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August 23, 2017, 02:55:29 AM

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mopar31898
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« on: August 09, 2017, 02:25:59 PM »

All,

I know this has been covered on a lot of sites and probably on here but I have a some specific questions I am trying to nail down so bare with me.

I have a long term goal of possibly getting a lift but I keep going back and fourth.  The main reason I can't decide is I don't want to open a can of worms with other potential issues, ie driveline vibes, loss of daily driving, etc.

I have a 2006 TJ, about 43,000 miles, dana 35.

I go back and fourth between no lift and either a 2 or 3 inch lift.  If I go with a lift, it would be a full suspension lift with all the appropriate parts, no budget boosts or bare kits.  I would likely go with the JKS Jspec just based on what I have read.

My questions/concerns are as follows:

1.  Potential driveline vibes, what am I really looking at given my lift height.

2.  What am I not thinking of?

3.  The Jeep willbe mainly road use but with some lighter off roading from time to time.  Will I lose any daily driving functionality?

4.  Would it just be better to stay stock?

I know I am forgetting something but what is your guys insight.  Any info you can provide would be nice.

Thanks

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sirjames186
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 03:18:00 PM »

1. You should be able to put a 2-3 inch lift on with no problems for a TJ.  It's around 4 inches that vibes start.  If you do get some vibes, add a T-case drop with a couple washers and that should solve it.

2. If you do the full JKS lift, I believe that covers everything.  Control arms (not always needed, mine are still stock), track bars front/rear, and sway bar links are the big things to look for.  Keep an eye on that dana35 in the rear, if you go too big with tires or wheel too hard you could break an axle.

3. I'm driving an LJ on 3.75 inches of lift and 33s daily in Arlington.  Haven't lost any functionality from when it was stock (drove it a year that way) minus it being a bit sluggish from the bigger tires.  I plan on regearing to solve that issue however.  That's something that might fall under your unplanned expenses actually.  If you go up in tire size, you'll want to regear.  That's like $1,500.

4. Ultimately staying stock or not is up to you.  I drove mine for a year before putting in the lift because I wanted to see how far I could go and if I really needed the lift.  I ran flagpole and a couple other trails got hooked and wanted a lift.  I don't regret getting it at all.  If you just want to run fire trails, dirt roads, and light offroading you could keep it stock and be fine.  A stock jeep will take you much further than you think it will.


For me, I never really thought about lift height, I always thought about it in terms of what I wanted to do.  Once I started getting into stuff where 30-inch tires weren't enough, I started looking at upgrades.  I settled on getting 33s because going to 35s is a pain on TJs (SYE, control arms, brake and steering upgrades etc).  From there I worked out the details on the lift and everything else to fit the end goal.  It took me a year to save up and get all the parts installed, but I ended up with the OME kit and it's worked great for my needs.

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mopar31898
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 03:33:52 PM »

So would I regret only going with a 2 inch lift in the long run?  I don't have any intention at this time, or do I forsee any time on the future, of adding a winch or a lot of armor.

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sirjames186
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 03:50:20 PM »

That depends on what you want to do.  A 2 inch lift with 31s could be all you need.  You can always toss in a 1.25 body lift down the road if you want a little more out of it.  I'm running a 2.5 suspension lift, with a 1.25 body lift.

Personally, if I were sinking a thousand bucks into a good lift, I'd get the 3inch and let it settle.  If you just want a 2 inch lift though, there are plenty of other good quality kits out there that cost less.  BDS makes a 2inch kit for the TJ that's under $500.

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ltdanyj
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 10:36:24 PM »

2" suspension lift, 1" body lift. Motor mount lift to address driveline vibes. 33" tires. Soup.

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nosigma
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 08:02:48 AM »

Get rid of the Dana 35 first.  Even if your mall crawling its a grenade with the pin pilled.  Shorter fuse if put on larger tires.  A locker guarentees detonation. 

I have seen several break in rock, one broke on flagpole and another broke in a parming lot. All were on either 31's or 33's, one had a super 35 kit.

John

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Runner
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 10:40:26 AM »

Having built numerous TJs, there are many factors that go into this decision.  If however you're the type of person that keeps a vehicle for a long time, and you're concerned about maintaining the nimble feel of a TJ, I highly recommend the following:

- go straight to a quality 3" lift (including adjustable control arms)
- keep weight adding accessories to a minimum
- run a narrower tire, i.e. a 33x10.50

Admittedly, I'm a bit of a zealot when it comes to weight, both sprung and unsprung, on a vehicle, but I can speak from experience here.  It's the single biggest detractor for taking away the drivability in a TJ.  If money is an issue now, wait until you can afford to do it right.  Far to often people get in a hurry and spend good money after bad, myself included.

With a 3" lift you generally don't need to get new driveshafts.  However, I would recommend new u joints in the front driveshaft (simply due to age) and that you consider a new double cardan rear driveshaft from Tom Woods.  If you go this route, install the lift first, measure the length you need (they will help you through the process on the phone), and order.  This should ensure you end up with zero vibrations.   

As for the dana 35 rear, I respect John's experience and advice tremendously.  I personally wouldn't wheel with a dana 35.  However, I've seen many on the road go 200K or more.  When I have seen them break it's usually from lack of maintenance, heavy/large tires, heavy foot, or drivers doing things they shouldn't.  Yes, they can break outside of these things, but that hasn't been my experience. 

Lastly, you're asking for advice and getting yet another persons perspective.  Bottom line, it's your Jeep, so gathering as much information as you can, from people with real experience, and making the call is ultimately up to you!

Rich

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mopar31898
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 04:52:12 PM »

Get rid of the Dana 35 first.  Even if your mall crawling its a grenade with the pin pilled.  Shorter fuse if put on larger tires.  A locker guarentees detonation.  

I have seen several break in rock, one broke on flagpole and another broke in a parming lot. All were on either 31's or 33's, one had a super 35 kit.

John

I appreciate the insight.  What are the weak points of the Dana 35?  I have maintained it regularly and it only has 44,000 miles.  I have not seen any issues.  Anything I should be looking for?  Also, I am currently running 31s and have been for some time now.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:57:26 PM by mopar31898 »

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mopar31898
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 05:03:36 PM »

Having built numerous TJs, there are many factors that go into this decision.  If however you're the type of person that keeps a vehicle for a long time, and you're concerned about maintaining the nimble feel of a TJ, I highly recommend the following:

- go straight to a quality 3" lift (including adjustable control arms)
- keep weight adding accessories to a minimum
- run a narrower tire, i.e. a 33x10.50

Admittedly, I'm a bit of a zealot when it comes to weight, both sprung and unsprung, on a vehicle, but I can speak from experience here.  It's the single biggest detractor for taking away the drivability in a TJ.  If money is an issue now, wait until you can afford to do it right.  Far to often people get in a hurry and spend good money after bad, myself included.

With a 3" lift you generally don't need to get new driveshafts.  However, I would recommend new u joints in the front driveshaft (simply due to age) and that you consider a new double cardan rear driveshaft from Tom Woods.  If you go this route, install the lift first, measure the length you need (they will help you through the process on the phone), and order.  This should ensure you end up with zero vibrations.   

As for the dana 35 rear, I respect John's experience and advice tremendously.  I personally wouldn't wheel with a dana 35.  However, I've seen many on the road go 200K or more.  When I have seen them break it's usually from lack of maintenance, heavy/large tires, heavy foot, or drivers doing things they shouldn't.  Yes, they can break outside of these things, but that hasn't been my experience. 

Lastly, you're asking for advice and getting yet another persons perspective.  Bottom line, it's your Jeep, so gathering as much information as you can, from people with real experience, and making the call is ultimately up to you!

Rich

Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate the last paragraph.  I like to do a lot of research, including other people's experience.  From being on this site  short amount of time, it seems like most of the guys have great insight and experience.

I know I want to invest money in quality kit because I am keeping it for awhile.

Would you guys look at getting a Dana 44 loaner axle and building it yourself or get a completed one?  If you were going to build it yourself, do you guys have any experience with that.  Setting the gears is something I have done before but I was super paranoid about getting it perfect.

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nosigma
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 09:42:43 PM »

The ring and pinion along with the spider gears are tiny/weak.  Some who run open open and ride green and light blue get away with it.  Others blow up on blues.  Locking increases stress on the diff.  Tires bigger than oem (stock) increase stress.  

Put in a D44 or an 8.8 and you can forget about axle problems then proceed with your build without a worry.

John

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mopar31898
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 05:47:40 AM »

The ring and pinion along with the spider gears are tiny/weak.  Some who run open open and ride green and light blue get away with it.  Others blow up on blues.  Locking increases stress on the diff.  Tires bigger than oem (stock) increase stress.  

Put in a D44 or an 8.8 and you can forget about axle problems then proceed with your build without a worry.

John

What would you say is the best route for getting a D44?  Buying a used one or a crate axle?

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nosigma
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 10:19:25 PM »

The ring and pinion along with the spider gears are tiny/weak.  Some who run open open and ride green and light blue get away with it.  Others blow up on blues.  Locking increases stress on the diff.  Tires bigger than oem (stock) increase stress.  

Put in a D44 or an 8.8 and you can forget about axle problems then proceed with your build without a worry.

John

What would you say is the best route for getting a D44?  Buying a used one or a crate axle?

A JK owner would be screwed, your lucky with a TJ.  TJ or XJ you can get the right width axle for $125 at a pick and pull from an 4.0 88-89 XJ with a tow package.  A V-6 XJ tow package or a Comanche (MJ=wider) tow package will have 4.10's already loaded in a Dana 44.  Add a lunchbox locker and life is good.  If you are exceptionally lucky you might find a Rubi TJ or LJ rear which is ready to bolt in.  With an XJ or MJ doner you have to weld on brackets but that's easy, lots of member on NVJA with 220V welders.  

If you have the cash going crate is the simple choice.  Minimal blood, sweat and tears with a new axle. Three bolts, a brake bleeding and your done.  Get Yukon gears and a locker pre-installed if you go that route, it will save cash in the long run.

John
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 10:21:21 PM by nosigma »

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mopar31898
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 07:19:50 PM »

The ring and pinion along with the spider gears are tiny/weak.  Some who run open open and ride green and light blue get away with it.  Others blow up on blues.  Locking increases stress on the diff.  Tires bigger than oem (stock) increase stress.  

Put in a D44 or an 8.8 and you can forget about axle problems then proceed with your build without a worry.

John

What would you say is the best route for getting a D44?  Buying a used one or a crate axle?

A JK owner would be screwed, your lucky with a TJ.  TJ or XJ you can get the right width axle for $125 at a pick and pull from an 4.0 88-89 XJ with a tow package.  A V-6 XJ tow package or a Comanche (MJ=wider) tow package will have 4.10's already loaded in a Dana 44.  Add a lunchbox locker and life is good.  If you are exceptionally lucky you might find a Rubi TJ or LJ rear which is ready to bolt in.  With an XJ or MJ doner you have to weld on brackets but that's easy, lots of member on NVJA with 220V welders.  

If you have the cash going crate is the simple choice.  Minimal blood, sweat and tears with a new axle. Three bolts, a brake bleeding and your done.  Get Yukon gears and a locker pre-installed if you go that route, it will save cash in the long run.

John

Thanks for the info.  All very good things to know.

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Ose
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 11:52:14 AM »

Lot of these guys hit the nail on the head. If you want to maintain good driveablilty go with a nice kit. In these instances you always get what you paid for. Adjustable control arms are always a big plus for getting your caster set back correctly to avoid wandering. As for the rear 35, its a lightweight toothpick under there. Probably good for mall crawling on smaller tires but you can max it out pretty quick. D44 swaps are good, but the 8.8 out of an explorer is much more plentiful. Driveline vibes will be a minimum with that little of a lift, but replacing u joints is a good idea while your in there. If you want to really have no issues at all, go with a cv style from either tom's or adam's.

Colin

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Go Caps Go
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2017, 01:15:50 PM »

You said this will be a daily driver, with some off-road trail riding.  Keep in mind, most of the off-road capability of Jeeps comes from what is in the driver's seat, not under the hood/frame. 

That being said, you can do A LOT with a 2 inch suspension lift, 1.25 inch body lift, straight fenders, riding on narrow 33s.  Great all around moderate build.  Zero vibrations (not high enough to disturb the geometry).  Drives darn near like stock.  I am typically the smallest rig in the group, but go pretty much everywhere they do.  Rausch Creek blues and blacks all day long. 

Not sure where you are located,  but I would be more than happy to let you drive my rig around a bit to see how it feels/drives.  I live in Chantilly. 

Other than that, see Runner's and John's post.  They have a tremendous amount of experience with TJ/LJ/XJ, all of which overlap to a degree, and could likely build one in their sleep. My only suggestion would be if you do go forward with lifting your jeep, do not skimp on the lift as you will usually regret it later.  I personally went with ARB Old Man Emu 2" and it has been bullet proof.

Ken
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