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Old 07-29-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
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Young Jeeper in need of help



Sorry guys, I originally posted this in the general discussion forum but perhaps that wasn't the correct location - I'm new and still trying to figure out how this system works. Apologies.

Hi, all. For years it's been my dream to be able to afford and build the Jeep of my dreams. I had a '99 Cherokee in high school, but promised myself that when the day finally came that I could get my Wrangler I would let nothing get in my way to do so. After college and finding a decent job, I bought my 2009 JKU X at the end of March. Since then I've been saving up to do my first major build and I have some questions that I would greatly appreciate some answers to before I click the "confirm order" button.

First, I plan on purchasing and installing a Zone 4" Lift with Nitro Shocks. I had initially not planned on investing in new alloys yet and stick with my OEM's, but apparently this is not possible due to rear sway bar link interference (which I am still trying to find a way around. I'm going with the Zone because I've heard very good reviews and the price point agrees with me. If anyone has any experience with this particular lift or brand, I would appreciate some input in order to assure that this is a wise decision.

Second, it has taken me a long time to find an alloy which I've liked enough to put on my Jeep, but I finally have found the wheel which I want, although it is a -6 offset and I was hoping to find a -12 that I liked, but so be it. The wheel is matte black/non-clear coat and I have been warned by some Jeepers that matte wheels aren't really made to play around in and that they can easily become torn-up by moderately rough terrain. Is this true? I definitely don't wanna drop a ton on wheels only to have some rocks destroy them.

Next, I have chosen to run a 35" Mastercraft Courser ATX with my set up. It appears to be as close to a MT as I can find that I can still feel comfortable with using as a daily driver and transporting kids. Any feedback on this tire on possible alternatives?

Lastly, any suggestions about where I can any of these parts on the internet for lower prices than I'm seeing on eBay. One forum member mentioned something about vendors through this forum but I'm not sure about how that process works.

I know this is a lot of info and that I'm asking probably way too many questions. I just wanna make sure I do it right and am covering all my bases as a rookie Jeeper. Any and all help/suggestions/assistance is greatly appreciated. I love being a part of this community. Thank you all.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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Welcome!

Ok, Forget about offset. You want to make sure you have the correct Back Spacing (BS) on your wheels. READ the following...ALL OF IT! It will have a ton of information for you.

JK Tech common questions here!!!!

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Old 07-29-2014, 08:56 PM   #3
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Welcome! Have you read the Tech sticky about tires and lifts? All million pages? It is a rite of initiation here! You do not need a 4 inch lift to run 35s. 2.5 is the "sweet spot" before you typically run into a host of other issues and expense - any of the good lifts can run 35s on a 2.5 inch lift. I am not familiar with Zone, but Teraflex has a good rep and does a 2.5 around $500ish if I recall correctly (plus shocks). I am no expert but I believe the issue with lifts and wheels is backspace - typically 4.5ish is the target. Playing on rocks = whatever wheels you pick will get mangled. Period. There is a vendor member deals section here or something like that which will give you an idea of some of the larger vendors.
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Dear Newbies: Yes you "can" do a 5.5 inch lift and 37 inch tires - just like you "can" stand in the middle of a golf course during a lightening storm. Just because you "can" doesn't mean it's a good idea however.....
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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OP ... I deleted the other thread and moved Mommy's post here.

I thought we cleared up some of this is the other thread ?
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:22 PM   #5
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First thing I would like to point out. Unlike the Tj or other jeep vehicles. The Jk doesn't need a crap ton of lift to run a bigger tire.
For a 35" id look at a 2.5 or 3" kit. Over 3" you really should be looking at steering/suspension geometry, drive shafts/angles. A cheap $500 kit won't cut it.
Zone is very entry level. Most of the venders here deal more with Teraflex, Rock Krawler, Metal Cloak, AEV, Synergy, Currie.

Try Dan @ Rock Raider 4x4
Jason @ Krawl off road

Both these guys will be able to help
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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A couple things. If you want to keep your oem wheels for awhile you can use wheel spacers. Some people will tell you to stay away from them, but there are plenty of people who use them. I use 1.5" spacers on aftermarket wheels and I like them a lot. I was going to keep my oem wheels, but I got a great deal on something different so I bought them. They didn't have quite as much backspacing as I wanted so I used spacers. If you plan on playing in, on, or near rocks it won't take long to get rock rash. One thing you could do that I wish I would have done is keep the oem and get aftermarket. This way you can have one set for rock wheeling and another set for day to day driving.

I have no experience with a 4" lift, but it seems like everything I read says that 4" and up is when you start having other expenses like steering and drive shaft upgrades.

Have fun with your build and keep reading this and other forums because there is a ton of knowledge here.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:41 PM   #7
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Matt, PM me and we can discuss.

As said before you do not need 4" of lift to run 35's. In running 4" of lift, you need to address a whole slew of other parts in order to do it right. You need to address control arms, driveshafts, brake lines and trackbars. 2.5" lift can clear 35's. Stick between 2.5" - 3".

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Old 07-29-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thanks, guys. KJeeper, in regards to the other thread I still didn't feel entirely comfortable with the knowledge I received simply because I wanted to make sure I had as full an understanding as possible in order to clear up some of the aspects which weren't fully connecting for me, so I apologize if I misused the forum. Still learning the proper WrangerForum etiquette. I did review a large amount of the material in the sticky posts, which KJeeper mentioned to me last night but I was unable to locate, so I'm very glad I know where they are now.

I understand that the Zone 4" lift is not the greatest lift available, but here in Indiana most of my off-roading is limited to forest, rivers, snow (my personal favorite so far) and climbing muddy hills...it'll be a while before I really am able to branch out and begin advanced rock crawling, which is why at the present time starting off with the Zone sounds like a reasonable option, especially with my current budget. That being said I am going to thoroughly look into all of the information which you folks have provided in order to make the best decision, and send the private messages.

I'm basing the 4" mark on several factors: an experienced Jeep owner who manages a Tire Chain location here in town recommended it as he believes that it is the "standard" and most appropriate lift size for off-roading purposes. Also, I want to make sure that I have a full 5" once tires are installed - I won't have the opportunity to clear boulders anytime soon, but I definitely want enough space to traverse the worst that Indiana has to offer, and as a personal preference I enjoy the extended ride height of above 5".

I'm so new to all the technical aspects of this so please forgive my lack of knowledge...hopefully someday I'll be the one able to provide the information to the rookies. All my thanks, and I'm always open to more suggestions. You all are REALLY helping me right now.



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Old 07-29-2014, 10:19 PM   #9
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Your experienced Jeeper knows little about JKs obviously. 4 inches is not the ideal lift - 2.5 is. A lift does not give you clearance to drive over stuff - you lift to put on bigger tires, its the TIRES that give you clearance underneath.
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Dear Newbies: Yes you "can" do a 5.5 inch lift and 37 inch tires - just like you "can" stand in the middle of a golf course during a lightening storm. Just because you "can" doesn't mean it's a good idea however.....
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:38 PM   #10
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Yeah, I understand that the tires provide clearance for the axles/differentials, but I also thought that increased suspension lift provided additional clearance. Also, I fulfilled Mandatory First Jeep Mod, mommymallcrawler.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:49 PM   #11
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Congrats Grasshopper! We play on big rocks - literally boulders- out here in Arizona. The vast majority who run full body Jeeps (ie not rock crawling buggies) do not go 4 inches, much less a 4 inch "budget" lift. Again 2.5 with 35s, truss up your front axle especially (rear if you can), regear if you have 3.21 for sure (possibly at 3.73) and good to roll.

Have you taken your Jeep offroad yet? If you did, you would see why you do not "need" a 4 inch lift.

I will be back in a few with some pics - and show you just how much you can do with ZERO lift, bone stock 32 inch factory tires.....
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Dear Newbies: Yes you "can" do a 5.5 inch lift and 37 inch tires - just like you "can" stand in the middle of a golf course during a lightening storm. Just because you "can" doesn't mean it's a good idea however.....
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:17 PM   #12
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I have done as much off-roading as my Goodyear SR-A's will allow me. Here's a vid of the first time I took her out Appreciate the help and pics you're gonna send!
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:25 PM   #13
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Matt, these are pictures that may help you understand.

The first 3 were the very first run I did offroad EVER. These are not my Jeep - I couldn't find the ones with me in them, but these are the SAME trail I ran. In my bone stock Sport limo, 32 inch tires. Do you plan on running trails like this? I am not even sure you HAVE trails like this in Indiana?





The last picture is a Jeep sitting on nothing more than 33 inch tires and a 1.5 inch I believe body boost - on one of the harder trails in these parts. He made it through fine.


Are these the kind of rocks you will be playing on? Here are some of the "BIG BOYS". Is this what you intend to do? These are the guys on 37 inch PLUS tires with 4 inches plus or minus of lift/boost. The maroon Jeep is my Lunatic - he is on 37s, with like a 2.5 inch lift and a 1.5 inch body boost I think he said. Point: even the big guys get stuck because they just run over bigger stuff!


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Dear Newbies: Yes you "can" do a 5.5 inch lift and 37 inch tires - just like you "can" stand in the middle of a golf course during a lightening storm. Just because you "can" doesn't mean it's a good idea however.....
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:28 PM   #14
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Nice video Matt! A hint though: on water crossings you want to take it slow and not splash over your hood. Letting water splashover like that is just asking for big expensive trouble.
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Dear Newbies: Yes you "can" do a 5.5 inch lift and 37 inch tires - just like you "can" stand in the middle of a golf course during a lightening storm. Just because you "can" doesn't mean it's a good idea however.....
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:32 PM   #15
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Tire diameter = clearance. I will say, 4 doors greatly benefit with more belly height. If your not crawling boulders ... Lower is better. Take it from experience. Not some tire guy that obviously doesn't know the JK too well.

Do you want the jeep to handle well ? Do you know what happens with your steering at 4"+of lift ?
Pinion angle takes importance over caster angle (driveshaft > steering)
The JK is blessed with a shitty caster angle stock. Lifting it heigh forces less then stock caster angle. There's nothing you can do about it. Those angles are locked in the front axle at 6 degrees.
Read this
Jeep Jk, Caster and lifting.

Here's a buddy on 38" tires and 3.5" of lift (trailer)
Here's another buddy on 40's with 3.5" of lift. Now he started at 5" and hated life. Since dropped to 3,5"
Both jeeps running the same 2.5" RK coils I run.
W/ trimmed flares .. I have more then enough room for a 37"

Spend some time on here. Read through people's builds. Read my build ... My 2 door was a bitch to get to handle well. I'm still not done.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:35 PM   #16
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40's is way to big of a tire under a 2 door lol That was just a example what lower lift height and a sawszall will get you

Matt what is your budget on lift only ?
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:49 PM   #17
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Those 40 inch tires are like almost as big as the Jeep lol!!!! It looks like a rollerskate!
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Dear Newbies: Yes you "can" do a 5.5 inch lift and 37 inch tires - just like you "can" stand in the middle of a golf course during a lightening storm. Just because you "can" doesn't mean it's a good idea however.....
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:57 PM   #18
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I'll break down what everyone here is saying into simple terms -- if you lift a jeep you either do it RIGHT or you will hate your vehicle, it'll dance all over the road for no reason, ride like crap and handle even worse, break drive line components and generally be horrible.

There is no "budget" 4 inch lift, "budget" just means they are leaving out vital parts. There are however reasonably priced properly done 2.5 inch lifts that will fit 35s with very good axle articulation. Everyone here (jeep owners all) are gently trying to push you in the right direction. We know you really really WANT a 4 inch lift, we just don't think you can AFFORD a 4 inch lift that won't ruin a huge investment that you may or may not still be making payments on.

With 2.5 and 35s on a wrangler, you will drive around stuck people with other vehicles that have modified their vehicles upwards of $5k or more. why? You bought a base vehicle that is made specifically for off road, they bought a road vehicle and tried to make it an off road vehicle. You've got a great vehicle, enjoy it, don't destroy it chasing performance you will never need. If it comes down to more money some day, after a little knowledge I'm sure you'll buy lockers or flat fender flares (more tire clearance) instead of another inch and a half of high center of gravity.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:05 AM   #19
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IM running a zone lift and while I have no problems with the lift thee nitro shocks leave a lot to be desired in riding terms. Im saving up to go with fox racing shocks or bilsteins now. Im also running a TJ and not the JK so not sure if the zone lift would be appropriate for your ride. Listen to the other JK owners and they will steer you in the right direction. Don't just jump on the first lift you can afford. It may be best to wait a bit longer an get the lift you really NEED. Good luck and welcome to the forum
EDIT; Like mommymallcrawler said take it easy. Fast is another word for expensive repairs. Slow and steady not only wins the race but it saves you a lot of money in the long run. If you want to see JKs with 40" tires watch the Wayoflife videos on their runs. Man those Jeeps look good they also have about $10k worth of equipment under them to make them look and operate that good.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:13 AM   #20
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Those are all excellent pics, guys. Indiana is not blessed with rocks that even come close to matching those out in AZ, mommy. Looks like crazy wicked fun, though. And yeah, I know I did the splashdown with a little too much velocity, but it looks a little worse in the video than it was there - I have great fear of vapor lock hahaha. KJeeper, I'm looking to spend around $600 for the lift itself...personally I would like a total increase in ride height of around 5" with tire+lift...is that attainable taking into consideration everything that has been said (and I'll read the caster section about I post this reply.) I completely agree with BigMontana, and was not aware that going with the inexpensive 4" lift (which would not be a permanent fixture, I'm just ready to pull the trigger and really start doing some work on my machine) could actually DAMAGE my Jeep. That's terrifying.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:27 AM   #21
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KJeeper, that caster information, while incredibly informative and useful, is also pretty darn intimidating in terms of lifting haha.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:59 AM   #22
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Alright guys, I've been up all night reading/exploring my options and I think I've formulated a plan. I'm going to go with one of the quality 2.5/3" lifts and still run the 17's with the 35" Courser. Only questions I have now are what are your opinions on wheel spacers if I don't go with a -12mm/-6mm offset and also are there any performance drawbacks to a wider stance. I love the appearance of a wider stance, but am curious as to if it can negatively affect performance. I read somewhere on here that it can lead to axle stress. Is this true?

One more question, do you guys have any suggestions in regards to tires? I like the Courser ATX because it seems the closest tire to a hybrid AT/MT that I have found. Do you know of any others that are similar to this tire?
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:39 AM   #23
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".personally I would like a total increase in ride height of around 5" with tire+lift" <---- that's more like it.

Remember, almost all lifts level the jeep. (More
Lift up front than in the rear )
So a 2.5" lift will net 3" front and 2" rear.
A 3.5 lift 4" front and 3" rear.
With a 3.5" you're already 4" over stock height in the front.
Some coils end up higher without weight (bumpers, winch, armor, etc". Keep that in mind when doing your research. I don't know if zone list their coil rates. That will tell you a lot about how they will handle weight.

I agree with one poster above. I would shy away from a cheap kit that also includes shocks. A decent shock will cost $75 x4 = $300. That leaves $200 for coils and whatever else is in the kit. Cost is saved somewhere, and prob the shocks.

Don't rule out a small body lift either. People shy away from them but 1" is not going to be noticed much and cost around $100

2.5"
3" front lift
1" BL
1.5 tires (35")
= 5.5" total

It seems like you are getting it
So many of us (including myself) go budget and end up spending double (Or even triple)in the end, and HATE LIFE along the way.

This is what I would do minimum
(Only estimates, prices may differ)

2.5 RK coils or 3" teraflex coils ($300-$400)
Front geometry (caster) correction brackets ($100)
TF Rear axle side track bar bracket for roll center / axle center ($100)
A 10-11" travel shock (I've heard the skyjacker hydro's are cheap and ride decent) ($200)
Or shock extensions with rubicon shocks ($200-$250)
Bump stop extensions ($75-$100) or make your own using pucks, square tubing ($ ?)

Or (addresses the same as above out the box)
http://www.quadratec.com/products/16502_4424_07.htm
And add http://www.streetsideauto.com/p/ranc...0-459291FCA480


Ps ... A decent 2.5-3" kit will run $1000-$1200 just to give you a idea.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWhite View Post
Alright guys, I've been up all night reading/exploring my options and I think I've formulated a plan. I'm going to go with one of the quality 2.5/3" lifts and still run the 17's with the 35" Courser. Only questions I have now are what are your opinions on wheel spacers if I don't go with a -12mm/-6mm offset and also are there any performance drawbacks to a wider stance. I love the appearance of a wider stance, but am curious as to if it can negatively affect performance. I read somewhere on here that it can lead to axle stress. Is this true? One more question, do you guys have any suggestions in regards to tires? I like the Courser ATX because it seems the closest tire to a hybrid AT/MT that I have found. Do you know of any others that are similar to this tire?
Check out the Goodyear Duratrac. Aggressive looking AT and very popular on the forums. I highly recommend going with Discount tire on the forum and spending $30 per tire on their warranty. (No questions asked replacement if anything were to happen)

The axle stress comes with less back space running wheels or spacers. There's no way around it. All JK's end up needing ball joints sometime down the road.
You need the clearance running a wider 12.5" tire.
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWhite View Post
I have done as much off-roading as my Goodyear SR-A's will allow me.
I have no problem with someone upgrading tires or lifting for any reason - but how much do you think your SR-A's are really limiting you?







(went up this as well as down, as it is a summit with only one way up, but nobody got a pic of the climb)


None of these represent stuck - the one 'stuck' I've had so far has been high centered due to poor line choice. What I do avoid whenever possible is mud.

Note that you said you don't have a lot of rocks to play on, that's why I'm not trying to show you 'huge articulation' situations, just me enjoying my Jeep with stock height, stock SR-As on more than just a dirt road.
If I get a windfall I will replace my SR-As overnight, but without that I have no problem wheeling and beating them up until they are worn down.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:40 PM   #26
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KJeeper, that is all incredibly useful information and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and writing it. You all have helped me from making some very tragic mistakes which might have caused me either a heart attack down the road of brain damage from hitting my head against a wall. Ivoryring - Indiana mud and clay turns SR-A's into Crisco coated racing slicks. I'm attempting to include a picture to demonstrate how this looks, but apparently I cant attach an image.




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2009 JKU X Red Rock Crystal Pearl: 2.5 inch Rock Krawler lift, Adjustable RK Front Track Bar, Front Sway Bar Discos, Fox 2.0 Evo Racing Shocks, 315/70R17 "New Design" Fun Countries, Self Designed/Built K&N High Performance CAI w/breather cut in wheel well, Dual Hella Comet 500 Aux Lights, odds and ends all PROUDLY topped off by a Thrush Glasspack My Build: The Red Cliff Chief, or simply "Cliff" http://www.wranglerforum.com/f314/fi...ef-854434.html - Mat
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:51 PM   #27
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Take the advice on using Discount Tire and also the Duratracs. I was going to buy a slightly cheaper tire from discount but theyt were out of them. I decided to get the duratracs and with the rebates it came out cheaper buying the more expensive tire. hope that made sense to you LOL. Bought 5 rims and 5 33/12.5/r15 Duratracs from discount and had them at my house mounted and balanced with warranty and security lugnuts within 5 days. I love my duratracs but they may not be for you. All depends on the person.
Very glad to hear your going with the 21/2-3" lift, it will keep your jeep from getting that tyo high unbalanced look.
Oh yeah, join Tread Lightly. It only costs $25.00 but when you buy 4 tires from discount tire you get a $100.00 rebate. Just 1 of the rebates you get from them
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:56 PM   #28
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No problem man. I'm not afraid to admit I made mistakes. Lots of them. I try to help people avoid the same mistakes I made.

There is a sister Duratrac that will save you some coin. I forget the name ..?
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:14 PM   #29
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I'll be sure to keep you all updated with information/pics as this build is going on so that you can see the good and happiness that you brought to a newb, yet fellow, Jeeper While this is going to take a lot more time to complete and require patience, I'll try my best to keep my sanity. Nothin' worse than pullin' up next to a Jeep that has what ya want. 1000x worse than waiting for Christmas morning. Also, put a lovely scratch above the left rear fender thanks to a broken stabilizer arm on my janky soft top, so I'm gonna be looking into touch-up paint/pens. I went to several local auto parts stores but none of them care to carry the beauty that is Red Rock Crystal Pearl *sigh*

Oh, also, is there a way to follow/link to certain members on here so that you can follow their posts/updates regarding their Jeeps?

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2009 JKU X Red Rock Crystal Pearl: 2.5 inch Rock Krawler lift, Adjustable RK Front Track Bar, Front Sway Bar Discos, Fox 2.0 Evo Racing Shocks, 315/70R17 "New Design" Fun Countries, Self Designed/Built K&N High Performance CAI w/breather cut in wheel well, Dual Hella Comet 500 Aux Lights, odds and ends all PROUDLY topped off by a Thrush Glasspack My Build: The Red Cliff Chief, or simply "Cliff" http://www.wranglerforum.com/f314/fi...ef-854434.html - Mat
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:07 PM   #30
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2013 Gecko Rubicon Unlimited - Ghostbuster
Kicker speakers, smittybilt Mesh Top and C.R.E.S. for the summer, hard top for the 2 days of rain 285/70R17 Procomp Xtreme A/T and Procomp 5129 wheels
Stock Rubi wheels for sale - PM me
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