Just installed coil spring retainers in the front- upper and lower from iro. These are required for hard wheeling disconnected with iro 3" lift and bilstein (probably others) shocks. I have to go back and weld the uppers in because the iro ones are not robust enough- no fault to them, just need to weld a bit. I also installed upper and lower front coil spring isolators. Finally got around to measuring fender to hub- 21" front, 20.75" rear. More pics to come- I'm jeep beat for now.
Adding some more pics. First is of the wj washed, with painted overland sliders (end caps removed), bf Goodrich mud terrain km off rubicon 255/75-17 (32.1" new, but mine has 20-40% tread), and front bumper cover removed. Ready to wheel. 2nd pic is at tierra del sol desert safari wheelin.
First pic is disconnected, flexed and turning. You'll see I am rubbing metal, so just cut that piece off where the red line is in the 2nd pic. You also want to relocate the washer bottle and take the fender liner out. 3rd pic is trying to go over the small obstacle that broke my front drive shaft and ended wheeling for the day.
If you run disconnected, you'd need to extend the bump stop 3", relocate the washer bottle, trim that metal (all it did was hold the washer bottle on one side). I'd also suggest wheeling without the front bumper as you may take out the fog lights ( not sure though because i never wheeled with the jk takeoffs and bumper on). If you wheel hard, depending your shocks, you would need limiting straps or coil spring retainers. I got into some good spots wheeling where I was, but you could be fine if you don't get in those fully flexed, twisted positions.
I will be doing the coil spring retainers for sure, I already have the pipe to make them with. If I jack up from the front body the springs practically pop out connected! I don't know if I would go for the takeoffs if I can't run the front bumper, seems like a pain to have to remove it to wheel and don't want to go with an aftermarket bumper.
Don't let the bumper removal deter you from the takeoffs...it's all of five bolts. Before my bumper build I had the removal down to 5 minutes, and then you're also guaranteed not to crack the plastic on a tall rock/stump or by kissing the ground in an off-camber situation.
I would have to relocate front license as well or re and re the bumper trailside. So I guess you have no real problems with the takeoffs connected as far as rubbing or hitting water bottle, fogs? Also in your opinion is there more of an advantage in going from 30.5" tires to 32" or in wheeling disconnecting if it becomes a choice?
X2 on the ease of removing the bumper. Then you drill one hole and zip tie the license plate. Two bolts to take the bumper off, two more for the front license plate. Not sure if you will hit the fogs or washer with 32's connected. If properly bump stopped, i really doubt you'll hit them. The 32" tires are a good size and from what I gather, about the max you can run with effective vari-lok axles. If it weren't for not having an easy place to put the spare, I would run 32" tires full time. After spending more time in the offroad community, which is very limited, I concede that the wj will only get you so far until something breaks or requires much more cash. To me, 32" and mild wheeling is about as far as I want to go / spend. As it sits, the rig iis still very capable off and on road.
I guess I am not too big on building a vehicle where I can't wheel at all without removing stuff. So if wheeling, swaybar connected would result in killing my fogs. I think I'd rather stay with 31's I don't mind removing the front bumper for bigger trips when I would disconnect. Kind of a good idea.