Originally Posted by 1bigmess
You might be incorrectly applying an idea like strength to another idea like cargo capacity. I wouldn't. There are different kinds of strength, for different purposes.
I wouldn't take a vehicle like a Jeep of any kind that I've seen, jack it up for wheel clearance, make the frame very flexible for managing very rough and difficult terrain, and put very large wheels and tires with tall sidewalls on it, then toss a ton or more in the back of it. Nope, that thing might lay over on it's side so you could scratch its belly the first turn you made at almost any speed faster than walking.
Different tools for different jobs.
Yes I prefer a lower center of gravity. My OME medium lift kit is around 1.5 to 2.5 inch depending on the payload. Included heavier duty springs and some nice shocks. One Reason I added the suspension kit was my old suspension was wearing out and the lift allowed to save my exhaust from being damaged while off-road. With the OEM springs I was continually tearing and replacing my muffler. The lift is enough to get over those obstacles the OEM suspension can't.
OME designs suspension kits for all sorts of applications, sell to people who work in the forests, workers that need to carry additional tools and equipment, construction outfits, farms, etc. Their philosophy isn't really concerned about lifting a vehicle or how high, it's mainly how well their suspension works with a particular vehicle. All their suspension kits are field tested and engineered for individual lines of vehicles.
Yes, it can become difficult and expensive to properly lift a Jeep. Typical good high lift kits for a Jeep range from around ~$2000.00 to over ~$4000.00. (lower height and lesser quality lift kits are normally less) There is a bunch of technical details that must be addressed to properly lift a Jeep. One problem is the Jeep is a short wheel base vehicle, when lifted binds the driveline which effects the TC and differential. SYE's with a double cardan
CV type drive shaft are normally used to alleviate poor driveshaft angles. Which also may be a solution to vibration or death wobble which some lifts not properly install experience. Your drive shaft needs to be within a certain degree from the TC and rear diff when performing a lift.
There are SUV's like mine, that are not heavily modified, typical investment is around ~20,000+ dollars. Some spend more while others on a budget usually spend less, possibly around ~$10,000 or less. There's alot of other equipment and modifications such as roof racks, tire carriers, modded front and rear bumpers, body armer, air compressor, storage space, intake and exhaust, engine upgrades, brake upgrades, steering upgrades, etc. a very long list of add-ons for off-road vehicles.
I don't really get into add-ons and prefer to keep my Jeep mostly stock. My stock tires are suppose to be 215's and I upgraded to 235's. My Jeep you can't really install larger tires unless you have a higher lift or cut the fender wells as larger tires will rub. Larger tires normally require different wheels with different wheel offsets.
There's a whole lot of problems you can run into when lifting a Jeep. Lifts aren't really designed and installed for higher payloads and GVWR.
Typically 4x4's such as the Jeep use frame stiffeners for more extreme off-road. They beef up the underbelly, frame, some add an external frame over the body. Some completely redesign how the suspension connects to the frame and most install skid plates and some go with larger axles.
There's a whole lot to learn if you haven't lifted a Jeep as your changing the geometry of the steering and suspension. Typical problems are with axle wrap, wear and tear, effects on cooling and transmission, use of larger tires, airflow, etc. Very long list of problems that need to be addressed when lifting a Jeep.
Some people I know who rock crawl also go into muddy and swap areas where the Jeep may end up underwater. So they add a snorkel, which helps some to get through water, but doesn't help with traction.
The Russians have a few street legal off-road vehicles that are actually able to go in and on top of water. One such vehicle is the Aton, also the Sherp, plus several others. Mainly use large air adjustable tires that allow the car to go on top of water.
For consumer type off-road 4x4 one of the main enemies is mud. Most 4x4's, even those with all many modifications, just don't have the traction for heavy mud and often get stuck.
This has been a problem since the first Jeep which was originally designed by Bantam
where the design was taken over by Willys when Bantam couldn't produce enough in time. The Military owned the original Jeep design and could give it to whoever won the contract.
You need to remember many of these people modding Jeeps and other 4x4 vehicles are doing it because they enjoy doing it. It's become a pastime for many. Others may just want to get off-road into the wilderness or just to see what a vehicle can do when under more extreme conditions.
Some just beat the holy hell out of a Jeep, let it tumble down hills, etc. Then get another one and fix it up.
My favorite Jeep at one time was a 49 Willys Wagon from many years ago. No power brakes, steering, came with a bench seat. I remember it well as I could actually feel the road. Modern vehicles you can loose touch with the terrain as their designed for comfort.