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Unread 01-09-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
ferninaz
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From Rockcrawler? to Overlander

The idea is to make an overlander/rock crawler without sacrificing too much of either one.This is how I am sitting currently.



37" Cooper Discoverer STT's
3.5" MetalCloak Dual Rate Springs
Bilstein 5160 shocks
Synergy front tie rod, drag link
MetalCloak trackbar (front)
Synergy trackbar, sector shaft brace
Currie AntiRock sway bar, front
Stock rear sway bar and trackbar
Front Stock Dana 30, trussed, C-gussetts, Aussie locker
Rear Stock Dana 44, ARB locker
JCR front stubby with stinger, PIAA spots, Amazon LED light bar
XRC8 winch
sPOD
Smittybilt XRC flares and SRC rocker armor
aFe catback exhaust
RuggedRidge snorkel

I will be keeping the tires on the vehicle so I will be sacrificing some fuel range for clearance. A couple of reasons for keeping them, cost of a new set of tires is not in the budget and I really think my JKU performs better with them on than with 35s. I am geared at 4.88 and it feels fine on the highway and in the dirt.

I will not be making my vehicle any lower than it is so mounting things high is a concern. I like the ride although the front Anti Rock does make it feel a bit loose on uneven roads. The weight added from an overland trip will be significant enough to lower the vehicle and I believe the dual rates will handle that just fine.

I would prefer to keep the weight off the roof or roof rack so most of the storage will have to be inside the vehicle or to the rear where I can either do a hitch mount basket or tire mount. Removing the rear seat of the JKU should provide me with enough flat space to accomplish the task of keeping everything inside. My trips will not be more than 4 days long but I do believe that potable water and food may be a bit of an issue. Biggest space waster is my 37” spare which currently sits inside the rear storage area. The plan may be to build up a shelf system around the spare tire and put the tire on a sliding platform to bring it outside of the vehicle, similar to the tool boxes that you see in some trucks. That would give me a flat surface to work from above the tire which would lay flat basically on the floor of the Jeep.

We are lucky enough to have a JKU so hanging things from the sport bars is a definite possibility and will probably happen quite a bit. Backpacks for clothes and dry food storage can be hung with minimal issue inside the vehicle. It will look a little like a it's been thrown together but it already does I think.

Major considerations to having a small dog and making sure she has a secure place to sit while riding in the Jeep. Sacrifices will be made to accommodate her. Luckily my wife doesn't mind the outdoors and actually does all the photography for our Jeep and doesn't mind getting out to take pictures and ground guiding when she really has to.

My first objective will be to make my wife more comfortable up front. She has taken a beating in the last year and she is a trooper about riding in the front with doors off for short trips, but long trips are a no go. I am going to try doing some heated seats under the neoprene seat covers already in the Jeep. Hopefully they will heat up enough to be noticeable. If not they will come out and I will try something else.

I hope some of you can help me along the way and that maybe I can give you some ideas about what I have already done or what I will be doing in the future.

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Unread 01-09-2015, 04:41 PM   #2
zjilla
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Oh no your running 37s on a dana 30!???? Just joking. Thought id say something first before someone else did.

As for the spare. I wouldnt build around it. I would focus on putting outside the jeep. I know my 37 will not just slide out the back if it was laying on its side.....the door is too small, unless the sliding shelf it was on was higher than the door. If u wanna look at my build thread (one of the last pages) i made a shelf for my 37 to sit on (with the seats up). There would be alot of room with the seats down. The sport bar keeps it from coming forward and killing anyone in the event of a wreck

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Unread 01-09-2015, 04:45 PM   #3
duneslider
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Really seems like getting the spare out of the interior would be a good thing.

I have a roof rack on my jeep commander and we carry light stuff up there. Mainly clothing and stuff and it doesn't seem to affect handling. I have had some heavier items up there and that was more noticeable but I agree, if you can keep it off the roof it is nice.
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Unread 01-09-2015, 04:48 PM   #4
ferninaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjilla View Post
Oh no your running 37s on a dana 30!???? Just joking. Thought id say something first before someone else did.

As for the spare. I wouldnt build around it. I would focus on putting outside the jeep. I know my 37 will not just slide out the back if it was laying on its side.....the door is too small, unless the sliding shelf it was on was higher than the door. If u wanna look at my build thread (one of the last pages) i made a shelf for my 37 to sit on (with the seats up). There would be alot of room with the seats down. The sport bar keeps it from coming forward and killing anyone in the event of a wreck

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Thank you for getting the stock Dana 30 thing out of the way. I did forget to mention that I converted my tailgate to fold down and whatever exterior tire mount I get must be compatible with that. What I have been looking at is the Genright tire carrier that folds down towards the ground. Problem with that is it attaches to a bumper which I do not have but em working on some ideas. I am completely removing my rear seat, half of it is out already but I do like the idea of a high shelf. Thanks for your comments.
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Unread 01-09-2015, 04:52 PM   #5
MrSmiley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
Thank you for getting the stock Dana 30 thing out of the way. I did forget to mention that I converted my tailgate to fold down and whatever exterior tire mount I get must be compatible with that. What I have been looking at is the Genright tire carrier that folds down towards the ground. Problem with that is it attaches to a bumper which I do not have but em working on some ideas. I am completely removing my rear seat, half of it is out already but I do like the idea of a high shelf. Thanks for your comments.
I don't see why you would have any issues with a bumper mounted tire carrier. If you are going to have a rear bumper i would either go with that or the genright/orfab tire carrier that swings OUT not down. I feel like the swinging down would get old...fast. espicalliy with a heavy 37in tire. That and it would probably make getting stuff into the back next to impossible.
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Unread 01-09-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
ferninaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duneslider View Post
Really seems like getting the spare out of the interior would be a good thing.

I have a roof rack on my jeep commander and we carry light stuff up there. Mainly clothing and stuff and it doesn't seem to affect handling. I have had some heavier items up there and that was more noticeable but I agree, if you can keep it off the roof it is nice.
My problem with having the spare on the outside is I seem to smash it up against things when I am offroad. Plus it keeps the weight further towards the middle of the Jeep if it is inside. I know that I will probably have to sacrifice space for handling or handling for more space. Luckily no decisions need to be made today.
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Unread 01-09-2015, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
I will not be making my vehicle any lower than it is so mounting things high is a concern. I like the ride although the front Anti Rock does make it feel a bit loose on uneven roads. The weight added from an overland trip will be significant enough to lower the vehicle and I believe the dual rates will handle that just fine.

Do you have your rear track bar axle mount raised?


I'm running Antirocks front and rear with Metalcloak 2.5" 2 door coils and noticed a big improvement in handling when I raised just the rear axle mount. I would expect raising the front would also make a noticeable improvement in handling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
My trips will not be more than 4 days long but I do believe that potable water and food may be a bit of an issue.

Have you considered using the space under the Jeep?

Relocating the factory muffler opens up quite a bit of space especially when the factory sway bar is relocated with an Antirock in it's place. You could build something custom or go with a bolt in like Genright offers.

http://www.genright.com/ProductInfo....0#.VLBd6_otHIU
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Unread 01-09-2015, 05:20 PM   #8
zjilla
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Speaking of using the underside of your vehicle.....check this out
http://www.arb.com.au/products/gener...s/long-ranger/

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Unread 01-09-2015, 06:02 PM   #9
Walle
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I'm glad to see this thread after we talked. This guy is here in NM, and his JK has some good additions. He usually travels with just his JK, so he is equipped to handle certain situations.

http://www.newmexicobackroads.com/?m=1
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Unread 01-09-2015, 06:19 PM   #10
ferninaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLADE View Post

Do you have your rear track bar axle mount raised?

I'm running Antirocks front and rear with Metalcloak 2.5" 2 door coils and noticed a big improvement in handling when I raised just the rear axle mount. I would expect raising the front would also make a noticeable improvement in handling.

Have you considered using the space under the Jeep?

Relocating the factory muffler opens up quite a bit of space especially when the factory sway bar is relocated with an Antirock in it's place. You could build something custom or go with a bolt in like Genright offers.

http://www.genright.com/ProductInfo....0#.VLBd6_otHIU
My rear axle side trackbar mount has been raised to account for the lift although I do believe the rear anti rock in conjuction with the front would help. My factory muffler is removed and i have a high tuck afe on the driver side about at the passenger door. So basically the old muffler area is open for more storage or adding a tank. I do like the idea of the water tank back there.
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Unread 01-09-2015, 11:18 PM   #11
LukeTXAG
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I don't have much to offer other than to tell you that there is a great thread on Wrangler Forum about making Expedition and Overland modifications and well as an endless supply of information on Expedition Portal. Sorry for the outside forum discussions.

I really like your build and have followed it for quite some time. Personally, I am much more interested in overlanding than hard core rock crawling however I do prefer to the more rock crawler look. Currently I am running flat fenders with stubby bumpers but will hopefully be doing more expedition style modifications in the future.
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Unread 01-10-2015, 08:12 PM   #12
ferninaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeTXAG View Post
I don't have much to offer other than to tell you that there is a great thread on Wrangler Forum about making Expedition and Overland modifications and well as an endless supply of information on Expedition Portal. Sorry for the outside forum discussions.

I really like your build and have followed it for quite some time. Personally, I am much more interested in overlanding than hard core rock crawling however I do prefer to the more rock crawler look. Currently I am running flat fenders with stubby bumpers but will hopefully be doing more expedition style modifications in the future.
I have been reading through that thread. Very well done and lots of good ideas.
I was talking to a couple buddies about the overlanding and I am concerned about fix it tickets in every state where they care about flares and bumpers. Anyone have any experience with out of state tickets for fender flares and lack of bumpers?
Last night I ended up putting in some ceramic seat heaters under my neoprene seat covers. Seems to work pretty darn good, my wife stayed warm today out on trail and that is really saying something. She was very happy about them and they will come in handy in the winters in the mountains. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-us-Univer...ar+seat+heater
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Unread 01-10-2015, 08:44 PM   #13
SLADE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
I was talking to a couple buddies about the overlanding and I am concerned about fix it tickets in every state where they care about flares and bumpers. Anyone have any experience with out of state tickets for fender flares and lack of bumpers?


My understanding was as long as it passes inspection in the state that it's licensed/registered and inspected in, it's legal to cross state lines without being ticketed for items that may not pass in the state your visiting.


If your allowed to have tire sticking out past your flares in your state, you shouldn't get a ticket in West Virginia just because we have strict laws on tire coverage.
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Unread 01-10-2015, 08:53 PM   #14
ferninaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLADE View Post

My understanding was as long as it passes inspection in the state that it's licensed/registered and inspected in, it's legal to cross state lines without being ticketed for items that may not pass in the state your visiting.

If your allowed to have tire sticking out past your flares in your state, you shouldn't get a ticket in West Virginia just because we have strict laws on tire coverage.
Thanks Slade, that of course is exactly what I wanted to hear. Arizona pretty much lets me do whatever I want since I live outside of city limits. No inspections ever. I grew up in California so I know how painful it can be to have so many regulations.
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Unread 01-10-2015, 09:37 PM   #15
LukeTXAG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferninaz View Post
I have been reading through that thread. Very well done and lots of good ideas.
I was talking to a couple buddies about the overlanding and I am concerned about fix it tickets in every state where they care about flares and bumpers. Anyone have any experience with out of state tickets for fender flares and lack of bumpers?
Last night I ended up putting in some ceramic seat heaters under my neoprene seat covers. Seems to work pretty darn good, my wife stayed warm today out on trail and that is really saying something. She was very happy about them and they will come in handy in the winters in the mountains. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-us-Univer...ar+seat+heater
I have heard of folks getting ticketed in other states but I don't have any personal experience. I have also heard that as long as you are good in your home state you are good elsewhere but I don't know that I trust that to be true. Just takes one guy who wants to give you grief.
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