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 Post subject: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Location: Roy, WA
Vehicle: JK Unlimited
My name is Will, and I'm a gearhead. Mainly here to make some new friends who have similar interests, learn some things, and do more stuff.

I'm no mechanic though, but I certainly can do bolt-ons and some electrical work. My family is largely military and rural, but I'm the least redneck out of two brothers (technically 3 but he don't count).

I served 12 years in the US Army as a 19K (Tanker) so I've done some off roading in an M1A1, HMMWV, LMTV, 5-Ton, and even an M113. While joining the Guard kinda floats around in the back of my mind still, I'm often reminded by that measly monthly disability check that maybe I shouldn't. :roflmao:

My favorite thing to do is spend the day in the woods or mountains. I'm all for camping, although I typically never go camping by myself. Beer and fishing is a great way to pass the time, as well as some casual hiking. I used to off road in my old beetle (before military) to find the best camp spots lol. That poor oil pan.

I'm on my third Jeep. This round I decided to go JK Unlimited. Before I started with a 2008 JK, but my wife at the time yelled at me because she couldn't learn to drive stick and had me take it back within the short time I had it. Two years ago I bought an XJ, but it turned out to be a lemon and I spent more money fixing things that came up than putting on mods.
Now I got my JK Unlimited '17, the JK Unlimited is something I've wanted since they first came out but always had to compromise or settle for something more affordable. To me the Unlimited makes sense, got two kids and a German Shephard, something that wouldn't work too well with your average 2 door JK. Unfortunately, I settled for a light blue JK.

While I'm usually ignored for the apparently "unmanly" hue of my vehicle by other Jeeps (or on a lesser scale, been labeled homosexual by passers when the top was down) , I wanted to be different and the green for this year wasn't appealing. The majority of my vehicles have been Red, Black and White, but never owned a blue one. That's why my Jeep is a DV (Dysfunctional Veteran) Smurf.

Regardless I'm enjoying my JK and looking to feeding it my $$'s. Already put on an axle-back dual exhaust and replaced the late 1990's style in-dash radio with CD player with an aftermarket DVD touch screen with Apple Car Play for GPS and touchless controls due to the new laws.

Currently looking to get (roughly in order) a 4" lift kit from Rough Country, 2.2 Dual Steering stabilizer, exhaust extensions, front control arm relocation kit, nerf steps, 17" Sidebiter II's, 35" tires, 1.5 wheel spacers, speedometer calibrator, upgraded tire carrier and a winch. Maybe some grab handles for short people?


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Last edited by DV_Smurf on Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Location: WA
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Is Papa Smurf wielding an Assault Rifle? I feel triggered...

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Welcome, What area are you in?

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Location: Roy, WA
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Actually the smurf idea was my girlfriend's, it kinda grew on me after her teasing.
JeepStangGuy wrote:
Welcome, What area are you in?

I live in Roy, out behind JBLM but sometimes I lurk in Renton or Rainier.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:31 pm 
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whew, finally
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DV_Smurf wrote:
Currently looking to get (roughly in order) a 4" lift kit from Rough Country, 2.2 Dual Steering stabilizer, exhaust extensions, front control arm relocation kit, nerf steps, 17" Sidebiter II's, 35" tires, 1.5 wheel spacers, speedometer calibrator, upgraded tire carrier and a winch. Maybe some grab handles for short people?


Looks like the sidebiter II in 5x5 comes with 4.5" backspace. You don't actually need any wheel spacers, that is perfect for 35's on a JK. I run 4.63" backspace with 35" and nothing comes close to rubbing. You can add wheel spacers if you like the really wide look, but it might look a bit too wide on that tire size. Adding 1.5" spacers would drop you to 3" effective back-space which is more what you'd typically target for 37-38" tires. You'll be putting unnecessary wear and tear on your ball joints and front unit bearings.

As for the lift, 4" is a lot for 35's. If you want tall go for it, but just in case you're not aware, that's a lot of lift for a JK. Once you're over a 2.5" lift, you don't actually need any more bump-stop extension for 35" tires so you're just throwing away up-travel which for serious off-roading is mostly a pointless increase in CG. With 4" plan to also buy new drive shafts front and rear, then you need rear upper adjustable control arms at a minimum for pinion angle.


Again if you're going for a specific look have at it! Just giving a technical review of some of your plans.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:41 pm 
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snow wrote:
Looks like the sidebiter II in 5x5 comes with 4.5" backspace. You don't actually need any wheel spacers, that is perfect for 35's on a JK. I run 4.63" backspace with 35" and nothing comes close to rubbing. You can add wheel spacers if you like the really wide look, but it might look a bit too wide on that tire size. Adding 1.5" spacers would drop you to 3" effective back-space which is more what you'd typically target for 37-38" tires. You'll be putting unnecessary wear and tear on your ball joints and front unit bearings.

Very good to know, save me some gas money lol..
snow wrote:
As for the lift, 4" is a lot for 35's. If you want tall go for it, but just in case you're not aware, that's a lot of lift for a JK. Once you're over a 2.5" lift, you don't actually need any more bump-stop extension for 35" tires so you're just throwing away up-travel which for serious off-roading is mostly a pointless increase in CG. With 4" plan to also buy new drive shafts front and rear, then you need rear upper adjustable control arms at a minimum for pinion angle.

I want a good amount of ground clearance for fallen logs, hidden boulders in the brush, etc. What is the highest you suggest without having to replace drive shafts? I don't plan on serious rock crawling. I do like the thought have having a decently lifted jeep without being ridiculous like a 6".
snow wrote:
Again if you're going for a specific look have at it! Just giving a technical review of some of your plans.
You're good, I posted my plans to get feedback from people that know better than I. I appreciate sharing your experience. :thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:03 pm 
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whew, finally
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DV_Smurf wrote:
I want a good amount of ground clearance for fallen logs, hidden boulders in the brush, etc. What is the highest you suggest without having to replace drive shafts? I don't plan on serious rock crawling. I do like the thought have having a decently lifted jeep without being ridiculous like a 6".


If you lift it at all, it's sort of hit or miss on OEM drive shafts. In a 4-door, you should be able to get by with a 2.5" lift on stock shafts for a while or maybe for the expected life of the part. If you off-road it a lot at high articulation, the front will go out eventually (mine lasted about 20k miles). Although I have a 2-door, my understanding is the 4-door rear shaft is long enough that it'll hold up pretty well at that lift height.

At a 3.5-4" lift, your stock shafts won't even last long for highway driving. You might get thousands of miles out of them, but they simply won't have any real longevity. You'd want to inspect them frequently, and when they start throwing grease replace them so they don't grenade and take out your drive train on the highway.

An up-side to a front aftermarket shaft is you don't need those exhaust spacers reducing ground clearance and making skid plates difficult to fit.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:09 pm 
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Location: Roy, WA
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snow wrote:
If you lift it at all, it's sort of hit or miss on OEM drive shafts. In a 4-door, you should be able to get by with a 2.5" lift on stock shafts for a while or maybe for the expected life of the part.
At a 3.5-4" lift, your stock shafts won't even last long for highway driving.
An up-side to a front aftermarket shaft is you don't need those exhaust spacers reducing ground clearance and making skid plates difficult to fit.

Thats a good point, maybe I should start out with a 2.5 and see how that works. Rough country says I can only go up to a 33" tire but that's not a big deal.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:21 pm 
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whew, finally
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DV_Smurf wrote:
Thats a good point, maybe I should start out with a 2.5 and see how that works. Rough country says I can only go up to a 33" tire but that's not a big deal.


You'll rub your fenders slightly at full articulation with 35's on a 2.5" lift (actually, the proper way to state it would be on 2-2.5" bump stop extension because that's all that actually matters). That's probably why they say that.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:05 pm 
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snow wrote:
DV_Smurf wrote:
Thats a good point, maybe I should start out with a 2.5 and see how that works. Rough country says I can only go up to a 33" tire but that's not a big deal.


You'll rub your fenders slightly at full articulation with 35's on a 2.5" lift (actually, the proper way to state it would be on 2-2.5" bump stop extension because that's all that actually matters). That's probably why they say that.


Looks like I have more researching to do, saw the 3.25" kit and asked them a few questions regarding that kit. Maybe I won't go 35's ether, maybe 31's or high 20's. Will continue to weigh options.


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:33 am 
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Skip the Rough Country, much better options out there.
I clear 37" tires w/a 2.5" lift and MCE fenders.
When you're serious, contact John at Auburn Car Repair and Offroad. He's Avanteone on here. He's been wheeling and lifting Jeeps for a couple decades now, can get you the best value for your money the first go. Rough Country, wheel spacers, all that is a waste. Hopefully this doesn't come across as cocky, but you did come here asking for guidance, stay open minded. And open walleted. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:02 pm 
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dr drae wrote:
Skip the Rough Country, much better options out there.
I clear 37" tires w/a 2.5" lift and MCE fenders.
When you're serious, contact John at Auburn Car Repair and Offroad. He's Avanteone on here. He's been wheeling and lifting Jeeps for a couple decades now, can get you the best value for your money the first go. Rough Country, wheel spacers, all that is a waste. Hopefully this doesn't come across as cocky, but you did come here asking for guidance, stay open minded. And open walleted. :mrgreen:


From what I've learned the RC stuff isn't as crappy as it used to be. It's not extreme duty sure, but for a DD or a mall crawler it does just fine. Like Drae said, John will happily spend your $$ for you and does great work.

don't tell anyone, I've always kind of liked that color

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Wang90XJ wrote:
don't tell anyone, I've always kind of liked that color

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:45 pm 
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Location: Roy, WA
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dr drae wrote:
Skip the Rough Country, much better options out there.
I clear 37" tires w/a 2.5" lift and MCE fenders.
When you're serious, contact John at Auburn Car Repair and Offroad. He's Avanteone on here. He's been wheeling and lifting Jeeps for a couple decades now, can get you the best value for your money the first go. Rough Country, wheel spacers, all that is a waste. Hopefully this doesn't come across as cocky, but you did come here asking for guidance, stay open minded. And open walleted. :mrgreen:


I've seen good reviews on RC as of late and they have decent prices, however I will give John a ring and see what he can offer. Nothing is set in stone atm. As of now, its just off road in the woods, lugging kids/dog/GF around, work (till I buy a beater DD), etc. Don't worry, I hate going to the mall lol... but I'd like to get into mudding, sand, and possibly climbing without the boulders. If I was to do any sort of rock crawling, it would have to be something I didn't depend on and wouldn't cry about if it broke down for a few weeks/months till I got it fixed.
Edit: I think I talked to John before a few years back regarding my XJ....
Wang90XJ wrote:
From what I've learned the RC stuff isn't as crappy as it used to be. It's not extreme duty sure, but for a DD or a mall crawler it does just fine. Like Drae said, John will happily spend your $$ for you and does great work.
don't tell anyone, I've always kind of liked that color

Yeah not looking for extreme duty and I just want to do your average off roading + off trail camping as of now while having decent ground clearance and (lets be honest) improving the look of my Smurf.
Example of one place I'd like to roll through below (maybe not exact location but similar).


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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:22 pm 
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Yeah, don't do that. Fines for driving in water can be pretty hefty. Only in the rare case where there is an established water crossing on an existing trail is it legal. Please tread lightly and stick to the marked trails. :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: New Guy
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:17 am 
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Good to know lol


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