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Unread 06-26-2014, 12:14 PM   #1
Hudson3
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Armor, bumpers 1st?

2dr JK Rubi, 2"bb on 35's. Trails I will be running are 3.0-4.0 on a 5 is impassible but for with winch and destruction system.
If you guys were starting over on a budget and could only armor a bit at a time, where would you start?
I am coming from a low cog XJ that was armored to the hilt... I feel naked with the stock Rubi.

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Unread 06-26-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
jwmbishop
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You are on it - if you cant (or don't want to) lift enough to CLEAR the rocks - armor the belly and drag with winch. And bumper is kinda required for the winch (kinda - At least that's why my wife approved the budget item )

Worked for me! I was at 2.5 and got the 3s in SLORP without winch and needed winch on two of the 6 4s I ran (but so did my friends TJ with a 4.5 Long and 37s, so I don't feel bad). I went to 3.25 by adding a puck to the 2.5 springs and will see how that works Aug 3 at Rubicon Jamboree!
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Unread 06-26-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
222Doc
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If you do plane to run 4's in AZ you need all armor under and sides. I mean a 4 hear is harder than todays Rubicon. They have blasted and filled that trail into submission. For hard in CAL go to Fordyce.

5's are not impassible(meant for Crawlers and very well built Jeeps), just not easy. I think on most 4"s you going to need more lift in AZ and the jeep will get beat up rather fast. It is what it is. on 3"s you should cruise. The trouble with many 4+ trails is wheel base and a 2d make some very sketchy situations.
3.5+ AZ trails
Be sure to get a good motor skid. The stock gas skid wont hold up long. Mine is a trail wreck and holds less fuel now. You need dif skids. The stock tie rod bar wont last, i would bet that it gets bent on the first 4 you get on, they are so poorly made for this type of wheeling.. You need a good front and rear bumper. The front will see a lot of crashes from below so get a good front lower skid. This happens when backing off tall falls, to change lines. You will need a good metal fender flairs mainly rear. gets rough on those trails....
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Unread 06-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
Hudson3
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Ya, My 2.5" Lift XJ on 33's was pretty beat running 3.5, and very rare 4.0... but like I say was well protected... body was shot, doors no open/close, no way for glass to go up and down...
Now, I'd like this rig to stay much nicer than that... maybe even stay "sorta nice".
So;
Motor Skid... and from what I read Evap skid would go hand in hand... suggestions??
Gas Skid... suggestions?
Diff skids and obviously real covers go hand in hand... I'll go Ruff Stuff for cover, but who for skid?
Tie rod bar... care to recommend?
Bumpers... thinking AE front and Poison rear.
then metal flares... suggestions?

Does anyone make a flat belly / belly up plate? Assume dbl cardan drive shafts would be on the menu if so... ?
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Unread 06-26-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson3 View Post
2dr JK Rubi, 2"bb on 35's. Trails I will be running are 3.0-4.0 on a 5 is impassible but for with winch and destruction system.
If you guys were starting over on a budget and could only armor a bit at a time, where would you start?
I am coming from a low cog XJ that was armored to the hilt... I feel naked with the stock Rubi.
1. Engine skid
2. Rock sliders
3. Front Bumper
4. Rear Bumper
5. Corners

*I would trim the fenders immediately. Will enable them to rip off without causing damage if snagged.
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Unread 06-26-2014, 10:52 PM   #6
222Doc
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relocate that vapor box.

I have good luck with the synergy tie rod and have went to all their stuff for front steering and bracing track bar etc. ball joints the whole system. Not cheap but man has it made the steering better and front very solid even after about a year of banging on it. I lost my tie rod on Lonesome cove. I went with our hard core buggy group and was the only jeep that day. it was a rough day for me. bent that tie rod up to big frown. found out why AEV drop brackets are not hard core. folded that like a taco. what a waist of money that was i run currie lowers and synergy uppers all JJ's.

Bell up/ Flat belly Jk. My project after the summer run on the Dusy and our Desert Splash our club runs every year. This is no easy job like a TJ. 2d ever more so. Its not a bolt up work. Here is my plan. First thing you need is a Currie anti rock rear. Next you have to two ways to remove the stock fuel tank as it is main reason that the Jk hangs down. One place it where the Tjs do pre government mandated. Few ways, one a GenRight 10 or 20 gal fuel and skid made for the Jk. OR put in board, fuel cell. Personal i need the room. BUT if you plan to stretch it than you must use a on board. Now that the main things are gone. this will also need a complete exhaust redo. My plan is a real dual exhaust. since the fuel tank is gone we can now dump the Ypipe and that stupid trumpet.

Next is the trick stuff. you have dump the stock trans mount. it takes up 2 inches. The trans can be moved up 1" before it hits but i think on my rubi it will need a blister in the metal. To mount the trans you need relocate the rubber mounts to the frame and fab a cross over that has a flange to grab the trans bolt holes were the stock was. I plan to use a few stock front lower control arms as the trans mount cut welded to fit witha 1/4 plate to pick up the trans.. I knew i saved those for something. Then we have to fab a cross brace. you can buy the one from Gen right, but it is made for a triangulated 4 link and is welded in place right behind the Tcase. Makes working on that very hard later. My plan is to fab up a box beam that is bolted to the frame, By having brackets welded on that then bolt to the cross member. Now we just need a 3/8 of chunk of alloy 6061 or better again Gen right makes that too but it starts at 1700$ for the 6061 and is like about 3k for the 70xx. I can buy that metal for cheaper and cut it myself for much less. You do not want to mount thetrans to the plate. my thinking... hey all this is just my thought and i am SURE i will run into issues.......but hey that half the fun.

You ever come up to parker we have a bunch of 3+-4.5's that are all very close and you can hit like 5 of them in a day. from easier to harder. Presidents choice 3+/ Rio Lobo 4/ Duke and Duchess 4.5 Deliverance 4 /3 falls. as well as a few 3-3.5's all in like a 5 mile area.

My jeep lost it virginity on Lonesome Cove a 4.5 and Rio4. no plans to try Lonesome again its just not really for a full body jeep with out at least 108+ wheel base and 40"s. and be ready to trash it.

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Unread 06-27-2014, 07:26 AM   #7
HappyTrails
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I think everything has been covered pretty well with the advice already given.

The only thing I would add is to skip the metal flares, and simply trim the stock flares into flats (Sawz-All). Plastic flexes, metal bends. If you really **** them up, then buy cheap replacements on CL or e-bay. On those trails, it sounds like you are going to have quite a challenge, and the fenders are going to meet granite.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 07:37 AM   #8
Hudson3
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222Doc,
Thanks for all the info.
With the JK out for as long as it has been I'm surprised no one has made a belly up kit. I'll mark that off my list as I'm not going for all that fab work.
4.0 is as far as I will go, but having never had a swb Jeep before I'll start off with 2.0 to get a feel, and likely be into 3.0-3.5 on the next run. 4.0 will not happen until the armor is complete.
I think I'll take care of steering and underneath first.
Thanks for your help, I'm off to check out synergy.

Happy,
It's funny you mention that, I've been pondering the same thing.

Mike H.
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Unread 06-27-2014, 09:22 AM   #9
222Doc
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well in AZ plastic wont cut it on flairs. why waist 500 bucks on bush crackers. GOOD metal fenders are like having rock sliders on the fenders. Just be VERY sure the metal ones are reinforced to frame and tub. Ones like Poison spider/Metal Cloak/Gen right/Nemesis etc. about 1k for a set. when the plastic folds you are now on the jeep quarter panels and AZ rock loves to eat bodies as you know.

Genright does make the belly up kit(not a bolt up)and its a la carte . you are looking at about 5k+ total parts. and the cross members is made with the triangulated 4 link brackets. For me i wont be stretching it. I need the rear area on our 2d for our long trips and camping on the Rubicon or Dusy and Fordyce. i am at 18" belly right now and if i get the belly up done it will be close to 21" that is just on 35"s. would make a sick two door...
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Unread 06-27-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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Just to chime back in - Az rocks are rougher on a JK than AR/TX/NM/UT/CA rocks? What is that from? Higher Meteorite content? lol

Rancho glides work real well on the front - the rear self skids somewhat - but a lip ring or a good cover protects it from ripping open. if budget gets tight theres a place you can skimp for a short while....

The rear ctrl arm/shock bracket is a VERY vulnerable place. As the bracket does not have a lip like the front does - it catches and bends real easy. I peeled the passenger side open the first time I hung the RR on the rocks. Once that happens fixing it is very hard (I drove with it peeled for about a year before I noticed stress cracks around the bolt hole and HAD to address it). For the 100.00 bucks I highly recommend a good skid there BEFORE you do any damage. The synergy rear ctrl arm skids can be bolted on and taken to a muffler shop etc for welding later - but serve their purpose just bolted.. however as it adds thickness to the ctrl arm bracket - any track bar relocator that uses that bolt will have to be slightly modified - or the rear end will be forced to the drivers side 1/4 inch.

Two years ago we had a blast running around that area. Spent a week and ran from Blyth to Mohave and a ton of places between. Even though it was 113 degrees and two of the old folks in our group almost died from heat exposure (one of them hospitalized for two days)...
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Unread 06-27-2014, 03:59 PM   #11
222Doc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwmbishop View Post
Just to chime back in - Az rocks are rougher on a JK than AR/TX/NM/UT/CA rocks? What is that from? Higher Meteorite content? lol

Rancho glides work real well on the front - the rear self skids somewhat - but a lip ring or a good cover protects it from ripping open. if budget gets tight theres a place you can skimp for a short while....

The rear ctrl arm/shock bracket is a VERY vulnerable place. As the bracket does not have a lip like the front does - it catches and bends real easy. I peeled the passenger side open the first time I hung the RR on the rocks. Once that happens fixing it is very hard (I drove with it peeled for about a year before I noticed stress cracks around the bolt hole and HAD to address it). For the 100.00 bucks I highly recommend a good skid there BEFORE you do any damage. The synergy rear ctrl arm skids can be bolted on and taken to a muffler shop etc for welding later - but serve their purpose just bolted.. however as it adds thickness to the ctrl arm bracket - any track bar relocator that uses that bolt will have to be slightly modified - or the rear end will be forced to the drivers side 1/4 inch.

Two years ago we had a blast running around that area. Spent a week and ran from Blyth to Mohave and a ton of places between. Even though it was 113 degrees and two of the old folks in our group almost died from heat exposure (one of them hospitalized for two days)...
Well trails in Cal tend to be rounded smooth boulders that slippery as hell IE Rubicon, Dusy, You know them.

Az is more a conglomerate of types of rock that tend to fracture in sharp chunks. The harder trails tend to be very narrow that force the line. He is talking 4 rated. that is hard here. You must have lockers at least 35"s and willing to damage your rig. I have only done one 4.5 and now try to keep to just 3.5-4, unless i am feeling Iron man. We went to run Truman's Revenge a few months ago it is 4.5 but our lead jeep blew his front ARB into bits. The trails is to narrow to get around and NO go around. So by the time we got him backed out enough to check the front and pull axles hoped that is was just a axle. he carries spars as most do on a 4 and up. It was toast and would not go forward with out making horrible sounds. we could hav removed drive shaft and stubbed the carrier bearing but we just sent one guy to get a trailer and trail it home. Ended that day right there. Hind site for me might have been a good thing....Truman's is no picnic.

sharp rock


Utah is sand stone if we are in Moab. Its rough but in a sand sort of way, great traction. But hardly sharp.

Few people wheel in the day in this heat its just to hard on the jeep and if you break fixing it in a 115+ can as you said lead to serious issues.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 09:14 AM   #12
Hudson3
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thanks all.
Holy crap, JK equipment is wayyyy more expensive than XJ equipment!
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Unread 07-03-2014, 10:02 AM   #13
Maertz
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diy armor is dirt cheap...i think front/rear and b pillar armor costed me 78 bucks for all 1/8 plate. Then maybe another 70 to do all my tranny/engine skids..id do that and put the bigger purchases into upgrading driveline strength.....
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Unread 07-04-2014, 03:35 PM   #14
Hudson3
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I understand that.
I have no interest in doing metal work, nor do I have room for it.
I used to do all my own mechanic work (built 2 motors, built a go fast car etc.) but much more enjoy my time with wife/dogs/mountin bikes etc.)
Seems everything I look at for the JK is double that for what XJ stuff is... oh well right?
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Unread 07-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
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They do tend to gouge JK parts. That is why when i go the belly up i will only buy the fuel tank and antirock 2k+ just for that. the rest will be home brew.

It gets expensive real fast. best thing is dont ever look back or add it up. Bit over 30 days to the DUSY run. what it is all about.......
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