Florida Mudtrail Moab Weekend Warrior

Ldybug

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Goal: lift + big tires on 2019 JLU Moab

Background
: My first Wrangler build. Getting advice from a local shop and family member. Hoping to get CONSTRUCTIVE criticism here too. I maybe should have gotten the Rubicon, but I'm going with what I have and can't look back now. So please don't bust me for the Moab. No rock climbing down here in Florida, just muddy trails. I work 50 hrs a week, so I'm a weekend warrior at best. Daily commute is 30 miles so the drive is important to me.

Considering the following parts order:

Terraflex JLU 3.5" sport ST3 suspension stabilizer
Terraflex JL/JLU: Falcon Nexus EF 2.1 Steering Stablizier
22x10 Fuel Off-road cast wheel black (TBD)
37x12.5R22/12 127Q Toy Open Country A/T II Xtreme tires
Splined lug nut set
TPMS valve system
J-Cal Flashcal Speedo Calibrator

**Planning on saving $1700 by not getting the 5th tire/wheel since I would then also have to get the tailgate reinforcement system and spare tire carrier mounting bracket. This looks to be about a $7,000 package without the 5th wheel and $7k is ALOT for me right now. Local shop doing the install, so labor costs could come in around $1K I'm told.

I know I can get away with doing this for less, but I'm trying to keep my warranty and keep a decent daily drive. Be NICE :)
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NFRs2000NYC

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You forgot to factor in driveshaft, steering components, control arms, etc. You're trying to play big boy games with small boy budget. Don't be surprised if down the line you have new threads complaining about a heap of issues and how to fix them. If money is limited, plan ahead, and do it smart.

First of all, ditch the 22" wheels, as a subaru will probably do better offroad. Second, if you plan on running spareless, budget in a quality compressor at veryl least.

Third, lifting the wrangler 3.5" is a lot and comes with a heap of additional costs....if you are on a budget, you are MUCH better off with flat fenders and a 2" lift, where your steering geometry doesn't change enough to warrant a lot of other expensive components.

With the setup you are getting, I'd bet $1000 a stock rubicon will run circles around you offroad. If you are doing it for looks, that's one thing, but if you actually want it to perform, I'd go back to the drawing board....and at the same time, save a heap of money.

Also, with a 3.5" lift and 37s, the dealer will point to those mods for ANY steering/suspension/axle issue, so don't expect to have any claims honored.
 

GunnersJL

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LDYBUG:

Since this is your first build you've made a very smart move by asking for advice on this forum. Some really good points made in just two posts. If you don't understand their reasoning, ask why. Everyone will be glad to explain their comments.

Expanding on what is mentioned above, 22" rims are all the rage on cars and even some pick-ups, but if you actually plan to offroad in Florida (I'm also in Florida) you will lose sidewall. Sidewall offers extra bite and protects the rims from hard impact. If you ever decide to rock crawl out of state your ability to air down and still have acceptable sidewall will be severely impacted. Serious offroading typically sees a rim no larger than 17". The Toyo's are a fine choice of tire. If you really prefer the look of 22" rims, go for it! Just be aware there are tradeoffs.

3.5" lift: As already mentioned, this affects your steering geometry. All lifts pull in your caster and change the pinion angles on the front differential. Without additional measures to correct this your steering will become flightly. Teraflex offers multiple versions of the ST3 kit. Which one are you considering? If you are getting the base system, well you can get away with it for a while, but you will not be happy. You really need the full kit with shocks and adjustable arms so you can correct caster and pinion. If you go 3.5", you will also eventually need new front and rear driveshafts. The factory ones are not meant to survive those angles.

37" tires: They should fit just fine with the 3.5" lift. But your ring gearing in the differentials in the MOAB is optimized for 32" tires, maybe 33's. Even with the new 8 speed automatic transmission and the Pentastar engine, your acceleration will be affected and your gas mileage will plummet. Eventually you will want to re-gear. Plan on another $ 2500.

Axles: I'll have to check, but I'm guessing the MOAB has the same axle as the Rubi, a special version of the Dana 44. If so you are good up to 35" tires with little issue. Beyond that you are adding weight (maybe not with 22" rims though) and rotational mass that the axles are not designed to take. But, this one you most likely can get away with as long as you are not rock crawling. If you get bound up though and have to punch it, you could break an axle.

Brakes: Factory brakes are not designed to stop 37" tires. 60 - 0 mph stopping distance will suffer. Again you can get away with this, just be aware. A big-brake kit from someone like Teraflex will fix this.

And NFR is dead on, if something breaks in the powertrain, the dealer will void the warranty.

If you stay under 2.5" of lift and 35's you will lessen the impact across the board, including potential warranty issues.

Our point: Every suspension mod you do to you Jeep is a trade-off and has an impact on some other component. Be sure you understand what that impact will be before you spend any money.
 
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Ldybug

Ldybug

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I knew 37s would be asking for trouble...the more people I talk to, the more scared I get of them. I'm now looking at 35s. The shop guy agreed that a big brake kit would be recommended and that down the line w/ 37s, I would probably be asking for re-gearing. I told him I'm not looking to make this a $70k jeep. But he recommended 37s because I told him I want a bad a$$ jeep and I even mentioned 37s. So now, I just need to figure out if I stay with the 3.5" lift kit or if I go with a standard 2.5" lift. The shop is leaning toward a 2.5" lift with the 35s

Terraflex JLU 4-door 2.5" sport ST2 Suspension w/ falcon 3.1 shocks 152031
Terraflex Falcon Nexus EF 2.1 Steering stabilizer 09-02-21-110-000
20x10 Fuel Off Rd cast wheels
35x1250R20-10 121R Toy Open Country AT II Xtreme 352730
Splined lug nut set
TPMS valve stem
J-Cal Speedo Calibrator

The lift kit looks to be a pretty complete kit but this is the first one I've bought:
• 2.5” lift coil springs
• Sport Flexarm Kit - front lower (# 1253000)
• Falcon Progressive Bump Stops - all 4 (# 1959200)
• 2” front & rear bump stop strike pad kit (# 1959500)
• 0.5” front & rear bump stop strike pad shim kit (# 1959300)
• Longer front sway bar links (11.5”) - pair
• Longer rear sway bar links (10.75”) - pair (# 744500)
• Falcon Series 3.1 Piggyback shock absorbers (# 11-01-31-400-200)

@GunnersJL and @NFRs2000NYC thoughts?
 

Jondrew

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Where in Fl are you? Where do you plan on mudding? I’ve been they a few puddles and clean up is a bear. I was working under the Jeep the other day and when I used my impact wrench I got a face full of dried mud
 

GunnersJL

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Wow, that is a nice lift kit. Everything there. Great choice! By the way, if you want their opinion call Teraflex. They are great to talk to and won't try to upsell you.

You will be much happier with the 35" tires. Be sure to ask your wheel guy what the backspacing is. It will need to move the tires outboard of the vehicle to insure no rubbing on the inside. I can never remember the numbers for proper backspacing. Someone else here will chime in. Also, expect the outside of your tire to stick out beyond the fenders a little. All part of owning 12.5" wide tires. Uneven roads will tend to move you around a little more that a less wide tire. This is not an issue, just part of the Jeep experience.

Post pictures when done!
 
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Ldybug

Ldybug

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Palm City is just north of Jupiter
 
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Ldybug

Ldybug

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So after another few weeks of research, I have decided that the Terraflex lift kit and new wheels are just too expensive for me right now. I really want to have a bad jeep that other jeep guys want to crawl under, but it's more about function/cost than glitz right now.

So now I'm looking at a mid range kit that I'm told other jeepers will respect but not necessarily drool over. Right now, that sounds good to me. And he said it's upgradeable.

Zone offroad 3" suspension system 07-18 JK
4WD Gas with Fox 2.0 shocks
Fox ATS Steering Stablizier
Rugged ridge tire carrier spacer CYT/JK
35x1250R20/10 121RToy Open Country AT II Xtreme
1.5" wheel adapters for factory wheels
Splined lug nut set
TPMS valve system
 

JC7

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So after another few weeks of research, I have decided that the Terraflex lift kit and new wheels are just too expensive for me right now. I really want to have a bad jeep that other jeep guys want to crawl under, but it's more about function/cost than glitz right now.

So now I'm looking at a mid range kit that I'm told other jeepers will respect but not necessarily drool over. Right now, that sounds good to me. And he said it's upgradeable.

Zone offroad 3" suspension system 07-18 JK
4WD Gas with Fox 2.0 shocks
Fox ATS Steering Stablizier
Rugged ridge tire carrier spacer CYT/JK
35x1250R20/10 121RToy Open Country AT II Xtreme
1.5" wheel adapters for factory wheels
Splined lug nut set
TPMS valve system
Probably avoid the jk suspension and tire carrier. Lol
 

UNC Rubicon

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So after another few weeks of research, I have decided that the Terraflex lift kit and new wheels are just too expensive for me right now. I really want to have a bad jeep that other jeep guys want to crawl under, but it's more about function/cost than glitz right now.

So now I'm looking at a mid range kit that I'm told other jeepers will respect but not necessarily drool over. Right now, that sounds good to me. And he said it's upgradeable.

Zone offroad 3" suspension system 07-18 JK
4WD Gas with Fox 2.0 shocks
Fox ATS Steering Stablizier
Rugged ridge tire carrier spacer CYT/JK
35x1250R20/10 121RToy Open Country AT II Xtreme
1.5" wheel adapters for factory wheels
Splined lug nut set
TPMS valve system
If your shop suggested a JK suspension or tire carrier, you may want to find another shop in addition to the lift and tire carrier.
 

sardog12

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So after another few weeks of research, I have decided that the Terraflex lift kit and new wheels are just too expensive for me right now. I really want to have a bad jeep that other jeep guys want to crawl under, but it's more about function/cost than glitz right now.
...
35x1250R20/10 121RToy Open Country AT II Xtreme
I know that the "big wheel" thing is becoming more the rage every day but you would really be more well served with something more around a 17" instead of a 20", like you are looking at:
  • Tires are often substantially cheaper.
  • More sidewall for better on-road ride.
  • Better off-road ride and performance in all conditions.
  • Less potential damage to wheels and tires.
 

DCBlake

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So after another few weeks of research, I have decided that the Terraflex lift kit and new wheels are just too expensive for me right now. I really want to have a bad jeep that other jeep guys want to crawl under, but it's more about function/cost than glitz right now.

So now I'm looking at a mid range kit that I'm told other jeepers will respect but not necessarily drool over. Right now, that sounds good to me. And he said it's upgradeable.

Zone offroad 3" suspension system 07-18 JK
4WD Gas with Fox 2.0 shocks
Fox ATS Steering Stablizier
Rugged ridge tire carrier spacer CYT/JK
35x1250R20/10 121RToy Open Country AT II Xtreme
1.5" wheel adapters for factory wheels
Splined lug nut set
TPMS valve system
I agree with most of the others here that you need to be sure your shop is talking about JL only items as a JL and JK are pretty much night and day... Also, as others have mentioned you would be better served going with 35's on 17" rims as that will allow better performance when airing down for offroad... This is a good step to achieve a great look and still get the experience without breaking the fuel economy bank since you use it for work as well... I also live in central FL and to be honest all of these are good but if you plan on heading out to the boggy stuff you better be sure to have a winch as if anything we tend to get stuck more in the deep stuff...
 

Jondrew

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I agree with most of the others here that you need to be sure your shop is talking about JL only items as a JL and JK are pretty much night and day... Also, as others have mentioned you would be better served going with 35's on 17" rims as that will allow better performance when airing down for offroad... This is a good step to achieve a great look and still get the experience without breaking the fuel economy bank since you use it for work as well... I also live in central FL and to be honest all of these are good but if you plan on heading out to the boggy stuff you better be sure to have a winch as if anything we tend to get stuck more in the deep stuff...
A winch and a buddy. Where are you in CF and where do you ride? I’m in Oviedo.
 

DCBlake

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A winch and a buddy. Where are you in CF and where do you ride? I’m in Oviedo.
I am in Winter Garden and tend to head out to Richloam/Green Swamp, Croom, and several local fun jaunts as Clermont is the "Mountain Region" of FL... There are some local spots for a quick hit and run not far away but most will prob be gone in a year or 2 as nothing but constant building of new subdivisions... In the pic attached you can drop into the trails just north of Clermont and enter via Sullivan road in middle of pic... It has an underpass for the Turnpike and other trails around Camp Lake nothing challenging but some good sandy hills to try...

Trails.JPG
 
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