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Old 07-09-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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Need Some Advice For A First Time TJ Owner

Just bought a '04 Rubicon for my Daughter. Before you ask to be my kid, I just financed it, she is still paying for it. Anyways, it has bald 31" x 10.50 x 15" on it with Pro Comp rims. I still have the factory Rubicon rims, but the kid likes the black rims.

Before I ask my question, some back ground on what my daughter was driving before this; a '03 Mazda 06 for back and forth school (going into second year of college) and a '87 K5 with tons and 37" Goodyears. The idea of the Rubicon was to allow her to still have a vehicle to hunt and fish with plus go back and forth to school. Call it a happy medium. We are pretty heavy into cars, but the TJ platform is pretty new to me, thus why I am asking for advice.

So, I need to put tires on the TJ and I have (4) brand new, still have the stickers on them 33" x 12.50 x 15 BFG KO AT. I would love to use them but I know that with the stock suspension there is no way that they will fit. So, I see two choices, wait till the spring when I have time (work is nuts right now - like 7 days a week nuts), install the lift in the spring along with the 33" which means I need to spend money on 31" right now which neither of us really care for or put the lift on the truck now.

So, I am not into a lift that is going to turn the short wheel base TJ into a vibrator (drive line angle issues) / lumber wagon / excessive bump steer machine.

In the same respect, I just spent almost what I paid for the Rubicon on a all new coil over (front and rear) set up for my K5 from ORD. But, I am not going waste money on less than ok kit for the TJ to allow me to put 33" on. I'll just wait till I have enough money to put a decent / good suspension on before I do that.

My budget for a lift is around $1000-$1200 right now and I am not sure how I am getting that. Can I find a lift that will allow me to fit the 33" on it, handle well on the road and be able to adjust the pinion angle. If I understand it correctly, being a Rubicon (could of read it wrong), but I won't need SYE, but should I consider new drive shafts right away?

Whose kit should I consider, I read the reviews and developed some ideas along with just general feedback from others installations. My only concern with most of the reviews where that they have had the lift for only couple months and this will have likely 15K-20K miles a year on it and some extreme weather conditions. We live within the Tug Hill or 300" of snow, plus my daughter goes to school in the for lack of better terms the Tundra (Potsdam, NY) where it can be -40 some nights.

As far as what type of wheeling; percentages based on mileage; 80% road, 18% sand / mud, 2% rock crawling. Oh and a 100% snow.

Thanks

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:29 PM   #2
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I'd wait on the lift till you can do it right. If it was my daughter I'd plan on a set of true snow tires...no duratrac's with the snowflake is NOT a true snow tire!! I'd go to a place that sells used tires and put a set of good used rubber on it for now. You'll have time to research lifts. Now it's a Jeep not a truck. And I'll leave the vibrator comment go!

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:45 PM   #4
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The Old Man Emu Kits at DPG is an excellent choice, but I would recommend the Ultimate kit for your 33" tires. Old Man Emu Ultimate TJ/LJ Wrangler Kit | dpgoffroad.com
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:04 PM   #5
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Budget boost, they call it that for a reason, 2'' spring isolators and a 1'' body boost, a fan shroud trim and a transfer case linkage adjustment was all I needed to modify, bump stops are also highly recommended, with those driving percentages I am sure your daughter will be happy and your wallet, I at the time bought all new 5 shock absorbers for my budget boost and priced everything out separately, suits my needs just fine on a moderate income family prioritized budget. Heres a look see.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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I'd wait on the lift till you can do it right. If it was my daughter I'd plan on a set of true snow tires...no duratrac's with the snowflake is NOT a true snow tire!! I'd go to a place that sells used tires and put a set of good used rubber on it for now. You'll have time to research lifts. Now it's a Jeep not a truck. And I'll leave the vibrator comment go!
We take care of the roads very well around here, only issue is we can get 50" or more in 24 hours. The snow is real dry and light for the most part but does have its slushy days. She made it through the snow in her Mazda last year. The K5 is not a winter truck. I agree the TJ is not a truck, which is why I think it makes it a happy medium. I hate driveline shutter, I think any off-road guy does.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:09 PM   #7
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The Old Man Emu Kits at DPG is an excellent choice, but I would recommend the Ultimate kit for your 33" tires. Old Man Emu Ultimate TJ/LJ Wrangler Kit | dpgoffroad.com
Is it 2" lift with 1.25 body?
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:52 PM   #8
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They will probably measure out to closer to 2.5", (OME lifts are not really sold in heights) with a 1.25" body lift. If you call DPG, they can hook you up with coil rates that fit the way your Jeep is set up. Along with the quality of the OME parts, DPG Off Road is known for being really helpful making sure you get what you need.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:09 AM   #9
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They will probably measure out to closer to 2.5", (OME lifts are not really sold in heights) with a 1.25" body lift. If you call DPG, they can hook you up with coil rates that fit the way your Jeep is set up. Along with the quality of the OME parts, DPG Off Road is known for being really helpful making sure you get what you need.
The OME is pretty smooth ride? I realize it is a short wheelbase, firm is ok, but rough is not needed.

Should I consider the better shocks? Are the regular ones not gas?
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:46 AM   #10
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Personally I wouldn't go with anything but Teraflex- it's in your budget, and like Sinister said you can get used tires for now, then put that Teraflex on there when you have time. best quality lift you're gonna get- hands down. There's a reason they're so highly regarded on the boards.

Teraflex 1241300 - Teraflex 3" Lift Kit with shocks for 97-06 JeepĀ® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec

I have this one on my TJ- smooth ride (even been complimented by a buddy "oh man, this is s smooth ride- i thought they were supposed to be rough", and it has handled all the off roading I've ever done with it. Would buy it again in a heartbeat- and as I said it's in your budget range.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:49 AM   #11
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I put a 2" BB on my 02' and it rides the same as it did before the install (better, actually). The springs I have are pretty comfortable on the street, and I didn't want to lose that. Might go with the addition of a 1.25" BL somewhere down the road, to properly fit a set of Cooper STT 32x11.5's, but if you want 33x12.5's, you should really do the BL before you try to fit them. Not the "ideal" setup for 33's, but it will work. Especially if she isn't planning to go offroad. If she is going to do some flexing...there will be some other considerations. But...a BB & BL will work fine, for the most part. Might have to adjust the steering stops a bit, if there is any rubbing. With a 2" lift, you won't have to worry about driveline vibes...
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:01 PM   #12
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Just got it home, start researching everything will now begin.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:47 PM   #13
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Bought (4) new 31 x 10.50 x 15 Duratracs for the TJ. A lift will be the Christmas present if all goes well. Gives me time to save some money and more importantly pull everything together.

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