Michael's slow and steady Gobi Overland build

Mr. Wuf

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I bought a Gobi North Edition yesterday. When I first started looking at Jeeps, I was torn between building a Rubicon or a Sport S with Max Tow, but this Jeep had the right features at the right price, so I jumped on it.

I traded my 2015 JKU Hard Rock and financed this one for next to nothing. The JKUHR was a tank green six-speed with a soft top, 3” lift, Metalcloak Overland fenders, warm winch, 35s, and a few other extras. It was tough to give it up, but the miles were creeping up, and the rebates on this North Edition made it make sense to trade.

Prior to the JKUHR, I drove a black 2007 JKU Sahara that I had built similarly, a black cherry 2013 Ram 1500 Laramie, and a 2005 red TJ (my first Wrangler after driving a ‘94 ZJ through college).

When I drove the TJ, I decided I wanted a truck. I immediately missed having a Jeep and traded the Ram after about 18 months of ownership. Then, I missed having a truck (although not enough to get rid of my Jeeps). When the JT was revealed, I knew I’d eventually have one, and here we are.

While I had built my previous Jeeps with rocks in mind, I rarely got off-road and really never tested my Rubicon’s limits. I hope someone finds it that will love it and get it on the trails where it belongs.

As for the JT, I’m going a slightly different route with more of a camping/beach cruiser in mind. It is my first automatic since the Ram, so I’m sure I’ll miss the manual transmission a little, but I wanted something easy to pull a small skiff or jet skis behind.

It came with dual tops, color-matched hard top and fenders, LED upgrade, cold weather group, black cloth seats, remote start, remote proximity entry, 8.4” radio, tonneau cover, and 3.73 gears because the 4.10s apparently aren’t available on Overlands (boo). Most of these comfort features are standard on any other vehicle, but they’re a gigantic upgrade for me compared to the relatively spartan JK interior.

I’m planning to add the following upgrades in no particular order:
  1. Linex (I’m waiting on a local installer to get back to me with a quote).
  2. Katzkins — I think a dark saddle would look good with the Gobi.
  3. Lift — I want to go with at least 35s. I’d love to have 37s, but I’d rather not regear right now and I’m not sure I’d be happy with the stock ratio on tires that big. Like I said, this is my first JT, so I’m clueless on lift sizes or brands to be looking at. I don’t need the absolutely top of the line, but I want something that rides as good or better than stock. Suggestions?
  4. Tires — I’m thinking I want a good all-terrain in 35 or 37. I’ve driven on mud terrains for years, but for my use, I’d prefer something a little quieter and more mannerly on the road. Any great ATs out there?
  5. Wheels — I like the stock wheels, but I’m sure I’ll need an upgrade to fit bigger, wider tires on these axles. I’m not interested in running spacers again. I never had issues with them in the past, but they always made me a little nervous. I’d love to have a black wheel with a Gobi rock ring. I don’t need a true beadlock and I don’t care at all if the look makes me a poser. I like what I like and would love suggestions for something that is good looking and affordable.
  6. Bumper — I love Poison Spyder’s stuff. I want something very simple that enhances the Jeep’s look. I have no intention of cutting corners here, as cheap bumpers are fugly and significant downgrades from stock. It doesn’t have to be PSC, but it has to be similar in quality of build and aesthetic.
  7. Winch — I’ve been a Warn guy for years, but I have heard good things about Smittybilt recently, and I think their winches with black synthetic line look good.
That’s it for now. That’s the plan. I am experienced enough in the Jeep world to know I might add more later, but I’m not planning to get carried away with this one. (I know, famous last words.)

Anyway, thoughts? Feedback? Suggestions?

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ajn507

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Congrats, I was following your purchase thread. Glad it worked out for you, hopefully you got what you wanted on trade.
 

Incommando

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You don’t need a lift to run 35’s on these. At most you can add a 1.5” front leveling kit ( I used Teraflex for $99) if you want to eliminate most of the rake and add a touch of front clearance.

You can run a 12.5” wide tire on the stock rims. Here are my 34x12 tires on stock rims ( no lift and Teraflex leveling kit) :

81DA42EA-7ECF-46B9-A140-3A27F939D0E9.jpeg


DE41A954-93F8-43C3-8D2D-9C383599968C.jpeg


A4F36690-9DE6-45C5-B82A-3C8A2FC774B2.jpeg
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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I wasn’t thrilled with the trade value, but it was right in line with what KBB suggested. I knew the high mileage on the JKU would hurt. I just wasn’t prepared for how much of a hit I would take because of the miles.

15EC3F78-A888-4A66-97DF-B72192C171D6.jpeg
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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You don’t need a lift to run 35’s on these. At most you can add a 1.5” front leveling kit ( I used Teraflex for $99) if you want to eliminate most of the rake and add a touch of front clearance.

You can run a 12.5” wide tire on the stock rims. Here are my 34x12 tires on stock rims ( no lift and Teraflex leveling kit) :
That’s good to know! Maybe my tires will get an upgrade sooner rather than later. I want to sell my stock ones as quickly as I can before I roll up a lot of miles on them.
 

DawgBox

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Hi Mr. Wuf, Congrats on your new JT!

Thought I'd comment based on my Gobi JTR where I can.
FinalTrickTrucks_without_FogLights2.jpg

  1. Linex (I’m waiting on a local installer to get back to me with a quote). Can't help here...had mine come from the factory sprayed...glad I did!
  2. Katzkins — I think a dark saddle would look good with the Gobi. That would be great...I chose leather and glad I did
  3. Lift — I want to go with at least 35s. I’d love to have 37s, but I’d rather not regear right now and I’m not sure I’d be happy with the stock ratio on tires that big. Like I said, this is my first JT, so I’m clueless on lift sizes or brands to be looking at. I don’t need the absolutely top of the line, but I want something that rides as good or better than stock. Suggestions? Went with a 2.5" lift from TeraFlex...it drives better than stock IMHO. Also think about upgrading your steering stabilizer that'll make a difference.
  4. Tires — I’m thinking I want a good all-terrain in 35 or 37. I’ve driven on mud terrains for years, but for my use, I’d prefer something a little quieter and more mannerly on the road. Any great ATs out there? I went with Nitto Ridge Grappler 37s since I'll be Overlanding and wanted the extra height but also need it as my daily driver
  5. Wheels — I like the stock wheels, but I’m sure I’ll need an upgrade to fit bigger, wider tires on these axles. I’m not interested in running spacers again. I never had issues with them in the past, but they always made me a little nervous. I’d love to have a black wheel with a Gobi rock ring. I don’t need a true beadlock and I don’t care at all if the look makes me a poser. I like what I like and would love suggestions for something that is good looking and affordable. Black Rhino makes a version like mine in all black...they are heavy but only run $220/wheel. Oh, and no spacers...not a fan either and they are not beadlocks.
  6. Bumper — I love Poison Spyder’s stuff. I want something very simple that enhances the Jeep’s look. I have no intention of cutting corners here, as cheap bumpers are fugly and significant downgrades from stock. It doesn’t have to be PSC, but it has to be similar in quality of build and aesthetic. Can't help you here as I like the stock steel bumpers (for now :))
  7. Winch — I’ve been a Warn guy for years, but I have heard good things about Smittybilt recently, and I think their winches with black synthetic line look good. Though I haven't used it to pull a stuck Subaru or Volvo out of their predicament I do like the 12k Smittybilt with synthetic line.
Best of luck on your build! DawgBox
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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Hi Mr. Wuf, Congrats on your new JT!

Thought I'd comment based on my Gobi JTR where I can. (...)

Best of luck on your build!
Thanks! That is a fantastic looking Rubicon. I was definitely searching for another Rubi until I saw the rebates on this Overland (close to $4,000 on top of the 8% below invoice). I’ll use the savings to build this one how I want.

I found your wheels on the Black Rhino site a few days ago. I like them a lot, and unless something else catches my eye between now and then, they’re what I’m planning to go with. Excellent taste!

I am probably going to do lift and tires/wheels first so I can try to sell my stock wheels/tires for as much as possible with as little wear on them as possible. It also addresses the functionality more than anything else on my list and will have the most dramatic impact on the overall aesthetic of the Jeep.
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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I got a quote for Katzkin seats installed from an authorized installed for $1195. That seems like a good deal. I think I want to go with the factory saddle color, but I may do black/tan two-tone.

Linex place can do the liner for $475.

Which means $1670 is burning a hole in my pocket.
 
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Mr. Wuf

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I'm slowly filling my garage with FedEx and UPS deliveries.

I bought the Rough Country 3.5" lift, which arrived last week. I know they don't have the best reputation in the Jeep world, but I ran a RC lift on my TJ years ago, as did several of my friends, and we all found it to be perfectly fine for our use with a ride quality at least as good as stock and maybe slightly better. I'm confident this one will be the same, but if I hate it, I'll upgrade. I'm waiting for wheels and tires to arrive before putting it on.

Speaking of wheels and tires, I am 90% set on the Black Rhino tan/black Arsenal 17" wheels. Here they are on Black Rhino's configurator. The only difference is that I have body-colored fenders. I really like the Armory wheels, but I think that would be a little too much tan since I don't have any black accents. I'm undecided on tires, but I think I am going to go with 37x12.50x17 Patagonia MTs. I've read good things about them.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 6.45.48 PM.png


For the bumper, I ordered the Ace JT Expedition Series Stubby Bumper with Bull Bar:

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 6.50.42 PM.png


The bumper is on back order for 4-5 weeks, but I haven't found anything else I like nearly as much, so I don't mind waiting. It'll also give my bank account enough time to recover and buy a winch. I'm leaning toward the Warn VR series, which wasn't out last time I was in the market for a winch. But I really like the price point combined with Warn's peerless reputation. I definitely want the synthetic line, both for safety and to save a significant amount of weight on the front end. I think the 10-S should be plenty of winch for a JT.

The plan is to get everything installed before Memorial Day weekend (which will be cutting it close on the bumper delivery date), as we're planning a trip to the Outer Banks if things are opened back up by then and we feel like it's a safe/responsible trip.

Once everything comes in, I'll post some before and after photos, but I'm excited about how the Jeep looks in my mind.
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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This was a big step today. I got my 3.5” lift installed along with my 37x12.50 tires mounted on Black Rhino Armory wheels. I can’t get over how closely the color matches with this combo. I see why all the Gobi guys are going this route.

Bumper should be here in a week, and then we’ll be adding it and a winch to the front end. I’m extremely happy with the difference in the way the Jeep looks just from adding the lift, wheels, and tires.
E75C5EC1-D0E2-4973-A936-324D8F83DFD0.jpeg
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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My bumper finally arrived. It was on back order, but after installing it and my Warn VR EVO 12-S today, I think it was worth the wait.

Same angle as the shot above but with the new bumper:
7128F633-7D9E-4F0E-80C8-D469D5A95E9C.jpeg

And from the front:
015A0951-B317-4BF8-A9C7-822815785F3A.jpeg
 

WhippetTaxi

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Do you have a lot of negative camber dialed in, or a wide angle lens, or just the angle of the photo? Beautiful rig, by the way! It's fun to see how much evolved in a relatively short time.
 
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Mr. Wuf

Mr. Wuf

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I see what you’re talking about. Just the angle of the photo.
 

Gobiglad

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Hi Mr. Wuf, Congrats on your new JT!

Thought I'd comment based on my Gobi JTR where I can.
FinalTrickTrucks_without_FogLights2.jpg

  1. Linex (I’m waiting on a local installer to get back to me with a quote). Can't help here...had mine come from the factory sprayed...glad I did!
  2. Katzkins — I think a dark saddle would look good with the Gobi. That would be great...I chose leather and glad I did
  3. Lift — I want to go with at least 35s. I’d love to have 37s, but I’d rather not regear right now and I’m not sure I’d be happy with the stock ratio on tires that big. Like I said, this is my first JT, so I’m clueless on lift sizes or brands to be looking at. I don’t need the absolutely top of the line, but I want something that rides as good or better than stock. Suggestions? Went with a 2.5" lift from TeraFlex...it drives better than stock IMHO. Also think about upgrading your steering stabilizer that'll make a difference.
  4. Tires — I’m thinking I want a good all-terrain in 35 or 37. I’ve driven on mud terrains for years, but for my use, I’d prefer something a little quieter and more mannerly on the road. Any great ATs out there? I went with Nitto Ridge Grappler 37s since I'll be Overlanding and wanted the extra height but also need it as my daily driver
  5. Wheels — I like the stock wheels, but I’m sure I’ll need an upgrade to fit bigger, wider tires on these axles. I’m not interested in running spacers again. I never had issues with them in the past, but they always made me a little nervous. I’d love to have a black wheel with a Gobi rock ring. I don’t need a true beadlock and I don’t care at all if the look makes me a poser. I like what I like and would love suggestions for something that is good looking and affordable. Black Rhino makes a version like mine in all black...they are heavy but only run $220/wheel. Oh, and no spacers...not a fan either and they are not beadlocks.
  6. Bumper — I love Poison Spyder’s stuff. I want something very simple that enhances the Jeep’s look. I have no intention of cutting corners here, as cheap bumpers are fugly and significant downgrades from stock. It doesn’t have to be PSC, but it has to be similar in quality of build and aesthetic. Can't help you here as I like the stock steel bumpers (for now :))
  7. Winch — I’ve been a Warn guy for years, but I have heard good things about Smittybilt recently, and I think their winches with black synthetic line look good. Though I haven't used it to pull a stuck Subaru or Volvo out of their predicament I do like the 12k Smittybilt with synthetic line.
Best of luck on your build! DawgBox
Hi there. I have the GobiGlad Overland, and just ordered the Teraflex Lift 2.5 Alpine CT2 -- not sure if that's the same one you installed...if it is? How are you liking it? Any negatives? I'm waiting for kit to arrive and can't wait to install. Also ordered the Black Rhinos on the Tan Color and 37's...
 

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