Rock Krawler vs MetalCloak: A Comparison
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Make way for two of the Big Ones. Rock Krawler and MetalCloak are an upscale take on Jeep upgrades, with their aftermarket parts generally justifying the higher price tag.
If you’re wondering which is better, I’d advise you to change the question format a bit to:
Which is better for what, lift kits aside:
Generally, Rock Krawler’s coil springs are the suspension scene’s biggest darlings.
MetalCloak’s finesse shines the most with their tough-as-nails track bars sporting several key improvements.
Control arms are a tie. On one hand, short arm setups with MetalCloak have a buffed, yet OEM-ride feel. On the other, Rock Krawler’s better warranty (Lifetime Abuse Proof) is the safer choice with equally great results.
It might seem unimportant, but color preferences kick in too. MetalCloak is the only premium brand featuring gold-tinted components. The shinier look isn’t for everyone, but for some, it’s the best way to express your Jeep love.
Rock Krawler sticks to the standard black-powdered looks, much like TeraFlex and other classic aftermarket brands.
Let’s take a deeper look.
Rock Krawler vs MetalCloak coil springs
I’m a huge fan of coil springs as an aftermarket component; always felt they remain out of the spotlight compared to other parts. Coil springs are the backbone of proper lift kits, in my opinion, and they matter as a standalone factor too.
Rock Krawler leading over MC here has to do with several factors.
First, MetalCloak’s coil springs aren’t as versatile in terms of engineering. What I mean here is: their springs are fitted for heavier rigs. If your Jeep is lighter, MC coil springs will clank and be noisy in most cases.
Second, I find Rock Krawler’s progressive, triple-rate coil springs an overall better design. MetalCloak’s approach here is a dual-rate spring combining a linear section with a ‘flex rate’ one.
Here’s how the Rock Krawler improves on that:
The Dead–Ride–Firm zone trifecta is, hands down, the most advanced take on coil springs on the current Jeep aftermarket. Well worth the money, and…
…and it comes with a fantastic warranty. This is the third factor in me appreciating Rock Krawler’s springs more.
RK gives you a 5-year warranty against fractures. That’s way higher than MetalCloak’s one-year defect-free warranty and ‘personal’ warranty which isn’t explained that well in detail.
These three factors make Rock Krawler the better option in coil springs, at least as far as I’m concerned.
MetalCloak vs Rock Krawler:
Let’s start with the track bars.
Now, I’m not a slave to the marketing hype, but I do appreciate properly designed bushings. Bushings, I’ve found, are one of the not-so-secret ingredients to a durable, well-performing track bar.
MetalCloak improves over Rock Krawler bushings with their proprietary Durotrak engineering. There’s a specifically formulated elastomer compound here: it blows away any rubber or rubber-reinforced bushings.
Unparalleled durability and design. Best track bar option for Jeep TJ, LJ and XJ.
Beyond the elastomer lies a dual-engineering approach. The bushing itself isn’t a single piece; we’re talking about two pieces that thread with each other.
Pit up against comparable products, MetalCloak reduces vibrations and rattling and vastly improves your steering input.
Here’s how the bushing functions (the design also helps with easier DIY installation):
As mentioned before, some people really dig the golden looks of MetalCloak’s track bars. The gilded, shiny appearance comes from the zinc chromate. Aside from being beautiful, it also reinforces the track bar to make it as rust-resistant as possible.
Not that Rock Krawler’s bars lack corrosion or rust protection. I’m just mentioning this so you know that beyond MC’s shiny looks, there’s tremendous utility too.
Last but not least, the way MetalCloak track bars are designed, they offer better clearance and up-travel opportunities. The clearance improvements are equally great on stock differentials, as well as on heavily modded aftermarket diffs.
I admit this is the component I’ve seen the least of when talking about MetalCloak vs Rock Krawler. I only know that both are as equal as it gets here.
Rock Krawler’s control arms feature a slightly different design, with their outside diameter being slightly wider/larger compared to how MetalCloak designs theirs.
In terms of short-arm configurations, the MetalCloak has been engineered to ride as close to OEM as possible. MC short arms are also self-centering.
Once again, there’s the warranty factor kicking in. Both brands’ control arms aren’t cheap, and Rock Krawler is the one providing a lifetime warranty.
To put it into their words, their Abuse-proof warranty means that all hard components will be replaced by RK if you have broken, bent, or damaged them in any way. This applies to any front or rear, long or short control arms too.
I have better knowledge of TeraFlex control arms: you can head over to read my observations on my friend’s Alpine setup.
On the other hand, though, MetalCloak has the upper hand in terms of engineering. Instead of the solid alloy steel, MC goes for reinforced CNC steel with the control arm joints being further enhanced by Kevlar fibers.
On paper, aside from being better at damping or absorbing vibrations, this should also make them way, way more durable than any competitor.
This in turn makes the warranty part moot…but as I said, for those who want peace of mind, an upfront, guaranteed warranty makes Rock Krawler the safe choice.
Maybe at one point I’ll come back to this post and edit it with real-world comparisons of MetalCloak vs Rock Krawler lift kits. Up until now, I haven’t seen a full kit performing in real life, so I can’t write much on this.
Regardless, I’ve laid out how the components I know about compare to each other.
Realistically, you can’t go wrong with either. Both brands are well-respected in the Jeep community, and both brands feature passionate teams who go above and beyond in accommodating their customers.
I’ve simply outlined some areas where one does it better than the other, at least from my viewpoint.
For other aftermarket stuff, you can always check out my series on Jeep steering stabilizers. MetalCloak has their RockSport stabilizer, which I’ve heard good things about. Still, there are some options that’ll suit the price-conscious Jeep owner better.
You can also check the stand-alone sites of both manufacturers: MetalCloak | Rock Krawler. They sell their components not only on marketplaces or retailers but on their own websites too. Additionally, both brands serve aftermarket parts for anything from the older Jeep XJ or TJ to the newer Wrangler JK, JL, Gladiator JT etc.
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