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Old 08-10-2015, 11:35 AM
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Overlanding lift questions

Hi

I have a 2011 JKU and am looking to turn it into an overlanding rig over the next year. I already have a Gobi rack and Smittybilt rear bumper and am looking to upgrade the front bumper as well as the suspension.

As a novice, I have a ton of questions about a low/medium cost lift. We are planning on driving it from the East Coast to the West Coast next year and need to to hold up well over a 3 month trip and as we have dogs that will be riding with us, need as smooth a ride as possible.

I was thinking of going with a 2.5" lift (Like this Pro Comp lift) and foregoing an long or short arm components. Would this work to give me a smooth ride? Would it be able to handle the weight of the roof rack, bumpers and winch?

I also was wondering about upgrading to 35" tires. I know that the stock wheels are to offset to work with the large tires, but would I be able to purchase a wheel spacer and make them work? Does such a product exist? If not, what are nice, inexpensive wheels that are made for Jeep?

Thanks

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Old 08-10-2015, 12:44 PM   #2
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Why do you want 35s? Lift + 35s are usually not conducive to road comfort. Yeah, it's a Jeep we're talking about, but it can get a lot worse than stock :-D

What sort of overlanding do you plan to do? In general, the mantra is to keep the suspension/engine/chassis as close to stock as you can for simplicity's sake. Also keep your COG as low as possible.

I would look to a really high quality but low altitude lift and 33s if you're doing a lot of long-distance driving. You'll also lose some "comfort" with heavy spring rate to carry the extra weight of all your gear if you go that route.

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Old 08-10-2015, 01:41 PM   #3
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The Pro-Comp kit isn't going to be a good choice for your application. You'll be running more loaded when overlanding, and it will end up being harsh over sharp square edged bumps on the road, and mushy off the road, with the weight you'll be running.
If you really want to lift, you'd be better with the AEV kit, Teraflex Overland kit, or OME kit. They are expensive, but with good reason.

So rather than going with an inexpensive lift that won't make you happy in the long run, for your first trip you may be better served by running stock. When traveling so far from home the choice of trails should be easier trails with great scenery. That doesn't require big tires or a lift.

My thoughts (which when added to $3.50 will buy a cup of coffee), would be to focus on:
1). Safety/recovery gear
2). Communications, so family & friends can share in your trip & know you're safe while your on it.
3). Comfort and fun stuff. Example, a nice electric cooler to keep sodas and sandwiches close at hand. mount for an ipad/tablet, Go Pro camera,
Wells travel guides, hand held gps for hiking, etc.
4). Note pad and pencil. Because all throughout the trip you'll be thinking of stuff you'd like to have on future trips. It's great to be able to write it down right away with some notes.

If you can find a set of Rubicon 19/60 springs and shocks, and a set of good take off A/T tires, that is about all I'd do for this first adventure.

Hope you guys have an epically fun adventure!
And please do a trip thread!
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:29 PM   #4
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I think CS pretty much nailed it... I'm kind of in the same boat as you and elected to go wtih the EVO 1.5" HD Leveling Kit on my JKU Hard Rock in order to keep the COG low and run 33's... the Plush Ride coils and some Rancho 9000 shocks I got to go with the leveling kit should smooth out the ride a bit to boot... just a suggestion, so many ways to go it can make your head spin... have fun on the overland journey!
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
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I run 33" tires, 2" AEV spacer lift, and Rancho 9000xl shocks. Handles excellent, rides very comfortable, and has enough height to do most over landing-type trails. That coupled with 19/60 springs would do very well, cost very little, and keep your COG low.
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:42 PM   #6
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For overlanding, you are primarily worried about the handling when loaded with weight.

You might be able to do less control arms, however you'll have to worry about the location of the rear wheel in the wheel well (it will move forward without control arms), and the castor for steering in the front axle.

The castor is something you'll absolutely need to fix. The rear wheel location is less critical, it just looks odd.

I would avoid procomp since their stuff is not very well made. Look at AEV or TeraFlex. If you want washboard roads to be able to be handled at more then 10mph you might want to look into a pre-running kit, but that's a LOT more money.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:39 PM   #7
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As above, overlanding is usually referencing a heavier rig loaded with gear. I would look at the Rock Krawler 1.5 springs paired with a set of TF Sport front lower control arms and a good shock with a set of 33's.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:47 PM   #8
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The ProComp is not a good choice. The AEV 2.5" is your best choice. It is designed for this application and it provides excellent vehicle dynamics. Shocks will depend on your need for a soft ride. I've used Bilstein, Fox and King shocks on 300mi tours in Baja and they are great performers but they do not provide an exceedingly soft ride as some prefer. Unless your journey is going to include numerous places with a lot of obstacles you are much better off with 33" tires. The name of the game is reliability.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:43 PM   #9
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Lots of good advice here. 32 or 33" tires. You don't want your tires to be too fat. Consider Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx All-Terrain pizza cutters. The 255/80r/17 will fit the stock wheels w/o rubbing and you don't need a lift, although the Rock Krawler 1.5" lift would be a nice add on.

Also, don't overload the Gobi Rack. About 100 lbs should be your max.

Read this: http://expeditionportal.com/the-10-c...rland-vehicle/
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:47 PM   #10
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The OME, AEV, and RK 2-2.5 inch lifts are all popular and will work fine for your application. The OME kit is available in medium and heavy duty load ratings.

You don't need to change the control arms if you go with a set of geometry correction brackets. Rancho, AEV and several others no make these brackets for a little over $100 a set. I have the Ranchos and they work well.

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Old 08-11-2015, 08:17 AM
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OK.

I'm thinking that 33s are more reasonable. Are there other recommendations for tires out there that will fit the stock rim without any rubbing? If I go with the AEV 2" lift how do I know which Rancho Shocks to get? Also, where would one buy the 19/60 springs?

THanks
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:32 AM   #12
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Yes, you can do wheel spacers to keep the stock wheels. I ran these for over a year before putting on new wheels:

RedRock 4x4 1.5 in. Wrangler Wheel Spacers - 5x5 Bolt Pattern J100749 (07-15 Wrangler JK) - Free Shipping

As for tire size, the 285/70-17 is very popular. It's quite a bit bigger than stock, but doesn't really give a "big tire" look. However, it's very effective for what you want to do with it.

Something like this:



Once you decide on what lift and how much, we can easily guide you on the shock choice. It will either be the stock replacements or the shocks typically used on a 2.5 lift.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:33 AM   #13
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I keep reading it but not exactly sure, what is meant by "overlanding"?
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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From this thread at the Expedition Portal.
What is the difference between a backcountry and overland adventure? - Expedition Portal

Backcountry Adventure: A one-day, or multi-day off-highway trip in an adventure motorcycle or 4wd.

Overland(ing): Vehicle-supported, self-reliant adventure travel, typically on remote, secondary or unimproved roads or tracks.

Vehicle-Dependent Expedition: An organized, vehicle-dependent journey with a defined purpose, often geographic or scientific in nature.

Expedition Vehicle: A 4wd or adventure motorcycle prepared for self-reliant travel over long distances, through unpredictable weather and over variable terrain.

Mike
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:19 AM   #15
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Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarditi View Post
Why do you want 35s? Lift + 35s are usually not conducive to road comfort. Yeah, it's a Jeep we're talking about, but it can get a lot worse than stock :-D

What sort of overlanding do you plan to do? In general, the mantra is to keep the suspension/engine/chassis as close to stock as you can for simplicity's sake. Also keep your COG as low as possible.

I would look to a really high quality but low altitude lift and 33s if you're doing a lot of long-distance driving. You'll also lose some "comfort" with heavy spring rate to carry the extra weight of all your gear if you go that route.
As an avid overlander, I agree with this philosophy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by onetraveller View Post
The OME, AEV, and RK 2-2.5 inch lifts are all popular and will work fine for your application. The OME kit is available in medium and heavy duty load ratings.

You don't need to change the control arms if you go with a set of geometry correction brackets. Rancho, AEV and several others no make these brackets for a little over $100 a set. I have the Ranchos and they work well.

Mike
Agreeing here too.
OME +2" Heavy with Rancho brackets, some relocation brackets for the brakelines, an adjustable front trackbar (Teraflex or JKS)



255/80-17 Cooper STs or ST-Maxx will fit your stock wheels. The STs have gone around the world, have a nicer ride, last longer, have 2/32ns more tread, but aren't as good in mud.
I DON'T like spacers. They're technically illegal, are refused service at many tire chains.
If you get new wheels you can run 285s which are better in some kinds of mud and sand.


Join: General Vehicle Modifications - Expedition Portal
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetraveller View Post
From this thread at the Expedition Portal.
What is the difference between a backcountry and overland adventure? - Expedition Portal

Backcountry Adventure: A one-day, or multi-day off-highway trip in an adventure motorcycle or 4wd.

Overland(ing): Vehicle-supported, self-reliant adventure travel, typically on remote, secondary or unimproved roads or tracks.

Vehicle-Dependent Expedition: An organized, vehicle-dependent journey with a defined purpose, often geographic or scientific in nature.

Expedition Vehicle: A 4wd or adventure motorcycle prepared for self-reliant travel over long distances, through unpredictable weather and over variable terrain.

Mike
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #18
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Yes, an overland trip might be driving from Arizona to Idaho using forest routes and dirt or back roads for the entire trip...

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