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Old 02-23-2012, 11:31 PM   #1
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Armored jeep = heavy pig??

I just received my first piece of "armor" in the mail... an awesome looking set of rock sliders from B.C.C. (a wranglerforum vendor). As I watched the UPS dude trudge up my driveway with the package, I realized "these will add more than just 'protection' to my jeep...". So I started thinking about weight and jeep mods... which was rather strange since I just crossed over from the world of auto racing where everyone is hellbent on removing weight in all kinds of scary ways.

The particular sliders in the configuration I ordered were 75 lbs for the pair.

Upgrading to 33"+ tires adds another 20 per corner (very conservative!)... so lets say 80 lbs.

Upgrade front & rear bumpers to add another 50 at least.

Winch is about 80 (conservatively again)...

Various skids, plates & under-armor add at least 60 lbs.

Assuming I did my math right (dangerous), my list takes us to 345 lbs! I'm sure I have misunderestimated some of these categories and left others out completely. I could see jeep mods easily exceeding 400 lbs!

Is anyone trying to build a good trail rig with an eye towards keeping their jeep "skinny"? Is weight even much of an issue? It seems like it would be, especially with regards to broken axles, etc. In auto racing, weight reduction makes "everything better". But as a jeep-rookie, I have no idea whether weight is really an issue...

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:33 PM   #2
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To keep it skinny, do a tummy tuck dum dum tsssss haha but that's just the way it is. You really can't get good protection without weight.

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sm31 View Post
I'm sure I have misunderestimated some of these categories and left others out completely. I could see jeep mods easily exceeding 400 lbs!

Is anyone trying to build a good trail rig with an eye towards keeping their jeep "skinny"? Is weight even much of an issue? It seems like it would be, especially with regards to broken axles, etc. In auto racing, weight reduction makes "everything better". But as a jeep-rookie, I have no idea whether weight is really an issue...
Overweight Jeeps are pretty common, and 400lbs of mods can be on the "light" side...add a long arm kit, corner armor, tube fenders, roll cage, blah blah blah and pretty soon you've got a 5000-5500lb TJ/LJ. not unheard of....and not good for mileage or driveability either.

Some companies, like Savvy Off-Road and UndercoverFab, sell high strength aluminum parts to help you save weight.

www.savvyoffroad.com
www.undercoverfab.com
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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And thats why I save my pennies and buy Savvy stuff, I am slow enough already without adding another 1000 lbs in armor......
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:07 AM   #5
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guess you just gotta find that nice in between. My TJ sees a lot of road but some offroad so I'm going to end up beefing it up but nothing insane enough for me to worry about gas and lag. i'm thinking engine skid, and rock rails eventually. like 16 lbs for UCF's aluminum skid i believe. streetable but beatable lol
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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Each of my 1/4" aluminum full corner guards weighs 11 lbs each. Each aluminum rocker guard with chromolly steel slider weighs about 30 lbs each (mostly steel slider). Belly pan weighs about 70 lbs (1/4" steel). Aluminum tailgate and tub plate weigh maybe 7 lbs together. Gas tank skid (3/16" steel) + full stock gas tank weighed about 200 lbs....full aluminum fuel cell behind the seats weighs 90 lbs. No back seat, seat belts or brackets = 75 lbs saved. In terms of sprung weight compared to a bone stock TJ, my fully armored rig is about 65 lbs less. Weight sucks and I like to keep it gone.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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The fuel cell was a great weight saver! Unfortunately I have to retain my back seat for the small people... but I will be mindful of other opportunities.

I'm more than happy with the rock rails I bought, but I'll have an eye toward weight savings with the rest of my purchases!
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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All of this is why many of us are shedding weight on our rigs by armoring them with good quality aluminum armor. The right type of aluminum armor is every bit as effective as steel and a whole lot lighter. My Savvy Offroad gas tank skidplate, rocker guards, rear corner guards, rear tub rail, and front bumper are all made from 6061 T-6 aluminum.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:26 AM   #9
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I'm armored, my Jeep weighs 4,200 lbs. Not sure if that is considered a "heavy pig" or not...
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:46 AM   #10
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Im with imped, my full corners made from aluminum weigh 22lbs together. It was nice picking them up both with one hand
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #11
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I'm armored, my Jeep weighs 4,200 lbs. Not sure if that is considered a "heavy pig" or not...
I guess it is in the "eye of the beholder". Doesn't a stock TJ weigh in around 3250? Hard top, 31x12.50 (weird procomp size i can't find anymore) tires & a pair of rock sliders are already pushing me to 3500 if I have my starting weight correct...

I was wondering how well aluminum holds up compared to steel for these types of applications. At least it won't rust!
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #12
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Man, I didn't realize how much additonal weight is added after mods. My 35" tires and wheel are close 100lbs apiece, hi-jack, HD control arms, lift accesories, etc. However, I'm going to stick with the 90lbs steel front bumper just in case someone decides to front end me. Hey, doors are removed most of the year so there's the weight savings.

I guess i need to drop 50lbs of body fat to reduce my Jeep's weight.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sm31

I guess it is in the "eye of the beholder". Doesn't a stock TJ weigh in around 3250? Hard top, 31x12.50 (weird procomp size i can't find anymore) tires & a pair of rock sliders are already pushing me to 3500 if I have my starting weight correct...

I was wondering how well aluminum holds up compared to steel for these types of applications. At least it won't rust!
I don't remember exact numbers, but a stock TJ weighs a lot more than that. I want to say around 3800 for a stock 4.0L.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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I don't remember exact numbers, but a stock TJ weighs a lot more than that. I want to say around 3800 for a stock 4.0L.
Correct, a stock hard top Rubicon or Sport model with the 4.0L will weigh around 3800lbs. Add ~200lbs for an LJ.

My LJ weighs around 4200lbs or so I think. It was 4350lbs last time i weighed it, but it's lost a little weight since then.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #15
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I just checked Edmunds & Yahoo. They list a 2001 Sport 4.0L @ 3316 lbs, Sahara @ 3362 lbs, and the SE @ 3105 lbs. They didn't have a listing for the Rubicon that I saw, but I'm sure the specs are around somewhere...
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #16
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Base vehicle weight at the minimum possible weight... no add-ons or accessories, with smallest factory tires, empty gas tank, soft top. Not typical of how our Jeeps roll.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:00 PM   #17
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Base vehicle weight at the minimum possible weight... no add-ons or accessories, with smallest factory tires, empty gas tank, soft top. Not typical of how our Jeeps roll.
Absolutely! I just wanted to establish a baseline to go from here. But I do think 3800 is excessive for a "stock appearing" jeep even with a full tank and a hard top. Obviously it's impossible to make our jeeps significantly more trail-worthy without adding significant weight... unless we find ways to also delete significant weight as Imped has done.

On a weight-related note... I find it interesting that jeeps have an absolutely beautiful F/R weight bias! Almost 50/50!
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:05 PM   #18
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Absolutely! I just wanted to establish a baseline to go from here. But I do think 3800 is excessive for a "stock appearing" jeep even with a full tank and a hard top.
What you "think" is too high isn't based on the reality of an average Wrangler. 3800 is pretty typical. Mine without me in it and a 1/3 ful tank of gas without an unusual amount of extras on it weighed an even 4200 lbs. on my local truck scale.

The problem is Wrangler don't look heavy but due to their steel frame and heavy steel tub, they are... and weigh substantially more than most would guess and certainly weigh substantially more than the average unibody car.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #19
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What you "think" is too high isn't based on the reality of an average Wrangler.
I fully agree that is the reality of the average wrangler. They are seriously heavy, especially considering their dimensions & wheelbase.

But what I actually posted is that I "think" 3800 lbs is excessive for a stock appearing jeep. That's 488 lbs more than their advertised spec weight of 3312 lbs.

15 gallons of gas ~ 120 lbs. Hard top = (140 lbs - 20 lbs for the soft top) = 120 lbs. 248 lbs to to go on my hypothetical "stock appearing" jeep... assuming the advertised specs are correct...

It's beginning to seem like our jeeps may start life a little bit lighter than we realize, while the accumulated mods may weigh a little more than we realize. And I have no idea what to do with that bit of "wisdom" other than to be extra mindful of weight in the future.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #20
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Makes me want to go get my Jeep weighed. Even though my jeep isn't stock I know it's on the lighter side as it's pretty stripped down, no armor (yet), back seat, soft top, gen right crossmember, etc.. The only thing of significant weight is the front bumper and tires.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:02 PM   #21
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But what I actually posted is that I "think" 3800 lbs is excessive for a stock appearing jeep. That's 488 lbs more than their advertised spec weight of 3312 lbs.

15 gallons of gas ~ 120 lbs. Hard top = (140 lbs - 20 lbs for the soft top) = 120 lbs. 248 lbs to to go on my hypothetical "stock appearing" jeep... assuming the advertised specs are correct...
the advertised curb weight of a loaded 2006 Rubicon Unlimited was about 4000 lbs. the full weight range across all options was about 3200-4000lbs.

here's the source:
2006 Jeep Wrangler Specs & Specifications - CarsDirect

all the other numbers i checked on there were correct, even the drag coefficient.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:32 PM   #22
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the advertised curb weight of a loaded 2006 Rubicon Unlimited was about 4000 lbs. the full weight range across all options was about 3200-4000lbs.

here's the source:
2006 Jeep Wrangler Specs & Specifications - CarsDirect

all the other numbers i checked on there were correct, even the drag coefficient.
Thanks for the info! Minus hardtop equals 3850. Add 200lbs extra from standard for 4 35" tires/wheels @ 4050lbs. Added 150 lbs extra for suspension, maybe high, now @ 4200lbs. Add extra 100lbs for front/rear bumpers, @ 4300lbs. That's my take!
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #23
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I guess I am lucky, run a stock chopped rear bumper, frame width custom stinger bumper up front (20 pounds?) no rear seat or access, and an empty gas tank

sadly the winch and other goodies as back a good bit of what I saved, but I'm still a little over stock. however going to have about 6 different pieces of armor/fenders and new axles by the end of summer, so I will be nice and heavy then. Honestly more weight can be good and bad. I see it as it keeps my tires on the ground and gives me better traction. Bigger heavier tires are gona pull down more on a drooping suspension, and a heavier rig will keep the nose down on a steeper climb (assuming the added weight is at or lower than the COG)
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #24
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however going to have about 6 different pieces of armor/fenders and new axles by the end of summer, so I will be nice and heavy then. Honestly more weight can be good and bad. I see it as it keeps my tires on the ground and gives me better traction. Bigger heavier tires are gona pull down more on a drooping suspension, and a heavier rig will keep the nose down on a steeper climb (assuming the added weight is at or lower than the COG)
One can think about this all day and try to justify it with all kinds of scenarios but at the end of the day, a lighter rig is a better rig. Period. Gravity and proper sway bars take care of the tires.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:20 PM   #25
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One can think about this all day and try to justify it with all kinds of scenarios but at the end of the day, a lighter rig is a better rig. Period. Gravity and proper sway bars take care of the tires.
I understand and agree and I'm not saying heavy is better but that it is not as bad as people can make it out to be. How can heavier tires hurt your rig if you can please enlighten me?
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:24 PM   #26
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I understand and agree and I'm not saying heavy is better but that it is not as bad as people can make it out to be. How can heavier tires hurt your rig if you can please enlighten me?
Come on man, at least ask a TOUGH question.

Heavier tires = harder on everything--axle shafts, pinion gear, ring gear, u joint's. The lighter the tire, the better the throttle response. Tire weight matters not, the tread, pressure, and the number of them receiving power do. If you're trying to talk about having weight down low, that's the job of the axles, not the tires.

Keeping the sprung weight as light as possible doesn't hurt anything and only helps everything. Axles and the tires we use are never gonna be 'lightweight.' But if there are two equal tires sitting side by side and one weighs 60 lbs and the other weighs 70 lbs, I'm taking the lighter one.

Disclaimer: I'm not of the "add water to the tires" camp so I'm pretty biased.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #27
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Haha okay assuming that you have super axles and shafts and Ujoints that are in breakable. Lockers all around, aired down, etc. What's the problem. And how can you add weight to your axle? Other than a swap. Being as the tire and wheel are on the end of the axle they would have the most effect on droop assuming one can't afford an anti rock.


Not disagreeing, again, but pointing out the usefulness of certain 'heavy' items. Obviously the cons outweigh the pros by a ton. But I'm a glass half full kinda guy
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #28
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And thats why I save my pennies and buy Savvy stuff, I am slow enough already without adding another 1000 lbs in armor......
Same here. I plan on Tummy tuck first. Then move on from there
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #29
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All of this is why many of us are shedding weight on our rigs by armoring them with good quality aluminum armor. The right type of aluminum armor is every bit as effective as steel and a whole lot lighter. My Savvy Offroad gas tank skidplate, rocker guards, rear corner guards, rear tub rail, and front bumper are all made from 6061 T-6 aluminum.
Jerry, that is a MESS of aluminum cans
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #30
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Jerry, that is a MESS of aluminum cans
Ha yeah never thought of it that way.

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