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Unread 08-26-2003, 03:24 AM   #1
jmbrowning
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Dragged my butt on John Bull trail (need help with clearance)

Well, I went on my first off-roading trip ever with my 2 month old Rubi. A cousin of a friend suggested that the John Bull Trail would be a fun ride. Fun it was (not my pictures but you get the idea). "Just like a little Rubicon trail", my friend (2.5L YJ 6" SOA on 35's) said, "just like your Jeep." My Jeep is a stock 03 Rubi. I shrugged and thought to myself, every Jeep is tested on the Rubicon so this should be no big deal.

I managed to demolish my stock rear bumper (fortunately Bulletproof Mfg just came through with a replacement) and polished quite a few boulders with my undercarriage.

Well, I got high centered fairly hard on my crossmember and rear driveshaft (that makes a hell of an ugly sound when you press the gas). Had to break out the HiLift jack for that one and do a little road-building with the missus.

Got home and decided I definitely needed more clearance. Not sure what the most cost-effective way to do this was.

Initially, I had thought of increasing clearance with Off-Road General Store ACOS spacers or the Fabtech budget boost with adjustable spacers and try to shove some 33's on the Moab rims. I figure the adjustable spacers will always be useful as I fool around with putting the hardtop on/off, bumper, winches, etc. Do I absolutely need to go with a 1" body lift also to run 33's? I think body lifts in general look terrible and raise COG. Would I have to go whole hog and also get the motor mount lift and TC drop? Would I need a SYE for the 03 Rubi?

Then I figured perhaps I could just get away with better skids on the underside. They would probably raise clearance at least an inch (same as 33's maybe more when aired down). Are there any skids out there that will improve clearance without having to do body lifting? Need lots more information on skids and what they require. I will definitely be adding control arm skids as I scraped those boogers pretty hard. Oddly, the differentials didn't take too much of a beating (at least on the front) as the wife helped pick out a good line.

Anyways, to summarize should I go with a 3" budget boost with the ORGS ACOS (they make rears now) and 33's (+/- BL, MML) or should I invest in lower profile skids. Thanks in advance for all your advice and kind thoughts...yes I am still sifting through the archives (lot harder with the search function only going back a few weeks!)

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Last edited by jmbrowning; 08-26-2003 at 03:27 AM..
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Unread 08-26-2003, 04:39 AM   #2
blkTJ
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Well I guess the real question here is what are your long term plans. Here are some thoughts...

If you want to run 33s without rubbing I would start looking at 4" kits. This will most likely require a CV driveshaft with adjustable upper rear control arms or a TC lowering kit. I wouldn't think you'd want to lower that Rubi skid any more than it already is.

Most 4" kits come with LCAs that won't bend as easily as the stock ones do, so there is no need for the skids you mentioned.

regardless of which lift you go with you will need new shocks.

Belly up skids generally call for body lifts or severe modification to the tub. I also understand that the Rubicons need a body lift to use the Kilby/4xdoc gas tank skids which give an extra 1" of clearance in the back.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... going with a spacer lift is only a temporary fix. Although the cost seems appealing now... it won't when you replace it for something else in a year (or less). If you go with a 4" lift and 33s now, you can easily modify it later when you want to run 35s, or as I've learned... maybe you should just build for 35s to begin with.

just my $.02.
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Unread 08-26-2003, 10:28 AM   #3
igofshn
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I agree with Brian. Look into a spring lift. Even look into 3" and a 1" BL/MML. This will easily clear 33's and you won't need an sye/cv drive shaft. The BB is only a bandaid for what you really need.

Also, John Bull isn't a minnie Rubicon. It isn't even a gravel pit compared to the Rubicon.
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Unread 08-26-2003, 10:33 AM   #4
Owen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igofshn
I agree with Brian. Look into a spring lift. Even look into 3" and a 1" BL/MML. This will easily clear 33's and you won't need an sye/cv drive shaft. The BB is only a bandaid for what you really need.

Also, John Bull isn't a minnie Rubicon. It isn't even a gravel pit compared to the Rubicon.

I would do a 4" lift and 1" BL and run 35"s. the Rubi comes stock with a fied yoke so all you would need is the driveshaft. A BB is a total waste of time IMO. Also get yourself some armor if you are going to run rocks. I learned this the hardway.
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Unread 08-26-2003, 09:16 PM   #5
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igofshn
I agree with Brian. Look into a spring lift. Even look into 3" and a 1" BL/MML. This will easily clear 33's and you won't need an sye/cv drive shaft. The BB is only a bandaid for what you really need.

Also, John Bull isn't a minnie Rubicon. It isn't even a gravel pit compared to the Rubicon.
A 3" susp lift and a 1" body lift will easily clear 33's and and you can add a 1" spacer if you decide to go with 35s. With TJ and probably a rubi once you get around 4" of lift you may have some steering issues.

John bull is too tough of a trail for a beginner but I think a stock Rubi should be able to make John Bull with little problem.

Ross
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Unread 08-28-2003, 10:35 AM   #6
Jeepin_Jeffster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross
A 3" susp lift and a 1" body lift will easily clear 33's and and you can add a 1" spacer if you decide to go with 35s.
Ross, Did you add your sye before or after this setup? I'm wanting some bigger meats & currently have the 3T + 1" BL. I'd like to do 35's, but don't have the $ for the sye right now. What do you think? And, do you have pics of your ride? Thanks, Jeff
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Unread 08-29-2003, 08:45 PM   #7
Bachman
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My 2 cents would be to save you lunch money. You have entered the Jeep world now, Just Empty Every Pocket . The skid plate idea is a good one, Nth Degree makes a belly up skid that does not require a body or motor lift. Don't waste money on buget boosts, wait until you can afford a good quality suspention lift. 4 inches is a good start for 33's. My best advice is Jerry B's mantra, DO IT RIGHT OR DON'T DO IT AT ALL.
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