Is my Jeep too heavy?

MattJ

Adventurer
My 2016 Rubicon weighs 5,800 pounds without any people or cargo in it. The 5,800 pounds includes half a tank of gas, my five 35" tires, AEV bumpers, skid plating, roof rack, roof top tent and other accessories. I have an AEV 3.5-inch DualSport SC suspension system with frequency-tuned, progressive rate springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks and the AEV high steer kit. My questions:

1) If it is too heavy, what are the risks? Bad gas mileage and worn-out brakes for sure, but what else?

2) Once a vehicle becomes too heavy, what are the solutions? Swap to a more powerful engine and different axles?

I know there are plenty of experts on this forum, and I am really curious about this. Thanks!





 
Last edited:

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
My 2016 Rubicon weighs 5,800 pounds without any people or cargo in it. The 5,800 pounds includes half a tank of gas, my five 35" tires, AEV bumpers, skid plating, roof rack, roof top tent and other accessories. I have an AEV 3.5-inch DualSport SC suspension system with frequency-tuned, progressive rate springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks and the AEV high steer kit. My questions:

1) If it is too heavy, what are the risks? Bad gas mileage and worn-out brakes for sure, but what else?

2) Once a vehicle becomes too heavy, what are the solutions? Swap to a more powerful engine and different axles?

I know there are plenty of experts on this forum, and I am really curious about this. Thanks!
I'm not an expert, but just my opinion. In worst case scenario.

1. The increased risk to anything related to starting, stopping, and moving. Bad gas mileage and brakes are probably the most minor. Added weight puts more stress on the engine, drivetrain, suspension, brakes, and almost any other moving part of the vehicle that probably weren't designed for it. Engine components will wear quicker, stopping distances increase, handling suffers. Springs will weaken faster, Bushings will wear down sooner, axles might twist, transmission may overheat or clutches burn out, shocks mounts might break, etc. Anything that moves were designed for a certain load + some overhead for a safety factor. Increase that load too much and you run the risk of breaking.

2. You can upgrade certain parts to be stronger, which ironically will just make your rig heavier. But all you're doing is pushing the weak link down the line somewhere. The added stress still goes somewhere. Bigger engine can deliver more power, but now your axles need to be upgraded to handle it. Stronger axles can fix that, but now the driveshaft is the weak point. Fix the driveshaft and now it's the transmission, and so on. Eventually after upgrading everything, it might be the frame or connections that become the weak point, and short of rebuilding the entire jeep there's not much you can do about it. Not saying all that is going to happen at once, but all that weight just pushes you closer to failure somewhere.

Easiest thing is to lose weight. You're almost 30% over stock weight, just by having stuff bolted on without anything else inside. If you think about it, that nearly the weight of another small car, bolted onto your jeep. I know in the offroading world everybody wants things overbuilt, but IMO it can get out of control. I've never understood the big heavy bumpers bolted to frames that are probably half as strong as the bumper itself. It's like putting a vault door on a chain link fence. I've started looking at the weight of all the accessories I add to my car, because in most cases the added weight only has a negative effect. It's hard because you don't tend to think too much about it when it's the car carrying it and not you
 
Last edited:

Recommended books for Overlanding

National Geographic Road Atlas 2021: Adventure Edition [U...
by tional Geographic Maps
From $22.46
Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotlan...
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $40

MattJ

Adventurer
What's the big tube for?
It's a conduit carrier that I use to carry extra gear when I take my kids fishing and camping. I call it my "bazooka cargo tube". There's usually no room left in the Jeep for my own gear once the kids finish packing the cargo area . . .







 
Last edited:

leelikesbikes

Adventurer
Wow, that's heavy, my Dodge 2500 hemi standard cab weighs 5900 with Carli suspension and 37" tires, 12k winch.
They need to put a bigger engine in those things from the factory.
 

EMrider

Explorer
I did one trip with my Jeep overloaded. Three kids, maxed cargo area and cargo bags on the roof. Won't do that again. Poor handling and just not safe. If you need or want to roll that heavy in a Jeep, buy a cargo trailer.
 

Outside somewhere

Overland certified public figure brand ambassador
You are out of room. 1) get a minivan or suv or 2) get 80% of that crap off/out of your jeep, buy/build a trailer.

Observations - What is the weird plate thing on the drivers side with nothing on it, pax mount, .50 cal attachment? Get rid of the ladder, harbor freight sells a two step, step ladder for $25 - much less "overland" but way more functional. 6 aux lights? If you are planning a night crossing of an african desert cool if not ditch four of them. Plus that bar looks like it weighs at least 25 pounds. The sewer conduit thing just looks ridiculous. Your wheels, while very patriotic or whatever they are supposed to be are prob heavy. You could do better with steel wheels probably at the same weight that are 1/3 the cost and could be beaten into round or welded on and fixed by any decent shop in any small town in the country. Plus steel wheels = very overland. Also could consider going to 33's.

Regardless of what you do spend $700 and get a front BBK from teraflex or whoever. One of the best jeep upgrades out there short of replacing the ****ty headlights.
 

Tembo

topless adventures
While it has been more than a decade since I have run a Jeep overlander, my philosophy even then was to take whatever vehicle I bought and start stripping weight off it...not bolting more gear on. Over long trips when you are already pushing the capabilities of your truck, adding more weight and gear just leads to more failures. While I have come across very few overlanders who share my philosophy, or maybe my 'extreme' version of it, I have successfully crossed large parts of North America, Europe and Africa and never had a truck let me down or strand me me some where. So my advice is to figure out what you actually need and start stripping out the rest. You can still be quite comfy while keeping weight down if you put some thought into it.
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Mine is a touch heavier than yours, and it is something I worry about.

My AEV 2.5" suspension was not designed for the weight, and I'm going to upgrade to the 3.5" when I can.

Otherwise I am worried about the clutch taking the extra load - I am extremely, extremely careful to never slip it, and I'm toying with the idea of replacing it in South Africa while I have the chance because prevention is the best cure.

The brakes have always been a bit weak, and I never drive over 55mp/h anyway, so I'm not too worried there.
We know the D44 has been used in heavier applications, so I'm not too worried there.
My D rated BFG A/T KO2 tires are rated for much more weight, so not really worried there.
I'm careful not to floor the pedal when low in the rpm range - I don't want to load up the engine and drive line anymore than I need to.

Basically, with that much weight all we can do is drive slow and steady, with as much mechanical sympathy as possible.

-Dan
 

MattJ

Adventurer
The "bazooka cargo tube" for fishing gear was my buddy's idea . . . I decided to steal it! And of course, I had to make mine bigger. It's a great way to carry half a dozen rods with reels attached when you have kids in the back and are heading for fishing spots that the minivans can't reach . . .

 

Recommended books for Overlanding

We Will Be Free: Overlanding In Africa and Around South A...
by Mr Graeme Robert Bell
From $17.87
National Geographic Road Atlas 2021: Adventure Edition [U...
by tional Geographic Maps
From $22.46
Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around ...
by Elspeth Beard
From $19.95

kdeleon

Observer
Isn't the GVWR limited by the weakest link. You can place a hemi in there and you end up with a faster jeep with the same GVWR. Isnt the jeeps drivetrain used in other vehicles that have better payload rating? It's got a decent engine but peaky in design, it only feels lacking when you are trying to go past 70mph (kleenex box with wheels).

Maybe the frame? But jeeps had been twisted in many ways than you can imagine, it cant be that. Maybe it's too flexy?

But we all know Jeeps have this noodle suspension which is great for offroading but not so great for handling. Easiest to tell is rear sag, it doesnt take long on stock suspension, and that had direct impact on vehicle handling. Which leads me to think that is the weakest link.

brakes, we can always use a better one.

Anyways, just my ponderings.

I personally aim to lose weight. So things like drawers, as nice as they are, is not in my near future. Coming from a full size, that's definitely a surprise change.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

kdeleon

Observer
I looked into the Ford Raptor's GVWR and reviews. It's fancy baja suspension meant reduced payload ratings compared to a regular F150. Hmm...

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 
Top