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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I have asked around on some other pages and didnt get to much input. I was hopi nv to get some good feed back/advice here. I'm somewhat new to offroad on the rock side of things. I'm deploying here real soon and what better than to put my money into my fj!!! So far I have the following:

3 inch rough country lift
285 70 17
front bumper
sliders
highlift jack
compressor
select tools
matching spare
a solid set of recovery gear

My plan for while I'm gone is to have the following:

A real lift kit such a sway away front coilovers and UCA
rear metal tech long travel stage 4 suspension
full set of skids front to back
contemplating 35s
winch
rear bumper
roof rack

hopefully you gentleman can point me in the right direction. I will be more than willing to hear your suggestion and if you think I should tweak the list please tell me. I have all summer to think about this. When I get back I will have two weeks to prep my rig until I go to the rubicon trail!!
 

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You'll benefit greatly from taller tires (35s worked well for me). As far as the front axles, you'll want to make sure you have the correct size socket (haven't looked in a while but I think it's 35mm) and some way to remove the axle (slide hammer, etc.). Equally as important as tall tires is solid armor protection as your FJC will take a beating. Bash, engine, and tranny skids as well as strong rear lower control arms, armor for rear LCA front mounts, and shock mount armor should be considered mandatory. I wouldn't go super crazy on spare parts, personally, since it's not difficult to get help on the trail and well-stocked parts stores are fairly plentiful in the area.

A spill kit and some sort of porta-potty to defecate in are pretty much mandatory for everyone on the trail.

Bears are a real problem and you'll almost certainly have them visit your camp at some point. They're more interested in your food than you, so I wouldn't worry as much about "defense" (sprays, guns, etc.) but about how to protect your food, tent, etc. There is quite a bit of information out there about this so I won't go into it here.

HAM radio (2 meters) is heavily used on the trail and there are repeaters and reflectors giving solid coverage over the entire trail. I would highly recommend at least a handheld 2 meter rig of some sort with an external antenna. Cell coverage is almost non-existent (at least that was the case a couple of years ago).

Pirate4x4.com has a ton of info on the Rubicon trail and I highly recommend checking out the threads over there. Especially the trip calendar...try to schedule your trip around some of the big events out there. It's a very busy trail and it would suck to show up and find it virtually "closed" by some giant event like Jeepers Jamboree or whatever.

If you don't already have it, get as much experience as possible driving your FJC in rocks. Don't be that guy who needs to be spotted every 30 seconds and backs the trail up. Experience will get you further than any vehicle mod. :bigthumb:
 

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Do you think 35s will be a burrden on my rear end? I have 140k on my fjc.
What year is your FJC? 2010+ with the stock 8.2 rear is no issue...not sure about the earlier ones with the smaller rear but I think you would be fine. Again, experience would be your best friend here.

Oh and I will have a cb by then and everyone else does too.
That's great, but a CB won't get you out beyond your immediate group. If you have a bad break down or an emergency of some sort, the reach of a 2m radio with the repeater support in the area is what you need. Almost the entire trail sits in a granite bowl/valley so line of site to anything off trail doesn't really exist with a CB. Not saying everyone running in your group needs one but I would highly recommend at least one person with this type of setup per group. Tons of trail coordination happens on the repeaters as well so you're missing out on good info even if you don't need it for emergency purposes.
 

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When are you going? The Fri-Sat-Sun runs leaving from Georgetown during the summer mean the trail gets packed up and sometimes backed up. Leaving mid-week is a much better option.

You're gonna need a pass.

Jess is right about everything, but especially about the bears - my wife ran smack into a mama at night a couple of years ago. That was a bad scene. We now have a grizzly-rated cooler and all other food gets airborne. Expect bears.

If you can tag along with someone else first (look here) it will really help you on your first pass when you're in your own rig.

Take it easy on the throttle, especially with bigger tires. I once brought 2 Birfields and blew 3, even with a 96HP 22R.

CBs are useless - no one uses them in the Sierras. 2M and 440 (CARLA repeater system) hams rule. If you don't want to get a dedicated ham rig - get a Baofeng UV-5R (or Baofeng UV-5R+).

Lots of info here.
 

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Great links Voight Kampff!

Do *not* underestimate the bear threat - the bears in this area are very smart and can take down a bear bag and get into most coolers. Protect anything that has an odor (food, deodorant, tooth paste, etc.). A couple of those canned air horns may be useful for scaring off the bears that will visit you. You'll wake everyone else up near you but they'll probably appreciate the warning. :lol:

While not recommended if you're leaving your vehicle unattended for a longer period of time like at a trail head, the FJC is a fairly effective place to protect your food and other smelly items overnight on the Rubicon. Any serious attempts by a bear to break into your FJ should wake you up and give you a chance to scare them off (with loud noise) before they gain entry.

When you start looking around, you'll find plenty of folks talking about how the trail has been "paved" and is easy now...don't listen to them. It might be easy for experienced wheelers in purpose-built rigs but is still a very difficult/serious trail for an IFS rig the size of an FJC. Body damage is highly likely as there are at least a few tight squeezes that are unavoidable.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm hoping to not damage my fj. After I come back I will hit some rocky spots to freshen up and test out the new mods to make sure I'm good before I have to drive 200 miles round trip just to get theRe and back. Still afraid if the 35s. Any suggestions on tires? I was think goodyear kevlars.
 

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Those are the tires I ran/am running and they served me well. I've also seen Duratracs, Nittos, and KM2s do well there. Honestly, there aren't a lot of sharp rocks on the Rubicon, from what I remember. You're way more likely to slip a bead or bust a tire stem on this trail, so I would study up on what to do in those situations.

If you're really worried about 35s grenading your axles/diffs, you can do the trail on 33s...it will just be a bit harder. In any case, what Voight Kampff has said above about throttle control is paramount.
 

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Axles don't just snap - you've got to help them along. A steady, measured approach - think "finesse", even if that doesn't come easily - is the way to go.

What usually happens is you gas it, a tire spins, then it hooks up, and the axles are the weakest point.

Rocks in the area are primarily granite, diorite, and peridotite. Not sharp. Don't worry about punctures.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not worries about punctures. As far as beads I will habe either and a airtank with me. Valve stem idk about that. There any tools to help fix that?
 

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The only way to fix a valve stem is to replace it. Honestly, I don't know too many people who carry spare valve stems or have any intention of replacing one on the trail so you can probably just forget about what I said there. :lol:
 

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If you run rubber valve stems, there's a tool to yank out the old one and pull the new one in, that's about five dollars. Bring extras if you're concerned.

The metal stems just need an open end wrench to install.

Steel rims and forged aluminum rims bend. Cast aluminum rims break. Know the difference.

For your Hi-Lift, there's a whole bunch of accessories that are mostly pretty useful.

Bring jeans, boots, and leather work gloves. Clothing in layers - it can get 80 during the day and 35 at night during the summer.

Maybe try Fordyce or another trail first?
 

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Having an 07 may help with the valve stem things...no need for the aluminum ones that the TPMS trucks have....The good old rubber ones dont seem to shear off as quickly as barely touching a metal one does. Depends on the rim / tire too, obviously
 

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I have rubber valve stems in all my wheels and a TPMS bomb to keep the light off.

I have broken down/popped the bead using a strong board/4x4 and the weight of the vehicle to replace a valve stem. I have the spin on tool for the stems, but you can also use a pair of dikes if you have finesse.
 

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I drove in for Rubithon in 2008, and there a couple of things that are helpful..

1) Accept that you will likely get some body damage. Maybe you come out unscathed, but don't let a little bent sheet metal ruin your trip.

2) I put new Hankook DynaPros (295/70/17) on stock steelies. Two of the tires got side wall cuts bad enough to retire them. One of the steelies was trashed beyond (my) repair, and all of them were bent and gashed. I have since added weld-on rim protectors, and they are worth every penny.

3) A spotter that likes to work. With 33's, your shotgun will be jumping out to spot quite a bit. Bring someone who's both a good spotter as well as enthusiastic. It's a long 14 miles.

4) A hat with mosquito netting. The hat makes conversations where your not slapping
yourself in the face possible. We never saw bears, but the mosquitoes will drain you anemic.
 
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