My 40 is SOA with 35s and it just touches under extreme articulation. Petes 40 is +4 with 33s and his rubs hard enough to bend sheetmetal and cut grooves in the tires. If you're gonna spend that much money on tires I'd think you'd want to do it right to protect that investment. SOA is not "too much" lift nor is it that much work. I've done 'em both ways and don't think the lift kit with the required mods to correct the problems is any easier than an SOA. That IS a biased opinion from a welder/fabricator/mechanic who builds a few.
With 35s you better have power steering and disc brakes. Then it'll be lockers, smurfs, cage, rockbox, traction bars, etc, etc,...
Congrats on your new addiction. It never ends. There is always something you want to change.
Would it be possible to fit 35's on 16x8 2" Back Space with original Suspension and Bump Stops by just cutting the Guards(Fenders )?
Is Power Steering all that necessary? - Steering is fairly light with 31x10.5 and have no problem at all at Shopping Centre Car Parks.
My 72' has 35's with stock springs. The rear sheet met. was trimmed. The shackles were 2" over stock. All done by the PO. I added spacers to the bump stops to stop the articulation before the tire got into the fenders, still did rub some. They did fit and it wheeled OK. I am now finishing up the sping over. It is really no that much work. 5 hours on the front with the right tools and it is almost done. I figure another 10 total and it should be running down the road. I won't be into my SOA for more than 400 - 500. L8R
For 35's, I'd go with 5.5" minimum lift. Mine with 33's, and a 4" Skyjacker, plus the +1.5" MAF shackle reversal, and 3" BFG KM's the first time I took it wheelin' with just the 4"... did some fender trimming the end of that day, and had no more issues with the rear, but it was close. IMO don't plan on anything bigger than 33's with only 4" of lift.
Lift springs allow larger tires since they are stiffer/higher rate plus the high arch of a lift spring resists deflection more than a flat spring. IMO, without some tweaks, lifted springs can actually net you less flex than flat stockers, even SUA.
I had some major rubbing on my rig with 4" springs and 33" tires....but I tweaked it a lot for flex. I got rubbing with 33's and SOA too. You'll need some sheetmetal trimming and minor bump stop relocation to run 35's on a 4 lift, but it is a sharp setup.
IIRC, SOA's from a shop are in the $2500 range, done correctly. IMO, buy the welder this year, spend 2004 practicing/learning on other projects, then tackle the SOA yourself next winter. Local Tech schools have great welding classes....I've been taught with assistance from 2 buddies who weld professionally plus a friend who was the Miller Mig division sales guy.
Cut and turn knuckles-$60
Custom steering (High Steer arms)-$350+ (free if you make it yourself-safe?)
Drive shaft mods-$250
I have the rest already! All the work except cutting and turning the knuckles will be done by myself.
I have a four inch lift right now and the flex is ok, but the spring over is the way to go for more flex. More ground clearance too!