I really didn't try to incinuate that you build a top notch Rubicon. Jeeps, even in bone stock configuration are fairly capable. But, in the bone stock setup, they can get you into trouble too by getting you into something that, it's possible you can't get out of, without help. Rubi's are expensive, no matter what year. But, Rubis come from the factory with almost as good of a set up as you can get.
But, that's not really your concern. You'd just like to get from point A to point B, hopefully without issue. You asked me about tire pressure. Well, first off, on all seven of our well built jeeps, I ran 15" x 8" wheels. I ran anywhere from 31 x 10:50 to 35x12:50s on those same wheels.
Now, on the 15" wheels, there was what's known as a "safety bead" built into those wheels. That safety bead was/is a lip, just inside the outer bead that sort of "holds" the tire in place. It's not near as good as a bead lock but, it's always worked for me. And, in having that safety bead, I trusted having the tire pressure bled down to around 9-10 lbs. for quality off roading. By running the tires that low, you enhance the tires ability to "grip" the terrain/rocks/ruts/obstacles easier/better. It's kind of like running your fist over a base ball (high-road pressure) or, griping the baseball with your palm (low-off road pressure).
And, the ride off road is greatly enhanced due to the low pressure. Now, I, and all the folks I jeeped with over the years, all setup our jeeps with engine driven air compressors. We were never without air. So, at the end of a trail, and at the roads edge, we'd all air back up to street pressure and head back to the barn, (or motor home to be more specific).
Now, as far as brand of tire is concerned, back then, in the 15" series, the dominant tire was the BFG All Terrain. That was several years and several jeeps ago. The tire, in it's early years, was a good tire and somewhat dependable. But, the last time I outfitted one of our Jeeps with new skins and chose them, I went through two complete sets of them before I could get one tire that was "Round".
As is so happened, BFG had contracted to have many of their tires made over seas and the quality control took a serious dive. So, I told Discount tire to take all their BFGs and shove'm. I then chose Yokahamas and, not only were they perfectly round, they required very little weight for balancing. They did very, very well on the toughest trails in Moab, and all of the trails in Ouray CO which, are not nearly as tough as Moabs trails.
But, that was a while ago. All the folks running the JKs and the 17's or 18" size wheels, I have no idea what those Jeeps come with since I never owned one, must have better ideas of what's a good/dependable/quiet tire now. I will say this, mud terrain tires of today, are manufactured with considerably better materials and are better in ride quality than they were several years ago when I purchased some 33x12:50-15s for my CJ. Those were nice, FOR ABOUT 5,000 MILES, then, they got progressively louder and louder with every mile that was added to them. That's not uncommon for mud terrains to get louder.
You see, the treads are farther apart and have tendency to "Slap" the street as the rotate. Well, in that slapping, they develop a pattern and, that pattern gets more and more pronounced as they age and get miles on them. But, again, that was back then, I have no idea just how well a set of worn, aged, mud tires made in todays world are lasting and how they sound.
And, I have to be honest here. I've never even been in a JK. Our last Jeep, an '04 Rubicon was setup with a "Full Traction, 6" lift, 35" Toyo all Terrain tires, Bilstein 5100 series shocks and sway bar disconnect. Now, that jeep went everywhere I pointed it, even some places I didn't. So, the ride, was simply accepted as part of the game plan.
But, as I understand the newer JK models do have a nice ride. One day I'll have to take a short drive in one just to see how they ride and feel. But, in any case, have a ball in your exploration, it's a lot of fun, and to see what's around the next bend in the dirt road/trail etc. is always exciting. The wife and I have conquered all the ruts, hills, trails, obstacles, mountains, dangerous predicaments, and much more, a zillion times over so, after 25 years, it was time to take a break from it.
Maybe someday we'll venture off into the "outback" again. Who knows? Be careful out there. And, if and when you're venturing off to a new and unknown situation, it's always better to travel in pairs or more. Below was our last setup with a Jeep. Of all the Jeeps we had, I was most proud of building that one.
Thank you for your post, and all of the great information you passed along, I understand that you werent insinuating that I build a Rubicon, I looked at a Rubicon when I looked at the one I currently own and almost pulled the trigger on it, but I was voted down, nuff said on that.
And I well remember 15" wheels, This being my first Jeep and the first time I have ever dealt with 17" wheels as well. So I am really trying to learn and thats why I started this thread, because I know there are people in this space of iRV2 that know.
Now airing down I have read about, but with my Jeep as soon as I do I get the TPMS system ringing at me, now I'm sure that I can find the fuse for that and disable it, but then I have to deal with my right seat passenger saying she wishes I wouldnt do that. I do carry a air compressor, but it is not one of the under the hood models.
I appreciate your insight on this subject, and if you think of anything else, please let me know.