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post #1 of 11 Old 02-09-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Build Advice

JKOWNERS,

I am trying to come up with a solid build plan for my 2013 JK sport in commando green named “Medusa” and I want to make sure I have a plan to progress through my build, any insight or opinions are truly valued. I have had this Jeep for almost six months now and I am loving it (Girlfriend says I give her too much attention but whatever). My goals for the next few years is going to be very light trail use due to the knee surgeries I have had back in 2018. By the time the Jeep is paid off I plan on relocating back to Utah when I retire from the Military and hopefully my glass knees hold up so I can do some great crawling. This will be my daily driver for as long as she lasts! My end goal here is to have a rig that can tackle some decent trails and has a decent on road ride.
1) I had a local 4x4 shop take a look at my gears so I could get a straight answer on if the previous owner had re-geared at all. I tried doing the test where you jack one end up and count driveshaft and tire rotations and counted around 4.5. Boy was I wrong! It currently has 3.23 gears in it…Another thing we looked at was the health of my suspension. I am currently on 35’s with a 2.5 in lift. One thing we both noticed was that the tires were wearing unevenly. Ball joints are almost shot! I am thinking about going with synergy or dynatrac ball joints right away to give my tires a little longer life span and improve my ride quality. I want to go with these first for those reasons.
2) Re-Gearing….I know when I empty another pocket to regear I may as well put on some C’s and sleeve my dana 30 just for added insurance. I am torn between running 4.56 or 4.88 gears. Is 4.88 a bad idea with a dana 30? My jeep is the only Wrangler I have ever owned and I think it drives okay but the shop mechanic said it was a total dog lol. I am hoping to cross paths with someone in the North Florida area with a properly geared jeep to feel the difference. I feel like 4.56 would be ideal for 35’s but at some point I would like to run 37’s and 4.88’s would suit those better (auto trans). 37’s and a dana 30 are frowned upon by some I know, but from lurking multiple forums I know some people get away with if they wheel smart.
3) Suspension……right now I have a 2.5 rubicon express lift kit on the Jeep with all stock control arms still. Not the best. Eventually I would like to add 3.5 inches from Rock Krawler or Synergy with all suspension components upgraded. I have been advised with 2 doors going over 2.5 inches is asking for bad news with your drive shafts. From your guys experience do both drive shafts need replaced? 1310 or 1350?
4) Brakes and steering come to my mind next for upgrades to cover my basis. I haven’t researched much on either of these two so any input would be a huge help. Brakes would be first I think but I may be wrong.

For those that read this post thanks for your time. I am really beginning to develop a true passion for my Jeep and just want to invest my money smartly and be happy with my baby!! For the upgrades mentioned I am thinking it would be close to $10000 or in that ball park. This is assuming I run 37’s at some point. I know money does not grow on trees so of course a lot of budgeting over the years is going to have to happen. Is my order of upgrades on the right track?
Cheers from Sunny Florida.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-09-2019, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall94 View Post
JKOWNERS,

I am trying to come up with a solid build plan for my 2013 JK sport in commando green named “Medusa” and I want to make sure I have a plan to progress through my build, any insight or opinions are truly valued. I have had this Jeep for almost six months now and I am loving it (Girlfriend says I give her too much attention but whatever). My goals for the next few years is going to be very light trail use due to the knee surgeries I have had back in 2018. By the time the Jeep is paid off I plan on relocating back to Utah when I retire from the Military and hopefully my glass knees hold up so I can do some great crawling. Thank you for your serviceThis will be my daily driver for as long as she lasts! My end goal here is to have a rig that can tackle some decent trails and has a decent on road ride.
1) I had a local 4x4 shop take a look at my gears so I could get a straight answer on if the previous owner had re-geared at all. I tried doing the test where you jack one end up and count driveshaft and tire rotations and counted around 4.5. Boy was I wrong! It currently has 3.23 gears in it…Hold off for a minute before you regearAnother thing we looked at was the health of my suspension. I am currently on 35’s with a 2.5 in lift. One thing we both noticed was that the tires were wearing unevenly. Ball joints are almost shot! I am thinking about going with synergy or dynatrac ball joints right away to give my tires a little longer life span and improve my ride quality. I want to go with these first for those reasons.Look at balljoints now! The extra costs in tire and suspension wear are not worth waiting and saving
2) Re-Gearing….I know when I empty another pocket to regear I may as well put on some C’s and sleeve my dana 30 just for added insurance. I am torn between running 4.56 or 4.88 gears. Is 4.88 a bad idea with a dana 30? My jeep is the only Wrangler I have ever owned and I think it drives okay but the shop mechanic said it was a total dog lol. I am hoping to cross paths with someone in the North Florida area with a properly geared jeep to feel the difference. I feel like 4.56 would be ideal for 35’s but at some point I would like to run 37’s and 4.88’s would suit those better (auto trans). 37’s and a dana 30 are frowned upon by some I know, but from lurking multiple forums I know some people get away with if they wheel smart. If you’re not going to wheel hard, you don’t need 37’s. Some say you don’t ever need 37’s for a daily, and they may be right. In any case, if you are planning 37’s, just go ahead and get a new Dana 44 at the same time as your regear the rear. It will save you money in the long run. In my opinion, since you are currently running 3.23’s, you will probably be thrilled with 4.88’s and 37’s.
3) Suspension……right now I have a 2.5 rubicon express lift kit on the Jeep with all stock control arms still. Not the best. Eventually I would like to add 3.5 inches from Rock Krawler or Synergy with all suspension components upgraded. I have been advised with 2 doors going over 2.5 inches is asking for bad news with your drive shafts. From your guys experience do both drive shafts need replaced? 1310 or 1350? You can run a stick driveshaft with a 3.5” lift. I ran it for 45,000 miles before my driveshaft gave up the ghost. The hazard is, if the drive shaft goes out, it could take your transfer case with it. With a JK or two door, the angle is more acute, so it will likely go out sooner. Seeing as you bought it used, you really don’t know what kind of life it has led, and consequently, how much life is left in your driveshaft. I have never run either of those two lifts, I have no doubt they are quality, though, but remember you get what you pay for when it comes to lift.
4) Brakes and steering come to my mind next for upgrades to cover my basis. I haven’t researched much on either of these two so any input would be a huge help. Brakes would be first I think but I may be wrong.
I chose a Teraflex BBK for my Jeep. I am pleased. Great braking, parts are easy to get, and it was an easy swap. There are others that are equal, and some that are better, but expensive. As for steering, I have the PSC XD steering system in mine. I am happy.

For those that read this post thanks for your time. I am really beginning to develop a true passion for my Jeep and just want to invest my money smartly and be happy with my baby!! For the upgrades mentioned I am thinking it would be close to $10000 or in that ball park. This is assuming I run 37’s at some point. I know money does not grow on trees so of course a lot of budgeting over the years is going to have to happen. Is my order of upgrades on the right track?
Cheers from Sunny Florida.
Just a quick budgetary analysis.
Lift $2500
Axle $3000
Brakes $800
Steering $2500
Regear $900
Wheels and tires. $3200


Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-09-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Az Scooter View Post
Just a quick budgetary analysis.
Lift $2500
Axle $3000
Brakes $800
Steering $2500
Regear $900
Wheels and tires. $3200


Hope this helps.
Scooter, thanks for the sound advice exactly what i was looking for. Just to clarify you would recommend just saving up for a new front 44 and re gear both at the same vice re gearing both now and then having to pay the costs again to regear just the front? That clears the air and would be more optimal to run 37's just gotta be patient!
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-09-2019, 09:28 PM
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I also have some sound advise, I got a total knee replacement a little over two years ago and it was the best move I ever made. I suffered for many years before taking the plunge. Something you may consider if you have had a doctor mention it to you. It wasn't fun or funny, that for sure but in the long run, I'd do it again in a second. Good Luck !
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-09-2019, 10:07 PM
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I'd recommend just wheelin' it like it is. If you're planning for very light / mild trails for a few years, you'll probably just need a CB for jabbering with your group; and you'll have plenty of time to learn exactly what YOU need and what you just want. Your local trails and wheeling style will almost make your upgrade decisions for you.

Synergy or Dynatrac ball joints - can't go wrong with either.

Good luck!
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-10-2019, 04:42 AM
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I have 35s and 4.56 gears and don't really like it. It's just too much in 3rd gear and I really wish I had that new JL 8 speed. With 35s on an auto 3.6L, I think 4.88 would be great. But then what's that mean for 37s...5.13? Personally I'm going to see if my 4.56 plus some performance enhancements is ok for 37s in the next 10-15 days.

I'm with azscooter, get those ball joints done right away. If you can do a new axle now instead of that d30 it'd be a good time. With a new front you'd also get a locker and ball joints. I'd be scared to off road with a d30 and 37s, or maybe even 35s, but that's cuz I have to drive a bit to get to trails. .

Steering and brakes you can manage without for a bit as long as you're on 35s with the sport t case.

•|||||||• 2015 Unlimited Sport S Baja Yellow
Auto / 4.56 Gears / ARB Front, Auburn Ected Rear Locker & LSD / G2 Core 44 35 Spline Axles / Alpine 9-Speakers & Sub / MC 3.5" w 6pak shocks / 37" KM3s on Method 105 Beadlocks
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-10-2019, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chitown35 View Post
I have 35s and 4.56 gears and don't really like it. It's just too much in 3rd gear and I really wish I had that new JL 8 speed. With 35s on an auto 3.6L, I think 4.88 would be great. But then what's that mean for 37s...5.13? Personally I'm going to see if my 4.56 plus some performance enhancements is ok for 37s in the next 10-15 days.

I'm with azscooter, get those ball joints done right away. If you can do a new axle now instead of that d30 it'd be a good time. With a new front you'd also get a locker and ball joints. I'd be scared to off road with a d30 and 37s, or maybe even 35s, but that's cuz I have to drive a bit to get to trails. .

Steering and brakes you can manage without for a bit as long as you're on 35s with the sport t case.
If i got a new front axle i would easily go with the 5.13s for 37's but not sure if i am using the right term but arent 5.13's too "tall" for the dana 30?
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-10-2019, 08:17 AM
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The pinion head at 5.13 for a D30 is just way too small. Sure, people who run it may get away with it for awhile but it's just a matter of time before you're crunching gears.

Like others mentioned, just wheel it right now so you can really get a handle of what it's capable of. Keep it on 35s and if money is tight, just slap on some Crown or Moog ball joints for the time being and install them yourself if you're able to.

Yes, the 3.23 gears are a "dog" and you'll find yourself using the gas pedal to get over hard obstacles so you will need to wheel with more finesse. I started out with 3.73 gears in a Sahara and was able to get through the Rubicon Trail on 35s (pretty much 33's once aired down) but control on the gas pedal is required.

In the meantime, just start saving for at least an aftermarket 44 housing. Then you can go 4.88s or 5.13s and at that time put some legit ball joints on, beef up the axle shafts to 35 spline front and rear, etc..

Personally, 5.13 is too deep for a 2012-2018 automatic Pentastar. Yes you'll get more torque on the low end but it will drive like absolute shit on the highway unless you are only in the flat lands and see zero elevation changes.

I have 4.88s and I think that is still pushing it for my DD which is riding on the new KM3's in 39" but is actually a true 37" once mounted. Scooting around town is fine but if you try to drive at highway speeds up in the mountains, forget it. You will get lapped by little Prius' all day. I would go 4.56 + supercharger and call it a day.

Screw the D30 and go at least aftermarket 44...
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-10-2019, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall94 View Post
Scooter, thanks for the sound advice exactly what i was looking for. Just to clarify you would recommend just saving up for a new front 44 and re gear both at the same vice re gearing both now and then having to pay the costs again to regear just the front? That clears the air and would be more optimal to run 37's just gotta be patient!
It really depends on your goals and timeline. It also depends on what you can find locally, or order in. If it was me, if I was planning a new axle, I would wait until I got the new axle, built the way I wanted, and then regear the rear at the time. However, you might come across a steal on some take off rubi axles that would make it worth doing that swap. A lot of it is keeping your ear to the ground and an eye on Craigslist.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-11-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DJ1 View Post
The pinion head at 5.13 for a D30 is just way too small. Sure, people who run it may get away with it for awhile but it's just a matter of time before you're crunching gears.

Like others mentioned, just wheel it right now so you can really get a handle of what it's capable of. Keep it on 35s and if money is tight, just slap on some Crown or Moog ball joints for the time being and install them yourself if you're able to.

Yes, the 3.23 gears are a "dog" and you'll find yourself using the gas pedal to get over hard obstacles so you will need to wheel with more finesse. I started out with 3.73 gears in a Sahara and was able to get through the Rubicon Trail on 35s (pretty much 33's once aired down) but control on the gas pedal is required.

In the meantime, just start saving for at least an aftermarket 44 housing. Then you can go 4.88s or 5.13s and at that time put some legit ball joints on, beef up the axle shafts to 35 spline front and rear, etc..

Personally, 5.13 is too deep for a 2012-2018 automatic Pentastar. Yes you'll get more torque on the low end but it will drive like absolute shit on the highway unless you are only in the flat lands and see zero elevation changes.

I have 4.88s and I think that is still pushing it for my DD which is riding on the new KM3's in 39" but is actually a true 37" once mounted. Scooting around town is fine but if you try to drive at highway speeds up in the mountains, forget it. You will get lapped by little Prius' all day. I would go 4.56 + supercharger and call it a day.

Screw the D30 and go at least aftermarket 44...
Another great bit of info thanks!
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-11-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Az Scooter View Post
It really depends on your goals and timeline. It also depends on what you can find locally, or order in. If it was me, if I was planning a new axle, I would wait until I got the new axle, built the way I wanted, and then regear the rear at the time. However, you might come across a steal on some take off rubi axles that would make it worth doing that swap. A lot of it is keeping your ear to the ground and an eye on Craigslist.
fingers crossed on the used rubi axles. What is a reasonable price for a used set?
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