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Old 01-12-2019, 11:07 AM
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Rubicon Trail Trip - what do I need to do to my Jeep?

This summer, a few friends and I are going to the Rubicon Trail from the middle of Oklahoma. I have the wuss jeep of the group. Iíve made some mods, but want to crowd-source what I should add to the jeep to try to make it ready for the trail.

2013 JKU sport soft top
33Ē Nitto mud terrains around pro-comp wheels
Metalcloak 3.5Ē lift (their lower-end shocks)
4.10 gears
Eaton Tru-trac on the front - open diffs rear
Smittybuilt front and rear bumpers with 10k winch
Hi-lift jack and mount.

I have a decent set of camping gear (although minimalist). I want to stick to what to do to the vehicle.

I plan on replacing the stock front drive shaft with an adams 1310.

I doonít have rock sliders. I donít have any under-body armor except what came on the vehicle.

What should I be looking at on my limited poor-guy budget.

I donít plan on getting bigger tires - I like where itís at. Same with gears.

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Old 01-12-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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Upgraded diff covers? Maybe some armor under the Jeep.


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Old 01-12-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
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Your lift and tires are fine. With that setup I would be getting armor, under and sliders, and a rear locker. Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:25 AM   #4
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Beefier gas tank skid. Only place on mine that consistently takes a hit.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:26 AM   #5
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Enjoy the trip but you might want to get that armor on given your tire size. rock sliders and under body protection get used a bunch- oil pan and trans skid, upgrade diff covers or put on diff skids. remember - a stock jeep can do the trail but not without some banging and clanging so you will be fine with some armor.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:27 AM   #6
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I would look at a rear locker. Maybe some rocker rails and armor under neath. The 33’s will do it, but you will need to really pick lines well.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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You need rock rails before you do anything else.

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Old 01-12-2019, 11:45 AM
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You need rock rails before you do anything else.

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Any suggestions on what type? The stock rubicon style, or something else?
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:53 AM   #9
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Rock sliders and skid plates 100% for sure you must have them before going.

Diff covers are good.

Stabilizer flip is a common mod out west (to raise nearly the lowest point of the vehicle), but considering how long you've made it without rock sliders - you could probably just chance it since its a non essential part.

Aftermarket tie rod is nice for more durability in rock gardens and whatnot, but idk if its worth the investment for you
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #10
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Info with pics here:

How To Survive The Rubicon Trail Your First Time

Have fun.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
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I've done it. You will want some good rock sliders or the rocker panels will pay the price. You will be airing down so take a compressor to air up or re-seat a tire. Your rims will get some marks. A rear locker would help. You will be dry camping 2 nights. There is water and outhouses. It's beautiful country. Take your time and use the winch if needed on Cadillac Hill if needed. Check with rangers about fire restrictions. Take a bucket for water.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:32 PM   #12
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I’ve completed the Rubicon many times. Rocker armor is mandatory. The rest of your setup is fine for the trail.

The trail is significantly easier than in the past and only moderate difficulty. I’ve seen many stock JKUs run the trail. Make sure you install quality rock sliders and not cheap imported junk. Your sliders will be tested.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:00 PM   #13
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Get some sliders and you shoudn't have any problems. Just pick your lines well.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:55 PM   #14
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LoD sliders are strong and Rubicon trail proven.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:10 AM   #15
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Rear lockers, oil pan skid, rails.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:14 AM   #16
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you actually look like you are pretty well built for the rubicon. get a yeti or similar cooler or better yet an ARB or similar fridge.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:42 PM   #17
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It really depends on if your trip is before or after the Jeep Jamboree. If it is in mid august, then you are fine. (the trail gets a ton of maintenance and stock Rubicons can run it. If it is before, well, it gets pretty torn up and you will definitely want to upgrade your skids.

At a minimum:
Gas tank skid
Lower control arm skids
Front diff cover

I can't stress enough on the lower control arm skids, they are a major weak spot and can get ripped completely off fairly easy.

Oh, and if you do not already have them, quick disconnects for the front!
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:15 PM   #18
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Ive done the RT in everything from a CJ5 on 35", YJ on 35"s, Stock TJ on 225's, stock Jk rubicon, lifted JK rubicon on 37" and 40", lifted XJ on 33 and 35", LJ on 33" and JL on 37". All made it thru easily if you choose your line and bypass some of the more difficult obstacles.



I blew the rear yoke on the cj at buck island and got thru the rest of the trail in fwd and the help of a tow strap in some sections.



If you must spend some coin, gets some sliders at minimum. I also really like the rubicon express oil pan skid.



all trips i did were 4 days long. More food and beverages than you think as I always met people and shared supplies. I run a 12v fridge and still take a cooler with ice.



You can camp at the springs and a short hike from the springs you can fish.



Get one of those nice trash bags that hangs off your spare and a mesh bag for recycle.





couple of floaties for buck island and floating around the springs.



Learn to weld with 2 car batteries and some stick. its good for emergencies.



If you have the coin, the jeepers jamboree is great, food is supplied so is entertainment. The people around you are what make it great. Especially after doing the trail over 20 times.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:30 PM   #19
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I did this trail a couple of months ago. Do at least an oil/trans skid (make sure you also put the stock transfer case skid back on too). You will also want rock rails (stock rubicons will help) but you want something that stick out a bit from the body.

If you donít have lockers, skip things like the old sluice (no shame in using the bypasses). Also bring plenty of water/food. Cold weather sleeping bag, propane camping grill, tire plugs, spare tire, bottle or high lift jack, tools, spare ujoints (if you feel you are having to put too much pressure to climb something or get bound up, stop and get winched or tugged. You donít want to break an axle on the trail). Also bring plenty of warm clothes.

The trail should only take 2 days at a decent pace. So plan on 3-4+ days of food and water


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Old 01-15-2019, 12:12 AM   #20
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Don't go nuts on the under body armor and make it too heavy. If you are on a budget, then Rubicon take off sliders, oil pan, and maybe gas tank skid. Or.. Just expect some damage. Sometimes, it is a badge of honor in itself to come away with a mark. Going through without all the built out stuff makes you all that better of a driver for a certain percentage of it.

Most off all.. keep going over your rig with a fine tooth comb. Whenever you stop daily or for long pauses on the trail. Look for things that are wearing out or you think are gonna break.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:19 PM
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OK - did some stuff already (rock sliders, diff covers, flipped the steering dampener), but would like some pointers on oil pan/transmission skid plate recommendations. Naturally, everyone says theirs are the best. And there are a lot of them out there. I’m budget minded and don’t want to add a ton of weight. I’m not a huge rock dude - but I don’t want to end up stuck when I do bounce around on them.

BTW - thanks for all the help so far. You guys are the man - or woman respectively. I don’t want to assume your gender.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlatzke View Post
This summer, a few friends and I are going to the Rubicon Trail from the middle of Oklahoma. I have the wuss jeep of the group. I’ve made some mods, but want to crowd-source what I should add to the jeep to try to make it ready for the trail.

2013 JKU sport soft top
33” Nitto mud terrains around pro-comp wheels
Metalcloak 3.5” lift (their lower-end shocks)
4.10 gears
Eaton Tru-trac on the front - open diffs rear
Smittybuilt front and rear bumpers with 10k winch
Hi-lift jack and mount.

I have a decent set of camping gear (although minimalist). I want to stick to what to do to the vehicle.

I plan on replacing the stock front drive shaft with an adams 1310.

I doon’t have rock sliders. I don’t have any under-body armor except what came on the vehicle.

What should I be looking at on my limited poor-guy budget.

I don’t plan on getting bigger tires - I like where it’s at. Same with gears.
I've read 33's meet the minimum requirements. I'd think you really need rock sliders at least and some armor underneath that wrangler at best.

I envy you. You're going to have a lot of fun.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:09 PM
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Forgot to add changed front drive shaft (boot was ripped, didn’t want to bother with replacement).
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jlatzke View Post
OK - did some stuff already (rock sliders, diff covers, flipped the steering dampener), but would like some pointers on oil pan/transmission skid plate recommendations. Naturally, everyone says theirs are the best. And there are a lot of them out there. Iím budget minded and donít want to add a ton of weight. Iím not a huge rock dude - but I donít want to end up stuck when I do bounce around on them.

BTW - thanks for all the help so far. You guys are the man - or woman respectively. I donít want to assume your gender.
Thanks for that.
EVO Off Road, Poison Spyder, Rock Hard (probably the cheapest but still decent.) Pretty sure mine is the EVO and I've beaten the ever loving crap out of it. I know you're budget minded but without a locker (right?) you will 100% be dragged across rocks at some point- so make a good purchase here.
No one has mentioned it but make sure someone in your group, or yourself, brings plenty of fluids. I'd also suggest a trail clean-up kit. One of our buddies blow his PSC steering on Cadillac and boy did we need that. Rubicon is a gorgeous trail and should be kept that way.
There is some information on this thread about the general area. Keep in mind most of the people on this know each other so there is some bantering and BS to read through: https://www.wranglerforum.com/f55/th...o-2354633.html
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f55/th...o-2354633.html
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:26 PM   #25
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I've read 33's meet the minimum requirements. I'd think you really need rock sliders at least and some armor underneath that wrangler at best.

I envy you. You're going to have a lot of fun.
You're good to go! The best advice I've read so far here is taking your time. Don't feel rushed and use your winch! I ran the trail with open diffs but had "35s and it was awesome. I got hung up in weird spots unexpectedly but crawled right over some harder looking obstacles. I'm headed back this year with "37s and front/rear lockers and I hope it's not too easy!

Enjoy!
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:28 PM   #26
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You're good to go! The best advice I've read so far here is taking your time. Don't feel rushed and use your winch! I ran the trail with open diffs but had "35s and it was awesome. I got hung up in weird spots unexpectedly but crawled right over some harder looking obstacles. I'm headed back this year with "37s and front/rear lockers and I hope it's not too easy!

Enjoy!
Well, now I enjoy two of you guys.

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