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Old 11-07-2008, 12:54 PM   #1
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How would you build a "Sleeper" TJ?

I have always been a fan of "sleepers" you know, the completely stock VW bug with a turbo 2275, or an old beater Nova with a blown 454.

When I see a lifted jeep on 37s with winch and cage and front and rear stingers I EXPECT it to cruise through the Rubicon or the Hammers

I am wondering how to build a sleeper TJ. Something that looks relatively stock or at most slightly modified but turns out to be way more capable on the trail than it looks.

Some of my ideas are to go with standard mechanical lockers front and rear. You can always claim you have open diffs until they see or hear you in action.

Is there an effective way to do a "tummy tuck" raise the under carriage/ drive train for more ground clearance without installing a big lift.

Is there a way to improve approach and departure angles without it really being super noticeable?

I guess the right gears (R&P and T-case) would make a big difference.

Any one else have any other ideas?

What would be the perfect lift/tire combo that would look fairly tame but still perform beyond expectations?

For the record my jeep is I-6, 5SP, D30/44, 3.73:1 but I am interested in the general idea, not just for my specific vehicle.

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Old 11-07-2008, 01:46 PM   #2
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Just a small amount of lift and lockers will do a lot. Hell, stock Rubicons can make it over the, well, Rubicon.

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In video games, the bad guy's bullets travel much slower than the good guy's bullets.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
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Start with an Unlimited TJ:
3" lift with coil-overs
AEV High-Line fenders (look stock)
Hard top or soft with full interior cage
D60's front and rear with the goodies.

That would be pretty much it. That would be a very capable rig, and still "look" stock.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
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When it come to a very capable 4WD it kinda hard to hide it. But on AZ's list above I'd replace the 3" lift with an Air Rock suspension.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
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You can put those "el Rio" stickers and a lot of chrome on it to distract people.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:56 PM   #6
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I think a dana 60 is a little extreme for any tire below 38" but dana 44's front and rear would be a good combination.
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HP D30, Rusty's axle truss, Currie HD steering, diff. slider
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33" BFG A/T's 15" soft 8's
Suspension seats, rock sliders, plated rear corner panels,
trimmed fenders, CB, exhaust, lights, remote locks and start, etc.
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In video games, the bad guy's bullets travel much slower than the good guy's bullets.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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i'm a fan of sleepers too. my dad, brother and i are in the process of putting a LS6 w/6-speed into a 72 corvette that, besides a sport suspension, looks stock. it'll be as much of a sleeper as a corvette can be i guess.

you could always do an engine swap. won't be noticeable from the outside. LSx, hemi, diesel, etc.... they'd all be sure to surprise some people. if you went that route you'd definitely want to beef up the rest of the drivetrain though.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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buy mine and you would be there
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:54 PM   #9
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d60 wayyy to extreme for sleeper... 44 is fine.. do the highline fenders and a small lift.. regear the jeep to match ur tires and supercharge would definitley wake the jeep up
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:36 PM   #10
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I never mentioned tire size... oops. Stick some 37 or 38" tires on them D60's to make them work.
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:59 PM   #11
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sleeper motor in jeep is obviously the stroker, looks like a normal motor, yet better numbers than a 350. d44 axles, 4.56 gears, selectable lockers so its open when you want. atlas t case, or build a d300 t case to have a nice crawl ratio.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:12 PM   #12
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It's not a TJ but heres a sleeper offroad vehicle
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1991 XJ Cherokee, 4.0, AW4, NP-242, SYE
HP D30, Rusty's axle truss, Currie HD steering, diff. slider
C8.25, Powertrax locker
4.5" RE up front and Rough Country out back
33" BFG A/T's 15" soft 8's
Suspension seats, rock sliders, plated rear corner panels,
trimmed fenders, CB, exhaust, lights, remote locks and start, etc.
Past jeeps:97 TJ, 99 TJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop View Post
In video games, the bad guy's bullets travel much slower than the good guy's bullets.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:18 PM   #13
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Simply its hard to hide a 4wd sleeper.


Lighter weight will be your best bet with tons of flex space under the fenders..
Like a crawler buggy with a wrangler shell.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:47 AM   #14
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sounds sorta like what im looking for..

im not sure how big you plan on going.. but i want a low cog suspension, using my jks acos 2'' coils from and stock rear coils (may change out coils to 2-2.5") and tube fenders).. a stroked i6 possibly supercharged in the future.. fully selectable lockers front and rear..

right now im sitting at what my sig says..stock motor.. hp30/d44 combo with 3.73s.. (may change to 4.56s) i plan on running 35-36s using either a normal short arm front and short arm 3-link rear or a RE longarm upgrade.. keeping my shorter coils.. and getting some NICE shocks =D im gonna see what the fox racing shocks are like.. but hey.. this will take some time.. especially if you want to build a NICE rig =D
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:11 AM   #15
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:10 PM   #16
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heh thanks.. another plan of mine.. will probably be after i move up to 35-36s
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:45 PM   #17
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twin turbos and a shot of nitrous, then tow a car to the dragstrip and find a guy with a camaro and laugh at his car and tell him you could beat it with your tow rig
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:37 PM   #18
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Chevy 350, built Dana 44s geared and locked, 2in suspension lift, 9.5 in wide 34in tires on stock wheels, low profile transfer case skid, high line fenders
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:21 PM   #19
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I'd do the AEV High Line fenders, probably some 35" tires, some sort of LA kit with high clearance lower links, flat skit, I'd run a D300/231 doubler, D60's with ARB's front and rear, some 4.88 gears, a good cage, along with a few other less noticeable minor things.
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:45 PM   #20
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i think to be a true sleeper rig you could just do a 4" lift......trim some fenders.....stuff some 35-36s......run a 9"/44 combo with a healthy 4.0l and some quiet exhaust........or you could be like me and run most of that with no fenders and no exhaust
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:07 AM   #21
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Dana 60s are great axles, especially for my 87 Chevy with a 12 in lift and 44in Groundhogs that are 18.5 inches wide and weigh 400lbs sitting under a 4,500lb truck. It's no problem to run the 60 with the clearance of 44s, but there's no reason to run a Dana 60 on a Jeep wrangler sitting on 35s, a built 44 or ford 8.8 is plenty for 35s and you get the added ground clearance. The point of lifting a vehicle is to get more ground clearance, not to make it look cool.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:59 AM   #22
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Take the side stickers off a Rubicon, add a budget boost, mml and bl to clear 33's, better rocker slider protection w/o added tubes to give them away. Discreet bumpers fore and aft with receivers built in, no tube hoops. Carry a winch inside the vehicle that will mount to the front or rear receiver when necessary. Upgrade the axle shafts. Add a tummy tuck and engine skid. And I think you will have a very capable very discreet looking vehicle with a lot more punch than it looks like it has. IMHO, 35's will be a giveaway that there is something going on with the vehicle.

You'll have D44's, discreet lockers, a little lift, 33" tires, underbody armor, ground clearance, and look, to the quick looker, like most "normal" Jeeps on the road.

What do you think? A sleeper?
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:36 PM   #23
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Dana 60s are great axles, especially for my 87 Chevy with a 12 in lift and 44in Groundhogs that are 18.5 inches wide and weigh 400lbs sitting under a 4,500lb truck. It's no problem to run the 60 with the clearance of 44s, but there's no reason to run a Dana 60 on a Jeep wrangler sitting on 35s, a built 44 or ford 8.8 is plenty for 35s and you get the added ground clearance. The point of lifting a vehicle is to get more ground clearance, not to make it look cool.
Yeah you have a good point there. When I orginally typed up my reply I realized that you couldn't really build a sleeper with 37's and keep it a sleeper no matter how low it really sits. You could do something pretty trick though. Machine down your R&P, cut, and plate the bottom of your diff. You'd gain back some clearance. I know the 14b guys are doing it, but they have more material to work with as far as R&P shaving and such goes. I'm not so sure how much you could safely take off a 60. Another thing, those rock jocks have quite a bit of clearance. You could still run'em and get decent clearance, but strength wise you might not need them. Then again, you never know.
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:59 PM   #24
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dont forget to relocate the fuel tank inside the tub.
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:59 PM   #25
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Lets see:

To me the idea of sleeper 4x4 would be one that people don't see coming, thus no massive axles no massive tires.. its sleeper people, not a hey look at me.

Replace stock drive train with TH400(might be off a # with that..lol), JK rubicon 44 axles, atlas. AirRock suspension( not a big fan but we need it to look stock) swap in a 4.7HO v8 froma WJ. Next, upgraded driveshafts, axle shafts,tie rods, u-joints. run 4.88 gears, etc tires 33's BFG MT's. Armor it up, Full cages hidden by dark tinted windows. Thus make it look like a mall jeep on the outside but ready to handle any trail.
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:00 PM   #26
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I am a huge fan of sleepers!
check out this Jeep sleeper:
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:16 PM   #27
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Holy CRAP dude!! THAT was FUNNY!! I can't imagine driving around in my 100k sports car and getting my a$$ ate by a CJ!!
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:58 PM   #28
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I don't think you should be limited to dinky axles. You can get semi-float 60's in a 5 on 5.5" or even a 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern. No one would know the difference. You don't even have to run them full width either. If you had a set of rock jocks, the front 64" wms to wms, the rear around the same, the correct back spacing to suck the tires in a bit, and do the necessary stuff, then you'd never be able to tell that it has 60's under it. Its not like you're trying to hide rockwells....
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:27 PM   #29
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I am a huge fan of sleepers!
check out this Jeep sleeper:

That is a great video.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:02 PM   #30
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Sweet nibblets, thats a quick CJ!! That is the deffinition of sleeper I think

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