So I thought I would start a post of our build. Purchased a 10 JK Sport last summer. First Jeep for the family and have had a lot of fun with it.
Here is a pic of how it looked when we brought it home. Had a little over 7k miles on it.
Took a bit to save funds and purchased the Smittybuilt rock rails. Side note, those were the biggest pain to put on, holes didn't line up but a little work with a die grinder and they went on. Also had a local shop add the wife's name to the hood. Went to the local surplus store and bought some camo canvas to make a sun shade, borrowed the wife's sewing machine and a few grommets and canopy straps (the red bands) from wally world and we have a nice sun shade so I don't sunburn the area that used to have hair on it.
Not sure how many images per post so I will start another with the next mods.
The next item was to add a lift so balance it out and give her a better looking stance. Added an AEV 2" spacer kit. Was really happy with the way it turned out. Gained 1 3/4" to the rear and almost 2 1/2" on the front. Father came over and the whole thing was done in an afternoon. Directions were easy to understand and everything went in easily. Only thing I worried about was the ABS brake wire. I have seen kits that included longer brake lines, but haven't seen any that have an extension for the ABS wire. Doesn't look like there is alot of extra wire and it was fairly tight getting the axle low enough tot get the springs back in without putting a strain on that wire. Anyone have issues with those or know of an extension cable if I decide to go with more lift? Anywho, here is how she sits with the leveling kit installed.
Also added a 48" high lift jack and purchased a couple pipe clamps for chain link fence at the local home depot and clamped them to the rear on the roll bar. After looking at a bunch of posts regarding mounting locations, decided I wanted to be able to keep in inside to try to keep it somewhat clean but still accessible. Cut the bolts short enough that the top can still go up and down without hitting anything. Held on with wing nuts and drilled the bolts to put hitch pins in it so if the wing nuts come lose, they cant completely fall off. The jack sits right up against the back seat and sits just below the top of it mounted to the roll
Today I had enough saved up to hit the 4wheel parts store and came home with a Body Armor front bumper and an XRC8 winch. Will get photos soon as the hail melts. Horrible storm came through just after we got the bumper on, hail, tornadoes, tons of rain. My poor trees are shreded and the fence looks like someone shot it with bird-shot. Had to get the shovel out to open the back door, probably had 4 inches of hail on the back deck. Was hoping to give a rough idea of how long it took to install the bumper but things got messed up once we had to move to the basement and wait out the storm. Would say in the neighborhood of 2.5 hrs.
If anyone is looking at this bumper, came packaged well padded, powder coating looks to be pretty good. Directions were decent, not a lot really needed to tell you to remove 8 bolts. Installing the new bumper the directions stated you may need to enlarge the drivers side holes due to difference in manufacturing between years. Had to take out a dremel and spent maybe 5 minutes as the holes were only a tiny bit off.
The directions have you drill a hole in the side of the frame rail to tie the side bracket to the frame. DO NOT drill this until you have the bumper mounted. It states in the directions to drill a hole centered with the other holes 2 5/8 inches from the top of the frame. After putting the bumper up and getting it pretty well tightened up, the hole in the side bracket was not going to be centered with the other holes. Once I saw that I decided to finish tightening the front bolts then hold the spacer up between the side mount and the frame and mark the location with a 1/2" drill bit. Remove the spacer and finish drilling the holes. Plenty of room to get a drill in there without removing the bumper. After drilling, finished bolting up the sides and installation was complete.
Overall I am very happy with the way it turned out and really like the looks.
The winch is the first one I have ever owned and was pretty easy to install as well. Had been looking at the Warn winches but the salesman at 4wheel parts said they really haven't had any more returns with the Smitty winches than the Warn. Added bonus was a 3yr unconditional warranty for an additional 30 bucks. Dont think it took much more than an hour to install the winch and get it wired up.
Question... I have read you should spool the wire up under a load. Originally figured I would just hook it to my truck and pull the jeep up to it to wind it with a load. When I got it out of the box, the wire was already wound. Should I still unwind it and re-spool it under load or would they have done that at the factory?
Great thread. I would respool it so you can check to be sure the bolt holding it on is snug as well get a bit of experience before you are on a trail and a actually need it. When you are on the trail, your are stressed and it helps to have used it a few times. When you let it all out to check the attachment bolt, spool 4-6 loops around the drum before putting true load on it or the bolt can snap.
Read up on winch techniques on various win h sites like warn, superwinch, etc for technique. There's an army manual out there as well that is good.
Little better weather today. Here is the original and the new Body Armor bumper. My only wish would have been a spot for the factory fog lights. My father has an 11 Wrangler w/out the fogs so I may just give him the old bumper so his will have them.
Found some mag-light brackets to mount the front license plate to the fair lead rollers to keep the LEO's happy.
I think it gives it a nice look. Trying to get it so it doesn't look as much like a mall crawler. Will be taking the last week of the month off and hope to spend a little time in the mountains.
Didn't care for the price of their skid plate and have a brother in-law that is a welder and has access to a plasma cutter. The wife's nickname is Rambo-ette so I want to have a skid plate made that will have that name cut out of it. Then put something behind it painted a different color to make it stand out. Said he could make me something for the cost of a 12-pack.
So I finally got the budget up a little and made at trip to the 4x4 shop. Came home with the Viair 450 constant duty compressor system that included everything (almost) for installation.
Starting with the compressor location i purchase the master cylinder mounting plate. For some reason, you have to drill two new holes for the 450 compressor and turn the feet around. Would think they could pre drill those for you but it wasn't that big of a job. Compressor installation was pretty straight forward. I did have to make some slight bends to the brake tubing that runs under the plate so there will be no chance of rubbing a hole in a brake line.
Next was to install the air filter. I found a nice hiding spot in the dash just above the speaker. Pretty much the only dry area I could think of. Will hopefully make the air filters last longer. Here is the image of the filter and the tubing supplied to it.
One thing I had to do was install a street tee in the front of the compressor and then use the barbed fitting supplied. As close as it is to the firewall, there was no way to bend the heavy tubing supplied for the air intake. I guess I could have mounted the filter directly to the compressor but wanted a dry spot for it. I also added a street tee to the filter also due to the location I put it.
Once the incoming air was taken care of, it was time to figure out where everything else needed to go. I looked around and found the best mounting spot for the air cylinder was on the front cross member right behind the bumper. I had to drill 2 new holes to mount the tank but I think it turned out pretty good. Another thing I changed was I like the slip in DOT air fittings rather than the fittings that were included that use the ferrules. Quick trip to the auto parts store took care of this issue. The added benefit is the 90 degree fitting swivesl to allow the air tubing to connect at just about any angle. Here's the cylinder from below.
And here is from the top. Mounting in this position left a nice area to put the relief valve.
The other item that needed mounting was the pressure switch. While looking around for a spot as it was not going to be able to be mounted directly to the cylinder, I saw a nice empty spot right behind the front grill.
Wasn't sure to begin with how to mount it. Then the wheels started turning. Another stop to the hardware store and I came out with some sticky backed weather striping and a couple large hose clamps. I wrapped the weatherstripping around both ends of the switch and clamped the unit to the cross member where the lower part of the grill attaches. Split loom covers all wires to prevent them being cut as well as a small piece of air tubing routed back to the cylinder.
Nice I did the same compressor with the Synergy mount, had to flip the feet of the compressor and drill out two hole as well but it works great. I like the location of your tank I am starting to think i need to relocate mine.
Now its time to route air tubing from the cylinder and connect the wiring. Tubing and power wires were ran through the firewall. My father was helping and I said my plan was to have one line go to the pressure gauge and two additional lines so I would have a hose connection on each side near the door. Rather than figure out how to run 3 more lines through the firewall, he said we should just run the one line in and then split them behind the dash. Wonder why I didn't think about that......So we ran a single line into the cab and a couple tees and we had 3 outlets, one for the drivers side, one for the passenger side and one for the gauge. I looked all over to find a good spot for the pressure gauge. After deciding that anywhere on the dash or mounted to it would most likely cause problems I found a nice spot in the dash right between the heater ducts below the radio. After a conversation with the boss I got her approval to drill a hole through her dash. I think it looks pretty good. The gauge looks almost like it came from the factory. (noticed the wire on the left side and removed the duct and got it back out of the way)
Once this was installed, I turned to the switch. I really want to get the A pillar switch set up so I didnt want to cut it in under the gauge. I got out the dremel and cut a nice square hole and put the switch into the a post cover. Once I get the other one I dont have to worry about covering a hole somewhere else just move the wires to the new switch.
As far as air connections were concerned, I came off of the two tees that were installed in the dash just below the steering wheel (forgot to get pictures of that) and rand tubing to each side and mounted the female hose fittings with a clamp right to the ground studs on each side by the door straps.
all in all, I think it turned out pretty good. It came with a 25ft coiled hose and air chuck which fits pretty nicely in the little storage compartment in the back of the Jeep. Now we just need decent weather to go hit some trails.
Thanks for following along with my slow build. Did get permission from the boss to get the flat finder flares this spring and really looking forward to that project.
After reading alot of posts about rock/under body lights I ran across a LED light kit at the auto parts store. It was all of 25 bucks and came with 8 pods each having 4 LED's in them. The picture on the package shows them mounted to a pick-up to light up the inside of the bed. I thought I would try them out on the Jeep. The lights come with double back automotive tape but I also added a zip tie just for added piece of mind with the exception of the two mounted on the front bumper. Each pod is separated by about 1 foot or so of wire and has about 2 feet or so of wire to hook each strand up to power.
When bouncing ideas around, I wanted the lights to be able to be turned on by the switch when I wanted, but also wanted them to come on when the doors are open especially the rear to find what fell out in the parking lot at night. I'm not an electrical engineer by any means but talked to a few shops and read some articles and I think everything is wired up safely.
If anyone sees a problem please let me know (don't want to burn something up) Here is the wiring diagram of how I set it up.
I grabbed power for both manual and automatic operation from the two yellow wires coming from the dome light. Since these are only sending a signal to the relay I don't believe I will overload this circuit. If someone knows otherwise, please let me know. As it is wired, I can move the switch down and the lights come on with the switch, center position the lights are off, switch in the up position, they come on with the dome light. The only issue I found is if you turn the dome light on with the switch on the turn signal arm, the lights will also come on (may be a problem with the LEO's going down the road, will have to check that out but have no desire to go down the road with them on) but can hit the button on the dome light and they do not come on so that may be a work around if I need the dome light while going down the road (really cant remember using the dome light while driving before but I guess there is always a first time)
I ran the wires in split loom and ran it inside the roll bar padding up to the windshield then tucked it up behind the plastic cover along the top of the windshield to the A post and down to the switch. Nice and clean on the inside and nothing is visible.
Will get pics of the install added and take some shots tonight since I forgot that last night.
Here are a few pics of the lights. The first is under the front bumper. Kinda nice the base is angled so you can point the light where you want.
Under the door
Could only get one on the rear on the drivers side, may be able to add one in the middle but don't want to get too close to the exhaust.
Just in case the tape doesn't hold I added a zip tie to make sure they wont fall off. Each pod has a hole in the middle for a screw but didn't want to drill into my Jeep. May use this in the fenders once I get the new flat ones installed.
My phone doesnt take great pictures but here is the lights on the front
The single light at the rear
Its not as much as the wally world lights would give but I think it worked out pretty good and it gives a decent amount of light when you are getting in or out, may look at another set and add a couple to each fender well and maybe one on each side under the dash for foot well lights since it didn't come with them from the factory.
The better half let me go playing at Northridge!!Came home with a few goodies. Trucklite LED headlights with the anti-flicker pigtails and with the package deal they have going on, also got a pair of Rigid LED spot lights and the Poison Spider A-post mounts. Also managed to talk her into the Bushwacker flat fender flares.
Have to say the headlights had to be one of the simplest mods I have ever done. Nice and simple, remove grill and old lights, plug in the adapter and new light and put it back together.
Even in the daylight, amazing the difference in light output.
And with both installed and everything put back together...
Next was the spot lights, again pretty easy install, the only thing I wish they would do is add about 2" to the length of the wire coming out of the light. I didn't want to cut anything so I removed the 4 screws at the cowl and lifted it enough to get the wires tucked under. No problem with the passenger side but the drivers side was a bit close. The mount has a slot in it so I moved the light in a little to give me a little more wire to work with. Made sure to tie everything up so it cant get caught in the windshield wiper linkage.
Had company over for dinner so I didn't get a chance to get pics but after everyone left, took her out for a test drive. Will get pics but man......what a difference. Had to adjust them a bit and still working on that but I had no idea headlights could put out that much light. The only thing I did notice is a weird "x" on the pavement. Maybe where the two beams cross? Will take some shots tonight. Had to try out the spot lights and again, having never been behind LED lights, I am impressed. Just for fun I turned on my standard 55w halogen driving lights and it was like I had a candle on the front of the Jeep. May have to look at replacing them too (once the bank account recovers).
Installed the flat fender flares, everything went pretty easy, must say look at the directions on line as they are in color when it comes to seeing where to cut the front fender liners. The black and white images are not very clear showing the front cut areas. Instructions were easy to follow and just took my time and did a few test fits before screwing everything together. Really like the lines and how much more room there is.
Was hoping to eventually move from 33's up to 35's or the equivalent metric size (since they are about $50 a tire cheaper)
Anyone care to comment on what gear they run with 35's? I have a 6 speed with factory gears of 3.21. Assuming if I move to 35's I will want to re-gear. I don't wheel hard - haven't had time and don't have the experience so should I invest in upgrading axles / diff armor before going to larger tires or do you think I would be ok? At almost a grand for tires, and guessing 500-800 for gears?? I'm not in any hurry but do want to make sure I do things right.
Good build! Coming along great. Jealous of your headlights, just too expensive for lights! They're on my list though. It'll definitely look great with 35's. I have Cooper A/T's 35s. Was barely $1,100 and an awesome tire. Not as meaty looking as toyos but I like them and they ride great.
Keep up the good work!
I have 3.21 gears. The worse you can have ha. But surprisingly I haven't seen a huge difference like I expected with how everyone talks. I do have the 3.6 engine though.
Only thing is you have to give it a little extra gas from a dead stop. And highway 75mph 6th is useless unless its insanely flat. But 5th turns low RPMs and still power to pass on the freeway. Offroading I you'd see more of a problem I'm guessing. All bearable and not a deal breaker. If I get extra cash maybe go 4.56s
Thanks folks, was thinking in the 4.56/4.88 range, it doesn't see much interstate but main highways are 65 which right now doesn't allow for much use of 6th gear other than the flat stretches. Although with the current set-up I do enjoy the 20 mpg I'm getting but kinda looking into the future a bit and want to be able to wheel more and want to make sure its built to do it first. Thinking holiday ideas might be Northridge or 4Wheel parts gift cards (a lot of them)
Took advantage of the open house at Northridge and picked up a new Poison Spyder front diff cover. (boss didn't release enough allowance to gt both) Picked up some red touch up paint at the local auto parts store as solid black just didn't look right. Putting it on I noticed that the clearance is real tight. Standard sockets almost don't fit between the cover and the bolt head. I think when I get ready to do the rear I will try to use a couple sockets to center it up better while tightening everything up. Not sure if that will work but sounds good in theory.
Next project is replacing the control arm and track bar bolts. Started noticing that it is developing a slight wander/weird tracking/loose feeling, hard to explain. Could be just the tires but figured this has not been done and has almost 20k on it. Stopped at the local Ace and got all Grade 8 hardware. Now just need someone that can crawl under and run a torque wrench.....looks like a way for the boys to earn their allowance