Jeep Wrangler Forum - Reply to Topic
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Build Forum > My 2011 JKU Rubicon Build/Project

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Thread: My 2011 JKU Rubicon Build/Project Reply to Thread
Title:
  
Message:
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Topic Review (Newest First)
01-04-2014 05:22 PM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by ELBRAVO View Post
"Awesome" extremely impressive and inspires great admiration. Your Rubicon Build Project is very informative, detailed and well executed.

It reminds me of my "first" 1979 CJ-5 Renegade Jeep Build project. Of course, I was way younger back in those days working as an A&P mechanic at Aircraft Overhaul at Pan American in Miami Florida.

Now you have to plan another road trip to Miami Florida so you can give me some advice on how to improve my 2013 (2) door JK Sport Unlimited.
Thanks. This time of year Florida sounds great. I just shoveled some of the "sunshine" off of my driveway this morning.

Mike.
01-03-2014 08:10 PM
ELBRAVO "Awesome" extremely impressive and inspires great admiration. Your Rubicon Build Project is very informative, detailed and well executed.

It reminds me of my "first" 1979 CJ-5 Renegade Jeep Build project. Of course, I was way younger back in those days working as an A&P mechanic at Aircraft Overhaul at Pan American in Miami Florida.

Now you have to plan another road trip to Miami Florida so you can give me some advice on how to improve my 2013 (2) door JK Sport Unlimited.
01-02-2014 11:31 AM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiconPirate View Post
I have been checking out your build up and I must say you are talented when it comes to metal fab. I don't like the Jk rake so I just installed the JK adjustable coil spacers for my 14 Rubicon. Keep up the good work and I will keep up with your build.
Thank you. I appreciate that.

Mike.
11-21-2013 07:34 PM
RubiconPirate I have been checking out your build up and I must say you are talented when it comes to metal fab. I don't like the Jk rake so I just installed the JK adjustable coil spacers for my 14 Rubicon. Keep up the good work and I will keep up with your build.
11-07-2013 08:51 AM
zmotorsports A little update.

While servicing my Jeep on Friday night, I noticed how exposed the EVAP canister is under the Jeep to damage from rocks. I know there are many, many companies out there building protection/skids for these canisters but I simply cannot bring myself to buy one, I have to fabricate one of my own.
Here is where I started. I bent a piece of 4" wide by .250" plate and drilled a mounting hole that will fit directly under the EVAP canister mounting bracket using the same bolt.


I drilled a 1.250" diameter hole to create a large radius where one of the lines need to clear.


The hole opened and radiused for clearance as well as the other two pieces ready for welding that will complete the rear mounting bracket.


Rear mounting bracket welded.



Rear bracket completed and ready for paint.


Rear bracket painted.


Start of the front mounting bracket. This will sit on top of the EVAP canister mount and use the two bolts that secure the canister to the crossmember.


Front bracket tacked together and ready to remove for welding.


I decided to angle this front piece upward slightly.


Completely welded and ready for a quick coat of paint.



Installed and ready for the trail.

11-07-2013 08:49 AM
zmotorsports Well after my little incident of kissing a rock with my tie rod on the Snakes a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take that out of the equation before this weeks trip to Moab. I did some research and ended up purchasing the Rock Krawler HD Tie Rod. It is made of heat treated 7075 aluminum which is 1.625" in diameter, compared to the hollow 1.5" OEM tie rod. First impression is great, looks like a good solid product. Rather than use OE tie rods you actually use rod ends from the drag link that are located at the Pitman arm. These are much stronger than the OEM/OE JK tie rod ends.

Mike.

Here is the tie rod upon opening the package and inspecting. I also installed Mopar OEM drag link ends. Part # 52060079AE (2 required).






Remove the OEM steering stabalizer bracket. On the 2007-2010 1/2 model JK's you can re-use the OEM bracket you just have to use the new U-bolts in the Rock Krawler kit. On 2010 1/2-newer JK's the instructions say to purchase the earlier model steering stabalizer bracket. However, I thought the newer bracket looked nicer/beefier so I merely modified it.

Here it is removed from the OEM tie rod.


I had to open the bracket up a bit as the OEM tie rod is 1.5" and the RK one is 1.625". I simply put it in the vice and used a large crescent wrench to open it slightly. Once opened up I used a die grinder/cutoff disc to trim the edges a little.


I then found a piece of pipe that measured the 1.625" diameter to form the bracket around. I simply put it in the hydraulic press and formed it right around the pipe. With the edges trimmed it worked perfectly. Afterwards I bead blasted it and repainted it gloss black.




Completed and ready for action.
07-18-2013 09:14 AM
zmotorsports On to one other item that I have been wanting to address. Although at first I liked the idea of having an electronically activated disconnect for the sway bar, it is much nicer in thought than in reality. The motors for these have quite a high failure rate and although I have not had any issues with mine there is one draw back. When coming to a section of the trail when I want to kick out of 4-low and get some speed, the sway bar reconnects and then next time switching back into 4-low I have to unlock it again. I know it is not a big deal but it bugs me, I want the swaybar disconnected until I am ready to reconnect it. I was going to install a take-off X or Sahara swaybar and then just use standard disconnects but I decided to try this EVO No Limits Rubicon disconnect. It is a very quick and easy installation, takes less than ten minutes including taping up and wire tying the connection out of the way and out of sight.

Simply reach under the front bumper and turn the know clockwise to disconnect the sway bar, when done wheeling and airing up, simply reach under and turn it counterclockwise to re-engage the swaybar. Quick and simple.

Here is the motor that needs to be removed. There are three bolts requiring a 15MM wrench to remove after releasing the lock on the plug and disconnecting the electrical.


Removed and on to the spare parts shelf.


The EVO No Limits disconnect installed.


On a side note I wish to add that if you want that annoying light to stop flashing after removing the electric motor/actuator you will need to use an AEV Procal or equivelant to turn off the swaybar dash light.

Mike.
07-18-2013 09:03 AM
zmotorsports Okay for the last two nights I have been installing my on-board air system. After selling my WARN Powerplant I have been missing not having air. Driving to a fuel station to air back up after running a trail flat sucks.

I was going to fabricate my own compressor mount for a Viair 400C and then mount a tank and install a pressure switch for the system. I started to make a list of everything I was going to be needing such as fittings, air line, etc. and it started to add up quickly. I had done quite a bit of research and looked at some that other people had put together and although many looked like nice setups, I was quite surprised to see many cobbled together systems and not very clean installs.

I was doing a little more research when I stumbled across a complete kit from Dominion Off Road. First I thought to myself, yeh right, complete kit. I can't tell you how many times I have laughed at that claim. However, this one is different, it had every fitting, switch, wire and air line. The price was a bit steep at first glance but after looking at my notes and adding up everything that I was going to spend piecing a system together the price all of a sudden seemed very reasonable.

I want to make a couple of points however, this system would be a simple bolt in deal on a fairly stock JK/JKU. That said, with my JKS Steering box support and my aftermarket transmission cooler it became quite a bit more work. I had to get quite creative with the brackets for the air tank and in the end the air tank ended up sitting about 2" higher than originally designed. It fit but it is a tight fit. I just want to forwarn anyone running either of these mods that they will spend more time mounting the tank than the rest of the kit combined.

Okay, warning out of the way, now on to the install.

Here is what I got from Viair, the 2-gallon tank, 400C compressor and the pressure switch designed to open @ 150 psi and close again @ 110 psi.


The Dominion (DOR) air manifold after I installed all of the fittings and Viair pressure gauge. This is probably a nicer piece than I would have been able to find. This is a nice billet aluminum block with a black oxide finish.It comes as just a billet manifold and you have to install all of the fittings. There is not a lot of room so component placement is somewhat critical to ensure a nicely fitting final product.


Here is the DOR compressor mounting bracket with the Viair compressor mounted on it. Not any different really than any of the others on the market, pretty straighforward. I was actually going to fabricate my own but by the time I had it powder coated the cost was actaully right in line with a purchased one. I know, I know I never thought I would have a bought and paid for bracket vs. one that I fabricated but rationale told me to use my head for a change and buy one. This is a nice piece and the powder coating is a nice finish.


Here is the complete assembly (bracket, compressor and air manifold) bolted into the Jeep. A couple of tips here, first you will need to slightly bend the A/C line towards the engine. Do this by slowly and gradually pushing it towards the engine and in a wide arc. Hard to explain but don't just force it over, use one hand to hold or guide the bottom where it is mounted and the other hand higher up for some leverage and try to "curve" the line in towards the engine rather than just force it over and end up kinking the line, it is only aluminum. Second, after removing the two nuts from the master cylinder, hold it in towards the brake booster and have a second person hand you the compressor/bracket/manifold assembly. DO NOT let the master cylinder come away from the brake booster as this can be a PITA to get back in and there is an o-ring seated inside that must be in position or you will have brake issues.

Tight but it fits nicely.


Tank installed. This easily took up the majority of the install time due to all of the aftermarket components that were in the way.


A-pillar removed. I am glad I did such a good job of labeling and routing the wiring so this step was somewhat simple.


Switch and pressure gauge installed.


Back side of my A-pillar. Plumbing for the pressure gauge, wiring for the switch and all of my wiring for the volt meter, oil pressure and transmission temperature gauges. Zip-tied and routed as neatly as possible for such a tight space.


Pretty busy interior panel.


Installation completed. All wiring and air lines covered in casing and tied out of the way nice and neat.



The only thing about the kit that didn't appeal to me was they had designed the kit to have the air couplers located in the driver and passenger kick panels in the cab. The purpose was that they put their air lines in through the doorways to air up. I didn't care for this so I installed one in the driver's kick panel just to have there, doubt I will ever use it but it was an easy addition to just tee off from my in-cab pressure gauge. I didn't mount one in the passenger side but chose to mount one on my front end between my bumper and my towbar mount. I am used to having the air up front after having my WARN Powerplant compressor/winch and I liked it at the front better. I routed an air line up to the front fitting and then installed a rubber cover over it.


Now I am back to being able to air up after a fun filled day of running the trails without having to keep my fingers crossed to find a filling station with a working air compressor.

Mike.
07-16-2013 10:38 AM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by damndirtydog View Post
Damn overachiever! You just put some poor Chinaman out of a job Mike.
Awesome bumper, Such clean lines and welds. Keep it coming Amigo.
Thanks, I appreciate that. Sorry to all the Chinese, that wasn't my intention.

Mike.
07-16-2013 10:37 AM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSectorA View Post
As always, very clean, functional and with extreme attention to detail. I'm curious about your choice of wire rope vs. synthetic. Do you prefer traditional wire or was it simply cost driven?

I take it your Jeep is rarely driven at night given the stock headlights and the removal of the factory driving lights. Are the Hella's designed to be used on the road or off road only?
Thank you for the compliments.

As far as cable vs. synthetic rope, there are pros and cons to both. The synethetic ropes are much lighter and easier to work with but they do have to be changed out every few years mainly due to the UV that breaks them down. There are some that say they are excempt from the UV factor but over time they all break down. Cable or wire rope, is sturdy and stands the test of time. I don't use my winch much so for my purpose the wire rope seems to be the best alternative.

My headlight housings are stock but I have replaced the bulbs with high output bulbs. They work much better than stock and yes it is driven in the dark. It is my daily driver and gets driven in the dark every day.

I like the Hella's for that extra bit of light when driving on lonely two-lane highways at night. They are quick to illuminate and extinguish if an oncoming vehicle approaching, unlike the Hella Optilux HID's mounted on my windshield hinges. The Black Magic lights are only 55 watt but throw the beam way out ahead of the headlights and are DOT approved.

Mike.
07-05-2013 07:39 PM
damndirtydog
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Thank you very much for the compliment. I enjoy posting pictures and details about my build. Hopefully it will inspire others to tackle more jobs themselves.

My bumper will be back from the powder coater on Monday and then I can install it and set my winch/lights in place. Then the next project will be an onboard air system that I am putting together.

Mike.
Damn overachiever! You just put some poor Chinaman out of a job Mike.
Awesome bumper, Such clean lines and welds. Keep it coming Amigo.
07-05-2013 03:06 PM
RedSectorA As always, very clean, functional and with extreme attention to detail. I'm curious about your choice of wire rope vs. synthetic. Do you prefer traditional wire or was it simply cost driven?

I take it your Jeep is rarely driven at night given the stock headlights and the removal of the factory driving lights. Are the Hella's designed to be used on the road or off road only?
07-02-2013 08:10 AM
zmotorsports Here are a couple of pictures of the bumper after bending up the grille hoop and welding it on just prior to sending it off to the powder coater.



I just picked it up from the powder coater yesterday and this is when I first got it in the shop and unwrapped it.


Bolting it on the Jeep.


Picture of it completed with the winch installed, new roller fairlead and my Hella 500 Black Magic lights bolted on and wired up.




Another project crossed off the to do list. Next and probably last project will be my on-board air system that I am putting together. I should have all of the pieces within the next several weeks.

Oh, by the way I also did the fender turn signal mod. With my 7" Hella driving lights on the bumper if off to the side much it is hard to see my turn signals in the grille, by having the side markers act as turn signal indicators it will allow full visibility of my turning intentions, too bad more people in Utah don't know what turn signals are.

Thanks for looking.

Mike.
06-26-2013 11:51 AM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSectorA View Post
Mike,

I just wanted to say that I am blown away by your skill and attention to detail. I really appreciate you taking the time to document all of the work you have done and I'm looking forward to your next project.
Thank you very much for the compliment. I enjoy posting pictures and details about my build. Hopefully it will inspire others to tackle more jobs themselves.

My bumper will be back from the powder coater on Monday and then I can install it and set my winch/lights in place. Then the next project will be an onboard air system that I am putting together.

Mike.
06-26-2013 10:02 AM
RedSectorA Mike,

I just wanted to say that I am blown away by your skill and attention to detail. I really appreciate you taking the time to document all of the work you have done and I'm looking forward to your next project.
06-24-2013 09:33 AM
zmotorsports Final welding completed and the bumper metal-finished. Ready for the powder coater.





Now all mocked up with the winch, control box and roller fairlead attached.



All that it left is to bend up my grille hoop and weld it on then it is ready to go to the powder coater today. My 2" die should be here today.

Mike.
06-24-2013 09:32 AM
zmotorsports Finished up the bumper build on Saturday. It is off to the powder coater today. Overall I am very happy with the way it turned out. It really cleaned up the front end of my Jeep and it doesn't look as cluttered anymore. I love the winch sunken down in the front bumper rather than sitting on top.

I am sure I probably went overkill, but then again, overkill is underrated.

Anyway, I constructed the attachment points and then tied the "D" ring mounts directly into the attachment plates at the front of the frame horns.


I also went one step further and added a 3/8" bolt to the back lower section of each side of the winch mount plate where it intersects the frame rail. This will give me a total of eight (8) 1/2" grade 8 bolts and two (2) 3/8" bolts securing the winch plate and bumper to the Jeep.

Here is one of the welds holding the mounting tab to the frame.


"D" ring mounts fully welded to the mounting plates, along with tapered wedges to allow my front piece to be slightly angled.



The front bumper piece is made out of 3/16" P&O. I cut out for the roller fairlead as well as for the "D" ring mounts to protrude through.


I then welded to "D" ring mounts to the front of the bumper. This way when I am using the "D" rings with any load on them, it will actually be pulling on both the inner mounts where they attach to the frame as well as the bumper front at the same time. I have seen several bumper manufacturers that use square tubing for bumper, mainly on the older CJ's and TJ's, and just weld the "D" ring mounts to the outer tubing. If they ever had to attach much of a load it would pull the outer tubing wall away from the inner and literally oval the square tubing out.


I then went one step further and welded a small piece on top of the frame mounts to close off the void between the frame mounts and the front bumper section. This is mainly to keep any moisture out of this void and prevent rust from forming.


Test fitting the top piece. I cut the opening for the winch just large enough so I could mount the bumper and then install the winch. I can also still get to the clutch/engagement lever.


Now onto the outer ears of the bumper. I was really torn, I love the looks of a stubby bumper but don't want to hassle with it at time of inspection. I was looking at the new Shrockworks mid-width bumper and thought about copying that size but then again, inspection time. I finally decided on building it the same width as the WARN Rockcrawler full-width bumper that I removed. Utah law states that the bumper must be full trac width to be considered a full-width bumper. Trac width would be hub to hub or about center of the tires. I had not experienced any interference with my WARN bumper so I shouldn't have any issues here.


Making the templates out of cardboard first, CAD (Cardboard Aided Design), really helps to keep the fitment nice and tight to produce good solid welds with harldy any clean-up with the grinder. Nothing worse than having poor fitment and then having to grind like hell to produce that nice tight, rounded corner effect.


Side overview prior to fabricating the lower and outer sections of the ears. I like how low the winch sits and only the top of the winch and the control box sitting above the top plane of the bumper. Well below the radiator/grille.
06-21-2013 09:17 AM
zmotorsports My new WARN 9.5XP showed up yesterday afternoon so now I can make some serious progress on this project.


I fabricated the center section out of 5/16" P&O for the frame mounts (vertical pieces) and 1/4" P&O for the winch mounting plate (horizontal portion between the frame rails). The entire package will be held onto the Jeep using eight (8) 1/2" grade 8 bolts in the frame horns and two 3/8" grade 8 bolts in the back corners supporting from the rear. There is no way this thing is going anywhere.

I removed it from the Jeep to trim the front edge about 1/2" more to keep the bumper and winch in as close to the front and as low as possible.

Here is the center section of the package prior to me trimming the leading edge.


And here is the test fit of the winch on the Jeep. I had to shift the entire winch to the driver's side about 1.625" to keep it centered in the frame rails.


The roller fairlead will end up being offset to the driver's side 1.625". This will not affect the function. Most of the WARN winches have to be installed in this fashion when placed between the frame rails due to their offset motors and the drum centerline not being exactly in the center of the winch.

Here are a couple of gussets to add some more strength between the winch mounting plate and the bumper mounting points.


I added the radius so they would clear the motor and gear assemblies on either end of the winch. This way I can mount the winch in the bumper after the bumper is installed on the Jeep, unlike most where the winch must be installed on the bumper and then the entire winch and bumper installed as a complete assembly.

Hopefully next time pictures are uploaded there is some major progress or even completion.

Mike.
06-19-2013 08:15 AM
zmotorsports Last night I was able to start mocking up my front mounting plates and building a template for the winch mounting plate. I am trying to sink it down between the frame rails as far as possible.


Winch mounting plate cut and roughly sitting in position.


The winch should be here tomorrow night so I can mock it up and get the mounting holes drilled and continue fabricating.

Mike.
06-19-2013 07:54 AM
zmotorsports Well on to the next project. I decided to sell my Powerplant and change to a Warn 9.5xp and sink it into a home made front bumper. The fact that I have a "store bought" front bumper on my Jeep has been killing me. I have finally gotten caught up on some other things around the shop so I decided to tackle the front bumper project.

Commencing removal of the WARN Powerplant HP and the WARN Rockcrawler bumper.


Front end naked.


I will continue posting pics as progress continues.

Mike.
05-06-2013 02:17 PM
zmotorsports I thought I would throw up a couple of pictures from last month's trip to Moab.

Mike.


Here are a couple of "poser" shots taken while we were south of Moab in the southern Canyonlands area.




This one was taken climbing up and out of Ken's Corner, an optional side route.
05-06-2013 02:11 PM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wranglin4Life View Post
I dont venture in the JK section very much but I love the JK's and had one a couple years ago and now currently own a YJ. I have been eager to get into an Unlimited JK which would be more comfy for the wife (she hates my yj, damn leaf springs). I just wanted to tip my hat to you and say your jeep is probably top 5 best looking I have ever seen. I didnt read the entire thread... A lot of picture looking and all. If it hasnt been already... Your Rubi belongs in a magazine. Nice work!

Thank you. I appreciate the compliment.

Mike.
04-09-2013 01:35 PM
Wranglin4Life I dont venture in the JK section very much but I love the JK's and had one a couple years ago and now currently own a YJ. I have been eager to get into an Unlimited JK which would be more comfy for the wife (she hates my yj, damn leaf springs). I just wanted to tip my hat to you and say your jeep is probably top 5 best looking I have ever seen. I didnt read the entire thread... A lot of picture looking and all. If it hasnt been already... Your Rubi belongs in a magazine. Nice work!
04-09-2013 12:43 PM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoast View Post
Just finished reading the entire thread and as many others have stated, your extremly talented at wrenching. When the fever sets in to sell the JKU and move on to the next project hit me up, truck, trailer and all 4 pockets stuffed with cash will head your way.
Thanks, I will keep that in mind. I don't see myself selling any time soon though as I am enjoying it way too much.

Mike.
04-08-2013 10:08 AM
GulfCoast Just finished reading the entire thread and as many others have stated, your extremly talented at wrenching. When the fever sets in to sell the JKU and move on to the next project hit me up, truck, trailer and all 4 pockets stuffed with cash will head your way.
04-08-2013 08:22 AM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overmanjh View Post
Nice Jeep, love to see some one put so much time and love into one.I'll be moving to Colorado this summer and am really looking forward to hitting some trails out there. Plus Moab will be close. I like your sons lightning too, what year is it, about an 06? I had an 09, but one of my toys had to go last year, it was either the Buell, the Jeep, or the guns. The Buell lost.With any luck there will be a Harley in it's place in the next couple years though.
Thanks for the compliments. You will love the trails in Colorado. We generally stay in Ouray for a week in August and hit many of the trails. We love that area.

My sons Lightning XB9 is a 2008 (25th year anniversary edition). Nice bike, we are getting ready to do a tail chop, move the turn signals inwards a bit and fabricate a new muffler, then some powder coating and polishing of a few parts.

Mike.
04-07-2013 05:41 AM
Overmanjh Nice Jeep, love to see some one put so much time and love into one.I'll be moving to Colorado this summer and am really looking forward to hitting some trails out there. Plus Moab will be close. I like your sons lightning too, what year is it, about an 06? I had an 09, but one of my toys had to go last year, it was either the Buell, the Jeep, or the guns. The Buell lost.With any luck there will be a Harley in it's place in the next couple years though.
02-15-2013 10:58 AM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by cozmo2312 View Post
i'll check out the Utah section, thanks. unfortunately i work weekends, so this one is out, thanks for the offer. maybe i can try and make the next one
Absolutely. We would love to have you join us.

Mike.
02-15-2013 08:32 AM
cozmo2312 i'll check out the Utah section, thanks. unfortunately i work weekends, so this one is out, thanks for the offer. maybe i can try and make the next one
02-14-2013 06:03 PM
zmotorsports
Quote:
Originally Posted by cozmo2312 View Post
nice jeep/build. you know of any local trails that are open this time of year?
Thank you.

A group of us are heading down to Little Moab this Saturday (16th) you should come with us. It is not really a trail just a bunch of obstacles but there is something for everyone. As far as trails we have run the snakes out at 5-mile this time of year but one of our other favorite places to go, American Fork Canyon, won't be accessible for a couple of months yet.

There is more information on Saturday's run in the Utah section.

Hope you join us.

Mike.
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:39 AM.



Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC