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Old 06-11-2019, 04:29 PM
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Not Interested in a Huge Lift

Hi All, as the title states I am short and the '17 JKURubicon is my DD so I don't really want a huge lift. I'm currently on a 1.5" leveling kit and 35" BFG K02 with open fender flares. I'm going to invest in a bumpstop upgrade. When I wheel a harder trail I'll try to be topless and doorless to get back an inch or so of clearance. I have steel front and rear bumpers and an XBULL 13k winch which brings my weight up a bit again.

What other steps should I take to be trail ready for more difficult terrain? Do you have specific brand recommendations for these parts?
  • Tucked up exhaust
  • Undercarriage Armor (everywhere? Certain parts?)
  • Bumpstops


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Old 06-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ChuckNorrisYes View Post
Hi All, as the title states I am short and the '17 JKURubicon is my DD so I don't really want a huge lift. I'm currently on a 1.5" leveling kit and 35" BFG K02 with open fender flares. I'm going to invest in a bumpstop upgrade. When I wheel a harder trail I'll try to be topless and doorless to get back an inch or so of clearance. I have steel front and rear bumpers and an XBULL 13k winch which brings my weight up a bit again.

What other steps should I take to be trail ready for more difficult terrain? Do you have specific brand recommendations for these parts?
  • Tucked up exhaust (DynoMax makes a complete delete, doesn't get more tucked than that. supposedly sounds just fine)
  • Undercarriage Armor (everywhere? Certain parts?) (Anywhere and everything that the item keeps you from driving out and home)
  • Bumpstops
.....

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Old 06-11-2019, 04:55 PM
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Tucked up exhaust (DynoMax makes a complete delete, doesn't get more tucked than that. supposedly sounds just fine)
Undercarriage Armor (everywhere? Certain parts?) (Anywhere and everything that the item keeps you from driving out and home)
Thanks! I hope to avoid the drone or ricer back sounds so if it's generally muted I'm all good with that. For the armor I was looking at some of the full belly-pan designs.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChuckNorrisYes View Post
Thanks! I hope to avoid the drone or ricer back sounds so if it's generally muted I'm all good with that. For the armor I was looking at some of the full belly-pan designs.
Full is great. Either heavy or expensive though... Not sure what kind of wheeling you do - you could see where you hit and that's your target OR like I mentioned. Look for the areas that a hit could ground you and that is an area to protect.
You probably already know this .... some armor is aluminum, some steel - differing thicknesses and weights as well as $$.

You already have some under there don't poopoo what's there and that can be a good test for where you hit as well.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:16 PM
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Full is great. Either heavy or expensive though... Not sure what kind of wheeling you do - you could see where you hit and that's your target OR like I mentioned. Look for the areas that a hit could ground you and that is an area to protect.
You probably already know this .... some armor is aluminum, some steel - differing thicknesses and weights as well as $$.

You already have some under there don't poopoo what's there and that can be a good test for where you hit as well.
I appreciate the insight. I think I need to target some particular components, relocate the evap canister if possible, and maybe try the modular full coverage kits and add as I go. CA Wheeling can be pretty hardcore (from my perspective) and the groups here like to do the hard trails so I'm trying to be prepared but staying with my low center of gravity plan.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:24 PM   #6
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I installed the metal cloak full under body system.. it was 180lbs … but you take 50 ish off in OEM parts...
I'm looking for a similar situation (I have height restrictions in my garage).. I'm considering a MetalCloak 2.5 lift but using the springs for a 2D as they are an inch shorter than the 4Dr versions...so a 2.5 4DR is actually a 3.5 2DR lift and so on....
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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I installed the metal cloak full under body system.. it was 180lbs … but you take 50 ish off in OEM parts...
I'm looking for a similar situation (I have height restrictions in my garage).. I'm considering a MetalCloak 2.5 lift but using the springs for a 2D as they are an inch shorter than the 4Dr versions...so a 2.5 4DR is actually a 3.5 2DR lift and so on....
it is my understanding that they are the same length just different spring rates. That being said, you are correct, installing 2.5" 2Dr coils would not lift a 4 door 2.5" possibly, but it also would probably drive sloppy and feel like the jeep was overweight. Just my .02

To the OP, if a 2.5" Lift Kit is too much, I got Rubicon Recon Take Off's and put those on. They are the same spring rate as OEM just 1" longer. That plus your current lift might be plenty, although with the JL out they will become harder and harder to find.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:00 PM
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it is my understanding that they are the same length just different spring rates. That being said, you are correct, installing 2.5" 2Dr coils would not lift a 4 door 2.5" possibly, but it also would probably drive sloppy and feel like the jeep was overweight. Just my .02

To the OP, if a 2.5" Lift Kit is too much, I got Rubicon Recon Take Off's and put those on. They are the same spring rate as OEM just 1" longer. That plus your current lift might be plenty, although with the JL out they will become harder and harder to find.
Good info on the recon springs thank you. Do you happen to have the part number off of the sticker? I noticed when shopping for take-off springs to powder coat to my preferred color and swap out without losing the vehicle to the shop (my only car) that several people are selling take-offs called one thing but the spring part numbers are not matching up.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:03 PM   #9
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Good info on the recon springs thank you. Do you happen to have the part number off of the sticker? I noticed when shopping for take-off springs to powder coat to my preferred color and swap out without losing the vehicle to the shop (my only car) that several people are selling take-offs called one thing but the spring part numbers are not matching up.
Pretty sure I cut mine off... sorry. But they definately were as advertised. Bought them from Rubitrux in Boone. You can have mine when I get my lift, I just cant tell you when that will be ha.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChuckNorrisYes View Post
I appreciate the insight. I think I need to target some particular components, relocate the evap canister if possible, and maybe try the modular full coverage kits and add as I go. CA Wheeling can be pretty hardcore (from my perspective) and the groups here like to do the hard trails so I'm trying to be prepared but staying with my low center of gravity plan.
This will be my last unsolicited "insight" If memory serves you mentioned you are not interested in a Huge lift vis a vis extreme mods because this is your DD.
Have fun with it BUT don't be moved out of your comfort zone by Anybody for Any reason. Say "No" to any trail or obstacle You are not 95% comfortable with.
It is Your Jeep - Not theirs. Nobody knows other peoples situations or mindsets.
People (Yes, even Jeepers) can be F'd up in what they lead people to do and once done they walk away like "Whatever nobody made him do it" and You are left with the aftermath.

Have fun.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:14 AM   #11
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I installed a set of Recon springs last week. I started with a JKU sport with hard top, auto, and 17/58 springs. The Recon springs were 19/61.

My starting measurements where (to bottom for fender flares) Front 35 1/4” Rear 36 3/4” (equal side to side w/ 1/2 tank of fuel). After install (again came out level side to side 1/2 tank of fuel). Front 36 7/8” Rear 37 1/4”. So basically 1.5” in front and .5” in the rear.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:01 AM   #12
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I...... I'm considering a MetalCloak 2.5 lift but using the springs for a 2D as they are an inch shorter than the 4Dr versions...so a 2.5 4DR is actually a 3.5 2DR lift and so on....
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it is my understanding that they are the same length just different spring rates. That being said, you are correct, installing 2.5" 2Dr coils would not lift a 4 door 2.5" possibly, but it also would probably drive sloppy and feel like the jeep was overweight.......
MC springs are in fact different lengths, @Cyclrder is right on. MC lift heights are are based on a fully outfitted rig, bumpers, skids, etc. The 2.5 2dr spring is 1.5 on the 4 door. But again this is if your rig is fully outfitted. On light builds expect more height. My 2dr with 2.5 inch spring is still above 2.5 inches and I have a very fat pig of a vehicle. I will be gong to 3.5 inches only because I will still get heavier.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:29 AM   #13
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If you are looking at skid plates, be sure to include the crossmember in the equation. Replacing the factory skids with HD skids and bolting them to the same tin foil crossmember is silly. Some full systems replace the crossmember, but you can replace the crossmember either way. We still have the stock gas tank and tC skid but now it is bolted to a HD crossmember and it is much better able to take a beating. Some day we will replace the factory skids, but so far they are doing a lot better after upgrading the crossmember.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:35 AM   #14
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@TerryC6 not to split hairs, and I really think we are saying the same thing but....

What I am saying is that the springs are the same length (2dr to 2dr an 4dr to 4dr) when uninstalled but have different rates. JKU's weigh more which makes them compress 2dr springs an extra inch when installed.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:22 AM   #15
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In the case of metalcloak... the springs are definitely longer or shorter based on lift size.. a 3.5” 2 door lift spring set is the same as a 2.5” 4 door set .

As for under body armor... the crossmember replacements that came with my metalcloak system are total beasts... makes the OEM pieces look like tinkertoys. I went east coast wheeling only once and really banged up the bottom of the truck. I can’t imagine going out again without the armor. But it definitely adds weight to the Jeep.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:27 AM   #16
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In the case of metalcloak... the springs are definitely longer or shorter based on lift size.. a 3.5” 2 door lift spring set is the same as a 2.5” 4 door set .
Agreed, Again, I think we are all saying the same thing. There are not 4 different spring lengths. 2 different length's 2.5" and 3.5", and 2 different spring rates 2dr and 4dr.

People often put higher OEM spring rates and 4dr springs on a 2 dr to give it a "lift" however I am not sure I would advise using this same principle to get a lower lift. Seems like you would be unstable and the shocks wouldn't be tuned correct and the ride would be shit... I bet MC would tell you the same thing
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:56 AM   #17
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While I'd love a MC full skid, it's more than I want to spend. You can look, ask around and decide what makes the most sense. Some things I've picked up on....sometimes by just looking at what's been scraped, dented or bent:

Oil Pan: It is waaaaay up there and lots of people say don't bother. This was my first skid and I did a $100 Rubicon Express. Why? Talking with one of the Jeep club members who showed up with a Cherokee to a run instead of his Wrangler, he put a rock up into his oil pan, shut it down and got pulled out to get a AAA tow back home. As unlikely as an oil pan puncture is, it can be catastrophic.

Diffs: Picking lines has kept me from even getting a scratch on my front cover. The rear one can possibly be peeled off when sliding over a rock. I've done the DIY, free, common thing and ground off the lower part of the OEM cover. I see the marks on the bottom of the diff and so far, so good. If you're married, this is a good answer to "What do you want for Christmas/birthday/father's day as you can take your pick of a good diff cover for around $100 each.

Gas Tank: On a JKU, the gas tank cover WILL absolutely get dented up and you will drag over it. I pull mine off each winter and use my precision sledge hammer to carefully bang the hell out of it to get it near original shape, then grind down anywhere there's rust and paint it with whatever random paint I have around. A much stronger skid that goes over the OEM cover is a good idea, cheap and easy to install. I plan to do one of these. Figure the south side of $150. I would still remove everything each winter to remove rust and mud. The OEM covers are notorious for rusting completely away.

Evap Canister: I know you can buy something, but if I were worried about it, I'd just do a DIY relocation above the rear axle. There are brackets you can buy or just fabricate something out of scrap metal. It's in a location that's relatively hard to hit anyways.

Trans and transfer case: There are lots of ways of dealing with these. Sure, the OEM 4 door bar thing is pretty weak but the 2 door doesn't even have these. I have not yet addressed this and have turtled on my OEM 0ne enough times that the ends are squished and one side is bent. I'm not sure how needed a replacement skid here is. It's not tops on my list.

Lower Control Arm Brackets: They can get bent. Mine are in the rear. How to deal with them? Yah, there are skids available. I'm ignoring them for now and will use my precision sledge hammer at some point to straighten them. The more I drive offroad, the more I don't hit stuff, though.

Sliders: You need these. I should have listed this as #1. I ran my first year offroad (last year) with just some smittybilt tubular steps and would use my tow strap and a tree to straighten them after every run. They did the job to save my sheet metal from being heavily damaged. I sprung for some frame mounted White Knuckle Offroad sliders in DOM for added strength. I'm very happy I did this. It's been one of my best purchases. There are lots of other sliders out there. Used Rubicon rock rails turn up on Craigslist all the time. Anything under $100 is a good deal and worth it if you don't want to spring for over $500 for good aftermarket ones.

Front skid: This goes between the bumper and the lower bar that the aero plastic thingy connects to. I've had very little hit it as line choice has been my biggest tool. I just purchased a front bumper and it happens to connect to that front bar, so for no extra money, I've got some protection. It's something to consider, but I wouldn't prioritize it over much of anything.

I know I'm missing stuff, but these are the things I've looked at and/or done.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:51 AM   #18
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@TerryC6 not to split hairs, and I really think we are saying the same thing but....

What I am saying is that the springs are the same length (2dr to 2dr an 4dr to 4dr) when uninstalled but have different rates. JKU's weigh more which makes them compress 2dr springs an extra inch when installed.
Maybe we are. The 2 door 2.5 inch lift is the 4 doors 1.5 inch lift. The 2 door 3.5 inch lift is the 4 door 2.5 inch lift. And it keeps going like this. Again remember this is on a fully outfitted rig. A light 4 door rig will get 2.5 inches at least with the 2 door 2.5 inch lift. Not many JKU's out there that weigh as much as my 2 door, I am pushing 6000 lbs when fully loaded and still have 2.5 inches of lift.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:44 AM   #19
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Maybe we are. The 2 door 2.5 inch lift is the 4 doors 1.5 inch lift. The 2 door 3.5 inch lift is the 4 door 2.5 inch lift. And it keeps going like this. Again remember this is on a fully outfitted rig. A light 4 door rig will get 2.5 inches at least with the 2 door 2.5 inch lift. Not many JKU's out there that weigh as much as my 2 door, I am pushing 6000 lbs when fully loaded and still have 2.5 inches of lift.
Agree to disagree? Sweet rig though!
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:10 PM   #20
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here is my metalcloak skid system... and my bike.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:15 PM   #21
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Agree to disagree? Sweet rig though!
the fact that Metalcloak's springs are simply shorter or longer by an inch might just be isolated to their tech and design of springs. But they sure seem to have a great reputation of service and quality designed products.

I just ordered a set of King shocks and will start there... then will do a 2Dr 2.5 mid setup from Metalcloak.... will update with my progress.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:39 PM   #22
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the fact that Metalcloak's springs are simply shorter or longer by an inch might just be isolated to their tech and design of springs. But they sure seem to have a great reputation of service and quality designed products.

I just ordered a set of King shocks and will start there... then will do a 2Dr 2.5 mid setup from Metalcloak.... will update with my progress.
FYI I would hold off the Kings until you know your total build. Does not cost that much extra to have them custom valved.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:44 AM   #23
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FYI I would hold off the Kings until you know your total build. Does not cost that much extra to have them custom valved.
agreed... but am buying the adjustable ones so hopefully that will give me the bandwith that I am looking for.

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