As some of you know I am running 37" tires and the automatic tranny. Now although everything was still worked for the most part, I lost the overdrive of the auto transmission. I did have a nice fuel savings with the factory 4.10's in the ring and pinions. But I needed to get some pep back.
I looked around and talked with some of the local shops and even one of my best friends who owns a repair shop and worked for Jeep forever. What I found though was a limited amount of exposure, if any to the Rubicon electric lockers. Now my experience with ARB's is enough to let me know to find someone who has done more than one.
So I called up Off Road Evolution
in Fullerton, Ca and made an appointment. I checked around and could find nothing but good things being said about Mel and Lisa over at Off Road Evolution
I drove down on a Tuesday afternoon for my bright and early appointment on Wednesday. I met Mel at 6am and off went my JK to the back for the new set of ring and pinion gears. Mel asked me where I was staying as it would take all day to swap out the gears, I said I'll find something to do and just hang out. So throughout the day I toured parts of Fullerton on foot and found no less than 3 hooka shops in a row and one was a "pimp your hooka" shop. I had a good chuckle over that. Later in the morning I went to the local burger shop and got a pretty good breakfast that was almost homemade. After chowing down I headed off to the local library and park. Well the library didn't open for a bit so I kicked back on the grass and slowly began to fall asleep. I was woken up by one of Fullerton's finest and was asked to leave the park as homeless vagrants aren't allowed to sleep in the park. Funny how I could remember back when you could go to a park and lay back and catch a nap.
I went back over to Off Road Evolution
after being chased out of the park and went to see progress on the JK. Lisa had arrived by then and she was very accommodating and we did a fair bit of talking while we waited for the JK to be completed.
Finally Mel said he was ready to take the JK for a test drive. So off he went and didn't return for a bit. Now Lisa and I had a bet, I said Mel would be done at 4:55pm just in time for prime time LA styled traffic. Well Mel came back and was happy with the gear install. I said that he needed now to take Lisa for a test drive so she can experience a big 4-door with a super charger installed.
When they came back both were smiling and Lisa mentioned something about breaking out the checkbook for Mel.
I settled up with Mel and Lisa and drove off into the traffic of LA on my way back to Carson City. Fortunately the traffic wasn't too bad and kept the speed down enough to slowly turn the new 5.13 gears and begin the break-in. About 2 hours later I was on to 395 heading North and traveling at a pretty good clip but only for shorter spurts as traffic was still a little backed up. I hit Lone Pine by 9pm and decided to call it a day. This way the gears won't get too over worked their first day in the JK.
The next day I did the last leg of my trip back home and dumped the fluids and refilled the ring and pinions for my run the very next day on the Rubicon.
I have to say that the gear swap went without a hitch and my Rubicon run was awesome with the increased crawl ratio of the 5.13 ring and pinion gear set. Oh and yes, I got my overdrive back.
Mel and Lisa run a nice shop down there in Fullerton and if you ever get a chance to stop by or ever have a need for some quality care I would highly recommend them. They are good people.
Please note that I was not compensated in any way to make this post. This is just my direct experience with the vendor. I do not work for Off Road Evolution and this post was not solicited by Off Road Evolution to me.
Thanks Mel and Lisa!