Originally Posted by Hulk
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.
Matt, first, remember that STOCK, BONE STOCK FJ40s used to do the Rubicon trail in the mid 1960s for the Jamboree. You're a good driver, which gives you a major advantage. Before trail teams were invented, they test ran a stock FJ Cruiser on that trail.
Second, the difference between 33s and 35s is fairly minimal (in my first hand experience). Either your 80 or your 40 could do Rubithon as-is without plunking down major coin on lifts and bigger tires.
If I were in your position, I would take Hulk. Not as much worries from rock rash (compared to a wagon), and it's the real deal. The 80 has A/C and is quieter on the road, probably has more room for gear. Okay, flip a coin. Personally, I don't mind highway in a 40 series as much as a lot of folks, but then I'm not like most folks :-)
But here's my advice: Your a good driver and that counts a lot more than 33s versus 35s as far as getting through the trail.