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!)