I have several reasons for posting this:
- To show off my new Jeep JK Unlimited Sahara (of course)
- To discuss the quality of the JK
- To discuss the quality of the TeraFlex 2.5" Suspension Lift
- To finally post my FIRST post after lurking for 6 months!!!
This is my 2nd Jeep Wrangler. My first one was a 1999 TJ with a 5" suspension lift, MT wheels, and loud Goodyear Wrangler 35s.
I loved it, but it wasn't big enough to take my entire family (me + wife + 3 kids) on a trip, so I decided to upgrade to a JK Unlimited. The TJ had the crappy 3.07 rear end, which made 5th gear useless w/ the 35's.
So, I knew to avoid that for the new JK!
2011 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
4wd + 6 Speed Tranny
3.73 Rear end
For my JK build, I decided (after much research) that I would go with the Teraflex 2.5" Suspension lift (w/o shocks), keep the 18" stock Sahara wheels, and pop some 35 x 12.5 x 18 Toyo Open Country MTs on them. My good friend has Toyo OC MTs on his 2000 TJ and they are wearing nicely, and are very quiet (for an aggressive tire). Hence the reason I chose them. Additionally, I added 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers. I also made sure to choose the 3.73 rear end when purchasing the JK (comes w/ towing package) so keep from having such tall gearing once I added the 35s. Eventually, I'll probably upgrade to 4.56 gears to get the gearing closer to stock.
Daily Driver + Some weekend trail riding (but no rock crawling or deep Georgia mud bogging). I was taught to take care of my vehicles, tools, etc., so I can't bring myself to severly abuse a vehicle.
Go ahead, make fun of me...It won't bother me.
I have owned many cars of varying price, quality, and performance. I would even go so far as to say that I have wasted a lot of money on these many cars (but that's another story).
I just have to give Jeep kudos for the quality that I've seen in this JK platform. I am totally impressed with the build quality, paint finish, ride quality, and interior upgrades on the 2011s. I traded my 2007 Avalanche in on this JK, and I'll have to say that I really can't tell a difference in ride quality between the two, and the Avalanche rode VERY well. I think that's what impressed me the most during the test drive. Additionally, I love the sunrider top. It is very easy to open and close (half way open to full open), and the panels are easy to install and have a nice dark tint to them for privacy. I test drove a JK w/ a hard top, but I didn't like the PITA screws that have to be removed on the t-tops, nor the fact that there's no way to store them in the back without getting damaged (short of buying an aftermarket product). Even vettes have mounts for the tops!!!
I would say the power out of the 3.8L V6 is totally adequate, but the only vehicle you might beat in a drag race would be an Xterra (had one of those too!). But, who's in a hurry when you're driving a Jeep? Life is good, no need to speed.
If I could make an improvement going forward, I woud like to see around 30 more hp and 30 more lb-ft of torque or so. That would give me that little bit of extra umpf that it needs.
On the other hand, on my daily commute for the last 3 weeks, I've been getting 20 mpg! I've seen 25 mpg on the highway!!! I can't believe it! So, I'm getting 5 more mpg over the Avalanche. The wife likes that. Again, I don't drive it like I'm in a hurry, because I'm in Jeep coma while driving it (enjoying life). Unfortunately, I'm guessing the mpg will drop a little bit w/ the 35 Toyos (more rotational inertia takes more power + the stock gearing is off).
Anyway, I will have to say that hands down this Jeep JK is my favorite vehicle of all! Once I purchased my 1999 TJ, I got the fever, and I can say that hands down I am a Jeep fanatic now! :
I hope I won't have to deal with any maintenance issues, but if I do, I have the 5 year, 100,000 mile warranty to cover it.
TeraFlex 2.5" Suspension Lift Quality:
I am SOOOO glad that I went with the TeraFlex 2.5" Suspension lift
!!! It took me (and my neighbor) about 7 hours to install it. That was a leisurely 7 hours (I like to trip check everything that I do - I'm a perfectionist) with two jacks and two jack stands, and appropriate tools.
The quality of the Teraflex kit was really good, and once I got it installed, I couldn't believe how incredibly stock it looked. There was nothing half-assed about the kit, and it installed like a dream. This is important as it should reduce the number of reasons to not honor drivetrain warranty items going forward by Jeep.
I was fortunate enough to find many other JKers who had previously installed this kit (or similar kit), who had excellent writeups on the install. So, I pretty much knew what to expect before I got into the install. So, I had a very distinct advantage over them, which is part of the reason that the lift went in so well. If you installed the kit with TF's instructions, you probably spend an additional 1-2 hours on a few items, as the instructions are short of adequate, especially for newbie mechanics/installers. TF could spend a meager 3 hours updating the instructions and it would make it much easier to install (w/o additional forum posts/FAQs).
All of the parts were very beefy, and not one part seemed flimsy or sketchy.
The overall ride is a bit stiffer, but not in a bad way. The ride is still very comfortable, and it seems a little more stable in transient maneuvers. I wanted to keep the stock shocks because I was so impressed w/ the ride quality (so I went w/ the TF kit with shock extensions). I wish I had time to measure the spring rate difference between the stock and TF coils. But I just couldn't wait long enough to get them tested.
Overall, I would ABSOLUTELY suggest this kit to fellow JKers! This kit lifted the front around 3+ inches, and the back around 2.5+ inches. So, this bad-boy sits level now (compare pics above).
I will say that the Sahara side-steps are useful now!!! In stock form, they were kind of in the way, because the JK wasn't high enough to use them, and you had to step over them. However, w/ the new lift + 35s, it comes in handy!
So, I hope this information and pics helps other JKers better decide how to accessorize their JK, as well as point out options that they might not have previously considered! I appreciate everyone's helpful posts...what a great site!!!