As I am planning out my build I believe I have decided the direction I want to go with it. I know for sure that I want to use the Poison Spyder DeFender XC fenders with the 3" tapered flare, and in the back I'll use the crusher corners with the 3" DeFender flare. That clearance should give me the ability to run 37" tires with the same size lift I have now (3.25" susp., 1.25" BL = 4.5"). I'll be installing the Rock Krawler X-Factor plus long arm upgrade kit that I bought, as well as the 8.8 soon. After that I'll work on regearing the front to 4.56, which should work well with my 3spd auto. As far as when I'll be purchasing the fenders & wheels & tires, I'm still working that out, but I believe I have narrowed my wheel choices down to these two in 17"...
First, the Raceline Raptor 981 black in 17x9. This wheel would be $200 cheaper overall.
Second, the Method NV305 black in 17x8.5.
And these tires.... Nitto Trail Grappler in 37x12.50x17
One thing I want to be sure of is the stance it will have with the new wheels. The stance I like and prefer is what I had on my previous YJ, a 10" wheel with 3.75" backspacing. Because these 17" aren't available in that backspacing, the only option I have is to use spacers. The backspacing on the Raceline Raptor is 5" so if I used a 1.5" spacer, that would essentially put the backspacing at 3.5", which I'm comfortable with. Or I could buy the wheels in the 5x5 lug pattern and utilize the adapters that I am currently using on the JK Moab wheels I'm running, giving the same stance.
On the Method NV305 wheels, from what I can tell, you can't get the NV in 5 on 4.5, so I'd have to use 5 on 5 with the adapters. That wheel has a 4.75" backspacing, and with the adapters that would put the backspacing at 3.25".
I am leaning towards the raceline's because I like its looks best, and it is cheaper, but I'm not set on it 100% yet. I know one thing - it is exciting to have things coming together. The Sheriff's Jeepfest ( http://www.sheriffsjeepfest.com/
) is coming up the weekend after Labor Day weekend, and I plan on attending that event. I believe it is the largest event that takes place in Georgia. I'm not sure if I can get the 8.8 and long arm kit on by that time, but I'm going to try.