Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
21 - 40 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,283 Posts
Today I added 1.5" Spidertrax spacers to the stock wheels and tires. My reasoning is to widen the stance out a little bit, which I think should be helpful now that I have more weight up top. The other reason is that I think regardless of what I do for tires, I'm going to try to still use the stock rims. I took another look at the 35x10.5r17 Interco SSR's. They get better reviews than I remembered. I still don't like the price or the weight, but they will go on the stock rims and give me the tallest "pizza cutter" possible. And although they are expensive I would not need to buy new rims which offsets the cost. Otherwise I could do a tire in 285 75 r17, like a KM2 or the new Nitto Ridge Grappler. Or I could see if someone will squeeze on a 315 or 35, like DallasJKU.

Anyway the Spidertrax are a nice looking product, double anodized in bright blue, and completely covered up by the rim and tire so I don't even know why they bothered. They come with 2 spacers per pack, 10 nuts, a tube of thread-lock, and a spider sticker. $99/pair at 4wheeldriveparts and they had them in stock so I just went and picked them up. They had G2 spacers too, they look pretty much the same and there is probably no difference but for $20 extra total I went with the "brand name" Spidertrax.

I had to get another torque wrench because my other one only goes up to 80lbs and these wanted them torqued to 90 and then re-checked at 80. I don't think it would have made much difference but the bigger torque wrench also allowed me to get the wheels back up to 100 ft/lbs and who doesn't want new tools?

The install was super easy, and I did my 5-tire rotation as well because... why not I was already taking the wheels off. I think the stance looks nicer. It still makes me want bigger tires but I am trying to pace myself.

Check 'em out!


Before:


After:
Looks much better with the spacers. I knew I wanted to put big tires on mine as well. I've never been a pace myself kind of guy. I'm instant gratification. I was planning on waiting for the Ridge Grappler 285/75 because they are C load. Then I changed my mind again as I do sometimes and decided I wanted a 2.5" lift and 315's mainly because I didn't want to wait for the Ridge Grapplers. Glad I went with the taller and wider tire. The stance I was able to achieve with the lift, tires and spacers while keeping my Willy's wheels is exactly what I envisioned when I started this build. Looking forward to the progress of your build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Looks much better with the spacers. I knew I wanted to put big tires on mine as well. I've never been a pace myself kind of guy. I'm instant gratification. I was planning on waiting for the Ridge Grappler 285/75 because they are C load. Then I changed my mind again as I do sometimes and decided I wanted a 2.5" lift and 315's mainly because I didn't want to wait for the Ridge Grapplers. Glad I went with the taller and wider tire. The stance I was able to achieve with the lift, tires and spacers while keeping my Willy's wheels is exactly what I envisioned when I started this build. Looking forward to the progress of your build.
Thanks, I think they make it look a lot nicer and handle better on the road.

We went to a jeep get-together this weekend and did some trails and camping. The camping setup worked really well, and we had a beautiful site with stunning views. We had a little rain the first night which the tent shrugged off with no problem. It stayed warm and dry.

I did run into an a couple issues though. First issue was that when I disconnected and aired down I started getting a case of death wobble at about 35 - 40 mph. Now some of you will be saying that you shouldn't drive that fast anyway when disconnected and aired down and I tend to agree with you but sometimes you have to, especially between trails which might have 20 miles of dirt roads between them. Anyway the jeep would just start swaying and I think the weight on top was really contributing to it.

Second issue which might be related, is that the extra weight of the rack and the tent has compressed the rear springs a bit. I lost maybe an inch of clearance, which didn't seem like much but I was bumping and scraping on trails that I shouldn't have been grinding on. Some of the guys I was running with said that the rear being low compared to the front might have changed the toe angle contributing to the wobble issue.

So anyway I need new stiffer springs before doing anything else. I need to get the rear back up and I need to combat the tippiness that the tent and rack add on the trail. So I think it's going to be lift time. I could get some heavier stock springs off a 4-door or something but I think that I'm going to just go ahead and lift it this winter. Hopefully the tax man is nice to me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Tires/Airbags/Geo Correction Brackets/Tailgate Reinforcement

So I "found" some money hiding in my Southwest Airlines account... one of the benefits of traveling a lot for work is racking up the airline points. I was looking at what I could do with my points and saw that I can convert them into $1800 worth of Amazon gift cards...

So I think I am going to use that to fund the purchase of the Interco SSR 35x10.5r17 tires that I have been wanting so badly.

However, I feel like I need a few things in addition to the tires to make the jeep drivable:

1) Airbags in the rear... or another 1" spacer in the rear. With the tent and rack it is too compressed in the rear and has a slight reverse rake which I believe is affecting both fuel economy and contributing to some wobble issues when disconnected. I can get these for around $90 and they should be easy to install.

2) Geometry Correction Brackets... JKS, AEV, Rancho, etc. I think this is another factor contributing to the wobble.

3) Tailgate Reinforcement... The SSR is a pretty heavy tire. I am thinking of getting the Morryde tailgate reinforcement kit. It seems to accomplish the same thing as the TF HD hinge but is significantly cheaper.

I think this will get me through for a while until I can do a real lift to go with the new meats. Anyone see anything I am missing? I am almost sure the new tires will make me want to re-gear as well but that is just going to have to wait for a bit...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I installed the Air Lift 1000 kit in the rear a couple weeks ago. Not too hard of an install but the directions do not relate to the Wrangler. I had to install the bags upside down from how they were in the instruction. It was a little bit of a pain due to the Teraflex pucks in the back. Had to cut the jounce stops off with a sawzall, and the pucks have a pretty small hole in them to route the air lines through. I ran the air line up and into the license plate holder and put the inflation valve out the top. I'm running 10 PSI in the back for normal around town driving.

The air bags make a HUGE difference. It gets rid of most of the body roll I was experiencing, brings the rear up which helped get some gas mileage back (at least 2mpg), and it is adjustable for when I have the RTT on top. I am really glad I went this route.

Also added the FF decals. They are OK, I'm not 100% sold on them but I'm gonna leave them on for a while. The nice thing about decals is they can just peel off if I get tired of them.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
ACE Engineering Stand Alone Tire Carrier





Yesterday I spent a couple hours installing the Stand Alone Tire Carrier from Ace Engineering. The install was not difficult but it took me a while. Would have gone faster if I had a garage and had my tools laid out but I kept having to go back to my storage room to get tools and it slowed down the process. The tire carrier is heavy duty. It is steel and it weighs quite a bit. There are some places where the powder coat got chipped in shipping, mainly on the rotopax mounts. I think I'm going to get some kind of paint or something to touch them up. The one real problem I had is that I unscrewed the 5/8" bolt that holds the actual tire carrier piece on to the frame, and even though I was trying to be really careful I got the bolt cross threaded when putting it back in. No luck finding a tap that large at Lowe's or Home Depot to clean up the threads. I'm not even sure what to do about it at this point, it's not going anywhere but it is cross threaded now. Kind of a bummer and I think the threads had some powdercoat or welding residue on them and they weren't very clean to start with.

The other thing to be aware of is that the plate which installs over the bolt holes of the old tire carrier also covers the hole that I used for my CB antenna cable. So I'm going to have to see if I can fish that out the hole that the brake light cable comes out of instead. That will be a process, it was hard enough to get the cable out the other hole.

When installing the Heim joint linkage between the tailgate and the carrier I had to invert the spacers from the way the directions showed. I'm not sure why this was the case but the linkage was hitting the carrier when I had the spacers as shown in the video. When I moved the tailgate side spacer to the bottom of the joint instead of the top it created some clearance and works fine. Not sure what is different about their setup from mine but something to be aware of if you are installing one.

Once installed the carrier seems extremely strong and rigid. The tailgate opens and shuts nicely, and the carrier opens and closes with the tailgate smoothly. Can't wait to get some rotopax for it. There is an additional Hi-Lift mount that I might get as well, right now I don't have a Hi-Lift for the Jeep and I need to get one. But with the Gobi Rack I have a lot of options for mounting it so I'm not sure where I will put it yet. The tailgate plate has a hole for a CB antenna and I put my QD stud on there. I am going to have to re-test the SWR readings on my CB once I can get the cable attached again. I did sand off the powder coating around the antenna ground and one of the bolt holes that goes into the tailgate to get a good RF ground.

I still haven't decided 100% on tires yet. Back and forth between Nitto Ridge Grapplers in either 285/75r17 or 35x12.5r17, or the Interco SSR 35x10.5r17. I'm sure the Ridge Graps would be much nicer on the road, in the snow, in the rain etc. and would be more than acceptable for the offroad that I do, and they are almost $100 cheaper PER TIRE... But the SSR's are just SO AWESOME and would really help push the military pizza cutter look. It's a tough decision.

I am also trying to figure out a third brake light solution. The stock carrier is gone and with it the third brake light. In CO it is not required so I can drive around without it but I plan on travelling across state lines in this Jeep and I like having a third brake light for safety as well. I saw a kit that has 2 LED lights that fit in the unused lug nut holes on the spare and might go that way. I like the round ones that go in the center of the hub but the way this tire carrier is wouldn't allow wiring access to that area without drilling through a lot of steel to get there.

We also just picked out a townhouse we are going to be moving to and it has a massive 2+ car garage. I can't wait to have some space to work! Hopefully next update will be from there. Thanks for the comments and thanks for following my build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Well slight change of plans, I decided to do a real lift first and to wait on the tires until some better weather. So here's what showed up in the mail today:







It is a JKS 2.5" 2-Door JSPEC Lift Kit. I also ordered the fixed J-Link Lower Control Arms, front and rear. They should be showing up soon as well as an exhaust extension kit.

Thanks for all the comments, the Ace Carrier is working out well. No complaints except for some powder coat chips on the Rotopax mounts from shipping. Could have been packed a little better I guess. But it seems to function well and is very solid. It does obstruct a lot of rear window view, and that will get even worse when I add rotopax. That's just part of having a big tire in that location though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,283 Posts
Well slight change of plans, I decided to do a real lift first and to wait on the tires until some better weather. So here's what showed up in the mail today:







It is a JKS 2.5" 2-Door JSPEC Lift Kit. I also ordered the fixed J-Link Lower Control Arms, front and rear. They should be showing up soon as well as an exhaust extension kit.

Thanks for all the comments, the Ace Carrier is working out well. No complaints except for some powder coat chips on the Rotopax mounts from shipping. Could have been packed a little better I guess. But it seems to function well and is very solid. It does obstruct a lot of rear window view, and that will get even worse when I add rotopax. That's just part of having a big tire in that location though.


That's the lift I have but with correction brackets. Very happy with it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
That's the lift I have but with correction brackets. Very happy with it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That's what I like to hear! Did you install yours or have it installed? I'm pretty sure I can do it myself but it's gonna take me a day or two. I thought about the correction brackets instead but it is pretty rocky out here and you lose just a little clearance behind the front tires with the brackets. I'm not sure how much difference that would make for me so I just bit the bullet and got the LCA's instead. I still like the brackets though I've heard they work really well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,283 Posts
That's what I like to hear! Did you install yours or have it installed? I'm pretty sure I can do it myself but it's gonna take me a day or two. I thought about the correction brackets instead but it is pretty rocky out here and you lose just a little clearance behind the front tires with the brackets. I'm not sure how much difference that would make for me so I just bit the bullet and got the LCA's instead. I still like the brackets though I've heard they work really well.


I will be going with CA's soon more than likely. I had it installed. I suck at doing things like that. I always break or damage stuff.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Lift Kit Install: Day 1

Well I got the rear half of the lift kit installed today. It went pretty well, the directions from JKS are straightforward enough and it's not too complicated. The Fox 2.0 shocks, dual-rate springs, and trackbar relocation bracket went in without much hassle. I did end up buying an electric impact wrench and that made things go a little faster.

The rear lower control arms were a bit of a pain though. They are just a tiny bit longer than the stock ones, and when I tried doing only one side without removing the other, I couldn't get the holes to line up enough to get the bolt through. It wasn't off by much, just maybe 1/8", but that was enough that I couldn't get it. I tried jacking the axle up and down, still couldn't get them through. Tried a ratchet strap from the frame to the axle and came really close but still couldn't do it. Finally decided to remove the other side LCA as well, and that caused the holes to go way off... I thought I was screwed but after the other LCA was gone, the ratchet strap was able to move the axle a lot more and I was able to get them lined up and in. Once the first was in, the other side just went right in with no trouble at all.

But torquing those bolts to 125 ft lbs though! I normally torque the lug nuts to 12t so I didn't think it would be too hard but the angle you're at trying to get to those while it's on the ground is not fun. I finally figured out that I have a 1/2" drive breaker bar that is long enough I could put it on the nut side, and allow it to contact the floor and then I could horse on the torque wrench hard enough with both hands to get it. Man I was relieved when the wrench clicked on that last bolt!

Anyway tomorrow I plan on doing the front. I learned a few things doing the rear so I hope the front will go quicker. Plus, I already have the JKS Quicker Disconnects installed so I won't have to do that part again. I'll throw up some pics when it's all done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
JKS Lift Kit Finished, and new TPI bumper

Well I finished the lift but didn't have a lot of time to write up anything until now. The front went a little slower in some ways but nothing turned out to be too hard to handle. I think it looks great. Right now it's sitting at about 3.5" over stock, but it will probably settle out a little bit. The only thing left to do is get some longer sway bar links for the rear. I was going to drill it (like the instructions), but I started making a pilot hole with my drill and gave up. That's a lot of metal to drill a half-inch hole through. Rough Country makes some rear sway bar links for a 2.5" lift, I think I might just go with those.

Anyway I have been driving it around, haven't gotten an alignment yet but the only thing really to align at this point is the toe-in and it shouldn't have changed with the lift. It doesn't seem to be pulling or squirrely in any way.

Also, I got a Trail Products Inc. front stubby winch bumper. I haven't ordered a winch yet but the bumper itself was 20% off for presidents day, so I paid something like $265 including shipping. This is a made-in-USA 3/16" steel bumper. I think it looks pretty nice especially for that price. I wanted something simple and rugged looking to go with the military theme, and this fit the bill perfectly. There were a few little chips in the powder coat of the shackle plates, I'll just fill them in with some black epoxy or something. Otherwise the powder coat looks good. Some people were commenting online that they didn't like the diameter of the winch bar, it looks a little smaller than some bumpers. In person, I think it looks really good, and the diameter is close to the Gobi rack anyway so it looks good on this jeep. I like the bar vertical instead of a stinger of some sort that sticks out forward.

Anyway, I've got a few things for sale now too if anyone is interested:

$100 JKS Quicker Disconnects, 0-2" lift. The kit came with the longer QD's but I had all the hardware installed so I just swapped out the links. So you can also have all the hardware which is brand new never installed. The links have about 5k miles on them and that's it. They're a little greasy because I do keep them well lubed.

I also have all the suspension take-offs including the Rubicon red shocks, "Rubicon" springs (will have to look at the rate if anyone is interested), and I didn't end up reinstalling the Air Lift springs so those are available too. And I'd be willing to get rid of the Willys front bumper too if anyone wants that. Just PM me if you're interested in any of this stuff.

 
21 - 40 of 48 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top