Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern Indiana
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I am no expert but have run my share of sand dunes. I assume you will be running at Silver Lake? That's where I run. Engine choice is up to you, but my 4.0 provides more than enough power. I have found that an automatic transmission is much better on dunes. By the time you downshift from 3rd to 2nd on a manual, you have lost most of your momentum and sink into the sand. I love my auto on the dunes. Axles will depend on your tire size. I run a stock Dana 30 up front (open) and a stock Dana 44 in back (factory Trac-loc). I currently run 32" all terrains with 3" of lift. But, I ran the same dunes almost as well with the stock 225/75 tires and no lift. The lift gives me a bit more breakover angle to keep me from getting high-centered. I prefer the all terrain tires in the sand. They don't dig in as much as the more aggressive treads. If you only run sand dunes, don't worry about super low gearing. Momentum and speed are your friends in the sand. With the 32" tires, I run the factory 3.73 gears in the axles and keep the xfer case in 4 low. It revs the engine a bit approaching big hills, but pulls very well when I get near the top. With the stock tires I ran in 4 high and had no problems. A full roll cage would be something to seriously consider. I have seen plenty of endo's at the top of the big dunes. Ouch! Good luck with the build and have fun. Maybe I'll see you there.
Take your Sahara to Silevr Lake. It'll do just fine.
Attached is a picture of my Jeep with stock tires and no lift.
"The devil is red, but his money is green."
Last edited by MTPockets; 03-04-2008 at 11:44 AM.