not a JK owner yet, but have a unique LJ and need some input... - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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not a JK owner yet, but have a unique LJ and need some input...

Hey folks, I don't own a JK, but humor me.

I have a LJ:



It's a little different than most. Obviously there's an exocage on it, but you'll probably note that the roofline is a bit higher than normal. I use a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury (broke my neck over 10yrs ago downhill skiing - hit a patch of dirt, took a nasty fall). Offroading became my outlet for wilderness recreation some time after.

Thing is, I'm now in a graduate program for parks & rec management with a concentration in therapeutic recreation, which is basically gearing me up for working with individuals with disabilities (to whatever capacity, physical/cognitive/etc) and using recreation as a health-related tool. Half of what I'll be doing in the future is finding opportunities for others.

My LJ is built well, but it's too freaking complex to [easily] replicate for others who may have found themselves in a similar debilitating situation with want a way to get into the backcountry. I have some ideas of how to adapt a JK (or another TJ/LJ, but might as well work w/ a current model) that would be (1) less expensive & (2) much easier than my current build. I don't want to go into details yet, but I do have some questions, as I'm not that familiar w/ JKs:

1. Let's say I start w/ a Rubicon base. I'd want to do a mild build that is more robust than stock and can handle most trails in the US (with more emphasis on simply enjoying the wilderness than technical crawling that breaks chit), but not so much so that extensive mods (axle/suspension upgrades, etc) would be necessary. Have any of you found 33s limiting, or is moving to 35s relatively painless? I had to do a bunch to the LJ to comfortably run 35s.

2. I could really use some measurements if any of you are willing to hook me up:
- distance from ground to bottom of door (I know this varies w/ lift/tires).
- distance from bottom of door to top of seat (the part your thighs rest on, not the headrest).

Here're a couple other [boring] build photos of my rig, but will give you an idea of how it's set up. A wheelchair lift extends out the rear, my chair gets parked in the back & I hop over to the driver's seat, which is on a mini scissor lift that raises & swivels it... these two mods required some extra headroom.





Other specs/mods on the LJ: http://scottpruett.me/off-road/wheel...sible-jeep-lj/ (this site is new & in the progress of being built, but that's most of the list)

Now, the kicker: I can't afford another rig at the moment b/c of grad school, and I likely won't end up in a job in this field that pays super well right away. I'm considering getting rid of the LJ to help fund a JK, parts, R&D, labor, etc. Instead of selling it straight-up, do you think it might be worth the time and effort to launch a fundraising campaign that would generate some exposure for land use issues (in light of providing opportunity for those who can't just hop on a mtn bike or go hiking/backpacking, etc) as well? Think selling tshirts/etc to raise some cash & ideally, if a certain monetary threshold were hit (this could lower if some vendors/sponsors jumped on board), give the LJ to a wounded warrior program or someone w/o the funds who could use it.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 11:51 AM
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I have a 2.5" lift with 33's and feel it is all I need. It's the least expensive way to go to get a decent trail riding rig (you don't need to replace driveshafts or axles, and no re-gearing necessary). It goes over rocky paths, water, logs, etc. with no problems. For what you will be using the rig for, I think that is all you will need.
I'm no expert on the rest of your questions, so I'll let others chime in on that!

Good luck!!
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 12:14 PM
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Welcome!
Very cool thing that you are doing. It reminded me of some some papers I wrote back in College regarding accessable wilderness learning more geared towards rafting, canoeing, climbing.

I'm not heavilly modded, so can't answer your rig questions, but my aunt works for the wounded warrior program in Ft. Benning and perhaps can help with that part if you go that way.

This community (JKO (credit to Safari Straps)) and some other sites raised over $3700 in a raffle for some $300 ish Safari Straps for a little girl. https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17035
I'm sure that if you set something up you'll get more than enough reponse.

Lots of knowledgeable people here so you will get all of your questions answered.


Good luck and Welcome.

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post #4 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 12:29 PM
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Welcome to JKO, that's one bad rig you've got there. Very creative and functional

Best of luck with whatever you decide. And like The Clam said, you should get plenty of support on this board. Now if you need simple things like stock height, wheelbase etc. I can scan pages from my '08 Jeep brochure. It has lots of that stuff.

If someone else doesn't answer the inside questions, I would be willing to take any measurements you need on a 4-door. Just pm me with what you need.

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post #5 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 01:21 PM
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Welcome nice LJ. I think there could be a market for the top you have on there for expedition use. The JK is a different animal in every way, I would recomend a 2.5" Tera Flex coil kit or a 3.5" AEV lift and 35's will fir just fine.

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post #6 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys!

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Originally Posted by JHJeep View Post
I have a 2.5" lift with 33's and feel it is all I need. It's the least expensive way to go to get a decent trail riding rig (you don't need to replace driveshafts or axles, and no re-gearing necessary). It goes over rocky paths, water, logs, etc. with no problems. For what you will be using the rig for, I think that is all you will need.
Right on, thanks. My reasoning for coming up with something for the JK is to make wheeling available for more people, understanding that not everyone can afford a trail rig and have another vehicle or two to drive when it's down. Less strain on parts = less breakage. I'm all for building big but the dollar sign goes up quick, so if there's a way to start mild with room for growth, that's ideal here.

Less custom fabrication/modification and more bolt-on is what I'm after this time around.

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Originally Posted by The Clam View Post
Welcome!
Very cool thing that you are doing. It reminded me of some some papers I wrote back in College regarding accessable wilderness learning more geared towards rafting, canoeing, climbing.

I'm not heavilly modded, so can't answer your rig questions, but my aunt works for the wounded warrior program in Ft. Benning and perhaps can help with that part if you go that way.
Cool, thanks!

Quote:
This community (JKO (credit to Safari Straps)) and some other sites raised over $3700 in a raffle for some $300 ish Safari Straps for a little girl. https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17035
I'm sure that if you set something up you'll get more than enough response.

Lots of knowledgeable people here so you will get all of your questions answered.
Nice. Yeah I've been on Pirate for several years & know the kind of community wheelers tend to form. I just want to be smart and create a win-win-win for all parties *if* something materializes here.

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Originally Posted by gold knight View Post
Welcome to JKO, that's one bad rig you've got there. Very creative and functional

Best of luck with whatever you decide. And like The Clam said, you should get plenty of support on this board. Now if you need simple things like stock height, wheelbase etc. I can scan pages from my '08 Jeep brochure. It has lots of that stuff.

If someone else doesn't answer the inside questions, I would be willing to take any measurements you need on a 4-door. Just pm me with what you need.
Perfect, thanks. I may be in touch as time goes on!

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Originally Posted by jdemonto View Post
Welcome nice LJ. I think there could be a market for the top you have on there for expedition use. The JK is a different animal in every way, I would recomend a 2.5" Tera Flex coil kit or a 3.5" AEV lift and 35's will fir just fine.
Good stuff. I'm a fan of the stance w/ 35s.

The cage on mine could be used for expedition, but it's primarily there for extra interior room based on how this rig is adapted, w/ the advantage of being able to haul gear on top if needed (plus admittedly we wanted to to something really different).
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 02:30 PM
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Scott,

We've met a couple of times. Yellow LJ at Lakeside Apts...

I've got a JK and would be glad to let you look at it and get whatever measurements that you need. Mine is a little more built than what you are looking to do, but my dad runs some trails with me. He has no trouble in GWNF or the OBX. He is running 31" MTR's.

Chris

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2005 LJ - HP60, 14 Bolt, 39.5, some other stuff
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-21-2009, 08:17 PM
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-22-2009, 04:02 AM
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Welcome and great LJ! Good luck on your ventues.

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post #10 of 22 Old 12-22-2009, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by WahooJeep View Post
Scott,

We've met a couple of times. Yellow LJ at Lakeside Apts...

I've got a JK and would be glad to let you look at it and get whatever measurements that you need. Mine is a little more built than what you are looking to do, but my dad runs some trails with me. He has no trouble in GWNF or the OBX. He is running 31" MTR's.

Chris
Ah, right on! I have a couple friends that live in the bldg on the other side of the parking lot. I moved down to NC earlier this year for school but am still up in Cville every so often. I may drop you a PM sometime if I'm up that way after the holidays; I am curious about some available space on the 4dr JKs.

Thanks everyone.

I'll update as things evolve...
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-22-2009, 12:33 PM
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welcome to jko

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post #12 of 22 Old 12-26-2009, 05:03 PM
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ok... that roofline is baddass... kinda range roverish. frankly, id keep the LJ, fix whatever needs fixin, and call it good. besides, the 3.6 litre and diesel JK comes out next year (maybe), adn that means cheaper 3.8 jk's or more powerful new ones... and that LJ will hold its value for quite a while.

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post #13 of 22 Old 12-26-2009, 06:22 PM
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If you start with a Rubicon as a build base it comes stock with F/R D44's with 4.10 gears. I run 35" tires and started with a rubi, keep in mind they come with 32" BFG mud terrains so upping to a 33 would be more or less a waste of money. I'd say keep the LJ, personally. But if you want to get a JK, get it; mine is the first jeep I've had and with 9,500 miles on the odometer (ALOT of off-road miles) I haven't had an issue yet

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post #14 of 22 Old 12-26-2009, 06:27 PM
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I know this one's a few days old, somehow I missed it. JK's do sit a bit higher naturally than TJ/LJ's did, so I was able to clear my 35's with only 2.5" of spring lift. With the fenders cut up like they are now and maybe some longer bumpstops I could get away with 37's, but I digress.....

2.5" of lift is all you need for 35's, and a budget spacer lift can be had very affordably. 35's will not require driveline modification for mild to moderate use. The stock gearing (3.73 in my X) leaves a little to be desired but it does work. Brake line brackets can be relocated so you won't even need to change the lines out. Of course any lift/wheel combo on an unlimited will be gentler than the same lift on a 2 door simply due to the difference in wheel base.

I plan to do a little work on mine tomorrow so I'll post up the measurements you requested as soon as I get a chance. Hope I'm not too late chiming in!

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post #15 of 22 Old 12-26-2009, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
ok... that roofline is baddass... kinda range roverish. frankly, id keep the LJ, fix whatever needs fixin, and call it good. besides, the 3.6 litre and diesel JK comes out next year (maybe), adn that means cheaper 3.8 jk's or more powerful new ones... and that LJ will hold its value for quite a while.
thanks man... yeah range rovers (defenders) were the inspiration for the roofline, actually. The LJ is great, don't get me wrong, and there's really nothing that needs to be fixed. My line of thought of moving to a JK is twofold:

1) if I can figure out a way to mod a JK with bolt-on parts (one/two of which may need to be designed) vs. the amount of custom fab that had to occur on the LJ, more opportunities for others would be available. I'm sincere about this.

2) I could really use more storage & the ability to tow a trailer. The way I enter the LJ kinda gets in the way of that.

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If you start with a Rubicon as a build base it comes stock with F/R D44's with 4.10 gears. I run 35" tires and started with a rubi, keep in mind they come with 32" BFG mud terrains so upping to a 33 would be more or less a waste of money. I'd say keep the LJ, personally. But if you want to get a JK, get it; mine is the first jeep I've had and with 9,500 miles on the odometer (ALOT of off-road miles) I haven't had an issue yet
Right on. Yeah I thought about the tire size w/ the Rubis. 35s would be my preference actually, so we'll see. Again, it's not that I'm not happy w/ the LJ; it's a fantastic rig... I've just got an itch to take this accessibility concept a little further. I have some logistics to work out though... can't afford a JK w/o unloading the LJ somehow.

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I know this one's a few days old, somehow I missed it. JK's do sit a bit higher naturally than TJ/LJ's did, so I was able to clear my 35's with only 2.5" of spring lift. With the fenders cut up like they are now and maybe some longer bumpstops I could get away with 37's, but I digress.....

2.5" of lift is all you need for 35's, and a budget spacer lift can be had very affordably. 35's will not require driveline modification for mild to moderate use. The stock gearing (3.73 in my X) leaves a little to be desired but it does work. Brake line brackets can be relocated so you won't even need to change the lines out. Of course any lift/wheel combo on an unlimited will be gentler than the same lift on a 2 door simply due to the difference in wheel base.

I plan to do a little work on mine tomorrow so I'll post up the measurements you requested as soon as I get a chance. Hope I'm not too late chiming in!
My LJ has a 1" BL + 4" of suspension lift, so yeah... big difference between these model years. I couldn't run spacers & 35s w/o hacking the crap out of mine.

& no worries on the "late" reply! If you could grab those measurements on your setup, that'd be awesome. Thanks!
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-26-2009, 09:05 PM
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Welcome, nice rig

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post #17 of 22 Old 12-27-2009, 07:24 AM
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...& no worries on the "late" reply! If you could grab those measurements on your setup, that'd be awesome. Thanks!
Ok from the most level spot I could find in my driveway the measurement from ground to highest point on "lip" of doorway is ~28.5". From this lip to the seat of the seat is ~10.5". This is on a 4 door JK with 2.5" spring lift (mostly skyjacker parts) plus a 1" level puck and MT Baja MTZ 315/70 R17's (roughly 35x12.5) I do have an aftermarket bumper and winch which would more or less cancel out the 1" level lift. Hope this helps!

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post #18 of 22 Old 12-27-2009, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ok from the most level spot I could find in my driveway the measurement from ground to highest point on "lip" of doorway is ~28.5". From this lip to the seat of the seat is ~10.5". This is on a 4 door JK with 2.5" spring lift (mostly skyjacker parts) plus a 1" level puck and MT Baja MTZ 315/70 R17's (roughly 35x12.5) I do have an aftermarket bumper and winch which would more or less cancel out the 1" level lift. Hope this helps!
Excellent, thanks!

This does help, reason being if there's roughly 39-40" of distance between the ground and the seat, it's not that easy to negotiate from a seated (wheelchair) position. Go grab a lawn chair, sit next to the Jeep, and try and figure out a way to get into the driver's seat w/o using your legs.

what I'm envisioning is a platform/seat of sorts (removable) that can lower/raise outside of the Jeep so a user can basically slide onto it from a seated position. It'd then raise up to the driver's seat level, then he/she could hop into the Jeep. The front seat-to-floor height on my chair is around 22", so we're talking 16-18" of needed travel for this "platform" idea. There's a company that has something similar for pickup trucks, but with nowhere near enough travel for a lifted Jeep.

Hence the need for that measurement.

more later...
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-28-2009, 11:17 PM
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WELCOME

Jeep looks good

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post #20 of 22 Old 12-31-2009, 03:32 PM
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Welcome, I'm not to far from Kernersville, just up 220 across the VA line in Ridgeway. If you're ever coming through give me a heads up on a pm. I have a 2 dr. Rubicon w/ just a 2" bb. Still running the stock BFG 32" m/t. My friend is running MT Baja 35" and says he has not had a problem. (same lift as mine) Any way if this helps great, and good luck.

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post #21 of 22 Old 12-31-2009, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, I'm not to far from Kernersville, just up 220 across the VA line in Ridgeway. If you're ever coming through give me a heads up on a pm. I have a 2 dr. Rubicon w/ just a 2" bb. Still running the stock BFG 32" m/t. My friend is running MT Baja 35" and says he has not had a problem. (same lift as mine) Any way if this helps great, and good luck.
Thanks! My wife and I are actually headed up that way tomorrow, but have to be up in Staunton/Waynesboro (where her fam is) around noon... maybe we can swing by Sunday afternoon if we take the same route back. We'll likely be in Charlottesville Saturday night, and it's quicker to take 29 back down here... so... yeah I'll let you know if/when we can stop by.

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post #22 of 22 Old 01-02-2010, 09:06 AM
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Hey Scott, I'm right next door in High Point near the Kernersville border. I have a 4dr with 3in lift and 35's. If you want some measurements or want to take a look at it let me know.

Tim


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