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Going to the next level


Matchsticks

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Southern California
I currently have a 99 TJ that does well on fire roads, dirt trails, and glamis, but I can’t follow my dads built 79 CJ7 into the rocks in the same manner. In typical Jeep fashion I want more more more. Starting out my Jeep is basically the spare vehicle right now, as I only wheel when I’m able to go home from my duty station in Virginia, so daily driving is not a factor although I’d still want it to be viable enough on road.
Here’s a rundown of what it is at right now
1999 TJ sport
4.0L AX15 Dana 30 front (locked)
Dana 44 rear (LSD)
2.5 inch coil lift on 32x11.5 KO2
Currie Antirock front swaybar
4:10 gear ratio
Ive had a rather long time to brainstorm thanks to a rather annoying “Covid mitigation posture” and here’s what I am thinking

-1” Savvy MML
-1.25” Savvy Body lift
-JB conversions SSYE
-Some Sort of Oil pan skid plate
-I’ve seen some things on a tummy tuck but I can’t decide what will be best for me
-Dana 44 Front the easiest route is to find one from a 03-06 rubi, but if I do so does that make me committed to the air lockers that they have? I’d personally prefer a lunchbox but I am open to suggestions
-Savvy Mid Arm lift kit
I’ve heard great things about this setup As the travel would work wonders in the sand dunes of glamis without the draw backs of a long arm kit in the rocks. The kit seems really straightforward and the other threads about it on here elaborate plenty.
-The 4” coils in the kit will do nicely but with the weight of the TJ I’d assume it would be closer to 3.75 inches
-Should I extend my brake lines? I’d rather be safe then suck on a trail with nothing but good intentions
-Something that I am interested in is rear disk brakes, budget concerns say no, but maybe a future upgrade?
- Boosted Tech’s Top mount supercharger
More power baby’ but seriously this would be a game changing upgrade imo, I am a little lost in the sauce on what exactly I’d have to do to run the kit so if anyone has thoughts or experience with forced induction 4.0L please share (also my dad is interested in supercharging the 95 4.0L in his Jeep)
-1:71:1 Roller rockers
- Now for my biggest dilemma... 33’s or 35’s for clearance reasons I say 35’s but that’s a big leap from my current 32’s and I’m concerned about being too top heavy. I like 33’s because they are more balanced for all around off-road and on road driving.
-Am I missing anything capability wise?
-Body work
I have a poison spyder full cage, and when I put it in I was in highschool ballin on a budget, so it has a truckbed liner base coat for texture and is rattle canned tan matching my interior. This works well but any prolonged rubbing or metal impacts and the paint chips off, so I’ll pull it and powder coat it. Is textured powercoating a thing?
I also have to pull the cage to do some much needed dash work (can’t access dash with cage installed). Starting off my AC fan selector switch is broken and needs replacing, the front speakers are factory (and horrible), I’d like a new radio so I can listen to my own music without the need of a transmitter, and finally I need to remove my ashtray and extend the rocker panel to incorporate my buggy whip light switch and I’m thinking maybe rock lights (any advice or thread links would be awesome because I can not find exactly how people have done it)
-Finally id like to get a new coat of Forrest metallic green on it as it currently looks a bit rough, how much have people been getting charged for their TJ paint jobs?
That’s just about all I can think of for the moment, I made this post for advice and overall brainstorming so please if you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them.
Here’s the most current photo I have of my Jeep
21BFCCF4-5F09-4B62-92D4-86E0EB7103DB.jpeg
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
51,047
Location
Florence, AZ
There will be no difference whatsoever when it comes to 33s versus 35s in terms of being more "top heavy". You can throw that thought out the window entirely.

That being said, I would just go with 35s. To make 35s work well, you'll want a 4" suspension lift and a 1.25" body lift. If you want the best lift there is and something that will work across any terrain you'll find, the Savvy mid-arm is the way to go. Pair that with outboard shock mounts, custom tuned Fox suspension, a Savvy belly-up skid plate and engine skid, and you'll have a TJ that will be as good as it gets.

The kicker is that to do this right for 35s, you're going to spend 25k very easily. Want to supercharge it? Add another 5-7k to the mix to get that done as well.

I've owned the Boosted Tech supercharger, and while it is nice, the Magnum Powers supercharger is superior in every way to the Boosted Tech unit. The two can't even really be compared IMHO.

You're about to go down a very, very big rabbit hole that is going to cost a LOT of money if you want to do it once and do it right. If you don't do it right the first time, you're going to do what you're doing now, where you've wasted money on a lift, tires, etc., only to find out you want to just go bigger.

This is why I encourage people to do it right and spend the money the first time for the nice stuff. I made the same mistake myself on my last TJ and started out mild and eventually just ended up doing everything I mentioned above. I wish I had just spent the money and done it all right the first time, but you live and learn, right?
 
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L J

TJ Addict
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
1,499
Location
SoCal
-1” Savvy MML
yes
-1.25” Savvy Body lift
yes
-JB conversions SSYE
yes
-Some Sort of Oil pan skid plate
yes
-I’ve seen some things on a tummy tuck but I can’t decide what will be best for me
yes
-Dana 44 Front
not needed - your D30 will work for up to 35s locked with some Revolution 4340 axle shafts
-Savvy Mid Arm lift kit
this is a significant jump in cost from a Currie 4" but it is a great set-up
-Should I extend my brake lines?
yes
-Something that I am interested in is rear disk brakes, budget concerns say no, but maybe a future upgrade?
only an upgrade when it comes to servicing - not a performance upgrade - spend the money elsewhere
- Boosted Tech’s Top mount supercharger
More power baby’ but seriously this would be a game changing upgrade imo, I am a little lost in the sauce on what exactly I’d have to do to run the kit so if anyone has thoughts or experience with forced induction 4.0L please share (also my dad is interested in supercharging the 95 4.0L in his Jeep)
you'll need deep pockets for starters
-1:71:1 Roller rockers
don't know about any performance advantage on otherwise stock engine
- Now for my biggest dilemma... 33’s or 35’s
35s necessitate a Currie Currectlink steering upgrade and a big brake kit from mrblaine at Black Magic Brakes
-Am I missing anything capability wise?
regearing and selectable rear locker (ARB or EATON E-locker)
-Body work
cover it with Aluminum armor if possible, get over it if not. IMO there is no sense in spending thousands on appearance when the first trip out can destroy new paint and bodywork
-Starting off my AC fan selector switch is broken and needs replacing
how so? only works on high? doesn't work at all?
-the front speakers are factory (and horrible), I’d like a new radio
double din conversion with head unit of your preference and some Polk 5.25" speakers in dash

Here’s the most current photo I have of my Jeep View attachment 180913
looks like you've got a great base to start your build with 🍻
 
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Matchsticks

Matchsticks

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Southern California
There will be no difference whatsoever when it comes to 33s versus 35s in terms of being more "top heavy". You can throw that thought out the window entirely.

That being said, I would just go with 35s. To make 35s work well, you'll want a 4" suspension lift and a 1.25" body lift. If you want the best lift there is and something that will work across any terrain you'll find, the Savvy mid-arm is the way to go. Pair that with outboard shock mounts, custom tuned Fox suspension, a Savvy belly-up skid plate and engine skid, and you'll have a TJ that will be as good as it gets.

The kicker is that to do this right for 35s, you're going to spend 25k very easily. Want to supercharge it? Add another 5-7k to the mix to get that done as well.

I've owned the Boosted Tech supercharger, and while it is nice, the Magnum Powers supercharger is superior in every way to the Boosted Tech unit. The two can't even really be compared IMHO.

You're about to go down a very, very big rabbit hole that is going to cost a LOT of money if you want to do it once and do it right. If you don't do it right the first time, you're going to do what you're doing now, where you've wasted money on a lift, tires, etc., only to find out you want to just go bigger.

This is why I encourage people to do it right and spend the money the first time for the nice stuff. I made the same mistake myself on my last TJ and started out mild and eventually just ended up doing everything I mentioned above. I wish I had just spent the money and done it all right the first time, but you live and learn, right?
MP supercharger says it’s for a 00-06 TJ any idea why it won’t work with a 99?
When I bought the Jeep it already had the lift and tires, but nothing else. I’ve done mostly cosmetic upgrades to it and also replaced the occasional broken part. I definitely agree on doing it right the first time, the build certainly won’t happen overnight
(I don’t think anyone could afford that). This is more of a roadmap, I’ll start off with the smaller things like The MML and Body lift, then skid plates, etc... the tires and lift itself would be the last thing I’d do
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
51,047
Location
Florence, AZ
MP supercharger says it’s for a 00-06 TJ any idea why it won’t work with a 99?
When I bought the Jeep it already had the lift and tires, but nothing else. I’ve done mostly cosmetic upgrades to it and also replaced the occasional broken part. I definitely agree on doing it right the first time, the build certainly won’t happen overnight
(I don’t think anyone could afford that). This is more of a roadmap, I’ll start off with the smaller things like The MML and Body lift, then skid plates, etc... the tires and lift itself would be the last thing I’d do
Not entirely sure about why it wouldn’t fit a 99. It may have to do with the A/C mounting position for the compressor on the earlier models I believe. Bummer, because the MP supercharger blows the Boosted Tech out of the water.

I also don’t like Boosted Tech because the guy who runs the company has no idea what he’s doing. Many others will back me up on that as well.
 
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Matchsticks

Matchsticks

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Southern California
-1” Savvy MML
yes
-1.25” Savvy Body lift
yes
-JB conversions SSYE
yes
-Some Sort of Oil pan skid plate
yes
-I’ve seen some things on a tummy tuck but I can’t decide what will be best for me
yes
-Dana 44 Front
not needed - your D30 will work for up to 35s locked with some Revolution 4340 axle shafts
-Savvy Mid Arm lift kit
this is a significant jump in cost from a Currie 4" but it is a great set-up
-Should I extend my brake lines?
yes
-Something that I am interested in is rear disk brakes, budget concerns say no, but maybe a future upgrade?
only an upgrade when it comes to servicing - not a performance upgrade - spend the money elsewhere
- Boosted Tech’s Top mount supercharger
More power baby’ but seriously this would be a game changing upgrade imo, I am a little lost in the sauce on what exactly I’d have to do to run the kit so if anyone has thoughts or experience with forced induction 4.0L please share (also my dad is interested in supercharging the 95 4.0L in his Jeep)
you'll need deep pockets for starters
-1:71:1 Roller rockers
don't know about any performance advantage on otherwise stock engine
- Now for my biggest dilemma... 33’s or 35’s
35s necessitate a Currie Currectlink steering upgrade and a big brake kit from mrblaine at Black Magic Brakes
-Am I missing anything capability wise?
regearing and selectable rear locker (ARB or EATON E-locker)
-Body work
cover it with Aluminum armor if possible, get over it if not. IMO there is no sense in spending thousands on appearance when the first trip out can destroy new paint and bodywork
-Starting off my AC fan selector switch is broken and needs replacing
how so? only works on high? doesn't work at all?
-the front speakers are factory (and horrible), I’d like a new radio
double din conversion with head unit of your preference and some Polk 5.25" speakers in dash



looks like you've got a great base to start your build with 🍻
Instead of the Chromoly shafts and a Elocker a set of D44’s out of a rubi and use their elockers to the same effect? If I could find a set for under $2k that is.
I was thinking of the repaint because of the current lack of paint on my hood and cowling, the sides are scratched up but I don’t care much about that because liek you said it would happen basically the next trip.
The AC switch was on low, and is now won’t change the speeds of the blower, I’m not chasing the issue personally due to travel restrictions I’d guess it is the resistor which I wouldn’t have to pull the cage, but I haven’t messed with it personally.
 

Goatman

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
4,135
Location
Upstate NY
What is your dad's setup that you can't keep up with? I've got a mostly stock-ish 06 Rubicon and am pretty sure I can go anywhere any of my older CJs ever went. Including a -7 with a 350 and (IIRC) 4" springs and 2" shackles. All while I now only have a 2" spring and 32s with a 4.0. And it is hugely better on-road.
 

1904-06LJR

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
74
Location
SoCal
What is your dad's setup that you can't keep up with? I've got a mostly stock-ish 06 Rubicon and am pretty sure I can go anywhere any of my older CJs ever went. Including a -7 with a 350 and (IIRC) 4" springs and 2" shackles. All while I now only have a 2" spring and 32s with a 4.0. And it is hugely better on-road.
I'll have to agree. I'm rolling on 33's with a 4" Currie lift and I go everywhere I point the front bumper so far. Lot's of SoCal, CenCal and NorCal trails completed. I kind of like the challenge but I know 35's help.

Asking for advice can lead you to all different paths. Chris is right, "Buy once-Cry once" should be one of your considerations when purchasing mods. Plenty of us here have stories about saving a few bucks, only to buy and replace later. At the end of the day, you'll hear this several times: It's your Jeep, do what you want. You have to evaluate what you're going to be using it for and then go from there. How it looks for some also plays a part. So go have fun and if spending all that money gets you what you want, then have at it. Don't forget a build thread so we can all watch the progress!!!
 
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motomick76

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2018
Messages
116
Location
Tri-Cities, Washington
Listen to Chris, I did an LS conversion, in my garage - I still spent close to 12K, and about to pull the trigger for another 10K to go from 33" to 35" tires. 7 years ago I got a used SC kit, and by time it was installed and tuned, I had 4K in it. If you think you have a budget of 4k to do a project, better figure in another 50% in the disposable income to cover for unforeseen issues, there are always items that pop up you cannot plan for.
 
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Matchsticks

Matchsticks

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Southern California
What is your dad's setup that you can't keep up with? I've got a mostly stock-ish 06 Rubicon and am pretty sure I can go anywhere any of my older CJs ever went. Including a -7 with a 350 and (IIRC) 4" springs and 2" shackles. All while I now only have a 2" spring and 32s with a 4.0. And it is hugely better on-road.
[/
What is your dad's setup that you can't keep up with? I've got a mostly stock-ish 06 Rubicon and am pretty sure I can go anywhere any of my older CJs ever went. Including a -7 with a 350 and (IIRC) 4" springs and 2" shackles. All while I now only have a 2" spring and 32s with a 4.0. And it is hugely better on-road.
in the dunes and dirt the TJ outperforms the CJ. When it comes to rocks and actual crawling, he’s got me beat. I’d like to elaborate on the build but honestly it was done mostly before I was even born so I’ve got to be real, I have no idea what he’s done to it other than he has wider D44’s out of a 74 scout, mechanical locker in front with a full time Detroit in the rear. Running 35s rather comfortably
 
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Matchsticks

Matchsticks

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Southern California
I'll have to agree. I'm rolling on 33's with a 4" Currie lift and I go everywhere I point the front bumper so far. Lot's of SoCal, CenCal and NorCal trails completed. I kind of like the challenge but I know 35's help.

Asking for advice can lead you to all different paths. Chris is right, "Buy once-Cry once" should be one of your considerations when purchasing mods. Plenty of us here have stories about saving a few bucks, only to buy and replace later. At the end of the day, you'll hear this several times: It's your Jeep, do what you want. You have to evaluate what you're going to be using it for and then go from there. How it looks for some also plays a part. So go have fun and if spending all that money gets you what you want, then have at it. Don't forget a build thread so we can all watch the progress!!!
Well I’m still undecided on the 35s because of the overall cost. Definitely was considering much of the required parts for running 35’s anyways such as the brakes and upgraded steering. I was fortunate to have a buddy parting a ZJ out so I already have decent steering after I bend up my stock stuff. I know that still isn’t strong enough for the 35s.
The mid arm is definitely preferred for me even with the pricy tag, once I have my suspension set up My wallet will definitely be the one crying, I’ll be too busy smiling