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Old 01-08-2011, 08:46 PM   #1
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Help me upgrade my new Jeep!

Purchased my first Jeep on 12/31/2010. Here's a picture after 2 hours off the lot ... I promised my 5 yr old son a ride and he talked me into some offroading in the nearly empty development where we just built.



Considerations: I live 40 miles from work and I have lots of 70MPH highway in between. Live in Texas and snow is pretty much a non-factor. (was an awesome year last year though!) I will not be offroading a LOT but I sure would like to get into it and do it when I can. I live in the DFW area and have yet to scope out locations to ride and/or area clubs. I have three little kids ... I don't know what that has to do with anything they can barely get into the Jeep as it stands now - another 3 to 6 inches of lift isn't going to change anything.

Here's what I am currently considering ... not set on anything:

Wheels: Helo Series HE842 Wheel
Tires: BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
Front Bumper: Warn Rock Crawler Front Bumper
Lift: 4 inch Suspension System with shocks by Superlift
Winch: M6000 Self-Recovery Winch
Flares: Rugged Ridge Fender Flares

Questions:

- Do I want a hawse fairlead on the winch or do I want the rollers??
- I probably need some additional lighting??
- With the weight of the new bumped and winch ... do I need to add something to compensate in the front?
- The more I look at pictures the less I am sold on 35" with 18" rims. I might have to go in the other direction - smaller rims keeping the same size.

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Old 01-08-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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Hawse fairlead if you use synthetic rope on the winch. steel cable might groove the aluminum hawse.

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Old 01-08-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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Why don't you actually do some off roading first and let function be your guiding force? If you mainly commute on the highway everyday you will be hating life with 35's. A 4" lift is also overkill and brings a whole lot of issues along with it to be addressed. Brake lines, drive shaft, etc.

A 2 or 2.5" lift and 33's might be a better solution to consider since it's a DD and only occasionally off road. Keep in mind that a Rubicon is pretty much a beast off road in stock form.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:19 PM   #4
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If the Jeep doesn't have any skid plates over the oil pan and Evap canister then I would get those if you are doing any off roading. Two most exposed pieces not protected by factory armor your jeep. I like my 285/70/17 or 33's, They look good to me. I think they are plenty but that is my opinion
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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Don't do anything with it yet. Drive it for a few months and do a lot of research, or maybe find someone with a similar JKU that has some of the mods you might like. If you are not going to do serious offroading, stick with a 2-2 1/2" lift and 33s. That will get you everything you need and allow you to run the 410 gears you have. It will also allow you to keep your stock driveshafts. A 4" lift is major overkill for 33s and will cost you an extra $2500 for all of the extra components needed to do it right.

Read the FAQ here and elsewhere and take it slow.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
Why don't you actually do some off roading first and let function be your guiding force?
Quote:
Keep in mind that a Rubicon is pretty much a beast off road in stock form.
This. Why spend thousands in mods on a brand new vehicle when you're not even that familiar with it yet?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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I would not do any major upgrades yet. As others have said, wait and let things that you realize you really do need be your guide. Jeeps are fantastic off road in stock form so spend some time (maybe 3-6) months at least; off roading and learning your rig before you mod it with any thing major.

Now....having said that, there is a whole world of other modifications that could help you if your just itching to start changing things. Check out many of the Jeep accessory websites and check out whats out there. Also, look through the forums here to see/talk with others about their JKs and what they've installed and why.

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #8
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UGG! This forum does not allow edits after a certain point - bummer. I was going to edit my original post with information learned from others and sort of keep a running tally of what I had found. Guess I can scratch that idea!

To clarify my position ... I'm not running out and buying tomorrow, next week or probably even next month. I'm researching and asking for people's opinions - exactly what I am getting here. I appreciate all the comments, very helpful.

>> Why don't you actually do some off roading first and let function be your guiding force?

For the same reason my grandmother is not going to learn about web design and come up with her own Bridge Club website. (OK there are different reasons but we both have our reasons)

That doesn't mean I will not do what I can but I'm not going to let my limited experience and time play a major role in making the decisions regarding my jeep modifications. Too many kids, too much work, too little free time. Next weekend I'm heading up to OK with my neighbor across the street to learn some offroading basics. He's also given me some mod advice and I'm trying to take what he's said and run with it. It is a lot to learn from someone who has only chained his oil and air filters on his own cars.

Anyway, thanks to all I really appreciate the comments.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by xYike View Post
>> Why don't you actually do some off roading first and let function be your guiding force?
Very wise words. If your grandmother wanted a website, she is better off looking around at other websites and seeing what she wants added to her own. Jeeps are the same way.

I have had my rig a few months, and have been going out with my club on a number of runs, riding shotgun a lot.

I have a good idea of now of what I want to do with my rig, how I want it to perform and what terrain I like to drive in. I can make the right decisions now. Give you an example - in my mind I had planned to get all terrain tires. After spending some time at Disney and watching rigs perform, some with ATs, some with off road tires, I know know I want a more aggressive tread than an AT, and that I would have been unhappy with an AT, and would have wasted a lot of money (tires are not cheap).

So now that I know what I want my jeep to do, I am starting to build it. My lift and tires go on this week.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:18 AM   #10
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Not sure why people don't think the guy already has an idea of what he wants. Sure a little off roading may help in determining some mods but that doesn't mean he can't start others. You don't have to even off road to want a lift. I do think you may regret a 4" lift though and would wait on that option unless you are just set on 35's but still that can wait for now to make sure that is what you want. Some people just like the looks though. Besides a lift does nothing for off roading because it adds nothing to the ground clearance just gives you the ability to buy bigger tires. Also if you already know the terrain you will be taking your Jeep on then there is no reason to wait for tires when you can ask friends and others that ride on that type of terrain what the best choices are for that type of off roading. I think the biggest benefit in giving advice on 35" tires are the disadvantages that come with them. Especially the load on the drive train and having to regear which is very costly.

Besides that, why wouldn't you add the basic armor long before you hit the trails. It only takes one rock to rip a hole in your oil pan or Evap canister. I would recommend anyone do at least basic protection before trying your luck at off roading yet no one seems to offer that advice. Or depending on what type of off roading he might be doing he may need better protection then that. Especially if it involves rocky terrain. But then too if he wants to hit very muddy terrain, then he may want tires before he gets there or he may be stuck in mud. I think best help would be to ask what you expect to do then help from there but just saying go off roading then see to me isn't the best advice.

I do think you need to research your area and get in touch with local off roading groups for advice but see no reason you can't go ahead and be prepared for the fun you are getting ready to have. It could save your jeep from damage and/or being stuck in the middle of no wheres. Best steps to is to think about a recovery kit, just in case.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:58 AM   #11
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Questions, what kind of Terrain do you plan on off roading? Is it rocky or muddy? If rocky then there are better tires for that and you want to consider side walls in that decision because many tires may run good on rocks but may puncture easily. Also if you want to ride in water there is one mod I higher recommend and that is to extend the breathing hoses of your axles, transmission, and transfer case. Bob Smilin's hose extension is a kit for it but you can do it yourself with lines and fittings from your hardware store and auto parts. Otherwise water can work itself into your fluids over time. Also if you are planing rocky terrain you may want to think about side panel protection. If this will be a daily driver then I really think you will regret a 4" lift and 35's but many do it on daily drivers. I think it should be the last thing you do just in case you change your mind on it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:11 AM   #12
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What's your budget?

I think there are better choices to all the products you listed, relative to your posted choice criteria.

Like Daggo said, 33s would likely be a better choice. And I'd think lighter for the mods --- like an Aberle bumper, etc.

Drive it a while. Let the mods be an organic progression.
Dig around on the forum here; avoid forums that have heavy patronage as their guiding mantra...
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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I also do mostly do a 34 mile round trip to and from work with minimal off roading. That being said I have skid plates all along my under carriage and rock rails. I also chose to upgrade my lighiting with 4 130 watt KC slimlights and where I live I use them often on road and just turn them off when I see a car coming. After reading alot on this forum and not having a ton of money to throw at my Jeep I did the smartest things first in my opinion. I may only have stock 32" tires but if I go off road i do not worry about busting off my evap or dumping out 6 qts of oil in 2 seconds. To me thats mush more important that anything else.

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