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Topless-in-the-Buff 11-07-2010 11:45 AM

Stock JK cross country questions
So I'm buying a Stock 2d 09 JK (Auto) for a trip across country from Buffalo, NY to SoCal, with extended stay in Moab. It's a pretty big undertaking but should be worth it.

I'm getting the Jeep next week but we aren't leaving till April, what Mods do you think will be essential, if any.

Flashpaq - I've read about the Flashpaq and was wondering if it will effect the gas mileage of a stock auto jeep. Eventually I will get a lift and larger tires so will want it in the future but not sure if it will make a diff now.

Seats - I was thinking of getting new seats but it's hard to find out which would be comfortable etc, I haven't found any sites with a rating system for that stuff. Do you think they're even needed?

Tops - I'm pretty sure I'm getting the softtop, even though Buffalo winters are bad, I have friends that have softtops all year and say it's overall better since you can drop the top when it's nice. So I figure I'll get a bikini top for when it's down but are they're any Tonnaeu covers that can be used when the softtop is on but down? from my research it seems either or.

MOAB - We'll be stopping in Moab for Arches and some offroading. I understand some trails are easy enough for stock Jeeps, or should i just rent one? We're on a long tour so I don't want to damage anything but wouldn't mind getting it dirty.

Security - With the softtop I've been worried about security, Are field disturbance alarms worth it? or Should I invest in safety boxes instead? Combo?

Those are my main concerns, please let me know what you guys think.

kattzoo 11-07-2010 01:13 PM

I haven't done a true cross country trip but have done a few 2000 mile road trips on my 09 JK, stock. I loved it. No issues. I found the seats comfortable, didn't worry about the soft top at all. My step dad has a disturbance alarm on his 97 and has never had any issues. He doesn't bother locking his doors at all.

MTH 11-07-2010 02:44 PM

Regarding security, have you worked with the JK soft tops at all yet? One of the things I like about them is it's not necessarily obvious how they work. Most people are surprised when I tell them that the rear windows come of. As a consequence, I'm somewhat dubious the "break into your car and steal your radio" crowd really views a JK soft top as any easier mark than a glass window.

AOR 11-07-2010 03:41 PM

You shouldn't need the Flashpaq for the stock configuration. Now if you plan on bigger tires etc before you go them you might want it or if your towing a trailer. You also didn't say which model you were getting or what lift size etc you want to go to after this road trip. Seats should be good, especially with all the stopping you plan on doing.

Make sure everything is mechanically sound before the trip. Specifically the brakes. You can spend 15 mins getting to 65+ if you had too, but when you need to stop, you NEED TO STOP! Get a CAI (AFe is good) and if you aren't going to go wild on a lift (requiring exhaust mods), when you get one, get a cat back exhaust before the trip (air in, air out sort thing).

Get security boxes and leave the damn thing unlocked. Also park it in plain view whenever possible. With an unlocked vehicle and in plain sight of everyone, thieves will assume the owner is close.

As far as Moab goes, get some quick disconnects and go for it in stock configuration. This way you will learn your vehicle, your driving abilities, and what if anything you want in a build up afterward. If you don't plan to go wild on lift/tires (so as to not be changing gears) and such when your trip is done, maybe throw in a couple of lunch box lockers (Aussie << my choice, Lock-Right, Spartan, etc). Very affordable, decent road manners, and you can do it in a few hours with standard tools in yours or a friend's driveway. Plus you should change the fluids and check the brakes anyway, being it is used, so you're half way there on the install as it is. This would open up a little more challenging terrain for you. Read a head-to-head article here about these lockers. I am sure there are as many of these articles on the net as there are opinions here. Research it, if interested in this option, and make your choice.

Many many soft/bikini tops to choose from. Many people say to stay away from Smittybilt tops. Never used one personally. Rampage and Bestop are excellent choices for all there product line in this area.

If you want or need any help acquiring these or any products, send me a PM. Sounds like a fantastic trip and we DO expect pics during you're travels.


Da Jones 11-07-2010 04:48 PM

Hey Allen,
Thanks for all the info and advice! I didn't ask the question, but you answered anything I might've asked. I'm a 15 day Wrangler owner, and my wife and I are planning a camping trip in Key West next May. Gonna go straight south to FL from Wisconsin, then up the east coast to Boston and home. As I said, VERY new to Jeeps, but can turn a wrench if I gotta. I have no doubt it'll be smooth sailing. Especially with all the knowledge/wisdom I've already got from y'all. Thanx! And there will be lotsa pix!

Topless-in-the-Buff 11-07-2010 06:39 PM

Yes Thanks Allen and everyone who responded. I've been lurking here and many other forums and feel this is the most well rounded, some of the others are too focused on lifts and wheels, which is a huge part but not all of owning a Jeep.

TBH Before this I never thought much of CAI and exhaust but now after reading up they look real easy to install. Exhausts are bolt on right? no welding?

I'm getting an X, the only Rubis I've seen within 150 miles are 5k over KBB so i'll just get an X and build what I need. For the trip I want to increase performance and gas economy LOL I know I know. So I'm thinking the CAI/Exhaust will be useful long term and short.

How much lift will start to cause problems? Realistically I'll probably only add 2.5/3 inch lift and 33/35 wheels, depending on monies. I don't live in the back-country so I'd rather get the most for my money rather than just max out height.

I'm still undecided what route to go about it that's one reason I'm on the forum :) My buddy has 33's and feels he needs a regear (maybe just a reprogram), so I think I'd just wait till i can afford the whole upgrade package, about 3k I figure if I do most fo it myself. To make the trip i financed and plan on paying it off early. Once i do that I'll start deciding more seriously about lifts.

The more videos and such I read about Moab the more I think I'll just rent!

daggo66 11-07-2010 07:18 PM


Originally Posted by Topless-in-the-Buff (Post 864043)
TBH Before this I never thought much of CAI and exhaust but now after reading up they look real easy to install. Exhausts are bolt on right? no welding?

I'm getting an X, the only Rubis I've seen within 150 miles are 5k over KBB so i'll just get an X and build what I need. For the trip I want to increase performance and gas economy LOL I know I know. So I'm thinking the CAI/Exhaust will be useful long term and short.

Increased performance and mileage will be negligible at best. Not nearly enough to recoup the money spent even if there are any gains whatsoever. If you want to increase you mph with a Wrangler, change your driving habits. That will give you the most gains.

Topless-in-the-Buff 11-07-2010 11:17 PM

ok after further review, mostly this thread FAQ - Cold Air Intake - I think I'll pass for now.

Changing my driving habits doesn't effect long highway rides really, I know it will be a pig on gas but if i could add a few mpg it would be nice. I heard 50 is the most optimal speed to cruise at so we're planning our trip to use byways and state roads instead of highways, should be more fun to.

snopro269 11-07-2010 11:33 PM

Hey I recently purchased a 2010 wrangler Rubicon with a Auto. My girlfriend and I also have about 600 plus miles on two different days and also put on a 1200 mile weekend cursing the north shore of Minnesota. The new jeeps are very comfortable and I have ran a FlashPaq also. There is a mega sale on them if you look around. Under $350.00

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