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Thread: Overland TJ Build ideas

  1. #1
    Caught the Bug dustinfromohio's Avatar
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    Overland TJ Build ideas

    So I realize there are a dozen vehicles better suited for long distance travels than a TJ but I love the platform so I want to attempt it anyways. My goal is to build a vehicle capable of traveling across the country somewhat comfortably, hitting all the national/state parks along the way, then exploring places like Moab when we get there. I donít plan on doing any serious wheeling, mostly just mild stuff while Iím out exploring for a week or two at a time. Most of these trips will be with any combination of my gf, daughter, and a dog (or 3). Below is how the Jeep currently sits along with some questions Iím rolling around. I apologize for the long windedness and thanks in advance.

    Current setup:
    2002 Jeep TJ
    4.0
    NV3550
    Open Dana 30/35 with 3.73s
    Zone 3Ē lift, nitro shocks, adj track bar
    Psc stinger front bumper
    Unknown brand upgraded rear tire carrier
    265/70R17 Toyo AT2s
    Unknown brand frame mounted rocker guards

    Best way to increase cargo capacity- trailer, overhead rack, hitch mounted cargo carrier (all have their drawbacks)
    Optimal tire size- possibly upgrade to 33x12.50, 33x10.50, or 34x10.50? (I donít know out west enough to know what I really need, 3.73s are ok but id prefer a little lower gearing even with current setup so regearing will probably happen regardless)
    Upgrade axles for more durability- chromoly shafts in 30, swap in a non rubicon 44?
    Travel question- do you guys usually tent it, air bnb, hotels? Camping would be fun but seems to add a ton of extra supplies.

  2. #2
    Addict wjtstudios's Avatar
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    If you planning on doing a ton of miles, Iíd start by focusing on ride. Shocks and Springs. Iíd look at the rancho 9000 adjustable shocks so you can dial it in based off the load your carrying.

    I wouldnít run a lot of load up high, keep the COG as low as you can. A hitch rack and waterproof bags are great. If you need more room, you might look at a small trailer. You can search the forum, Thereís a lot of guys that have built them.

    Good luck.


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    2015 JKU Rubicon AEV JK350
    1985 Jeep CJ8 Scrambler

  3. #3
    Been Around the Block 98XJ06LJ's Avatar
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    For the type of wheeling that you are talking about you are fine on stock diffs with a 33" tire. Maybe upgrade the axles shafts while regearing to 4:10, not sure I would go more than that as you are also going to be on the highway the majority of the time.

    I think a trailer is going to be your best bet as you have stated you will have three people in the rig. Just keep it low profile. The wind drag kills you on the highway. This allows you to disconnect at the trail head or camp site and leave all that excess weight behind when wheeling.



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  4. #4
    Caught the Bug dustinfromohio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98XJ06LJ View Post
    For the type of wheeling that you are talking about you are fine on stock diffs with a 33" tire. Maybe upgrade the axles shafts while regearing to 4:10, not sure I would go more than that as you are also going to be on the highway the majority of the time.

    I think a trailer is going to be your best bet as you have stated you will have three people in the rig. Just keep it low profile. The wind drag kills you on the highway. This allows you to disconnect at the trail head or camp site and leave all that excess weight behind when wheeling.



    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using WAYALIFE mobile app
    I like the small trailer idea as the Jeep already has a hitch and the wiring and it would give me more options for taking my kayak places this summer. Plus I could get pretty creative on design/features. If I stay with 4.10s it may be cheaper to find a set of factory axles already geared that way and swap them.

  5. #5
    Been Around the Block 98XJ06LJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustinfromohio View Post
    I like the small trailer idea as the Jeep already has a hitch and the wiring and it would give me more options for taking my kayak places this summer. Plus I could get pretty creative on design/features. If I stay with 4.10s it may be cheaper to find a set of factory axles already geared that way and swap them.
    Especially if you have a pick a part or any other option for a pull it yourself junk yard. You can pick up complete assemblies for a couple hundred bucks.

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  6. #6
    Caught the Bug dustinfromohio's Avatar
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    You think 4.56s would be out of the question even with pulling the trailer?

  7. #7
    Addict wjtstudios's Avatar
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    That might be too steep for all the road miles you are doing. 4:10s and 33s is the way to go.


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    2015 JKU Rubicon AEV JK350
    1985 Jeep CJ8 Scrambler

  8. #8
    Been Around the Block 98XJ06LJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjtstudios View Post
    That might be too steep for all the road miles you are doing. 4:10s and 33s is the way to go.


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    Agreed. 👆

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using WAYALIFE mobile app

  9. #9
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    Delete....
    Last edited by dougrz; 03-19-2019 at 04:58 PM.

  10. #10
    Been Around the Block sm31's Avatar
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    Another vote for the trailer. I'm also a fan of keeping the load down low... plus the drawback of rooftop setups is you have to pack it all up every time you move the vehicle. A trailer OTOH can serve as a nice home base while you make excursions around the area... while keeping your rig light (as someone already pointed out). A final plus on the trailer is that you will have far more carrying capacity than anything on or in the vehicle could match.

    If it were a JKU, there might be some trailer-less options but I couldn't see doing it any other way in my 2001 TJ.

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