Need advice for overland build


domv813

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Hello all I am brand new to this forum but it seems like a plethora of info to say the least. I recently bought a 2000 TJ sport manual with 4.0L. My end goal is to have a jeep that can pull my overland trailer on and off road. A teenager had it before me and put some 32s, lightbar, and a 2.5 inch lift on it otherwise everything else is pretty much stock except for a couple of accessories. The only thing I have done is add a smitty built XRC rear bumper (so I can to my trailer) and wiring harness

My current plan
- Keep the Dana 35 (don't hate me please) and beef it up (I don't plan on ever running over 33s) and a maybe rear locker????? I don't plan on rock wrestling just getting places on forest/trails for camping. Regear to (not sure yet) so I can better pull my trailer (its a dog pullin the trailer in anything over 3rd gear)
- Rewire so I can add aux fuse panel for lights and winch eventually
- XRC tire carrier so I can have a correct size spare
- Sway bar disconnects

Here is my rig.
1605732277165.png


I am still extremely new to the jeepin thing and would love anyone that has done a TJ overland build/anyone else for their insight.
 

Alex01

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Super 35 would be able to handle up to 35" tires while locked so keeping the 35 isn't a big deal. - If you're sticking to fire roads a locker and super kit isn't really needed with 32" tires as long as you keep it open.

I'd look into the MorRyde spare tire reinforcement kit over a swing carrier.

@Mr. Bills has a nice set up you may want to check out. Remember the TJ is only rated to tow 2,000lbs.

Welcome to the forum.
 
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domv813

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Super 35 would be able to handle up to 35" tires while locked so keeping the 35 isn't a big deal. - If you're sticking to fire roads a locker and super kit isn't really needed with 32" tires as long as you keep it open.

I'd look into the MorRyde spare tire reinforcement kit over a swing carrier.

@Mr. Bills has a nice set up you may want to check out. Remember the TJ is only rated to tow 2,000lbs.

Welcome to the forum
Awesome appreciate the advice! Do tailgate mounted tires hold up better than the tire carriers on bumpers? (Just trying to learn). The reason for the locker idea was I figured I was already down there with the re gear but if you believe it isn't necessary I will forgo it.
 

Alex01

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Awesome appreciate the advice! Do tailgate mounted tires hold up better than the tire carriers on bumpers? (Just trying to learn). The reason for the locker idea was I figured I was already down there with the re gear but if you believe it isn't necessary I will forgo it.
I had a warn tire carrier and currently have the MorRyde I mentioned. The swing-out carrier held up just fine but it was annoying to open it each time I wanted to get to the trunk. The MorRyde makes it act just like the stock setup so you don't need to do anything special to open the tailgate and can easily support a tire up to 35".

Don't get me wrong, a locker would be great and would make the jeep much more capable. But if you're only going to be on fire roads it's likely not worth the extra 2k +-500 for the locker and super 35 kit. I would think really hard about where you see yourself going. If you think there's a chance you'll be lifting tires due to uneven terrain it would be cheaper, in the long run, to get a locker now vs adding one after the re-gear. Alternatively, an LSD could be added but I'm not sure if you'd need to add a Super kit. My guess would be yes.
 

B00mb00m

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Overland advice you say!? I thought no one would ever ask. WEll, first off, we're going to need light. More light, lots of light! 1 light bar is a good start but those are rookie numbers you need to pump those numbers. 4 light bars minimum I say, if you're really into overlanding that is. Now do you have a high-lift on your hood? If not please address that at your next earliest maintenance interval. Again, if one is good, two is are better. How many maxxtraxx can you hold? How many communication devices do you have? In overlanding communication is key. Remember that right hand turn at Albuquerque, we don't want that happening. You'll need CB, short wave, HAM, satellite and SPOT to start. Don't worry about tires, lockers or ground clearance. There's a lot of hills in overlanding so you're going to want to drop in a throttle body spacer. Almost forgot the snorkel and if anyone asks its for dust not water.

Ok, that should get you to your nearest KOA. I'm always heres for future consultation if needed. :)
 

Rubicon88

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If you've got the means to install a locker....go for it. ( selectable locker)

It sounds like this will be a long term jeep for you and I must say...there absolutely positively is nothing like a locked axle off road. Two is better than one but one is light years better than none.

On your re-gear...witu your manual you have at present a 3.73, or 3.55, or 3.07
If I were to bet I'd say you have 3.55 or 3.73 now.

I'd install 4.88's

If your diff's have 3.55 or 3.07 now you will have to get a new carrier. While not highly expensive it must be addressed.
If you get a true locker this will address the carrier issue.
You definitely won't regret a locker.


Good luck.
 

Artsifrtsi

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If possible, run the same tires and wheels on your trailer as on the Jeep. Then you have the possibility of 2-4 spare tires if needed.

Be sure to have a 7 pin trailer harness, then you can have a deep-cycle battery mounted in the trailer and set up to charge off the Jeep when connected, and solar when not.. or at least run a battery similar to the Jackary system. I set both Jeeps up with 12v outlets in the cargo area to keep my battery pack charged, and I have a Costway 53 quart refrigerator that runs off the Jackery. (no more need to run out for Ice when camping).

You need a basic tool set, and recovery gear. I know MaxTrax were joked about, but you should look into a traction aid... not always will you have branches or rocks to help get unstuck.

I would run brakes on the trailer, as you could set them to slightly drag going down hills to help keep trailer behind you. Upgrade the brakes on the Jeep as well, BMB is a highly recommended company here, and the owner will get you set up correctly if you consult with him.

As far as locker, that's your call, but definitely regear since you are struggling now.
 

Mr. Bills

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My advice: Go use your rig and trailer. Use it a lot. Separate what you really need from what you think you need and what other people say you need by paying attention to your own experiences before you start spending money on changing either your jeep or your trailer. Answer for yourself questions like: What gear do I need to carry? What fits and what doesn't? What gear works and what doesn't? How do my priorities change depending upon season, places I frequent, the people I take with me, etc.? Can I go down from 32" tires to 31" tires , save the cost of an axle ratio change, and still get everyplace I want to go? Is my money better spent on other things? Stuff like that.

The gear I carry and how I carry it has evolved substantially since I began jeep camping in the 1960's. So has the type of rig I drive and the modifications. Its a process.

If I were in OP's position I would begin with ensuring that all maintenance is up to date and everything works as it should. I would not get caught up in vehicle modifications. Yet.
 
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domv813

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If you've got the means to install a locker....go for it. ( selectable locker)

It sounds like this will be a long term jeep for you and I must say...there absolutely positively is nothing like a locked axle off road. Two is better than one but one is light years better than none.

On your re-gear...witu your manual you have at present a 3.73, or 3.55, or 3.07
If I were to bet I'd say you have 3.55 or 3.73 now.

I'd install 4.88's

If your diff's have 3.55 or 3.07 now you will have to get a new carrier. While not highly expensive it must be addressed.
If you get a true locker this will address the carrier issue.
You definitely won't regret a locker.


Good luck.
I was suprised to find it has a 4.11 listed on the plate on the rear pumpkin. This rig is on its second engine (replaced 50k miles ago and 2 owners prior). I am guessing it either had a 4 banger in it at one time or someone did an axle swap. I am probs gonna do the 4.88 regair. Its a dog right now especially with the trailer. I do not use 5th gear really at all and struggle in 4th on a flat road with the trailer.
 

Alex01

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I was suprised to find it has a 4.11 listed on the plate on the rear pumpkin. This rig is on its second engine (replaced 50k miles ago and 2 owners prior). I am guessing it either had a 4 banger in it at one time or someone did an axle swap. I am probs gonna do the 4.88 regair. Its a dog right now especially with the trailer. I do not use 5th gear really at all and struggle in 4th on a flat road with the trailer.
Type in your vin on the attached link and you'll see what it had from the factory. 4.88 are a good call.

 
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domv813

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If possible, run the same tires and wheels on your trailer as on the Jeep. Then you have the possibility of 2-4 spare tires if needed.

Be sure to have a 7 pin trailer harness, then you can have a deep-cycle battery mounted in the trailer and set up to charge off the Jeep when connected, and solar when not.. or at least run a battery similar to the Jackary system. I set both Jeeps up with 12v outlets in the cargo area to keep my battery pack charged, and I have a Costway 53 quart refrigerator that runs off the Jackery. (no more need to run out for Ice when camping).

You need a basic tool set, and recovery gear. I know MaxTrax were joked about, but you should look into a traction aid... not always will you have branches or rocks to help get unstuck.

I would run brakes on the trailer, as you could set them to slightly drag going down hills to help keep trailer behind you. Upgrade the brakes on the Jeep as well, BMB is a highly recommended company here, and the owner will get you set up correctly if you consult with him.

As far as locker, that's your call, but definitely regear since you are struggling now.
Trailer has 2 deep cycles that can be charged with 7 pin (my suburban used to do that). Right now I just have 4 pin but I am gonna eventuall work on getting some wires ran back for a 7 pin
 

Steel City 06

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If you're going to add a rear locker and regear, I personally recommend going with a Super 35 kit at the same time. The Super 35 kit won't be much more expensive than the locker alone, and will provide significant extra strength. Much better to spend an extra $2-300 now than pay $1k+ for an off-road tow when you pop an axle shaft in the middle of nowhere.

I agree with the recommendations for 4.88 with 33s. 5.13 is also feasible, and would net a small amount of extra torque at the cost of a slight loss of fuel economy and a bit more noise.

Definitely add trailer brakes. Electric or electric over hydraulic brakes are preferable to surge brakes. An independent trailer brake controller is a very good thing to have for frequent towing.

As for the bumper, be sure it is rated to tow at least the capacity of the TJ (2000 lbs). Many bumpers are not rated to tow. You must install frame brace brackets, available from many different suppliers. You otherwise risk tearing the bumper and rear crossmember off of the frame.
 
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domv813

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If you're going to add a rear locker and regear, I personally recommend going with a Super 35 kit at the same time. The Super 35 kit won't be much more expensive than the locker alone, and will provide significant extra strength. Much better to spend an extra $2-300 now than pay $1k+ for an off-road tow when you pop an axle shaft in the middle of nowhere.

I agree with the recommendations for 4.88 with 33s. 5.13 is also feasible, and would net a small amount of extra torque at the cost of a slight loss of fuel economy and a bit more noise.

Definitely add trailer brakes. Electric or electric over hydraulic brakes are preferable to surge brakes. An independent trailer brake controller is a very good thing to have for frequent towing.

As for the bumper, be sure it is rated to tow at least the capacity of the TJ (2000 lbs). Many bumpers are not rated to tow. You must install frame brace brackets, available from many different suppliers. You otherwise risk tearing the bumper and rear crossmember off of the frame.
I am planning on getting trailer brakes next season here. The bumper is tow rated. That actually was a pain because there aren't that many that are. It is the smitty built XRC. It has 4 more areas that it is bolted onto the rear frame along with two l shaped brackets go between the frame and the original bumper holes
 

Alex01

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It looks like it used to have the 4 banger in it before the the 6 cyl. Could the transmission be causing some of my problems with it being a dog then?
Do you have a ax15 or nv3550? Either way though neither should make it a dog... it likely just needs gears.
 

Steel City 06

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It looks like it used to have the 4 banger in it before the the 6 cyl. Could the transmission be causing some of my problems with it being a dog then?
Can you confirm it actually has a 6 cylinder engine in it? 4 cylinder to 6 cylinder swaps aren't terribly common as they are a lot of work. The transmission shouldn't affect anything.

Take a photo of the engine if you're unsure.
 
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domv813

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Can you confirm it actually has a 6 cylinder engine in it? 4 cylinder to 6 cylinder swaps aren't terribly common as they are a lot of work. The transmission shouldn't affect anything.

Take a photo of the engine if you're unsure.
Okay I am idiot. The product of me going to look at a jeep at night and doing a quick look. It is a 4 cylinder lol. When I was looking at buying a jeep I was talking to like 9 people at once and must have got the information mixed up and thought I was buying a 6 cyl. Well now my embarrassed about that I guess I know to why its a dog on the interstate :ROFLMAO:. I still got it for deal even for with it being a 4 cylinder. I guess that changes my plan of attack with it now
 

Steel City 06

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Two thoughts:

Regear to 5.13 and don't look back. Or save up for a V8 swap.

People not familiar with Jeeps often get the term "4.0" mixed up with the term "4 cylinder". The 4.0 has 6 cylinders and the 2.5/2.4 has 4.
 
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Alex01

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Trailer, 4 cylinder, and mountains don't seem like a winning combo. If you keep the 4 banger in it get 5.13 and try not to add too much weight.
 
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Rubicon88

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If you're going to add a rear locker and regear, I personally recommend going with a Super 35 kit at the same time. The Super 35 kit won't be much more expensive than the locker alone, and will provide significant extra strength. Much better to spend an extra $2-300 now than pay $1k+ for an off-road tow when you pop an axle shaft in the middle of nowhere.

I agree with the recommendations for 4.88 with 33s. 5.13 is also feasible, and would net a small amount of extra torque at the cost of a slight loss of fuel economy and a bit more noise.

Definitely add trailer brakes. Electric or electric over hydraulic brakes are preferable to surge brakes. An independent trailer brake controller is a very good thing to have for frequent towing.

As for the bumper, be sure it is rated to tow at least the capacity of the TJ (2000 lbs). Many bumpers are not rated to tow. You must install frame brace brackets, available from many different suppliers. You otherwise risk tearing the bumper and rear crossmember off of the frame.
Yes this....
In light of you stating you've 4.10 now...
Definitely go 5.13

I said 4.88 thinking you had 3.73 or 3.55

That's one complete ratio higher.

The fact you've 4.10...Definitely go 5.13

Don't think on it...get 5.13

You'll be extremely pleased with that.

Too many people regear on the shy side. None sense.

5.13 all day long. You'll be grinning ear to ear all trail ride long and towing up those long grades....yes!!