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Old 02-27-2014, 09:53 PM   #1
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Post Pre-Build Thoughts

Been mostly lurking up to now… Got myself a low miles 2012 JKUR Crush 6 speed (was willing to wait until I could find that 4 piece combination). Just trying to round up what I think I have learned and figured I would check with ya’ll to see if there are any glaring misses.

About my plans:
- Have decided that I am going the “Expedition Jeep” route. To me, this means looking for comfort of long road trips, performance in a variety of terrains (sand, mountains, water) not focused on a krawler, but do not want to be shut out from doing some more advanced runs with the local jeep groups.
- I am in it for the long haul. Found exactly the platform I am looking for, do not see myself ever looking to upgrade to a newer model unless she breaks down. Figure her lifecycle is daily driver to ultimate jeep to toy to hand me down. Meaning my choices need to take into account long term viability
- I don’t have money to do it all at once, but do have money to do it right in phases, as I am ready. Realistically a 2-3 year build to finish off the foundation below

The following is what I think I have learned as the consensus for each component. There are a million opinions, and lots of you that have gone outside of the consensus intentionally and are happy you did, but this is just trying to outline what I think I have heard…

- Lift (2.5”-3.5”)
1. AEV – Made for Jeep geometry etc. This one seems like a no brainer for my application
2. TeraFlex – High quality, perhaps not as “technical” as AEV, but really good product with great customer service
- Soft Top
1. OEM – just the gold standard, find someone with dual top group
2. Bestop – same/ similar quality, dig the fastback look, more pricey with no real advantage
- Bumpers – These appear to be a true individual preference, as I haven’t found a ton on performance, but think I like the look of the mids in front and tire carrier in back. For that combo it sounds like the consensus from a perceived quality / looks perspective is:
o JCR
o Poison Spyder
- Sliders – Same as bumpers
o JCR
o Poison Spyder
o Ace
- Wheels - For my application sounds like I should just find some I like the looks of, haven’t found much of a consensus
o ???
- Tires (35”) – These are probably least important as they will be replaced as they wear out, if I make a mistake I can correct it in 15K miles..
o ???
- Roof Rack
o Gobi
o ???

These are the CORE of my build plans (I don’t understand all the light upgrades… yet), all kinds of fun ideas outside of this list, but most sound like personal preference where as the above will go into the long term satisfaction that I get out of her…

I know this is way too long of post to get a lot of responses, but would be great to hear if there is anything that I have captured wrong or am missing. Been waiting for the opportunity to do this since I was a kid, appreciate any input I receive…

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Old 02-28-2014, 09:04 AM   #2
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Your potential build is very similar to my potential build.

1) Lift - I recommend sticking with a 2.5 coil lift (AEV, Rock Krawler or Teraflex) - for more info, read - read - read. Also look into the adjustable track bar and lower control arm and track bar bolt upgrade kit. Don't forget shocks.

2) Soft Top - I picked my soft top (new in box) off craigslist. I might go the sun bonnet and cargo area cover someday as well... I hear it's nearly as water resistant (assuming doors are on).

3) Bumpers - Can't help you there. Too many options based on what you need (or just want).

4) Sliders - I just installed my ACE sliders last night! Good stuff. Lots of dirty pant legs in my future though.

5) Wheels/tires - also a great deal of research to be done. 35" or 315/70-(17?) are a good combo for the 2.5 lift. And if you have 3:73 gears, it seems like 35's are about as big as you'd want to go. Don't forget the Procal (or comparable).

6) Roof rack - ??? Not sure about that. Seems like one would get in the way of your soft top that you mentioned.

There are a few other things on MY build sheet that I'll mention just in case... Grabars or comparable (esp once the lift is on), gussets, soft top boot, tube doors & mirrors, weather tech liners, door sill guards, exhaust... and someday way down the road... OEM half doors, line-x tub and fenders, 4 bucket seats, Hawk HPS brake pads.

So can I give you a bit of advice? Write everything down and group it into "stages". For example... my Stage 1 is lift, shocks, wheels & tires, procal, grab bars, spare carrier, rock rails and gussets. I have everything written down and itemized which does 2 things - it allows me to take an honest look at the total cost and I can be realistic about WHEN I'm ready to open that can of worms because once you start, it's very difficult to take a break on the build. My stage 2 is the soft top, tube doors, possible bikini or spiderwebshade, and maybe safari straps. Then I have a MISC section for things that aren't related and can be done independently as time (and checkbook) allow. It's a very slippery slope and it's important to not get yourself in a bind, while keeping a quality end-result in mind.

Keep us posted - your build type is very popular around here. (JK... LOL!)

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Old 02-28-2014, 01:16 PM   #3
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Awesome JK, thanks for the detailed response and input. I feel like I have read a million threads, but then I always stumble on a new one which then expands out to 3 more. Feels like I am drinking from a fire hose at times...

Couple of notes on your reply

1. Roof Rack - that is why the Gobi seems to be the standalone winner. It tilts to allow the use of a soft top (and in my opinion, looks good). Does anyone else know of options that work with top changes?

2. WeatherTech Liners - I did do this, as the first weekend went to Canyon De Chelly here in AZ and after fording rivers and general mud play, something had to be done. I bought the weathertechs. The front liners fit like a glove, really impressive. The back seat liner had a couple curves that did not match my layout, but most importantly the do not extend under the front seat or under the back seat. Was pretty bummed but willing to live with it... The rear liner while it fit, had small edges and I was worried that it did not seem as effective as the fronts. I bought some bestop liners to compare. Bestops were really good in the front, but Weathertechs were better. In both other spots (back seat and trunk) the bestops were significantly better. Keeping bestops and sending back weathertechs.

Thanks again and just figured I would share. I like the idea of the "stages". Are there templates for things like that on this site, or online somewhere? Would seem like everyone could benefit from a generic template.

Cheers
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:07 PM   #4
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I am subscribing to this thread since it is nearly identical to what I am wanting to do with mine.

I agree on the AEV portion of your post - I have to tell you though, I am definitely leaning towards the 3.5" or 4.5" though. If you are running 35" max, not sure how the wear and tear could be much worse than an 2.5" if you are willing to pay the difference in price. And it looks better to me...

Gobi - no brainer. I am only concerned with the noise while driving. How much loader will it be? Jeep is loud to start with, especially with top and doors off but will that rack just drive me crazy?
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2014 JKURX - Anvil 6 speed, hard top, 730N
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:25 PM   #5
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Hey lonestar,

In the threads that I have read on lift size it sounds like the less you mess with the geometry the better long term. Everyone talks about getting more lift than advertised, I don't want to screw up something that will start slowly deteriorating the foundation. I will probably end up going with 3.5 (cause I am not great about controlling those kind of urges), but trying to tell myself 2.5 will be enough...
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:30 PM   #6
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If you plan on keeping it for the long haul you also need to study up on what you are going to do with your drive train.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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I am probably the wrong person to ask about it since I have been so lucky with other trucks but that is why I am asking opinions.

I currently have a 6" lift on my 07 4dr Chevy duramax and now have 225k miles on it and it is an automatic. Front end twice and u joints twice and that's it. No more wear tear etc. I am okay spending $1k every two to 3 years to have the truck I want.

What I don't want is to spend $5k on an engine or tearing up a tranny which is why I feel the manual tranny was best for me

Thoughts?
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2014 JKURX - Anvil 6 speed, hard top, 730N
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:24 PM   #8
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Not exactly true - wheel bearings or front hubs to be more specific twice as well. $450- $600 each time for that.
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2007 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax Crew Cab - 6" Rough Country with 295/70/18 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T
2014 JKURX - Anvil 6 speed, hard top, 730N
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar Light View Post
Not exactly true - wheel bearings or front hubs to be more specific twice as well. $450- $600 each time for that.
I assume you are having someone do it for you at that price?

I swap mine out every year if they need it or not. 70 bucks or so apiece from RockAuto and a few hours work.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WatchThis! View Post
I assume you are having someone do it for you at that price?

I swap mine out every year if they need it or not. 70 bucks or so apiece from RockAuto and a few hours work.
No - I do it my self but the front hubs on the Duramax are about $230 a piece I think for the non-cheap ones.

Plus the beer charge to get through the labor!!

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