Re: 38s with SUA lift (no body or shackle) - possible?
I'm not gonna warn you about "wasting" a good off-road Jeep; I'm gonna warn you about the cost and implications of what you are trying to do. A "been there, done that" kinda deal. You are getting ready to make the exact same mistake I made at your exact same age. I'm a 19 now and a sophomore in college. I had a '88 4x4 Toyota pick-up through out HS. During the summer between my jr and sr years, I came into some $ and bought a '80 CJ-7 with a 4" Superlift, 1" body lift, trimmed fenders, front D30 with a Lockright, rear model 20 with a Lockright, dual stick D300, modified Chevy 350, TH350 auto, 35x12.50 BFG MTs, and the list goes on and on. I wanted to keep this Jeep until I got out of college and then go nuts with it and keep my Toy to drive in the mean time. Anyway, I blew the front axle up wheeling it and instead of taking my Dad's advice and shortening a Wagoneer or Scout D44 and just replacing the front axle, I decided to go nuts with it right then. I budgeted myself to $2500. I went SOA with the 4" leaves with the 2cd leaf removed and a stock leaf used in its place (made soft 2.5" springs) and front and rear Scout D44s (detroit rear, lockright front). Anyway, by the time I was done, I had spent about $4100 and broken my wallet. Then, the driveshaft blew and I had to go to a CV joint (there's another coupla hundred $). Then the shifting cable went ($50), then the valve cover gaskets ($20). Then I bent my tie rod (coupla hundred for a custom). My point is, when doing such extreme modifications to a Jeep, you run into costs you never see coming. Always have twice as much as you think you'll need when starting something like this. I assume you also have stock axles? These will never hold up to 38's and you'll need a D60 rear and at least a D44 front. I dunno if the transmission or transfer case is up to the task either, you'll have to ask some YJ guys. You'll need to regear to probably 5.13 or so and probably still need to do engine upgrades to have the power to turn those meats properly on and off the road. You'll need a slip yoke eliminator and CV driveshaft (probably close to $1000). Then, when you get done with all of this, you'll still have those insurance bills, upkeep of the vehicle (which will have increased many times fold), gas money (whill also will have increaded many times fold), and so on. I just want to warn you of the money you'd have to spend to make this happen and what you'd continue to spend to keep it on the road. I don't even know if it would be street legal; it would be in NC, but I don't know about all of the states. If I were you, I'd leave the Jeep the height you have it and use the money to add a rear locker and winch. Trust me, most of these college guys are broke and will not have near the off-road vehicle that you have now and the ones that have better ones are just for show and are too p#ssy to even take them off-road. Eventually, I ended up rolling my Toyota on a patch of black ice, the insurance company was gonna give me like $3500 for totalling it and my rates were gonna sky rocket. So, what I had to do was sell it to a salvage yard for $1200 and take the beating to the wallet to keep my rates from rocketing (I wouldn't have been able to afford them in college). Well, guess what that situation forced me to do? Yup, sell the CJ. I found out very quickly that it just wasn't economically feasible to pay the upkeep on a vehicle like that when it's used for everyday transportation. Due to the money I'd put into it I was broke save for the $1200 I got out of the Toy; so, I had no choice. I sold it, even then still unfinished, for $5500. You can ask anyone, you never see the money back out of these vehicles in a resale if you're forced to do so. So, what I suggest to you, is that you keep the Jeep pretty much the way it is except for the mods I suggested and maybe a few other affordable mods. I wished I woulda listened to my Dad, if I had, I would probably still have my CJ today. Although, in the end I did end up finding a KILLER deal on a '97 4 banger TJ that a guy HAD to sale to afford tuition. I added 15x8 wheels and 31" MTs to it and that's all I've done so far. This summer I'm gonna add a 2" coil spacer lift, 32's and a few minor intake/exhaust mods and then, I'm gonna wait until I'm out of college and have the time and money to build extreme. So, don't do like me and learn the hard way, just build yourself a nice, moderately built Jeep that can still handle the highway (which you'd have) and save the extreme build-up for after college when you have the time and money. But, I didn't listen to my Dad so I sure as hell don't expect you to listen to me. Just do me a favor and take what I have said into consideration.
If you decide to go through with the build-up, print this out and keep it so you can see that I tried to tell ya.