Z axis raise bit issues

Im at wits end. My z axis does what ever it wants. I try to cut a project, zero the machine on the material (not waste board). When i press raise bit it goes anywhere from 2 inches to maxed out (safety height is 0.15). Ive reinstalled the machine, checked $102 (188.976), ive validated the step distance. Ive checked the 4 wires for breaks (none found). I cant get it right. Im at a loss.

What machine?
What CAM program?
If you jog an inch, does the Z move exactly one inch?

Yes, im using a dell laptop, chrome, easel. Measurements are accurate. It ignores the safety height setting and goes up 2 inches.

Which model cnc is this?
If X-Carve is it the older Z axis (pre nov 2021 with the belt at the top) OR the newer one with the top mount motor and no belt?
IF it’s the newer one than the $102 should be 49.909