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Thread: Building a sleeper out of my mall crawler

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    Building a sleeper out of my mall crawler

    Alright guys, I've owned my 4dr Sahara since July. It's maiden voyage was to Ardbeg and I was immediately hooked. I learned what the thing was capable of out of the box and where it fell short too. So, the goal here is to beef it up as much as possible without breaking the law(voiding the warranty) with the dealership.

    Phase #1 - Aftermarket Skids.
    After some lengthy research I think I've narrowed the short list down to Poly Performances full skid kit or the River Raider Offroad kit. Both have plenty of qualities, some of which include
    - mild increase in clearance
    - stronger plating and less parts to get hung up on
    - and even an increase in gas mileage(better underbody aerodynamics I guess)
    - the PP kit comes with a full "REPLACEMENT" skid for the gas tank
    - RROR's oil pan skid has a flush mount panel for draining
    - RROR's kit is less expensive

    Each kit also have some negatives(In my mind at least, this is open for comments)
    - PP kit's oil pan skid leaves an open hole to the drain plug (possible big hang up spot)
    - RROR's gas tank skid does not replace the factory skid, it covers it up.
    - RROR's kit uses button head bolts for most of the mounting points(comments on the pros/cons of this are welcome)
    - PP's kit is almost twice the cost

    The Evap is a no brainer I'll probably grab the Poison Spyder offering

    Phase #2 - Modified stock rubi rails into sliders/nerf bars
    I snagged a set of stock Rubi Rails with the intention of adding ACE engineering sliders/rocker guards which are built to bolt on to the body mounts and wrap around the stock Rubi rails. In essence providing a double layer of protection. However I have some fabrication thoughts on this to see if we can bring the cost down by doing something custom and local. More to come on this. I have two young lads (7 and 4) so the nerf bars/side step is essential for now so the little critters can climb in and out.

    Phase #3 - 33's
    Just to add a little extra lift without modifying the suspension and triggering alarms at the dealership. The big question is what brand and model of tire to mount on my stock rims OR do I go down to a 17 or 16 inch rim and add more rubber between the rocks and my rims. More to come on this as I have to do some tire size calculations to find the right fit that won't require speedo recalibration.

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    LOL I told you reading was a dangerous thing!!!
    Rock sliders shouldn't be a problem to fix up for ya. We know a guy.
    ^ what he said about the tires, by the time you air down 33's you're gonna get no lift out of them. 35's fit the 4dr stance real nice but you will need some lift. If you recall that Bad Blue Bus on 35's with 3.5" lift did some fender stuffing up in Ardbeg.

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    Sounds like you have done your homework! I am sure you have already checked out JK-Forum.com. There is a lot of good reviews on just about everything JK over there, but theres also a few pushy americans who think they know whats best for everyone I still say check it out if you havent already (theres a central canada section... check it out there are some great guys on there with a lot of knowledge and they wheel pretty regularly in the summer). I agree with the guys above, ditch the 33s idea. I started off with a sahara too with the 18 rims and first went to 33s on the stock rims, not only were the tires ridiculously overpriced because of the rim size, but I didnt gain that much more clearance and within 6 months I sold the 33s and bought 35s so just skip one expensive step there. I ran my 35s with no lift, just bushwacker flat fenders for most of the summer with only minimal rubbing. and trust me the 35s look wicked on a 4door, like they are meant to be together Cant wait to see the upgrades! Keep up posted with lots of pics!
    Jenna
    2009 Wrangler 2 Door
    Deep Water Blue
    OF4WD # 6031

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    GO 35's! trust me been there done that. drop down to some 16" rims so your tire choices are greater(and Cheaper). good luck with warranty,alot of deales are getting picky. Your list is small now, as mine was couple years ago......look at my sig now
    2008 JK 4 Door Auto w/ 5.13's
    35's Toyo MT Mopar rock rails Mopar Stubby bumper
    OME Long Travel shocks, OME Plus 40 Coils(4.5) JKS ADJ Trackbars JKS Quick discos
    Teraflex ADJ CA's Coast Driveshaft 12k Runva winch, gussets,trussed Much more...
    RETREAD #15

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    These responses are exactly what I was hoping to trigger with this post. There probably won't be too many updates until closer to spring. Right now it's investigation and research time. I had nearly convinced myself to go to 16" rims, but now I think I'm fully convinced. This only means time to research rims now too I guess.

    I don't know if this is truly a concern or not...think of it this way...how large would a rock/obstacle have to be to actually be a spot that will come in to contact with the opening in the oil pan skid...if this truly happened and you got hung up on that opening then I would say one of two things happened; A) you have done some damage to your steering and or axle seeing as both of those would have had to go over the same obstacle long before your oil pan skid ever came in to contact with it...or B) you/your spotter picked a really bad line and somehow got you high centered on a rock/obstacle that your clearly should have put a tire up on top of...
    I really wasn't sure about this only because I haven't taken a real good look at what's around the oil pan in the first place. Thank you igotafrigginjeep for you input on this matter. I'll continue on this topic further down.

    35's fit the 4dr stance real nice but you will need some lift.
    BullWinkleTJ, it is so true reading IS VERY DANGEROUS and yes the Blue Bus is a sexy rig when she showed up on 35's and lifted. My only concern is that might be too much rubber to turn for the stock D30 and run the risk of snapping the axle(if this is a naive statement feel free to say so). Although, sleeves+trusses+gussets can fix that too.

    I ran my 35s with no lift, just bushwacker flat fenders for most of the summer with only minimal rubbing. and trust me the 35s look wicked on a 4door, like they are meant to be together
    Jenna - I haven't looked the bushwackers yet. So far I've seen the RROR tube fenders in pics online and they look sweet. But as usual we need to look at how many leaves are on the money tree and pluck them wisely. I don't want to go cheap (as far as quality is concerned) but I'm also not building a Comp cut 4door for racing either. This will be a great adventure in finding the best bang for the buck.

    Getting back to skid plating, has anyone had any experience with plating mounted with button-head bolts versus recessed. My concern is the button-head bolts could potentially get mashed up pretty good and make life difficult if and when it is time to drop the plating for maintenance/repair.
    Last edited by dft; 11-14-2010 at 08:28 PM.

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    Before this goes any further we're going to need a letter of concent from your wife.

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    [QUOTE BullWinkleTJ, it is so true reading IS VERY DANGEROUS and yes the Blue Bus is a sexy rig when she showed up on 35's and lifted. My only concern is that might be too much rubber to turn for the stock D30 and run the risk of snapping the axle(if this is a naive statement feel free to say so). Although, sleeves+trusses+gussets can fix that too.
    QUOTE]

    I run 35's on d30's no issues so far, I would recommend the gussets and trusses tho. Its all in how ya wheel.

    Along with the letter of consent we also require some banks statements and ur credit card number.......lol.

    We can be good at spending your money on your Jeep

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    Quote Originally Posted by dft View Post
    BullWinkleTJ, it is so true reading IS VERY DANGEROUS and yes the Blue Bus is a sexy rig when she showed up on 35's and lifted. My only concern is that might be too much rubber to turn for the stock D30 and run the risk of snapping the axle(if this is a naive statement feel free to say so). Although, sleeves+trusses+gussets can fix that too.
    I don't think there is much concern over 35s on a Dana 30...many have done it with YJ 30s, just as many have done it with TJ 30s...and now, just as many are doing it with JK 30s...


    Sure you could do the sleeves+trusses+gussets and they would help, but think about this...compare the price of doing all those add on upgrades versus going to a stronger axle...even doing those upgrades, there will come a time when you will end up breaking an axleshaft and then you will have to replace them and upgrade to aftermarket chromo shafts, so add that to the costs...again compare to going to a stronger axle versus all the upgrades to what is often affectionately know as the TURDY...after all that thinking, think about all the people already running 35s on a 30 and many of them locked and then take in to account your driving style off road (which from the feel I get from this thread I am thinking you are actually fairly cautious instead of just hit the skinny pedal and when that doesn't work hit it harder)...ask around to other JK owners as to what they have done...there is enough of them on here running 35s on stock axles...
    His ---> 04 LJ - 4.0L, Auto ɹnoɟ pɐǝɹʇǝɹ
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    FYI a guy in London has New full set of Rock hard skids for sale for about $850

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    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    I don't think there is much concern over 35s on a Dana 30...many have done it with YJ 30s, just as many have done it with TJ 30s...and now, just as many are doing it with JK 30s...


    Sure you could do the sleeves+trusses+gussets and they would help, but think about this...compare the price of doing all those add on upgrades versus going to a stronger axle...even doing those upgrades, there will come a time when you will end up breaking an axleshaft and then you will have to replace them and upgrade to aftermarket chromo shafts, so add that to the costs...again compare to going to a stronger axle versus all the upgrades to what is often affectionately know as the TURDY...after all that thinking, think about all the people already running 35s on a 30 and many of them locked and then take in to account your driving style off road (which from the feel I get from this thread I am thinking you are actually fairly cautious instead of just hit the skinny pedal and when that doesn't work hit it harder)...ask around to other JK owners as to what they have done...there is enough of them on here running 35s on stock axles...
    Great point. Very True. If locking is in the future.......think bigger axle.

    going off the things he is mentioning I bet Lockers and 44's all round wont be the case.

    hahaha poor guy asks a simple question and we will have him running in circles

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    Like I said I have a Sahara and I have been running my 35s on the stock D30 up front with no problems so far. Its not locked and probably wont be so I am not going to waste my money on gussets sleeves etc. If/ When it breaks it will be time to upgrade the whole axle. The rear on mine is a D44 since I got the tow package... that might see a locker next year lol. Poor Poor Little Blue JK the things I do to you!

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    Jenna as some point you are going to have to stop calling it "Little"

    DFT, I had a look at those RROR skids and here's my take. The oil pan skid offers more side protection then the polly one, however you will never get a rock in there anyway wost case is a stick. The tras skid won't interfere with any potential long arm kit down the road... however I just don't see you going that way any time soon so I wouldn't even make it a consideration (if i'm wrong polly does have a tras skid that will work with long arms as well) the polly delux tras skid offers WAY more protection, it replaces the tras crossmember totaly rather then bolting to the stocker, I've seen several people dent the stock crossmemeber beyond usefullness. the stocker's a heavy thing but the walls arn't that thick. If you manage to bend the polly replacement you are going to be my personal hero, it's 1/4 C channel welded to the the main plate. The tcase and gas tank skids I think will be mostly a wash, keep in mind installation of the polly gas tank skid will be harder as you have to drop the tank. On the other hand the RROR skids seem to have lots of leading edges, the polly skids the trans skid goes over the front edge of the tcase and gas tank skids to they can't get hung up or damaged. Your concern for the bolts is valid, where the stock bolts were reused I have done a bit of damage to em, the recessed bolts are better. I'd say don't worrie about the opening for the oil drain plug, you would have a hard time getting your entire hand into it, a rock isn't going to do any harm... on the other hand if you chew up those allan bolts on the RROR cover how much fun is changeing your oil going to be?


    Other then the price here's the biggest differance though, looking at the RROR skids i'm betting they are WAY lighter then the polly ones, shipping weight was 250lbs for mine... that's like haveing an large passanger in the jeep at all times. On stock springs with 4 ppl in the jeep it was botteming out on the bump stops going over woops in the paved road... it's why I ended up doing a spring lift rather then a budget boot.

    on to tires and my limited experience.
    If you go with 35s you will get much better clearance on the diff however there are some considerations, price for one but it's acctualy less important the more you think about it... buy the tires you will want from the start and you will save money over buying them and buying the wrong ones. Mileage: I lost about 2-2.5L/100km from stock to 35s on the other hand I also did the lift and axles/gears at the same time so it's hard to say exactly what the tires did. The rule of thumb is suposed to be for every 1" of lift (suspention, body, or tire) you loose 1mpg I don't think it's quite that extreme in our jeeps, I've had one guy with an auto sahara say that by installing 35s and useing a programmer he's acctualy improved his mileage. Other upgrades required: you will need clearance, so it's a lift or fenders... or both. with my lift (about 3.5-4")I still rub the stock fenders quite a bit. You made out ok on the stock tires takeing bypasses when you can but going over and through when not. If you don't want to kit anything too much harder then you will be happy with 33s... if you want to drive like a moron (aka me) over stuff you realy shouldn't or plan to do harder trails then go 35s. Look: hey don't let anyone fool you, when you arn't wheeling it posing is the most important thing out there... agressive 33s look good but the size just isn't right till you get to 35s on a 4dr and it doesn't start looking like a realy big jeep till ya hit 37s (at least in my eyes)

    When all is said and done no matter what tires you pick be comfortable with your skid plate system... you drive a 4rd, you will be useing them... a lot... oh and get a snorkel... i've seen your wife drive in the water
    2010 JK Unlimited Sahara, rubi axles, 35" duratracs, OME lift: Written off, RIP.
    2006 LJ Rubicon Lots of stuff from TMR installed by CT Motorsports (see profile if you want to know) project once more with feeling
    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    Listen to the wise Drizit
    Hey he said it not me.
    There Must have been a time when we could have said no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scbesse View Post
    FYI a guy in London has New full set of Rock hard skids for sale for about $850
    Got any links to product description/pics?

    On another note, a CB shop near me is going out business so I scooped up a radio, cable, mount and antenna for under $100.00. Uniden 510pro w/5' firestick. Pics coming soon.
    Last edited by dft; 11-20-2010 at 06:05 PM.

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    WOW what kind of wattage does your radio put out dft?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dft View Post
    More to come on this as I have to do some tire size calculations to find the right fit that won't require speedo recalibration.[/INDENT]
    Go with 35s. The money you will spend on 33s just isnt worth it. Lots of guys trim the stock fenders and can get away with no lift. I have 2.5 inches and dont rub at all with my 35s.

    As far as speedo recalibration go with the AEV procal, you can do a lot more than just the speedo calibration with it... and its not that expensive.
    -OlllllllO-

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    Quote Originally Posted by U Turn View Post
    WOW what kind of wattage does your radio put out dft?
    4watts like any other smartass

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    Well the poison spyder evap skid has arrived. Installation with pics to follow soon.

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    Evap skid is installed. It took a little longer due to many stops to thaw my fingers. I owe some thnx to Uturn and BullwinkleTJ for stopping by to make fun of me Installation was quite easy regardless of the cold. Next I need to find that bloody space heater I had before moving here.

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    hey what are friends for at least idid up a couple bolts for ya. Don't forget to thank your wife for letting you use her tools....

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