Fixing up the JK - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Fixing up the JK

I have a 2006 LJ Rubi that I have used off road for many years. We also have a 2017 JKU Rubi the wife uses as a grocery getter. We are thinking of getting a more economical car for the wife, handing down/selling the LJ to my son to replace his '74 K5 Blazer, and doing a mild build on the JKU so we can hit some trails.



FYI, we are getting older and doing those "bang the snot out of it" trails is not what we do. We do a lot of moderate trails and intend to finally do Moab and the Rubicon sometime in the near future. So I don't need a real hard core rock machine, just a very trusty trail rig.



This Jeep gets towed behind our motorhome quite a bit. So weight needs to stay down.



I am thinking the following:


1. Winch, already have an aluminum bumper.
2. 2"-2.5" lift. Not sure which lift yet. I'd go with the Metalcloak 2.5 kit if money was no issue.
3. High clearance plastic or aluminum fenders. I prefer the aluminum. Poison Spyder, Metalcloak has some nice ones.

4. 35" or 37" tires, I like the KM3 tires but pledge allegiance to no company.

5. Depending on tire size I intend to re-gear to 4.88 or 5.13.

6. Better axle shafts, not sure which.

7. Aluminum belly armor. The RockHard stuff looks nice.

8. Probably get rid of the huge muffler and go with a high clearance system like Pypes, Flowmaster, Magna flow sells.

9. Possibly a better sport cage like the RockHard stuff.



Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

I want it to be lightweight, quality, serviceable, and remain towable 4 down.



Thanks, Bob
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 03:44 PM
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I know some people who really like the TeraFlex 2.5" lift. It seems like good quality for cheaper than the MC stuff. I would upgrade the steering components before I did skid plates or a cage, especially if you're going to 37s. If you go plastic on the fenders, just trim the stock ones and you can gain the same clearance for free. Personally I would go aluminum, I have the MC Overland aluminum fenders and they can take some abuse. You might want to look at upgrading the brakes as well.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:06 PM
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Looks like a great list, 37 inch tires.. I would hate to change one of those on the trail LOL. Having flashbacks of the last time I changed out a tractor tire, that's a lot of weight on the old spine :-p
I don't think I would want to toss a 37 incher on a tire carrier at this stage of the game. Maybe 10 years ago hahaha Especially if you are doing all your own 5 tire rotations like I do.
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Last edited by WayWestJeep; 10-14-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:11 PM
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High clearance flares should be the first step. It doesn't make sense to add a bunch of bump stop and limit up travel. If you don't have fender laws the cheapest is to cut your stock fenders. I had BushWackers then upgraded to Poison Spyder aluminum standard width. I went with them because of the look I wanted. The rears have a curve to the to unlike others that have a flat top. I spent a lot of money just for aesthetics.


I have 2.5 lift and put some air bumps in the front. But with a small lift I think a set of Sumo bumps would have been better. Metal Cloak sells these and they really help with the hard bottom out bang.


You have 4.10 gears, do you think you will need to regear? If so 4.88's wouldn't get you much.


I haven't done my exhaust yet. If I could actually find one that doesn't sound like a Honda. Let us know how that works out.
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2014 JKU, JKS lift,Poison spyder flares, bombshell covers,Rancho D2 control arms, JKS adjustable track bars, 35" Tires. GrabBars, Crawler Conceptz rear bumper, Smitty front bumper, Winch. Rough Country inner fenders, Teraflex Disco Mud Flaps
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DK2014JK View Post
I know some people who really like the TeraFlex 2.5" lift. It seems like good quality for cheaper than the MC stuff. I would upgrade the steering components before I did skid plates or a cage, especially if you're going to 37s. If you go plastic on the fenders, just trim the stock ones and you can gain the same clearance for free. Personally I would go aluminum, I have the MC Overland aluminum fenders and they can take some abuse. You might want to look at upgrading the brakes as well.

I think my brother has the Tera Flex on his 2 door.

I've yet to see a good looking fender trim job. In aluminum the MC stuff seems great. I like the hardline aluminum. I end up driving through a lot of cattle country and have lots of cow poo slinging going on at times. Being a ex-cattleman myself I don't really mind, but if the doors and top are off I can smell funny or like money depending on where you are from!

Any suggestions on steering components?





Quote:
Originally Posted by WayWestJeep View Post
Looks like a great list, 37 inch tires.. I would hate to change one of those on the trail LOL. Having flashbacks of the last time I changed out a tractor tire, that's a lot of weight on the old spine :-p
I don't think I would want to toss a 37 incher on a tire carrier at this stage of the game. Maybe 10 years ago hahaha Especially if you are doing all your own 5 tire rotations like I do.

Agreed! My brother has 37" KM3's on Hutchenson bead locks and tows it all over. No issues.

For what I intend to do 35" is probably great. Heck, I never got past 33" tires on my LJ and it got me where I wanted to go just fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rlenglish View Post
High clearance flares should be the first step. It doesn't make sense to add a bunch of bump stop and limit up travel. If you don't have fender laws the cheapest is to cut your stock fenders. I had BushWackers then upgraded to Poison Spyder aluminum standard width. I went with them because of the look I wanted. The rears have a curve to the to unlike others that have a flat top. I spent a lot of money just for aesthetics.

Yes, flares and tires first to set the suspension.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rlenglish View Post


You have 4.10 gears, do you think you will need to regear? If so 4.88's wouldn't get you much.

Me thinks going with 37" tires 5.13 would work great. But I'll try the tires first then re gear if need be. But like I said above, probably 35".

The tires I run now are KO2's in the 10:50X34 size. They are actually a tad less than 33" tall.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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These high clearance jobs are all similar. Muffler up front, tail pipe exits on the drivers side.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 06:08 PM
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I have a hodgepodge of steering, MC draglink, Teraflex trackbar, Fusion 4x4 tie rod. I did them piece by piece while tracking down the source of my deathwobble. It might be easier/cheaper to get a package deal. Currie and Rock Krawler have solid stuff. Lately I've been seeing a lot about Steer Smarts Yeti products but I have no personal experience. Some of the tie rods require specific backspacing on your wheels. My AEV wheels wouldn't work with a lot of them.


One thought that just occurred to me, if you're going to replace the drive shafts you'll need some adjustable control arms to change the pinion angle. The stock rzeppa joint requires a much different angle than a double cardan which most aftermarket shafts are.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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One thought that just occurred to me, if you're going to replace the drive shafts you'll need some adjustable control arms to change the pinion angle. The stock rzeppa joint requires a much different angle than a double cardan which most aftermarket shafts are.

Did not know this. How do you fix the caster etc if you rotate the front axle a bunch?

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 07:04 PM
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Any decent lift kit comes with cam washers that you fit into your axle housing for caster correction. If it doesn't you can add them later. If you want control arms then you need to decide on your lift first then you can get a package deal.


2 or 2.5 lifts don't need drive shafts in a 4 door. I have installed 3.5 lifts without and the drive shafts seem to have a long life cycle.


I am hesitant to change steering on a JK. the flex the factory linkage gives adsorbs some of the shock load. If the shock is too great into the box they are known for breaking steering box sector shafts.
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2014 JKU, JKS lift,Poison spyder flares, bombshell covers,Rancho D2 control arms, JKS adjustable track bars, 35" Tires. GrabBars, Crawler Conceptz rear bumper, Smitty front bumper, Winch. Rough Country inner fenders, Teraflex Disco Mud Flaps
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 07:26 PM
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At the TDS Desert Safari last winter BFG had cutaway samples of their K02, KM2 and KM3 tires. The KM3's were much thicker and heavier. If you end up with 35 or 37 inch tires consider how hard it is to change them when they are that heavy. One of our group lost a sidewall on a 35 inch Cooper STT Pro and it was all three of us old guys could do to lift the flat back on his bumper spare carrier.
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