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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new here. I have owned my burnt orange hard top 2009 JKRU with Manual trans since new. Vehicle currently has 35,000 miles on it with no mods other than a bikini top. It is my daily driver. It looks like there is a chance I will be headed to west Texas for work in the spring. I will be there 3 months. I will be required to drive lots of highway miles and go off road. The trip is about 16 hours.

I currently need tires bad. I have no real interest in lifting the Jeep and I accept the look of the stock wheels. I had decided on Goodyear Silent Sheilds but now think I may need a more aggressive tire. Road noise and tire life is a consideration here. I need some suggestions.

Winch and Bumper combo. Looking at the Warn 9500 power plant. Comments? Also need to mount it to a bumper. I want a full with bumper. Right now I am considering the Warn Elite but am open to other options.

Lighting. I will need to upgrade the lighting on the jeep. I would prefer to use the existing headlight placement instead of adding a lightbar. I will also need fog lights for whatever bumper I purchase. I also want to upgrade my backup lights.

Budget- $6000 or less. I really want to keep the price below $4000 but am more than willing to spend what is required to get where I need to be.

Are there other upgrades I need to consider for this environment? I did lots of mods on my old 2001 Sport and am quite comfortable making these changes myself.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
 

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I am new here. I have owned my burnt orange hard top 2009 JKRU with Manual trans since new. Vehicle currently has 35,000 miles on it with no mods other than a bikini top. It is my daily driver. It looks like there is a chance I will be headed to west Texas for work in the spring. I will be there 3 months. I will be required to drive lots of highway miles and go off road. The trip is about 16 hours.

I currently need tires bad. I have no real interest in lifting the Jeep and I accept the look of the stock wheels. I had decided on Goodyear Silent Sheilds but now think I may need a more aggressive tire. Road noise and tire life is a consideration here. I need some suggestions.

Most peeps who know me would expect me to recommend the GoodYear DuraTrac – light, long tread life, quiet, good in pretty much all terrain. Ha! Bite me, WF feebs!

I'd say take a look at the BFG KM2's...harder rubber, would probably last longer in the heat of W TX.


Bonus tip: It may very well be cheaper for you to buy smaller rims (15" or 16") and new tires, than it would be to buy 17", and certainly 18", tires alone. Just a thought. If things fall that way, you'll want wheels with around 4.5" backspacing or less, so you can run a wider tire (up to 12.5" wide, as opposed to the anorexic 10"er you get, stock.)

If you opt to run the stock wheels, you'll need spacers for most tires over 10". Get some good ones, such as Spidertrax, and make sure you check em for torque every tire rotation.


Here's a good educational thread on the whole tire/wheel dilemma: Largest tire on stock JK? Here's your answer!

Let's move on...

Winch and Bumper combo. Looking at the Warn 9500 power plant. Comments? Also need to mount it to a bumper. I want a full with bumper. Right now I am considering the Warn Elite but am open to other options.

Can't go wrong with WARN, IMO. Will you use the dual features of the Power Plant? If not, a simple m8000 will suffice, and save you some coin. Can you get synthetic cable with the 9500? Don't know about the WARN Elite bumper, but it looks sturdy. Probably some threads on it here.

A link to bumpers in general, with weights, prices, photos, etc: MEGA Front Bumper thread

Lighting. I will need to upgrade the lighting on the jeep. I would prefer to use the existing headlight placement instead of adding a lightbar. I will also need fog lights for whatever bumper I purchase. I also want to upgrade my backup lights.

Okay, let's be honest. The stock headlights suck. I mean, we're talkin golf ball through a garden hose, here. You could spend a pile going LED, but here's a cheap solution that'll allow you to see any W TX deer long before you snuff its retarded candle with your new WARN bumper/winch combo: Rallylight/Hella headlight upgrade install

Some other headlight threads: The JK Aftermarket Lighting Thread (HID, HALO, Fog, Etc..)

If really strapped for cash, you could always just do a bulb upgrade: JK headlight bulbs-test results(important)


Budget- $6000 or less. I really want to keep the price below $4000 but am more than willing to spend what is required to get where I need to be.

You should be well under, even if you foolishly have everything installed by some dude charging you $88/hour.

Are there other upgrades I need to consider for this environment? I did lots of mods on my old 2001 Sport and am quite comfortable making these changes myself.

Hmm. Forget the aforementioned $88/hour clown. Nobody likes him, anyway.

Since you're adding heavy bumpers and a winch, you're gonna get a fair amount of spring sag from the stock springs...how much will depend on the spring rates on your Jeep. It's a crap shoot. There's a tag on em that'll tell you. The last two #'s on the tag are the spring rate. 19 front/60 rear are the stiffest. Normally I'd recommend a 2.5" lift from TeraFlex, Rock Krawler, OME or AEV, but nothing you've written convinces me you need it for wheeling. Generally, you'll end up with a stiffer ride and better handling on pavement (no roll, which comes standard with the Wrangler). However, for your purposes, you might be fine with a TeraFlex Performance Leveling Kit...basically, new springs and longer sway bar links for the rear (move stock rears up front). It'll give you about 2" of lift, but more importantly, it'll negate the spring sag you're likely to encounter from the winch/bumper with the feeble stock springs.

Food for thought.


Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
On a side note, I shot stories at McDonald observatory, near Alpine, and Hueco Tanks, outside El Paso, many moons ago while working for the Houston Chronicle, and the sheer # of smashed and crippled deer on the side of the road en route, driving at night, was a sight to behold.

Carry a mercy pistol. :thumb:
 

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I have owned my burnt orange hard top 2009 JKRU with Manual trans since new.
Burnt orange. Alma mater. Awesome...although I'm still bleeding from the ass-whupping OK just put on em. :nonono:

Welcome to WF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice.

The leveling kit looks like a must do. I also figure I will replace the battery before I go.

The Durtrc tires look like a good option also.

As a general rule, I go nowhere without a gun!!
 

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Thanks for the advice.

The leveling kit looks like a must do. I also figure I will replace the battery before I go.

The Durtrc tires look like a good option also.

As a general rule, I go nowhere without a gun!!
A true Texan. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I really don't want the lift unless it is required.

I would like to eliminate the body roll. That might change my mind on the lift. My jeep sees quite a bit of highway miles. I really want to minimize any negative effect when traveling over the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just read the tire thread.

Question:
What is the impact on ride, handling and unstrung wheel weight (performance) of moving to a 15 or 16 inch wheel?

I know it depends on the wheel chosen (steel or alloy). My biggest complaint about my 2009 is the crappy engine. Would love to have the old inline 6 back. I worry adding unsprung weight to the wheels will hamper the performance even more.
 

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I really don't want the lift unless it is required.

I would like to eliminate the body roll. That might change my mind on the lift. My jeep sees quite a bit of highway miles. I really want to minimize any negative effect when traveling over the road.
That's why I hit you with the TF leveling kit. Other than spacers, about as simple as it gets. It's not a necessity for what (I think) you wanna do, but it'll offset the sag you're gonna see from the heavy add-ons...and it will improve your handling somewhat. Maybe not enough to justify it by that alone...

Give it some thought.

Just read the tire thread.

Question:
What is the impact on ride, handling and unstrung wheel weight (performance) of moving to a 15 or 16 inch wheel?

I know it depends on the wheel chosen (steel or alloy). My biggest complaint about my 2009 is the crappy engine. Would love to have the old inline 6 back. I worry adding unsprung weight to the wheels will hamper the performance even more.
The smaller wheels do several things: they're lighter, tires will be far cheaper, you'll get a bigger contact patch, and they'll give you a fatter sidewall.

As with anything Jeep, there's a trade-off. The 15's have low backspacing, generally 3.75 or less, which means your tires will stick out farther from your Jeep. Puts extra stress on the wheel bearings, which aren't all that great to begin with. Also, there's a clearance issue with the brake calipers. Most 15" alloys will clear; most 15" steelies won't. If in doubt, check with forum vendor DTD (upper left corner of any page, under VENDORS, or PM em at Discount Tire).

Those deficits with the 15's is why I run 16" wheels. But if you've got stock 17's, the $$ savings might not be enough to make the switch, though the unsprung weight will still be a plus. Up to you. Although, like I said, you'll have to spring for wheel spacers to run wider tires with the stock rims. I'm not a fan of spacers, personally. Just another component that could ruin your day...
 

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My biggest complaint about my 2009 is the crappy engine. Would love to have the old inline 6 back. I worry adding unsprung weight to the wheels will hamper the performance even more.
Yeah, the 3.8L is an issue. Comes straight from the factory severely undergeared. As long as you don't go too much bigger on tires (width and weight), you'll be fine up to about 33" or so (most 33's are actually 32's, anyway). One reason why I went with the DuraTracs – they're lighter than most tires of a similar size.

One good thing...W TX has a lot of flat driving, for the most part. You should be able to squeeze some use outta top gear.
 

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I am new here. I have owned my burnt orange hard top 2009 JKRU with Manual trans since new. Vehicle currently has 35,000 miles on it with no mods other than a bikini top. It is my daily driver. It looks like there is a chance I will be headed to west Texas for work in the spring. I will be there 3 months. I will be required to drive lots of highway miles and go off road.

Budget- $6000 or less. I really want to keep the price below $4000 but am more than willing to spend what is required to get where I need to be.


Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
Looks like work is sending you, so assuming they're paying for your mods (since its work related) you should go all out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sent DTD a pm.

Question on lifts, which is going to provide the most improvement to handling, provide the highest reliability?

No interest in anything larger than 2.5 inches. Or 33" tires

I think the current tires are 31".

Limiting body roll would be a welcome thing. If 16" wheels are the way to go I expect that will fall inside the budget. What wheel width should I consider? 8" or 8.5"?
 

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Sent DTD a pm.

Question on lifts, which is going to provide the most improvement to handling, provide the highest reliability?

No interest in anything larger than 2.5 inches. Or 33" tires

I think the current tires are 31".

Limiting body roll would be a welcome thing. If 16" wheels are the way to go I expect that will fall inside the budget. What wheel width should I consider? 8" or 8.5"?
8" on the wheels. Good up to 12.5" tire width. 8.5" isn't a dealbreaker, but you'll be more apt to bust a bead if you gotta air down off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Talk to me about lifts and my rubicon unlimited. I see lifts running from $130 to over $1000. Remember, I am most interested in handling improvements.

I really don't want to jack my jeep up much higher than it is already. My wife drives this vehicle from time to time, I don't need to allow it to get higher than an inch or two from the current height or it will be too difficult for her to get into.
 

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Talk to me about lifts and my rubicon unlimited. I see lifts running from $130 to over $1000. Remember, I am most interested in handling improvements.

I really don't want to jack my jeep up much higher than it is already. My wife drives this vehicle from time to time, I don't need to allow it to get higher than an inch or two from the current height or it will be too difficult for her to get into.
I wouldn't lift it, then.

Truth to tell, you don't need a lift if you're gonna be on fire roads, or dirt roads that have been graded, or even on all but the nastiest trails.

You had a 2001 Jeep; you know. They'll go places, bone stock, most other vehicles can't.

The only thing a leveling kit will do for you (the $130 you mentioned above) is eliminate your Jeep's factory rake, and give you enough clearance so 33" tires won't rub if you ever disco your sway bars off-road, and get into some flex. It'll raise your rig about 2", but won't give you much when it comes to the pumpkins, axle, etc. That's what the bigger tires are for, and if you're only gonna go with 33's, I wouldn't waste the $$.

With stock suspension, you shouldn't get any rubbing (vertical) with 33's unless you really bang it off-road.

Keep the lady happy.

If the factory rake chaps your ass, throw a couple of 1" spacers under the front and call it a day. Won't affect handling, ride, stance...and won't even add a whole lot to your wife's step-in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thx. Current front springs are 18's so they aren't the stiffest but close. I will do the leveling kit.

Back in 2004 I went wheeling with my daughters HS friends. I could take my stock TJ places they would get stuck in their modded rigs. They were surprised.

I will be out in the open dessert some but I think I can pick my way well enough.

I went thru the lighting thread referenced above. What's with the pictures of the mice and trains????

On that subject, it looks like the choices here run from around $100 to $800. Where is the sweet spot here. I looked at the rally lights site and they go from $200 to $740
 

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Thx. Current front springs are 18's so they aren't the stiffest but close. I will do the leveling kit.

Good thing about the TF leveling kit is, you can moderate it if you want. 4 (1") spacers front, 2 (1") spacers rear. If you just want an inch or so, use 2 of the 1"ers in the front and skip the rear. Also, move the stock rear sway bar links up front (they're longer) and install the new ones in rear. Pretty much can't lose with it.

Back in 2004 I went wheeling with my daughters HS friends. I could take my stock TJ places they would get stuck in their modded rigs. They were surprised.

I will be out in the open dessert some but I think I can pick my way well enough.

I rolled around out there in a Chronicle Ford Bronco, and had no problems, despite having to do some crazy shit to get photos. Pretty sure you'll be good. Might wanna look at getting an anchor, so if you need to use the winch in scrub country you've got something to pull from...

I went thru the lighting thread referenced above. What's with the pictures of the mice and trains????

Hm. Well. I'm speechless. Used to be photos of a headlight swap there. WF switched servers in the last few weeks...maybe a glitch? Beats me.

For the most bang for the buck, I'd go with this: Susquehanna MotorSports - Auto Performance Product

Cheapest would be the Phillips 80+ bulbs, but they're nowhere near as effective as a full-on headlight swap, IMO. Up to you. The ones in the link above should fit your '08, simple plug n play. Call em to make sure.

On that subject, it looks like the choices here run from around $100 to $800. Where is the sweet spot here. I looked at the rally lights site and they go from $200 to $740
If you decide to add some winshield mounted lights, look at the Rigid Dually's. Expensive, but a pair of driving or long-range lights (or fogs on bumper) will roast wildlife at 100 yards. Wish I'd had a set of those bad boys when I was tooling around the tx desert.
 
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