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John, I take mostly videos now, and I haven"t had time to do any of them from the trip yet. When I get them up on FaceBook I will post the links. Probably better post them in the trip report section.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Still have made no major decisions except for not going with 37" tires. Heck, the 33" MTR's on my '06 LJ take me everywhere I go. And there is a huge price and weight jump from 35-37! Yikes!


One thing I am flummoxed with is winches. We have a Warn 9.5 on our '06 which has been very faithful. Love the winch. Back when I got it Warn was the only way to go. Now there are many other offerings out there that are a lot less money. I will do the synthetic line of course. My question is the Warn worth the 30%-40% more money? A Warn Zeon 10K with synthetic line runs about 1500 bucks, the Smittybuilt runs about 575. Then there is Westin, Superwinch, Warn VR, which all run under a grand.



Any suggestions?

 

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How often do you think you will use your winch?
I wouldn't be without one but really it rarely gets used. Especially when I am overlanding. Are you ever alone or always with a group?
The 575 to 1500 is a big jump.
 

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Got info on those wheels?
They're US Wheel Rat Rod series, ordered in raw and had them powder coated locally.

Still have made no major decisions except for not going with 37" tires. Heck, the 33" MTR's on my '06 LJ take me everywhere I go. And there is a huge price and weight jump from 35-37! Yikes!


One thing I am flummoxed with is winches. We have a Warn 9.5 on our '06 which has been very faithful. Love the winch. Back when I got it Warn was the only way to go. Now there are many other offerings out there that are a lot less money. I will do the synthetic line of course. My question is the Warn worth the 30%-40% more money? A Warn Zeon 10K with synthetic line runs about 1500 bucks, the Smittybuilt runs about 575. Then there is Westin, Superwinch, Warn VR, which all run under a grand.



Any suggestions?

Not Superwinch, I have a tigershark 9500S and haven't been able to get parts for a year (since they sold to Westin)

We had to make a winch choice for the wife's Jeep a few weeks ago, for us it was between the Gen3 Smitty and the Warn VR EVO 10s. Ended up with the Warn, mainly for the additional IP rating.

Haven't had anyone stuck, yet, to use it :)

https://www.warn.com/vr-evo-10-s-103253




 

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Discussion Starter #27
On the weight of the wheel and tire topic.

I welded on a piece of tube to the spare tire mount. I lift the tire and wheel onto the tube, then align the lugs. Makes for an easier initial placement.



Ditto here. I put a Smittybilt tire carrier on. 4WD parts had it on sale. The fit and finish of the tire carrier is really good. I welded a length of heavy wall 1.25 square tubing to it and fused a piece of urethane on the top. Sure makes getting the spare on a lot easier. I believe the new JL's are like this.



Side note: I put a back up camera in the mount. I find it silly that the JK comes with a radio with a camera plug in but not available with a camera. ???


For a lift I would run the AEV 2.5". My friends JK was the best handling Jeep that I had ever been in. Arguably better than the stock JLUR. He ran the AEV 2.5" with 1" spacers on top of them because he wanted a little extra height after he had everything installed. For him the 3.5" might have been better, but a 35" tire fits with the 2.5" lift.

He also used the AEV geometry correction brackets. Using the correction brackets not only set your geometry at the correct angle to correct anti-squat and other geometry changes, but it also corrects pinion angles. My friend did have to replace the front driveshaft with a Tom Wood shaft because at full droop the factory shaft would rub the oil pan. The Tom Wood is a narrower shaft and had more clearance room. I expect that issue was unique to his Jeep.

In short, I would just do my shopping over at AEV. I know a lot of guys think they are over priced, but as a whole package, they really got it right with the JK. So much so in fact, that if you look at a new JL next to a JK with AEV lift. You will see that Jeep copied every engineering design from AEV for the new JL.

Seriously looking at the AEV. JKS has a nice 2.5 lift with correction brackets as well.


They're US Wheel Rat Rod series, ordered in raw and had them powder coated locally.

Where did you get them? 17" X 8" or 9"? Can you order direct? I showed the wife and she is all over the US Wheel in flat black.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Sport cage, I have the EVO chrome molly bolt in stuff. We all neglect to do cage work imho.

Thanks for that. Looks really great. Currently out of stock though.



Congrats on your son getting an LJ

That ain't done yet. A couple years ago he got a '74 K5 blazer. 6" lift, 14 bolt rear end. 1 ton dana 44 up front, 383 stroker, 4 speed stick with dual transfer cases. The rig runs okay, but needs lots of TLC and TIME, he's a busy kid. I'm gonna suggest he sells the K5 and buy my LJ off me with the proceeds. The LJ has 28K miles on it! LOL But it is good to go and a great trail rig. He can throw his family in and join us off road, something he hasn't been able to do with the K5 yet.
 

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Where did you get them? 17" X 8" or 9"? Can you order direct? I showed the wife and she is all over the US Wheel in flat black.
Summit stocks some sizes and has free shipping.
We went with 9" (5" BS) and use a 1.25" spacer, but for a tire smaller than 37" I'd go with 8" (4.5" BS)
 

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Winches can be tricky. I know lots of people go crazy for the Harbor Freight brand because with sales and coupons you can get a 12k lbs winch for like $200, but I've hear lots of stories of them not working when needed. Warn is more expensive but they have some of the best warranty and customer service out there. That's what you're paying for. I went with the M8000, it's cheaper than the Zeon series, but a tried and true design. You can save a couple hundred if you get the steel cable. Also watch the advertising, I think twice a year Warn offers some rebates. I shopped around and got my winch off Amazon for less than $600 then $100 back from the rebate.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Winches can be tricky. I know lots of people go crazy for the Harbor Freight brand because with sales and coupons you can get a 12k lbs winch for like $200, but I've hear lots of stories of them not working when needed. Warn is more expensive but they have some of the best warranty and customer service out there. That's what you're paying for. I went with the M8000, it's cheaper than the Zeon series, but a tried and true design. You can save a couple hundred if you get the steel cable. Also watch the advertising, I think twice a year Warn offers some rebates. I shopped around and got my winch off Amazon for less than $600 then $100 back from the rebate.

My Warn has never hicupped once. I even pulled down a 35' tall redwood tree with it! LOL

I like the rope. The Warn VR Evo 10,000 lb is $745 with the rope. Can't beat that.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Summit stocks some sizes and has free shipping.
We went with 9" (5" BS) and use a 1.25" spacer, but for a tire smaller than 37" I'd go with 8" (4.5" BS)

That's what I'll use. I'll just paint mine as it's easy to touch up.



I am looking at the Cooper SST tire in a 315/70/17. (34.57" tall 12.6 cross section 69 lbs E rated)

Latest JP magazine has a review of them and it's pretty positive.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Probably won't pull the trigger on anything till after new years. Taking into consideration weight here is a short list of what I am looking at.

35" MTR's or KM3 on new wheels. ( I know many don't like MTR's, I have had nothing but good with them on my LJ) I like those US Steel smoothies, but that adds about 50 lbs to the Jeep.

JKS jspec 2.5" lift with added LCA correction brackets, rear trackbar brace and JKS Track Bar. Possibly go with the High Steer as well. if the 35" tires rub I'll swap out my fenders.

The whole Rock Hard under aluminum armor stuff.

I'll remove the 500 gallon capacity muffler and see how loud it is with just the resonator. If it's too loud I'll add a muffler close to the resonator. Pipe will dump out at the driver side bumper.

VR Evo 10 S winch for my RockHard aluminum front bumper.

I really like the EVO sport cage but they are not in stock.

I'd really like to mount a Puma compressor like I have in my LJ but there is no room under the hood of a JK.

Still not sure of my rear bumper? I want to retain the factory hitch and go aluminum. Rock Hard has a beautiful unit, but it is $$$$$!

Tell me your thoughts etc please. I am in the research phase of this.

We do a lot of trail riding. Occasionally places you need to lock up. Can't call us old folk hard core rock crawlers, but we do go over lots of rocks.

This rig will see some street driving and some long drives to trails etc. It's life as a grocery getter is coming to a close.
 

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The MTR/Kevlar is a really good all around street and trail tire and I also like the All Terrain T/A KO2, I run those on my truck. My MTRs needed a lot of weight to balance but my Nitto Trail Grapplers were very true, very little weight was needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
The MTR/Kevlar is a really good all around street and trail tire and I also like the All Terrain T/A KO2, I run those on my truck. My MTRs needed a lot of weight to balance but my Nitto Trail Grapplers were very true, very little weight was needed.
I read where a lot of people have balancing issues with MTR's. On my LJ I've never had an issue, lucky maybe.
 

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We have both the front and rear RockHard aluminum bumpers and they are really nice. The front is the mid-width model. We got it along with a Warn VR winch at the Tierra del Sol event last winter. They had some attractive deals going on there. Have you looked at the Falken Wildpeak line of tires? The guide we use in Moab swears by them, of course I think they are one of his sponsors, but they are another alternative and are seeming to become more popular.
 

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Another option on compressors is the Smittybilt 5.26 cfm compressor. We don't need to pump pressure as much as we need volume on the larger offroad tires we all run. It has worked well for us on the JK, much faster than the Viair 460 I have hardmounted on my LJ. I have a 1/2 gallon pressure tank I may mount where the factory muffler went on the JK, that way the Smittybilt can continue to pump while I am moving to another tire.
 

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I don't think you'll be able to run a high steer. With a 2.5 lift I don't think it will fit unless you add a large amount of bump stop. Then that defeats the purpose of keeping it low.


What front bumper? You won't be able to run a full width unless it really angles up.


I ran the LCA brackets before I bought control arms. They do hang down but will give you the best highway ride your going to get.


I had a set of MTRK's on my last work truck. I feel they are the best off road tire out there. But they were noisy. I don't think I could live with them on my Jeep.
I currently have KO 2's.
 

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Possibly go with the High Steer as well. if the 35" tires rub I'll swap out my fenders. To do high steer you'll have to add 3" of bumpstop to keep the drag link from hitting the frame. At 2.5" inches of lift it's more of a negative than a positive IMO

I'll remove the 500 gallon capacity muffler and see how loud it is with just the resonator. If it's too loud I'll add a muffler close to the resonator. Pipe will dump out at the driver side bumper. It's not loud, but it creates a terrible drone from outside the cabin and is louder in the passenger seats for some reason. I won't wheel behind my buddy because the drone is so loud.

Still not sure of my rear bumper? I want to retain the factory hitch and go aluminum. Rock Hard has a beautiful unit, but it is $$$$$! Check out the bumper deletes from EVO and ACE. I run the EVO on our 2014 (pic below) LINK to EVO Link to ACE

Tell me your thoughts etc please. I am in the research phase of this.
My thoughts above in RED

Here's the EVO delete on our 2014

 
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