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Old 09-27-2018, 12:13 PM
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2015 JKUR Work In Progress

Picked myself up a 2015 JK Unlimted Rubicon this past April. It only had 6,200 miles on it and had spent it's entire life in Arizona (not a spec of rust). It was bone stock which I was hoping for to avoid having to recheck someone elses possible shady work.



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Old 09-27-2018, 12:20 PM
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Stock Headlights Suck

So as I am sure most of you are aware of already, the stock headlights suck. First thing to upgrade on this build. I chose to go with JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J2 Series headlights. One thing I had to sort out was the fact that there is no horizontal adjustment on the light buckets on US model Jeeps for whatever reason. I could have ordered the Euro adjustment screw (fine tooth screw like the vertical adjustment screw) but instead I took out the mounting screw where the horizontal adjustment screw would normally be and slotted the end with a dremel so I could use it as an adjustment. I couldn't be happier with these lights!







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Old 09-27-2018, 12:26 PM
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Must Protect that Radiator!

Living in Southern AZ, we get a lot of small stones/rocks on the freeway that constantly get thrown up and into your vehicle. Anytime I got behind a truck I would cringe just hearing small rocks hitting the windshield and could only imagine what would happen if a small rock or even larger stone was tossed into the radiator. Time to look for some grill inserts!

I wasn't a big fan of the 3M stick on inserts, and wasn't too sure about the full screens that fit behind the grill since some people would complain that they don't stay very well sometimes. I knew I wanted something sturdy as well.

I came across some Drake Automotive Aluminum grill inserts from Extreme Terrain and they seemed to be just the right answer. Solid aluminum, bolted/clamped into each grill slot, and they were nice and subtle looking.

Sorry about the dark photos, but it just goes to show how subtle they are.





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Old 09-27-2018, 12:28 PM
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Topless Shade

Southern AZ has a lot of sun! Picked up some sunshades from AlienShades for the front and rear. I liked the separate sections better than one full length top stretching from front to rear. They also have a lot of cool designs you can pick out of you were so inclined.

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Old 09-27-2018, 12:33 PM
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Radiant Heat from Hardtop

Summer in Southern AZ is hot of course. I started noticing that I would have to run the AC on full blast the whole time I was driving. It just never seemed to cool off. You could always feel the heat radiating off the hardtop.

I did some research and decided to go with Hothead Headliners with their Sound Assassin insulation.

Install was pretty easy and couldn't be happier. I love having the top off, but it is nice to throw the top on and have a little less road noise, a lot less heat (AC only runs on high when you first get in and going, after that it's only on maybe 1/2 speed) and better acoustics for the Alpine radio. Makes those longer road trips a lot nicer!





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Old 09-27-2018, 12:44 PM
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Superchips Traildash2 and Backup Camera

I have long terms plans for this build and just kind of piecing things together as I go. I knew at some point I would want and need a programmer to be able to adjust for tires and gearing once that part comes into play. I decided to go with Superchips' Traildash2. It seems to have the most functionality, although some things are probably not needed and will probably never get used, but I like having the options. It also has an input for a backup camera, so I decided to pickup a cheap IP9K Sendow camera off Amazon. Cheap enough for now and easy enough to swap out later if I wanted to.

I messed with different mounting option for the camera to try and figure out what would work best. I didn't like an off-center view from the license plate. I didn't feel like drilling into the bumper cover and trying to run the wires through the tub. I kept seeing AEV having a nice spare tire mounted camera that went between the wheel spokes but couldn't find just the bracket. It only came in a kit with a camera and third brake light for more than I wanted to spend.

I kept researching around and finally came across a forum post somewhere that someone had the pattern for the bracket from AEV in a PDF file. I got a piece of aluminum and went to town using the pattern with a dremel. I painted it with a textured black paint and it worked perfectly. I didn't take picture of the bracket before installing it, but it turned out great.

I ran the camera wires through the vent in the tailgate and along the factory wire loom and then down the right hand side of the vehicle up to the dash.

I first had the Traildash2 mounted to the included suction cup, but ended up ordering the A-Pillar mount from Superchips for it. The A-Pillar moun didn't seem to work real well for my wants. Having the RCA plug and the HDMI plug coming out of the back of it, it really limited how much you could change the viewing angle of it. It was fine for now, but will continue looking into other mounting options.

I've attached this PDF for anyone else wanting to use it for themselves!

Attached Files
File Type: pdf AEV camera bracket template.pdf (59.3 KB, 2 views)
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:53 PM
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Hardtop Removal Made Easy

After having my 15 year old son "assist me" in taking the hradtop off a couple times, my top ended up chipped on the back corner. Taking it off and on by myself a couple times with my bad shoulder was just not a great time either and seemed like disaster could strike at any moment.

I wanted a solution that could make removal and installation easier as well as reclaim floor space in my garage when the top is removed. It seemed like a hoist of some type was the way to go.

I ended up going with the Garage Smart Hardtop Hoist system It is a little pricey compared to some other options, but it is super nice!

My garage had no crawl space access and I was having a tough time locating studs in preparation for mounting my hoist system, so I ended up cutting my own access into the ceiling and marking out the stud centerlines by drilling small holes down from the attic area, then running painters tape between the holes to make sure I was dead on when drilling the lag bolts into the beams.













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Old 09-27-2018, 01:03 PM
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Trail Doors

Having kids, I didn't like the idea of having no doors at all on the jeep when the top was off. I went with these SmittyBilt SRC Gen2 Doors and bought some factory style (manual adjustable, no heat) mirrors to go on them so I don't have to switch back and forth between sets of doors.

The first set of doors came in a really banged up package which left some chaffing and dents in them. I sent them back and had them replaced without much hassle at all from Extreme Terrain.

Install was pretty easy, just take your time aligning the hinges and door latches. With the right adjustment, there is absolutely not rattling from these doors!

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Old 09-27-2018, 01:10 PM
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First Drilling/Grinding...

It's hard for some of us to jump right in and start taking a drill and grinder to our new toys. But i decided to start off with something a little simple.

I've never been a fan of the stock hood latches with the big rubber bands. I had been looking at some other options lately like the Rugged Ridge type latches, but just wasn't feeling them. I do love the new JL hood latches though but was't sure whether I was ready to drill into my new toy.

Well I bit the bullet and got them done. Really thrilled with how they turned out and not a bit of hood movement on the highways at 80 mph anymore!

For anyone looking to do this modification, all it takes it widening out the existing holes to accommodate a slightly wider alignment pin on the lower latch and then grinding/slotting out the holes on the upper latch to allow for adjustment to align the hood and keep that body line nice and straight. Just touch up the bare metal areas with some paint to prevent rust. I used some black Rustoleum paint and applied it with a Q-Tip.









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Old 09-27-2018, 01:17 PM
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Mounting Solutions

As I mentioned earlier, I have been looking at mounting solutions to work with my Traildash2 and future accessories. I love the way the E-Dock from Vector Offroad looks and provides near limitless options when using 67 Designs mounting hardware. The only setback for me was the cost of multiple arms, ball joints, etc., but I really couldn't find anything else that I liked better. I would always end up back at the Vector Offroad and 67 Designs combo. Well I went ahead and pulled the trigger and got my E-Dock along with the 67 Designs Traildash2 mount, carbon fiber arm and Vector bar clamp.

I have to keep mess with positioning until I find out where I prefer to have my Traildash2, but it's super easy to change up at anytime.

The phone mount you see in the picture is the JK wide mount from ProClip USA. It's a pretty nice mount, but I will probably end up with more 67 Designs mounts for my phone later on. For now, they work together well for what I need.





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