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Old 04-07-2019, 06:17 PM
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My first Wrangler build

I finally hit the point where my trusty old Cherokee was no longer the appropriate vehicle to be driving to client meetings, so it was time for an upgrade. After a ton of research, I stumbled across two killer deals about four hours north: a 2015 JKU Hard Rock w/ manual transmission and a 2014 JKU Rubicon X w/ automatic.




I test drove both and liked the 2015 better, but their financing was absolutely terrible (small used lot) so I had to walk away and pick up the 2014. For a smaller payment, I got the vehicle (with several discounts) and a 3-year bumper-to-bumper comprehensive warranty and service plan. The plan documents literally say "everything except oil changes, tires and brake pads is covered."




This will be my first Wrangler (not counting my dad's old CJ that I inherited and briefly drove before the drive shaft fell out) and I'm stoked to get into building it up. It has a Rough Country 4" lift kit installed (including control arms, shocks/springs, adjustable front track bar, and sway bar disconnects) by the previous owner, but parts are worn out so I'll be replacing portions right off the bat.


Here's what I plan to do immediately:
-Remove Hi-Lift jack and mounts from the hood

-Falken WildPeak A/T3W 315/75r16s (x5) ($1

-Core4x4 Tier 2 adjustable control arms (red, x8) (
-Yeti XD front track bar
-Core4x4 Tier 3 read track bar (red)
-Rancho 9000XL shocks (x4)
-Door seal kit (I have a small leak coming from the front corner of the passenger door)



Later on down the road (in no particular order):
-Sway bar quick disconnects
-Mammoth wheels (x5)
-OBA system (maybe, I have a Viair 450P unit already)
-Internal cosmetics like grab handles
-Drag link flip kit
-HD tie rod
-Synergy or TerraFlex HD ball joints
-LED headlights and fog lights (no idea on brand yet)
-LED light pods on front bumper and/or windshield corners
-Garvin Wilderness Expedition rack w/ ladder, wind screen, and crossbars
-ARB Roof Rack Awning



Most of my offroading consists of beach driving and surf fishing on the southern NC coast. Trail running is definitely on my 5-year plan, but school doesn't leave me much time to pursue all my interests at the moment. Here's a shot of our crew on Fort Fisher last summer:





I'll try to keep up posting here as I turn this JK into my ideal adventure vehicle. Feel free to suggest other things I should consider doing! I'm new to the JK world.

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Old 04-07-2019, 06:24 PM
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Falken tires added. I had these on my Cherokee (in 33x10.5) and absolutely loved the mix of on-road performance low-pressure sand floating, and tread life. I'm hoping these 35" versions are just as durable. My local Discount Tire price-matched to Pep Boys' online pricing, and five tires ran $1,140 installed.




My control arms and track bars are on order, and should show up in a couple weeks. The shocks will be in next week (hopefully). Huge shout-out to Allen's Offroad for getting my order processed and guiding me towards the right parts for my intended use.

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Old 04-07-2019, 06:58 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your new Rubicon X

I saw you have quick disconnects on your list. Take a look at your dash and see if you have the factory electronic sway bar disconnects. I thought that was standard on the X, I might be mistaken though.

Looking forward to watching your build take shape!


-Steven
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Buildit View Post
Congratulations on your new Rubicon X

I saw you have quick disconnects on your list. Take a look at your dash and see if you have the factory electronic sway bar disconnects. I thought that was standard on the X, I might be mistaken though.

Looking forward to watching your build take shape!


-Steven

I do have the e-lockers and sway bar disconnects as part of the X package, but I want to have the ability to disconnect the sway bar without dropping in to 4Low. Occasionally the beach has a sand ledge in remote areas, and having front axle flex can help with navigating over the dropoff.


The quick disconnects are low down on my list though, for that very reason. I haven't gotten to play with the onboard system yet but I've heard good things about it.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kingfisher23 View Post
I do have the e-lockers and sway bar disconnects as part of the X package, but I want to have the ability to disconnect the sway bar without dropping in to 4Low. Occasionally the beach has a sand ledge in remote areas, and having front axle flex can help with navigating over the dropoff.


The quick disconnects are low down on my list though, for that very reason. I haven't gotten to play with the onboard system yet but I've heard good things about it.
I don't use my Jeep on beaches, and that makes sense. I believe you can disconnect in 4Hi or 4Lo. The system works great, and never having to manually disconnect makes it a breeze.


-Steven
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:37 PM
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I don't use my Jeep on beaches, and that makes sense. I believe you can disconnect in 4Hi or 4Lo. The system works great, and never having to manually disconnect makes it a breeze.


-Steven
Interesting! If I can use the disconnect system in 4High, I can cross that off the list. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely have to look into that.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:30 AM
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Mail call!




The Jeep is heading into the shop to get a suspension spruce-up. Big thanks to AOR for the great service and prompt shipping.






These CORE4x4 arms are BEEFY. The fit and finish is excellent, and I have no reservations whatsoever about their quality. I cannot wait to experience the difference in ride and handling once I no longer have worn-out CA joints and a rear track bar that thumps every time the body rolls.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:20 AM   #8
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Looking good!!

On the disco, you can disco in 4hi and 4lo. I still run a manual disco as well, I feel there's a little more flex that way. Not a big deal for beach driving, so you should be good with the factory e-disco.

Keep up the good work
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:23 PM
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Angry Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Got everything on! The ride difference is amazing. The Rancho 9000s are vastly superior to the worn out Rubicon Express shocks that were on there. The CORE4x4 pieces are super solid and everything feels much sturdier than before. And the Yeti front track bar is HUGE. I definitely made the right choices.










But of course, Jeep projects never go the way you expect. 45 minutes home in a severe thunderstorm had me loving the new suspension. When I went to turn into my apartment complex, I felt a strange vibration coming from somewhere.





I limped the Jeep to my parking spot and got out to a burning grease smell. When I popped the hood, thin smoke was coming up from the back of the engine compartment. Uh oh.......


I crawled up under the Jeep with my trusty MagLite and quickly discovered the source of the smoke and the smell.







Well . That part is definitely not supposed to look like that. Guess it's time for a new front drive shaft and a stiff drink to lament the tragedy that is owning a Jeep.



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Old 05-02-2019, 04:56 PM
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The One Where I Hit Every Jeep Shop in the Triangle...

Holy cow, what a whirlwind. I have hit every 4x4 shop in the area over the last two weeks, but everything is finally lined up.

In addition to the drive shaft, I discovered that the installer hadn't swapped out my stock CA bolts for the Grade 8 hardware I supplied, and they had not adjusted the arms back into alignment. No bueno.

I started out at the Jeep dealer, hoping the driveshaft would be covered under the warranty. Turns out, they determined the lift caused the failure and they wouldn't cover it. No big deal, I wanted an aftermarket shaft anyway so I asked them to pull the shaft out. While there, they replaced a leaking thermostat and the faulty wheel speed sensor. Both covered under warranty, $550 that I didn't have to spend. I asked them about doing an alignment while the Jeep was in their garage, but the service manager quoted me a price of $1250 based on TEN HOURS of labor to do it. No thanks!

I found a great deal on a leftover-inventory Rubicon Express front shaft at 4WheelParts that a dealer had ordered but never picked up, so I skipped on ordering an Adams (which was my original plan) and picked up the RE on my way to get the Jeep.

I picked the Jeep up from the dealer and could feel something was off. It seemed to drag, almost like one of the wheels was rubbing. About four miles down the road from the dealership, the drag went away and the Jeep seemed to handle just fine.

I got it to a local 4x4 specialty shop that was set to do the alignment with no other problems. Imagine my surprise when I looked underneath and discovered THE DEALER HADN'T PULLED THE DRIVESHAFT OUT! Turns out the release I felt was the t-case joint coming completely apart. I found out later that the shaft slip joint was completely frozen, and the shaft had to be cut out in three pieces.

The alignment shop couldn't get the alignment done in the timeframe I expected, so I dropped off the shaft with them to install. It took them two full days of fighting with it, but she's finally all lined up and adjusted with a new front shaft in place! It is a completely different fell behind the wheel now. The Rancho shocks are worlds different than the RC tubes I pulled, and the Core4x4 arms are super solid. Ride quality is terrific, very little transmission of road noise or minor bumps. I'm very happy with the choice of parts, and would highly recommend core4x4, SteerSmarts YETI, and Rancho products to anybody.






I also got tired of the hood flutter at highway speeds, so I picked up a set of the Rugged Ridge hood latches. Nobody bothers to talk about how dang difficult it is to install these things. I had a terrible time trying to figure out how to get a socket on the bottom mount nut to get the stock latches off. I did finally manage it, and the latches are AWESOME. Beefy, strong, and the flutter is 100% eliminated.




In addition, I've checked some small items off my to-do list and done an oil change. The rod rack was the trickiest part, since it was too short to fit around the roll bars. I had to improvise with D-rings and RR clothes hooks, but it's in place now. The Jeep is really starting to feel like mine!






Mods in this phase:
Core4x4 Tier 2 control arms x 8 ($760)
Grade 8 hardware ($20 after the AOR forum discount)
Core4x4 adjustable rear track bar ($180)
YETI XD front track bar ($215)
Rancho RS9000XL x 4 ($191)
Rubicon Express front driveshaft w/ t-case pinion kit ($425)
CURT front hitch receiver ($130)
No-name dead pedal ($13)
Rugged Ridge hood latches ($96.50)
Rod Saver vehicle rod carrier, modified to fit with D-rings
Rugged Ridge clothes hook straps x 4 ($31.20)
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:39 PM
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She rides SO MUCH BETTER now. The alignment sheet doesn't do the difference justice. The shop pulled the front axle back two full inches, centered the wheels in the wells, and got the twist out of the rear axle (my wheel base was a full inch different between the driver and passenger sides).


My wife also took the opportunity to name the Jeep. "Black Sand" works pretty well for me, since I foresee lots of time on the beach in this one's future.






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Old 05-02-2019, 07:50 PM   #12
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She rides SO MUCH BETTER now. The alignment sheet doesn't do the difference justice. The shop pulled the front axle back two full inches, centered the wheels in the wells, and got the twist out of the rear axle (my wheel base was a full inch different between the driver and passenger sides).


My wife also took the opportunity to name the Jeep. "Black Sand" works pretty well for me, since I foresee lots of time on the beach in this one's future.






I think you're touching on a really huge aspect of modifying Jeeps that often gets over looked...they need to be dialed in after the new parts are bolted on. Nice you're working with a shop that understands that. Keep up the good work



-Steven
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:31 PM
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Big update!

After WEEKS AND WEEKS waiting, I finally have a major part of my build in hand. As anyone who has a Gobi knows, the wait time is brutal. But after lots of patience and questioning my decision to order, I got the call last week that my Stealth Rack would be delivered on Wednesday.

Sure enough, the delivery truck showed up at 7:30am. After trying to offload a desk that they claimed was mine, We finlly got the rack unloaded and laid in my neighbor's parking spot.





Glad he wasn't home! The rack was packed VERY securely, and arrived with no damage (though the box was a little worse for the wear).





It took me about 4 hours total to do the install. It would have been quicker if I had started out by Googling "how to remove Jeep JK 10a bumper" rather than dicking around under the rear end for a half hour trying to get it off. (Pro tip: the hitch holds the bumper on)

True to their word, the Gobi required no drilling into the frame or body. Everything was fitted to the body and fit snugly with no rubber mallet "adjustments" required.

Let me just say, this is the most sturdy and stylish rack I've ever seen. I originally planned to install the Garvin Adventure, but after I saw a Gobion a random Jeep in the ballpark parking lot after a minor league game this summer, I ditched the Garvin plan and put in my order for the Stealth. The fit, finish, and quality is excellent. It came with standard with all the features I wanted in a rack (ladder, fairing, crossbars) and Gobi includes a free accessory so I got the Quick Disconnects for free. Even with the high cost and long wait, I wouldn't go with another rack.










I also managed to find a killer deal on a SurfMate front rod/cooler rack, so my beach-mobile is just about ready for the fall season. I'll get a picture up when I get it all rigged and ready to make the coastal run.

Now if only I could sell my boat, I could proceed with the next stages of the build!


Completed so far:
-Remove Hi-Lift jack and mounts from the hood
-Falken WildPeak A/T3W 315/75r16s (x5) ($1100 with Discount Tire price match)
-Core4x4 Tier 2 control arms x 8 ($760)
-Grade 8 hardware ($20 after the AOR forum discount)
-Core4x4 adjustable rear track bar ($180)
-YETI XD front track bar ($215)
-Rancho RS9000XL x 4 ($191)
-Rubicon Express front driveshaft w/ t-case pinion kit ($425)
-CURT front hitch receiver ($130)
-No-name dead pedal ($13)
-Rugged Ridge hood latches ($96.50)
-Rod Saver vehicle rod carrier, modified to fit with D-rings
-Rugged Ridge clothes hook straps x 4 ($31.20)
-Gobi Stealth Rack ($1595)
-Gobi quick disconnect (free with rack purchase)
-Offroading Gear awning (Christmas gift from the wife)
-Gobi ARB awning brackets ($125

Later on down the road (in no particular order):
-Mammoth wheels (x5)
-OBA system (maybe, I have a Viair 450P unit already)
-Internal cosmetics like grab handles
-"No drill" top mount drag link w/ stabilizer
-HD tie rod
-Synergy or TerraFlex HD ball joints
-LED headlights and fog lights (no idea on brand yet)
-LED light pods on windshield corners
-LED light bars on rack
-LED rear lights
-RGB rock lights
-Switch system to run the lights
-Grille inserts
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:21 PM   #14
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nice read, Um but one thing...............so...............um........... .....well......where are the obligatory pictures? you know that a build thread needs pictures of the goodies and yummy jeep porn..... nice start however!
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:00 PM
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nice read, Um but one thing...............so...............um........... .....well......where are the obligatory pictures? you know that a build thread needs pictures of the goodies and yummy jeep porn..... nice start however!

Are the pictures not showing up?!
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:50 PM   #16
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Are the pictures not showing up?!
I'm not seeing any pics.


-Steven
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:24 PM   #17
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Are the pictures not showing up?!
negitive, to post pictures you can host on a third party site and use the [img] [/_img] remove the extra "_" or below each post (may be too late to edit your original post however a friendly admin or mod might be able to help ya) and attach up to 5 images per post
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not seeing any pics.


-Steven
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim74656 View Post
negitive, to post pictures you can host on a third party site and use the [img] [/_img] remove the extra "_" or below each post (may be too late to edit your original post however a friendly admin or mod might be able to help ya) and attach up to 5 images per post

Wow! Had no idea. I host my photos on village.photo and they show up just fine for me. I'll see what I can do about that.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:20 AM
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Let's see if this works...

Trying out a new hosting site. Does this picture show up?


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Old 10-29-2019, 02:47 PM
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The one where I learn about tuning and gas mileage

I got a hefty Amazon gift card through a promotional offer, so it was time to add more pieces to the build!


I've been doing a lot of driving lately thanks to the fall fishing season heating up, and these trips usually involve the Jeep loaded down with gear inside, roof racks, and a front hitch mount.





With the full loadout, my onboard computer has me sitting at 12.5mpg. I knew my speedometer was off with the oversized tires, so I decided to go all out and get a TrailDash 2 to adjust the computer and unlock some of the settings (TPMS warnings while I'm out on the beach are a pain).


I LOVE THIS THING. Initial setup took a while, but after I got the unit dialed in and installed it is making a HUGE difference. I activated the "87 Octane" tune, as well as adjusting the tire size (34.25 matched my speedometer reading to the GPS speed reading on my phone). The Jeep drives like a completely different vehicle. It has more pep and pickup, it settles into 5th gear much more easily on the highway, and I no longer spend my highway time at 3k+ rpm and searching for a gear. I also really like the digital readouts that the unit offers. The percentage fuel gauge is especially handy.


I haven't driven any long highway jaunts since I installed it, but I'm up to almost 17mpg around town. I plan to try it on the current tune next time I head to the coast, then switch over to the "Mileage XS" tune to see if I can spike it up over 20mpg.





HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the TD2 to anyone who's modifying a JK off the stock tire size or gearing. I haven't had a chance to play around with the unlocked Rubicon screen features yet, but the range of options is intriguing to say the least.


I also added front and rear grab bars (not installed yet), grille inserts, and LED pod lights with an Apollointech overhead switch panel on a double windshield mount. More pictures coming soon once I get the lights wired up!


Completed so far:
-Remove Hi-Lift jack and mounts from the hood
-Falken WildPeak A/T3W 315/75r16s (x5) ($1100 with Discount Tire price match)
-Core4x4 Tier 2 control arms x 8 ($760)
-Grade 8 hardware ($20 after the AOR forum discount)
-Core4x4 adjustable rear track bar ($180)
-YETI XD front track bar ($215)
-Rancho RS9000XL x 4 ($191)
-Rubicon Express front driveshaft w/ t-case pinion kit ($425)
-CURT front hitch receiver ($130)
-No-name dead pedal ($13)
-Rugged Ridge hood latches ($96.50)
-Rod Saver vehicle rod carrier, modified to fit with D-rings
-Rugged Ridge clothes hook straps x 4 ($31.20)
-Gobi Stealth Rack ($1595)
-Gobi quick disconnect (free with rack purchase)
-Offroading Gear awning (Christmas gift from the wife)
-Gobi ARB awning brackets ($125)
-LED light pods on windshield corners (birthday present)
-Apollointech 6-switch overhead panel w/ relay system ($135)
-Superchips TrailDash 2 w/ dashboard insert ($480)
-Rugged Ridge back seat organizer ($40)
-Wolf metal front and rear grab handles ($65)
-Grille inserts ($20)


Later on down the road (in no particular order):
-Mammoth wheels (x5)
-OBA system (maybe, I have a Viair 450P unit already)
-"No drill" top mount drag link w/ stabilizer
-HD tie rod
-Synergy or TerraFlex HD ball joints
-LED headlights and fog lights (no idea on brand yet)
-LED light bars on rack
-LED rear lights
-RGB rock lights
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:47 AM   #21
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Congrats.
Still not seeing the pictures in the first post.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:15 PM
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Congrats.
Still not seeing the pictures in the first post.

I have them all loaded on a different hosting site, but I can't edit the first post.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:00 PM   #23
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Pics are showing up fine for me on the mobile app.

The build looks great! This is giving me some great ideas fir my build this winter!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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