Weight issues - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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Weight issues

I drove the Jeep from San Diego to Connecticut 2 years ago where the Jeep spent her first snowy winter including salted roads. Now that I have some time I decided to get at the surface rust that developed by cleaning up the frame and repainting it. I am going to rust coat/seal the interior of the frame with the Eastwood sealer and use their frame prep and finish. I wanted to test these products out on the frame under the front bumper just in case. While I am at it, I also decided to reduce some weight by going to synthetic rope, aluminum fairlead; then refresh the fog lights and call it a day. High fives and beers all around. Because I have some time to have fun I took height measurements before I took the front apart and also measured the weights of each of the components as they came off. What an eye-opener:

Currently:

Bumper: 138.9 lb
Winch body: 100.9 lb
Steel rope and hook: 50.8 lb
Roller fairlead: 24.7 lb
Lights: 6.3 lb
Total front end weight: 321.6 lb

New components:

Aluminum fairlead: 8.9 lb
Synth rope with hook: 13 lb
Lights: 7.2 lb
Light mount: 4.9 lb
Projected weight with winch and current bumper: 273.5 lb

With just messing with the small stuff I'm not reducing weight by much. So what do I do? I really like that bumper but I should ditch it and get something like the aluminum Savvy one. Does anyone have a clue as to what that one weighs in at? I really don't want to put that original weight back on the front. I could go to aluminum fenders...but that isn't going to get me dropping a lot more, I think.

After the front was bare, I measured the heights again and found that the front end raised up by 1-1/4 inches, the rear raised up by 1/2 inches. I have a slight rake with the rear being 3 inches taller. With the rear loaded down with camping gear, dog, tools and whatnot it levels out perfectly.

Then I also should rethink the rear...I know when I pull that tire carrier off and put it on the scale, the scale will be screaming.... So I will go to a tub mounted carrier like the Exogate. I have read good reviews of it. Having had several different kinds including the OR Fab one (which I really liked and had no issues), I am appreciating more and more a one-step process in opening the rear. I could cut another 100 lb off easily with that Exogate and a sensible/functional aluminum bumper or plate there in the back. My guesstimate is that right now the Jeep is carrying up to 600 lbs of fluff (Ha!). Perhaps I can get that down to 300? Reasonable? I'm not looking for any gains in mileage or anything like that, but I'm sure it will make some difference in how hard the engine and running gear are working to move that much weight around.

Ultimately what I really wanted to spend my money on after just taking care of the frame was the big brake kit, redo the ball joints, and upgrade the steering and maybe locking hubs but then new wheels. I think that I'm redirecting my efforts for now to cut weight. I'm OK with Spartan/utilitarian. Any ideas?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Front end.jpg (317.2 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Side shot.jpg (327.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Bare front.jpg (361.7 KB, 3 views)

2004 Rubicon TJ (long gone to a good home)
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 07:35 AM
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Thoughts, of course. Just going through this on the LJ as well.

Front bumper, I went with the ruffstuff front bumper, 47lbs shipped. I didnít feel like the aluminum ones lost that much more weight. Just a 1/4 plate bumper, no need to double up 3/16 aluminum. Didnít feel like that was that much more weight loss to be had there.

Agreed with the fender part, I went with aluminum high lines for clearance.

Added steel sliders, probably the extra weight back from front bumper weight savings.

Out back, I have a jeeperman swing out tire carrier. Canít totally decide to keep it or what. Spare tire in bed would be lightest weight and distributed option. Some times I the the removable tub mounted ones would be interesting. Aluminum for weight, only run them when you need to carry a spare.

Axles, hubs and brakes. This is an area I am struggling with as well. Has more to do with throwing $$$ at the axle vs upgrading the whole front axle. Spend twice as much and have the next gen JKU 44 or better up front. It will have abetted brakes, new ball joints.....

So, not sure I helped. But will say, that one heavy front bumper, can save close to 100lbs right there easy.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 07:36 AM
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Oh yeah, the other easy weight savings. Aluminum doors.

Just looked at the undercover fab aluminum bumper weights. 17 for bumper and winch plate.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:19 AM
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I put my Rubi on a diet a couple of years ago. Steel front and rear bumpers (and swing out tire carrier) replaced with Savvy aluminum and I don't carry a spare tire. I probably got rid of 250 pounds - just the 37" tire comes in at 100 pounds. Getting the tire off the rear is a huge improvement in stability when making steep climbs (and it's not in the way in tight maneuvering situations.)

To my surprise I don't think I saved any weight when I replaced my OEM front fenders with GenRight aluminum - the steel ones are really light. Moot point since the GenRight fenders are more utilitarian than the steel fenders.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 12:04 PM
Jes
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Weight was a big concern when I started to put together my TJ. I learned when I built my XJ that less weight was better, easier on drivetrain components, better fuel economy, etc.
I went with aluminum as much as possible. My front bumper/winch combo all in weighs less than 70 lbs, that's seriously light weight.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 12:45 PM
DAA
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My only regret with my LJ is that I didn't try to keep the weight down.

If doing it over, I'd save as much weight as I could.

- DAA

'06 Silver Rubi Unlimited, 6 spd, Currie arms, Nth springs, AEV Highline, 35" KM2's.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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Thanks for all the great discussions. I got some really good ideas.

This morning I worked on the rear. All I wanted to accomplish was to remove the tire carrier and hoping that there wasn't going to be any issues with seized bolts. I only had to muscle one out...I used gobs of anti-seize when I put it together originally. It did not take me long. The final height gain was 1 inch at the rear, measuring both at the wheel wells and the body corners where the rear seams are. Again, I measured the components' weights as I took them off. I re-tared the scale at one point b/c I did not believe these weights but it was correct. My tally was practically what I got for the front:

Tire carrier: 117.5 lb
Rear bumper: 162 lb
Frame tie ins: 14.8 lb
Fasteners and misc parts: 23.5 lb
Back up light with bracket: 11.3 lb
Third light: did not measure

Rear total: 329.1 lb

Front total: 321.6 lb
Front and rear total: 650.7 lb

So that pretty much has me decided for a simple tailgate carrier and a functional rear plate. It may be that I end up losing 400 lb when done.

Next up is to wash out the frame and start cleaning up the surface rust.

Thanks again, and have a great weekend.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rear start.jpg (287.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Side wo carrier.jpg (332.3 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Rear bare.jpg (165.1 KB, 2 views)
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:52 PM
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Looks like you're going to need larger tires, maybe gears, ...
J/K... amazing how much the weight adds up.

Have you driven it since the weight loss?

Any thoughts on going to a soft top? I'm not sure I would have the top on much if I had your weather.
Curious what the weight difference would be.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLLJ View Post
Looks like you're going to need larger tires, maybe gears, ...
J/K... amazing how much the weight adds up.

Have you driven it since the weight loss?

Any thoughts on going to a soft top? I'm not sure I would have the top on much if I had your weather.
Curious what the weight difference would be.
I am going to drive it tomorrow. I had 320 pounds each sticking out on the front end and the rear end....pushing it and pulling it. My guess is that the jeep will feel more compact not having those bookends so to speak. I dunno.

Unfortunately, I live in a very compact part of San Diego....my driveway is one car length, it's also got a good slope which means I do most of my working on the jeep on the street if needs to jack stand or in the driveway if not. When still in the service, I just go on base to the hobby shop, but that's not an option now. I would love to take off the top and doors. I don't have storage. When that changes, they'll be the first to come off.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Rubi Wheeler
 
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OK. So the front is pretty much together. I have a question on the antirock: Per Currie it's 10-1/2 inches for the links for a 4-inch lift with a 1.25-inch body lift. That's what I got. Does this look OK or do I need to trim the links to drop the angle closer to zero?
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File Type: jpg IMG-4124.JPG (242.7 KB, 26 views)

2004 Rubicon TJ (long gone to a good home)
2006 Rubicon LJ

Last edited by Butter Bean; 09-28-2019 at 06:47 PM. Reason: spelling and grammar
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