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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been out of the game since 2005. I have had an 87 YJ built, 97 TJ built, and a stock 05 rubi. I just sold one of my boats and thought I would get another jeep.

So I started looking at TJs to build, but I know the outcome, winds up being a trailer queen that gets beat on 4-5 times a year. So after test driving a 99 TJ beater at the jeep dealer I looked across the lot at a 2011 Rubicon 4 door. I think I may have drank the cool aid, but before I go pick one up (this week most likely) I have a few questions.

What are the weak links in the JK?
What sort hidden things have to be done when lifting and modifying?SYE drive shafts, backspacing, ect...
Any options that I should or should not get?
Do they start to rattle and shake once the mileage is racked up? (I know it is a Jeep)
Any other things /I should look for?

Like I said if this were a TJ I could write a book about do's/don'ts and everthing in between, but when it comes to the JK I am clueless.

This will remain stock for about a month or two and then the build will begin, but this will be the wife's daily driver, she works 3 days a week less than 10 miles. More than likely 35's but 37's would be the max.
 

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I have been out of the game since 2005. I have had an 87 YJ built, 97 TJ built, and a stock 05 rubi. I just sold one of my boats and thought I would get another jeep.

So I started looking at TJs to build, but I know the outcome, winds up being a trailer queen that gets beat on 4-5 times a year. So after test driving a 99 TJ beater at the jeep dealer I looked across the lot at a 2011 Rubicon 4 door. I think **I may have drank the cool aid, but before I go pick one up (this week most likely) I have a few questions.

What are the weak links in the JK? Top "weak" links are going to be Electrical glitches, paint issues with/around door hinges, overheating automatics, clutch/ throw-out bearing issues with the manuals, leaking tops (although not much long-term reviews if this has been corrected on the '10-'11 models). Lots of other things.....but that's just like any other vehicle.
What sort hidden things have to be done when lifting and modifying?SYE drive shafts, backspacing, ect...Depends on what lift/ modifications you are doing. Lots of serious upgrades to consider if running tires larger than 35". Check into companies like Teraflex, Rock Krawler, and Poly Performance when you start upgrading. Lots of JK owners that are/ have done a lot of axle modifications or upgrades, when building for big rubber or hard-core trail use. That's just one example. Steering systems are also being done to some harder-core JK's. List is endless. Look at driveshafts when yours go or if you are building big.
Any options that I should or should not get? Think about what you expect from the vehicle....what things you can't live without and must-haves. Think also about what that JK is going to be used for- hwy, mud, dirt-roads, rock-crawling, daily driver, etc.
Do they start to rattle and shake once the mileage is racked up? (I know it is a Jeep) Most any rattle/ noise can/ should be at least identified. Heat-shield rattle, engine ticks, interior noises, are sometimes found in some JK's, but it absolutely shouldn't deter you from buying. Most noises come after some sort of modifications or higher mileage......but just like any vehicle or Jeep, it should be findable and fixable. Lots of TSB's on some of the 07-08's.....not a huge issue to most people.
Any other things /I should look for? Dunno.

Like I said if this were a TJ I could write a book about do's/don'ts and everthing in between, but when it comes to the JK I am clueless. Just read and research A LOT......before you buy isn't too early. After you buy just gets worse- lol. Hard to not modify for some of us.

This will remain stock for about a month or two and then the build will begin, but this will be the wife's daily driver, she works 3 days a week less than 10 miles. More than likely 35's but 37's would be the max.

**Don't ever ever say that! ;)

Welcome to jkowners. :beer:
 

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JK is a pretty tight design, lots of old issues got solved. OTOH, lots of new ones came to the fore. Let's skip the wimpy engine. Biggest issues resolve around the front axle and front driveshaft. Lift a JK beyond 2" and you have to replace both driveshafts on the 2dr, the front at least on the 4dr. Next comes the front axle. The tubes and inner "C"s are weak like a TJ, but they bend worse because of the JK's added weight. Sleeving (or, re-tubing) & gusseting the axle is the common fix. Add to that the pinion / caster angle conundrum. JKs have a high pinion front axle, but lift beyond 2.5" and front driveline vibes become a maddening issue to solve. Some guys claim they can find a sweet spot using adjustable control arms, with a 4" TF lift & 4 adjustable front arms I tried every setting and never could get what I called an acceptable compromise between handling & DL vibes. I finally installed manual hubs, done. $$$$$$$$!!!!!

Other guys either get a new housing from Dynatrac, et al, or have Poly re-tube & reset the original. If you let the front DL vibes go we have plenty of reports of the transfer cases exploding or shearing off the trans, usually at highway speeds. No SYE issues with JK, and you can get 35s on one with some very simple mods, even just new flares in some cases. You generally need to add spacers to the stock wheels to run larger tires, you need about 4 - 4.5" of backspacing vs the factory wheels 6". Also, just plan on re-gearing from the get go. The factory gear ratios are awful. Also, the factory ball joints are total junk, so plan on replacing them soon after any big tire goes on there.

I did as you plan to do. I scored one and spent a month of research on issues, planning out the build, etc. I did one plan with 37s, another with 35s, in both cases planning on a full 8 arm suspension. On paper I thought I could do a 3" w/35s, save the money and retain the factory 4.10 gears...WRONG!!! If I had to re-gear I figured just go 37s and be done with it. That's what I should have done. I ended up having to re-gear and then went 4" and 37s. Cost me a bundle for going too conservative. The big bugaboo for me was the front axle issues. I had already sleeved, gusseted and Pro Steer ball jointed my stock D44. I didn't want to write all that off and go Pro Rock so I went with Spyntec hubs instead. They are great, but cost a lot to convert the rig. You ned new front & rear axle shafts, and new 5x5.5" wheels to pull this off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It won't get to hard core, but I know how out of hand it can get. thanks for the replys. Why do the driveshafts on the four door have to be replaced? What kind DW stories are there, I know that with the coils and track bar setup that has to be an issue that has spilled over from the TJ.
 
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