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Old 11-19-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
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GunToter's build thread

Why not? Everybody else has one....

Besides, I like talking about my Jeep!!

A couple weeks ago I bought my first Jeep. I spent a lot of time researching and comparing, window shopping and test driving. I learned pretty quickly what I wanted and didnt want in a Jeep. Then on accident, I found The One.

I knew I wanted a 2 door, non Rubicon (I knew eventually I'd end up replacing everything that makes it a Rubicon besides the axle body and transfer case...so it wasn't worth the extra $ to me), 3.73 gears, automatic (injuries from overseas won't let me drive a standard ), and bare bones....no chrome trim inside, no gizmos and gadgets or high tech stuff. I wanted it as close to bone stock as I could find and at or below 30k.

I found a 2009 X that fit that description plus 2k miles....but that wasn't enough didn't bother me. I ended up paying under blue book value and they gave me more than blue book for my truck.
I signed the papers and took her home, driving off the lot with the top folded down.




I immediately began my "wish list" on Quadratec's website.
Shortly after bringing her home (I named her Lucy by the way after a cute little red head I knew) I removed the "X" and "Wrangler" stickers from both fenders. I also removed the "Jeep" emblem off the grill. Then went to the auto parts store and got some goo-gone and 'Back to Black'. I cleaned off the sticky residue and restored the fenders, bumpers, gas filler trim, hood latches, license plate bracket, ect.



Then I learned about registering my Jeep on Jeep's website. I did so and was able to look at the options that came on the Jeep from the factory. I learned that the previous owner had removed the 225s and put on 255s. This explained why I wasn't impressed with my gas mileage (about 15mpg). I ordered a Procal and recalibrated the speedo. I also used it to turn off the TPMS light that was on due to a faulty sensor. I recalculated my mpg to be around 16.5 mpg. This is mostly hilly 2 lane highway, about 80 round trip per day.

One of the few gizmos that I did want (but knew it would be difficult to find in an otherwise stripped Jeep) is cruise control. I ordered the Mopar cruise control and installed it tonight. Since I had a hard time maintaining speed I'll see if this help me save gas at all.



Also today I removed the plastic on the front bumper to try and pop out the dent seen in the picture above. After removing the plastic I realized just how worthless the metal bumper behind it is. I didn't bother with the dent and just put it back on. I'll be ordering a winch bumper after pay day.
My plans for the future...well nothing crazy. It's a daily driver and weekend warrior.

Stage 1: My more immediate mods will be the front bumper and winch, tow hitch (to be used for a cargo basket and recovery point until a new rear bumper works it's way into the parts pile), Moore Dead Pedal for comfort, tinted soft top windows, tint the front windows and Daystar Hood Wranglers.

Stage 2: After that it will be a while as the next set of mods I want to do together as they kinda flow in the same package. I will be doing a 2.5" Terra Flex spring lift with 35x15 tires (undecided on brand) and 15" wheels (also undecided on brand) along with gears in the 4.56 neighborhood (not exactly sure what is available for JKs) and air lockers.

Stage 3: The next stage should consist of the rear bumper/tire carrier, rock sliders, extra lighting, and under body armor.

Somewhere in the mix I'll be adding things like a Spydershades top, bed line the tub, secure storage and what other nifty little things that pop out at me.

I know some will say to swap Stage 2 and Stage 3 around. I would like to, however if I get realistic with myself my "wheeling" is nothing compared to many of yall's. There isn't a lot of knarly stuff in Central Texas and quite frankly the "hardcore" wheeling just doesn't appeal to me as much as a nice cruise through the trails or to a hidden camping spot. The lift, tires, gears and lockers would be more beneficial to my wheeling style than armor...although I'm not naive enough not to include it in my list of future mods.

I'd welcome any and all suggestions, advice and criticism. Like most everybody else on here, I'm hear to learn, share, and enjoy the Jeep experiance.


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Old 11-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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There is something appealing about a minimalist Jeep. It harkens back the memories of driving a MB for a day.

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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You named your post "GunToter's build thread" and, as nice a post as it is, there wasn't a word about guns or toting. I was expecting to see something about that. Am I missing something?
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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Oops, did I forget to mention the turret with side by side M2 and MK19? My bad.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Oops, did I forget to mention the turret with side by side M2 and MK19? My bad.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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Congrats on the jeep. Excellent color choice!

Not sure how much you play on the trails but I found out the hard way its worth it to upgrade the drivetrain and weak parts first. I had a build order a lot like yours and while wheeling I've already bent something and now I'm -1.0 off camber on the left front.


Once you put the 35s on I'd reinforce those c's t minimum. I'm also planning to do skids on the control arms mounts.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:51 PM   #7
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A little update. I have my front bumper, winch, hood wranglers (I have horrible hood flutter even without the spring), hitch, a set of new Rubicon take off shocks (mine are shot and I got them cheep) and 17/58 take off springs (to replacy my 13/55 springs for the winch and such as the lift is a ways down the road) on order.

Durring my first wheeling trip this past Sat with the Jeep I became very impressed with what a stock Jeep can do, so I'm not in a huge hurry to do the lift and 35s. I'll concentrate on installing the "oops, now I need to get out" parts I have on order, then a little armor.

I'll also take your advice Rmiller31 and beef up the drivetrain and brakes before doing the lift and tires. For my style of wheeling, and again after seeing what it can do stock, I'm not in a huge hurry to get big. Unless I win the lotto or a lift and tires falls into my lap I'll probably just replace my current tires with 33's when they wear out and call it good untill my beefing up is done.....ish
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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Wait to regear and add lockers. Personal experience and knowing what you want to do with your Jeep in a later tome will pay off
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:48 AM   #9
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It harkens back the memories of driving a MB for a day.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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This all sounds familiar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunToter View Post
A couple weeks ago I bought my first Jeep. I spent a lot of time researching and comparing, window shopping and test driving. I learned pretty quickly what I wanted and didn't want in a Jeep. Then on accident, I found The One.
I bought my Jeep 12 days ago. Did a lot of searching and research. A lot of test drives. Then the right one came along. I like the color, Steel Blue, just not crazy about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GunToter View Post
I knew I wanted a 2 door, non Rubicon (I knew eventually I'd end up replacing everything that makes it a Rubicon besides the axle body and transfer case...so it wasn't worth the extra $ to me), 3.73 gears, automatic (injuries from overseas won't let me drive a standard ), and bare bones....no chrome trim inside, no gizmos and gadgets or high tech stuff. I wanted it as close to bone stock as I could find and at or below 30k.
Same here, I bought it to build it. Mine also has the 3.73s, automatic. I prefer a stick, but past off roading has taught me that there are certain advantages to an automatic for the kind of off roading I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GunToter View Post
I found a 2009 X that fit that description plus 2k miles....but that wasn't enough didn't bother me. I ended up paying under blue book value and they gave me more than blue book for my truck.
I found a 2008 X with 23k miles and paid less than book. They gave me book value on my truck but since it needed $2700 in repairs they essentially gave me more than book value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunToter View Post
I immediately began my "wish list" on Quadratec's website.
Again, did the same thing. After a lot of research, I put together quite a long list. Some of it I ordered over the weekend. My wife will be out of town next week, so I'll have her Jeep to drive while I install the lift kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GunToter View Post
One of the few gizmos that I did want (but knew it would be difficult to find in an otherwise stripped Jeep) is cruise control.
Luckily that was one of the options mine already had. The other thing I wanted was a remote start. So, I had the dealer put one in.

My Stage One (doing this over the next week or so):
  • SYNERGY F911 Upper Arm Hardware Kit
  • SYNERGY F911 SUSP HARDWARE KIT
  • JKS JSPEC FR QUICKER DISCONNECTS
  • DAYSTAR LOWER SWITCH PANEL + Switches (to be used in future)
  • SMITTYBILT SRC SIDE ARMOR
  • AEV 2.5in DualSport XT Lift w/ shocks
  • 33X12.5R17LT Dick Cepek Mud Country
  • 17x9 Dick Cepek DC-2
Stage Two:
  • 4.88 ring and pinion F&R (a lot of reading in the forum brought me to this decision, here's one post that you might find helpful: Gear Chart )
  • Eaton ELocker for the front (hence one of the switches in stage one)
  • Eaton Trutrac for the rear
  • Front and rear bumpers and winch (probably XHD modular front, not sure on the rear yet)
Stage Three:
  • Lighting, both front and rear (using more switches from stage one)
  • Tubular doors (not completely sold on this idea yet)
  • Bed liner in the tub and possibly the under body
  • ???
Dream Stage:
  • AEV 5.7 VVT Hemi Conversion Kit (Just because!)
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #11
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So my winch came in today, along with the Daystar Wranglers, antenneaX, my tire, hitch and one of the stickers I ordered.

I put the Wranglers, antennea and hitch on already. The wranglers are very tight and hard to latch, that hood aint gunna move now! The hitch went on real easy and quick along with the wiring.

Tomorrow I'll go get the tire put on. When I bought it there were two almost new tires on the front, one good one and one bald one on the back with a brand new spare. So I ordered one tire to replace the bald one, but the spare on the ground and use the good rear tire as the new spare. Rotating both new tires to the front.

My springs and shocks should be here next week, I'll be putting those on next weekend.

My bumper should be here around the following week so that and the winch will get put on soon as it shows up.

Cant wait to go wheeling again!!
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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Another update.

I got a heck of a deal on rubi take off shocks with 300 miles on them and a set of 17/58 springs to replace my 13/55 to help with the bumper and winch. I put them on yesterday with a guy from another forum. He had a set of 59 rears so I swaped him my 58s and put them on.

BIG difference in ride and handling. MUCH better. Gained about 2" front and 1" rear but still has some rake. Once I get my bumper/winch on I'll see how much I need to level it and order some pucks.

I also put a couple stickers on.

While looking for a new fishing spot I got too close to a tree and broke my license plate holder, so I hacked it up and built a bracket to relocate it to the spare tire. My Jeep dealer happened to have one of the license plate delete plugs on hand.












The winch bumper I had on order came in and I put it on, but wasnt happy with how it looked. I sold it to a buddy and have a new one on order. I'll update again when it's on.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:37 PM   #14
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If it is a gun toters build you need to include an underseat lock box. I also like some of the Smittybuilt Gear.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:58 PM   #15
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Gun stays on me, no need for a lock box.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
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If it is a gun toters build you need to include an underseat lock box. I also like some of the Smittybuilt Gear.
Quote:
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Gun stays on me, no need for a lock box.
Exactly. Does no good locked away in a drawer.

OP, slow builds usually turn out the best. Congrats on the Jeep and have fun building and/or breaking.

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphTomaccio
You named your post "GunToter's build thread" and, as nice a post as it is, there wasn't a word about guns or toting. I was expecting to see something about that. Am I missing something?
Yes you are. His user name is GunToter. LOL! It is his build thread. Not a build of a gun toter.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:51 PM   #18
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Two steps closer.

My bumper came in today, so I installed it and my winch alone in the dark. Had a hard time tightening the rear bolts on the winch with the bumper already mounted. As soon as I'm able to (and hopefully before I need it) I'll have a buddy help me take it back off, tighten the bolts down and lock tight everything.

With the improved 17 front springs over my stock 13s the 160 lbs of bumper/winch combo droped the front almost 1". I can deffenatly feel the weight and am even happier I did the spring swap. Now for a leveling kit.

While I was in there I did the side marker blinker thing just for fun.

Couple crappy pictures. We're doing our Christmas this weekend and I heard through the grapevine Santa got me a new camera (my old one sorta blew up).





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Old 12-13-2012, 10:46 PM   #19
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Lucy is looking great so far man! Congrats!

I happen to be a big fan of redheads, but my silly wife won't let me being one home...
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:11 PM   #20
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Thanks a lot. I'm having a lot of fun with it. Unless the tax man is nice to me in a couple months I dont think I'll be doing much else for a bit. Nothing major anyways. I guess that's a good thing though...more time to wheel it and figure out what direction I ought to go instead of what direction I think I wan to go.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #21
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No big changes lately, just small piddely stuff to keep me busy while saving for the big stuff. But first I need to replace my top, the zipper for the rear window ripped out then fell apart and the rear sail pannels are crap and wont stay in the grove at the bottom. Leaning tward a Trektop NX.

Like I said it's just been small stuff lately.

Painted my muffler, that was fast and free.



I realy hated how the tires were tucked up inside the wheel wells so much, so I got a great deal on Spidertrax 1.5" spacers from a forum member. Put them on today, locktite and torqued. Much better stance untill I get the lift, tires and wheels. I know a lot of folks hate spacers, but after seeing these things I'm confident in them as long as I dont try any Dukes of Hazzard jumps.



I also got a set of Rugged Ridge mirrors, the kind that mount to the windshield bracket and scew on/off easy for doorless days. I ran them once and wasnt happy so I'll be selling them and trying something else.



The shifter for the auto tranny in my 09 felt cheep, I hated the feel of that plastic. My quick/cheep fix was to wrap it up with some black baseball bat grip tape. I also did my parking brake handle, lower part of the rear roll bar and where the door surrounds clip onto the roll bar (I hated the look of the exposed red paint).

I finaly found a can of plasti-dip, so I'll do my grill when ever I get around to cleaning it up.

Lastly, I bought a set of leveling spacers from another forum member that should be here soon. It should get back the hight I lost on the front end due to the winch and bumper.

But most importantly, I'm having a blast with Lucy! I think I love her...



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Old 02-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #22
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Interested in your replacement for the mirrors. I have been looking for the same thing. If you find something that works well, I'd love to see pics and know where you got them.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #23
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Pretty sure I'll be getting the Defiant mounts and a set of extra mirror heads so I dont have to swap mine around. They put the factory mirrors in the factory location while mounting to the upper door hinge. I've heard nothing but good about them. They cost a little more than other mounts but should solve the problems I had with the RR mirrors and as I said, I've only heard good things about them.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:10 AM   #24
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Looking good

What front bumper is that ?

Thanks,
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:17 PM   #25
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Thanks.

It's the ebay knockoff of Smittybuilt. I didnt expect too much but I'm pretty impressed with how it's done so far.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:52 PM   #26
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Got my Trektop on the other weekend. I cant say I'm completely impressed/satisfied with it. The material is thinner than the stock soft top, and the windows are much thinner as well. But it's nice to have a sealed up fully functional top and tinted windows! I would have eventually bought a bikini top anyways so this saved me that expense too.

Then I dipped my grill. I really like the contrast and the more rugged look it gives. If/when it starts to peel I think I'll just bedline it since I know I like the look of it now.

Today I installed the leveling kit I got from another forum member. Kinda sucked doing it in my apartment's parking lot with minimal tools....but I got it done.

I also replaced the bolts for the track arm with the Grade 8 shanked bolts I got from Ace. I haven't had death wobble in the Jeep, and I'm not lifted enough for it to be a problem really, but I had it in my 06 Dodge 2500 Cummins.....and I dont ever want to deal with that again. So a couple bucks worth of bolts is way worth it to me.
Lastly I when ahead and put on my KC windshield mounts on even though I dont have my lights yet...I just got tired of seeing them in the box! I took the picture before I put them on though.



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Old 03-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #27
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love the soft top. I've got the safari mirrors, they're great looking imo. I agree with you on buying the "minimalist jeep." mine was more minimal than yours to start, I have 3.21s...lol!
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #28
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Like your build. Nice progression from fairly stock to where it sits now.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:47 PM   #29
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Thanks yall. Still got a loooooong way to go still!
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #30
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Got my KCs installed, then on Friday I put on the snorkel. I got it used and didnt have any directions, but it's pretty straight forward. I used the template on AEV's website. It took a little fine tuning but got it opened up enough. After I painted the bare metal I put some of that door guard trim stuff around it just in case. The Daystar hood latches were still sucking the hood down pretty close to the snorkel. Not touching, but close, so it just made me feel better to have a little extra protection.



I'm not a huge fan of snorkels, but a while back I found a new fishing spot that is quite muddy getting back to it. One of the puddles was a lot deeper than it looked and I ended up getting water over the hood. So I extended the axle breathers (aimed to do the tranny/tcase also but having a hard time finding them on my 09 auto) and sealed up the fuse box. The snorkel was next in line. I got a heck of a rush going in that deep and loved it. Not a bad fishing spot either. So I wanted to be ready for the next time...and there WILL be a next time. It was too much fun!

Oh, and I tore off my rear bumper a couple weekends ago on accident while playing around. Put spray on bed liner on the frame for now untill a rear bumper comes into budget.

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