So this is it, the first round of upgrades to the new Wrangler. I always try to test the very best and latest offerings for the off-road community. With that in mind here is what is going on the JL.
The parts list!
- Ultimate Dana 44 front axle with 4.88 gear ratio – Stronger than factory and eliminates the front axle disconnect the Ultimate 44 is perfect for running heavier wheels and tires. The factory 44 can handle it but this is extra insurance.
- Dana Spicer Driveshafts – To go along with that new Ultimate 44 the plan is to run all-new 1350 driveshafts front and rear to help handle larger tires and driveline angles that come with a lift.
- Metalcloak Skid Plates – This review started on our 4-door Wrangler and will continue on the 2-door. (This is a 2-door specific setup that I purchased to complete the review.)
- Metalcloak Drag Link – With on-vehicle adjustment and no flimsy or finicky pinch method of holding adjustment how will this drag link perform? I am looking forward to finding out.
- Dynatrac Front Bumper – Like the skid plates this review began on the 4-door and will continue on the 2-door. Lot’s of life left in this setup. (This is a new bumper that I purchased to complete the review.)
- Clayton Off-Road 3.5-inch lift – This one is interesting. The suspension from Clayton fits both the 4-door and the 2-door model. The control arms are long enough for the 4-door and when I get into the review of this setup you will see how little the length of the arm changes from one to the other.
- Radflo Shocks – This one is a little bit of a revisit. I had run the Radflo shocks with the ORO AiROCK air suspension on the 2015 JK but didn’t do a separate review of the shocks. This will give a much more in-depth look at their performance in the most commonly purchased setup.
- Kanati Mud Hog tires – A budget-priced mud-terrain review. With the success of the Dick Cepek Extreme Country tires, I wanted to test another of the budget-priced mud-terrains available.
- TeraFlex Tire Carrier – The JK version of the TeraFlex tire carrier is arguably the best tire carrier on the market. Quiet, strong, and durable the JK set the bar really high. Can the JL version stack up?
- TeraFlex HD Tie-Rod – Steering on the JL platform has been weak from day one. The plan is to beef it up and TeraFlex’s Chromoly tie-rod is just the ticket.
- Raceline Monster 260M Beadlock Wheels – I am not sure what else to say about this. Some of the baddest wheels you can run on any vehicle. How are they use on a daily basis, are they hard to balance and keep balanced, and do you need them?
- Mastertop Window and Door Bags – Safely store your soft top windows and put your doors in a bag when they aren’t on the Jeep. With the half-doors going on I need a way to safely store the full doors, hopefully, these padded bags do the trick.
That’s a lot to cover in the coming months and it won’t all be installed at the same time but I cannot wait to get started.
Order of operations.
Because some parts of this process are dependent on other parts being installed it makes a build like this more fun.
The front axle swap seems easy but when you link that to having to change the rear end gear at the same time it adds some work and complexity. Realizing that in order to swap the yoke on the axle to accommodate the driveshaft that gets ordered after the lift so you get the right length means now you have to lift the Jeep first. Which would have been the ideal time to swap the axle but then you have to wait for the driveshaft.
It’s for these reasons that when you take your Jeep to a shop to do the work, or you do the work yourself there are always factors that impact how quickly a project can be completed and what order it can be done. Particularly when you need to drive the vehicle on a regular basis.
I hope the plans for the JL have you interested in what we are doing and feel free to let us know what else you want to see reviewed.