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Old 08-26-2015, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 48
JK fam initiate - need lots of advice

Hi all,

So I am a soon to be manual transmission JKU Sahara owner, I've always wanted one and I'm very excited I'm finally getting one!

That being said, even though I've been doing tons of research lately I still have tons and tons of questions I'm hoping some experienced JK owners can answer. I know a lot of people will say get the Rubi, but I just don't have the cash for it currently and I figure I'll be able to upgrade a Sahara past a Rubi once I do have the money for it.

So first of all, this jeep will be my daily driver, but I'm definitely looking into eventually getting into some light to moderate off roading. Also I live in Ontario, Canada, and it snows a hell of a lot here in the winter, but from what I've read around the web, the jeep will have no problem with some snow.

Being said that it is my DD, I still want to put some good upgrades into it once I have the cash. That's kind of where I'm stumped. I know I want to lift it, probably 3.5", and also eventually put 35" tires on it. But I also want to be prepared if I catch the bug hard and eventually want to go up to 37"s. I'm wondering what upgrades I'll need to put on it to accommodate 35"s or 37"s, whether that be axles, driveshafts, steering, etc.

I know I'll have to upgrade the gearing from the factory 3.73, probably to about 4.56, but thats where my knowledge of gears ends, I'd really like for someone to explain the different gearing options to me in terms I'd understand. All I really know is that they put the power down differently, and affect gas mileage.

Currently I'm looking at the AEV 3.5" dual sport RS suspension, but I'm not sure if that's a good lift kit or not. I've heard good things about it but also that all the parts from it will eventually get switched out. Also, it would be sweet if someone could explain long and short arm upgrades, as I'm not sure I understand the differences fully.

Sorry for the super long post, I still have a million other questions but I guess I'll start with this. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old 08-26-2015, 05:30 PM   #2
ak4marsx's Avatar
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Posts: 757

See https://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/ne.../topics/298665


Recommended reading Jim Allen - Four-Wheeler's Bible: 2nd Edition
Lots of stuff in here, well explained.

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Old 08-26-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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I don't recall seeing anyone on this forum bash that particular AEV lift, though you might eventually need a new driveshaft with that much height.

I'd also recommend looking for some easier trails in your area and getting out there a bit - something like a scenic road that's not well maintained is a good place to start. For several areas of the US you can buy guide books that are relatively inexpensive - if you can find one for your area, it's probably worth purchasing.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
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The AEV 3.5" is an excellent lift kit and it will enable to run 37s unless you run a lot extra weight on the front like a monster bumper and winch. I am not sure what parts you have heard that you switch out from this kit but IMO the exact number is zero. If anything it needs a set of quality control arms.

The 4.56 gears are a perfect match for 35s and a good match for 37s so you are on track there. Your gas mileage will be affected by the kit and the tires. Expect a 2-4 MPG drop depending on your driving habits. The 35s are a better choice for a DD and unless you really roll over a lot of obstacles and drop offs at crawling speeds they are better off road than 37s but that is a personal choice.

The only way to upgrade a Sahara past a Rubi is to swap out the front axle and transfer case. There is a lot of discussion of such things but I venture to guess that the number of owners that actually do it is small. Beefing up the differential housing does not make a D30 stronger than a D44. The weakest link is the size of the diff gears which cannot be changed and big tires generate a lot more torque on the gears. The Rubi is worth the price of admission unless you are building an offroad beast with no urban manners.
"Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive."
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 48
Thanks a lot guys for the speedy responses! I can't wait to sift through some of the stuff you've provided ak4marsx.

spinlock, so you're saying its not possible to swap out the front axle and transfer case? Or its just not smart/too expensive?
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