Original article from C4x4 Online Magazine
More pictures and tons of videos at http://www.c4x4.com/Articles/May2019/Overlander/Overlander.html
|By Steve Garrett|
The Jeep world and the offroad community is infatuated with the idea of ‘being sponsored’. The subject seems to come up in every other conversation. Personally, I have never held the goal of obtaining sponsorship, but I’m not one to ignore the sound of opportunity knocking, either. When I was contacted by Offroad Addiction (ORA) in Oklahoma City out of the blue and offered a full build sponsorship, my excitement was palpable. I knew enough about these arrangements, though, to know that I needed to slow down and proceed carefully. A successful sponsorship is a business partnership that is mutually beneficial and requires effort from all parties; it isn’t just about free parts. With that in mind, my wife and I spent a few weeks talking with the shop, praying, meeting the owners and their team, praying, talking it over with each other, praying, establishing clear expectations, and praying some more. This isn’t something to be entered into haphazardly, but after doing the due diligence, we knew it was the right move for us and we were not disappointed.
This is going to be a quick rundown of what the build entailed, but we’ll do more specific coverage of the individual products in the future. Overall, the goal is to build an extremely capable overlanding and camping rig that will support my family of four on multi-day road trips and adventures. The main goal of this particular phase of the build was to upgrade the suspension and bumpers and to showcase the custom fabrication capabilities of the team at Offroad Addiction!
To that end, Offroad Addiction custom designed and fabricated a 4-link long-arm control arm setup. The control arms are 2″ DOM steel with 0.25″ wall thickness, and utilize Ballistic high-misalignment rod-ends. The factory frame side control arm bracketry was removed to make way for custom 3/16″ plate steel brackets welded in for added strength and suspension flex while maintaining a low center-of-gravity. To compliment the control arms, we chose Teraflex Falcon 3.3 Series adjustable piggyback reservoir shocks, Teraflex 4.5″ springs, Teraflex Speedbumps, SteerSmarts Yeti XD Draglink/Tie Rod/Front Trackbar, and Metalcloak sway bar links and rear trackbar. This suspension is kind-of a frankenstein setup, but it ROCKS!! On-road handling and ride is better than the Metalcloak Game Changer setup I had before, and so is the off-road performance. This thing flexes for days and stays very stable while off-camber due to the low center-of-gravity control arm design.
Offroad Addiction also designed and fabricated the front and rear bumpers. Both are fabricated from 3/16″ plate steel, and are expertly crafted. For the front bumper, I wanted a stubby for max approach angle, but I wanted to maintain use of the fog lights, with through-welded shackle tabs, and a strong winch mount. ORA nailed all of my requirements and did it with style, even including a lower skid plate for the factory electronic sway bar disconnect motor. In the rear, I again wanted through-welded shackle tabs, but also wanted to maintain use of the parking sensors, maintain factory tow-hitch compatibility, and match the lines of the fender flares while protecting the corner of the tub and again, ORA nailed it. The bumper does everything I need it to do and looks great doing it.
Read more amazing articles at C4x4.com!