So here's the Jeep plan for the next year or so. It's been on my mind a lot recently and I needed to write it all down.
I'll be working up in Boston starting this summer and will have a chance to get out and wheel with the local guys (Sax, 2003x, etc) and really want to break her in before I go all out. I need to make up for 2 years of not being with the Jeep. Luckily having my Audi as a DD when the gas prices go through the roof more-so than they already are will allow me to work on the Jeep and put a little excess money towards it.
The things that I see as necessary involve fixing problems that exist now, and incorporating modifications that will make the TJ stronger as a whole and more equipped for surviving New England weather conditions. It will be strong enough to support itself off-road, and be available in the situation that recovery assistance is needed for myself or for fellow Jeepers. I've assembled a list of what I intend to do to make sure that all of this is possible.
- SYE/CV Driveshaft ($400)
- Ford 8.8 Rear Axle ($855)
- XJ HP30 Front Axle ($300)
- UCF Transfer Case Skid - fixes welded shovel skid ($250)
- Rokmen Trail Corner Guards ($150)
- Re-weld front bumper mounts (n/a)c
- Build swing-out tire carrier (n/a)
- Chassis Saver for frame/axles/undercarriage ($100)
- Rustoleum on bumpers ($3)
- Monsterline/Chassis Saver tub interior
- Rivet floor panel replacement sections
- 35x12.5 BFG All Terrains ($750)
- ZJ Tie Rod Upgrade ($70)
- Steering Stabilizer ($40)
- Complete brake overhaul, self install ($200? - down the road)
- Motor Mount Lift, brown dog/jks ($100)
- 1 or 1.25" body lift ($125)
- Rough Country Adjustable Uppers - rear ($100)
- Spray paint soft top/roll bar to black again ($3)
- Wire electronics relay box/switch box
Total: somewhere around $3,000.00 - the 2 axles and tires taking up most of that.
So the tires won't be for a while, maybe not even until after next winter, depending on how the 31s look at the end of this fall... I don't want to be stuck with bald tread in a foot of snow. The axles I get will be with 4.10 gearing as it's all I can afford at this point, and I'll run 35s on those until the money for a re-gear (and need for a re-gear) is really there. I've been driving with 31s on 3.07 which isn't ideal but it's been possible so I'll just have to fix that problem when it arises down the road. I've talked to a bunch of guys on here who run 35s on 4.10 and have all said that it's really not that bad at all. Looking at gear ratio charts for 5 speed 4.0s, they show 4.10 gearing at around 2200 RPMs at 60 mph, which is in their "good fuel economy" section. I don't see it as worth dumping the extra $400 to have ECGS re-gear the 8.8, then either paying to re-gear an HP30 or meeting in the middle ground and buying an LP30 with 4.56 (which do exist locally, believe it or not). 4.10 shall be fine, since it will still be running 31s for at least a few more months.
Thoughts and suggestions welcome as always. And things change, so we'll see how this all works out down the road.