Re: Thinking about building a ridiculous WK2 on 35's.... Thoughts?
Alright well I have since learned this vehicle inside out, I test drove a WK2 at a dealer just to see what I was getting into (not a CRD, just a new Hemi with the 8 speed to get a feel for it, he didn't have any CRD's yet). As I had said, I have a good relationship with this dealer and picked his brain. He let me pour over a dealer order form, and here's what I found out: you can't get the ELSD without the air suspension, you can't get the ELSD and the air suspension without the Offroad II group, you can't get that with the diesel without it being a limited with the Luxury package and blah blah blah blah blah.... it snowballed into a $55,000 Jeep full of a bunch of crap I didn't want. He called Jeep to see if there was a way to make an exception and the answer was no.
What I did find:
Icon Vehicle Dynamics is making 2" coilovers and shocks (which was my plan after playing with the air suspension and deciding it was stupid).
There are enough skid plates and armor from Rocky Road to protect the truck enough to beat the crap out of it (I was still planning on flat bellying it at the shop).
I found out that Jeepin By Al might be looking for a WK2 test mule to develop a kit, someone should call them, I've installed one of their kits on a Liberty before and it was pretty cool.
If you're smart about where you cut you can use the Bushwacker flares to widen your wheel wells to easily accommodate 33's, maybe bigger but it will require you cutting the body A LOT. What you'll do is drill out the fake rivets in the flares and replace them with actual hardware, using that area as your mounting surface (I did it on a monster XJ I built, worked great) then cut the body along the line that arches over the wheel wells. It flattens nicely and you should be able to carefully cut it and roll the fenders upwards. You would then cut the Bushwaker flares a la Trailhawk II. With some creativity you should be able to push the fender liners up and around your cuts.
ARB hasn't even started developing air lockers and no one is sure about suspension.
And finally: WK2 SRT 8 3.7:1 gears should install in the same diffs and carrier as the 3.45:1 gears, no one had any answers as to weather that would freak out the TCS like it does on a JK without a Pro Cal Module.
I have decided the WK2 isn't for me, and it's not the platform or even the lack of aftermarket support. Jeep made it too hard to get the options I want. While the WK2 is definitely a more upscale vehicle than its predecessors, it's a Jeep and I should be able to get it without F-ing Tv's in the headrests, heated leather seats and a Nav system. I know I know, some crusty old jaded weirdo geezer is going to hop on this thread and start bitching "Well that's not what its for, get a Rubicon, I lack creativity and hate my life...." and I say shut up you! Keep your conformist propaganda to yourself!
I hope the Trailhawk II is cool and uses all this modern tech and a nice Diesel engine to get create a badass American 4x4 that gets decent fuel economy and burns cleanly at the pipe. I hope one of you guys picks up where I left off and builds a ridiculous WK2 on 35" tires, breaks in and repairs it doing something stupid on the Rubicon and sends me a picture!
I stumbled across a nice FZJ80 Land Cruiser for way less money than it should have been, I decided to buy that as a baby hauler/camping mobile keep my stinky FJ40 with me. In the end I'm a Toyota guy, a pre made in Mexico and America Toyota guy. A Jeep made in Toledo would have been nice, but I didn't want a Rubicon because my FJ40 is just more fun and so far has done a great job of pulling friends Jeep's out of holes after their axle parts broke.