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Old 03-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
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best way to spend $2k for offroading

With tax $$ coming in soon, I'm looking to spend around $2k to upgrade my 2012 2-door sport. I'm running 15" TKOs with 33" Duratracs.

Any suggestions for how you would spend the 2k to enhance off road capability?

Would a TF 2.5" spring lift for around $650 be a good starting point or should I be looking at another company like RK and eat up most of my budget with a more complete lift?

I want to be able to take this thing on the trails and not worry about backing down from any challenges.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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I would wait for Metal Cloak's 2.5" kit for 2-doors. It will be around $1,600. With the rest I would get a set of skids. Couple all that with your 33" duratracs you should be able to attack any terrain.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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This or similar.

Bill Burke's 4-Wheeling America - off road 4x4 driver training.

Upgrade yourself to where you can fully utilize your vehicle and your money will go much farther.

Mike
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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Skids with some of it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:36 PM   #5
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I would wait for Metal Cloak's 2.5" kit for 2-doors. It will be around $1,600. With the rest I would get a set of skids. Couple all that with your 33" duratracs you should be able to attack any terrain.
Any info on when to expect to see this kit? Is it going to be one of their "game changer" line?
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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I would start with rails and a lift. If you have money left over, more armor like skid plates and diff covers.

Are you installing stuff yourself or having it done? If having it done, that will take up some of your budget.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:19 PM   #7
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Any info on when to expect to see this kit? Is it going to be one of their "game changer" line?
x2


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I would start with rails and a lift. If you have money left over, more armor like skid plates and diff covers.

Are you installing stuff yourself or having it done? If having it done, that will take up some of your budget.
I'll do the install myself to save $
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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I have the same setup as you with wheels an tires an honestly I would get the teraflex 1.5" performance leveling kit or their 2.5" lift with blistein shocks. Then you will have plenty if money left over for skid, bumpers, or winch, any combination of things really. An mine has done exceptional off road at places like shoe creek an others
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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A lot depends on what one calls "off-roading". For fire trails, etc. 2 grand will go a long way. For forest service trails in my area, the Forest Service requires minimum 33" tires(actual measure) and at least one locking axle. Not limited slip axle. So right there goes a big share of the 2K. And then one can have a very difficult time with the minimum requirements in a lot of places. And after that; there are some trails that get difficult where the 2K won't even get started.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:16 PM   #10
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I want to be able to take this thing on the trails and not worry about backing down from any challenges.
Ummmm that ain't going to happen for two grand. I don't care what anyone on this forum says.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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If I had 2k to get me through most things offroad. A winch and bumper.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:44 PM   #12
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Ummmm that ain't going to happen for two grand. I don't care what anyone on this forum says.
X's. 2
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #13
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Since you're doing the work yourself:

Lift: RK 2.5" Max Travel and shocks (Bilstein, Rancho 9000)
Any decent 2.5" lift will do with 33's. Don't go over 2.5" though unless you want to go to 35's. Metal Cloak makes good stuff too. If they have a release date for that lift mentioned above, that would be a good choice too.

I tend to disregard anything that doesn't have a release date that is soon. Even if it does, they always get pushed back. Plus, you don't always want something when it's brand new and un-tested. May have problems.

Teraflex would be good and not as expensive as RK or MC.

If you have any left, get some rails.

Other good choices:

For skids, get the Evo Protek 3 piece skid. It will protect most of the vitals.

Diff covers. Riddler are priced nicely.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:47 PM   #14
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Ummmm that ain't going to happen for two grand. I don't care what anyone on this forum says.
Suggestions for where to start then?

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I would start with rails and a lift. If you have money left over, more armor like skid plates and diff covers.

Are you installing stuff yourself or having it done? If having it done, that will take up some of your budget.

Which skid plates are the most important to start off with? Any brand recommendations?
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:49 PM   #15
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JCRoffroad is having a sale. I would grab a bumper and sliders. ~ $1k after shipping.
Paint or line yourself to save the cash, or pay $300 for powdercoating.
Engo winch should be under $500.
Shackles and some recovery straps (snatch, tree saver, tow strap) ~ $100
Whatever you have left in some belly armor or save for full belly armor like that from TNTcustoms. ~ $1200

I would save for the lift. I have the 2.5 MC that Matador suggested, it is out for a 4-door. I like it alot.

Have fun!
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #16
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Since you're doing the work yourself:

Lift: RK 2.5" Max Travel and shocks (Bilstein, Rancho 9000)
Any decent 2.5" lift will do with 33's. Don't go over 2.5" though unless you want to go to 35's. Metal Cloak makes good stuff too. If they have a release date for that lift mentioned above, that would be a good choice too.

I tend to disregard anything that doesn't have a release date that is soon. Even if it does, they always get pushed back. Plus, you don't always want something when it's brand new and un-tested. May have problems.

Teraflex would be good and not as expensive as RK or MC.

If you have any left, get some rails.

Other good choices:

For skids, get the Evo Protek 3 piece skid. It will protect most of the vitals.

Diff covers. Riddler are priced nicely.

Beat me to the punch.. thanks for the recommendations.

For $1,000 more, what will a RK lift achieve that the TF won't? I know the track bars and control arms will help with the alignment, but how big of a difference will this make on the trails?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #17
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Beat me to the punch.. thanks for the recommendations.

For $1,000 more, what will a RK lift achieve that the TF won't? I know the track bars and control arms will help with the alignment, but how big of a difference will this make on the trails?
The goemetry correction will make the Jeep handle better on and off road. You really do get what you pay for.

If you want to start with a less expensive lift, RK also makes the stock mod and flex systems.

JK Suspension Systems

You essentially get more parts with the more expensive lifts. You can definitely start with any of them and build as you go. That is true with pretty much all lift brands.

For example, I got the max travel which comes with all four lower control arms. I can upgrade my lift later by adding the upper arms.

The flex has the front arms only. So the next upgrade would be the rear arms.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:54 AM   #18
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Get an Ace Pro Series front bumper ($499), Ace 10" LED light Bar ($285), Quadratec Q9500i winch ($360) and a Tera Flex 2.5 Coil Lift with shocks ($731)
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:28 PM   #19
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Any info on when to expect to see this kit? Is it going to be one of their "game changer" line?
From my conversation with Matson, he told me sometime late this year. In the meantime I installed a teraflex leveling kit to get me through the summer months and possibly fit 35's in the coming months.

My plan is to get everything in order before hand so when it is released I'll be ready to go. for 2-door Jeeps, that includes plans for new drive shafts as well.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #20
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From my conversation with Matson, he told me sometime late this year.
I wouldn't wait that long for something that may or may not come out on time. Maybe if he said early Spring...

Plus, I figure the OP wants something sooner than later.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:47 PM   #21
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I would do Metal Cloak OverTrail Flat fenders, and a decent lift Rock Krawler or AEV. For 899 AEV comes with good shocks and good springs. Just my .02
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:58 AM   #22
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I prefer armor>winch>skid plate>lift>gears/locker>tires.
Think about it; after you air down, you Might only get an extra 1" of running clearance going from 33" to 35". In my opinion that is not worth the extra money to get to where you can benefit from bigger meats. Because of my experience being stranded several times off road, I recommend protection first so you, your wife and dog have less chance of having to walk out and less chance of serious body damage when the trail becomes a "challenge". My 0.02.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:15 AM   #23
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For $2K I would go for traction over lift. I went with Detriot Locker TrueTrac's front and rear. They are a little less than $2K installed.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:13 PM   #24
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For $2K I would go for traction over lift. I went with Detriot Locker TrueTrac's front and rear. They are a little less than $2K installed.
How much of that cost was install? Is there a less expensive yet still dependable route to go to get lockers?
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:30 PM   #25
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I prefer armor>winch>skid plate>lift>gears/locker>tires.
Think about it; after you air down, you Might only get an extra 1" of running clearance going from 33" to 35". In my opinion that is not worth the extra money to get to where you can benefit from bigger meats. Because of my experience being stranded several times off road, I recommend protection first so you, your wife and dog have less chance of having to walk out and less chance of serious body damage when the trail becomes a "challenge". My 0.02.
I agree wholeheartedly. Buying the lift first isn't going to get you anywhere you can't go stock without some damage. Lifts without any armor are for the mall parking lot.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #26
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How much of that cost was install? Is there a less expensive yet still dependable route to go to get lockers?
I paid about $775 for both differentials, about $300 for the master install kits and right at $900 in labor. I bought the differentials from Summit and the install kits from a company called North West Gear I believe.

There are some cheaper alternatives if you don't mind a noisy jeep when you turn corners
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:09 AM   #27
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If your wanting to do heavy off roasting get a roll cage with a set of rockers then get a skid for the evap and engine then look into a locker. I've seen people run the automatic Detroit and be very successful because the electronics in the JKs make it run better than in a TJ. Then look into a lift, if you want 35s in the future I'd say about 3 or 3.5 inches is all you would need since you don't want it too high to where it gets top heavy.

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