Did an honest assessment yesterday of whether I could really afford this trip. I'm really not sure.
If I'm going to go, I want 35" tires and enough lift to deal with them. When I talked with Tony Twiddy, he said the one 80-series with 33" tires that ran the Rubithon last year really struggled.
I'm going to need tires fairly soon anyway, although if I buy another set of 285s I will only need 4, since my used spare is still in good shape. But I can potentially take these out of the equation, since I'm going to need tires whether I go to Rubithon or not.
I'm just not sure if I can afford the 4" lift I'll need to clear the 35" tires. And then there's another $750-1000 in fuel costs for the trip. Plus food and an occasional motel room. I figure to do this thing right, I'm going to need $1800 for food/gas/lodging + $2200 for a 4" lift + $1200 for tires. That's $5200 that I don't have.
I could probably get my FJ40 ready for action with less money. If I cut the rear wheel wells, I could stuff 35" tires in there now (I have a 4" lift on it now). I have some 4.11 diffs in my garage, ready to be swapped in. Beyond that, I probably need to do some fluid replacement. But then I'm faced with 2500 miles in an FJ40 -- I'm not sure whether that really sounds like fun. I'd still have to buy some tires, although for the 40 I could buy some used ones, since it's not my DD.
Just thought I'd give you guys a heads up. I haven't made a decision yet, but I'm pretty gloomy today.