Build Advice Needed: Overland build of a 2006 Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) Rubicon

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Embark With Mark

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This is actually well documented by many established TJ owners and is a real thing. ARB, OX, Riddlers, and solids to name a few. My ARB front cover hit with the JKS and the Currie correctlinc. Google it and find out for yourself.
Looks like it’s more of an issue with running incorrect track bars.

I run a very thick front cover and no issues at all. Everyone I wheel with uses the covers you just named with no issues.

In fact. A few members run ARB front covers with currie correct link modified for high steer on Currie and prorock Dana 44s. Still no contact.

It looks like in those examples you pulled... they had an odd track bar situation.

I’ve run covers with the stock track bar and aftermarket metal cloak track bar. Never an issue. Currie track bars also don’t have an issue.

Those axles also look like they are to forward as well. As the TJ/LJ track bar rides in front of the axle housing in the stock position. Not on top. Could also be compounded by not having correct bump stops.

I’m not saying it doesn’t exists. But to say that you can only run stock covers is completely false. Literally millions of jeeps running aftermarket covers and no issues.

Stock covers are pretty thin. One good hit could mean a bad day.
 
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timberwolf_120

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This is actually well documented by many established TJ owners and is a real thing. ARB, OX, Riddlers, and solids to name a few. My ARB front cover hit with the JKS and the Currie correctlinc. Google it and find out for yourself.
Ok so let me start off by saying all this pictures looks like the axle is pushed to far forward and not correctly bumpstopped.
In the crawling world up travel doesn’t matter as much as down travel. These ain’t Baja rigs. You can have a 6” lifted Jeep bumped at 4” and still have plenty of droop.
Now that this issue is settled. Let’s move on to the next part.
Diff covers. Every tj I have wheeled with over the years (mark being one of them) have zero contact issues with aftermarket diff covers. All these diff covers are designed to be ran stock and as you lift you’ll only add more clearance with your tracbar now if you need to push your axle forward for whatever reason be it alignment pinion angle or clearing larger tires on smaller lifts. Simply bump the vehicle before it contacts which it will if you push the axle forward without preparing properly for it. I ran into this issue on my Jeep where my axle was pushed to far forward with short arms that my trac bar actually hit the top of my diff. But that was completely my fault and has since been remedied by properly bumping my rig. Again downtravel is what you want over up travel.
Would also like to add jks is notorious for making trash trac bars. They aren’t formed properly to clear during certain flex habits.

So there’s that.
 
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Cort

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Looks like it’s more of an issue with running incorrect track bars.

I run a very thick front cover and no issues at all. Everyone I wheel with uses the covers you just named with no issues.

In fact. A few members run ARB front covers with currie correct link modified for high steer on Currie and prorock Dana 44s. Still no contact.

It looks like in those examples you pulled... they had an odd track bar situation.

I’ve run covers with the stock track bar and aftermarket metal cloak track bar. Never an issue. Currie track bars also don’t have an issue.

Those axles also look like they are to forward as well. As the TJ/LJ track bar rides in front of the axle housing in the stock position. Not on top. Could also be compounded by not having correct bump stops.

I’m not saying it doesn’t exists. But to say that you can only run stock covers is completely false. Literally millions of jeeps running aftermarket covers and no issues.

Stock covers are pretty thin. One good hit could mean a bad day.
I had arb covers, correct link, correct bompstops and made contact. It happens. Literally millions of jeeps have those covers and we both know most of those millions don’t go farther than the mall parking lot.

You are right that axles too far forward can cause this to be more prevalent. Bumpstops are an issue often overlooked as well. I’m not saying you are wrong about you not experiencing this but this is a common TJ issue. More with D44s than D30s but both are common with lifts less than 3” and aftermarket covers. No trying to argue with you.
 

Cort

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Ok so let me start off by saying all this pictures looks like the axle is pushed to far forward and not correctly bumpstopped.
In the crawling world up travel doesn’t matter as much as down travel. These ain’t Baja rigs. You can have a 6” lifted Jeep bumped at 4” and still have plenty of droop.
Now that this issue is settled. Let’s move on to the next part.
Diff covers. Every tj I have wheeled with over the years (mark being one of them) have zero contact issues with aftermarket diff covers. All these diff covers are designed to be ran stock and as you lift you’ll only add more clearance with your tracbar now if you need to push your axle forward for whatever reason be it alignment pinion angle or clearing larger tires on smaller lifts. Simply bump the vehicle before it contacts which it will if you push the axle forward without preparing properly for it. I ran into this issue on my Jeep where my axle was pushed to far forward with short arms that my trac bar actually hit the top of my diff. But that was completely my fault and has since been remedied by properly bumping my rig. Again downtravel is what you want over up travel.
Would also like to add jks is notorious for making trash trac bars. They aren’t formed properly to clear during certain flex habits.

So there’s that.
I’m going to have to agree to disagree on this. I prefer to balance up and down travel. This may not be as important in your geographical area or style of wheeling and that’s ok.
 

timB10

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Old man emu is great, I've never read a bad thing about em. But I've personally ran with MetalCloak and I stand behind that company 100%! It's definitely worth the money and a pretty comfortable ride. I didn't do the 6pak shocks, I'm running the fox bypass 2.0 performance shocks, and still have a smooth ride. Just a suggestion, hope it helps out!
 
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Aaron Lee

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Just submitted an order through DPG Offroad for their OME Ultimate kit.


I didn't go for the "long travel" version. I went with the normal kit but customized it a little. I'm getting the OME 2.5" lift with the JKS adjustable track bars front and rear as well as sway bar disconnects up front and adjustable end links in the rear. I've also added the OME HD steering stabilizer and removed the body lift from their kit. I'm only going to be running 32" tires so the body lift shouldn't be needed.

I've decided to go with some aftermarket 15" wheels with better offset so I don't need to run spacers and have better choices for tire sizes. I'll keep my factory 16" aluminum wheels for dedicated snow tires.

Now to decide on a front bumper. I'm torn between the JCR Offroad Crusader Mid-width and the ARB Quadratech Edition Bull Bar. The JCR Offroad bumper is quite a bit lighter than the ARB bumper (50# vs. 83#). First thought is the ARB has more steel and would be stronger but I'm not sure. I already have a WARN M8000 winch with steel cable and either bumper is compatible. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Aaron
 
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Brewbud

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You mentioned replacing the ODPA. I too recommend replacing it right away. The Crown replacement unit seems to get the most votes for the one to use on the TJ forums. Use the stock sensor though. Throw the Crown sensor in with your spare parts just in case.
 

Aaron Lee

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With 146000 miles, that’s definitely in my near future. Also need to do spark plugs. I think the previous owner put “cold” plugs in it as it doesn’t run smooth till it warms up. I bought it in Texas so it wouldn’t surprise me.

Thanks,

Aaron
 

deadspot

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I was basically curious what you had @Vinman but also @deadspot. Thanks for the info on the Garvin. I like how that one hinges back for access to remove the hard or soft top. I would expect removing the soft top would be far simpler with the rack on than the hard top.
@Aaron Lee - late reply but FYI i recently picked up that Kargo Master rack and safari basket. I looked used and wanted to keep it under $500. Finding a used one for the LJ is a bit harder just because there aren't as many out there. I don't care for the barricade type racks that seem to stick out more to the side. That said, the other nice racks - Garvin, Gogi, etc - are really nice. I started out not wanting to drill and the last bit of info on the Kargo Master (they stopped selling for the TJ/LJ) says no drilling is required. But I would not rely on just the screws from the rear lights and so I did drill the 5/16" hole in the tub above the rear lights. Even then, seems like a lot of stress on the tub and that's where the other racks that drop down to the frame do seem like a better option. I just happened to find this rack locally and picked it up. I'm otherwise good with it. I started out just wanting something to haul a kayak but hope to use the basket for storage (i.e. fuel). Regarding the ability to bring the rack down on the hinges - yes, you can. But, honestly, you'd have to unscrew the two front bolts and then tilt back and I don't think it's that easy. I found myself with the doors off and back window out most of the summer. So, not getting the top back easily wasn't a major deal - but i'll know more this first summer with the rack if I regret that.
 

Aaron Lee

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Thanks for the update @deadspot. I think the roof rack is probably going to be a year away unless I can get my Goldwing sold soon. If I can get that sold, I will have more than enough $$ to do a soft top as well as a roof rack and any other gear I decide on. In the meantime, my focus is on suspension, tires, and recovery (winch bumper).

When you have a few, please post a picture of your finished install. I'd love to see how it looks compared to the Gobi / Garvin systems I've seen.

Thanks,
Aaron
 

Aaron Lee

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Nice American-made bumper ordered from JCR Offroad today!


Ordered it bare metal so I can paint it (easier scratch repairs than powder coat). Can't wait to get it prep'd and installed! Just need to get some 2ga wire so I can get my winch wired up.

Once the weather turns nice again, I'll get a couple "before" pictures so I can track the build progress.


Thanks,
Aaron