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Old 03-09-2019, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cutting Weight, Was it Worth it?

On your jeep, not your gut hahaha.

Short story I think I can shave around another 2-300 pounds off of my TJ while increasing clearance under the rockers, better approach angle, and better visibility. I'm debating if it's worth it to attempt to shave some pounds off the jeep.

Has anyone put their jeep on a 2-300 pound diet and noticed any difference?

Here's the long story

I've opened a can of worms trying to shove 35's on my TJ with a 1" body lift/ 1.5" springs while maintaining stock up travel and clearing hydro assist with ORO U-turn steering. Previously I was on 31's with 3.73 gears with a hard top and full doors, 2x4x1/8" full width rectangle tubing bumpers and sliders, winch, and not a whole lot else added on weight wise. Adding 4.88 gears and a spool/ lunch box locker along with the 35's.

My plan was to do a DIY highline and move my front fenders up 2-3". I pulled a front fender off tonight and am thinking it might keep it off. My current rock sliders will need to be trimmed, It's going to be a fair amount of work to make everything mount to the stock fenders and clear the hood, and I'm starting to like the idea of pulling the body lift puck out of the grill and gaining some more visibility.

I've all ready sold my hardtop and replaced it with a frameless soft top. I'm thinking of ditching the front fenders, boat siding my rockers, going with some minimalist bumpers and a lighter spare tire carrier, and replacing my full hard doors with soft doors. I also have planned things like a lighter track bar, smaller muffler, aluminum flat belly which are very small weight savings. That should save me around 2-300 pounds. I'll have probably added 100 pounds in hydro assist, diff covers, and a savvy aluminum gas tank skid.

The jeep is mainly used for Colorado 4 wheeling and driven to most trails within a couple hours, 3-4 trips to Moab a year, and no longer a daily driver. It's replacing a JKU rubicon on 35's that went almost everywhere we wanted it to go but there's some trails we stayed off of and lines we didn't take because the JK was too big and owned by the bank.

Think it's worth it to try and save some weight?
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In general, I'm a big fan of a lighter rig. Everything is better - accelerates faster, brakes shorter, gets up obstacles easier, better gas mileage, etc.

The aluminum skid plate is a no brainer. If budget allows, you could look at aluminum tube fenders for the front. Genright makes some hi-line aluminum, I think. Aluminum is generally more expensive, but I'd go for it if you can afford it.

Don't forget the weight you added when you went from 31" to 35" tires - that's probably 30-40 lbs per tire

Last edited by StanF; 03-11-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It sounds like an awesome build and the advantage of staying low with 35s would out weigh the weight advantage. I would say the weight would just be a bonus. With that said we took about 600lbs off a Land Cruiser and that thing came alive with power.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If your entering a soapbox derby add weight, anything else loose it.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes.

With my old TJ, removing the hard top and doors transformed it into a totally different vehicle. It was super top-heavy and more work to drive with the top on. Of course that was up high weight, but still anything you can do the drop weight is good.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Weight is the enemy of performance.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yup, as others have said, any weight you can shed will help you out. Get to cutting!
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been sitting there staring at it for a couple days and the no fenders look is growing on me. It is definitely on the lower end of TJ's weight wise with no steel skid plates (belly pan does have a framework of 1/8" wall square tube) besides a steering box skid, short arms, 30/44 axles. I'm not sure how much I can cut without going too overboard, we spend a ton of time on the trails/ getting to and from trails so things like heat and AC are still nice to have.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So another way to look at this is to just not add weight (when possible), and it sounds like you're on that path. There is also a tipping point between comfort and weight loss/gain as you've already mentioned.

Depending on the trails you run, the boat sides might not be worth the effort. But it is one of those things you can always do later if you need to.

Full doors are nice for the long highway grinds, but a set of half doors with good soft uppers work (Non-flappy) out just as well depending on your noise tolerance.

On the fenders, I prefer having some vs. not having any just to help keep some of the crap off the windshield. But that's just more of a personal preference thing.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Since our rigs are front heavy, I would go with some aluminum high line front fenders and fiberglass hood (80 lbs.? ) that would also help preserve your little Dana 30 1 more season, maybe
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The current fender/ hood options are move the stock fenders up for a highline or no fenders, aluminum fenders aren't in the budget currently. I'm also liking the 1" body lift with the puck under the grill removed to angle the hood down for better visibility, possibly even trim the grill to get it lower. Lowering the grill is going to require some hacking of the back of the hood. I don't think the stock fenders are that heavy. Genright is advertising 9 pounds per aluminum fender, I'm guessing that doesn't include an inner fender.


The current 2x4x1/8" rockers are 4.75 pounds per foot, 1.25" sch 40 and 3/16x6" flat bar is 5.0 pounds per foot though I'd be loosing the factory sheet metal so it's probably a wash. The lightest option is letting the rockers self clearance though I'd really like some sort of step and I'm trying to avoid the raisin look.

There's probably 20 pounds to be saved axing the front bumper/ winch plate and just using a winch plate. I can save some weight on the rear bumper but I'm not sure how much yet, probably another 20-30 pounds.

Aluminum tie rod/ drag link isn't an option unless I go with another steering system, using 1.25x.120 wall chomo for a track bar.

Control arms are Iron rock so they are pretty light for adjustable control arms and aluminum arms would probably be a wash.

Besides the hard top and full doors it's pretty hard to shave weight.

I think there was a light weight jeeps thread on here, I'll have to see if I can find it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Got any pics? Sounds like a nice TJ!


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Old 03-17-2019, 06:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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When I gave my tj a rehab I swapped out overkill Enginnering 3/16" steel fenders with 4" flares they were very strong and I also had their 1 piece rocker side and quarter panels. Which were extremely heavy. I replaced everything with aluminum and changed to a minimal front bumper. The jeep weighed around 400 lbs less. It made a noticeable difference I ended up respringing it lighter
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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One time my buddy was trying to drive up a decent slab obstacle. Basically it was about 2 jeep lengths and roughly 40 of slick rock. He was getting within a foot of the Crest and the sliding back to the bottom. After a good 20 minutes of failed attempts, I persuaded him to unload his 7yo and 10yo from the back seat. We're talking 100-120lbs here. Next attempt without the kids he walked to the top like it was no big deal.

Every pound matters when the limiting factor is gravity itself.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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One time my buddy was trying to drive up a decent slab obstacle. Basically it was about 2 jeep lengths and roughly 40 of slick rock. He was getting within a foot of the Crest and the sliding back to the bottom. After a good 20 minutes of failed attempts, I persuaded him to unload his 7yo and 10yo from the back seat. We're talking 100-120lbs here. Next attempt without the kids he walked to the top like it was no big deal.

Every pound matters when the limiting factor is gravity itself.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I got it "finished" and took it to Moab for EJS. I took it for a ride just my self down a 2track without 400 + pounds of passengers and there was a big difference in handling. I need to drive it to work and put it on the scale.

I ended up going without full front fenders, built some little "half fenders" though the factory fenders don't weight much, trimmed the hood but it's still heavy, did boat sides and might have gained a couple pounds. I was trying to leave a body lift puck out of my grill to angle the hood down but my pitman arm would have taken out my lower radiator hose. I didn't add a ton of weight but it's still not "light weight". I did a full belly skid from oil pan back framed in 1x2x1/8" and 1x2x1/2" tubing skinned with 1/4" aluminum and only had a couple scratches where I would have hit the factory skid, the skid is probably around the weight of the factory skid.

Parts still to save weight on:
-Full doors for aluminum half doors
-Lighter rear bumper with a better departure angle, I'm not going to give up a cooler rack because it came in super handy but I'm going to build the new cooler rack all out of 1x1x14 gauge square tube and basically build a triangle shaped rear bumper out of 1/8", I dragged the 2x4 rectangle tubing on everything
-Lighter front bumper
-Aluminum tail gate
-Possibly ditch the back seat and put the princess of a dog in a rubbermade tote
-Trim down the tool bag and spare parts


Weight still to add:
-Full cage
-Steel center console insert (gun storage)
-Maybe a heavier front end depending on how the 30 holds up
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Not sure anyone cares but here's an update

I put my junk on the scale the other day. 4,420 pounds with my 220 pound ass in it and 7/8 of a tank of fuel with everything but drinks and snacks in it to go wheeling so 4,200 pounds without a driver trail ready. I'm guessing there's a lot of 4,500+ pound TJ's out there. Hoping to get it down below 4k ready to wheel but still with everything to drive to and from the trail and somewhere way below that stripped without a top, windshield frame, back seat, tail gate, tire carrier, and other junk for some of the harder trails out there.

I ordered undercover fab aluminum doors and soft upper doors. Front bumper is getting replaced with just a sunk in winch plate. The rear bumper needs to go and get replaced with something lighter with better clearance, I'm constantly dragging the rear. I'm also hitting my front bumper on ledges/ big rocks and shaving 2 1/2" off the front approach angle and getting rid of the tube wider than the frame should help.

I'm Adding a cage which should add about 100 pounds. I just threw on wheel spacers and a tuffy console insert, there's a rear spring relocation kit sitting in the garage, not a lot of weight but it does add up every time you do something.

Tools and spare parts are going on a diet. We wheel alone in the middle of nowhere a lot so it's a balancing act of what to carry so we aren't left with our pants down in the middle of nowhere. I'm guessing my tool bag weights 30-50 pounds. I'm carrying 2 complete front axles, a ton of nuts and bolts, and a bunch of other crap. I'm thinking 2 inner axles and 1 stub with a u-joint in it. I'm not racing and a socket extension and some electrical tape works as a bolt in a pinch.

Not sure where I'll be at weight wise after this round. If this round of upgrades doesn't get me bellows 4k the only "easy" things left are a lighter hood and aluminum tailgate.
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Last edited by BarrelRoll; 07-28-2019 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I would’t mind seeing some more pictures and lists of mods you’ve done. We might be able to give more suggestions of things to look at.

My LJ rubicon is about 200lb less than yours (~4000lb without me) running 35’s, aluminum belly pan, winch, OBA, and full-size spare. That weight is with stock type TJ half doors and bikini top. Loaded up for a full week long trip with tools and lots of water, fridge, food, camp gear full soft top, etc, etc I’m at 4300lb. Seems like you could get a non Rubi TJ hundreds of pounds lighter yet.

Mine is definitely not front heavy, depending on configuration I’m around 200- 500lb rear heavy. On the recent trip it was 2100fr/2350rear with me in it. I think the axle rating is 2100fr/2800rear. I think it would work better if it was more front weight biased even if I was over the front axle rating.

Mine is basically stock plus
5x 35” BFG on AL 15x8’s
Aluminum metal cloak front fenders (that weigh a bit more than stock once you add the steel flares)
Savvy aluminum belly skid system and gas tank skid
3/4” spring spacers and body lift
Aluminum winch mount on stock bumper with m8000 running synthetic
Modified stock rocker bars
ARB OBA
Simple steel rear bumper, not sure what, smitty probably.
Steel minimalist body mounted tire carrier
Probably a few other things I’m forgetting.
My tools/recovery gear needs a diet I’m probably at 100lb for that stuff.
Tires make a huge difference. I dropped over 100lb when I went from heavy 33’s on steel rims to light 35’s on AL and could drop another 100+ by pulling the spare and mount.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yes. On my YJ, no top, fabric half doors, no back seat, no carpets, CJ low back buckets, home made bumpers (lighter, probably), whatever odds and ends I could strip off, stayed with 31" tires, track bars, like that. Much more nimble.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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That seems heavy.

I used to have a Grand Cherokee on 36" TSLs and it wasn't much heavier than that. I want to say around 4700, maybe 5k. (Sorry don't remember exactly, I sold it a few years ago)

And that was with spare parts, spare tire, toolbox and tools (like a top cabinet to a big tool box), camping gear, guns, ammo, food, water, etc. More or less if I might need it, it went in the Jeep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRoll View Post
Not sure anyone cares but here's an update

I put my junk on the scale the other day. 4,420 pounds with my 220 pound ass in it and 7/8 of a tank of fuel with everything but drinks and snacks in it to go wheeling so 4,200 pounds without a driver trail ready. I'm guessing there's a lot of 4,500+ pound TJ's out there. Hoping to get it down below 4k ready to wheel but still with everything to drive to and from the trail and somewhere way below that stripped without a top, windshield frame, back seat, tail gate, tire carrier, and other junk for some of the harder trails out there.

I ordered undercover fab aluminum doors and soft upper doors. Front bumper is getting replaced with just a sunk in winch plate. The rear bumper needs to go and get replaced with something lighter with better clearance, I'm constantly dragging the rear. I'm also hitting my front bumper on ledges/ big rocks and shaving 2 1/2" off the front approach angle and getting rid of the tube wider than the frame should help.

I'm Adding a cage which should add about 100 pounds. I just threw on wheel spacers and a tuffy console insert, there's a rear spring relocation kit sitting in the garage, not a lot of weight but it does add up every time you do something.

Tools and spare parts are going on a diet. We wheel alone in the middle of nowhere a lot so it's a balancing act of what to carry so we aren't left with our pants down in the middle of nowhere. I'm guessing my tool bag weights 30-50 pounds. I'm carrying 2 complete front axles, a ton of nuts and bolts, and a bunch of other crap. I'm thinking 2 inner axles and 1 stub with a u-joint in it. I'm not racing and a socket extension and some electrical tape works as a bolt in a pinch.

Not sure where I'll be at weight wise after this round. If this round of upgrades doesn't get me bellows 4k the only "easy" things left are a lighter hood and aluminum tailgate.

Last edited by nate379; 08-02-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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