There was a rumor the next Wrangler (Model Year 2018) would have independent suspension. The foreign CEO of Chrysler, now FCA, certainly hinted at such. The government safety regs and standards, class action lawsuits, the media, uninformed consumers all push toward going the route of safer, more comfortable ride and handling on highways. People are buying Jeeps in droves just for the image, and never take them off road, so they never know the difference. Even more frustrating are the Jeep owners that complain about their Jeep comparing it to a Honda, as they complain about the ride, handling and need for suspension maintenance, they clearly bought the wrong vehicle, but they think its Jeep's fault their Jeep isn't more like a Honda. The number of Wranglers you see with 22" rims and low profile tires confirm this. Throw in decades of foreign ownership with different priorities, i.e. it doesn't has to be good, it just has to sell attitude; this is where we've ended up.
But, the good news is, enough has been discovered about the replacement Wrangler, it will still be dual solid axle, no independent suspension. So Fiat and its CEO aren't as foolish or shrewd as we thought.
The Bad News, the safety regulators made enough of a fuss, the Wrangler can NOT keep its "Convertible" Exemption for much longer. So, the latest news, Jeep is pre-empting the loss of the "Convertible" Exemption (since that big of a change to the vehicle in between redesigns would bankrupt them) and the next Wrangler will no longer be Open Cab. From what I've read, they are doing something with panels and an open structured integral roof that it will still have a very Open Cab feel to it, but it won't be a true Open Cab anymore.
Back to Hawkeyes questions, your plans sound good. Do a search, there is a thread with max sized wheels and backspacing to make them fit a Commander, that should tell you how big you can go on the tire diameter and NOT get rubbing. There is a pinch-weld mod that you fold over a pinch weld in the wheel well to prevent the rubbing for tires that are close.
Also consider, when you swap out shocks, get Blistien 5100 for the rear, they are 2" longer and thus will provide you more suspension travel on the rear axle. The front can't travel more without expensive mods, so the Blistien 4600 are fine.
Last edited by Mongo; 03-01-2016 at 10:32 AM.