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Unread 09-07-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
battman
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Expedition Jeep Topic

I rarely get a chance to visit this forum, but today I happened to be reading a few threads about expedition vehicles here and thought I would start a solid thread.

Much of what I have read here on JF about expedition vehicles has been really out in left field. Some people like to call their Jeeps “Expedition Vehicles” just because they have a GPS in them or because they have a safari rack. This as we know is not what it’s all about. I have also seen a lot of Jeeps labeled as expedition vehicles and they have 3-4in BL’s, 35’s or more with stock gears, towing a makeshift box, etc.

So, since there is not a bunch of accurate information, lets get some rolling for the readers and newbies who trust JF for some solid no flaming information.

Here is my 2 cents….

Knowledge from Expeditionportal.com and pirate4x4.com

Something you may want to consider here are highway manners and highway fuel efficiency. A lot of people on the internet seem to So you want to build a big fancy expedition rig, while the people I see “actually out in the real world exploring” are, more often than not, in pretty basic vehicles with minor optimizations for their style of travel.

While everyone's definition of expedition differs, our road systems (and what's legal to drive in the US) are fairly consistent. Skinny tires, 33-34" diameter and with a less aggressive tread pattern will typically get you farther, more safely, more comfortably, and on less fuel than a full blown competition rock crawling tire. Leave the TSL’s for hardcore mud or fancy mall crawler. Lighter weight axles will provide more comfort and longer fuel range - remember that expedition is not a speed sport or a show-off sport, you don't need 600 ft-lbs of torque or axles that will tolerate it, because under 99.9999% of conditions you're going to be trying to avoid wheelspin or heavy throttle in the first place.

I could go on but simply put, more real people in the real world have done more "expedition" in 2wd stock pickup trucks than all the web wheelers put together, so if you think you need a V8 and 1 tons and 37's to explore the countryside, you're doing it wrong & grampa with his pickup truck just clowned you.

This is only to illustrate how exploring and overland travel differ from other things people do with 4-wheel-drive vehicles like "muddin" and "rompin" and "rock crawlin" and such. It would be an act of nonsense to trailer an expedition rig, for example (which I have seen 17 rigs on this forum labeled as “expedition vehicles” and were pictured being towed to places such as UT, CA, NM, SD, etc )... Highway manners and general efficiency are more important than beefy axles, big mall crawler tires, V8 power, etc.

General Knowledge:

“Expedition Rigs” – Long trips (not just a quick camping trip. Rig will need to be able to stand up to many miles of travel, many terrains, and the possibility of being out of touch from civilization for many days…etc Expedition Rigs more often than not have 5 day supply of food, water, fuel, etc…also survival gear, camping gear, and all tools to make on the spot repairs.)

“I Look forward to reading other peoples input…hope this information guides those interested in the right direction (expeditionportal.com is a great source).




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Unread 09-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
Dronac
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This is exactly how I am building my JK. I wan't a capable offroader that can stand for LONG distance travel. Stuff like week long trips through Canada. Thats why I chose 33'' Duratrac tires and only a 2'' lift.
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Unread 09-07-2010, 02:08 PM   #3
battman
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Exactly....thats a great start to a great expo rig. Keep it rolling ....
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Unread 09-07-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
Howland
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I'm crawling this thread
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Unread 09-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #5
95yj_bstick
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although i only have a yj, which means not much storage space, i do not plan on building it way up, but i do plan on keeping it well for long trips, so that means maximizing space that i have. like an expedition rig, it will have to improve gas mileage and such, i hope this thread will provide some answers for me and others like me.
33's being the tire of choice(9.5 or 10.5 wide), with a 4.0, what gears would be most efficient? (3.07, 3.73, 4.10?)
i've never put more than 12 gallons of gas in my tank, am i correct in saying it is a 15 gallon tank?(with 3 reserve gallons?)
any other ways to increase range of our vehicles?
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Unread 09-07-2010, 07:41 PM   #6
Dronac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95yj_bstick View Post
although i only have a yj, which means not much storage space, i do not plan on building it way up, but i do plan on keeping it well for long trips, so that means maximizing space that i have. like an expedition rig, it will have to improve gas mileage and such, i hope this thread will provide some answers for me and others like me.
33's being the tire of choice(9.5 or 10.5 wide), with a 4.0, what gears would be most efficient? (3.07, 3.73, 4.10?)
i've never put more than 12 gallons of gas in my tank, am i correct in saying it is a 15 gallon tank?(with 3 reserve gallons?)
any other ways to increase range of our vehicles?
For the JK, I think 4.10's at least would maximize gas mileage.
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2008 Jeep JK X: auto trans, 3.73 gears, D44 rear, D30 front
Mods: 2'' Rusty's coil lift, Superchips 93 octane tune, Cobra 75 CB radio, 33'' Duratrac's, onboard air compressor
My Build Thread! ---> http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/dronacs-build-thread-1104134/
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Unread 09-07-2010, 08:30 PM   #7
battman
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Lets break this down and try to answer some of your questions. First off...I am not an expert so I am going to do my best.

Tires - There are benefits to both skinny and wide tires 33x9.5 tires are skinny...not a real common tire size you see being run and on the shelf in your local Pep Boys, Sears, etc. 33x10.50 is another tall some what skinny tire. Most of what you see is the 33x12.50. I myself prefer a little bit of a wider foot print while offroad. But this is preference. Just make sure that the tire you choose will be the right fit for your journey's and mechanical performance (wide/tall tire more often than not means the offset of the wheel needs to be adjusted...most common adjustment is wheel spacers or wheels with correct offset for you application...beware of wheel spacers...locktight..locktight...locktight). A long time ago I was given some advice about offroad and tire choices. For expo rigs choose a tire that can be purchased at a common tire shop or auto supplier. Example - a tire like BFG. Most tire places have 33x12.50's on the shelf and ready to go to get you up and rolling and that spare back on the swing away and your rig back on the trail to nowhere land. Furthermore, most expo rigs you will find have a mild MT or an All Terrain tire being run.

95YJ bstick,

Lets break this down and try to help you out.

Gears - 3.73 are not bad while running a 33in tire. But if your going to go the extra mile why not go the extra mile for a little more bang for the buck. 4.10's in my eyes would be better bang for the buck. And more importantly...if your doing a gear swap save the money and do lockers at the same time. Installing the gears, lockers, etc is often a task most turn to an offroad shop for assistance...this can be a little pricey. If that is the route you go, first way some options. In this situation I would be comparing prices to see if it would be just better to find a complete Dana 44 instead of the 95's stock 35. Its all about wallet size with stuff like this. Not to mention the old "Do I really need this for what I use my Jeep for".

Gas tank - The 95 YJ came stock with a 15 gallon tank. However, there are ways to convert the 15 gallon tank to a 20 gallon tank...for that information check out the following thread - http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/a...2-hour-516115/

If you decide to go with a 15 or 20 gallon gas tank that is a personal decision. More importantly is the fact that on a real long trek in the back country you are going to need more gas than just 15 or 20 gallons. Where to put this? We all know what a jerry can is...and there are many applications for this. But more importantly I would like to say, "Do not store gas inside your Jeep!" I have seen people do this first hand and its a bad idea. Store the extra gas the right way and the safe way.

Increasing range of Jeep - There are many ways to do this. For example Installing a larger K&N brand high flow style air filter (or something similar) in your Jeep can improve performance and increase fuel mileage at the same time! Another common option for long haulers ...Jeep Performance Chips thrusts power-releasing tuning on your engine. You’ve already got your Jeep thing going, you can rev it up with more horsepower, torque and even improved fuel economy. A fuel chip for your Jeep monitors your Jeep’s performance for better fuel efficiency. Specify your particular power needs with much-needed custom-tuning. Jeep Performance Chips hook up in minutes and returns your engine to factory settings once unplugged. Also small things like tire pressure can assist in long halls (fill as close to max PSI) rating. I mention tire pressure (as simple as it may seem) because a lot of folks don't pay attention to their tires....tire pressure is important in many areas. There are many more options...just do a little reading around the forums and the ideas will fill your notebook or scratch pad.

I hope this sheds some light on your journey to building your jeep.

If anyone feels I have made an incorrect statement, please correct it as need be and help preserve the straight forward knowledge we are trying to provide in this thread.
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Unread 09-07-2010, 08:59 PM   #8
fishinjeeper
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I am currently building a trailer due to my TJ with 2 dogs just does not have the room to store all the essentials. I do not have mondo axles however I do have safari rack. I installed the safari rack for more room with my dogs. but I have been going on longer and longer trips. my next will be 2 weeks form now and I will be going out for a week and a half. Being out a week and a half, I expect I will need to get gas twice and I will carry two 5 gallon gas cans. I agree that you dont need 1 ton axles, or a lot of these things that are said usually.

I have built my after time and time of going camping and realizing what I need. I believe most people should do this for a few reasons.

1. If you go put everything on your jeep that you think you need but dont, or have read about and got it because someone has said so this could bring you issues. Issues being that you wasted your money and are not going to utilize what you bought. Or a safari rack for instance, may get in the way or you may never need it or may get in the way of your future modifications.

2. The reason why I built mine the way I did is because time after time of wheeling and long trips or expeditions, I realized what I needed. Some might think I have done too much to mine, but everything on it is there for a reason and gets used.

3. I would love 1 ton axles and things like that, but if you are wheeling alone on a expedition, you shouldn't get going that extreme. That leads to fail. If something happens, you have no cell service, and who knows where people will be to help you. you have now set yourself up for failure and being pushed into a survival situation. when people think their vehicles or jeeps are invincible, they push them beyond the drivers comfort level or beyond his experience level in most cases.

4. Always bring things for survival, map, compass, water, food, FIRST AID KIT, knife, fire starters, adequate clothing for the conditions or environment.

The link below I posted over in December. A great example of the need to be prepared, and not go beyond you or vehicles capabilities. He was found deceased a few days later.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f161/...issing-921149/

Be safe everyone, this is a great thread.
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Unread 09-07-2010, 09:28 PM   #9
battman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishinjeeper View Post
I am currently building a trailer due to my TJ with 2 dogs just does not have the room to store all the essentials. I do not have mondo axles however I do have safari rack. I installed the safari rack for more room with my dogs. but I have been going on longer and longer trips. my next will be 2 weeks form now and I will be going out for a week and a half. Being out a week and a half, I expect I will need to get gas twice and I will carry two 5 gallon gas cans. I agree that you dont need 1 ton axles, or a lot of these things that are said usually.

I have built my after time and time of going camping and realizing what I need. I believe most people should do this for a few reasons.

1. If you go put everything on your jeep that you think you need but dont, or have read about and got it because someone has said so this could bring you issues. Issues being that you wasted your money and are not going to utilize what you bought. Or a safari rack for instance, may get in the way or you may never need it or may get in the way of your future modifications.

2. The reason why I built mine the way I did is because time after time of wheeling and long trips or expeditions, I realized what I needed. Some might think I have done too much to mine, but everything on it is there for a reason and gets used.

3. I would love 1 ton axles and things like that, but if you are wheeling alone on a expedition, you shouldn't get going that extreme. That leads to fail. If something happens, you have no cell service, and who knows where people will be to help you. you have now set yourself up for failure and being pushed into a survival situation. when people think their vehicles or jeeps are invincible, they push them beyond the drivers comfort level or beyond his experience level in most cases.

4. Always bring things for survival, map, compass, water, food, FIRST AID KIT, knife, fire starters, adequate clothing for the conditions or environment.

The link below I posted over in December. A great example of the need to be prepared, and not go beyond you or vehicles capabilities. He was found deceased a few days later.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f161/...issing-921149/

Be safe everyone, this is a great thread.
You bring some very good points to the table here!

2 things you said speak very loudly in my book.

1. Building your Rig as time goes on. Learning what you need by experience.

There is a thread on here reference "mods you would not do again". If you get into Jeeps there will be mods you do and regret. Normally because you just liked the way it looked or someone told you to do it.

2. Being able to repair your rig when needed. (Love this line)

If you have ever been 30 miles or more away from civilization and broke down you know it sucks. Stress sets in for most of us....even more when alone. I always try to wheel with another rig by my bumper....but sometimes we all like to get away on our own. Being able to repair your vehicle to a point where you can limp it out of no man's land is important. Its even better when the part that is broken can be purchased in town so you can continue your journey as planned.


Storage was something else you mentioned. I have always been a big fan of organized storage. I have seen folks jam gear in and its falling out the sides...this is unsafe. Organized gear means safety...as a driver you need to make sure your folks on board are safe. Nobody wants a metal cooler slidding forward and smashing them in the head. Same thing with proper storage of heavy items. I have seen many Jeep owners bolt a high lift jack above their heads in a jeep...not a great idea in my book...seems more of a conversation piece at the local sheetz....that is until you get knocked out by it. Also, in this situation it seems like a pain to remove in a pinch.

There are so many things to consider when building a real expo rig....the list can go on forever. But...But...an expo rig is a tool...its built to get you from point a to z safely.
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Unread 09-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #10
battman
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Here are some examples of some great Expo rigs....some are mild and some are over the top. Regardless they are good examples....

Notice in this photo the mild to no lift (could be good or could be bad depending on the owners decision on trips). There are some key items here (winch, secured overhead storage...not sure about the plate directly below the winch...but that is obviously in the way)




Here is a great Expo vehicle....done with attention to detail for sure.




I love this next rig...so many things to point out. You can see it for yourself....the tent is just amazing...would love to take a walk around this rig up close.




Now, we dont see the insides of these Jeeps. So they may be all show and no go. Whats on the inside counts just as much as the things you see on the outside. Yes, these are more hardcore Jeeps than most of us will ever own....but its a great tool to get a view of whats out there.
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Unread 09-07-2010, 10:29 PM   #11
battman
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Here is something interesting. Earlier on in this thread we talked about spending money on the items needed. I seen this rig and started picking it apart the other day. This rig reminded me a lot of my previous build. I will admit right now in front of you all that at the start I had the mind set that "as long as my jeep looks tough it is tough." Sadly I was wrong...alot of money wasted down the toilet. Looking back I would have done a whole lot more research and a whole lot more thinking before purchasing. But hey, we are all guilty of buying before thinking.

In this photo notice the following...(Note: not flaming this owner ....just making a point)

1. No winch! Obviously this Jeeper has plans to possibly brave deeper water (i.e snorkle). But if the water gets real deep there is no winch to help out. Also, notice there are rock sliders...expensive item...as an expo jeep I would have gotten a winch first. Warn winch logo/tagline is ("go prepared")...something to say about that little saying!

2. Lighting - When out in the middle of nowhere additional lighting can be your best friend. Sometimes that lunch break puts you traveling to your next point in the pitch black....some added lights would help with saftey.

3. Very minor - Front bumper has eye loops for d-ring's...but I don't see any. I would have paid the little bit of cash to add them.

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Unread 09-07-2010, 10:30 PM   #12
fishinjeeper
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The LP on the front clips on to the roller fairlead. just clips off
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Unread 09-07-2010, 10:35 PM   #13
battman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishinjeeper View Post
The LP on the front clips on to the roller fairlead. just clips off
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Unread 09-07-2010, 10:41 PM   #14
fishinjeeper
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Here are some pictures of my jeep to maybe give some examples or ideas. Any issues of opinions, positive or negative are welcome.
1 Wilderness rack with 2 150 watt spots, 2 alley/side facing lights, and 2 rear lights.

2 Drop down tail gate which is a nice place to sit for a break and eat lunch. it also works great as a table for a stove or to eat.

3. 2 more 150 watt spots that are mounted near the mirrors.

4. I also have "Rock Lights" under my jeep. however, it seems I use them more as camp lights when you are not trying to totally wreck your night vision with a bright flashlight or the over heads, they provide a nice amount of light on the ground to see.

5. HAM amature radio in case I do get stranded somewhere. has MUCH better distance then a CB.

6. Winch, just in case.

7. Axe and Shovel mounted on the drivers side of the wilderness rack, and Hi lift mounted on the passenger side.

8. loyal dogs that always keep me company







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Unread 09-07-2010, 10:42 PM   #15
fishinjeeper
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