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Thread: Asking for a friend...no, really.

  1. #1
    NA4WDA
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    Asking for a friend...no, really.

    My bestie and long time co-driver has decided the time has come to get her own vehicle, and her heart is set on a 4 door Wrangler. There are plenty of practical reasons for the Wrangler, but it's more than that. A jeep just speaks to her. The only problem is that she has never owned one before, and neither have any of her friends (including me), so she doesn't have a lot of people who can give her any advice or recommendations with this.

    Given the wide range of jeep owners in this forum, we're hoping the folks here can help us out.

    She wants the vehicle for overlanding and expeditions, more than pure 4x4. She doesn't plan on tackling difficult, technical obstacles with it. The worst our group has encountered so far has been long stretches of deep, gooey mud, and shallow river crossings. The vehicle will be a daily driver for getting to work Mon-Fri, and off road use will be primarily moderate trails like cut lines and abandoned roads, snow, typical grassy or dirt inclines/declines of the remoter areas all over Alberta.

    She is saving her pennies for a purchase planned a year to a year and a half from now. We have some questions:

    -For what she plans on doing, is it worth the extra cost of a Rubicon, or is she better served getting a non-Rubicon and adding an aftermarket rear locker and sway bar disconnects?

    -How difficult/expensive is a 2" lift on a jeep to mount 35" tires? She is fairly short, so a huge lift isn't practical for her. And she doesn't like the look of massive balloon tires anyways.

    -What are the problems in handling and wear & tear on the steering/drive train associated with a 2" lift and 35's?

    -What are the common problems to look out for when buying a used Wrangler?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by BBAW; 12-30-2018 at 03:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Hi BBAW!

    First off - is your friend getting a JL Jeep? or an older JK?

    on an older Jeep, same as every used car - get the history report!
    Check the service history if it has one - if not take it to a mechanic YOU trust for a look over.

    To fit 35" tires on a JK I would go a bit further than a budget lift as the geometry changes a bit for the axle alignment even with a 2" None of the lifts are hard to install but they range from a $50 leveling kit with a puck or $300 budget kit with a few more pieces up to a reasonable $1000 ish actual kit that corrects some of the changes I would look into an AEV setup as there are lifts that are more suited to help with the weight associated with overlanding as well. - Best AEV contact would be Treadhead Garage or 4WPs

    To fit 35" tires on a JL, I would talk to one of the two shops listed above. I think you just need to add a spacer and everything else is adjustable.....

    Don't forget the Gladiator is out in a year..... lol if it would suit your friends needs better?

    Come out to one of the meetings - I don't believe the January 03 one has been cancelled (Rae?)..... and you guys can see a few Jeeps and ask any questions. it is at 4WPs at 6:30 - 8:00pm


    Mike


    The Sahara is a better daily driver (and I have both the Rubicon and the Sahara) and stock with no lift - it has no issues running most overland trails. The lockers run from $700 to $2000 + Installation depending on the style chosen Still less then the $15,000 difference in vehicle price.
    2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "INCOGNITO"
    VA6MUC

  3. #3
    Same comments as Hikermike but there is one more shop i would try. Snow Automotive on 91st street and 39 ave. New owners name is Ian. Tell him Dan sent you if you go. An honest mechanic and really nice guy.
    1985 CJ-7 Custom (Flat fendered CJ,YJ,XJ,TJ...)
    Picked n Parted 1987 YJ
    Sold 1998 XJ
    RIP 1981 CJ-7 Limited Edition Laredo

  4. #4
    NA4WDA
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikermike View Post
    First off - is your friend getting a JL Jeep? or an older JK?
    Absolutely an older JK. Just not in the market for a new vehicle. Thanks to you and DamnCJ for the mechanic tips.

    I'll try and talk her into going to the meeting, like I'm going to look at merch, and there just so happens to be a meeting going on.

  5. #5
    N.A.S.A. Jeep Launch Commander Toy Jeep's Avatar
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    The JK is a good choice if you can stay away from that has being modified already. Get a nice stock one. You will be happier in the long run if you make all the mods your selves. For my wheeling style a Rubicon suites my need better than a lower model. Take your time and get one with all the options you want and in a colour you like don't rush there is always another deal coming along. Jeeps are a very personal think you can modify them in so meany ways that you will find that no two are alike. Whatever you get drive it for awhile take it on some runs then make the changes you want after you have lived with it for awhile. Learn to drive your rig then add the things you need to make the trip more enjoyable as skills and confidence increase it will tell you what it will need.
    Not all who wander are lost
    VE6DKS

  6. #6
    Couple things to consider.

    Running 35ís require 4.10 or 4.56 gears
    A rubicon with auto and 4.10 gears would work with 35ís

    As Mike stated lockers are $700 - 2000 each

    Gears are $500 each front and rear and must be done at the same time

    Labor will be $500-$1000 per axle.

    I have run 35ís and 3.21 gears....my cutch still hates me. It can be done though.

    Rubicon comes with a slightly stronger Dana 44 front axle.

    From my understanding of its intended use axle disconnectís would be a waste.

    Wear and tear on suspension with 35ís shouldnít be bad. Ball joints might wear a bit faster.

    Cheap budget lift is $700-$1500 for 2.5Ē lift + labor (although its very easy to do and most here would be willing to help). Any higher and you might be looking for a new drive shaft as well. Springs, shocks and aev correction brackets would be a simple starting point.

    Only your friend can decide which way is best.

    I went with non rubi and mounted a winch bumper and winch. I still have to put my built diffís in, they are still sitting in the garage. I havent been in any area were a winch couldnt pull me through yet.

    If buying used I donít think the cost difference on the rubi would be that big, however I could be wrong here.

    Kijiji deals on used bumpers/lifts etc can be found. Make sure you know what your looking for in advance though. My springs, control arms and diffís were all used. I got a great deal on them and didnít mind investing some time and money rebuilding joints and doing ball joints etc.

    Just some things to consider-I tried to be unbiased
    Last edited by Reptillian; 01-05-2019 at 01:04 PM.
    2014 JK almost locked and lifted......
    http://www.na4wda.com/forums/garage....e_view&id=2779

  7. #7
    NA4WDA
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    Thanks everyone for the input, the deal is done!

    She made her purchase yesterday, a 2008 Wrangler with a 2" lift and 285x70R17's. All our concern about higher lifts and bigger tires turned out to be unnecessary.
    She's not the tallest in the world, and anything higher than this is a chore for her to climb up in. And the clearance we have on this jeep is as good as what we had on my vehicle, which was fine for our needs. We took it to Treadhead Garage for an inspection before doing the deal, and they were fantastic.

    It's a lot of fun seeing someone drive their dream vehicle for the very first time. Seriously, she has been wanting a jeep for years. There was no sensible, logical reason for it, no hard facts or figures behind it. A jeep just speaks to her soul (I imagine some of you here might know the feeling). There she was, a grown-a$$ woman giggling and smiling like a kid at Christmas. When I get her to a wing's night, she'll be easy to recognize. She'll be the one shining like a 200w light bulb.

    On to the next concern. We have heard that if one mounts oversize tires for too long on the stock tailgate spare tire mount, it will eventually subtly bend and warp the metal causing leaks in the rear door and window.
    We also have some long distance trips up north in mind, and would like to be able to carry two fuel jerries with us.

    Can any money be saved by buying a CAD drawing for a rear bumper w/ swing out tire carrier from Black Widow Gear in NS, and having the assembly cut and fabricated by a local welder? Or by the time everything is said, done, fabbed and powder coated, is it pretty much the same cost as buying the bumper/swing out fully assembled?
    I can price out the fully assembled models, but in trying to price out the cost of a plasma cutter, a welder, and powder coating, I'm not able to do much more than guess work.

    Has anyone here tried the local method? Is it worthwhile?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BBAW View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input, the deal is done!

    She made her purchase yesterday, a 2008 Wrangler with a 2" lift and 285x70R17's. All our concern about higher lifts and bigger tires turned out to be unnecessary.
    She's not the tallest in the world, and anything higher than this is a chore for her to climb up in. And the clearance we have on this jeep is as good as what we had on my vehicle, which was fine for our needs. We took it to Treadhead Garage for an inspection before doing the deal, and they were fantastic.

    It's a lot of fun seeing someone drive their dream vehicle for the very first time. Seriously, she has been wanting a jeep for years. There was no sensible, logical reason for it, no hard facts or figures behind it. A jeep just speaks to her soul (I imagine some of you here might know the feeling). There she was, a grown-a$$ woman giggling and smiling like a kid at Christmas. When I get her to a wing's night, she'll be easy to recognize. She'll be the one shining like a 200w light bulb.

    On to the next concern. We have heard that if one mounts oversize tires for too long on the stock tailgate spare tire mount, it will eventually subtly bend and warp the metal causing leaks in the rear door and window.
    We also have some long distance trips up north in mind, and would like to be able to carry two fuel jerries with us.

    Can any money be saved by buying a CAD drawing for a rear bumper w/ swing out tire carrier from Black Widow Gear in NS, and having the assembly cut and fabricated by a local welder? Or by the time everything is said, done, fabbed and powder coated, is it pretty much the same cost as buying the bumper/swing out fully assembled?
    I can price out the fully assembled models, but in trying to price out the cost of a plasma cutter, a welder, and powder coating, I'm not able to do much more than guess work.

    Has anyone here tried the local method? Is it worthwhile?
    Firstly congratulations on the new Jeep, a stock JK is a very capable off-road vehicle.

    Yes the stock tail gate mount is a weak point and I would go with a swing out tire carrier.

    As for buying a cad file for a bumper and having it built. Well thatís aimed at people who can do the work themselves, labour is the biggest cost and you are not saving anything if you are not doing the work yourself. My work has me dealing with plasma/laser cutting, welding and powder coating and if I were to cost out a project like this (which I have) youíre looking a four times the cost of buying of the shelf, labour and set up charges arenít cheap.

    You can find good deals locally.

  9. #9
    N.A.S.A. Jeep Launch Commander Toy Jeep's Avatar
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    I would like to welcome your friend to the world of Jeeps. I'm on my 5th jeep out of 11 vehicles the jeep have remained with me longer than most of the other vehicles two of those vehicles were trucks to tow the jeeps to and from the trails. Yes having a jeep is a deeply personal thing for some people.

    As for the swing out tyre carrier you are further ahead to buy on ready made like Iron Mike said make sure it has all the features you want from the start.
    Not all who wander are lost
    VE6DKS

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BBAW View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input, the deal is done!

    She made her purchase yesterday, a 2008 Wrangler with a 2" lift and 285x70R17's. All our concern about higher lifts and bigger tires turned out to be unnecessary.
    She's not the tallest in the world, and anything higher than this is a chore for her to climb up in. And the clearance we have on this jeep is as good as what we had on my vehicle, which was fine for our needs. We took it to Treadhead Garage for an inspection before doing the deal, and they were fantastic.

    It's a lot of fun seeing someone drive their dream vehicle for the very first time. Seriously, she has been wanting a jeep for years. There was no sensible, logical reason for it, no hard facts or figures behind it. A jeep just speaks to her soul (I imagine some of you here might know the feeling). There she was, a grown-a$$ woman giggling and smiling like a kid at Christmas. When I get her to a wing's night, she'll be easy to recognize. She'll be the one shining like a 200w light bulb.


    Congratulations!

    I waited decades to get my first Jeep and I still feel the same way whenever I sit in it -on the fourth one now and still have the same feelings.

    I have a custom rear bumper / tire carrier and once it was engineered, material purchased, cut and formed then assembled - finally installed my cost was $1500.00. The friend that designed and built it created 10 to help spread the costs but only selling 6, I do not think he broke even. (it is for sale by the way lol)

    The aftermarket on bumpers and tire carriers is IMMENSE for 2007 to 2018 Jeeps, or to help with costs, there are a great number of previously enjoyed ones available .

    Hope to see you guys at one of the wing nights or club meeting!


    Enjoy it!
    2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "INCOGNITO"
    VA6MUC

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