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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the Jeep scene, my wife has a 2012 JKU sport with the 17" wheels. We recently went off roading for the first time with a group, and ran some Green, Blue, and a couple of Red trails, all with a lot of help from spotters. While we enjoyed the experience a lot (and were amazed at the capabilities), having stock tires and a stock ride definitely put us at a disadvantage. We didn't sustain any real damage, but dented one of the skid plates and got hung up on some rocks due to clearance (we don't care about cosmetics, but do want to avoid breaking anything important).

This is my wife's daily driver, and we plan to keep it that way, but we also want to be able to take off road trips with groups occasionally and be able to at least enjoy the green's and blue's and know (without really messing up) that we will be able to get the jeep home in one piece.

People suggested sliders, a 2" lift, and upgrading to rubicon tires, and maybe putting a skid plate over the evap, etc.

While a 2" budget boost and rubicon wheels/tires seem great for the budget, we would really like to do this the right way to retain reliability/daily drivability, as well as be able to enjoy ourselves out on the trails.

I have been reading some of the stickies, looking through the forums, etc, but am just as confused as ever.

I am pretty clear on the sliders and even the skid plates, but I get really confused when it comes to suspension / lift and tires.

For instance, I have been looking at a Teraflex 2.5" lift, but have no idea what I should be doing with regard to getting shocks with a kit, getting different shocks, getting something else entirely, or what.

On the side the wheels and tires, are rubicon X wheels/tires a good idea? Should I just be putting new tires on my existing 17" wheels, or should I be doing something like a 16" tire to allow more sidewall.

Thanks for any direction you can provide.
 

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I'm getting ready to install the TF 2.5" lift on my '14 JKU, and have the same intentions for use as you describe. I know I don't need a lift for my new 33" tires, but I'm going to be doing aftermarket bumpers so it will need to carry the extra weight. I'm going with the Rancho RS9000 adjustable shocks as they have received great reviews. Between the Rancho spring rebate and killer pricing on Amazon, I got a set of 4 for around $200.

I am also going to replace the lower control arms as the 2.5" lift can make your caster out of spec and some report drive-ability issues. There are numerous threads on this if you look around. I just want to do this once, and do it right the first time, even if it costs a little more.

I also just installed a set of Toyo Open Country AT tires, 285/70R17 ("33's"), for some of the reasons you mentioned. The factory Goodyears are capable, but I can't wait to hit some trails with these ATs.

 

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go to the rancho site, check out their spring lift and 9000 shock package. stay at a 2.5 inch lift and go with a 285/70/17 tire use your present wheels for now. makes for a good daily driver and weekend off roader. from there, learn to drive what you have (both of you) have fun and let the Jeep tell you what else it needs. happy jeepen:drinks:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
go to the rancho site, check out their spring lift and 9000 shock package. stay at a 2.5 inch lift and go with a 285/70/17 tire use your present wheels for now. makes for a good daily driver and weekend off roader. from there, learn to drive what you have (both of you) have fun and let the Jeep tell you what else it needs. happy jeepen:drinks:

Is this the Rancho kit you were suggesting?

Rancho Part RS66109BR9 - 2 Inch Sport Lift Kit with RS9000XL Shocks - - 4 Wheel Parts
 

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Take kjeeper's advice and give it plenty of thought when planning your purchases. He knows his stuff and gives unbiased opinions.
 

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what kjeeper10 said, his advice is tops. and yes ,you can run 285/70/17 tire if it is a D rated or better tire, I run gdyr mtr/k's in that size on stock wheels with no rubbing however I know of one jeeper with different brand same size and he has some minor rubbing. :happyyes:
 

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I agree with Ken on all but the drop brackets. Not that they do not do the job. (you do sacrifice a scooch of ground clearance, but they work fine). However, if you have the resources, I feel it's best to go with adjustable lower control arms. The high clearance variety, like TeraFlex's Monster LCA's, are a great choice. I run them and I couldn't be happier.
 

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I concur. That's a great deal. Shop around and you can get the whole thing, lift, shocks, exhuast spacer, drop brackets for around $700. That was my plan before my leach field died and I had to spend all my Jeep money to replace it. Get's great reviews, supposedly rides awesome and should be good off-road. The 9000xl shocks are adjustable so you can get a good ride on pavement and off. The drop brackets will correct castor issues. Arms might be better but the brackets are cheaper, easier to install and you wont' lose much ground clearance. You can always upgrade later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I concur. That's a great deal. Shop around and you can get the whole thing, lift, shocks, exhuast spacer, drop brackets for around $700. That was my plan before my leach field died and I had to spend all my Jeep money to replace it. Get's great reviews, supposedly rides awesome and should be good off-road. The 9000xl shocks are adjustable so you can get a good ride on pavement and off. The drop brackets will correct castor issues. Arms might be better but the brackets are cheaper, easier to install and you wont' lose much ground clearance. You can always upgrade later.
This sounds really good, but I cannot seem to find all of that together for $700, or even close. Just for the lift kit without the shocks, spacer, and drop brackets it seems to be around $900. Maybe I am just missing something?

Thanks again everyone for your help. I finally feel like I am getting somewhere.

Also, I am trying to shop in one place, as I am going to need to have all this installed as well. 4wheel parts has one of their large dist centers / store front and install area near me, so that may end up being a good one stop shop for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That was my plan before my leach field died and I had to spend all my Jeep money to replace it.
That is a bummer. Was thinking about all these upgrades, then my garage door opener broke and I drove off with my laptop on the roof of my car (which of course fell and got smashed up) due to forgetting about it while trying to sort the garage door, so I definitely know the feeling :)
 

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AEV makes a great 2.5" lift kit that includes bilstein shocks. Add the geometry correction brackets and you've got a great riding daily driver and the extra clearance.

That right there is all you would need for a very solid 2.5" lift.

AEV has engineers that formerly worked for Chrysler so they are really well versed with suspensions on the wrangler.

It's on the pricier side (1k) though.
 

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Do you know what your gear ratio is? Also auto or stick? You can spend a ton of bucks and really not get much more out of the Jeep if you just doing mild trails. You don't need much to put 32's or 33's on there and run 3.21 gears to 3.73's. We did Old Man Emu's 2.5 spring and shock kit on my buddies jeep and it rides plush. He did later add Rock Krawler arms which were pricy but we knew he was going to wheel it hard. He did 35's on his stock fenders and they lasted for a while without cutting them. Your going to get a ton of different ideas. Just do your research and ask tons of questions before you spend a nickel. You don't want to buy twice. Welcome to the forum and to the Jeep world.
 

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I concur with Gunner. Gear ratio? I'd stick to 33s, 2.5" or less. TF is a great lift. KJeep does love his Ranchos, I love my Fox but they're pricey. You can probably pick up used Rubi X tires for cheap- but you may want to just spend your money on MTs. MTs are noisy so you may want spousal approval. :) You'll get plenty more use from other mods than a 16" tire vs a 17".
However I'd get your skid plates and rock sliders STAT. DO NOT skimp on skids or sliders. They go a long way towards trail enjoyment (OMG! WHAT DID I HIT???!!!!) and protects the important bits. You mention the evap canister- IMO I'd get that last. Tranny, oil, exhaust and diff cover are more critical. Not that you need them all...but I've hit all of them (It takes skill- in this pic I am resting the entire Jeep on my tranny skid). I don't have an evap. skid. You can limp off the trail if you smash the evap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The gear ratio is 3.73. and it is an auto trans. I had been looking at rubicon X tire / wheel combos, but didn't know if that would ultimately be a waste of money.

I thought the transmission had a skid plate stock? What is not covered by the stock skid plates? From reading, the stock ones are pretty good. we did dent the long one that runs the passenger side near the passenger side door, don't know what is under that one.

Also, it had been suggested to do a 2" budget boost and get rubicon wheels/tires for cheap, but I don't know if that is a great idea. To me budget boost sounds like the equivalent of cutting springs to lower a car, so maybe that is just me.
 
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