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Unread 08-25-2009, 11:12 AM   #1
outlanderbz
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Direction advice for my "newb" build from the experts

What I Have Now
I have a 2002 Wrangler Sport 4.0L. The only changes I have made is I now have a Skyjacker 2.25" Budget Boost + 1" Body Lift w/ 33" goodyear duratrac on 15x8 cragar soft 8's. I needed new tires so I knew I wanted to go to 33's, this is why I went the cheapest route I could to get my 33's.

What I Use It For
It is not a Daily Driver, My wife and I use it to go geocaching, camping and hiking which involves taking it on basic trails, local roads and highways. I also want to start going to the cliffs and badlands which are offroad parks in my area, IL. I have not done that yet, I am a newb.

Things I Have Read That I Wonder About
I currently have a D30 front and a D35 rear w/ 3.07 gears. I know many have said that 33" with 3.07 would be bad but to tell you the truth, it isnt bothering me for just driving around. I am usually light on the gas pedal whenever I drive anyways. I do however assume that the 3.07 and D35 is going to kill me when I start to go to these offroad parks, correct?

Or should I focus on getting recovery gear or other items? Should I just start going to these parks and see what happens? see what I need, or is it a given the a D35 with 3.07 just will not work and I should focus on changing those?

If I don't need to worry about the 3.07 and D35 for now then what do you all recommend, focusing on the tub itself, fixing up some of the spots that may become rust problems years down the line.

I have also heard people focus on tracbars, swaybars, disconnects, armor, etc. I am very confused.

from all of your years of experience, what would you do? I am asking in hopes to do things once, do it right and not waste money, even though wasting money always happens! hehe.

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Unread 08-25-2009, 11:56 AM   #2
hyperboarder
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The gears might get to you when wheeling, but the stuff around here isn't huge. If you can afford a regear, do it. If not, wheel it until you think you need to do it. I'd get some recovery gear regardless, as much as a winch if you want to. Swaybar disconnects are a good idea and pretty cheap, if you're happy with your lift, just do those and be done with it. Otherwise enjoy the Jeep!
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:02 PM   #3
outlanderbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperboarder View Post
The gears might get to you when wheeling, but the stuff around here isn't huge. If you can afford a regear, do it. If not, wheel it until you think you need to do it. I'd get some recovery gear regardless, as much as a winch if you want to. Swaybar disconnects are a good idea and pretty cheap, if you're happy with your lift, just do those and be done with it. Otherwise enjoy the Jeep!
After buying the tires, I cant afford much right now but I am a planner and like to know what I am saving for in my Jeep fund.

I havent looked into disconnects or even what they actually do yet but have seen people talk about them while I spend my work days reading these forums. I do want a winch at some point.

I am enjoying my Jeep a lot, it is so much fun going out and doing geocaching, hiking, mtn biking and other things with it. My wife even loves it. I just wanted to see what everyone thought I should focus my next "obsession", as my wife calls it, on. I am happy with my lift and tire size for now and see being happy with it for a while.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #4
gcfishguy
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Disconnects replace your front sway bar links. Rather than solid links, they come apart, allowing you to disconnect the sway bar from the front axle.

Driving down the road, the sway bar cuts down on body roll by keeping the entire front axle level compared to the body. That's great for driving down the road, but when you're off-road, you want flex.

Translation - you have one front tire in a low spot and the other on a high spot...being able to flex will let the axle droop so the low tire has traction, and the high tire will be stuffed up into the fender. All tires will be still biting and have traction.

If the sway bar is still connected, the same situation will force the jeep body to move as well (trying to keep the front axle lined up with the body. This will cause the low front tire to hardly touch, resulting in little or no traction. Because the body is trying to stay in line with the front axle, it will be tipped and will pick one of the rear wheels off the ground.

You've likely experienced it already..you get the front axle tilted left and the rear tilted right, and all of a sudden you stop going forward and two kittycorner wheels just spin and you're asking yourself "What the heck am I stuck on..??"

Being disconnected in the front allows both axles to be able to 'reach' further, to keep all 4 tires on the ground.

Some just remove the links completely, but a quick highway swerve and thing will get squirrley.

Disconnects, or the proper term, Quick Disconnects, allow you to pop the links apart when you get to the trail and reconnect them after the run before you get back on the road.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
RubiconRazorbac
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Where are you in Lake Co.? A re-gear around here will run you $1000-1200 parts, labor, 1 year warranty. With 3.07s and 33s, a re-gear would feel like you got a new vehicle.

Swaybar disconnects aren't expensive and are easy to install. You may want to disco your stock links with zip-ties a couple of times so you'll know how the Jeep handles and what disconnecting the anti-sway bar does.

Armor is a great investment. Everyone will have a different opinion, but I would get something to protect your oilpan and gas tank. Those are very vulnerable components that hang low and can ruin your day if they are compromised. Yes, the TC skid hangs up, but at least it provides some protection.
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Quote:
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Your shaft isn't long enough to handle that kind of droop...
My build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ru...thread-792423/
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
TheBoogieman
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Swap in some axles with 4.10's from a 4 cylinder if you don't like the 3.07's once you try it offroad.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:39 PM   #7
outlanderbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiconRazorbac View Post
Where are you in Lake Co.? A re-gear around here will run you $1000-1200 parts, labor, 1 year warranty. With 3.07s and 33s, a re-gear would feel like you got a new vehicle.

Swaybar disconnects aren't expensive and are easy to install. You may want to disco your stock links with zip-ties a couple of times so you'll know how the Jeep handles and what disconnecting the anti-sway bar does.

Armor is a great investment. Everyone will have a different opinion, but I would get something to protect your oilpan and gas tank. Those are very vulnerable components that hang low and can ruin your day if they are compromised. Yes, the TC skid hangs up, but at least it provides some protection.
I am in the Grayslake/Hainesville area but work in the Vernon Hills and Lake Forest area. Do you know of any good spots with Jeep knowledge to get things such as gears worked on?
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
outlanderbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcfishguy View Post
Disconnects replace your front sway bar links. Rather than solid links, they come apart, allowing you to disconnect the sway bar from the front axle.

Driving down the road, the sway bar cuts down on body roll by keeping the entire front axle level compared to the body. That's great for driving down the road, but when you're off-road, you want flex.

Translation - you have one front tire in a low spot and the other on a high spot...being able to flex will let the axle droop so the low tire has traction, and the high tire will be stuffed up into the fender. All tires will be still biting and have traction.

If the sway bar is still connected, the same situation will force the jeep body to move as well (trying to keep the front axle lined up with the body. This will cause the low front tire to hardly touch, resulting in little or no traction. Because the body is trying to stay in line with the front axle, it will be tipped and will pick one of the rear wheels off the ground.

You've likely experienced it already..you get the front axle tilted left and the rear tilted right, and all of a sudden you stop going forward and two kittycorner wheels just spin and you're asking yourself "What the heck am I stuck on..??"

Being disconnected in the front allows both axles to be able to 'reach' further, to keep all 4 tires on the ground.

Some just remove the links completely, but a quick highway swerve and thing will get squirrley.

Disconnects, or the proper term, Quick Disconnects, allow you to pop the links apart when you get to the trail and reconnect them after the run before you get back on the road.
thank you so much for this explanation, it was clear and to the point. I learn something everyday!
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
outlanderbz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
Swap in some axles with 4.10's from a 4 cylinder if you don't like the 3.07's once you try it offroad.
What are the easiest and best ways to try to come across these? I did a quick search on ebay, craigslist, etc and couldnt find much info. I wouldnt even know where to begin to look, what to check when I found them and how to install them.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
TheBoogieman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outlanderbz View Post
What are the easiest and best ways to try to come across these? I did a quick search on ebay, craigslist, etc and couldnt find much info. I wouldnt even know where to begin to look, what to check when I found them and how to install them.
For what you're planning on using your Jeep for,I would try it out and see what you think about regearing.It might suck.I've never even driven a Jeep with 3.07's.Everyone has their own tastes and wheeling habits.Some people want 4.88's for 31's.I didn't listen to anyone's advise and went with 35" MT's on an open D35 rear.Gearing was decent enough not to spend the money.I was planiing on a regear and S35 kit when I broke the rear.It never broke in the 2+ years I drove it before selling it.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
BlueTorch
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If you want to chat about the Jeep call me at the shop. I will be happy to talk over the pros and cons of what you need to do. I can also provide you with some parts you may need. For items I dont offer I can tell you were the best place to find it is.

Thanks
Dan
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Unread 08-25-2009, 01:39 PM   #12
STW
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Originally Posted by outlanderbz View Post
Or should I focus on getting recovery gear or other items? Should I just start going to these parks and see what happens? see what I need, or is it a given the a D35 with 3.07 just will not work and I should focus on changing those?
Not sure if this is what you meant, but just to be sure--the D35 and 3.07 gears are separate problems. The stock D35 would be marginal with 33s no matter what gears are in the diff, and the 3.07 gears would be too high for 33s even in a stronger axle.

Sounds like your current set up is working well for what you do now, and you could explore the trails in the parks a little, but it would be best to link up with local club for this, so you could have some company, help if you get stuck, and an opportunity to learn the best line, and other stuff you're interested in.

Like the others said, the best thing to save for now is a re-gear and addressing the weak D35 axle. This could all happen at the same time, either with a Super 35 kit at the time of re-gear, or with a stronger axel with lower gears. When you do this, it would be a good idea to install a locker for the rear axle too, or front and rear at the same time you regear. Gears and weak axles aside, lockers are one of the next things on the build list, along with amour and recovery. Lockers tansform a Jeep's capability, but choosing one you want to live with takes some looking into. And don't lock that D35 till you beef it up or change it out.

Armour can depend on your trails and obstacles so you might want to see what's there first and what others use on your trails.

Recovery stuff seems like a good idea early on since you're going on trips into the outback on your own (one vehical). A winch with the right self-recovery tools and skills is key for anyone traveling alone, even on non-technical trails.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 03:51 PM   #13
camper49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outlanderbz View Post
.....fwhat would you do? I am asking in hopes to do things once, do it right and not waste money, even though wasting money always happens! hehe.
I recommend you use the internet to find a local, family oriented jeep club. Attend a few club functions and look at some of the member jeeps. You can decide later if the club atmosphere is for you or not, but I'd bet you'll benefit from it initially. They typically have a constant flow of "new" members with the same learning curve ahead of them that you have now.

I'd be another one to vote that you do want to plan on gearing your axles to match your tire diameter. I don't think there's only one correct decision for 33" diameter tires. You would usually consider your transmission, the topography of your area (hills or flat), and the amount of time spent driving at speed on paved roads vs. trail rides in the woods using four wheel drive.

I'm in flat florida, I daily drive my jeep, I have the 6 cylinder and 5 speed transmission, I have 33" tires. I have 4.10 gears and they're fine for my use. I bought axles already geared because I felt it was the best way to address not only gear ratio, but also upgrading the original axles. I'll probably go to a deeper ratio eventually as I learn more about the hobby and absorb some of the expenses.

I'd also suggest you try to hold off on purchases until you feel you've studied up on your options. Many times the stuff that looks cool turns out to be a waste of money.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
Swap in some axles with 4.10's from a 4 cylinder if you don't like the 3.07's once you try it offroad.
^that. It's called a $500 regear

Quote:
Originally Posted by outlanderbz View Post
What are the easiest and best ways to try to come across these? I did a quick search on ebay, craigslist, etc and couldnt find much info. I wouldnt even know where to begin to look, what to check when I found them and how to install them.
all you are doing is replacing the complete axle assembly. Nothing messy to it.
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Unread 08-25-2009, 07:23 PM   #15
outlanderbz
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thank you for all the suggestions, I know that a D35 and 3.07 are two different things, I just assume I will take care of both of them when the time comes.

These forums have been great and I find myself just reading them all the time, learning and listening to others experience.

Just out of curiosity, what does it cost to just go and get a D44 w/4.10 to replace my d35 rear and then 4.10 for my d30 front? I know people have said $1000-$1200 to regear but what about adding in a D44?
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