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Old 10-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
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chaaps948s 2013 Sport S Unlimited Build thread

About a year ago my wife and I decided to buy a Wrangler. The forums were invaluable for deciding what to buy and continue to be for the mods weve made since. I wanted to pay it back and forward for those who might find my experiences helpful, so I thought I'd share them with a build thread. Hopefully someone will find it helpful.

My wife and I both turn 50 in 2013 and in mid-2012 my wife said we should do something crazy like buy a Wrangler for our 50th. I wasnt going to ask if she was serious (and she wasnt initially, but now shes really really happy that she said it), so I never looked back and dove right into the process of exactly what to buy.

We took delivery of a new 4 door 2013 Sport S just after Christmas 2012 and totally love it. It was really nice to be able to order exactly what we wanted, and were able to justify buying new since we dont have a cabin, boat, motorcycle, atv, kids, etc. etc.

Heres what we ended up buying and why:
New 2013 We prefer to buy our vehicles used with warranty and < 25k miles, however we were a bit concerned with the engine issue on 2012s, and with used pricing not that much less than new we decided to go for it. We also wanted the upgraded engine and tranny that came out in 2012.

Unlimited/JKU needed the extra room for dogs, luggage, trips to the hardware store, etc.

Sport S We want to keep it for as long as we can (20 years??) so we wanted as few things as possible to go bad. Would have gone with the Sport but really wanted the electric locks and windows on the S. If we went with the 2 door we probably would have gone with the Sport without electric locks/windows because its easier to reach the doors from either seat. I also prefer to go with aftermarket electronics (radio, GPS, etc.) since whatever comes from the factory will be obsolete in a few years. In addition, we arent too fond of the extra bling on the Sahara and its side steps, so the Sport S fit our needs perfectly.

Automatic - The wife didn't want to deal with a manual, and Im getting a bit lazy in my old age. Glad this is what we went with. Its also much easier while off-roading in the tougher spots.

Commando Green Were a bit conservative with our colors, and we love this one. It also looks a bit like the original green from WWII so what an awesome tribute to the Jeeps roots.

Dual Top group - premium soft top for the summer and hard top for the MN winters. Works well since we have extra room for storing the hardtop, but plan on taking some time to figure out how to store it.

Max tow We need a hitch and based on peoples opinions in the forums the 3.73 seemed like the safest bet.

Anti-slip differential inexpensive option and provides better traction.

Side air bags could have gone either way with these, but thought wed err on the safe side.

Slush mats can get them for cheaper someplace else, but not too much so why mess with aftermarket. And the factory mopar mats fit and look great.


So you ask how we plan on using it. It's not going to be a daily driver, but 90% will be on paved road. Since we dont have a cabin, etc. weve done lots of joy rides in the evening and weekends with the top down, and occasionally with the doors off which is really fun. Most off-roading will be moderate, but Ive already had it to the 4x4 park in Gilbert a couple of times and got a few scratches on its belly. I also want to take it to the black hills for some exploring next summer. Ive already made quite a few mods which Ill be detailing in later posts.

And lastly here are a few pics........................
The day we picked it up
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Most of the external mods are done:
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Just got the hard top off and had to go for a ride - who cares that it was only 35 degrees:
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Got my doors blown off:
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After getting the badging removed:
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__________________
2013 Unlimited Sport S Commando Green, Automatic, Max Tow (3.73), Anti-slip, Dual Top
Summer-Goodyear Silent Armor LT285/70R-17/D1 on ATX Mojave Winter-Cooper Discoverer M&S 265/75R-16 on MB 72
NFab rails with steps, Tuffy lock boxes, custom lock box, saddle bags, Cobra 75, 3M hood film, fluid film
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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Under coated it for winter

As I mentioned above Id like to keep the jku for 20 years if I can. Living in MN the biggest problem with getting to the 20 yr mark is rust. From what I can see rust proofing isnt worth it (not really needed on newer vehicles, drilling holes can cause more rust, etc.). I thought about getting a professional undercoating applied and Ziebart seems to be about the only ones left doing it. They require a yearly touch up for $40 and you only have a couple month window to do it, and what a pain to take it in and leave it for the day. Im also worried that Ill eventually not keep up with the touch ups and the stuff will eventually crack and actually promote rust.

After reading about Fluid Film on various forums it seems like the perfect stuff for me. You can easily apply it yourself, people say it does well preventing rust, and lubricates at the same time. I bought a gallon of it from OReilly auto parts (called before noon and picked it up that night), and bought a spray can of it for small jobs and touch ups. The Fluid Film site recommends you spray with an airless paint gun with at least 2000 psi. I have no experience with this type of stuff, but from talking to people this seems like a lot of psi and could easily damage hoses, etc. I decided to go with the Pro Undercoating Gun from Kellsport Products (Fluid Film Undercoat kits) - ordered it on a Saturday and had it by Wednesday. It runs off an air compressor .

I had done some offroading in Gilbert MN in the rain last spring so I had some pretty sticky clay/mud stuck all over the undercarraige (still there in October) so I got a bucket of warm soapy water, an old sponge, a hose, rain coat, and goggles and took a couple hours and did a good cleaning of the entire undercarriage. Make sure you use the hose to thoroughly flood any areas where dirt may collect. The jku is only about 10 months and there were no signs of grease or anything which needed to be cleaned more thoroughly and there wasnt any significant rust to worry about. About a week later I applied the Fluid Film. I used 4 ramps which give me about 6 of lift, and I put plastic on the driveway but dont really think it was needed. I also used a mask and eye protection which is really important. The Kellsport pro gun comes with 2 pretty long hose attachments (14 16) one with a direct spray nozzle and one which sprays 360 degrees out the side of the tip.

I sprayed everything underneath except the exhaust system and too close to the brakes. Regarding the brakes my understanding is if you get some on them it will burn off quickly so I didnt worry too much or stay too far away, and I made sure to drive it immediately after I was done to make sure anything on them did get burned off and that there were no problems. Id recommend using the 360 tip first to get all the places the direct spray wont get into inside frame, holes, above things, behind heat shields, etc. If you use the 360 last it gets messy and you end up disturbing what you just applied.

After using the 360 I used the direct spray and put a pretty good coating on everything else including the bottom edge of the body. I wish I had put a little thicker coat over areas which had some light surface rust because a few weeks later you couldnt really tell it had been sprayed. I had also taken off my rock rails so that I could get underneath where they attach to the frame, and it was a good opportunity clean them up too. When installing the rock rails I had put some oil on all contact points, so I cleaned all that off and will be using Fluid Film to coat all the contact points when I put them back on. I ended up using about 30% 40% of the gallon. Fluid Film has a distinct smell to it, but not bad.

Im really glad to have applied it myself rather than having it done professionally, and now Ill be able to easily reapply it yearly (maybe even twice a year),and in the future it should take much less time. The guy at Kellsport that I talked to said he uses it 2 or 3 times a year and leaves the extra product in the gun all year and the stuff doesnt gum up. Ill try it, but I did use cellophane and rubberbands on the end of each hose to help keep the air out.

I also have a 2011 Crown Victoria and a 2009 Sonata that I put it on. The Sonata had a little rust that I scrapped off with a screwdriver, otherwise I didnt do any cleaning underneath. The Crown Vic has lots of surface area to cover but the Sonata already had what looked like a factory applied undercoating so there wasnt nearly as much to do on it. After doing those 2 I had about 25% of the gallon left, so not bad being able to undercoat 3 vehicles for about $35 (the gallon was $45), and the onetime cost of the gun which was about $90.

Time will tell how well it works and Ill give an update in the spring to see how well it did.
__________________
2013 Unlimited Sport S Commando Green, Automatic, Max Tow (3.73), Anti-slip, Dual Top
Summer-Goodyear Silent Armor LT285/70R-17/D1 on ATX Mojave Winter-Cooper Discoverer M&S 265/75R-16 on MB 72
NFab rails with steps, Tuffy lock boxes, custom lock box, saddle bags, Cobra 75, 3M hood film, fluid film
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