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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so as the title says, I think I've overwhelmed myself and am looking for a little clarity. Apparently to much research to lead to overload.

I am the proud owner of a bone stock '04 TJ Rubicon and I love it! But, as all Jeep owners know, when you buy a Wrangler, lifting it is essential, at least if you wheel. I've assembled a list of what I am looking at, and want to make sure that I am on a good start. I am more than open to suggestions/replacements if you see anything that is sub-par or that I may have missed.

A little about my driving style too, just for background. I am looking to run 33's and am a self-confessed weekend warrior. I do plan on doing some Jamborees, including Moab, but I want to keep things inexpensive. My goal, minus tires and rims, is $1000, and I think I am on the right track. So here goes nothing.

Suspension Lift
RE 2" Budget W/ New Shocks $240

TT Kit
Rokem 1" MML, 1.25" BL, Pump Move Kit, and TT $510

Sway Bar
RRO Quick Disconnects $102

Plus some cheap grab handles and maybe a mirror relocation kit for around $60.

That puts my total at $914.

Also, keep in mind, that Wisconsin, my home state, has a max 4" lift law. So that is a limiting factor on why I have chosen to go this route.

Will this give me enough clearance to run 33's?
Will this give me enough articulation for moderate trails/rocks?
Did I miss anything?
Are the RRO disco's any good? (I've read some not so stellar things about RRO on here)

If you have any suggestions, or advice, please let me know. I think I am on the right track and just need someone to check over it so that I can avoid doing it twice.
 

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The RE BB is a nice start and will give enough lift with a MML/BL to run 33s.

I have run the JKS discos on a few rigs and they are very well made. I have no experience with the RROs to comment on them. I do know JKS seems to be the most popular disconnect on here.

Rokmen makes excellent quality stuff, you can not go wrong with them,

ONE THING TO NOTE!

With a combination of 4" of lift and TT, you are around the vibration area for a TJ, you should budget in some rear upper control arms in case you run into drive shaft vibes. The MML will correct some of the need for the UCAs and you will most likely not need them.
 

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i ran a budget boost and had some slight vibes. When i added the body lift and motor mount lift they were gone. Eventually i replace the front spacers with 2.5 OME coils to level it out some because of the winch weight. That combo works good w/33's. JKS are what i run and ran in past jeeps, there good quality. With that set-up and some learning what you jeep can do you can wheel alot more trails than you think. You seem to be on the right track
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Elwarpo said:
ONE THING TO NOTE!

With a combination of 4" of lift and TT, you are around the vibration area for a TJ, you should budget in some rear upper control arms in case you run into drive shaft vibes. The MML will correct some of the need for the UCAs and you will most likely not need them.
I am only trying to go 3" total. 2" spacers and 1" BL. I don't want Johnny Longarm to even have a reason to stop me. Unless somehow the TT factors in there due to moving the T-case/tranny, or the additional tire size, I thought I had hit the 3" mark.


Thanks for the heads up the UCA/ vibe issue. I was under the impression that with the MML I should be able to prevent vibrations. Hopefully. I have read that each TJ is different so I know that I need to keep that in mind. Do you have a recommendation of affordable, yet quality UCAs?

I that's asking for a lot. You usually get quality or affordability, not both. But, I'll be mindful.

Also, is there any combination of springs/shocks that I should be looking at down the road? I know that a BB is not a permanent solution, but for now, it's what I can do. I've seen other springs being used, including ones from an XJ(?) and am curious as to my options on that.

Thanks for the quick responses and I am glad to know that I am not way off track with what I want to do.
 

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raising the TC increases driveline angles just like a lift. Everything is relative to the height of the TC output versus the axle input for the DS. Raising the TC is the same of lowering the axle as you increase the height difference, so for driveline calculations you have 2" of TC lift and 2" of axle lowering from the suspension in relationship to the frame. This is the same as a 4" suspension lift for driveline angles. This 4" is driveline vibe area for a TJ rear shaft. The MML lowers the end on the TC a bit but it really changes the angle of the TC output. the rear UCAs change the pinion angle which makes the driveshaft angle less severe.
 

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I have 3" Tera coils, JKS BL, Brown Dog 1" MML and have no vibe or problems what so ever. I am currently running 35's with 2" bumps in the front b/c I have an Antirock on the loosest setting. I DON'T have a TT! That is next on the list lol. If I were to run a TT without buying CA's, I would switch out to 2.5" HD coils and get UCA to set the pinion angle. 33's will stuff perfectly into the fenders.
 

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X2 on the JKS discoes. I would think you need to do a little research on the KS lift law. Is that 3 inches from frame to ground, bumper height or what exactly.

According to THIS you don't have any worries but, I would dig deeper.
 

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f9k9 said:
X2 on the JKS discoes. I would think you need to do a little research on the KS lift law. Is that 3 inches from frame to ground, bumper height or what exactly.

According to THIS you don't have any worries but, I would dig deeper.

He mentioned his home state was Wisconsin and that they have the lift laws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
f9k9 said:
X2 on the JKS discoes. I would think you need to do a little research on the KS lift law. Is that 3 inches from frame to ground, bumper height or what exactly.

According to THIS you don't have any worries but, I would dig deeper.

Yep. Kansas is pretty lenient, but I don't live there. I just happen to be stationed at Ft. Riley, in Kansas. I am from Wisconsin, and that is "home". The lift law is a little gray, but its from the bottom of frame, when compared to stock. I'm pretty sure I could squeeze 5" or 6", but I don't want to get hassled when I move back home. This way I know that I am at the max of the law, and can prove it.

Keep the info coming, thanks for the tip on JKS disco's too. I found RE UCAs for what I consider do-able, and some Daystar ones for pretty cheap.

Any info/reviews on Daystar? Are UCAs UCAs or is one of those things that there really is a substantial difference in quality?
 

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firewire79 said:
............Any info/reviews on Daystar? Are UCAs UCAs or is one of those things that there really is a substantial difference in quality?
You are opening a can or worms here. Some pretty strong advocates for RE exist in Jeepdom but, I basically gave away a complete set of RE SF CAs for $200 because of their bushing failures.

These were mine and I got tired of replacing the bushings.



Now, you're gonna get a few replies that RE has solved their bushing problems a yr or longer ago. All I can do is quote an alleged email response from RE to a JU forum member.

Marco,

We understand any frustration and apologize for the inconvenience. In an effort to support the American Economy we switched the production of all the RE bushings from an overseas supplier to a local American rubber manufacturer. The new company, in an attempt to provide a superior bushing for us, changed to a new compound and that change turned out to be a step in the wrong direction. To resolve the problem as quickly as possible, we are working very closely with the bushing manufacturer, allowing us to have closer control of the process and material specs. The test results of the new samples, now made of a natural rubber material (very similar to the factory O.E. bushings) are great so far. We are confident that the new bushings will be vastly superior to the previous bushings and will provide better handling characteristics and alleviate premature failures.
Now, this happened after their new improved ones with the "four nipples" was introduced as THE FIX.

I can't offer a knowledgeable opinion of the Daystar CAs.

I apologize for the misinformation on the lift laws. I overlooked the WI part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No problem. Thanks for the heads up on the bushing issue. From everything that I've read three companies seem to dominate the rigs here, Nth Degree/AEV, JKS, and RE. And I have no qualms with any of them, other than their costs. JKS seems to be the most reasonably priced one, but, unfortunately they don't offer CAs at all.

I will keep my eyes open and see what I can find. I may just decide to be the guinea pig and try the daystar ones. Who knows, maybe they'll be pretty good. It'll still be a few months till I can get everything I want for my Rubican, as I need to unload some stuff from my last hobby, RC rock crawling. Now that I've stepped up to the 1:1 world, I think one set of toys can go for another. ;)

Hopefully, if all goes well, that should cover the lift, and maybe even the TT, if I get good offers. But one step at a time.
 

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firewire79 said:
.............From everything that I've read three companies seem to dominate the rigs here, Nth Degree/AEV, JKS, and RE.........
Dig deeper Young Skywalker!

There's 2 links there and actually I was surprised at the price difference for basically the same rear UCA.

I think the best advice that anyone that "has been there, done that, saw the movie and got the tshirt" is to tell you to try to research as much as you can stand and do it it right the first time.

I would hook with a local off road club in their forum. Try to attend one of their open trail rides and explain what you are trying to do. Almost 100% of my area's trails has a "bypass" around an obstacle. The club's members, more than likely, will guide you away from damage to a stock set up. If, they do not seem to care then "screw 'em" and move on. This will give you more info on where you want to go with your build first. Pick their brains during the ride and be up front with them, in your questions. If, 80% of them are running winches then, ignore the suggestion to get a winch first from them. A good trail boss will place you in between capable rigs. This applies to the weekend warrior.

Most clubs require recovery points. Your front should already be in place. What about your rear? Most clubs in my area require a CB radio, as well. While you may be able to cheap out with a Wallyworld Cobra for $35 but, finding an antenna set up will cost that much, at a minimum. They might let you get by with a borrowed FRS hand-held. You just have to check with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wheel in the area that my local club will be driving in. The only thing that is new to me about that area is the fact that I have a Jeep with lockers VS a Chevy Colorado with some 31s on it.

That is in fact how I figured out that I need a TT. I went wheeling the other day, and had to try to go through the mud puddle that everyone else did. :roll: Bad Idea, especially with balding street tires. That danged shovel on the underside really got me stuck fast. After I had gotten dragged out, I checked the underside and realized that the T-Case Skid was packed with mud. The T-case, the tranny, all the linkages were just packed full of mud.

So I started looking around for skids with better clearances and discovered the TT. It may be my first upgrade, as I have been able to tackle a majority of the OHV park that I wheel at. But I would like to get the BB first so I clear the tires I want, so that I can get the TT in, and be done.

As for the Rokmen arms, do I need the ones for CV drive-shaft or non-CV drive-shaft?
 

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firewire79 said:
I wheel in the area that my local club will be driving in. The only thing that is new to me about that area is the fact that I have a Jeep with lockers VS a Chevy Colorado with some 31s on it.........
Okay, so far we are starting out pretty similar. I built a S-10 Crew Cab up to run 33s

firewire79 said:
IThat is in fact how I figured out that I need a TT. I went wheeling the other day, and had to try to go through the mud puddle that everyone else did. :roll: Bad Idea, especially with balding street tires. That danged shovel on the underside really got me stuck fast. After I had gotten dragged out, I checked the underside and realized that the T-Case Skid was packed with mud. The T-case, the tranny, all the linkages were just packed full of mud............
Again, we are coming to the same "end result". I wheeled mine stock over some of the same obstacles that I had traversed with my 3 1/2" lifted XJ, sans lockers. I came to the same conclusion that the shovel had to go right after a MML and a BL.

Same obstacle with a XJ running w/o lockers and the stock Rubi.




Solidly high centered on the cursed shovel with one tire in contact with terra firma.




firewire79 said:
.........As for the Rokmen arms, do I need the ones for CV drive-shaft or non-CV drive-shaft?
The boys at Rokmen know their stuff and I would never hesitate to buy from them. I am surprised at the price difference between Currie and Rokmen, though. To be honest, I hadn't heard of different CAs for CV/Non CV DS control arms. That might be better left answered by someone else with more knowledge.
 

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I lived in WI (Madison area) for about 4 years with my 6" long arm lifted rig with 35s and didn't have any problems. My wheels were tucked inside the fender flares though so I'm sure that helped a bit. Also my headlights have always been aimed as to not blind anyone so I think that also helps. I didn't even notice cops looking strangely at the jeep ... at least in the Madison area.

My only comments are about the disconnects. My FT 6" long arm kit came with disconnects that use pins in somewhat the same style and I have always hated how they tend to make noise sometimes when the suspension moves around on bumps and turns. I have since bought a set of the JKS disconnects and will be swapping them out shortly. I don't have personal experience with them yet but I just like the design better (plus many seem to like them as well which is a good sign).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright.

So I have another question. I know that there will be some nay-sayers, but I want to check first. Can I run a 31 without modding?

The only reason I ask is that I need new tires, like yesterday. Winter is coming, and worn out street tires are not going to cut it. I am still putting money aside for the BB and the TT. And with the upcoming winter weather, I would like to get the tires I want now, and not have to buy tires again in a few months. (Or drive on tires that are too small and look silly once the lift is on.)

I would love to just get my 33s now, and run them, but without a lift, I am afraid that they wont even fit in the wells without having the lift. Or, if they do fit, will get damaged, so I am trying to weigh my options.
 

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31s is what comes with Rubis. You can run them without issue. Those were 31s in the picture of me running the trail stock and getting high centered. I even ran the stock front sway bar disconnected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the tips so far everyone. I just got back from my first official group trail ride, and I was really impressed with the way a stock Rubicon was able to keep up with everyone on the trail. I only had two instances where I didn't make it up on the first try. Mostly due to street tires and not being able to get enough traction.

I did notice an issue that I wanted to bring up so that I can get some more pointers. It seems that besides the t-case skid being low, the gas tank is also very low. I found this out by dragging it on a few rocks. Is there a way to get that up too? The stock skid plate held out just fine, I just would like to prevent the sound of my back-end dragging when I transition from a steep decline to a steep incline.
 

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Yes, you can get better clearance with a raised gas tank skid. You can either research which one to get or get the usual " I have *****" skid and it doubles as a chef or you can dig in deep and research. For "chits and giggles" I like my Savvy aluminum one. I like it but, that is just me.
 

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firewire79 said:
As for the Rokmen arms, do I need the ones for CV drive-shaft or non-CV drive-shaft?
You're in a gray area...best to ask Rokmen for their recommendation.

But for reference, I just installed my lift recently. AEV 3" springs, Rokmen control arms, Rokmen TT, 1" MML (and some other stuff)...

Anyways...I set my rear lowers 1/2" longer than stock to center the tire in the wheel well. Since my drive train is seeing about 5.5" of lift (3" Springs + 2.5" TT), I went with the arms meant for a CV rear drive shaft. To point the pinion at the T/C output, I had my arms adjusted almost all the way in; maybe 1 thread past the locknut.

Since your drive train is seeing ~1" less lift than mine....the cv arms are probably too long for your application. Again, best to contact Rokmen to confirm.
 
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