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-   -   Rubi/Sahara conundrum in Belize (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/rubi-sahara-conundrum-in-belize-263153.html)

NastyPirate 08-16-2013 12:56 AM

Rubi/Sahara conundrum in Belize
 
Hey all-
New to the forum, new to Jeeps. I have learned a lot from all of you about these magical rides, so thanks for that!

Here's the situation:

This JKU will be going to my home on the beach in Belize. I want to load it up, with the exception of a hardtop, Nav/Traffic (2 stoplights in Belize), the 470 head unit and 4:10 gearing.

Most of the use will be roads (80%), along with very easy rolling dirt roads and up into the rainforest and Mayan ruins (20%, maybe). When it floods in Belize, I want something that will go through a couple of feet of water, with a winch on the front to pull myself, and others, out of trouble in the water or rainforest mud. But again, this will be mostly used for paved roads back and forth and running the beach occasionally. As a believer in the old adage that the only time you need more of something is when you don't have it, I don't want to get caught short on the Jeep's lift height or ability the ability of the winch to pull. So, buy Sahara and do add-on's or buy a Rubi (and still do add-on's!). I would like a Rubi, but don't want overkill. Having never owned a Jeep, I don't know what overkill is....

There is one dealer in Belize, but by buying in the U.S., I am voiding my warranty, which is no big deal. To buy in Belize means a 7 month wait, a choice of only 2 colors and no ability to add on (the upside is no cat converter:punk:).

Collective thoughts?

2012Cosmos 08-16-2013 08:28 AM

Order a custom 2014 Unlimited Rubicon. Get a bold color (best decision I ever made), pick the options specific to your needs, and have fun!!!!

scottmphoto 08-16-2013 12:01 PM

My suggestion would be to forego the Rubi AND Sahara options altogether. A Sport JKU with a 2.5" TF lift, 35x12.50 BFGs for the mud. Toss on a nice Warn front bumper with a Zeon winch and you will be in great shape. As far as the water goes, grab a Rugged Ridge low profile snorkel kit (I had one, they are great) and extend all your breathers.

Finally, invite me down and I'll help you with the installs. :)

ahsumtoy 08-16-2013 12:07 PM

Yep
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scottmphoto (Post 4085580)
My suggestion would be to forego the Rubi AND Sahara options altogether. A Sport JKU with a 2.5" TF lift, 35x12.50 BFGs for the mud. Toss on a nice Warn front bumper with a Zeon winch and you will be in great shape. As far as the water goes, grab a Rugged Ridge low profile snorkel kit (I had one, they are great) and extend all your breathers.

Finally, invite me down and I'll help you with the installs. :)

^x2

Theairhead 08-16-2013 12:22 PM

If you want 35 inch tires and you don't get the rubi with 4.1 gears you will want to regear and that costs upwards of a grand.

NastyPirate 08-16-2013 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theairhead (Post 4085639)
If you want 35 inch tires and you don't get the rubi with 4.1 gears you will want to regear and that costs upwards of a grand.

Will the 35's make the JK too rough a ride on pavement?

Theairhead 08-16-2013 06:22 PM

No. But the type of tire and tread it has will affect road noise. The ride really is really more of the right tire pressure and good quality springs, shocks, all around suspension components

NastyPirate 08-16-2013 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NastyPirate (Post 4086443)
Will the 35's make the JK too rough a ride on pavement?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theairhead (Post 4086766)
No. But the type of tire and tread it has will affect road noise. The ride really is really more of the right tire pressure and good quality springs, shocks, all around suspension components

Thanks for that. I have read that I should stick with a radial for a quiet ride. Shocks recommendation? The Rancho 9000 Series? And i can do 10" wide 35's with a 2.5 lift kit? Would the AEV kit mentioned above have the right springs, or are there other recommedations that are better?

BTW, I was planning to add steel bumpers front and back, a winch and sliders. I presume that means that the Jeep will sit somewhat lower than if those bits weren't on?

Theairhead 08-16-2013 06:34 PM

Yes 2.5 inches of lift will work. But flat fenders like metal cloak, bushwhacker, or others will give you more room to flex. As for shocks it depends on how much you want to spend. The rancho 9000's are very pricy but fully adjustable. With that adjustability they lose some responsiveness. I'd pm kjeeper10 since he's much more knowledgeable than me.

scottmphoto 08-17-2013 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NastyPirate (Post 4086784)
Shocks recommendation? The Rancho 9000 Series? And i can do 10" wide 35's with a 2.5 lift kit? Would the AEV kit mentioned above have the right springs, or are there other recommedations that are better?

BTW, I was planning to add steel bumpers front and back, a winch and sliders. I presume that means that the Jeep will sit somewhat lower than if those bits weren't on?

So my suggestions:

1. Check out Bilsteins for shocks.

2. I would rethink steel bumpers. With all that salt air and water, I would check out some of the aluminum options first.

Lusus_Naturae 08-17-2013 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NastyPirate (Post 4086443)
Will the 35's make the JK too rough a ride on pavement?

Hold on here. Many of us including myself are running 35's on stock gearing. I have 3.73 gearing and I'm running 315.75.16 Duratracs.

However - I know I would be happier with the 4.10 Rubicon gearing and maybe something more, but 3.73 is doing good too. The Duratracs also run small - actually size on my tires is 33.75 inches tall. It's the one reason I bought "35" inch tires, if I bought the 33 inch Duratracs, I would have gained 1/4 inch from stock.

Duratracs have been one of the favorite tires for people who need a all around good tire. Mine have done everything - snow, sand, mud, rain, ice, dry - and although sand isn't great, the others are. (If I aired down more in sand it would have been better.)

I drive mostly on pavement, I haven't found a better tire. Look around here at tire reviews, there are lots of good tires, but some are heavy too.

jrussblues 08-17-2013 06:55 PM

Wow...this is spinning.

Mark b 08-17-2013 07:19 PM

I'd buy a regular Sport and spend the extra money on a 2" lift, 33's, new wheels and a winch.

Buy it from Pat here in the USA and take one hell of a road trip through Mexico.

My mom said never take my Jeep to Mexico because they'll highjack it to run drugs. But, what momma don't know won't hurt her! :D

Jeep in Belize sounds nice.

live_slow 08-17-2013 10:28 PM

In my experience with places that have a similar climate, everyone (local) was using vehicles that had two things in common.

- rugged or ruggedized interiors that helped reduce risk of mold setting in the fabrics

- an increased intake height (snorkel, aftermarket or homemade) and the things that go along with it (extending breathers and on some vehicle types relocating other parts)

So perhaps keeping those things in mind will help. I'm assuming these are maintained roads? Or is it like some SE Asian countries where typhoon/monsoon means the road is closed for a week or so?

I never did ride in a new US spec vehicle in any of the places I went. Mostly they were older HiLux with the occasional refurbished CJ or other domestic. Lots of folks were buying a Asian market Mitsubishi minivan with a little 4 banger and throwing mud tires on it since it's all wheel drive too. They get them used in the city and run them up in the highlands. Locals (mostly my in-laws) never went through water on purpose, unless they had to :-)

NastyPirate 08-18-2013 12:28 AM

No, not like SE Asia.....Belize is a "normal" county. The term "paved" is a relative term. There are a lot of dirt and gravel roads, but there is not much in the way of topographical change; most of the land is at sea level.

What I am looking for is the difference between MT and AT tires and the lift that comes with that. I want something that can be fun, but also keep me out of trouble in mud and sand.

NastyPirate 08-18-2013 12:42 AM

I like the idea of 35's. And I do understand that there is a limit as to what I can do with tires; I am looking for the most quiet road tire possible.

Money, or saving money, isn't the object here. I'm not trying to sound like a dick, but the heart wants what the heart wants....

What I am looking for is the lightest, put-together, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that I can do.

insylem 08-18-2013 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2012Cosmos (Post 4084866)
Order a custom 2014 Unlimited Rubicon. Get a bold color (best decision I ever made), pick the options specific to your needs, and have fun!!!!

Rubicon = Lockers

Otherwise maybe you get stuck and wish you had them...

10to10 08-18-2013 10:18 AM

Well if money ain't an issue, here is what I would do. Get yourself a Rubicon, has lockers when you need them and the Rock-track 4:1 is amazing. Dump the stock bumpers, fenders and get yourself some nice aluminum bumpers and new high clearance fenders. Find yourself a quality 12,000 winch. Think about possibly re-gearing depending on tire size but I would think a nice 35 or 37 with a 2.5 or 3 inch lift would be more then sufficient. Grab yourself some quality seat covers and rock rails and enjoy!

NastyPirate 08-18-2013 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10to10 (Post 4092173)
Well if money ain't an issue, here is what I would do. Get yourself a Rubicon, has lockers when you need them and the Rock-track 4:1 is amazing. Dump the stock bumpers, fenders and get yourself some nice aluminum bumpers and new high clearance fenders. Find yourself a quality 12,000 winch. Think about possibly re-gearing depending on tire size but I would think a nice 35 or 37 with a 2.5 or 3 inch lift would be more then sufficient. Grab yourself some quality seat covers and rock rails and enjoy!

Thanks for all of the advice. Having never owned a Jeep, I am in uncharted territory here.

Most people in Belize, as one poster mentioned, do use a lot of mud tires on little 4-bangers like Mitsubishi or Hillux. The main reason is that they are cheap to buy. But Belize is a country of bicycles, predominantly. The Jeep dealer in Belize told me that the last time that he sold one was 3 years ago, because the import duties make the Jeep almost $100K!

I had planned on 3:73 gearing, as it has been told to me that it is the best road gear. This will not be a crawler, nor will it be a maller. It is really just to get from Point A to Point B with style, and a way to get across unexpected road obstacles.

I like the idea of aluminum bumpers and rails, as well as 35's. What are lockers? I have seen them mentioned before, but have not been able to put them in context.

I know that there are a ton of vendors out there, but what should I be looking at for bumper mods , best winch, etc?

live_slow 08-18-2013 11:08 AM

Since you're coming in on the ground floor, the videos at Jeep.com may actually help.

Explore Jeep Capabilities | 4WD Systems | Jeep,


Or check here

Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited 2013| 4-door Utility Vehicle| 2013 Jeep®

Then under capability watch the videos.

That'll get you up to speed.

I'd just get a Rubicon (4:1 crawl, Electronic Locking Differentials, Electronic Swaybar Disconnect, Factory Mud Terrain Tires, etc) relocate the breather tubes, install a snorkel, grab a warn winch that fits a nice set of bumpers you like (good sticky thread here).

That would be a "turn the key and go practice" type situation.

If you were going to go beat something up and build a monster, we wouldn't be having this conversation :-)

Lusus_Naturae 08-18-2013 11:37 AM

For what you have said already - paved roads, dirt, gravel - the Jeep is built to take those with no issue from stock. The tires could be improved on but the rest is fine. It's all about your playground from there.

YJmaddness 08-18-2013 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NastyPirate (Post 4092270)

Thanks for all of the advice. Having never owned a Jeep, I am in uncharted territory here.

Most people in Belize, as one poster mentioned, do use a lot of mud tires on little 4-bangers like Mitsubishi or Hillux. The main reason is that they are cheap to buy. But Belize is a country of bicycles, predominantly. The Jeep dealer in Belize told me that the last time that he sold one was 3 years ago, because the import duties make the Jeep almost $100K!

I had planned on 3:73 gearing, as it has been told to me that it is the best road gear. This will not be a crawler, nor will it be a maller. It is really just to get from Point A to Point B with style, and a way to get across unexpected road obstacles.

I like the idea of aluminum bumpers and rails, as well as 35's. What are lockers? I have seen them mentioned before, but have not been able to put them in context.

I know that there are a ton of vendors out there, but what should I be looking at for bumper mods , best winch, etc?

Lockers are located in the axle differential they lock the axle together so that both tires will turn at the same time rather than just one. This helps tremendously with traction while off road. This feature is what sets the rubi apart from the other trims. If I were in your position and worried about muddy situations I would do the rubicon.

As for good aluminum bumper brands check out genright.com. A lot of people here run their stuff and it is awesome.

NFRs2000NYC 08-18-2013 11:46 AM

South America there is only one smart choice. Do yourself a favor and get a Rubi. Also make sure you get the 4.10 gears. If you are going to mod it before you ship it, any quality 2.5" lift, a bumper of choice and winch (south america has some epic mud), and 35" duratrac tires on 16" wheels. That will provide you with an excellent on road ride with excellent offroad ability.

YJmaddness 08-18-2013 11:55 AM

Here is a good video about lockers and differentials. Don't flame me for the Toyota based theme.
http://youtu.be/gIGvhvOhLHU

Lowerumble 08-18-2013 02:59 PM

I also vote rubi. With 35s, I would get the 4.10s and forget the 3.73s. Like NFRs said, pick a good 2.5 and your favorite bumper and proceed. Aluminum is fine and light, but I think any steel one you wanted with a good powdercoat would be fine too. For winches, I would do a little more research and pick something good for the climate, likely with a cover too. Where are you buying it. Really, you may just want to look into AEV for a nice solid turnkey option. If I weren't really crawling, then I like their full coverage bumpers and their lifts are quality for the intended purposes. And if you would rather call it a day then spend the time researching, it would make it alot easier...

NFRs2000NYC 08-18-2013 03:02 PM

If can afford it, get the Zeon winch from Warn. The fact that it's completely sealed would fair better in the south american jungle.

NastyPirate 08-18-2013 03:35 PM

Sealed is good......It is humid and damp in Belize. Jeep will be purchased stateside and shipped, and I plan on looking for a good Houston off road shop that can do the mods (I don't have the time nor the interest, frankly). Any shouts for Houston shops?

I see the advantages to the Rubi rockers. Can someone tell me why the 4:10 should be the gearing, rather than 3:73? I would have thought that the 4:10 was for pure crawling.

Is the OEM tire carrier capable of handling a larger-than-stock wheel?

NFRs2000NYC 08-18-2013 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NastyPirate (Post 4092980)
Sealed is good......It is humid and damp in Belize. Jeep will be purchased stateside and shipped, and I plan on looking for a good Houston off road shop that can do the mods (I don't have the time nor the interest, frankly). Any shouts for Houston shops?

I see the advantages to the Rubi rockers. Can someone tell me why the 4:10 should be the gearing, rather than 3:73? I would have thought that the 4:10 was for pure crawling.

Is the OEM tire carrier capable of handling a larger-than-stock wheel?

The OEM carrier's limitation is weight, not size. There are many people on various forums that run a 35" (heavier) tire on the stock carrier for years without problems. The welds usually break not because of weight, but because the weight is jiggling around. If you have the proper bumpstops (a $20 upgrade) you should be fine, but personally, I'd like the piece of mind and go with either a full rear bumper carrier (like the AEV) or a hinge carrier like the Teraflex. 4.10s will allow you to put on larger tires without the adverse effects of the jeep becoming slow. The "4" number you might be thinking of is the Rubicon's 4:1 transfer case, which allows for better crawling. If you are planning on buying in the US and shipping to Belize, I would advise you do everything right, and do it here.

Lowerumble 08-18-2013 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NastyPirate (Post 4092980)
Sealed is good......It is humid and damp in Belize. Jeep will be purchased stateside and shipped, and I plan on looking for a good Houston off road shop that can do the mods (I don't have the time nor the interest, frankly). Any shouts for Houston shops?

I see the advantages to the Rubi rockers. Can someone tell me why the 4:10 should be the gearing, rather than 3:73? I would have thought that the 4:10 was for pure crawling.

Is the OEM tire carrier capable of handling a larger-than-stock wheel?

Texas? How about a Starwood? :whistling: I am just kidding. Still need a sarcasm button. The 4.10s may seem steeper with stock tires, but with the 35s will keep you in the proper rpm range and keep your acceleration up to par. I am sure the 3.73s would be passable as well. But the 4.10s would also help resale later as that is what most with that combo would want.

Tomdata 08-18-2013 04:00 PM

As per usual.. I will be the bad guy

With the option of any vehicle worldwide I would get a Toyota Prado Diesel. Put on front/rear ARB bumpers, a winch and an ARB snorkel.

If you need more offroad capability go with some mud tires, an old man emu 2" lift, ARB air lockers and put a safari rack on it.

Jeeps are awesome but if your spending 80% of your time on road and only going through water/mud the Prado is way more comfortable and will get you anywhere.


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