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  1. Last week
  2. I was finally able to make it to Tennessee for the Smoky Mountain Overland Rally (SMOR). This is an event I have been wanting to make since it's inaugural event but there always seemed to be a conflict. Home, for the weekend at least, just outside Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It's good to be out camping again. Read on for my brief review of last week's 2019 Smoky Mountain Overland Rally... Southbound and Down Full tank of gas and a full belly make for a good start of any road trip. It's not an LS powered LJ, but she'll do the trick. According to GPS it'd be a pretty straight shot down I-81 for me. Even though the weather was nice, I opted for a detour on the way down.First stop was lunch in Bedford with the gang from Blue Ridge Overland Gear. Can't go wrong with a plate from Azul.Second stop was Cabela's. Someone (who shall remain nameless) forgot his rain gear. Small but MightyAn alternate name for SMOR would be the "Small but Mighty Overland Rally." It was hands down the smallest overland rally I've been to to-date, but you know what? That's one of the things that made it great. Despite its diminutive size, the event had a lot to offer. Camping with a view. Welcome meeting. The first great offering at SMOR 2019 was the main reason I was there: the classes. There were multiple sessions Friday evening as well as Saturday morning. The topics covered the spectrum of overland adventure skills essential for all experience levels. One of the classes I offered at this year's SMOR was my "Tire Pressure Management" workshop. Thanks to ARB USA, Blue Ridge Overland Gear, and J.T. Brooks Tire Deflators for their support. Review: ARB Maximum Performance Portable Air Supply Article: Tire Pressure Mangagement Another offering that made SMOR so much fun was the ability to run trails not only in the nearby National Forest, but onsite as well. Hosted at Deep Holler Off-Road Park, the web of trails on the property offer a lot of opportunities for rigs of all shapes and sizes. The advantage of private onsite trails gives this event a one-up on many other events that only have access to public trails offsite. Also onsite was a small obstacle course style trail which was great form some behind the wheel training for more advanced drivers. Since I was rocking the Liberty for the weekend, I opted to play passenger for one of the trail rides. Thanks to Trail Guide Derrick from Southern Xpeditions for letting me ride along. Not uncommon to find downed trees blocking the trails this time of year. After a little work with a Warn winch and some recovery gear the tree was out of the way. A little hill-climb action. Another trail; another down tree; another opportunity to work the winch. Notice the use of the snatch block to move the tree off to the side of the trail. A view from the top of the main hill. Well worth the ride. The final piece that made SMOR great was the people. Between the attendees, instructors, vendors, and staff everyone at the event seemed to have a great time. There was a enough room for campers to spread out into small pockets of mini-camps. There was also a central fire-pit for people to congregate around each night. Everyone braved the wind and rain for sunday afternoon's raffle. SMOR provided a grilled lunch and organized a range of prices from small to large prizes. Title sponsors Dometic had the most conveted prize offering up a dual-zone fridge. CVT also offered up a roof-top-tent. I won a hat ~ yay! Conclusion All in all I had a great time at this year's Smoky Mountain Overland Rally. It's an event I'd love to attend again next year if my schedule allows it. I also think anyone on the east coast should make the the trip at least once. The Smoky Mountains are an amazing area was tons to explore above and beyond the rally itself. For that reason when I make my next trip down I will be budgeting an extra day or two before and/or after the event to do some more local exploring. Ended up taking a detour on the way home. Interstate 81 was fully blocked which gave me an opportunity to jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway. View the full article
  3. I have a fishing kayak, but I'm headed up to Rausch Creek on Friday for Dirt Riot.
  4. Properly seasoned pork and potatoes are truly one of life’s simple pleasures. If we had to choose one animal to The post Recipes – Herbed Pork with Potatoes and Green Beans appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  5. Earlier
  6. It is a fact of life that not every part is going to fit perfectly. It is another thing altogether The post Rant – Crappy Aftermarket Parts appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  7. I've said it before and I'll say it again, tire pressure management is an essential skill for every overland adventure enthusiast. It's one of my 'Ten Essentials' and I've even written a stand alone article on it. Needless to say, when looking ahead to the 2019 season I knew I needed to up my tire pressure management game. It was like Christmas, but in March! This article is a product review for the ARB Maximum Performance Portable Air Supply. In the name of full disclosure, I will be straight up and tell you ARB has come on board as an equipment level partner for this season. However, let me assure you there is a reason I'm sought out a partnership with ARB. Read on for the review of the portable compressor... What's in the box?If you follow me on social media then you know I love playing a game called, "What's in the box?". In most instances I can leave people guessing for a few hours, or days if I'm feeling up for it, just to have a little fun. However, "What's in the box?" is also a great question when looking at overland gear. Some kits are more comprehensive than others. Some, like this compressor kit, come with everything you need. This is what showed up. No denying who sent it, but the question was what was inside it? Such a gut wrenching scene, but it's all part of the game. The core of this kit is ARB's Twin High Performance Air Compressor. With a maximum CFM rate of over 6 cubic feet per minute, and 100% duty cycle rating, it's clear this compressor is built to work. This of course comes at a hefty 50 amp current draw when the compressor motors draw max power. It's a nicely packaged kit and everything you need has a place. The core of the system is ARB's tried-and-true twin compressor. Usually reserved for vehicle-mounted onboard air systems, it's finally made portable by this kit. Attached to the compressor is a one gallon tank. This makes this kit the best of both worlds. It has the flexibility of a portable system, but the air reserves typical to an onboard air system. Coupled with the high CFM rate and full duty cycle and this kit has no problems turning air tools. Air tanks are the number one advantage when it comes to onboard air systems. The air reserve capacity makes it possible to run air tools (in short bursts). Although 1 gallon may not seem like much, it's enough to get a quick trailside repair done in a pinch. Also included in the kit are all the little do-dads you need to actually make the compressor work. High quality power cables to connect to your vehicle's battery with inline fuses. It also has ARB's quick-release coupler, an air line, and a basic air chuck. One neat little piece included with the kit is a blow-gun. Very useful for cleaning dust our of air filters after a long day on the trail. These clips are massive, as are the fuses. Easily handles the high amp draw of the twin compressor.Everything you need to air up your tires comes in the kit. Including a blow gun for those particularly dusty days. All of this is wrapped in a heavy duty plastic tote with a very comfortable handle. If there's any drawback to this kit is it's size. For a portable system it is on the large side. Not going to lie. However when you realize what is crammed into the suitcase sized box, it's an amazingly compact system. As for the case itself, it's rugged molded plastic with sturdy latches. The handle is thick and comfortable in the hand. It's a little off-balance due to the compressor sitting off-center, but it's not unwieldy. Why portable and not onboard air? In the past I've run an onboard air system. You might be asking why the switch to a portable system. Truth be told I loved having onboard air. Having the security and reliability of a build-in air system is super nice. The only downside is, well, it's built in. I can't move it from one vehicle to another. If someone wants to borrow my OBA they are pretty much borrowing my whole Jeep. This can be a little annoying since I'm always that "nice guy" willing to let other people play with my toys. Going portable means more flexibility in that regard. Another reason I'm going portable is for educational reasons. As you know when I go to events I teach classes. Whether it's a big show (like Overland Expo) or a smaller show like a regional event (like the Roof Top Tent Rally) most of my time is spent teaching. With 'Tire Pressure Management' and my '10 Essentials' workshops being my most popular I figured it was time to go portable and take my toys to the classroom. I promise I'll get my own action shots soon. Do I need flannel? Photo courtesy of ARB USA Another reason I'm making the switch has to do with the Jeep itself. If you remember I installed my previous OBA system on the driver-side wheel-well of the LJ. For the first few years I was running exclusively with a hardtop. Last year I (finally) got a soft-top and a duster cover for the back of the Jeep. In a topless/doorless configuration my old OBA system interfered with the cover. It also made a prime target for an easy theft behind a plastic zip-in window. Going to a portable system which is easier to secure and can be packed "out of sight" means a little more piece of mind for me when I travel. The final reason for going portable is that the LJ is first and foremost my daily driver. Having a portable system means I don't have to have the OBA system mounted in the back of the Jeep taking up space all the time. I can grab the portable when I need/want it and not worry about it when I don't. If I had a larger vehicle, or the ability to stash the compressor somewhere out of the way (like under the front passenger seat in a JKU, or in the bed of a pickup), I might stick with OBA, but for now I have no regrets going portable. Initial Impressions Since I just got the compressor I will confess I have limited experience with this particular kit. However, the ARB twin compressor is nothing new to me. I've used them multiple times over the years in a variety of different vehicles. Jimmy has one in his Ram 3500, and both Chad (First State Overland) and John (New Horizons Overland) have them in their JKU's. I've always been a bit jealous of the high CFM rate so I knew when it came time to get a new compressor, the ARB twin was the top of my list. Stats: $893 MSRP 100% Duty Cycle 6.14 CFM @ 0 psi 4.68 CFM @ 29psi 50 AMP draw at max load Builtin Pressure & Temperature shutoffs As previously mentioned what I like most about the kit is its comprehensive nature. Right out of the box the compressor is ready to use. Connect it to a battery, attach the air hose, insert a chuck and it's party time with the flip of a switch. The case is very nice as well. The latches close tightly which helps mitigate any dust or moisture build up in the case during transport. It's strong enough to be at the bottom of a gear pile (unlike some of its bagged competitors) and will no doubt hold up to more than a few years of use and abuse on the trail. The kit's air-chuck (in the middle) is as basic as a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It works and will get the job done, but let's face it, there are better options out there. I highly recommend ARB's Digital Tire Inflator as an add-on to any air system, portable or otherwise. The only drawback in the kit is the air-chuck. While functional it's just, well, functional. It's as basic as basic can be. Luckily ARB makes a really nice digital gauge that is a perfect companion to the portable compressor kit. While not included in the kit, I knew it was an upgrade worth paying for. Stay Tuned! As with past product reviews, this is just the first in a series of articles. I will be doing two other reviews of the kit and maybe even a video once I have some time to put it through its paces. It will no doubt get a lot of use this summer while I travel. I would like to take a moment to thank ARB for coming onboard as an Equipment Level Partner for the 2019 season. I know product reviews for "sponsors" are always taken with a grain of salt, but this is one instance where I relentlessly pursed ARB because this is a product I honestly believe in as well as a company I believe in. I already have an ARB 12v Fridge, the 2500 series Awning and Deluxe Room Kit, and of course a pair of camp chairs. I also recently picked up one of their Tire Puncture Repair Kits (and of course an Air Tool Bag to go with it thanks to my friends at Blue Ridge Overland Gear), and a set of their gloves. If they hadn't come onboard as a partner I would have bought one of these compressors anyway. So it might seem like I drank a little too much of the ARB coolaid, but rest assured that I was onboard the ARB train long before they jumped on the ECOA train. View the full article
  8. Bump

    The Base Camp

    I recently saw a 4:1 NP241 and a 4.3:1 Atlas on one of the FB marketplaces. Of course now I can't find either posting. This is my birthday weekend. I expect to be drunk and disorderly in the New Hope area. Feel free to come, bring bail money.
  9. rich6700

    The Base Camp

    Two things, first headed to bodine field Saturday afternoon for an overnight camp. Stop by or come and camp. Second transfer case shit the bed, if you know of one that fits a 12 jku auto let me know. Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
  10. With Overland Expo just a few weeks away my thoughts have turned westward with wide eyes. Having missed Expo West last year I made a promise to myself I wouldn't miss it this year. Overland Expo West, it's like Boy Scout summer camp only with Jeeps and Skottles Having been to both Overland Expo West and East multiple times (two wests and four easts) one of the popular questions I get asked by people within the overland adventure community is how the two shows different. I also get asked from people outside the community what expo is like and what this whole "overlanding" thing is about. The last time I described it I said something along the lines of, "It's like ComiCon for off-roaders." That got me thinking about other corollaries between the two events and it has since dawned on me that overlanding has become the next form of off-road cosplay. First, what is cosplay?Cosplay is a combination of two words: 'costume' and 'play'. What usually comes to mind are people dressed in the costume of their favorite sci-fi comic book, movie, or tv show character. It's not uncommon to see 100's or even 1000's of people dressed in various stages of cosplay at an event like ComiCon (which by the way is a combination of the words 'Comic' and "Convention'). CosPlayers gathered at ComiCon On one hand, it's a celebration of everything that is fun about geek culture. That's the main aspect of the play part of it. Dressing up, using your imagination, and maybe even a little bit of roll play. The additional play part of cosplay is the costume construction itself. Most all cosplayers take pride in their ability to create their own costumes. There are those that are casual about it, and then there are people that build their entire lives around the art and technical side of cosplaying. I even know a few people who became professional costumers in the movie industry after they got their start as young cosplayers. Other forms of cosplay outside of Geek CultureBefore you get the urge to yell "NERD" at the idea of cosplay, let's take a look at other forms of cosplay within our culture. First up, the sports fanatic. On any given Sunday you can walk into a sports bar and see dozens of people dressed up in the outfit of their favorite team. Hats, jackets, shirts, or even jerseys of their favorite player. People build identities around their favorite sports teams. Some people even go so far as to paint their faces on game day. Others even take a step further and go the permanent route with tattoos. All of this centers around the ideas of costume and play. This culminates in tailgating where people gather before the big game, dress up, and celebrate their passion for the sport. Not unlike geek culture at ComiCon. Just like ComiCon... ... and just like Overland Expo... only with more Football. Another form of cosplay that is present in our society is scouting. Having grown up a Boy Scout I'm all to familiar with the paramilitary foundation on which scouting is built. It can easily be described as military cosplay. There are oaths, salutes, uniforms, ranks, units, and skills badges. Now, unlike geek or sports cosplay there is some tangible substance behind scouting. It's not so much about pretending to be a soldier by wearing a costume, or simply rooting for the military like a sports team, as much as it is preparation and training for adolescents to one day become soldiers. The skills are real and the badges and ranks are earned. Of course scouting as evolved over the years to be less paramilitary and more emphasis has been placed on character development and the honing of leadership skills. However the heritage of its military roots is still there. At least with this costume you get to shoot guns at summer camp! Is there really such a thing as off-road cosplay?I know what you're thinking, "Dean, there's no such thing as off-road cosplay. No one dresses up like an off-roader.... oh... wait... mall-crawlers! Now I get it." Yup. Mall-crawlers are the pinnacle manifestation of off-road cosplayers. They dress the part but the reality is they are just pretending. They even gather in parking lots to show off their vehicular costumes. Did you read this is Hanicorn's voice? I did. Having been around for the rise of Ultra4 Racing I watched the mall-crawler fad shift to an even deeper level. People went from building Jeeps on big tires to added high-dollar shocks and some went so far as to build their own tube-chassis even though their rigs would never see more than a dirt road (if it was lucky). When they couldn't gather in person they would flock to forums like Pirate4x4 where they could pretend to run their build rigs down trails not unlike CosPlayers flocking to Tumblr to photoshop their costumed selves into movie scenes. Is overlanding really nothing more than off-road cosplay?Let's take a step back and compare Overland Expo to ComiCon. First, both are gatherings of thousands of enthusiasts. Second, the vast majority of those enthusiasts are dressed up in various stages of costumes. There are select groups of people at each event that have throngs of fans emulating them and seeking their autographs. And there is a lot of 'pretend' going on. ComiCon has people pretending to be Super Heroes while walking the hotel convention center hallways. Expo has people pretending to be adventurers while walking the fairground pathways. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "the irony of an event like overland expo is no one is actually overlanding." The Avengers of overlanding. How many people will cosplay as Clay at Overland Expo West this year? When you survey the people and the vehicles at Overland Expo you realize it's not much different than looking at a group of people dressed like comic book characters. Same thing for the parking lot of a stadium before the big game. There are a lot of fans dressed up and some even dress up their vehicles. The fad of faux-rock-crawling has shifted to overlanding with throngs of people bolting shovel sized sporks, roof-top-tents, and fuel canisters to their rigs without every leaving the confines of suburbia. However come Monday morning everyone is going to go back to work. The geeks will hang up their Super Hero costumes in the closet and the sports fanatics will wash their paint off their faces and toss the jersey aside till the next big game. The overland cosplayers won't be much different and will leave expo and hang up their scarves, toss the traction mats in the garage, and go clock in at 9am. ConclusionUltimately is boils down to two things. First, we need to play. All animals engage in forms of play. Some of it is to practice essential skills and hone instincts. Some of it is merely to destress from the rigors of everyday life. Some may even use it as a form of escape. Whether it's sports, scouting, comic books, off-roading, or overlanding everyone is free to enjoy their favorite form of play. They can pretend they are fighting crime, catching passes from Big Ben, or chasing lions across the Serengeti. Play is an important part of life. There's also nothing wrong with wearing, or making, a costume when you do it. When you need to satisfy that unrelenting need to belong, buy yourself a number! The other thing it boils down to is a sense of belonging. There's a reason people gather in groups and band together around common interests. We need to belong. Maslow created a psychological theory around this very idea. He broke down a hierarchy of needs that had an element of belonging at its core. We has humans form our own "packs" because it gives of comfort, purpose, and an identity. Sports fans rally behind their favorite teams. Scouts drop into rank and file when ordered. Overlanders buy badges and patches to scratch that itch. They then turn around and flock to Flagstaff for their annual pilgrimage to hang out with their fellow off-road cosplayers. So, is overlanding nothing more than the latest form of off-road cosplay? I think it is. -- Now, before you take this article to seriously, make sure to double check the publish date. ;-) View the full article
  11. You’ve lifted your vehicle and you’re not sure if you need a longer driveshaft. It makes sense that when you The post How To – Proper Driveshaft Length and Spline Engagement appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  12. Guess I've got some reading to catch up on before it's gone
  13. I found it a little hard to get going into this season of Truck Night in America. The passing of The post Truck Night in America Season Two – Halfway Point appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  14. With the site closing, I turned off the subscriptions for Supporting members. For all Supporting members - 1st off, Thank you! Now, to make sure you are not charged this year, please log in to your PayPal account, go into your Subscription manager, and cancel your reoccurring payment to Disconnectedoffroad.com If any slip through the cracks, I'll refund them back to you. It might take a few days. Thanks, Mike
  15. May 18th is the StreetRocks comp.
  16. Bump

    The Base Camp

    I was going through old photoshop projects today and came across this, and updated it
  17. Good news out of the Federal Government recently. The Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act expands and adds to 6 OHV The post News – Federal Protection of OHV Areas appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  18. The hosting account renewal for DisconnectedOffroad.com is due on May 2nd. I think that I am going to opt out of renewing the hosting plan, thus ending the site. The site traffic and usage simply isn't enough anymore to keep things going. I will look into a few possible ways to save some of the content. Thank you to each and every member who made Disconnected Offroad a great place.
  19. On road review of the General Grabber APT. The post On Road Review – General Grabber APT appeared first on 4WAAM. View the full article
  20. Will check the schedule Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
  21. Bump

    The Base Camp

    Well, jokes on me. Turns out what I thought was a Red was actually a Black by Fern Ridge. Holy Fuck, some of the Blacks at AOAA are worse than Reds I've run at Rausch Creek. BTW, I posted a blog article on Recommended Lift Options for the JK. Your feedback would be most welcome.
  22. Leveling Kits (1" to 2") Teraflex 2" Leveling Kit @ $182. Includes 2" front spacers and 1" rear. Provides clearance for 33" tires and removes the downward rake of the stock front suspension. The disadvantages of this kit are a.) no increase in suspension travel/articulation, and b.) reliance on the OEM springs, which are known to sag as weight is added (i.e., armor, winch). Entry Level 2.5" Lift (fits 33-35" tires) Metalcloak 2.5" True Dual Rate Lift Kit with Fox 2.0 Shocks @ $1749. Rock Krawler also has a 2.5" Flex lift for $1435, plus around $600 for a set of Fox 2.0 shocks, but I like the Metalcloak joints and lower price. This will allow you to fit 35" tires with a.) minimal fender flare trimming, b.) replacement flat fenders, or c.) extended bump stops (small reduction in up-travel/flex). 33" tires fit with no caveats. This does not take into account other upgrades that might be needed or recommended to run 35" tires (see bottom of the page). A very complete kit with high quality, low maintenance Duroflex joints provides the best combination of value, on-pavement comfort and up to moderate-level off-road performance in it's price class. Advanced Level 2.5" - 3.5" Lift (fits up to 37" tires) Metalcloak 2.5/3.5" Game Changer with Fox 2.0 Shocks @ $2849, or Rock Krawler X-Factor 2.5/3.5 Lift Kit @ 2549 + Rock Krawler Front & Rear Bump Stops @ $140 + Fox 2.0 Shocks @ $565 (Total $3254). The 2.5" version fits up to 35" tires with the same caveats noted above, while the 3.5" version fits 35's with no fender issues or 37's with fender modifications. (Note that 35" is the maximum safe tire size on a non-Rubicon Dana 30 front axle.) The Metalcloak kit is less expensive and includes better flex joints, while the Rock Krawler kit has stronger control arms and track bars. Lift kits generally do not include steering upgrades; this is considered a separate system. But bigger tires can exert more force on stock components than they were designed to handle, and when rock-crawling, can lead to easily bent components. If you do moderate or above off-roading, I strongly recommend upgrading your ball joints, drag link and tie rod. Even for on-road driving, at 3.5" lift and above, you will need to flip your drag link to attach to the top of the knuckle to reduce bump steer, and this generally requires a new drag link. Ball Joints There's several good options here. At present, the Teraflex Heavy Duty Adjustable Ball Joints ($260) are the best combination of performance and value. But look for Synergy to come out with their own adjustable BJ's later in 2019. Drag Link & Tie Rod At 3.5" lift and above, you will need to flip your drag link to attach at the top of the knuckle to reduce bump-steer. Normally, this means drilling-out the tapered hole in the knuckle with a new taper in the opposite direction, then using a drag link with a 1-ton tie rod end to fit in the larger hole. You might think that buying a heavy-duty tie rod and drag link from your lift manufacturer is a good option. However, often you will pay more and get less than with other third-party options. Steer Smarts has some unique drag link products that allow flipping the drag link without drilling the knuckle, and also incorporates a small shock absorber in the drag link that's said to help reduce bump steer and death wobble. I don't feel the latter should be necessary on a properly set-up steering, but many people swear by it. My preference is for the Barnes4WD JK 1-Ton 7075 Aluminum Flip Steering upgrade kit @ $499. Just be careful because some steering stabilizer/hydro ram clamps might not clear your diff cover with this setup. 4.5"+ Lift Kits With 4.5" of lift you can fit 37's without fender modification, which is as big as you can safely go on the stock Rubicon axles. While I've heard of people running 4.5" lift on standard "mid-arm" control arms, my feeling is that you'll get better performance both on- and off-road with a long-arm lift. Long-arms produce flatter suspension geometry, which allows greater angles before bushings/joints bind, faster suspension reaction and a smoother ride on- and off-road. While the difference between mid-arms and long-arms are noticeable at 3.5", they really shine at 4.5" and are essential above. My choice is the Clayton Off-Road 4.5" Long Arm Kit for around $3,800. This kit uses a radius long arm front configuration, which some people feel limits cross-articulation. However, it is a relatively simple matter to remove the passenger-side upper radius arm when off-road and run it 3-linked for better flex. You will need shocks. The Fox 2.0 Adjustable Performance Remote Reservoir Shocks ($1,340) are a long-standing choice for performance and durability. But the Teraflex Falcon 3.3 Piggyback Shocks ($1,472) are gaining popularity. Both of the former offer 12.3" of travel. Bump Stops and Limiting Straps You will also need correctly-sized bumpstops (or air bumps) and limiting straps. To measure, you need to fully compress and extend the axle on one side of the Jeep, make sure you're axle and tire aren't making unwanted contact with anything and that the shock isn't fully compressed or extended, then measure how much bump stop is needed. For limiting straps, find suitable mounting points and measure the length required to prevent the shocks from full extension. Spring retaining clips are also a good idea. Prices will vary. https://metalcloak.com/universal-adjustable-bump-stop-system-1-4.html https://metalcloak.com/jk-wrangler-adjustable-bump-stops-rear-1-4.html Air Bumps (and Speed Bumps) provide a softer, progressive suspension stop to avoid jarring shock when you bottom out. They are also usually adjustable for height. https://www.quadratec.com/categories/jeep_lift_kits_suspension/bump_stops/performance-bump-stops Limit Straps https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/LIMIT.html Lower Control Arm and Track Bar Mounts Stock front lower control-arm mounts should be replaced with 1/4" thick mounts, or boxed-in with 1/8" steel plate. Weld-on control arm mini-skids are recommended. These are included in the Artec Axle Armor package recommended below, or available separately for $60.00. Both the upper and lower trackbar mounts should be upgraded or reinforced. https://www.artecindustries.com/JK_Front_LCA_Mounts https://www.synergymfg.com/synergy-mfg-jeep-jk-front-track-bar-brace.html?category_id=4055 https://www.artecindustries.com/JK_HD_Raised_Trackbar_Front Sway Bars and Links Your lift kit will come with extended sway links for the rear. JKS Quicker Disconnects are recommended for the front. Also, rear articulation might be limited by your swaybar, but disconnecting the swaybar can make a rig too unstable on the trails. A Currie anti-rock swaybars can be considered both front and rear, but you do loose some on-road stability on curves with this setup. https://jksmfg.com/i-13306776-quicker-disconnect-fits-2-5-6-0-lift-wrangler-jk.html?ref=category:326604 https://www.northridge4x4.com/part/sway-bars/ce-9900jkr4-currie-enterprises-antirock-sway-bar-kit-rear Steering Upgrades As described in the 3.5" lift section, you will need to install a heavy duty tie rod and heavy duty, flipped drag link. In addition, the upper track-bar bracket should be reinforced. Turning 37's is hard work and, when bound-up on rocks, frequently results in broken sector shafts. A PSC Hydro Assist Kit ($2251, note that there are different kits for 2007-2011 vs 2008-2018) or West Texas Off-Road Redneck Ram ($599) works wonders in beefing-up the steering. But if you stick with the stock steering box, a Sector Shaft Brace (with or without a trackbar reinforcement bracket) should definitely be installed when running 35's or larger and wheeling moderate or harder trails. Other Factors to Consider With 35" or Larger Tires The stock Dana 30 in non-Rubicon models cannot safely run 37's on most off-road terrain. The Rubicon's stock Dana 44 can safely go up to 37" tires. You may need to regear your differentials. If you have a 3.8L/Auto you definitely will want to regear for 35's. A 3.8L with a stick will probably want to regear for 35's. A 3.6L will be slower off the line, but otherwise might be bearable up to 37's. Which gear ratio to pick depends on your engine, transmission, tire size and driving style. You will need new wheels with 4.5" or less backspacing, or 1.5" wheel spacers, to avoid rubbing with 35"-37" tires. I'm not a fan of spacers, and they are illegal in some states. Axle reinforcement is strongly recommended for 35"+ tires. Adding Inner C-Knuckle Gussets ($80 plus welding) and either Sleeving ($96 plus welding) the axle or installing a Truss will help avoid bending and breakage. My preference is for the Artec JK Dana 44 Axle Armor Kit, ($319 plus welding) which includes a truss, c-gussets, upgraded trackbar bracket and lower control arm skids. Chromolly axle shafts are recommended if you do moderate difficulty or above trails. In particular, the stock rear axle shaft flanges are known to bend easily. At and above 2.5" of lift there is a chance the Rzeppa CV joint on the front (2-door and 4-door) and rear (2-door) driveshafts will fail quickly. At 3.5" the front driveshaft on all JK's, and rear driveshaft on a 2-door, should outright be replaced immediately. Adams, Carolina Driveline, J.E. Reel and Tom Woods are reliable brands. But you may be able to get a perfectly good driveshaft from a local driveline manufacturer for the same price or less, and benefit from local service if your driveshaft ever needs repairs. Finally, the stock brakes may not be sufficient to safely stop a JK on 35's, and are definitely poor for 37's. A Mopar J8 Brake Booster and Master Cylinder ($269) will provide more fluid to the calipers for higher clamping force. Then either go with upgraded pads and rotors, such as Powerstop Z36. Or upgrade to Crown Front Big Brakes ($480) and G2 Rear Big Brakes ($464) for a huge improvement in braking power. Summary As you can see, there's a lot of additional parts and cost involved as you progress from 2.5" to 3.5", and more so to properly run 4.5" or more lift. Can you skimp on things like axle reinforcement or steering upgrades? Perhaps, but my philosophy is to provide the best advice possible to support off-roading at the level implied by the tire size while still maintaining a safe and comfortable ride on the highway. The kits recommended are generally the most affordable in their class with due consideration to these parameters. It is really surprising to me that so many JK owners go with kits such as Rough Country or Zone Offroad because of the price, when the price of a superior kit from Metalcloak (or Rock Krawler) is within $100 dollars or so (often cheaper). If you want to keep things "cheap," the best thing you can do is install the minimum amount of lift necessary for your tire size, and either trim the factor fender flares or replace them with tube fenders from Crawler Concepts, Metalcloak, Poison Spyder or one of many other vendors.
  23. rmm

    The Base Camp

    I'm pretty sure we were on boulderdash when I was there. Starts with a small waterfall and then got insane fast. I'd bet you were on got the stones because I know for sure we didn't run that
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