So after a hiatus from Jeep ownership I am finally back in the fold. I just picked up a minty low mile 2005 Rocky Mountain editon.
Anyway, I am looking to move on a lift and tires very soon. I have lurked and searched and read a whole lot on here and remain a bit unsure on a few things.
First off, I am building a trail rig/DD. This is NOT to be a hardcore rock crawler! I am also on a budget as I just bought the Jeep and I am in the process of buying my Dad's 1996 but like-new (seriously) uber low mile Ford F250 Powerstroke.
The tire size I have decided upon is 33x10.50R15 and I am looking at the new BFG mud terrain as the tire of choice. I am looking at the 10.50 for several reasons. They weigh less so they should (hopefully) have less effect on power and mileage as I do not intend to regear yet. They should fit on the stock wheels which I would like to use (How much, if any, wheel spacer would I need for that?). I have been able to do nearly everything I tried to do on 31"s so far so and height has usually been the sticking point.
I do plan on adding the SYE and CV DS as I just don't want to mess with the cheesier ways of solving that problem.
I don't want a locker in the front unless it's selectable. That is probably not in the cards ($$) now so I am leaning toward a detroit tutrac LSD. I have never worked on a differential before so I am really in the dark there. Is that something I could do or is that something I would need to have installed? Would I want to just wait until I regear or can I do that anytime?
For lifts I am looking at entry level systems that are upgradeable over time. I think I want to avoid body lifts at this time. The reason being that over the years this Jeep will likely get bigger and I would rather not throw one lift away to buy a bigger one. If I go all suspension lift now, upgrade it over time, then I can just add a BL when I want to go bigger. I am looking real hard at the RockKrawler 3.5" and the Rubicon Express 3.5". I like that the RK comes with the adjustable track bar and yeilds closer to 3.5" of lift. Most report the RE at 4.25-4.5" which would seem to be overkill. Thoughts? What do the more complete systems offer over the entry levels in the real world?
I know I didn't ask a lot of specific questions there but any holes you see in my logic please let me know. Any lift, tire, or diff suggestions are aprreciated. Especially by those that have used several. I am just trying to get a plan laid out that I can start working towards.
You have a good plan. RK and RE have good reputations, I think you will be happy with either. I think you should also look into a tummy tuck while your doing that SYE and new driveshaft. It would be easier to do all at one time. I'm sure you know, but you will need rear upper adj control arms to adjust the pinion angle. I'm not sure if the RE or RK kits come with those. As for a locker, you might want to look into an automatic locker up front, such as the Aussie. I know your probably concerned with it being a DD, but to tell you the truth, I do not notice mine at all. Good luck, keep us posted, and start ordering!
The most common stuff that I see people go with, starting out is probably 4in basic lift with 33x12.50 on stock or after market wheels. The basic kit usually consisting of springs, shocks, relocation brackets and transfer case drop kit. You can get by with this and add to the 4in as you can. That meaning, long arms, adj short arms or what ever you choose. The 3.5 kit would be a good starting point too. I would do some searching and check out some LCG threads. As far as the tires go, I cant imagine that there would be a huge savings in $$$ on gas mileage. The Detroit Trutrac is a good choice when going for a lsd. Once you learn to manipulate it with the brakes, you will find it will help you a lot more than people will give it credit. I would probably wait until I was ready to re gear to add the Trutrac.
Sounds like you have a great plan started. I'll try to help you further it with your budget in mind. Since you already have the SYE and CV shaft in the plans, I would definitely look into a high clearance skid plate, aka tummy tuck. This will make a huge difference and will give you the underbody clearance equivalent to having 37s on the stock skid. Also, since you're going with a SYE, you probably already know that you'll need a minimum of upper adj. rear control arms to adjust the pinion angle. As long as you have those, you'll be able to adjust your pinion angle for whatever changes you may make, including a tummy tuck. I would take a hard look at Rokmen for pretty much all of your needs. Awesome control arms, awesome skid plates, and you can purchase an entire body lift/MML/tummy tuck kit as well. Very nice products and they only carry the best stuff. As for the lift, I'd just go with a solid 2.5" suspension lift. Combined with a small body lift, you'll be able to fit 33s and 35s with no problem, maintain a nice ride due to the low control arm angle, and maintain your wheelbase without having to purchase adjustable lowers, even though they are VERY nice to have. I'd take a serious look at Rough Country for their new 2.5" kit. Great ride, excellent price, excellent quality. Combine the 2.5" lift with a 1-1.25" body lift, MML, tummy tuck, and 33s and you'll have a very nice performing rig.
I'm a huge fan of the thinner tires. I run 35x12.50s but think 33x10.50 AT's or MT's look and perform great. My buddy Dave (dmcastino) is rocking 33x10.50 BFG AT's and they are damn good performing and looking tires.