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
Smittybilt XRC flares and SRC rocker armor
aFe catback exhaust
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.