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Old 05-02-2014, 08:00 AM   #1
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FNG with lots of questions!

Like I said, I am new to the Jeep scene. I have been a good ole country boy driving trucks for quite a while now but am finally able to afford a play vehicle. The wife has loved Jeeps her whole life and I love the outdoors so I am planning on surprising her with a one for her birthday in July. She loves big tires, gnarly bumpers, loud stereos. I am a practical guy, I want to be able to play but also to drive it when I want to on the road with out it being cumbersome.

In choosing a Jeep I think that I have narrowed it to the JKU, we have 2 kids under 4 plus I am over 6' and she is 5'10". I want to keep the Jeep for a while and the kids and adventures will only get bigger. I have been a truck lover my entire life and have good mechanical sense plus my best friend owns his own shop less then a mile from the house, so all the work will be done by us. I am gonna start with a few questions and keep asking so that there aren't to many and overwhelming. I would appreciate as much info as possible, I love know why and how things work.

So here goes, on a JKU for good off roading, level 2 trails I think is what they are called, 33x12.50 or 35x12.50s? Which lift do I need with each one? Looking at either the Nitto Tera Grappler or the Goodyear Dura trac.

Coming from my truck back ground I love a manual trans but for great off roading you can't beat an auto. Do these trans hold up well over 100k miles with larger tires? I am gonna regear depending on the tire size.

Does the 3.8l engine hold up over 100k like the 4.0 or do I need to/should I do something to it to make it last longer run better? Cold air intake, new exhaust, programmer, bigger trans pan bigger better trans cooler?

Like I said just a few to start with. I want to have some of the things done to it for her birthday and keep adding to it as the time/money allows. Thanks in advance or all the help.

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Old 05-02-2014, 03:02 PM   #2
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So here goes, on a JKU for good off roading, level 2 trails I think is what they are called, 33x12.50 or 35x12.50s? Which lift do I need with each one? Looking at either the Nitto Tera Grappler or the Goodyear Dura trac.

Coming from my truck back ground I love a manual trans but for great off roading you can't beat an auto. Do these trans hold up well over 100k miles with larger tires? I am gonna regear depending on the tire size.

Does the 3.8l engine hold up over 100k like the 4.0 or do I need to/should I do something to it to make it last longer run better? Cold air intake, new exhaust, programmer, bigger trans pan bigger better trans cooler?

Like I said just a few to start with. I want to have some of the things done to it for her birthday and keep adding to it as the time/money allows. Thanks in advance or all the help.
Unless you're taller than 6'8" you'll more than fit in a jeep.

Level 2 trails are still in the easy range for a wrangler. Those can actually be done with a little bit of skill without any lift. Because of the longer wheelbase it may rub the skids a bit so a lift wouldn't hurt. 33's can fit stock but many people like a 2.5" lift. For 35's 2.5"-3.5" is good but the lower height lifts are cheaper and don't require many/any extra parts.

Like any engine it has a lot to do with how well it was maintained but a 3.8 should be able to do 200k with minimal repairs if it was maintained. Some burn a bit of oil but if you check the oil level every 1000 miles or so until you know if/how much it burns you should be ok. The trans also hold up very well. These aren't overly powerful engines so the trans are good matches. A larger trans cooler wouldn't ever hurt but not totally necessary. Intakes exhausts and programmers really don't do much for the jeep so I'd spend that money on other mods. They are very reliable vehicles. The axles should hold up to a 35 no problem as long as you're not intensely beating on it often. You may want to think about welding C gussets onto the front axle or even truss it for $100 in parts if you want to go crazy.

Jeeps are great because they have the largest aftermarket demand and that makes things cheaper and often better than when modifying other cars because there are more companies competing

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Old 05-02-2014, 03:21 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum!

What model year are you considering? If it's in your budget you would be well served by going with a newer model with the 3.6 Pentastar engine.

You can run 33" tires with minimum mods and 35s comfortably with a 2.5" lift kit.

The Grapplers may provide slightly better traction off road but the Duratracs are hard to beat as an all around performer if you drive mostly on the road.

Check out some of the treads on the specific mods you are considering so you can get some owner input. Both transmissions are good but like with PU there are a lot more autos, although the percentage of manuals may be slightly higher on Jeeps.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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Well, I don't have anything to add to what's already been said, so I'll just say . . .

Welcome to the forum!

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Old 05-02-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
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You may want to start your research here:

JK Tech common questions here!!!!

Lots of good information for new jeep folks. Hopefully it will help you understand the whys and hows of what you're looking for!

and good luck!
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
yeah,,,, im that good

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I have nothing to add except....

But since every other moderator is here...

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Old 05-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #7
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I have nothing to add except....

But since every other moderator is here...

lol...
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
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That is great info! Thanks for the help and I am looking forward to learning and having too much fun!
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:57 PM   #9
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I have nothing to add except....

But since every other moderator is here...

(but make mine an Angry Orchard, please!)
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:23 AM   #10
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I'll buy the beer but I am having some Basil Hayden bourbon!

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