MS. Smart Body
Q I am having some difficulty understanding the benefits of a body lift. It is my understanding that the only purpose is to allow more room for the tires, especially when the axles are flexing. Wouldn't it make more sense to just trim the fenders? After all, doesn't the body lift permit more body movement separate from the frame, versus what the stock body mounts allow? And trimming the fenders gives you an excuse to buy fun new tools.
Colorado Springs, CO
A You're a woman after my own heart.Body lifts are cheap, and some people don't like to cut their 4x4 bodies. But I don't recommend any big body lift, as it raises the body away from the frame and requires work to the steering column, shifters, and other controls. You are also correct: The body will have more leverage against the mounts, as there are longer bolts holding the body to the frame.
I'm all for new tools, so let's make a list of tools you could modify the body with:
Made 4 Moab
Q I have been dreaming about making my first pilgrimage to Moab for years and now might have the opportunity to make it come true, but dreaming is the easy part. I was hoping you could suggest the modifications needed for my Jeep and things I need to bring in order to run moderate trails such as Fins and Things (3 to 3-plus trails). I have a bone-stock '98 Wrangler with the 4.0L, manual transmission, a Dana 35 rearend (yuk), 3.07 gears, and 31-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws. This would be my first time on the rocks, and I have a very limited budget for modifications.
A The first two upgrades I recommend are gears and lockers, but this isn't a cheap endeavor. Since your budget isn't huge, how about you find a friend with a Jeep and take a towstrap? It's amazing what you'll accomplish with a spare vehicle there. A winch is a great upgrade too, but you need something to hook it to, and there aren't a lot of designated trail anchors in Moab. If you could afford to put in a front or rear locker and some lower gears-say, in the 4.10, 4.56, or 4.88 arena-I think you'd be very happy and capable in Moab. That said, Moab has some very reasonable trails (such as those you mentioned) that can be run in a stock Wrangler like yours with judicious driving and maybe a helpful spotter.