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CarbonCopy 08-17-2004 01:37 AM

Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
Well it's official.. The stealership has located a Rubicon that fits my desire, and it will be starting the trip from Quebec to me in the morning. They have a couple jobs to do when they get it like install the cuise, but I should take possesion of it by Friday..

I opted for the shale green since I have yet to see even one around here in that colour..

Anyway, if anyone has any TJ mods that they figure is mandatory (like the CJ ammo can center console, and blower moter upgrade), I would love to hear them..



kerryp 08-17-2004 07:33 AM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
Get rid of the shovel underneath (i.e. transfer case skid plate) and go with a tummy tucker or belly up skid plate. If I can ever wring money out of my wife, that will be the first upgrade I do, other than installing my winch from my previous jeep, it will give you around 2 more inches of ground clearance and keep you from hanging up on rocks, stumps, or june bugs [img]images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img] [img]images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img], Thats my only real complaint about mine other than the fact i can't use the lockers in high (at least not until I do a little modifying [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]). You will be amazed at what these things can do right out of the box, and with a little skid protection and some discos it will be great, then of course the ususal mods of a lift and some larger tires, etc,

RRich 08-17-2004 09:47 AM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
Kerry - since you have a Rubicon, notice the clearance above the transfercase - almost none. The belly-up plates don't work - nowhere to raise it to - reason is the Rubi has a bigger T-case than a TJ. Save your money.

Yes, the stock plate's just like a scoop, hitting and grabbing everything. The stock plate is 3/16", but it still bends real easy.
Other than lifting and bigger tires, you might fab a small skid plate in front of the stock's front edge, and behind the rear edge to help ease the plate over obstacles.
Seems like the gas tank whacks anything within 50 yards too, consider better protection there too.
And don't forget about the front lower control arm brackets - they bend and break.
And then of course, the steering box.
It never ends.

kerryp 08-17-2004 11:29 AM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
Maybe I'm wrong, but I was under the belief you could use a belly up by installing a 1" body lift to get the extra room required to install it. Nth degree makes the "Tummy Tucker" for the Rubicon, but it takes some work to get it on and it is not cheap, and TeraFlex makes the Belly up and they state that their 1" body lift is required as well as the engine lift spacers included in the kit, now Tera does not state whether the belly up has issues with installation on a Rubicon, so I don't know about that.

As for the fuel tank skid plate, YES that is a definate, mine is already a little shorter in one spot thanks to the help of a rock, so I will definately be skidding that as well as my oil pan, adding after market control arms, steering box, etc. I plan on doing all skid protection before I do a lift of any kind, then I will add a lift big enough to go to 33"s, thats as big as I plan on going (well at least thats the plan, I have said that before and ended up with 36"s, but for now 33's will be fine for the Rubi)

Olin18 08-17-2004 11:55 AM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
One mod you may think of off the bat is to "adjust" the locker wiring so that you can use them in Hi range. From the factory the lockers will only "lock" while the Jeep is in Lo. I have heard it is pretty easy to alter them, but you may run into issues if you ever have to get them serviced by a dealer.

RRich 08-17-2004 12:35 PM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
Before I even had 1000 miles on it, my tank skid plate looked more like a pretzel, the stock t-case plate was in about the same condition.
And -- it was embarrassing till I realized what happened - a stiff bush got up around the skid plate and ripped the locker compressors' hoses and wires off -- no more locking - had to be strapped a few times till I repaired it - took lots of kidding till then.
I moved them up under the hood out of harm's way - left side. It's easy, the rear wires and hose have to be extended, make a little mounting plate for them.
Why would they put them in such a vulnerable place? Duh!

I decided against the body lift - shifter issues, tank filler issues etc.
I was going to just extend the t-case skid plate longer to get tranny protection too - very vulnerable - but then decided on the Rubicon Express Long Arm 4.5" lift with 35's. Glad I did - works very well. I went 4.5 vs. 5.5" so it still can barely get in the garage.
The RE kits have a stouter skid plate (1/4"), but even then I've bent it jumping and landing on it. Added gussets and ribs for that.
Then I fabbed a long wide skid plate extending from the engine front under the pan all the way back to the t-case plate. Otherwise the tranny and pan are too exposed. I made my own because aftermarket ones are mostly for looks - I've seen too many bend up and fail. The "stick-ons" are a joke!
The automatic tranny versions have a little "pretend" skid plate under the tranny, too thin - the 5 speeds have no protection at all -- aluminum and rocks don't mix well.

Ha Ha -- Looks like I'm inadvertantly getting in the skid plate business - my club members are begging me to make them for them. Here I thought I was retired!

Next project partially finished so far - a rear skid that protects the driveshaft and keeps you from hanging up on that big open area between the rear axle and t-case plate. I don't know how many times that open area has caught me.
Several times a long flat rock rolls and catches me there.

When I hear metal on rocks I want to laugh, not cringe - then slide on over without damage. Sure, all that stuff adds about 110-120 lbs, but how much does all the spare parts otherwise needed weigh?

He He -- I bought the Rubi thinking it's pretty well equipped - not much needed to make it great. But it seems to never end. Oh well!

CarbonCopy 08-17-2004 12:56 PM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
I have actually been looking at the tummy tuck (with the 1" body lift), and almost 2" in coil spacers (adjustable spacers up front to compensate for the winch if needed).. This should also give me a little extra clearance to move up to a slightly larger BFG MT when the goodyears wear out, or I sell them..

I had also read about the lockers in 4 hi, but have yet to decide how to best implement it. I figure this should be easily reversable incase it ever came down to a warranty issue..

I guesse I will have to start looking at the tank skids though..

I don't want to get too carried away though, I still want to replace the tub, wiring harness, and go SOA on the CJ.. A 350 would be nice too, but that is down the road a little ways..

Great info.. Thanks..


kerryp 08-17-2004 03:48 PM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?

Good info, I would like to see a pic of your rubi, got a link? Unfortunately I don't have the tools to fab up my own stuff, heck I don't even have a garage yet [img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img], I forgot how many rigs you had til I checked your profile, makes me feel real guilty about getting rid of the scrambler [img]images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img].

I wish I didhave the shop and tools (welder, etc.), I like doing as much work as I can myself, its not only fun, but a nice stress reliever from the every day rigors ( i love hanging around under my Jeep beating on something that won't fit [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]).

I agree with you about the locker actuators, my first outting in mine my front locker wouldn't engage and when i crawled underneath, one of the vacuum lines was damaged, all i had to do was cut off a little and push it back on, but I was wondering the same about why they would put something so critical in an area that is likely to see rocks, sticks, etc. Relocating to under the hood is a good idea.

Since I can't fab up my own stuff, and since I don't have alot of time to do so anyway, I will likely have to go with a preman. skid, the tummy tuck looks to be the strongest with built in gussets, but you may be right about how easily it can be damaged,

I'll have to check out someone with one installed to see how well its holding up,,,,and as for never being completed with mods, well its a jeep thing,,,,I don't think we will ever be completely satisfied with the project, else it wouldn't be a "project" and heck, adding, improving, and tweaking is what makes this fun, once I buy me a new house in a year or so with a garage, I will be able to do alot more. [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

JBTater 08-17-2004 04:56 PM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Don't have enough --- money for a second.

[/ QUOTE ]
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Rubicon is on it's way..

[/ QUOTE ]

Something just doesn't add up here.......[img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
Congrat's, though.
And now back to our regularly scheduled discussion of upgrades.

GP'n 08-17-2004 08:06 PM

Re: Rubicon is on it\'s way.. Upgrade suggestions?
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I had also read about the lockers in 4 hi, but have yet to decide how to best implement it. I figure this should be easily reversable incase it ever came down to a warranty issue..

[/ QUOTE ]

You are abslutely right about easily reversed. take a look here Ruby locker bypass

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