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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
kakarak
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Going to start a build on my Rubicon Unlimited. Help?

I've had my 06 Rubicon Unlimited for about a year now, and so far I've kept it pretty stock. I'd like to get started with a lift and new tires, but I'd really like feedback on the direction I'm thinking of heading. I also have a handful of questions I live in eastern North Dakota (the flattest part of the country) but plan trips to the badlands in the western part of the state and go to MT regularly to visit family. I'd say 90% of the fun I'll have will be out in the mud around here and the lake country of MN, but that other 10% when I get to make a trip somewhere is pretty important to me. I'd like to be fairly capable on trails anywhere. The only time the Jeep sees the interstate is when I'm heading somewhere to use it (camping, lake country, etc.) but it is basically my daily driver in the winter. Hopefully that's enough background information, but let me know if I'm leaving something out. Also, here are some pics.

So- after reading up for a few days, I'm thinking of putting on the RE 3.5" SF. Northridge4x4 has it listed for a reasonable price and lots of people seem happy with them so I'm looking at this. There are options for OME shocks for ~$250, but I'm thinking that there may be something out there just as suitable for a bit cheaper? Also, I'd like recommendations on a SYE, CV drive shaft, and adjustable track bars. What would go well with this kit?

For tires, I'm looking at 33x10.5 Interco Swamper TSL radials. I have the stock wheels and tires, so I should be able to put the Swampers on the stock wheels just fine, right?

What am I missing? Does this setup make sense? Any other suggestions?

Thanks for any replies in advance!

kak

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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
JSBlu974X4
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since you have a rubicon you dont need a SYE, youll only need the driveshaft
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Unread 03-31-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
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Don't need a SYE. Things look good, but do a lot of research and read up on a lot of builds first. And, if you're not already a member, join rubicon owners group. Consider your extra wheelbase....you need 35s man.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
kakarak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imped4now View Post
Don't need a SYE. Things look good, but do a lot of research and read up on a lot of builds first. And, if you're not already a member, join rubicon owners group. Consider your extra wheelbase....you need 35s man.
Could I run 35s with only 3.5" of lift?
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Unread 03-31-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kakarak View Post
Could I run 35s with only 3.5" of lift?
yes, its fairly common...just need the right length shocks and the right bumpstops.

heck if you don't mind extensive cutting, you can run 35s with no lift:
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Unread 03-31-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
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I love spending other people's money :-)

First, congrats on owning that LJ Rubi. For those of us who don't care for the new JK, your Jeep is as good as it gets.

IMO, I would stay with the RE 3.5 lift, add a 1.25" body lift (you will be glad later when you start looking at belly skids) and run 35x12.50 tires. You will need to add Spidertrax wheel spacers if you keep your factory wheels. You already have 4.5" Rubi flares (1" wider than most) and those will nearly cover the width of the tire.

Speaking of tires, I know you mentioned Swampers, but I couldn't wait to get rid of my Swamper SSR's fast enough. They were very hard to balance and one tire had separated to the point that it couldn't be balanced any longer. I loved them in mud, hated them on the road and driving in light snow. I replaced those Swampers with Micky Thompson MTZ's and couldn't be happier.

Since you already have lockers and Dana 44's, look at a better cage and a winch, upgrade your brakes and steering, and you are off to a great start.

Good luck!

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Unread 03-31-2009, 12:51 PM   #7
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don't wast the money on the drive shaft. The extra length of an LJ gives you more to work with. I have an '05 LJ Rubicon on 4.5 RE SF with 35 KM2s. Been that way for 35K miles, no issues.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 01:51 PM   #8
kakarak
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Thanks!

Thanks for all the suggestions. This is my first time wrenching on a Jeep, or for that matter, doing any sort of lift- so I appreciate it.

It sounds like all I really need to get started is the lift kit, new shocks, and the adjustable track bars. I'm considering the suggestion to move up to 35s now, but I do want it to ride fairly well on roads. I wish I knew someone close by with an LJ and 35s...
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Unread 03-31-2009, 06:33 PM   #9
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For the RE lift, consider getting the SuperFlex 4.5 kit and substituting 3.5 inch springs. It is a more complete kit.

As for shocks, look at Bilstein 5100's. I have them and really like them.

Personally, if I owned a Rubicon LJ (many days I wish I did), I would do a 3.5 lift, 1 inch body with a tummy tuck and 35's. Of course, that means gearing and brake upgrades are in your very near future.

I am guessing there is some sort of budget involved (mine is my wife....), using the 3.5 lift and 33's is a great set up and pretty darn capable.

Check out rubicon owners forum. A very nice site and a lot of well versed rubicon folks over there and if I remember correctly, a few people from your neck of the woods.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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Read my build...I'll be running 35s. Ask if you have any questions....but you're lucky to have that extra length so you won't be running into as many driveline issues. But, your belly is more at risk, so you may want to incorporate a tummy tuck into things.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 10:32 PM   #11
kakarak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elwood View Post
For the RE lift, consider getting the SuperFlex 4.5 kit and substituting 3.5 inch springs. It is a more complete kit.

As for shocks, look at Bilstein 5100's. I have them and really like them.

Personally, if I owned a Rubicon LJ (many days I wish I did), I would do a 3.5 lift, 1 inch body with a tummy tuck and 35's. Of course, that means gearing and brake upgrades are in your very near future.

I am guessing there is some sort of budget involved (mine is my wife....), using the 3.5 lift and 33's is a great set up and pretty darn capable.

Check out rubicon owners forum. A very nice site and a lot of well versed rubicon folks over there and if I remember correctly, a few people from your neck of the woods.
I think you're right, and I'm going to re-prioritize my list / order of doing things.

1. First up, I think I'll go with this. The Rokmen armor package 3, which includes a BL and MML. I've read through some builds and other LJ owners who think it's a fairly complete armor setup. I think I'll also look for diff armor. Agree/disagree?

2. RE 4.5" lift with the 3.5" springs. I found a place that includes RE mono-tubes, so I think I'll go with that for shocks.

3. 33x10.5s. I don't think I'll be able to put the 35s to use where I'm at, and it has to remain a viable daily driver for now. With the lift I'm doing though, that option to move up to 35s is always available, right? Now I'm looking for good 33s- I want them to be skinny, so any suggestions?

Of course, there is a budget but I want to do it right. I'm still unmarried, though, so my budget is largely based on what mods I want to accomplish on the LJ vs my Audi TT vs my bike
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Unread 04-01-2009, 03:13 PM   #12
kakarak
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Well, I just called and talked with Jeff at Rokmen. I ordered the up armor package 3, and I'll go from there. It seems like a good first step.

He did try talking me out of the RE lift kit, and going with a 2-2.5" kit instead. I'll have to think about it some more.

~thanks for everyone's help
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Unread 04-01-2009, 03:38 PM   #13
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Hey kakarak, I wish I could help you more, but as you know from my PM earlier I am still stock too. What you described for your needs are fairly similar to mine. I suppose thats because we only live 80 miles apart.

I think you made the right choice by sticking with 33x10 tires. Actually if you keep your MOAB rims you will be using a 255/85/16. Thats actually closer to a 34" tire. This is the route I would like to go as well if I can swing it in the future. I think for driving in mud and snow the narrower tire will really help you a lot. So I would stick with the 255/85/16 on your Rubicon rims. You might rub at tight turning and need some Spidertrax wheel spacers. But they can be added at any time.

Also check out BDS (http://www.bds-suspension.com/) lifts. From my reading on this forum and on Rubicon owners forum I have determined that this is one of the best lifts available. I think its the only lift I've never read a bad comment on. A lot of people complain the RE are too stiff and rough riding. The OME gets a lot of praise on this forum, but over on the rubicon owners forum people complain about the springs sagging.

Just thought I'd share some of the info I have gathered. Of course none of this is from experience but its all from reading the forums and dreaming over the years. So take it as such.

I think you would have a very nice setup with the BDS 3" and a 1" body lift to fit your Rokmen up armour. I'm sure this would give you plenty of room for the 255/85/16 and even a 35" tire in the future. But again I would recommend staying with something narrow for the snow and mud. Not only will the narrow tire cut through the snow/mud better, you shouldn't have to re-gear. You might have to regear with a 35" tire. And in reality you would only gain about a 1/2" of clearance under the differential.

Good luck, I think your on the right road. I'd love to see your Jeep when you get it done. As soon as this snow is gone we should get together and go to Spider Lake (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/trail_detail.html?id=27) or somewhere.
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Unread 04-01-2009, 03:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBlu974X4 View Post
since you have a rubicon you dont need a SYE, youll only need the driveshaft
shouldnt need a driveshaft on an LJ with only 3.5 inches

Id say the 3.5 RE and a 1.25 BL and 35's with a little trimming and proper bumpstops.

although your gearing might suffer with 35's

I run 33's, auto and its fine, but on long hwy trips I wish i had something a little deeper than 4.10

although 4.88's and 35's are in the VERY near future for me
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Unread 04-01-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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just buy everything on this website: www.rokmen.com
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