d2mini's 2017 Firecracker Urban Krawler JKU - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 10-26-2016, 09:02 PM
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d2mini's 2017 Firecracker Urban Krawler JKU

After a 7 week wait... Time to start one of these build things!
I like to do these as a personal journal for myself but I hope it will be interesting enough for a few of you to check in once in a while.

The title of the build is an unapologetic truth.
I live just outside of downtown of the 4th largest city in the USA.
My daily commute is 6.5 miles, all city driving. Lots of lights, 30-40 mph, and crappy roads.
Weekends are mostly more of the same with a little freeway mixed in.
Also have a couple little ones that are along for the ride.
We do have the beach about an hour away so I plan on hitting that, but we just don't have much decent (legal) off-roading around here. I'll need to head out to Austin for that.
So the majority of my driving will be inner city pavement. And compared to my lowered Audi, the Jeep makes more sense for not only my daily commute, but my lifestyle as well. Mountain biking, home depot runs, family activities, the dogs, etc.

So enough babbling, here we go!

The wait wasn't all that long considering I got my order in before production even began for the 2017's.




Picked it up yesterday afternoon and drove back to the office...

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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:02 PM
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And like many, I collected a few mods while I waited for it to be built.

So as soon as I got home, the new wheels and tires went on.
17" Fuel Recoils wrapped with 285/75/17C Nitto Ridge Grapplers.

They obviously weren't going to fit on the A4.




But lucky for me they fit on the JKU.



And here's a better shot from today, along with an interior...




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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:09 PM
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Also, I forgot to mention above that I got the AEV Procal.
So easy to use and fixed up the tire diameter and tire pressure monitoring.
According to my phone GPS the speedometer seems to be spot on.

Now, with no lift yet, the tires were rubbing the air damn at full lock.
Luckily that was an easy fix.

The air damn was very easy to remove.
The plastic bolts pop right out.
Then I grabbed the Dremel...





After that, just a little sanding to smooth out the edges and back on the Jeep.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:17 PM   #4
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Looks good so far! I have the firecracker red JKU as well. I am subscribed, looking forward to seeing your progress!
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:18 PM   #5
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how does it ride on the new wheels? my commute is similar to yours. wondering what the road noise is like?
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SBAmadeo View Post
how does it ride on the new wheels? my commute is similar to yours. wondering what the road noise is like?
Thanks!
This is my first Jeep ever, and I literally only put about 10 miles on the stock wheels/tires before I pulled them off. LOL!
And I'm coming from tight handling Euro cars so this is just a whole new experience for me.

That said, I think these are pretty much the same as far as noise. They are a fairly quiet tire.
I first inflated the nitto's to 35 (i think the stockers were inflated to 40) and it felt too rough.
I dropped them to 30 psi and they ride great. Comfort wise, they feel like stock.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:11 PM   #7
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Enjoy the build. I'm about to order one as well. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

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Old 10-27-2016, 02:23 PM
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This isn't much of a "mod" but I thought it was cool nonetheless.
It was one of the items I ordered while patiently (yeah, right) waiting for my JKU to arrive.
They are made/sold by a wranglerforum vendor here...
The D-Ring Key Ring
Real nice product, the price is right, and great service.

u_konreaper likes this.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:44 PM   #9
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Welcome to the madness (forum) Dennis! Nice choices so far, good luck with the build! Will you be putting a lift under it? Also, love the interior color with the firecracker red.


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Old 10-27-2016, 07:49 PM
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Welcome to the madness (forum) Dennis! Nice choices so far, good luck with the build! Will you be putting a lift under it? Also, love the interior color with the firecracker red.


-Steven
Thanks!

This weekend it goes in for an audio upgrade.

Some kind of lift is definitely planned.
I've been trying to figure that out for the past month.
Based on the fact that this Jeep's purpose is mainly a family hauler, I don't want to go crazy. At the very most I would do a 2.5" AEV or similar.
But right now, I really don't want to spend that much and I don't think it's necessary to go that far in my case.
So i was originally thinking just a leveling kit.
Then I figured I might as well add some shocks to help retain the OEM ride quality so why not the Rancho 9000's which are adjustable.
But then I found the Rancho 2" Sport Kit which also has front springs for under $500.
So right now I'm leaning towards that.

For me, on-road ride quality is key to keep everyone happy. Off-road performance is a far second. And I know that even in bone-stock form the Jeep can out-wheel me. haha So I think I'll be good.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:41 AM
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Yesterday was a fun (and expensive) day. Had a completely new audio system installed.
Nothing crazy/fancy, I just wanted good sound.
For the Houston Jeepers, everything was purchased and installed at Houston Car Stereo on Hillcroft.
Dia and his boys were excellent.
The equipment prices were comparable to online if not cheaper.

We started with the heart of the system, the Pioneer NEX 8200.




For the front soundstage we used the Hertz Audio Hi-Energy HSK 165 components.




For the sound bar we went cheaper with some JL Audio C2-650x speakers.




For power, they installed a marine grade amplifier under the rear seat, the JL Audio M700/5.
No worries if it were to get wet.



For low end, they temporarily tossed a small sub box in the back which I will later swap out for the JL Audio Stealthbox unit that sits over the rear tire hump out of the way.
I don't want to give up usable trunk space or the storage space under the floor.




And then of course the iData Link, sat radio module, and a backup camera mounted inside the spare tire spokes. And Dynamat where needed.
They mounted a subwoofer volume control knob to the left of the steering wheel and they replaced the cigarette lighter plug in the center of the dash near the AC controls with a combination usb/hdmi plug for the phone connection.

Sound wise, it is a MASSIVE improvement. It's still a Jeep, not exactly the best listening environment, but even before the speakers are broken in it is sooo much clearer than before. The stock system is so muddy and weak. I'm very happy with it so far.
The Nex is pretty cool, too. The capacitive touch screen is great. Scrolling, pinch to zoom, swipe... just like using my iOS products. And the CarPlay is really nice... first time I've had that feature.
Lots to explore and learn about this system.

Two problems though.
I picked up late in the day and had to run to pick up my kids so I didn't get to test everything there, and even during the drive all I did was listen to my mp3's over BT. After I got home late last night I fooled around with it and realized I have no Sat Radio service. It just says "check antenna". I also can't get the car data to display. Both icons for that on the Nex are grayed out.
So I'm going to have to stop back there and have this checked out.
I listen to sat radio all the time so that part is a bummer but probably an easy fix.

I'll get some installed photos up later today hopefully.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:10 AM   #12
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Wow, really nice upgrades! Makes such a difference if you're spending a good amount of time commuting...or that occasional expedition run. Keep up the good work


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Old 10-30-2016, 10:52 AM   #13
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Looks good!! For the lift I would go with the AEV 2.5", it will be more complete and handle better compaired to the Rancho. Spend more $$ on your lift, it is the most important part of your build. As for the radio I think you will need to have a Bluetooth module plugged into your Jeep OBD port to receive the Jeeps data to display on the screen. I'm not familiar with that radio but I'm pretty sure that's how it works. The satellite might need to be plugged in or you might need an adapter for it to work properly. Enjoy the new Jeep!!
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:04 AM   #14
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Looks good!! For the lift I would go with the AEV 2.5", it will be more complete and handle better compaired to the Rancho.


The AEV 2.5 isn't a very complete lift either. Plus, should you decide later on down the road (it's a sickness but you've already contracted the mod disease so a 2.5 will begin to look like it is not enough lift) that you wanted to go to. 3.5 you would have to replace every single piece of the AEV kit.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:07 AM   #15
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The AEV 2.5 isn't a very complete lift either. Plus, should you decide later on down the road (it's a sickness but you've already contracted the mod disease so a 2.5 will begin to look like it is not enough lift) that you wanted to go to. 3.5 you would have to replace every single piece of the AEV kit.
Good advice, don't go down this road. Try and project ahead, you'll only want to build it bigger down the road. Lay the foundation for that.


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Old 10-30-2016, 11:16 AM   #16
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d2mini's 2017 Firecracker Urban Krawler JKU

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Good advice, don't go down this road. Try and project ahead, you'll only want to build it bigger down the road. Lay the foundation for that.





-Steven


One of the best deals going right now. Gold is right around $1300 per oz.

http://www.metalcloak.com/The-Gold-S...ler-p/7136.htm
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the comments, guys!
As for the lift, I'm actually thinking of the Rubicon Express 2.5" now.
From all the reviews I've read, seems like a good option for a mostly street rig.
It has the tuned Bilsteins, springs all around, and I can add the AEV or similar correction bracket and be right around $600.
For what I need this is plenty of lift.
Eventually I'd like to get flat fenders.


Now back to the audio setup...
I'm sure pics of the NEX 8200 are nothing new but here ya go anyway.
Note that the color of the button lighting along the base of the unit perfectly matches the green of the jeep lighting.






This is the USB plug...




And the base knob on the other side...




And I took a pic this morning to use as the start-up splash screen...




If anyone else want to use it, feel free to right click/save as.



That's it for today!
I'll talk to the shop tomorrow about the sat radio and car info.
I don't think I need the extra BT module for the car info because they should have installed the idatalink maestro. I do have steering wheel controls.
I dunno. We'll see!
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #18
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Install looks great, nice pics Dennis!


-Steven
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:35 PM   #19
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Where did you go for the USB?

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Old 11-01-2016, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
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Install looks great, nice pics Dennis!


-Steven
Thanks, bud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HICKS25 View Post
Where did you go for the USB?

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As I mentioned above, the audio shop installed it.

Speaking of... I spent a couple hours there again yesterday.

The satellite wasn't working because of a loose connection. I figured that much.
So they secured it and boom... i now have craptastic sounding Sirius/XM. Yay. LOL! But I listen to it when I'm too lazy to bring up my own tunes or bored of what i have. So had to have it.

The car info wasn't displaying because they used a different datalink. I'm assuming cheaper. They went ahead and installed the Maestro one instead after grabbing one from another shop.

So two hours of my time but no charge. No big deal.

And one thing I've noticed... well two, actually.
First, Apple CarPlay is kinda cool.
Two, the sound through Apple CarPlay is lacking.
I get richer, more boosted sounding music from the BlueTooth connection.
You'd think the hardwired connection would be higher quality but it seems to be the opposite. I found that interesting... and honestly a little disappointing.

I've got a new phone mount and holder on order. Might have it before the weekend. More info then.

After I got back from the audio shop I decided to give the Jeep it's first bath, and while the paint was still fresh I wanted to clay bar it and apply a protective coating. I usually do a sealant, like from Menzerna or similar. But this time I wanted to try one of these new "coatings" so I chose BlackFire Crystal Coat.
You're supposed to use just a couple drops, go over one panel, then let it set for a minute and then "lightly smooth out the high spots with a microfiber cloth".
This stuff was the biggest PITA! I could feel it getting sticky just while I was spreading it on. And I wasn't using too much because if I used any less I couldn't get an even coverage. And then when I went to wipe it off it just grabbed the microfiber like the paint was covered in a light coat of maple syrup. I did the whole Jeep and got most of the stuff off but I still keep finding spots I missed.
I don't even know if it worked or not. Will find out when it rains I guess.
It's supposed to last a long time but I'm never using it again. I through it in the trash when I was done. Next time I'll go back to one of my sealants. I park outside so I just wanted some good paint protection.



And, this coming weekend I have a couple other small projects planned.

Till then...
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:09 PM
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So today I installed the VersaMount 2 from CoolTech, along with a powered iPhone holder from Proclip USA.

I needed a convenient place to hold my phone because the Pioneer NEX has Apple CarPlay which requires the phone to be plugged in to usb, and I didn't want a long usb cable just hanging around. When getting in the car you have to plug in the phone, it takes two hands, it's a hassle and it's messy looking. And I like the phone to be somewhat in view, not stuffed in the console.
I almost gave up though because I didn't like any of the options I was seeing.
I don't like the mounts on top of the dash. To me, they are ugly and too high.
I don't like any of ProClips solutions. Bad placement and again, ugly.
I didn't want it on the left pillar, that's too far from the radio and power source.
I didn't want to block any AC vents or the radio or any other controls.

Finally, I came across the VersaMount... typically used for CB radios.
This worked out perfect! Perfect placement, just right of the radio, it attaches to the left side of the passenger grab bar.
It takes up ZERO usable space.
The phone is in plain view but not blocking my view of anything.
And with the ProClip holder mounted to it, I can just get it, place it in the holder with one hand and it's now charging and has the direct connection to the radio for CarPlay.

This is the VersaMount.



In order to attach the ProClip phone holder, I had to remove the base from it and drill 4 new holes through the VersaMount.
Then use some 3/8" screws, nuts and two washers on each.





I didn't want the bright silver hardware to stand out so I just brushed on a little black automotive paint I had laying around.



And the final installed setup...





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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:16 PM
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Today I installed the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Tire Carrier!
I got a great price on it from Rubitrux. Big thanks to RubiTruxBen here on the forums.
Real quick shipping too.

Install went pretty smooth.
The instructions were very clear and easy to follow for the most part.
The only thing I noticed that seemed a little "off" was when installing the new hinge section, the 3 holes in the top hinge bracket matched up perfectly, but then when I went to attach the bottom hinge, the two holes on the left side of it were lower than the holes in the tailgate by quite a bit. I just barely got them threaded in.
I don't know if it was purposely designed this way or if something was just off with the hinge.
The hinge itself seemed lined up perfectly with the recess in the tailgate. Just the holes seemed off.
Anyway, it's on, everything is tight/secure and the rest of it install went smoothly.
So far it seems very strong and stable.
The tire itself was lifted several inches higher than the stock carrier which is great because I needed to clear the hitch mounted bike rack I'm installing. The stock tire mount was too low.
The tire was sitting maybe an inch above the recess in the bumper.
The tire is also nicely tucked up close to the tailgate. The carrier does not adjust just up and down but adjusts fore and aft, as well as tilting up and down.

At the moment, I'm very pleased with this carrier. Especially at around $250 cheaper than the Teraflex unit. For my use, I couldn't justify that much scratch.










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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:47 PM   #23
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hey bud, do you have a photo of the front of jeep? specifically how it looks with the cut bumper?
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Old 11-15-2016, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBAmadeo View Post
hey bud, do you have a photo of the front of jeep? specifically how it looks with the cut bumper?
Oddly enough, I do not have a pic of the front since I trimmed it.
But it's not the bumper, it's just the air damn underneath.
Looks normal and basically unnoticeable.
I'll try to get a pic snapped for you soon.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 11-15-2016, 07:12 PM   #25
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no worries! i thought you cut the bumper.
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:08 AM
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Had the whole thanksgiving week off work so I got some more stuff done.
First, headed back to the audio shop and they swapped out the temporary sub box for the JL Audio Stealthbox that is made specifically for our Jeeps.
I chose the left side location. It's nice to have my full cargo space back and it sounds awesome.
The only thing to note is that is mounts to two of the stock hardtop bolts. This probably adds an extra minute or so if you are going to remove your top.
You'd have to swing the brackets out of the way, then once the top is off, put those two bolts back to secure the sub.
Other than that, I'm very happy with this sub and I highly recommend it. Takes up space that would otherwise go unused and leaves the storage area under the floor available.
I'm still amazed at the CLARITY of this whole audio setup. Even standing outside the jeep it sounds incredible.







Then finally... I installed a lift! I went with the AEV 2.5" with their geo correction brackets.
Install wasn't quite as painless as I had hoped... but figuratively and literally! lol

The rears went fairly smooth. I did have to make one quick call to AEV because there was a missing detail or two in the instructions pertaining to the rear track bar hardware. But the major problem I encountered was with the rear sway bar links. First, the AEV instructions say to remove them completely. You don't really need to remove the links from the sway bar. The problem was that these bolts were a BITCH to get out. Then later when I went to put them back in, the left side would not thread! The nut would go on about an inch and then just bind. Both the upper and lower bolts. The end of one bolt stripped a little. Spent some time cutting off the first couple threads. Still wouldn't work. Then the inner nut against the busing stripped. I'd say I lost a good 2 hour or more fighting with these things on the left side. The right went back on easily. So now I'm sitting there with one sway bar link missing. I gave up and started searching for a replacement. It was now 3pm (I started at 8:30am and skipped lunch) and I missed the cut-off for overnight shipping from most places. Found the Rugged Ridge rear links on Amazon and they come with new hardware. So i was able to get those with 2nd day delivery. AEV recommends keeping the OEM links because they are built tough, but oh well. I'll have shiny new ones.
I was told later by another forum member that the upper and lower bolts are threaded with a different pitch, so I may have had the wrong nuts on the wrong bolts. Why Jeep would do this I have nooooo freakin clue. And I really thought I had put aside the correct bolt with the correct nut when I removed them, but who knows. What's done is done and I have new rear links.

Meanwhile, I was able to move on to the front. No major issues here! Just time consuming. The biggest pain was the front brake line brackets. That's some thick-ass steel. I just couldn't pry them open. Ended up carefully scoring a line all the way across with a dremel cut-off wheel, cutting into it at least halfway. Then they pried open fairly easily with my vice grips. The other issue I ran into was the top nut of the front shocks. I also had to call AEV again because the illustration on the instructions shows the rubber bushings and cup washers stacked. It does not show the stop shock mount between them and it doesn't say to get rid of the oem top bushing. So i had to confirm all that. Then trying to tighten the top bolt, the allen wrench thing just wasn't working, even after cutting away some of the plastic fender liner. What I found worked really well was using a vice grip with some protective rubber or duct tape on the shaft of the shock to hold it. Doesn't take a lot of pressure. Then I was easily able to tighten the top nut with a ratchet. AEV does not say how much to tighten. I tighten until the rubber bushing looked compressed a bit and I had at least 1/4" of threads visible. After that, everything went back together smoothly. The jeep was put back on the ground, wiggled around a bit and everything torqued. By this point, including the time wasted on the rear links, I probably spent about 15 hours on install.

Then finally, I installed the AEV geo correction brackets. This was the easiest out of all of it.
Spent almost two hours on this part including torquing everything.

The problem I had with the AEV instructions is their lack of details.
I know some things may be self explanatory to someone with a lot of experience but you know there are a lot of newbs attempting this, some more green than myself, so put in a little extra effort and address these.

Now, onto the ride.
I have to admit, I'm pretty disappointed.
During my research I kept hearing how great the AEV on-road ride quality was. I have to call B.S.
Handling is most definitely improved. Body roll is greatly reduced. But the ride quality is much harsher than stock.
And yes, everything was torqued while back on the ground, no bushing binding.
One reason I got the jeep was because I was tired of my lowered euro sedans rough ride over crappy city streets and now I'm back to that.
I even feel like there is a deep bass while going over bumps that I can feel in my ear drums... Like I feel like i need to crack the windows open or something. That's the best way to explain it.

So I've already ordered some Rancho 9000xl adjustables to replace the Bilsteins.
After further research the last couple days it seems I am far from the only one with this issue, especially on a light jeep with no aftermarket bumpers, winch and other gear. From what I've read, the rancho's really help. I want to keep the springs. So hopefully I'll end up with a nice compromise of handling and ride comfort. After an Amazon discount for using some credit card points to order, it only cost me $247 out of pocket so if they help it will be more than worth it.
My next step will be the JKS front links with yellow springs.

I've also seen people mention that you can try using the middle set of holes on the geo brackets since a light jeep probably ended up with more than 2.5" of lift.
Would that improve ride comfort?

I'll report back late next week on the shocks. They should be in on Wednesday.

Here's a before and after of the lift!



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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:40 AM
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Got my Rancho 9000xl's yesterday.
Problem was, one of them had arrived damaged/used! It was dented, had no pressure, was leaking oil, hardware bag was opened... obviously installed, damaged and returned. Freaking Amazon... they are getting worse and worse!

But I went ahead and installed the other three... the two rear and the one front.
Set the front to 5 (bilsteins are probably at least a 7 though) and the rears to 3.
I can already feel an improvement. Still firm but it took the edge off. Still handles very well. Don't know if it's just my imagination but the rear seems less bouncy after going over road heaves.

Will have the replacement Rancho in a couple days and will drop the fronts to 4 and see how that feels.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:15 AM
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Got the replacement shock.
Fronts are currently set to 4 and rears to 3.
Soooooo much nicer on city roads compared to the Bilsteins.
Really took the edge off. Over the bigger bumps it's still firm and feels like a jeep but all the harshness over the little road imperfections is gone. And it still handles very well.

I'm going to keep the Bilsteins as spares for now and may switch back to them down the road if I ever load the jeep up with bumpers and stuff.
But for now, the Ranchos are the way to get the on-road ride quality that is promised with this kit.
At least on a light build.
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2017 JKU SAHARA | FIRECRACKER RED | BLACK HARDTOP | 3.73 AXLE | TRACLOK | BLACK/DARK SADDLE CLOTH | CONNECTIVITY | AUTO AC | HEATED SEATS | SIDE AIRBAGS | 17" FUEL RECOILS | 285/75/17C NITTO RIDGE GRAPPLERS | AEV 2.5" LIFT | RR TIRE CARRIER | PIONEER NEX 8200
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:26 AM   #29
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Love that red @d2mini , Jeep is looking good!
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:28 AM   #30
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Jeep looks great, you have made some good choices!

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