I am starting to think about making my jeep more capable to handle the southern california trails. I want to be able to join you all when you go on runs to Calico and Bigbear, but my jeep just isnt ready for that yet. So far I have added some rubi rails and Ace sliders to my Jeep. I have the 3.73 gears and the limited slip in the rear diff.
So I have done a bit of research and I sort of know the direction I want to go in as far as the build. My question is where should I start? Lift, tires, rims, armor...
I know I want to build it right the first time as im not one to go cheap and then need to replace it all later.
I have decided on going with Rock Krawler for the lift, most likely the 3.5 x factor, however at that point I assume I need a new front DS.
Basically what can I do now? and what can I put off for a bit? so I can get to the trails I want to run. I can do some of the work myself, but the lift and driveshafts would be beyond what Im comfortable with.
X2 on Jeeperformance and you will notice the JKs on the link above are some of his work. His is the yellow one. A good guy and one that actually goes out wheelin...when I started my biuld a couple years ago with 4 wheel parts, the salesman and the guy doing my work had never owned a jeep or done any wheelin....
My advise would be start small, jeeps are VERY capable out of the box. I would buy the essentials first i.e. tow strap, first aid kit,fire extinguisher, cb, recovery points front and rear and then armor. Once you start wheeling it stockish your jeep will tell you what to mod next. You will learn its limits and your new trail goals. Also if you learn to pick good lines stock, when u get a lift and tires you will walk over trails you may have struggled with before. Hope this helps.
Hi thanks for the replies so far.
I have wheeled my jeep a few times. It only has a little over 4500 miles on it. I joined everyone for a Cleghorn run a few months ago. I had the stock black sport. I actually rode in the yellow jeep down a bit of trail I didnít take mine on.
I am very impressed with what it will do stock. I just know in my mind what I want it to be able to do and eventually look like. I do have a recovery kit and an air compressor now.
So a few more exact questions. If I go with 35's do i need a rear bumper/tire carrier immediately?
and what type of underside armor would be good to get that the stock either doesnít have or needs to have replaced.
And the driveshaft thing too, and with tires that size should I reinforce the front axle housing and the C's while Iím at it?( Itís a sport so It has the 30)
I came from experience with a toyota so jeeps are sort of a new concept for me.
I actually was thinking of using Jeep Performance inc for the build already. He seemed like a really nice guy to work with and very knowledgeable. Yucaipa is a bit far but Iím not opposed to the drive, Iíd just have to rent a car to drive while they had it because this is my daily driver.
Again thank you very much for your time and responses. I realize that time and experience is what I need as well because the last thing i want to do is hurt the Jeep becasue I didnt know what I was doing or I went somewhere it wasnt equiped to handle.
I look forward to wheeling with you all in the future.
Oh im probably gonna do the may meet and greet as well!
If I go with 35's do i need a rear bumper/tire carrier immediately?
This depends... The reason why you want a rear tire carrier is because the weight of a 35" tire will bend your stock JK hinges over time.
Another option is to carry the spare tire in the rear of the jeep by putting down the back seat. That's what we do.
Originally Posted by socalsport
and what type of underside armor would be good to get that the stock either
The recommended under carriage skid plates for CA terrain would be:
1. Oil Pan Skid
2. Evap Skid (12's have one already)
3. Front and Rear Diff Covers
4. Control Arm Skids
Originally Posted by socalsport
And the driveshaft thing too, and with tires that size should I reinforce the front axle housing and the C's while I’m at it?( It’s a sport so It has the 30)
It's recommended to replace the front drive shaft with a smaller diameter shaft. J.E. Reel, Tom Woods, Coast Driveshafts are all recommended and they have good customer service.
The front axle should be reinforced when running 35" or taller tires. You can reinforce them by Welding C Gussets and Sleeving the front axle tubing. These are considered the bare minimum with 35"+ tall tires. Especially on the Dana30 Axles.
Originally Posted by socalsport
I actually was thinking of using Jeep Performance inc for the build already. He seemed like a really nice guy to work with and very knowledgeable. Yucaipa is a bit far but I’m not opposed to the drive, I’d just have to rent a car to drive while they had it because this is my daily driver.
I also recommend Jeep Performance.
What is your location, I can recommend some of the guys I have used.
I remember you from the Cleghorn run. I started with the exact same Jeep as you, even same color.
I agree with all of the above and have already had some work done by Stan at JPI (about to do my new axle too). What I had installed by him was an Evo 3 piece skid set and front and rear PSC diff covers. I highly recommend the skid set I got which is custom designed for the 2012 JKU.
Regarding the evap skid, you already have one of those on the 2012, so not needed. However, I recommend moving it to the left a bit or even relocating the evap. I was in Calico about a month ago and the rear driveshaft boot got torn on the evap skid.
If you want 35's and a lift, you will want to do the lift first and/or do the tires at the same time.
I also went with Rock Krawler, went with the 2.5" max travel. It will fit up to 35's, or 37's with flat fenders. 3.5" would also be great with 35's. As mentioned, if you go that high, you will need to replace the front driveshaft, won't need to replace the rear.
Regarding the front axle, I agree that sleeve and gusset is a good idea. I was actually looking at doing the same, and then decided I wanted a locker in front too. I was looking at the cost of the locker installed + sleeve + gusset. To make a long story short, I have a Rubicon D44 complete axle on it's way, got a really good deal on it, slightly used. Probably not a practical decision for most though.
I think Im just going to have to pay to play so to speak. I kinda need the room in the Jeep for my camping gear and my dog, so the new rear bumper is probably needed I dont want to mess up the rear door.
I think its pretty much what I expected, EXPENSIVE lol.
But I have the bug bad at the moment especially with summer on the way.
Thanks everyone I look forward to meeting you and wheeling this summer.
I liked what you did with your jeep SK. Thats one of the reasons I will probably go with JPI for the install work.
Going to try to make it out there for the meet n greet at their new shop.