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Wireless 11-25-2007 03:02 PM

Buying advice requested
 
Hi, this is my first post to the forum, but I have been reading it for awhile now. Sorry, but this will be a long post. I have caught the Jeep bug recently and I am planning to take the plunge to buy. My good friend just splurged and got a 2008 Unlimited Rubicon and had 35's and a 4" lift put on.... I am not feeling that spendy. I have owned two offroad vehicles before:

- 1980 Full size Ford Bronco. I installed the 4" lift and 33s myself. Definitely a "low budget" machine, but I had lots of fun.
- 1974 Land Rover Series III. They don't look that impressive, but you would be surprised what they can do. Low gearing and pizza cutter tires were great offroad, but I had a max speed of around 50 Mph. With a tail wind.

While both were tones of fun, the low budget approach did have it's drawbacks. Example: Bronco was running 3.07 gears or similar. Not fun. It also had a leaky master cylinder and other "interesting" features. The Land Rover had zero power. Not a problem in all situations, but it was in a few. No easy fix. The Jeep to me offers a way to cover all the drawbacks of the past in one package. Here is what I hope to get to:

- Jeep will be 3rd vehicle and used for weekends mostly. I am not that close to good wheeling country (a few hours at least) so will only wheel a few times a year. So has to be capable on road and off. If it will be off road, it seems to be more rocks near me than mud (I am in Dallas).
- I would like to have 35's. I have had 33's before, and would like to go a bit bigger.
- I have to stress the good on road manners. I will not be buying a fourth vehicle to tow this one to trail country. I hope to have 35's while keeping good on road handling for safety.

I was thinking of starting with a TJ unless anyone has a different opinion. Questions I would have after that are:
- Manual or Auto. I don't mind a stick, but is one really any better/reliable than the other?
- Three choices: X with the 30/35, Sport or Sahara with 30/44, or Rubi with 44/44?
- Is any year preferable in the TJ line?
- What lift would be recommended in the 4" to 6" variety. I have read about many (RE, Fabtech, Full Traction, Superlift, Skyjacker, etc.) and some do see to be preferred over others. Even though I am not expecting lots of extreme offroad, I am leaning towards a long arm for over all handling.

Well, that is too long already so I will cut off the questions here. Just would like to say thanks to the many knowledgeable people on this board, I have leaned much already.

cj847 11-25-2007 04:48 PM

I don't have lots of answers but will try to head you in what I think is the right direction.

You will definately need a D44 rear to run 35's.
You may want to upgrade the D30 front with better axles and Vanco brakes for 35's.
I prefer auto's and have not heard a lot of problems with any of them. However, the TJ did not get an auto with overdrive until 2003.
I don't know about the lifts first hand. This board tends to lean toward RE. I agree with you though that if you are going 4" or more go with long arms.

Sounds like budget is not your issue. So, buy a Rubi with auto and add the long arm kit and 35's and regear, you should be good to go.


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