New JKU & What I Want To Do To It
First off I just want to say thank you to everyone on this blog that posts reviews and lengthy informative feedback to questions, itís made learning about all of this a lot easier (and unfortunately has got me completely hooked$$).
OK, so my jeep. Iíve ordered a 2013 JKU Sahara (black) 3.73. I also went with the aluminum 18Ē (I know I know, but I cant change it now). This is going to be my DD but it will also be seeing dunes and the occasional mountain service road (so nothing crazy). My goal here is to 1. Have a good looking jeep, and 2. Have it handle well on and off road (on road is more important in regards to how it handles).
For tires I will be getting the Toyo Open Country A/T II LT285/75R18 129/126S E10. Iíve based this both on reviews of their performance and I think they look great.
Next question is who makes the best spacers, and can they be dangerous?
Now to the fun part, lifts. Iíve read all the posts I could find on lifts to educate myself hoping to avoid redundancy in posts. I like the Teraflex 2.5Ē Lift kit but have some questions about it. If I buy it should I buy it without the shocks and buy after market shocks (Fox would be my preference) or do I buy it with the shock adapters and keep my stock suspension? Are their other components I should be adding that will add to the quality of the ride? Steering stabilizer or speed bumps for instance?
I plan to get the Teraflex wheel mount for the spare, I like the independent tire carriers that are not attached to the bumpers (which arenít in my budget right now anyway.
Any help is really appreciated and thanks in advance! and if anyone has a setup similar to his Iíd love to see some pics (or link me to them). Thanks again!
As for the tires toyo at2, here's a lil review from me. I purchased because of of the redesigned looks of the sidewall, weight, and acceptable pricing. I've had these for a while and to me, it's money we'll spent and like a dog, they seem to please.
Dry - very sticky. I feel very confident in evasive maneuvers if applicable.
Wet - tread pattern is very aggressive yet still sticks to the ground while showing the water out.
Snow - never tried it, but based on others reviews (jadmt), it's a win.
Handling - very responsive....meets/exceeds my oem tires.
Comfort - the at2 absorbed many of the bumps and bruises my oem wrangler sra's are sworn to hate.
Noise - hardly minimal if any. Very very quiet.
Treadwear - I purchased the p285/70/17 which should equate to 65k according to its warranty. I will rotate them every other oil change to maximize life.
I am very impressed with these tires. I've been wanting an all-terrain that is lightweight, comfortable, aggressive, broad, and can handle as good as sports car.
You'll get killed on the cost of 18" tires. Unless you hate the way smaller wheels look, or plan on going to 37" or bigger tires at some point down the road, you'd be far better off going down to, say, a 16" wheel. Your tire/wheel combo will be lighter and cheaper, and have a fatter sidewall. Some would say the fatter sidewall isn't conducive to on-road handling, but with the 16" size you won't notice much of a difference, given a decent lift kit with stiffer shocks and springs.
I run 16" wheels with 35" tires on my rig, and haven't had a single issue.
The reason I say 16 is this: 17 won't save you much weight and $$, and 15s, aside from the occasional brake caliper issue, generally come with backspacing around 3.75" or less, which means your tires will stick out a good bit past the fenders. Also, there can be balancing problems with the 15s if you go to a larger tire in the future.
One more thing: my 35s are E-rated tires, and ride very harsh. That's okay, I knew that going into it, and wanted the stiffer ride. But if you're not up on tire ratings, I'd steer clear of the Es. You'd be much happier, I think, with the softer C- or D-rating, especially if on-road comfort is important to you.
Two things to consider, though: extensions are an inherent weak point. It won't make much difference unless you wheel your Jeep hard, but it WILL leave you with the stock shocks, which aren't the best.
On the other hand, if you buy new shocks that are longer than 25" (which is pretty much all of them), you run the risk of having your stock front ds contact your exhaust pipe where the two intersect. Not a huge problem, and it'll likely only happen at full droop, but you can remedy this with a simple $50 (+/–) exhaust spacer from TF.
Good thing about the aftermarket shocks is it'll firm up your ride quite a bit...or is that a bad thing? Depends on your preference. You might wanna look at something like the adjustable Rancho shocks. A member named kjeeper10 went through several brands of shocks, all of them too harsh, before settling on the Ranchos, which he now swears by. Maybe shoot him a PM...
Thanks a lot kbwwolf. I ended up going with the AEV 2.5" lift which was essentially complete for what I needed. Sticking with the stock wheels, I'll definitely put some before and after pics up as soon as I get a free weekend to do the install so anyone else looking at this setup has another reference on top of all the others out there.
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