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Old 04-06-2019, 06:33 PM
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Old Man's JK

Thought I would start this build process. Should be a little different than most. I am 66 at the start of this post. I have had numerous Jeeps over the years. Too many to count. A Grand Wagoneer, the big two door Wagoneer with the eagle on the hood, three Renegades, and a 07 JK unlimited. Also had the Grand Cherokee with the factory 360 with the factory hood vents to help the heat escape.
My grandson got a 08 JK for his 17th birthday. Also a few of my old high school buddies purchased Wranglers to play with. So, I had to get another one. I wanted a Wrangler that I could write a check for and not have a payment. I like the locking differentials but did not want the automatic sway bar unlock feature nor the rock rails. Rather have the side steps. I looked for about a month and came up with a one owner low mileage black Dragon Edition. I know there was a lot of bad publicity about this edition. But, it pushed all the buttons for me. It has the manual transmission, factory navigation radio with back up camera and just about every other option that was available in the Sahara build sheet. It will go off road. Just not mud bogging or rock climbing.
Attached is a picture of the JK while I was working on removing the Dragon decal.

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Old 04-06-2019, 06:49 PM   #2
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:55 PM   #3
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Welcome!
What are your plans?
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:16 PM
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I am in to Radio and Communication. I am installing a Dual Band VHF - UHF radio that I will post. I am also installing a HF rig that I will post. A Banks intake and exhaust. Winch Bumper and winch with synthetic rope. 2017 Rubicon Headlight swap. Just for a start
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:52 PM   #5
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Before you purchase the intake and exhaust, I would encourage you to do some research.
Banks makes some great products, I have some of their products in my Ford 7.3, I have heard mixed reviews about installing any air intake or exhaust on the 3.6
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:50 PM   #6
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Cool Jeep, never saw a dragon edition before. Was a specific location sale or a special order?
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:53 PM   #7
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Dragon was a package based on 2014 Sahara’s.
There are a few of them out there, but I think most of them have had their dragon stickers removed.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:52 AM
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Just added a set of Rampage Locking Hood Latches.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:55 AM
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I thought my back up camera was a factory option, but in running some wire for my radios, I saw that it was added on. Here is the location of the Camera at the Tag. It does a very good job and has a full field of view.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:58 AM
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Got my Intake and Exhaust in from Banks. Attached is a picture of my completed Intake. Straight forward easy install.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:01 AM
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Ordered the Talkie / Microphone holder from JeepUniq. Easy install. Sturdy holder. I recommend this mount for anyone wanting a good location for a holder with no drilling.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:16 AM
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OK, last build post for today. Attached is a picture of my Baofeng BF-F8HP Talkie in the JeepUniq mount. The Baofeng Talkies have been cover numerous times, so no need to go into detail about them. Bottom line. They are very inexpensive to purchase. About $30 a piece straight from China. The BF-F8HP is rated at 8 watts, but will do almost six watts on a test bench. Pretty good quality and a great investment for the money. I have two on board and if one gets damaged, just throw away. The batteries hold a good charge. Bottom line they just work. These are keyboard programmable. So be careful what you put in these for a transmit channel. Most frequencies are narrow band while some are still wide band. If you don't understand that, you need to have someone program it for you. As a side note, these will pick up FM broadcast radio.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:56 PM
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OK, here is a post showing the Dual Band VHF / UHF Radio install. The radio is a Icom ID-5100A. This is a true dual band radio with plenty of alpha numeric labeling so that you can keep up with the channel programmed in and not have to rely on remembering what the frequency relates to. Also to complete the install, there is a Rugged Radios Side antenna mount. $45. A Tram Dual Band antenna whip. $15.00 a black Phone firm mount off Ebay. $10.00 I also bought a piece of rubber / neoprene gasket sheet to make a gasket between the antenna mount and the windshield frame.
The first item is mounting the antenna bracket. Click image for larger version

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ID:	4142195 I took the bracket and traced onto the rubber gasket to cut a pattern out. I used the original screws from the windshield. The supplied screws were not correct for the application. Take the plastic washers off the original screws and use a brush or scrap to remove the paint coating from the back side of the screw.Click image for larger version

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ID:	4142203 Now take something and scrape the paint from around the holes where the screw holes are on the new bracket. Click image for larger version

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ID:	4142201The purpose of this is to get a good ground to the bracket when the mount is attached. Once attached, make sure there is continuity to the frame. Now you can mount the antenna mount to the bracket and Antenna. Click image for larger version

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ID:	4142199 Run the coax to the inside.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:06 PM
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OK, we'll mount the radio inside.
The radio body was mounted under the seat.
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I used the Black Phone Firm mount from Ebay to attache the head of the radio to the dash just above the main car radio. Use a little bit of double sided tape to hold the bracket in place.
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OK, here is the finished product.
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A neat install. No holes drilled into the Jeep. This Radio has a Bluetooth option which I installed to allow you to use a Bluetooth Headset with the radio to hear and talk.
The Black Phone mount works perfect to mount a I-Pad tablet ect. in the same location if you did not want to use for a radio mount. Just order two of the mounts to hold a tablet. Mount the iPad for off road navigation and a dash mounted trail camera.
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:58 PM
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OK, this post and maybe one more will cover the install of my HF Radio. The Radio is the Kenwood TS-480HX. This is the 200 watt SSB radio without the antenna tuner as I wanted the most power available and no need for an internal antenna tuner as the turbo tuner and little Tarheel would take care of that. Also this radio has the Remote head. The radio covers from 6 meters through 160 meters. I also am using the Little Tarheel II antenna controlled by a turbo tuner II.

I purchased the Rugged Ridge 11503.96 Jeep Wrangler CB Radio/Antenna Mount Kit 07-18 for the Antenna mount and Control Head Mount.

The antenna mount goes into the typical location at the rear tire. I attached a small piece of Stainless plate to make the mount work with the Little Tarheel antenna.
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Next mount the Antenna.
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Finally to make sure there is a good RF ground, attach a grounding strap from the rear door to the body.
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With this antenna set up, the antenna loading coil will move up and down via an internal motor to tune the antenna to the frequency selected by the radio.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:12 PM   #16
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Screwdriver antenna on the back is a good idea, no need for a tuner and it gets the feedpoint up closer to the roofline. Have you had any problems with RF getting into the vehicle electrical system?
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:16 PM
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This post covers the install of the TS-480 Radio.

As a side note, I see a lot of post regarding CB vs Ham Radio vs VHF vs UHF. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. VHF and UHF is good for short range and clear communication mostly free from motor noise and static. But there are very few frequencies available above a couple of watts of power without a licence. CB works good and is limited to 4 watts legally. If you get stuck in the outback and have no cell phone service, or no repeater service on V or U, the chances of a contact on CB will be very slim also. On the other hand a true HF rig will almost always be able to get in touch with someone. Yes, HF requires a Ham Licence. But now a days it is getting easier and easier to obtain one.

Now back to the post.
I took the CB mount portion of the Rugged ridge mount and modified so to be able to place the remote head above the rear view mirror. Accessible and up and out of the way.
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Next I mounted the body of the radio and the Turbo Tuner right behind the rear right side passenger seat.
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Now, here is the finished set up with the HF rig at top , VHF / UHF rig just above the factory Navigation Radio.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:19 PM
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No issues on RF into the Jeeps electrical system. I am using a lot of bead chokes. Try to use proper grounding. The radio just produces 10 watts while the tuning is going on. So far very pleased.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:21 PM   #19
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How did you get a good RF ground to the chassis from the spare tire mount?

(edit: nevermind, just noticed the picture above )
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:32 PM
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I scrapped some paint from the bolt holes on the antenna mount. Used stainless bolts to attach the mount to the spare tire mount. I then made sure there was good continuity from the antenna mount to the steel of the rear hatch door. As one of the pics show, I attached a flat braid wire from the door to one of the existing floor attachment rings.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:58 PM
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Now with all the radio installs complete, I can get back to some more traditional items. I didn't mention that I have now got both the Banks Air Intake and Exhaust installed. Now, this is the next item to install and play with.

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It is the Super Chips Trail Dash II. I got it so I can have a few different engine tunes. I can read and clear any engine codes. I also want to be able to monitor the oil pressure and voltage reading. The possible switch functions are interesting also. I do have it installed. I am still reading up on it and playing with. So a another post on this will follow once I have it all sorted out.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:24 PM   #22
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Be sure to checkout the Jscan app, in some ways does more than the Superchips unit for under $40 ($21 for the app and about $15 for an ODBII Bluetooth dongle.)
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:30 AM
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Here is a little update on the Jeep to date since April. The first thing is that I swapped out the Icom ID5100 or an Icom ID-880. The id5100 is a great radio. I just didn't like the size nor could I get a screen resolution that I liked in the JK. The 880H has a very small head, but not too small. I mounted the head under the SuperChips controller screen via double sided tape.

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The next communication addition was a Midland MxT275 GMRS radio with the controls all in the Microphone.

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The antenna for the GMRS radio is a 5db gain Larsen antenna mounted inside at the back of the top using one of the back top mounting bolts.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:57 AM
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The next items are back to the JK.
The first item was to install a factory set of 17/18 JK OEM Led headlights and OEM LED Fog Lights. I read post after post on the LED lights. The broken tabs and ways people had worked around the mounting. And, the flickering issues. This is my solution and it did great. I searched FB market place and Craig's List. Came up with a left and right headlight and set of LED fog Lights. Total cost came to $225 for all the lights. The headlights had the broken tabs, but I had figured a way around this. (I'll post my fix with pics and little later down). I mounted the lights and carried the JK to the dealer. Told the dealer that I just wanted the lights to work without the flickering. I told him of all the sales codes mentioned. 5SX - LBQ - LNV - LPX - XAC. He stated he knew what I needed. A $105 and 45 min later, it was done. Don't know what he ended up adding, but they work perfect. Here is a couple pics of the install.

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Next addition was a set of the Rigid Side Shooter LED's with the spot pattern for the windshield. I used a set of the Rigid windshield mounts.

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Last item was a used RockHard 4X4 winch bumper that I found off of Craig's list. Winch is still to come. Attached is a pic of the front of the JK with the bumper and light up grades to date.

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