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Discussion Starter #1
Hey fellow jeepers!
Sullivan and Michelle here.

We are starting this thread to document our progress, which will admittedly be slow. We are both full time students and this will be a budget minded Jeep build.

This Wrangler will be used the way the JEEP Gods intended. We are a super active couple and get outdoors as much as possible and our "build" will reflect that. We are avid snowboarders, hikers, campers, rock climbers and hunters. I will post reviews and comparisons as often as possible to try to help fellow jeepers who are on a similar path.

I have a modding background with High Performance Subarus and racing but what I really wanted was to get into the off-roading world. We live in the Los Angeles area and will do as much wheeling as possible as well as getting to the ski resorts. Practicality is a huge factor in what we choose to do, so big and tall might not be what we focus on.

Expeditionary Type Vehicles are our main influence since this is mainly what we plan on doing. We want to simply explore nature and what the world has to offer - living in LA just makes you want to "get out" :)

What we started with and why...
-We bought an ANVIL sport 2 door Wrangler on February 20th 2015.
*Manual transmission, 3.73 gears, air conditioning, and hard top were the only special things we required.
*We love the 2 door body style, and since off roading is our main focus and we can't afford huge lifts the 4 door didn't make too much sense for us. The short wheelbase will be a godsend for where we want to go with this Jeep.
*The manual tradition was absolutely a must for me and Michelle wasn't opposed to it either because it adds a unique aspect to the Jeep.
*Hard top for us was also necessary because of the added security, civility of the ride during daily driving, and we love the look of a hard top.
*Couldn't do without air conditioning, we live in San Fernando Valley and that just wouldn't fly.
*We didn't need manual locks or windows, part of the appeal of the Jeep for us was the rough attitude and we both started out driving old school Jeeps. It just didn't feel right. (Oh, and did I mention that we are poor college students?)
-We went with the base Sport trim because... Well we knew we would toss most of the upgraded stuff out anyway. The tires and wheels, no matter what trim we bought, would have to be swapped out. Why start with anything more expensive than stamped steel wheels?
-We like Rubicons just as much as the next person, but in our minds we would be spending a LOT more money for parts that we would eventually be changing. We like the 3.73 gear ratio because of the mix of daily driving duties, the fact that we will be sticking with a 33" tire for a good amount of time, and as solid as the 4.10 is in the Rubicon and the front Dana 44 would be nice, we don't need them yet since our Jeep is not strictly a rock crawler; it needs to be an extremely solid all around rig.

Quite simply, we are excited to be a part of the jeeping community. I love watching everyone's unique builds and love the different styles. We will do our best to go to meets in our area and on group adventures!

See everyone soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Now, we are very aware that the stock steelies are super lame... The wheels actually did better than I expected off-road, but ugh they are nasty. Haha.

Soooo.... We took the liberty of ordering five new wheels and tires today from Americas Tire "Discount Tire" in North Hollywood, and DTD on this forum was also a huge help. They were super knowledgeable, kind and professional. Very pleasant experience so far.

We went with 5 black Level 8 Tracker wheels in 15x8 with a -30 offset. We are pretty worried about how this wheel will fit, but we are willing to take the chance unless someone convinces us otherwise in the next 12 hours... I love the wide wheel base, hopefully it doesn't bite us in the butt.
The rubber will be the GoodYear MT/R with Kevlar in 33/12.5/15. Seriously can't wait! They will be installed on Friday. :)



image-1705798920.jpg
 

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We love our new Rugged Ridge Grab handles! They are super sturdy, love the large grip and they look fricken badass in the window of the Jeep. Or I mean lack of a window... And a door ;)

We also installed the Mopar front floor mats. LOVE THEM. Super high quality and seem very durable. We noticed we needed them after our first outing in the mud in the first week of purchasing the Jeep - they are absolutely a must have.



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Welcome to the forum. You will soon learn the real meaning of the acronym JEEP. Make sure to check out the Californian section of this site. Lots of runs from beginner to advanced going on each week. You will find folks welcoming and willing to help when needed.

Advice I would give for your build because you are in SoCal. Get a set of rock sliders be it factory or something better as one of your first mods. Also be careful with those MT/Rs on icy roads, they are great in mud, sand and rocks but snow covered or icy roads up in Arrowhead and Big Bear can be exciting.

Look forward to watching your build grow and seeing you on the trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Welcome to the forum. You will soon learn the real meaning of the acronym JEEP. Make sure to check out the Californian section of this site. Lots of runs from beginner to advanced going on each week. You will find folks welcoming and willing to help when needed. Advice I would give for your build because you are in SoCal. Get a set of rock sliders be it factory or something better as one of your first mods. Also be careful with those MT/Rs on icy roads, they are great in mud, sand and rocks but snow covered or icy roads up in Arrowhead and Big Bear can be exciting. Look forward to watching your build grow and seeing you on the trails.
Thank you Hivedr!!! Actually rock rails are next on our list. Do you have a recommendation for a 2dr? We like the real sturdy look, but price is definitely a factor for us.
 

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So to make a little bit more room for our new wheels and tires we decided to order a basic puck lift for the Jeep. I know, I know, probably not the best choice, but we are on a budget and clearance was our main concern at the moment. We will definitely upgrade to a more performance oriented suspension once we have decided what exactly we need from our particular jeep. However, the stock handling is pretty awesome and I feel this should just help with getting over certain obstacles. Until then, this lift should do the trick. We ordered the 2.5" basic kit from Rough Country. I will take real before and after pics of the wheels and the tires, and also before and after pics with the lift. Hoping it works out well!
 

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Thank you Hivedr!!! Actually rock rails are next on our list. Do you have a recommendation for a 2dr? We like the real sturdy look, but price is definitely a factor for us.
Being you are building an expedition style Jeep(which is what both of ours are built like for the same reason as you mentioned) and not a rock crawler the factory rails are a fairly good way to start off until you have time to find ones with the look you like. They can be found as on Craigslist and other sites cheap at around $100-$200. 2dr models are a little harder to find and many folks just find a 4dr set and have them cut down to fit a 2dr. That's what I did on my wife's 2dr and it has worked out extremely well. JPI in Yuciapa Ca. has 4dr factory rails "take offs" and does a good job at cutting them down to fit 2drs.

On my wifes 2dr which is also a Sport in Anvil we have 2.5" TF budget boost "puck" lift. It has kept up with our 4dr that has a far more complicated 3" lift. The one thing I would say about "puck" lifts is get a good set of proper length shocks with it and spend just a little extra at the same time for a set of sway bar quick disconnects. Both can make a world of difference off roading out here in Ca. and the SouthWest in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Being you are building an expedition style Jeep(which is what both of ours are built like for the same reason as you mentioned) and not a rock crawler the factory rails are a fairly good way to start off until you have time to find ones with the look you like. They can be found as on Craigslist and other sites cheap at around $100-$200. 2dr models are a little harder to find and many folks just find a 4dr set and have them cut down to fit a 2dr. That's what I did on my wife's 2dr and it has worked out extremely well. JPI in Yuciapa Ca. has 4dr factory rails "take offs" and does a good job at cutting them down to fit 2drs. On my wifes 2dr which is also a Sport in Anvil we have 2.5" TF budget boost "puck" lift. It has kept up with our 4dr that has a far more complicated 3" lift. The one thing I would say about "puck" lifts is get a good set of proper length shocks with it and spend just a little extra at the same time for a set of sway bar quick disconnects. Both can make a world of difference off roading out here in Ca. and the SouthWest in general.
Thanks so much for the advice! So you don't think I'll regret (very soon) the puck lift? I like the handling characteristics even just stock. I do off road the thing, so I hope what you said about it being able to keep up is true :)

I would love to see pics of her lift! If you could post a couple here that would be awesome. What size tire is she running?

I already have disconnected the sway bars on this jeep before wheeling recently. I wanted the disconnects but didn't want to spend the cash yet. I don't mind wrenching for 5 or 10 minutes to disconnect (yet) I'm sure that will change after I do it a couple more times.
 

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Thanks so much for the advice! So you don't think I'll regret (very soon) the puck lift? I like the handling characteristics even just stock. I do off road the thing, so I hope what you said about it being able to keep up is true :)

I would love to see pics of her lift! If you could post a couple here that would be awesome. What size tire is she running?

I already have disconnected the sway bars on this jeep before wheeling recently. I wanted the disconnects but didn't want to spend the cash yet. I don't mind wrenching for 5 or 10 minutes to disconnect (yet) I'm sure that will change after I do it a couple more times.
"Pucks" have limits and you can out grow them quickly. But not truly knowing what YOU need for YOUR style of "Jeeping" can cost you a lot. Custom shops tend to way oversell (scare folks) the need for XYZ suspension systems/lifts. After all they are for profit business.

You are going to be happily surprised at what your JK is going to be able to do when running a 2.5" puck lift, aired down MT/R tires and disconnected.

I can post the photos you requested here, but it's your build thread and I see you found the thread on my wife's Jeep. It needs updating as much has changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Had some fun in Hungry Valley today! We DID rub with our 33/12.5/15 GoodYear MT/R tires. Luckily my lift came in today so that will be going on tomorrow! image-1801835944.jpg
 
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