Hi all. I figure it's time to go ahead and make a thread here since I'm 90% done with my Jeep.
First, I want to personally thank everyone on here for taking the time to answer people's (sometimes dumb) questions and for sharing your knowledge. I know some of you I've seen answer the same (sometimes dumb) questions multiple times. This has been a great forum. Expensive, but educational.
So here's how my story goes... (yawn)... Last summer I went to the Ford dealership to buy an F150 and left with a used 2012 Sahara 2dr. I always liked Jeeps, but never took the time to drive one. I thought I would finally just drive one and get it out of my system because it was a) too small, b) too bouncy, c) too ___. Long story short, I fell in love and bought it (despite a, b, and c above). Of course, I had already done my research and knew that it was priced right and I haggled a bit further. Then I discovered this forum. Then I got bit by the bug. Then I figured out that my Sahara had 3:21 gears, and it was black, and it was a 2dr... all things that would drive me to get rid of it sooner than later. So 7 months into ownership, I decided to try to trade it in on something I'd feel more comfortable sinking some money into... a Granite Unlimited with 3:73 or 4:10. I struck a deal back in February on a 2014 Unlimited Rubicon, with the intent to mod it over the course of 2 or 3 years.
I had my spreadsheet "done" and my build was geared towards a more aggressive look (and capability) without sacrificing the ride "quality". If I was going to spend money, it should be better, right? I separated my spreadsheet into stages - 1 was lift, shocks, wheels, tires, and all that goes with that. Stage 2 was a soft top, tube doors, spiderwebshade, etc... Stage 3 was all the little miscellaneous b.s. As it turned out, the thing snowballed and one thing led to another. Next thing you know, I was close to "done" - all that was left was the wheels & tires. I sold my motorcycle and decided to j.e.e.p. Go big or go home, right? Uuugh. So my 2 or 3 year project was done in 5 months.
Anyway, I guess I'll just list my mods here, and make notes next to each. I'll try to put them in the order they were done. OH - I did want to point out that everything was done by myself! Kinda cool, I think. I learned alot along the way.
MORE Dead Pedal - Had it from my 2012. Nice.
OEM Soft Top - Craigslist find. Was spoiled with the dual top group on my 2012.
2.5 Teraflex Budget Boost with Rancho RS9000 Shocks - There were a few reasons I went this route, and I'm SO glad I did, for all the reasons scattered throughout this forum.
Rancho Geometry Correction Brackets - I installed these a week or so after the lift, and it helped get my highway "on-center" feel back.
ACE Rock Rails - I ordered these thinking I'd need them to step up into the Jeep. I don't. But shorter people do, and they're nice to stand on when I'm washing it or jacking around with that spiderwebshade.
Grab Bars - Welcome Distributing GRABARS. These are way cool.
Quadratec Tow Package - self explanatory.
Spiderwebshade - This is nice when the sun is really hot, but? I dunno - it just seems like there could be a slightly better design made with the same material.
Body Armor Trail Doors - These are awesome. I'm trying to figure out a way to make the netting fit a little better though. If you actually look, the net isn't a great fit. If you don't look, they're awesome! I'm thinking about making some diamond plate (black) inserts this winter. Oh, and I added those Rugged Ridge thumbscrew mirrors as well. I built a rack to hold my stock doors, but need to re-design since I'm switching back & forth every few days.
Door Pin Guides - Those are very helpful when putting the OEM doors back on.
Procomp 7069 & Duratrac 315/70-17 - The wheels, because they aren't shinier than the tires, and the tires because of ride quality and weight. This combo is only 12lbs heaver than the stock Rubicon wheel & tire combo (83lbs vs 71lbs for those counting). The acceleration really isn't an issue, nor the braking or handling - but all were affected. I have about 1500 miles on the tires so far and yes, they actually are quieter than the stock Rubicon tires. Yeah, I know... 37's and a 4.5 lift would look cooler.
Superchips FlashCal - It does what it's supposed to. I don't run any TPMS at all, so the Jeep icon showing 0psi at each of the 4 corners comes on at startup, but it goes (and stays) away as soon as I hit the button for temp, compass, menu, etc.
Cut rock rails - again, self explanatory (though maybe overkill).
Teraflex Spare Tire Hinge - no adjustable carrier part needed for MY setup. It's not cheap, but it's awesome... and much cheaper than bumpers.
Soft Top Boot - First, I tried Smittybuilt and returned it immediately. The Rugged Ridge one fits much better, but is still tight enough that the framework won't lay down completely.
Grade 8 Bolt Kit - I was surprised how my track bar bushings were showing wear allready at 5000 miles. Glad I did this, if not just for peace of mind.
EVO Gussets - Again, peace of mind really. Between this and the spare carrier, I don't cringe when I hit a pothole or expansion joint on the highway. Plus I learned how to weld (again). I used a rental unit from Home Depot and it worked great aside from popping the circuit breaker every so often. A friend of mine was helpful with this project.
And that's where I'm at. A few things for fun, a few things for looks, and a few things for functionality all in an effort to retain driveability and keep it somewhat light. Now, I just need to get it off road! I'm going to try to plan a trip to Colorado next spring/summer.
There's a few things on my list yet, that are in question. Adjustable track bars, steering stabilizer, and floor liners. Other things I want someday are bumpers and lights - but I don't need 'em. Yet.
Oh, I could go on and on with my "someday" list, but for now I'm just going to enjoy it and try to allow my checkbook to recover.
I know, too many words, not enough pics... so let me give this a whirl...