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2013 Jeep JK Wrangler Sport 2 door. Coming from a sports car racing and motorcycling background, this is my first off road ride. What would you do first?

Personally, I am pretty satisfied with the stock ride height of the Jeep, but would appreciate additional control over what the wheels are doing with lockers. Knobby tires are a necessity so the stock tires will go as soon as they're toast. Is it necessary to do upgrade axle shafts if you're swapping out the differentials? I noticed you can weld in reinforcements for the axle housing, tube, and the inner C's - pretty cool, but curious to know if it's common to snap axles and how necessary that reinforcement is.

Bear in mind this is mostly a street Jeep, but with occasional light off road trail use by comparison with what most of you guys do.
 

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Best advice I can give you, disconnect your sway bar and take it offroad, not only will you be amazed by what it can do, but you will also answer your own question :)
 

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I going to quote some guys I had talked to that are up in Alaska. "A winch will get you out of most situations, but a locker can sometimes get you into way worse ones." Basically if you are happy with the current ride and you occasionally wheel the vehicle then I would just look at a lift and make your decision form there after it is lifted. Honestly I would lift it, then regear if I thought it was needed and possibly do a locker down the road if I decided to wheel it more.

Jeremy
 

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2013 Jeep JK Wrangler Sport 2 door. Coming from a sports car racing and motorcycling background, this is my first off road ride. What would you do first?

Personally, I am pretty satisfied with the stock ride height of the Jeep, but would appreciate additional control over what the wheels are doing with lockers. Knobby tires are a necessity so the stock tires will go as soon as they're toast. Is it necessary to do upgrade axle shafts if you're swapping out the differentials? I noticed you can weld in reinforcements for the axle housing, tube, and the inner C's - pretty cool, but curious to know if it's common to snap axles and how necessary that reinforcement is.

Bear in mind this is mostly a street Jeep, but with occasional light off road trail use by comparison with what most of you guys do.
Based on the underlined, I would do neither.

Some good 33" AT tires, some recovery gear, quick disconnects, and maybe some armor and a budget boost (depending on your tires). Save the rest of the cash for gas.
 

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I probably do as much offroading as you do, i'm mostly on the highways. But when I bought my jeep last april, the first thing I did was put a 2.5" coil lift on and some 35' tires.
Now that i've driven it like that for almost a year, the gear swap and lockers are going in next week. I'm putting 4.56 gears in with electric lockers.
I don't go offroading much, but going out pig hunting down here I've been in situations where the lockers would have been handy.
I personally would lift it first. 2.5" is plenty big of a lift in my opinion. If you decide you need lockers down the road then go for it!
 

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Lift first. I don't have lockers and I get asked a lot if I do. A lot has to do with technique.
 

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Lockers would be last.

You need to pick your tires first. What size and what type. (AT? MT?) Tires are the most important part.
Of course, you tires will be based on how you use the vehicle.

If you are staying with stock wheels, or something like 33" Duratracs...you probably won't need a re-gear....nor a true lift. (Maybe a BB or leveling kit).

If you are going with 35's, you may need to re-gear....so at that point, you would want to install a locker at the same time you re-gear to save money. Of course, you would want a lift as well with those 35's.....so basically you are on your way down the path of Just Empty Every Pocket.
 

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I have a lift and lockers in my JK. While I wheel alot, most of what I do is remote camping/exploring, backwoods driving, etc. Not rock crawling in any case. With that in mind... I've used my lockers exactly once in the 2+ years of use and I'm fairly certain I didn't need to use them then. My lift has been way more valuable with the type of wheeling I do.

My vote is lift first (if at all).
 

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2013 Jeep JK Wrangler Sport 2 door. Coming from a sports car racing and motorcycling background, this is my first off road ride. What would you do first?
Personally, I am pretty satisfied with the stock ride height of the Jeep, but would appreciate additional control over what the wheels are doing with lockers. Knobby tires are a necessity so the stock tires will go as soon as they're toast. Is it necessary to do upgrade axle shafts if you're swapping out the differentials? I noticed you can weld in reinforcements for the axle housing, tube, and the inner C's - pretty cool, but curious to know if it's common to snap axles and how necessary that reinforcement is.

Bear in mind this is mostly a street Jeep, but with occasional light off road trail use by comparison with what most of you guys do.

Since you stated that your Jeep will be mostly a daily driver with light trail use; the first thing would I would do would be to disconnect the front swaybar, go out with a few Jeeps and see what you can do with a stock Jeep. Develope driving skills (experience) and this will go a long way to finding out what your Jeeps limitations are in that terrain and where you need to work on your driving experience. DON'T waste your money buying lift parts to make the vehicle look cool and not have the driving experience to back up what you have built; this can get you into serious trouble...... Knowing how to pick a line when approaching an obstacle can get you a long way before it comes time to purchase lift parts, gears and a traction device.
If you must spend money on the Jeep; first recommended parts to buy would be Rock Rails, AT tires and a tow strap. These will get your thru a lot of obstacles while gaining driving experience.

There are times guys build their Jeep far past what their driving experience allows; they have problems on an obstacle and there comes a guy in a almost stock Jeep with a lot of driving experience make the obstacle look easy. Can't express enough for you to develope driving experience before you build the Jeep.
 

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You have to remember for light wheeling to moderate wheeling, JKs have brake lock diffs and it will pull you through a lot of interesting situations. While not lockers, or limited slip it does help a lot.
 

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X2 with everyone advising a lift/more driving time before installing a locker. I offroaded my TJ for probably 5 years before getting lockers and it sure helped to make me a better driver.
 

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X2 with everyone advising a lift/more driving time before installing a locker. I offroaded my TJ for probably 5 years before getting lockers and it sure helped to make me a better driver.
Agree 100%. Before my JKUR I was in an 01 TJ with open diffs, a body lift and BB (so essentially stock suspension plus some DIY discos) and to this day can't believe some of the places that thing went.

That said, when I got my JKUR I was equally amazed at what it could tackle stock with those lockers.

In short, I think really you'll be happier with a small lift and tires. It'll look cool and still go almost anywhere.
 

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Since you stated that your Jeep will be mostly a daily driver with light trail use; the first thing would I would do would be to disconnect the front swaybar, go out with a few Jeeps and see what you can do with a stock Jeep. Develope driving skills (experience) and this will go a long way to finding out what your Jeeps limitations are in that terrain and where you need to work on your driving experience. DON'T waste your money buying lift parts to make the vehicle look cool and not have the driving experience to back up what you have built; this can get you into serious trouble...... Knowing how to pick a line when approaching an obstacle can get you a long way before it comes time to purchase lift parts, gears and a traction device.
If you must spend money on the Jeep; first recommended parts to buy would be Rock Rails, AT tires and a tow strap. These will get your thru a lot of obstacles while gaining driving experience.

There are times guys build their Jeep far past what their driving experience allows; they have problems on an obstacle and there comes a guy in a almost stock Jeep with a lot of driving experience make the obstacle look easy. Can't express enough for you to develope driving experience before you build the Jeep.
Very well said, and great advice. I am on my 3rd Jeep, and the first 2 were mostly stock except for some armor. My current Jeep is a 2014 Rubicon, and it is still stock from a suspension perspective. I have had it for over a year now, and I am finally at a point that I want to lift it 2.5", mainly because some of the guys I wheel with think it's funny to spot me and see if they can high center me, (not really, but I have gotten stuck twice). But this post is correct, it is so much more about driving ability and less about what you have. Drive it for a while, you will be amazed at what Jeeps can do stock, and after you drive it for a while, then decide what to do, you won't regret it.
 

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You have to remember for light wheeling to moderate wheeling, JKs have brake lock diffs and it will pull you through a lot of interesting situations. While not lockers, or limited slip it does help a lot.
^^ This. The brake lock is almost shockingly capable. Very under-rated, although not a substitute for a true locker. But, for what you're after, probably all you'll ever need (as far as traction aids), so save that locker money and put it somewhere else.
 

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Start with seat time and some armor and sliders.

On mild trails there is no point to lockers. And with a 2 door especially, you already have break over angles better than a 4 door on 35s with a lift. No need to lift unless you go to a bigger tire.
 
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