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Old 07-31-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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My prospective build! Thoughts and feedback appreciated!

Hello fellow JK Owners! I am a new Jeep owner and have started doing research and putting a build together on paper! I would like your feedback and input on what I am trying to put together.

First off, I have a 2012 JKU Freedom Edition, 6 speed manual transmission with 3.73 rear axle ratio. I am looking to take her offroad, mostly mud and trails, and the beaches down on the Outer Banks of NC. There are some rock area's a few hours away and I might eventually get into that, but since I am a beginner and my Jeep is my Daily Driver, I dont want to jump head first into that!

Now to the build

I am looking at doing the Rock Krawler 2.5 Max Travel lift. I have read nothing but GREAT things about this lift. For the price, it seems to be the best way to go. I am all about spending a little more money for a quality product.

Wheels and Tires, I am still up in the air on and don't really know much about that, so any feedback or recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated. I want something that will do well off road but that is great on the pavement as well, again, this is my DD. I have heard a 15 inch wheel is the best bang for the buck. As far as tires go, I am thinking a 33 would be perfect, 35 might be a bit much, since it is my DD, I do not want gas mileage to suffer to much!

For a bumper and winch, I really like the look of the SmittyBilt Front SRC Stinger Bumper. I have heard SmittyBilt is not a very good product, but a lot of people seem to be rocking their bumpers! I just think it is gorgeous! And for a Winch, I was thinking the Endo E9000.

Lights, I am looking at the WARN Wireless lights!

Well, this is what I have so far, so please give me some feedback! If you have any other alternatives that may be less expensive but a good product or just any other suggestions in general, please feel free to let me know! Thanks in advance for all of your help and all the great feedback provided throughout the forum!

Dave



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Old 07-31-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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Good research. The 2.5" max travel kit is almost perfect. I would buy the recommended bilisteins they offer with the kit. Also you'll need to buy 3" of bumpstops to complete the kit. Shitty built makes good bumpers from what I've seen but crappy rock rails that don't hold up real well against rocks. Either 33s or 35s will look great. 35s will make a bigger difference on the rocks than the 33s. Id prefer 35s on the road not just for looks but it isn't that much of a difference. If your considering a lift, tires, wheels, bumpers and a winch be prepared to take a good hit at the tank. I would also like to add that if you want to run tbe OEM wheels you will need to buy wheel.spacers to push out your tires away.from your sway bar links and flthe frame of.your rig.

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:36 AM   #3
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My build is going to consist of the 2.5 flex kit from Rk as well as the Bilsteins they recommend. I'm looking at 15" wheels and 35" tires. All the pics I've seen of the 2.5 kits from RK on 33" tires look small to me, though your mileage may vary. As for the wheels/tires, one thing to keep in mind is that if you EVER even consider going to a 37" tire, the 15" wheels aren't compatible (though I've been told...haven't done any research on it myself). I'm too looking at the ENGO (not endo...typo on your part I'm sure). Most places have the ENGO 9000 with synthetic line for right at $400 shipped. As for bumpers, take a look at the e-autogrilles bumpers on eBay. On another forum (PM me if you want that name), there's a huge thread dedicated to those bumpers. You can get both a front and rear with tire carrier shipped for just shy of $900. I haven't decided on lights yet, but am probably going to go with some RI Dually's mounted on the windshield mounts. Many vendors here sell those as well...somewhere I saw the Dually I's with the brackets for like $189 shipped. All of this said, you might need an AEV procal to go along with everything to "reset" your "computer" to account for the bigger wheels/lift, etc...it will reset your speedo, shift points (auto trans only), daytime running lights, etc...

If you have any more specific questions, just ask!

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pluke the 2 View Post
Good research. The 2.5" max travel kit is almost perfect. I would buy the recommended bilisteins they offer with the kit. Also you'll need to buy 3" of bumpstops to complete the kit. Shitty built makes good bumpers from what I've seen but crappy rock rails that don't hold up real well against rocks. Either 33s or 35s will look great. 35s will make a bigger difference on the rocks than the 33s. Id prefer 35s on the road not just for looks but it isn't that much of a difference. If your considering a lift, tires, wheels, bumpers and a winch be prepared to take a good hit at the tank. I would also like to add that if you want to run tbe OEM wheels you will need to buy wheel.spacers to push out your tires away.from your sway bar links and flthe frame of.your rig.

Bump for his other questions
Maybe just stay away from Shittybilt altogether...
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:53 AM   #5
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Looks good. The bumpstops vary. If you're running factory flares you'll need about 2" bumpstop to keep 35s out of the fenders. I'm on flat flares and stock bumpstops with VERY minor rubbing at extreme articulation and adding 1" stops to resolve that.

On the winch, go for the 10k. Always get more winch than you think you need. I'd suggest a 12k but it doesn't come with synthetic rope yet. DEFINITELY go synthetic- it'll save you about 30# off your front bumper.

Check out ACE bumpers. Unlike Smitty, they're American made and still incredibly priced. JCR are also American and high quality, but slightly more pricey than ACE.
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Mine: 2012 JKU Sport, Deep Cherry, Auto, 3.73s, Rock Krawler 3.5" Flex, chitty Procomp shocks, JKS Discos, Rubi rails, A.C.E. sliders, EVO ProTek Skids, EVO Rockstars, JCR Dagger with lights and tire carrier, PSC Brawler Lite with custom stinger and grill hoop, ENGO 10k with synthetic, 35x12.50-15 BFG KM2s, MOPAR flat flares.
Wife's: 2004 TJ Sport, 4.0/Auto, 2" BB, stock JKU shocks, JKS front LCAs, 31x10.50-15 BFG ATs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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Also, I'd go 35 over 33. By the time you add bumpers, winch, and lift, you'll see a very minor difference in fuel from a 33 to a 35.

I'm running BFG KM2 and like them, but if you are mostly street also check out Goodyear Duratrac. Very good tires and the guys running them down here follow the MT crowd with little added effort.
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Mine: 2012 JKU Sport, Deep Cherry, Auto, 3.73s, Rock Krawler 3.5" Flex, chitty Procomp shocks, JKS Discos, Rubi rails, A.C.E. sliders, EVO ProTek Skids, EVO Rockstars, JCR Dagger with lights and tire carrier, PSC Brawler Lite with custom stinger and grill hoop, ENGO 10k with synthetic, 35x12.50-15 BFG KM2s, MOPAR flat flares.
Wife's: 2004 TJ Sport, 4.0/Auto, 2" BB, stock JKU shocks, JKS front LCAs, 31x10.50-15 BFG ATs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:17 AM   #7
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All good stuff Frshmt. I've been following this thread b/c it's pretty close to what I have in mind with my eventual build. I appreciate your knowledge, and I like your setup.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Im doing a 2.5 xfactor this weekend and will be going from stock 32s to 34.4 inch tires so hang on a few days and ill give you the review of the tire size change and fuel economy.

The X-Factor lift is the same as the max travel but will add rear track bar and upper control arms. (video and pics coming) Also, Im going with RK's RRD shocks with remote resivior. I cant wait to see them up close.

The duratrac is a nice blend of 33 and 35 being an AT and a little smaller than a 35 mud terrain. And Jeremy from RK suggests 35s with the 2.5 lift.

I also have the engo 9000 and It is a robust unit, should be plenty of power for whatever you get into. Go with the synthetic line as it will keep the weight down best. 85lbs on your bumper is noticable to the driver.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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Check out ACE bumpers. Unlike Smitty, they're American made and still incredibly priced. JCR are also American and high quality, but slightly more pricey than ACE.
I can vouch firsthand on ACE products. I just got a set of their rock rails and hit the trails on Saturday. They took an absolute beating but I left without a single scratch, save for the rails.

Shittybilt rails are made in China. I wouldn't trust Shittybilt rails for anything but cosmetic purposes, and even then I'd have my reservations. Countless people here have ordered Shittybilt products, only to be posting back about how the product was shoddy or fitment was way off.

Do yourself (and your Jeep) a favor and don't waste your time looking at cheap crap like Shittybilt products. You and your Jeep will thank you for it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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Im doing a 2.5 xfactor this weekend and will be going from stock 32s to 34.4 inch tires so hang on a few days and ill give you the review of the tire size change and fuel economy.

The X-Factor lift is the same as the max travel but will add rear track bar and upper control arms. (video and pics coming) Also, Im going with RK's RRD shocks with remote resivior. I cant wait to see them up close.
The RK 2.5" Max Travel PRO is $1,779 MSRP on their site. To get to the cost of the 2.5" X-Factor, do you merely add in the cost of the rear UCAs and rear TB? Or are they cutting some cost if you do a package deal?
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:44 AM   #11
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Jason at Krawl Off-Road can save you good money over RK MSRP. If the kit is officially released he can get you discounted pricing with free shipping. Get in touch with him, tell him Woody in Louisiana sent you. He's on vacation now but still responding to most e-mails and worst case, you'll hear from him Monday when he returns.
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Mine: 2012 JKU Sport, Deep Cherry, Auto, 3.73s, Rock Krawler 3.5" Flex, chitty Procomp shocks, JKS Discos, Rubi rails, A.C.E. sliders, EVO ProTek Skids, EVO Rockstars, JCR Dagger with lights and tire carrier, PSC Brawler Lite with custom stinger and grill hoop, ENGO 10k with synthetic, 35x12.50-15 BFG KM2s, MOPAR flat flares.
Wife's: 2004 TJ Sport, 4.0/Auto, 2" BB, stock JKU shocks, JKS front LCAs, 31x10.50-15 BFG ATs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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All good stuff Frshmt. I've been following this thread b/c it's pretty close to what I have in mind with my eventual build. I appreciate your knowledge, and I like your setup.
Thanks for the compliment!

I'm just trying to help fellow off-roaders get a good package that will work best for what they're after while not blowing out the bank account.
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Mine: 2012 JKU Sport, Deep Cherry, Auto, 3.73s, Rock Krawler 3.5" Flex, chitty Procomp shocks, JKS Discos, Rubi rails, A.C.E. sliders, EVO ProTek Skids, EVO Rockstars, JCR Dagger with lights and tire carrier, PSC Brawler Lite with custom stinger and grill hoop, ENGO 10k with synthetic, 35x12.50-15 BFG KM2s, MOPAR flat flares.
Wife's: 2004 TJ Sport, 4.0/Auto, 2" BB, stock JKU shocks, JKS front LCAs, 31x10.50-15 BFG ATs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by HarleyDad09
I am looking at doing the Rock Krawler 2.5 Max Travel lift. I have read nothing but GREAT things about this lift. For the price, it seems to be the best way to go. I am all about spending a little more money for a quality product.
Just a heads up, not sure if you've seen this yet but theres a thread called "lift hight" on this forum that talks about the RK 2.5. It suggesting that the RK produces an actual lift of up to 4in and that you'll be needing to upgrade your drive shafts too. Check it out or be weary of this! Pluke the 2 may be able to chime in on this better that I can, my jeep is still "in the mail" and he replied to that thread as well
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:21 AM   #14
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I'll throw in my $.02 from someone who been wheeling since before the interweb. Lots of good advice here. I'm new into the JK thing also, coming from CJ's, YJ's and an XJ, so I'm still gleaning info here myself. Traditionally, I've done small suspension lifts to accommodate larger tires without getting into a cascade of other mods that a larger lift may trigger. ( I'm considering a teraflex leveling kit, but I'm still thinking.)
One of the biggest changes I see from the "old days" is tires. In our bunch, if a rig is a daily driver, we usually run more street friendly A/T tires rather than uselessly burn up mud tires on the pavement and put up with noise, discomfort and mileage penalty. When we hit the trail, we put on very aggressive mud tires like Gateway Buckshots (R.I.P.), Super Swampers or Boggers, usually mounted on junkyard wheels. I think going to super aggressive tires like these improves offroad performance better than any other mod. My rigs have always been open diffs, but have often out performed locked rigs because of the more aggressive tires. Some will argue about the expense of two sets of tires, but if your using them for their designed purpose, with a little care, they can last a long time. The 15" Buckshots I'm I'm putting on free rims from a friend are at least 10 years old, going on their third Jeep and still have some useable tread left, (running mostly mud trails helped, rocks can eat tires). Think of them as athletic spikes, they really help when you're on the field or golf course, but you certainly don't wear them around town. For everyday wear, you want something more comfortable. I see folks almost giving away new stock tires and rims so they can install and burn up expensive, new mud tires on the pavement. To each their own, it's their Jeep, their wallet and we all know a rig does look better with bigger meats.
Oh, and wheel your stock Jeep with some other local Jeepers and see how great it is off the shelf. You're gonna love it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #15
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Edit: Did that post from my phone and it was real messed up for some reason, sorry!

But anyway, I just recently put the smittybilt SRC front bumper with the bull guard instead of stinger on, and I couldn't be happier. The thing is as solid as can be and installation is relatively easy and straightforward. Mine looks a little naked because I havn't gotten a winch yet but this picture can hopefully give you a good idea of what it would look like on a real jeep and just some internet picture.

I found it on amazon for 379.99 with 10 dollar shipping too, so it was a good deal compared to other places. Just be sure to shop around, some have great special offers or free shipping etc etc. Hope this is helpful!
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #16
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Thanks for all of the feedback, I will certainly have to look into the drive shift issue with the RK lift, that is more than I am trying to get into, can anyone else here speak on that?

Again, thanks in advance for all the help and feedback!!
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:30 PM   #17
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I'll clarify that for you.

The RK lift is designed for a fully-armored Jeep. That's bumpers, skids, sliders, etc. They wanted to make sure that people weren't losing lift as a result of their armor, which is inevitable for people using the rigs off-road.

Now… they use the same springs for JK and JKU, so JKs with no added hardware are getting up to 4" lift. A basic JKU should only see a maximum of 3" of lift, at which point you can still run your stock driveshafts. I ran the RK 2.5 MT kit for six months or so on stock shafts. I'm now running their 3.5" springs on stock driveshafts and I've not had an issue yet, but I know that at this point I'm pushing my limits.
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Wife's: 2004 TJ Sport, 4.0/Auto, 2" BB, stock JKU shocks, JKS front LCAs, 31x10.50-15 BFG ATs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #18
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Hmmm, Frshmt thanks a lot for the feedback on that one. Maybe I should look into some other lifts, as changing my drive shaft is something I dont want to have to think about for some time, if ever!
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:22 PM   #19
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If you have a JKU you won't need to change your shafts for the 2.5" max travel. At most it'll give you 3" lift, but even that's not going to require a shaft change- Hell, there are lots of JK guys running 4" lifts with stock driveshafts and no issues… it's all in what you're doing. Adding your bumpers and armor will bring it down a little more, making it even safer.

Even then, the factory driveshafts are CRAP for any real off-roading. I don't see why people are willing to spend literally thousands on lift, bumpers, tires… but won't spend $6-700 to replace the shafts with significantly improved driveshafts.

Here's a rough break down of my costs:

Suspension: $2,000
Tires/Wheels: $1,600
Bumpers: $1,850
Winch: $450
Armor: $1,000
Fenders: $500

That's $8000 right out of the gate. Adams driveshafts are going for $650 for the pair. Compared to what I've already spent, $650 is not that much money.

I hope my wife never sees this post.
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Mine: 2012 JKU Sport, Deep Cherry, Auto, 3.73s, Rock Krawler 3.5" Flex, chitty Procomp shocks, JKS Discos, Rubi rails, A.C.E. sliders, EVO ProTek Skids, EVO Rockstars, JCR Dagger with lights and tire carrier, PSC Brawler Lite with custom stinger and grill hoop, ENGO 10k with synthetic, 35x12.50-15 BFG KM2s, MOPAR flat flares.
Wife's: 2004 TJ Sport, 4.0/Auto, 2" BB, stock JKU shocks, JKS front LCAs, 31x10.50-15 BFG ATs.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:46 PM   #20
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I guess you are right! I am of course, doing all of this in stages, with Lift, wheels and tires first..in the grand scheme of things, you make a great point...you do all of your own wrenching? I am an Air Traffic Controller and dont know much about wrenching..i do most of my own stuff on my bike, but it is so simple on them!
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:59 PM   #21
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I have the Warn w650D on my windshield mounts. Have the ACE rear bumper/tire carrier on order from Jason @ Krawl.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:32 PM   #22
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Subscribed - some good info here!
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #23
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I hope my wife never sees this post.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:39 PM   #24
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I have the Warn w650D on my windshield mounts. Have the ACE rear bumper/tire carrier on order from Jason @ Krawl.
That's my favorite rear bumper so far. I love the integrated tire/trunk door swing mechanism. The fact that you can open the door and tire carrier with one hand is cool. And you get an integrated hitch and rear fogs as an option is also a very cool bonus.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:56 PM   #25
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That's my favorite rear bumper so far. I love the integrated tire/trunk door swing mechanism. The fact that you can open the door and tire carrier with one hand is cool. And you get an integrated hitch and rear fogs as an option is also a very cool bonus.
Thats why I chose it, I don't see a time that I would have the carrier open and not the tailgate. I already have my d-rings and my rear fog lights waiting for the bumper.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #26
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i've been eyeing that rock krawler 2.5" lift for a while now.. it seems like it has the best of both worlds... great on and offroad. with that being said.. if you're not looking for a ton of armor on your jeep, why not start with a leveling kit? I put the teraflex kit on mine and for $130 it is a perfect way to test the waters. I've been able to run some great trails and get a little additional clearance for a minimal investment.

re: drive shafts.. for what you are looking to do with your jeep and how high you're going to lift it, I don't really see a reason for you to swap them out.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:06 PM   #27
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Edit: Did that post from my phone and it was real messed up for some reason, sorry!

But anyway, I just recently put the smittybilt SRC front bumper with the bull guard instead of stinger on, and I couldn't be happier. The thing is as solid as can be and installation is relatively easy and straightforward. Mine looks a little naked because I havn't gotten a winch yet but this picture can hopefully give you a good idea of what it would look like on a real jeep and just some internet picture.

I found it on amazon for 379.99 with 10 dollar shipping too, so it was a good deal compared to other places. Just be sure to shop around, some have great special offers or free shipping etc etc. Hope this is helpful!
CJDB, How much does your bumper weigh? I've been looking for a functional yet lightweight front bumper, ad yours looks lighter than most. Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:21 PM   #28
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i've been eyeing that rock krawler 2.5" lift for a while now.. it seems like it has the best of both worlds... great on and offroad. with that being said.. if you're not looking for a ton of armor on your jeep, why not start with a leveling kit? I put the teraflex kit on mine and for $130 it is a perfect way to test the waters. I've been able to run some great trails and get a little additional clearance for a minimal investment.

re: drive shafts.. for what you are looking to do with your jeep and how high you're going to lift it, I don't really see a reason for you to swap them out.
How many more inches does a leveling kit give you and what kind of tires can you do with that? I dont even really know what a leveling kit is. Sounds like something you would use after a suspension lift to level it out if it isnt even.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:24 PM   #29
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How many more inches does a leveling kit give you and what kind of tires can you do with that? I dont even really know what a leveling kit is. Sounds like something you would use after a suspension lift to level it out if it isnt even.
Anywhere from 1/2" to 2.5", they are those spacers that sit on top of your rubber spring isolators
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:15 PM   #30
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Anywhere from 1/2" to 2.5", they are those spacers that sit on top of your rubber spring isolators
So it is a budget boost essentially?

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