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 service
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…Hold off for a minute before you regear
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.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.