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Old 12-14-2017, 08:24 PM
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2017 GCM Big Bear JKU 'Build'

Let me start off by saying that, unfortunately, this thread isn't going to be slammed with updates, or D60s with 40" installs, or trail rides in Moab. Believe me, I wish it was. But the reality is that this is my DD and occasional trail warrior.

I live in central NC, and the closest ORV park is Uwharrie, which is an awesome trail system. I hope to make monthly trips out there and maybe venture to some other nearby trails.

So, a little history. In 2011, I purchased a 2011 JKU Sport. I installed a Teraflex spacer leveling kit along with a set of 33" Falken Rocky Mountain ATS tires. It was my DD and I took it to Uwharrie a couple times. Unfortunately, I had to give that Jeep up in 2013, but I always knew I would get another one day.

That day came in July of this year when I picked up my current 2017 Big Bear JKU in Granite Crystal Metallic (hard top, auto, connectivity, 3.73s).

Here is a pic at the dealership the day I bought it.


The following photo will be ever changing as I plan to update it with each modification i make so that the first post always has the "current state" of the Jeep. So this is how it sits today, 12/14/17.


Modifications completed to date:
  • "Wrangler" and "Unlimited" stickers removed from fenders
  • Trail Rated badge and key locks plastidipped black
  • Innovative JK rear seat recline kit
  • Front and rear grab bars/handles
  • Mopar door sills
  • 1.5" SpiderTrax spacers
  • DIY third brake light relocation
  • Rancho 2" Progressive kit with 9000XL adjustable shocks
  • 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers in Load Range C

Upcoming/Near Future/Planned Modifications:
  • AEV Procal
  • 67 Designs phone mount
  • ACE Rock Sliders
  • Teraflex Sports lower control arms
  • Teraflex hinged spare tire carrier
  • DV8 FS-15 stubby front bumper
  • Pro-Comp LED headlights


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'17 JKU Big Bear Build Thread | Rancho 2" Progressive Kit | Teraflex Sport LCAs | 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:46 PM
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1.5" SpiderTrax Spacers

On my previous JKU, I switched out the wheels for 16" Level 8 Strike 5s, but I really liked the stock black wheels on the Big Bear edition. So the first real "mod" to the new Jeep was adding a set of 1.5" SpiderTrax spacers. I picked up the spacers new from a fellow forum member.


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'17 JKU Big Bear Build Thread | Rancho 2" Progressive Kit | Teraflex Sport LCAs | 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:57 PM
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Next up was a mod I had done on my previous JKU; relocating the third brake light. I really hated seeing the beanstalk in the rear view mirror.

This is a simple mod that only involves removing the stock carrier, cutting off the stock light, screwing on a couple L brackets (I used 3" ones), painting the brackets and cut area, splicing a LED trailer side marker light into the stock wiring, mount the light to the L brackets (I actually used zip ties), remount. Quick and easy 1 hour job.

The light looks off center in the close up pic, but its not. I was just standing to the side a bit when I took the pics.

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'17 JKU Big Bear Build Thread | Rancho 2" Progressive Kit | Teraflex Sport LCAs | 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #4
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Looks great so far! And let me know if you ever want some company at Uhwarrie, Im about an hour from there in Indian Trail and started going there this year.


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Old 12-14-2017, 09:25 PM
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Rancho 2" Progressive Lift With 9000XL Shocks

THe original plan was to go with the Teraflex leveling kit on this Jeep just like I had done on my previous, but to utilize the Performance (spring) version this time. That all changed when I started reading up on the Rancho 2" Progressive 4 coil kit. I always knew that the 9000XL shocks were great performers, and when I saw that the cost of the 2" lift kit was only marginally more than the shocks by themselves, I decided that the Rancho kit was far more bang for the buck than the TF kit.

My son and I installed the kit in about 6 hours one Saturday afternoon, taking our time. Very simple install. I went ahead and installed the 2" front bumpstop extensions since I knew larger tires were coming soon.

Rides way better than stock and actually looked quite good with the stock 265/70/17 KO2s. I currently have the shocks set to 3.


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'17 JKU Big Bear Build Thread | Rancho 2" Progressive Kit | Teraflex Sport LCAs | 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:32 PM
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285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers

After what felt like an eternity, Black Friday week finally arrived and I quickly ordered up a set of 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers in load range C. While my original plan was to go with a 70 series, I just couldn't resist going a bit taller this time around.

I had to remove the Big Bear bumper trim in order for the spare to fit. It actually rests on the bumper just a little, which is actually a good thing. This setup weighs around 94lbs, which exceeds the capacity of the stock carrier. I will eventually replace the carrier with the Teraflex hinged carrier, but this will suffice for the short-term.

These tires are nothing short of amazing. Nearly silent, great in the rain, and were great in the little bit of snow we had last weekend. Can't wait to get these off-road.


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'17 JKU Big Bear Build Thread | Rancho 2" Progressive Kit | Teraflex Sport LCAs | 285/75/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:36 PM
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Every once in a while, Google will send me an email letting me know that some of my backed up photos had been "stylized". This time, it stitched a few of my pics together to create this one. Thought it was just too good not to share.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpeturn4 View Post
Looks great so far! And let me know if you ever want some company at Uhwarrie, Im about an hour from there in Indian Trail and started going there this year.


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Thanks and I'll definitely do that when they reopen in the spring. It's a great trail system.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:49 PM   #9
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2017 GCM Big Bear JKU 'Build'

Maybe you already figured it out, but you aren't going to be able to go back and constantly switch out the photo on the first post. The forum isn't set up to allow this. It locks the post after a certain amount of time. Nonetheless I like the color and you've made some great choices on mods. Keep it up!


Current build: 2016 JKUR Hardrock
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Past builds: '79 & '81 CJ7, 93 ZJ, 04 TJ Rubi
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by u_konreaper View Post
Maybe you already figured it out, but you aren't going to be able to go back and constantly switch out the photo on the first post. The forum isn't set up to allow this. It locks the post after a certain amount of time. Nonetheless I like the color and you've made some great choices on mods. Keep it up!


Current build: 2016 JKUR Hardrock
#HardrockREVjku

Past builds: '79 & '81 CJ7, 93 ZJ, 04 TJ Rubi
Ha, well damn. Thanks for the heads up. I better head back in to that post and edit it while I can. On edit....too late.

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Old 12-15-2017, 10:24 PM   #11
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I've contacted admins every once in a blue moon, but they prefer to leave it as is. It's frustrating as the OP, but that's how it is. Welcome to the club


Current build: 2016 JKUR Hardrock
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Past builds: '79 & '81 CJ7, 93 ZJ, 04 TJ Rubi
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:47 AM
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Received a few goodies for Christmas. AEV ProCal to correct for the larger tires, 15" antenna, 67 Designs Mount, and Teraflex Sport lower control arms.

The LCAs really helped to tighten up the steering a bit. It was never "sloppy" after the lift, but was always a little slow to return to center. All good now.

Next up will most likely be rock sliders (ACE probably) and JKS Quicker Disconnects.

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:28 PM   #13
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Your JK looks great just the right size set up , its coming along well. I just ordered the same size & brand tire. I like the tall but just a little narrow set up. How is it with 373 gears?
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2014 JKUS with- MC Rocksport overland elite 2.5 lift, GenRight aluminum front bumper, Warn M8000S , Yeti smartsteer drag-link & tie-rod. Rock Hard patriot side rails. 285/75/17C Nitto Ridge Grapplers,AEV Borah wheels.hard rock rear bumper. 373 gears LS rear. Safaripal Aluminum fender flares, poisonsyder fenderliners.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sasquatchewan View Post
Your JK looks great just the right size set up , its coming along well. I just ordered the same size & brand tire. I like the tall but just a little narrow set up. How is it with 373 gears?
Thanks.

Honestly, it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be with the 3.73s. It was "ok" without recalibrating, but the ProCal brought the shift points back in line (and corrected the speedo/odo of course). I've considered adding the Pedal Commander at some point down the road to gain a little pep (aka, throttle response).

You will love the Ridge Grapplers. They have been awesome so far.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:49 PM   #15
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I already bought the AEV pro cal for a lower air pressure setting, and i just bought the pedal Commander! Wow what a huge improvement. So my last jeep was a 2011 rubicon with 411 gears, had some 35 tires on the big side. Eventually replaced with 34 tires that was perfect.
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2014 JKUS with- MC Rocksport overland elite 2.5 lift, GenRight aluminum front bumper, Warn M8000S , Yeti smartsteer drag-link & tie-rod. Rock Hard patriot side rails. 285/75/17C Nitto Ridge Grapplers,AEV Borah wheels.hard rock rear bumper. 373 gears LS rear. Safaripal Aluminum fender flares, poisonsyder fenderliners.
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:18 PM
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Shortly before the end of the year, I took advantage of a killer deal AOR was running on this ProComp LED headlights. Absolutely amazing, especially for the price. I decided to give the cheap Xprite LED fog lights a chance and they have been working out pretty well. The color temp is almost a dead match to the ProComps. I do get an occasional flicker from time to time, so I plan to add some anti-flicker harnesses soon.

Sorry for the cellphone pics.




I also upgraded the reverse, license plate, and dome/map lights to LED.
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:23 PM
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JKS Quick Disconnects have also found their way under the Jeep. Simple install and will make hitting the trails much faster.


Next up will be Synergy shock extensions that I will run until I go with flat fenders. At that point, I will remove the 2" bumpstop extensions as well as the shock extensions. I also went ahead and ordered the ProComp front brake line relocation brackets just to be on the safe side. I have already received the brake line brackets, but the Synergy extensions were on back order.
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:26 PM
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We get more ice than snow here in central North Carolina, so when we had a sizable snow storm roll through last week, I took the opportunity to go have a little fun. (again, sorry for the cell pics)


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Old 01-27-2018, 07:44 AM   #19
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Looking good! Looks like some good fun was had in the snow there. Keep the pics coming.


Current build: 2016 JKUR Hardrock
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Past builds: '79 & '81 CJ7, 93 ZJ, 04 TJ Rubi
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:07 PM   #20
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Looking good. Looking forward to seeing how the synergy shock extensions and the brake line relocation brackets work out for you.
Keep us posted...
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:59 PM   #21
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What future mods do you have on deck?

.
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:14 PM
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.

What future mods do you have on deck?

.
Just ordered a DV8 FS-15 stubby front bumper. Synergy shock extensions and a Cobra 75 CB will follow that. Teraflex hinge and mount before too long hopefully.

That will probably wrap up this round of mods for quite a while.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:25 PM
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Just installed the DV8 FS-15 bumper this afternoon. Surprisingly, no front end sag to speak of. I didn't install the winch plate yet, so I'm sure I'll need to add a small spacer whenever I install a winch down the road.

Very happy with the bumper overall and have always thought it was one of the best looking stubbies out there (aside from some of the PSC and JCR offerings, but they are much more expensive). That said, there are a few areas I'll need to address. Will be contacting DV8 tomorrow for some touch-up paint.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:52 AM   #24
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I dig it a lot . Nice!

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