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Old 09-29-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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Buying my first Jeep Wrangler Tuesday.

Well, after doing a lot of research, I have narrowed down my choice to a
2014 Jeep Unlimited Sports-s which I am going to pick up Tuesday.
It has the below options.

Sport S Package 24S, Automatic, Max tow package, traction lock rear differential, hard top. It comes with a 3.73 differential.

The car also comes with the below equipment, which I am not sure that I want or need.

Uconnect(R) 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD and
SiriusXM Satellite Radio w/ 1-Yr Radio

My purpose is to explore old ghost towns in the western desert. Go on dirt roads and some off road exploring. No rock crawling. Maybe some Moab Utah exploring.
Any suggestions on if this car will do the trick, or if I need some extra's.
I talked to a local off road center, and they said they could install a "front locker" for around $1,400. I don't know if this will void my warranty or not.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks

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Old 09-29-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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First to say it! It's a JEEP, not a car... Congrats...

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Old 09-29-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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To do what you want just need some better tires, the stock sport s tires are highway tread and very thin sidewall, easily popped by rocks on dirt roads.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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I'm on the same boat. Lots of desert exploring. The three updates I recommend are a larger offroad tires, hood latches and a cb. Offroad tires to handle the dirt roads, hood latch for the hood flutter when it's windy on the open highway and the cb because cell service is a joke half the time.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mooney201 View Post
The car also comes with the below equipment, which I am not sure that I want or need.

Uconnect(R) 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD and
SiriusXM Satellite Radio w/ 1-Yr Radio
You might be amazed how much you use satellite radio, awesome stuff!! Also the HDD is nice when you don't want to search for radio stations or reception is terrible.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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Hood latches? I have a CB, plus am looking at a Satellite phone.

Not sure how to use the uconnect. I will have to read up on it.

I want to stay the same diameter tire, because I don't want to re-gear, so what tire are you guys buying? This Jeep comes with
17-Inch x 7.5-Inch Aluminum Wheels
P255/75R17 OWL On/Off Road Tires

Thanks
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:07 PM   #7
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Hood latches? I have a CB, plus am looking at a Satellite phone. Not sure how to use the uconnect. I will have to read up on it. I want to stay the same diameter tire, because I don't want to re-gear, so what tire are you guys buying? This Jeep comes with 17-Inch x 7.5-Inch Aluminum Wheels P255/75R17 OWL On/Off Road Tires Thanks
Hood latches because the hood will flutter at 65 mph when passing trucks or if you have a crosswind. It's more a annoyance but I'm glad I fixed it with new latches.

I'm running 33's and no need to regear. You do need the computer recalc'd with the different tires.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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Not good, when before you purchase a vehicle, you know that you have to replace a part that is not acceptable. I also read in a sticky that some type of threaded bolt needs to be replaced with a non threaded bolt or problems will happen. Why doesn't Jeep fix the problems at the factory. Surely this is not a new problem. I know they make the best off road vehicle, but sheeeesh...
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:37 PM   #9
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All I can say its a Jeep and not a Toyota pickup. They have quarks, they are not modern but offroad they are unbeatable.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Yes,,, and they have tons of after market parts, for individualizing each one. I can see that the original purchase is just the beginning. Tuesday, we will be in the Jeep family. I just read that the stock tires are 32". Going to 33's is only going to give you a 1/2 inch lift. Is it that important? For me the stronger side walls is a very good idea. I don't want to have two flats with only one spare.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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The uconnect is a nice feature. Easily pairs with Bluetooth enabled phones to receive and send calls via the speaker system. Also allows you to use your phone music when you don't like what is on sat or radio.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:59 PM   #12
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Phone Music??? Must be a new feature. I am closing in on 70 years old, and don't know much about the new gadgets.
All my music on CD's are from the 50's.
My cell phone makes calls, and has a camera.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:39 PM   #13
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mooney the best thing you can do is put some better tires on it. bfg all terrains, cooper st max, falken rocky mountains or something along these lines. Another thing is to have a tire repair kit and few other things for emergencies. I hope you enjoy your jeep as much as me and my family enjoy our jeeps. There are tons of things for jeeps you will want after you have spent some time with it. They are a unique vehicle that you will love and enjoy.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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That configuration should work fine. If you are primarily on dirt roads the stock tires should be fine but as mentioned you may want to upgrade. 285/70/17's would be ideal.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:07 PM   #15
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Ok, you DONT need hood latches, not a big deal with a little flutter, can just remove the spring and stop it. The track bar bolt is not a issue either, would not fret it, especially in stock configuration, new thing you can do for what you plan on is tires, staying with stock size the BFG A/T and Goodyear silent armor have reinforced sidewalls and will suite your needs perfectly.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:07 PM   #16
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I would say in addition, if it has the 430 radio, make sure it has connectivity group as well. Without that, you'll have no Bluetooth functionality such as hands free phone calls or USB console port for charging either. Dumbs down some of the radio function without it.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooney201 View Post
Well, after doing a lot of research, I have narrowed down my choice to a
2014 Jeep Unlimited Sports-s which I am going to pick up Tuesday.
It has the below options.

Sport S Package 24S, Automatic, Max tow package, traction lock rear differential, hard top. It comes with a 3.73 differential.

The car also comes with the below equipment, which I am not sure that I want or need.

Uconnect(R) 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD and
SiriusXM Satellite Radio w/ 1-Yr Radio

My purpose is to explore old ghost towns in the western desert. Go on dirt roads and some off road exploring. No rock crawling. Maybe some Moab Utah exploring.
Any suggestions on if this car will do the trick, or if I need some extra's.
I talked to a local off road center, and they said they could install a "front locker" for around $1,400. I don't know if this will void my warranty or not.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
For what you are looking to do, from my personal experience being out west and jeeping out west you should have....

1) Minor lift, enough to clear 33" tires, a performance leveling kit or a 2.5" lift is plenty.

2) Evo protek skid plate system

3) rear bumper with fuel/water carrying ability (Smittybilt Atlas, AEV, Expedition1 etc)

4) Depending on gear you may want to consider a roof rack of some sort, either full or half (Gobi, frontrunner, etc)

5) Soft shocks to keep the ride manageable...you can run OEMs until you kill them.

6) Lots and lots of lighting

7) Excellent provisions (first aid, emergency, etc.)

8) Knowledge...it can be the difference between life and death. Know what you are doing before you head out into the middle of nowhere.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mooney201 View Post
Hood latches? I have a CB, plus am looking at a Satellite phone.

Not sure how to use the uconnect. I will have to read up on it.

I want to stay the same diameter tire, because I don't want to re-gear, so what tire are you guys buying? This Jeep comes with
17-Inch x 7.5-Inch Aluminum Wheels
P255/75R17 OWL On/Off Road Tires

Thanks
I've never had a hood flutter issue, so I never did anything about it, but many do apparently. CB is worthless 99 times out of 100 in the bush, but it's still something worth having. Sat phones are great, but they are a decent investment. Unless you want to drop 1K on an Iridium phone, you'll be better off renting them before your expedition. They are cheap to rent (often $4 a day.) Don't buy cheap ($300-400) sat phones. They're usually worthless.

For tires, if you are getting MTs, get Nittos. They are heavy, but they are extremely tough, something you want when going into the unknown. If you want road tires that work well offroad, look no further than Duratracs.

I would get the upgraded shouldered bolt kit from Northridge though. The constant vibrations from desert driving will accelerate the wear from those idiotic factory bolts.

The one thing you need to know is, you can't build for "plan A" only. You say you are not planning on rock crawling, and thats fine, but you might run into a situation 50 miles in where you may be forced to crawl a little bit, and you'll want to be prepared.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:07 AM   #19
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That's a ton of good information. Thank you all. I am looking forward to picking up the Jeep and start exploring. Going out into the desert, I thought about a small trailer that would hold gas, water and our two baja scooters.
Just in case.
They look like this:

Google Image Result for http://www.oldminibikes.com/forum/photopost/data/500/BajaFront.JPG
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:22 AM   #20
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I thought it was going to be a picture of old people after they have been in the hot desert after 20 miles
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:32 AM   #21
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Not sure how the 430 gps handles going off the beaten paths. Some gpses will auto locate you to a road. If offroad it may get confused A Handheld unit may be helpful
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:37 AM   #22
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The one thing you need to know is, you can't build for "plan A" only. You say you are not planning on rock crawling, and thats fine, but you might run into a situation 50 miles in where you may be forced to crawl a little bit, and you'll want to be prepared.

^^ This!
I say "Winch"
I'm getting one when I can!

Part of why I got the Rubicon...
The lockers already got me out of the mud once.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:00 AM   #23
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I thought it was going to be a picture of old people after they have been in the hot desert after 20 miles
LOL,,, that would just be a pile of bones.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:14 AM   #24
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I put 2.5 inch spidertrax spacers and 295/70/17 cooper discoverer stt's on mine. The tires measure out to be like a 33.5x12. I have NO rubbing and they look great
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:33 AM   #25
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I'd definitely get different tires, and most dealers will work out a deal to do that for you. And you will definitely be sitting higher off the deck than in a 201. More elbow room too.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:45 AM   #26
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As it is now, it is difficult to get into the stock height Jeep. We will need to get some kind of step to enter and exit. I think I have seen a small step that bolts to the frame. Wife has bad knees, I have two replaced hips.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:51 AM   #27
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As it is now, it is difficult to get into the stock height Jeep. We will need to get some kind of step to enter and exit. I think I have seen a small step that bolts to the frame. Wife has bad knees, I have two replaced hips.
There are definitely solutions for this. Some are even powered so they tuck back in when not in use.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:18 AM   #28
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The 430N works just fine for "off-road". It won't tell you where you are if it doesn't have a name for the trail in its database, but it will keep a track of where you've been so that you can backtrack if necessary.

I would say you don't really need lockers for what you describe. We use our jeep for roughly the same things you describe and I've only engaged the lockers two or three times in 12K miles (lots of highway travel in there).

In an unlimited you will notice the lack of breakover clearance. I have a leveling kit (1.5" lift) on mine and it really helped. I still scrape sometimes and will eventually get a 2.5" lift.

Good tires are probably the best thing you can add to make it more capable. I think Wrangler MTR Kevlars are fantastic for Utah (have them on our LJ) and I will probably get those when the original tires wear out. Also, a portable pump, so that you can deflate and re-inflate will make the ride smoother and help in the sand and rocks.

Here's a step:
http://www.quadratec.com/products/12590_12XX_PG.htm
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:19 PM   #29
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Thanks,,, very good information.

I decided to build my Jeep and just ordered it today. No sense buying one with options we won't use. They say 8 weeks for delivery.
It will be a nice Christmas present for us.
While we wait, I will purchase the track bar bolt kit, plus a step.
The Dealer said he would work with me on exchanging the original tires for
Kelly Safari TSR tires. "Their closest tire size to stock is"
245/75-17 for the Safari TSR tires.
Stock size is
255/75-17 Goodyear Wranglers.

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