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post #1 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for Feedback on a New Build

I really have a couple of questions. I hope you guys don't get irritated... I have been looking and I haven't really seen anything specific to the feedback I need.

I want to do some moderately aggressive off roading. I'm trying to avoid body damage, so I doubt I will hit anything trail wise rated higher than a 3 of 5 in the difficulty ratings. My problem is, I have no idea where to spend the money for this specific JKU.

I have a 2014 JKU Sahara. My JKU came with 18" wheels and the tires measure just a little more than 32". Most of the parks I have checked out say I should have a minimum of a 35" tire , but recommend a 37" tire for the type of trails I am looking at. So, if they are implying I can use a 35", and I am currently on 32", I am having a hard time believing that less than 1.5" of extra ground clearance on my diff housing is going to be a deal breaker.

Due to this... I am really thinking about keeping the stock wheels and tires as well as the stock ride height, but investing in shocks for more flex, a winch and front & rear lockers.

Am I missing something? I don't want to tear my rig up, but having my floor pan 6.5" higher because of a 4" lift and 37's may make it so I can't get in it. I have trouble getting in it at the stock height without pain most days as it is.

So what do you guys think? For an old guy looking for some fun... do I stick to my plan of lcokers, shocks and winch? Get the stuff I mentioned plus a 2.5" lift and 35's? Get the stuff I mentioned plus a 3"-4" lift and 37's and a step ladder? LOL

Can I actual do some off-roading with 37's and a 2.5" lift or is that just not going to work?


EDIT: I do not want to change my fenders because they (like the hard top) are color matched and I really like that. Ditching the bumper end-caps is extremely likely.

Last edited by marcspaz; 02-05-2014 at 03:47 AM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 03:45 AM
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if you go with a 2-3 inch lift (a good kit, not a budget boost type lift) and 35s you will hit level three trails (at least the ones im used to) without too much headache. for reference I have a rk 2.5 max travel kit and at one point i was running 35'' goodyear duratracs and my only limiting factor was the fact that the tires really didn't grip enough for what i wanted to do.

it will be challenging enough to be fun but not so much that you are going to tear your shit up.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sweet! That is just the kind of feedback I'm looking for! Thanks!
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 04:16 AM
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Upgrading your shocks without addressing other components ( springs, control arms, bump-stops, etc) won't afford you much if any additional flex. I wouldn't recommend buying new shocks until you have a more extensive game-plan for lifting and/ or gaining some articulation. Even lockers sound a bit premature at this point, although possibly a wise thing to consider down the road.

If you already have some issues in regards to entering/ exiting the vehicle, then I wouldn't look at going too big in the tire or lift department. If you do upgrade your tires then you would be doing yourself a favor to get rid of those 18" wheels and go to a 17" at that time. You might be able to get a decent price for your newer 32's on those 18's as well.

I personally feel that 33's on a JKU are a little too small, so leaning towards 35's or 37's at some point is a smart idea, but I would wait until you are ready to do your lift at the same time. No reason that you should need to get into a 4" lift if you are only rolling on 35's anyway.

The best advice that I can give is to get that Jeep out on the trails as often as you can and get a good feel for what she can handle. A stock Jeep can really do wonders with a capable driver behind the wheel. Wheel it, push her to her limits, and experience what she is capable of as she sits right now. With some wheeling and researching, you should be able to develop a more comprehensive plan of attack.

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post #5 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post

The best advice that I can give is to get that Jeep out on the trails as often as you can and get a good feel for what she can handle. A stock Jeep can really do wonders with a capable driver behind the wheel. Wheel it, push her to her limits, and experience what she is capable of as she sits right now. With some wheeling and researching, you should be able to develop a more comprehensive plan of attack.
^^^^^^^This is really good advice. Go wheel with what you have and learn to drive (get a winch right away). Practicing with smaller tires makes for a better driver.

Watch other rigs, look at how they work. Some suspensions just suck. More flex doesn't necessarily translate to better trail/street performance.

All my jeeps only have a 2.5-3 in lift. The JKU with 35's actually keeps up with Rex (my big jeep) just fine on most trails--even tough trails like Hal John's, or any of the moab except the most extreme (like britney spears, helldorado, etc). No rock rash on the JKU either other than the rock rails.

Having a good suspension is what matters. Once you are carrying weight and climbing steep grades, then your axles probably should be beefed up too.

I am a huge fan of 35's.

I love Wheeling, it frees the mind
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 06:24 AM
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If you had a 2 dr jk you could have almost ran a 3 stock. My stock rubi has been on a few 3.5 rated trails with no body damage, but I ride the skids threw the trail lol.

I would look at possible the new RK 1.5" lift kit, will work great with 35s and some flat flares (or cut stockers), a winch is always a good idea IMO, and then after running a few trails I would loom into lockers. Like said above, get a feel for how well she performs stock before you drop a few extra thousand that you might not need.

Make sure you go with the right tire also. Those stock tours should be C rated, they have a good size footprint when you air down, they have a nice soft ride on road, going with to stiff of a tire will limit your performance on and off Road.

Hope this helps!

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post #7 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 07:35 AM
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To answer a question that seems to have been overlooked...yes, that extra 1.5+ inches makes a massive difference. It was strange to me as well, but there it is!
My concern for you when wheeling a Sahara is your front axle. If it's a D35, then bumping up to 35's or more I'd seriously look at an artec front truss kit.
Happy trails!

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post #8 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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That's a lot of good info. I appreciate all of it.

I guess I am kind of getting ahead of myself based on my 2000 XJ. I had to put it in 4x4 to drive in the rain when it was stock. I ended up running lockers font and rear, 4.10's, a 6" Tomken lift, custom drive shafts, 4:1 transfer case conversion and ran 33's on a 15" wheel. Everyone though I was nuts because I built up the stock D30 and 8.8, but the damn thing could go anywhere when I was done with it.

I only went off road with my 2010 JK (2dr) twice. It was a stock trail rated Sport and it went damn near everywhere my XJ did. I was leaning toward the lockers straight out of the gate because the 2010 with LSD did prevent me from doing some rock climbs that I did with the XJ. As soon as I was teetering on 2 tires and trying to climb, it just wouldn't put down enough power to the tires still touching the ground.

So, seeing what the recommendations are, I may just end up doing the 2.5" lift and the 35's. I like the idea of a truss. I ran one on my race car. Huge piece of mind there. I may do the front and back.

I am going to wheel it stock before I spend any money. That sounds like great advice. If I can get it to do what I want while stock... why spend the extra money. If I find areas to improve... start there. Makes sense.

While its still stock, should I shit-can the running boards and get some sliders on it?
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 01:53 PM
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A good quality set of sliders might not be a bad idea for your JKU. Dual functionality of a heavy-duty step/ slider... keeping the rocks, stumps, etc away from the body and doubling as a step to get you and your passengers in and out more easily.

Or ( since I have no idea what kind of terrain you will be wheeling on) just wheel it until you bust up the stock step-rails. I personally like OEM carnage. Makes it more justifiable when you bring home pieces of a stock part... knowing for a fact that you now MUST start looking into upgrades lol.

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post #10 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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LOL Good point. It's always easier to justify a replacement for a broken part.

"Honey, I don't know why it broke. I was supposed to take this kind of abuse. It's "Trail Rated", remember. Guess we just need a better set."
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post #11 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if this is any good? AKA if I am stuck, will a 9000 or 11000 winch pull me out or yank this plate off my JK?

Yes... I know... its Quadratec... but I want to do it on the cheap until I decide on a front bumper.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12065_1010_07.htm





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post #12 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 07:39 PM
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That will work just fine. 9k will pull you out no prob.

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post #13 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 07:53 PM
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Tires, gears, and lockers are going to be your biggest gains in off road capability.

I am interested in this rating system you have that recommends 37's for a 5 rated trail. What is the scale? 1-5? 1-10? What is considered a 5? A stock jeep JK can handle most of Moab, a open diff TJ on 35's can run most the rubicon fine.

I would think that you could run most trails on 35's with a 2" lift and some lockers since you avoid trails that might cause body damage.

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post #14 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Tires, gears, and lockers are going to be your biggest gains in off road capability.

I am interested in this rating system you have that recommends 37's for a 5 rated trail. What is the scale? 1-5? 1-10? What is considered a 5? A stock jeep JK can handle most of Moab, a open diff TJ on 35's can run most the rubicon fine.

I would think that you could run most trails on 35's with a 2" lift and some lockers since you avoid trails that might cause body damage.
I think he said 1-5. He wants to run 3/5 rated trails. For a JKU I think atleast a small lift and 35s, if he was 2 dr he could run stock.

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post #15 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quick thoughts: RK (or similar) 1.5 - 2.5 Coils, Front LCA's / Front Adj Track Bar (if 2.5, nice, but not necessary.) Bil 5100's or Fox shox, 35's, Rock sliders

35's won't kill your front axle, if you treat it right. can still fit a 35 on the spare carrier, w an adapter bracket..again, this will become a weak point at some point..

All this will add up quickly, so like others have said, get out and see what you can do. don't put yourself in a position for damage, or obstacles you can't clear. Read up some more, start pricing some of these parts out, and then make an informed decision.. see what you can do w a good tow strap and some shackles, and a buddy to pull you out..before you dedicate $$ to a winch.

Most of all, have fun.

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post #16 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Tires, gears, and lockers are going to be your biggest gains in off road capability.

I am interested in this rating system you have that recommends 37's for a 5 rated trail. What is the scale? 1-5? 1-10? What is considered a 5? A stock jeep JK can handle most of Moab, a open diff TJ on 35's can run most the rubicon fine.

I would think that you could run most trails on 35's with a 2" lift and some lockers since you avoid trails that might cause body damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubiconquered View Post
I think he said 1-5. He wants to run 3/5 rated trails. For a JKU I think atleast a small lift and 35s, if he was 2 dr he could run stock.

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Rubiconquered, you got it. Some of the off road parks I have looked at have trail ratings that are either color coded and typically have 5 colors or go from level 1 to level 5.

For the commercial (pay to play) parks I looked at, they all talk about required hardware (radio, jack, etc.) and some talk about what to expect and make rig recommendations. I don't plan on going on any trails higher than a level 3 because level 4 and 5 seem to almost ensure you will experience body damage or even roll-overs.

Some of the rig recommendation for a level 3 trail were a minimum if 35" tires, but indicated 37" tires would make the level 3 trails much easier.

As far as the level 5 trails I have seen... all the drivers have radically modified jeeps or dedicated tubed frame rock crawlers. I doubt that a mild modded Jeep with 37's are going anywhere on those trails.
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-05-2014, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJeepGear.com View Post
Quick thoughts: RK (or similar) 1.5 - 2.5 Coils, Front LCA's / Front Adj Track Bar (if 2.5, nice, but not necessary.) Bil 5100's or Fox shox, 35's, Rock sliders

35's won't kill your front axle, if you treat it right. can still fit a 35 on the spare carrier, w an adapter bracket..again, this will become a weak point at some point..

All this will add up quickly, so like others have said, get out and see what you can do. don't put yourself in a position for damage, or obstacles you can't clear. Read up some more, start pricing some of these parts out, and then make an informed decision.. see what you can do w a good tow strap and some shackles, and a buddy to pull you out..before you dedicate $$ to a winch.

Most of all, have fun.
I was thinking about the adjustable track bars. I want to make sure the alignment is right.

I had axle concerns on the XJ too. I went from a stock tire that was 24.5" to the 33's, but I did a decent job at avoiding "shocking" the drive line, which seemed to me to be the common times when they broke. I was going to try to make sure I kept the same smooth approach to climbs, etc.

And yea... I did a lot of my own labor on my XJ and probably spent $10 in parts by the time everything was done. Most of it was due to experimenting and swapping parts out multiple times. I really want to avoid that with this build.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-06-2014, 11:23 AM
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I concur with the bit about getting out and familiarizing yourself with the platform before going down any specific upgrade path. By far your biggest enemy with a JKU is going to be breakover clearance. Budget for a good engine/trans skid at a minimum. As mentioned, real sliders are also something you are going to want. The rest of the advice given here is good stuff.

Now, the q-tec winch.....I'd skip it. If you're looking at budget winches spend the extra $50 and get a Superwinch Tiger Shark 9500. These are the best deals going right now and have no equivalents in quality or reliability for less than $500. They are impressive even without considering their price point.

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post #19 of 20 Old 02-06-2014, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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The pictures I posted are a little misleading. I was asking about the winch mount itself. It is supposed to make it so you can mount a winch on a stock bumper. It has two bolt points on the frame and it uses the tow hooks as another leverage point.

I as wondering if anyone commenting has used that mount before. It almost seems like the winch would pull the mount off the Jeep before the Jeep moves. But if it works, I really want to keep my stock bumpers for about a year, but don't want to have that stop me from adding the winch.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-16-2014, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Following up on the rear disconnect question... man, you guys were right. I am seriously impressed with the stock flex of the rear suspension. Plenty of brake line left too, so I am not worried about the line length as long as the rear sway bar stays in.

This vehicle should do really well for I want to do once I get front disconnects.




Last edited by marcspaz; 02-18-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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