2011 JK Unlimited Tan Sahara + Teraflex 2.5" Suspension Lift + Toyo Open Country M/T - JeepForum.com
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Unread 06-27-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
jeeppeeps
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2011 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Acworth, GA
Posts: 6
2011 JK Unlimited Tan Sahara + Teraflex 2.5" Suspension Lift + Toyo Open Country M/T

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!

JK Details:
========
2011 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
4wd + 6 Speed Tranny
3.73 Rear end
U-Connect
Sunrider Top

Build Details:
=========
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.

Usage:
=====
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.

Before pics:
=========


After pics:
========



JK Quality:
========
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!!!

Jason

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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Tan
2.5" TeraFlex Lift Kit (w/o shocks)
35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country MTs
Stock Sahara 18 x 7.5" wheels / 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers
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Unread 06-28-2011, 05:29 AM   #2
JeepUAE
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: UAE, abudhabi
Posts: 73
Nice ride Jason,I was going same as your route sell the TJ and get a 4dr JK,the 2011 JK interior is awesome they really improved it from the inside.
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Unread 06-28-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
jeeppeeps
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2011 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Acworth, GA
Posts: 6
Thanks JeepUAE! Yeah, I was totally blown away by the interior fit, finish, and design. I ordered a calibration unit to calibrate my speedo, etc. It will arrive tomorrow, so hopefully I will have some updated mpg information within a week or so to share.

BTW, my entire family loves the JK. Kids play in it as much as they did the TJ!
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Tan
2.5" TeraFlex Lift Kit (w/o shocks)
35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country MTs
Stock Sahara 18 x 7.5" wheels / 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers
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Unread 06-28-2011, 04:15 PM   #4
Dino03TJ
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Glenwood Springs, CO
Posts: 75
.

Last edited by Dino03TJ; 06-28-2011 at 04:17 PM.. Reason: dup post
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Unread 06-28-2011, 04:16 PM   #5
Dino03TJ
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Glenwood Springs, CO
Posts: 75
nice ride jeeppeeps. Looks really agressive (stance compared to stock), I like!
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Unread 06-30-2011, 08:11 PM   #6
jeeppeeps
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2011 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Acworth, GA
Posts: 6
So, I received my ProCal module, and it worked like a dream. My speedo and mileage are back to normal.

I also had some interference between the 35's and the lower plastic bumper/frame cover (whatever it's called) when close to full steering lock left/right. So, I got that trimmed up, and now it clears nicely.

After 4 days of driving, I started to hear a rattle in the rear when going over bumps, an figured I either had a lose sway bar link, or track bar. Sure enough, after wiggling various components around, I found that my lower axle track bar bolt was loose. I'm very thorough with everything I do, so I was surprised that it was as loose as it was. Got that tightened back up, and now there isn't any rattle.

As for gas mileage, my awesome 20mpg has gone to around 17mpg. Plus, there was a larger than expected power loss. So, I think I might be updating the front/rear diffs with 4:56 or 4:88 gears sooner that I expected. I knew that the Toyo Open Country M/Ts were some of the heaviest tires available, so that means more rotational inertia, which means it takes more power to spin them up. When you combine that with a larger wheel radius, and no diff update, well...I can't say that I'm surprised by that much of a mpg drop.

Speaking of that, I have a question...I know for my TJ, I had to update the diff carriers to update to a larger ring/pinion. Is this the same case for the JKs? Or, did the engineers do us a favor when they designed the carrier, and allow us to simply update the ring/pinion gear? I would appreciate some suggestions with respect to this.
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Tan
2.5" TeraFlex Lift Kit (w/o shocks)
35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country MTs
Stock Sahara 18 x 7.5" wheels / 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers
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Unread 07-16-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
OregonVette
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: , Orygun
Posts: 1,456
Bump... How's the Jeep progressing?
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Unread 07-16-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
BAMAJK
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2009 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 631
Your Jeep looks awesome! I'm planning on upgrading to a 4 door in the next year or so and I'm really starting to consider going with the tan. Thanks for the inspiration!

As for the carriers, you can run up to a 5.13 gear in the stock D30 and D44 carriers IIRC.
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Unread 07-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
jeeppeeps
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Acworth, GA
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Thanks guys! Oh, I'm really loving this JK...Took the family (5 of us) on a trip this weekend, which was mostly highway miles to the destination. With these 35's and the stock 3.73 rear end, I was getting 19.2 mpg at 65mph. Around town, I've gone from 19.5/20 mpg on my daily drive to 17mpg. So, adding 35's dropped the mpg by about 3/4mpg. But, 19mpg with 35's and stock gearing isn't bad at all if you ask me.

I can't decide whether I should upgrade the gearing in my diffs to 4.56 or not. It's going to cost about $1800 (parts + labor + a 3 year warranty) for 4 wheel parts to do it. It's kinda stupid...I spent $2500 on a lift/tires to get 3/4mpg worse, and to get that 3/4mpg back, I need to spend another $1800.

Anyway, I'm very happy with the Toyo Open Country M/T tires. They're very quiet for an M/T tire. The manufacturer specs said that were true 35s, so I programmed that size into the JK's computer using my ProCal module. However, I noticed that the odometer was reading a larger than normal distance on certain trips, and the speed seemed to read a little fast. I went an measured the "effective" radius of the tires when sitting in the garage (with weight on wheels), and I came up with an overally driving diameter of about 34 inches. So, I reprogrammed the JK using that value, and the odometer seems to measure distance correctly now. This is important, since if I had left it, the Odometer would have read more mileage that is actually on the vehicle, which would affect the resale value.

I thought I was going to get bragging rights the other night (about 11:30pm) when a friend of mine called to get me to come help his brother-in-law unstuck from out of the mud. However, his front wheel drive Toyota Corrola didn't have any tow hooks in the front, so I couldn't yank him out. I ended up using the jack out of the JK, along w/ some scrap lumber I brought to jack the vehicle up, put some wood under the tires, and get him out. Don't ask how he got it stuck...you wouldn't believe me if I told you...but it did involve taking directions from his GPS a little too literally.

Later guys!
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Tan
2.5" TeraFlex Lift Kit (w/o shocks)
35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country MTs
Stock Sahara 18 x 7.5" wheels / 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers
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Unread 07-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
jeeppeeps
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Acworth, GA
Posts: 6
Oh, and BamaJK, I confirmed with 4WheelParts that since I have the 3.73 stock carriers, I don't have to buy new carriers to go up on gearing.
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Tan
2.5" TeraFlex Lift Kit (w/o shocks)
35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country MTs
Stock Sahara 18 x 7.5" wheels / 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers
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Unread 07-17-2011, 02:31 PM   #11
jeeppeeps
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2011 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Acworth, GA
Posts: 6
One last point...I did have the lower track bar bolt loosen up, and rattle a little bit, so I had to retighten it. But other than that bolt, I haven't had any issues w/ the TeraFlex suspension (and that was my fault for not properly tightening the bolt). The ride is still very nice (I kept the stock shocks), so I would still suggest this kit to anyone looking to do a 2.5" suspension lift.
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Tan
2.5" TeraFlex Lift Kit (w/o shocks)
35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country MTs
Stock Sahara 18 x 7.5" wheels / 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers
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Unread 07-19-2011, 09:45 AM   #12
EW200
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Uppsala Sweden
Posts: 4
oh yeah my dreamcar!
Will be following this thread!
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Would like a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 3,8 Sahara. So badass!!
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