JKU Sport Build

tjgoff

Member
I’ve had my JKU Sport for about 4 years now and originally was just looking to have a mall crawler. I KNOW! However I started going off-road and now I’d like to get serious. I know enough to be dangerous but I d love to enlist some help in building mine. What should I do first, what’s most important, that kinda stuff. This is my daily driver but I drive maybe 30 minutes a day or maybe a little more depending on if my kids have baseball, soccer or cheerleading practice. So, I’ll do a little back in time build thread to get us to the present day and if anyone is interested, I’ll make a list of your suggestions for future mods. Here’s where we started Image1524838258.768106.jpg IMG_3420.JPG

These are the earliest pictures I can find. By this point I had plastidipped the wheels and put on the Smittybilt SRC side armor rock sliders (which I have really loved btw).


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tjgoff

Member
IMG_1428.JPG

Once I changed the flares, I had to go with the new bumper...you guessed it...Smittybilt. All of this was happening pre WAL and pre knowing what I was doing but I’ve been pretty happy with everything.


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tjgoff

Member
IMG_1885.JPG

One day I was renting some equipment and the store manager asked me if I was interest in a tire carrier bumper. Wound up buying this Barricade (I think...I always forget) for 250!


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tjgoff

Member
IMG_2826.JPG

Next came new tires. My buddy who runs a Chevy dealership got me 5 Toyo Open Country MTs (34s) for $900! It’s nice to know people. With the fenders and the help of 2 inch spacers these fit fine with no rubbing on stock suspension.


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tjgoff

Member
Then came time for the lift. A 3 inch Trailmaster spacer lift. Did I mention I’m on a pretty tight budget? IMG_3311.JPG IMG_3314.JPG IMG_3415.jpeg Image1524840004.215897.jpg

And the photo recreation the following year to show how we’ve all grown.

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tjgoff

Member
I did the lift with a couple of buddies at a friend’s garage. This is his “home garage.” Again, it’s all about who you know. Here’s his new toy. IMG_3375.JPG


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tjgoff

Member
Which brings us to present day. IMG_3421.JPG

So...now I’m shifting gears. I have considered trading up to a Rubicon or an already built older JKU but so far haven’t pulled the trigger. I’ve recently been urged by som Wayalifers to just build mine instead of buying it. So...I need some help. What do I have to have. I’d eventually like to be on 37s and be able to wheel without fear of breaking things. I know I should upgrade my lift but should I do the drive chain first?

Any suggestions would be great! Looking forward to hearing from you all!


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bruggymonster

New member
Right now I am daily driving my 37's on Dana 44 (stock rubi axles) with no problems. I still have yet to weld on my C-gussets and nothing bad has happened yet (knock on wood). Others will chime in on 37's on stock sport axles and how it is possible, but not advised. If you are set on running 37's, I would suggest an axle swap or at least tryin to find some Rubi axles at the junk yard to swap in. Then, I am running 5.13 gears and Adams 1350 front and rear driveshafts to compensate for the 4" EVO Enforcer lift and bigger tires. Going onto the subject of suspension lifts, you are able to run 37's without a lift as long as you trim your fenders and some pinch seams, you'll most likely have very little "flex" and possibility of slight rubbing, theres someone on YouTube that did it, just search it. If I was in your situation, I would just stick with 35's and a budget boost or what you have now would probably work just as well. You'll still get decent gas mileage and you won't have to spend money on a new axle, expensive tires, and new drive shafts. A lot of people don't really understand how big of a jump it is from 35's to 37's and how much more you have to spend to get it all proper. Love the photography and that you're a part of Wayalife to learn more about some good products haha!
 

tjgoff

Member
Right now I am daily driving my 37's on Dana 44 (stock rubi axles) with no problems. I still have yet to weld on my C-gussets and nothing bad has happened yet (knock on wood). Others will chime in on 37's on stock sport axles and how it is possible, but not advised. If you are set on running 37's, I would suggest an axle swap or at least tryin to find some Rubi axles at the junk yard to swap in. Then, I am running 5.13 gears and Adams 1350 front and rear driveshafts to compensate for the 4" EVO Enforcer lift and bigger tires. Going onto the subject of suspension lifts, you are able to run 37's without a lift as long as you trim your fenders and some pinch seams, you'll most likely have very little "flex" and possibility of slight rubbing, theres someone on YouTube that did it, just search it. If I was in your situation, I would just stick with 35's and a budget boost or what you have now would probably work just as well. You'll still get decent gas mileage and you won't have to spend money on a new axle, expensive tires, and new drive shafts. A lot of people don't really understand how big of a jump it is from 35's to 37's and how much more you have to spend to get it all proper. Love the photography and that you're a part of Wayalife to learn more about some good products haha!

Thanks. It’s funny how it gets in your head though. As soon as I rolled it off the rack with the lift I said “ I need 37s.” Would you suggest regearing the 30s just so the drive is better? It’s a little sluggish and slow to shift right now.


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bruggymonster

New member
Thanks. It’s funny how it gets in your head though. As soon as I rolled it off the rack with the lift I said “ I need 37s.” Would you suggest regearing the 30s just so the drive is better? It’s a little sluggish and slow to shift right now.


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I don’t have much to say for the Sport axles with your sized tires because I’ve never driven one but I can tell you that with the rubi axles and 37s at 5.13 gears, it is night and day difference. It basically makes it feel like stock IMO. At first I didn’t really notice a difference but that was because I was driving a 2015 bone stock Sahara while my Jeep was getting the new gears in. I know there is a chart that floats around somewhere that explains what gear ratio to go with for your setup hopefully someone will chime in with that as well as their experience with a Dana 30 and bigger tires. Also I know exactly what you mean when it gets in your head about getting bigger tires, I’ve always been thinking I want 40s but that is way down the road.


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