jpeg
    6704FA57-E0A5-4FF7-A6D7-A59D895BB872.jpeg
    190 KB · Views: 43
Last edited:

Redfish

Full Access Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Posts
650
Reaction score
2,609
Location
Prairieville, LA
First Name
Andrew
Truck Year
1987
Truck Model
V1500
Engine Size
350/5.7
@JimVG That does suck. Thanks for posting the pics.

I was torn between ordering the Tuff Country and the Skyjacker, I still wonder if the Tuff Country might not ride a little smoother.

I will attach a pic of the Skyjacker front springs as they looked when I got them home. I do think yours like like...well, like Hammered Goat S**t compared to mine. @SirRobyn0 might agree with me on this one...;)


You must be registered for see images attach


You must be registered for see images attach


You must be registered for see images attach
 

midnightblue

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2022
Posts
17
Reaction score
6
Location
western PA
First Name
Mike
Truck Year
1984
Truck Model
K5
Engine Size
350
I have had a good experience with Tuff county suspensions with my k10, 4" ez ride, and now a bad one with my K5, 2" easy ride. Their support is next to none.
 

JimVG

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Posts
14
Reaction score
19
Location
Gig Harbor, WA
First Name
Jim
Truck Year
1978
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
Another major issue is that one of the included rear Tuff Country SX8000 shocks was completely locked in the compressed position, and could not be extended. I immediately reported this problem to Tuff Country, and the tech informed me a replacement shock would be shipped overnight. I received the replacement the next day. Initially, the replacement shock had the same problem, but I did get this one to release.

All (4) of the shocks in the kit appeared to be mis-handled, indicated by scratches in the white paint. One shock had a slightly bent top eyelet. The eyelet sleeves supplied with the shocks are the wrong size, requiring the use of the factory sleeves.

The Tuff Country instructions list installation time as “4 to 6 hours”. Due to incorrect and/or damaged parts and inventory/shipping delays, my truck was on jack stands for 4 weeks.

I will have to prep and re-coat the springs in place with fresh paint. This is required to cover the exposed bare steel. Other than that, the installation is complete. Replacing the worn springs with a 2” lift plus 33 inch tires gave the truck a total lift of about 3-1/2”.
 

Attachments

  • ABA50476-52E0-46B3-BD18-6FB65A0A85DD.jpeg
    ABA50476-52E0-46B3-BD18-6FB65A0A85DD.jpeg
    270.3 KB · Views: 22
  • 53D29E25-90D2-4F23-8F74-6889277119AE.jpeg
    53D29E25-90D2-4F23-8F74-6889277119AE.jpeg
    262.1 KB · Views: 22

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
36,989
Posts
787,223
Members
26,657
Latest member
Wannabe
Top