Thread: Suggestions needed for UP MI overlander

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    21

    Default Suggestions needed for UP MI overlander

    I would like to build an Unlimited to take to the UP of MI with a pop-up camper and do wheeling on fire trails in the lower half, and then hit Drummond Island and the rest of the UP. I currently have a 2012 Unlimited Sport base model with a 2.5"AEV suspension lift, 18" Sahara rims, and 275/70/18 Cooper ST Maxx tires. Love the truck but only have a rear factory LSD, no lockers. I can trade up to a '13 Rubicon Unlimited for $6500. Love the idea of frt/Rear lockers, sway bar disconnect, and Dana 44's. I would add the same suspension lift to the Rubi and 255/80/17 KM2's. My question is for my plans, is the Rubicon a wise trade or would adding a Tru Trac to the front of my current rig and a winch be better suited to my plans?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Louisville, USA
    Posts
    730
    the auto sway disconnect on the rubi's are a joke, and the aftermarket lockers are a lot stronger than the OEM lockers, plus easier to work with. the front 30 and the 44's are identical except when it comes to axle shafts and ring gear. for someone who is not looking at turning their jeep into a rock crawler (which is what the rubicon is directed towards) its money that could be better spent elsewhere. you could buy front and rear lockers, a Atlas transfercase and tires for cheaper than upgrading to a rubicon and still be ahead.

    my suggestion would be to keep your jeep. sell your rims and tires and jump down to 17's and grab 33x11.50 or 33/12.50 tires, probably an aggressive allterrain for you, like a goodyear Duratrac. get an on-board air compressor or a C02 setup. get a front Currie Antirock sway bar. put a aussie locker in the front until you can decide whether you want to pursue f/r lockers.

    a used aussie locker can be had for around $250 bucks, all it does is replace your spider gears so its a really easy swap, and it will benefit you greatly in the sandy washes the UP has, as well as in snow. the anti-rock is an offroad oriented sway bar. its designed to flex offroad and provide stability, while also being stable on the street. its a very unique design. i run them in the front and the rear of my JK - i rock crawl.

    you can beef the front axle up very easily by throwing a truss on (Artec has a new, very awesome easy to add on truss) or put axle tube sleeves in, or both. another weakness is the inner C's. they make gussets for those. if you were to put axle tube sleeves in, and C gussets your front axle would be miles ahead stronger than a JK44 as it stood all for $160 in parts..?

    if you're dead set on the 4/1 transfercase of the rubicon, give advance adapters a call for their Atlas II transfer case. its so strong it makes the NP241OR of the rubi look like a tinker toy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,974
    I agree with marshal. Your current Jeep is plenty for cruising the fire roads and exploring the UP (The terrain there is very similar to here)

    Take that $6500 and use it to improve your current rig, or to enhance your trip!

    For rock crawling and running 'serious' trails, I use my TJ. Locked front/rear, winch, 35" tires, lots of skids and armor.

    For 'trail riding' on fire roads, forest service roads, and bird hunting/fishing, I use my old CJ. Open diffs, 33" tires and no winch. (has skids and armor)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Utah/Mexico/California
    Posts
    113
    What they said..... I intentionally bought a base model sport (we are talking roll up windows - base model) and built what I want... you can easily add disconnects if you don't want to unbolt your sway bar links... keep your rear lsd, add lockers up front (if you want to spend a bit more, check out ARB's air locker, and onboard air under your hood... then you can add a fill kit, have a nipple on your bumper or where-ever... turn on the air (that also activates the air lockers if you push that switch) and air your tires back up.... the hose reaches all tires including a mounted spare. Easy peasy... and by dropping down a size on your wheels, you'll be able to air down more effectively... 'cause you'll have a bit more sidewall..... that coupled with beefed up front axle will get you more places than you'll ever want to venture..... Marshal has some GREAT advice...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    608
    Quote Originally Posted by Hill, Bill E. View Post
    I agree with marshal. Your current Jeep is plenty for cruising the fire roads and exploring the UP (The terrain there is very similar to here)
    Exactly, your current rig will do fine in the UP... and as proof; an all stock whimpy mini-van powered 2010 JKU Rubicon, except having trail-derated 18" Bling Rims and All Season Road Tires won the 2012 4-Day UP Michigan Overland Challenge.

    ...but hey I understand, for many of us building up an Expo type Rig beyond the limits we need, is a fun hobby too. So do whatever makes you happy!

    Enjoy pictures below of some of the Rigs that participated in the 2012 UP Michigan Overland Challenge.


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    Last edited by McZippie; 10-02-2012 at 05:35 AM.

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