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Old 03-22-2018, 10:55 AM
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Project Delta

Background
I've owned 4 Wranglers before my current JK. A '87 4 cylinder YJ, a 87' 6 cylinder YJ, a 1996 XJ Sport, and a 2008 JKU Rubicon. My Rubicon was the first time I did any seriously hard core mods to a Jeep. 2 1/2" Teraflex lift. ARB front bumper with winch. Expedition One rear bumper with tire carrier. 315/75R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs. I the vehicle just about tuned to perfection for my needs and loved every minute of owning it. Unfortunately about 4 years ago, almost to this week, I was involved in a head on collision that totaled out my JK. So now, I'm starting over and using what I learned to build a better Jeep.


Project Delta Goals

As with any long term project it's a good idea to set clear and specific goals for it before you begin. My goals for this JK are to keep the ride as near factory as I can, keep my center of gravity low, and still be able to clear most parking garages. I want the parts I select to complement the look of the Jeep, not just draw attention. I also don't want to spend money for the same parts twice so I'm doing my best to be dilligant in slecting parts.

I also want to keep the Jeep as practical as possible as it is a daily driver. This means no extreme gear ratios, no giant tires, and a decent stereo system for long drives.


Components List
Items in red have been completed and installed.
Items in green are on order or awaiting installation.
Items in blue are planned.


Factory Equipment
2015 Wrangler JK Unlimited
- Rubicon Edition
- Anvil w/ Charcoal Interior
- 3.6L Pentastar
- Dana 44's Front and Rear with 3.73 Gears
- Heated Cloth Seats
- Remote Start
- Freedom Top
- Power Convience Group


Armor and Body
Rugged Ridge Tail Light Guards
MOPAR sill guards
Rugged Ridge Hurricane Flat Fenders

LoD Destroyer Shorty Front Bumper
LoD Destroyer Full Width Rear Bumper w/ Tire Carrier



Suspension, Tires, and Drive Train
TeraFlex Leveling Kit
Vision Raptor 17x9 -12mm Wheels
BF Goodrich 315/70R17 All Terrain KO2's

4.56 Yukon Gears Front and Rear



Electronics and Commo
Superchips TrailCal
Gentex 453 Autodimming Mirror

Apollointech 6 Switch Pod
Cobra 75 WXST CB w/ 3' Firestick and Cooltech quick disconnect
FireStik 2 2' Antenna


Car Audio
Pioneer AVIC-7100NEX Head Unit
Alpine PDX-V9 Amp
SiriusXM SXV300v1 Connect Vehicle Tuner
Focal PS165V Component Front Speakers
Focal PS165V Component Rollbar Speakers
JL Audio CP110LG-TW1 Subwoofer
SunroadTek CCD 18 LED Night Vision Backup Camera
iDataLink Maestro ADS-MRR Vehicle Interface Module
AntennaX 21" Shorty Antenna
Passenger Under-Seat Amp Rack




Recovery and Misc Parts
Seat belt anti-flapping mod
Rugged Ridge Front and Rear Floormats
MOPAR Trunk Mat
MOPAR Freedom Top carrier bag w/ carabineer mod
Rugged Ridge front and rear grab handles
Rugged Ridge fire extinguisher rollbar mount w/ Kiddie Class A/B extinguisher
Rugged Ridge upper dash mount
Wild Boar style grab handles (front and rear)
Blindspot Mirrors
Tuffy Conceal and Carry Drawer


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Old 03-22-2018, 12:58 PM
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Here's some current pictures of where the build is at. In these you can see the Hurricane flat fenders, the Vision Raptor wheels, and the 35" KO2's.






Here's a couple pictures of the knock off grab handles. I got them off Amazon. I prefered these over the Wild Boars as I honestly felt the fit and finish was better on them, and they didn't have the Wild Boar branding on the handles.



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Old 03-22-2018, 01:41 PM   #3
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Nice Build! Love the color!! Its kind of crazy how similar our builds are and some of the Goals you have are the same as mine. I think you'll be happy with the Apollointech Switch Pod, mine has worked out great. I decided to go with the Midland 75-822 CB instead of the Cobra because of the ability to use it outside the Jeep if needed. I'll be super interested to see the LoD bumpers. I'm still leaning towards the Posion Spyder but I could be swayed. Also still on the fence about shorty vs. Mid.

Thanks for sharing your Jeep with us!!
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jarheadf23 View Post
Nice Build! Love the color!! Its kind of crazy how similar our builds are and some of the Goals you have are the same as mine. I think you'll be happy with the Apollointech Switch Pod, mine has worked out great. I decided to go with the Midland 75-822 CB instead of the Cobra because of the ability to use it outside the Jeep if needed. I'll be super interested to see the LoD bumpers. I'm still leaning towards the Posion Spyder but I could be swayed. Also still on the fence about shorty vs. Mid.

Thanks for sharing your Jeep with us!!
Ah, the Midland vs Cobra debate. I like that the Cobra installs "cleaner" than the Midland, but the ability to use it as a mobile is pretty keen. Would be useful for trail spotting and such but everytime I've bought something because it could do "one extra thing" I've never ended up using it.

As for the LoD's I'm hoping I can pull the trigger on it in the next month or so. Going to start with the bumper and carrier by themselves then maybe add the Jerry can mounts down the line.

What I'm trying to work up is a way to relocate my plate to the center of the tire carrier, move my camera up there, and have it be my 3rd brake light. I'm wondering if I'm not trying to cram to much into one spot. I've been looking at the Rock Hard and Ace Engineering relocation brackets. I think the Rock Hard would work the best with just mounting the camera over the light bracket, but I worry about light bleed from the brake light.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:35 PM   #5
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Phenomenal build! That color is one of jeeps all time best IMO. If I wasnít a green only guy thatís hard to not run with.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Skippman View Post
Ah, the Midland vs Cobra debate. I like that the Cobra installs "cleaner" than the Midland, but the ability to use it as a mobile is pretty keen. Would be useful for trail spotting and such but everytime I've bought something because it could do "one extra thing" I've never ended up using it.

As for the LoD's I'm hoping I can pull the trigger on it in the next month or so. Going to start with the bumper and carrier by themselves then maybe add the Jerry can mounts down the line.

What I'm trying to work up is a way to relocate my plate to the center of the tire carrier, move my camera up there, and have it be my 3rd brake light. I'm wondering if I'm not trying to cram to much into one spot. I've been looking at the Rock Hard and Ace Engineering relocation brackets. I think the Rock Hard would work the best with just mounting the camera over the light bracket, but I worry about light bleed from the brake light.
I tried to do the same thing with relocation to the center of the tire, you can see how mine turned out on my build page. I really like how mine turned out the only thing I didn't do was the camera, I left mine under the bumper. I used the Teraflex relocation bracket I liked it for the most part. It will make removal of the spare a little time consuming but to be honest I have not had to do it yet so to what extent I cant tell you. I did have to do a lot of wiring to put in place some quick disconnects.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:38 PM
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Here's a couple pics from some work I did on my JK last weekend. I removed the factory autodimming rearview mirror and replaced it with a Gentex 453 HomeLink autodimming mirror with compass.

I removed the factory mirror, cut the wiring harness and stripped back the leads. I put heat shrink over them and soldered on the new mirrors connections and heat shrunk them. I then pulled the factory expandable loom back down and tapped it closed.

I think I did a pretty decent job making it look factory.








I also replaced my headlights. I'm now using Cibie lenses with Philips H4 bulbs. These are connected to the factory harness using a set of KC H12 to H4 adapter pigtails. I also added the MOPAR horizontal adjustment screws, which were a real bitch to put in. The light output is phenomenal and the eCode light pattern is amazing!




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Old 03-25-2018, 02:43 PM   #8
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The hurricane flat fenders look awesome. I went with the full front bumper because I like the overland look, but I'm having trouble finding high clearance fenders that keep the line of the stock fenders with the bumper in the front... Sweet build. Looking forward to following.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:46 PM
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Electrical Updates

So my new LoD Destroyer Full Width rear bumper with Tire Carrier came in the other day and has been sitting in my garage. I would have started the install a week ago but looking at the directions presented me with a concern. Namely that if I wanted to add backup lights I would ideally want to install them before mounting up the bumper to the rear of the JK due to how the light mounting plates attach to the bumper.

After doing quite a bit of searching, research, and reading I've decided to go with a set of 90deg LED flush mount pods from Super Bright LED's here in St. Louis. They come powder coated, are IP67 rated, throw 1440 lumens each, use 6 CREE LED's, and come prewired with DT connectors which should make them plug and play. Plus they're backing them with a lifetime warranty which I hopefully won't need.

Installing the lights made me consider how I wanted to power them, and how I wanted them to behave. I decided I wanted to be able to have them come on when the JK is put in reverse, I wanted to be able to manually turn them on, and I wanted to be able to disable them completely when I felt the need.

In order to simplify the wiring process I've come to the decision that I want to install a secondary fuse box in the rear of the Jeep rather than running a ton of wiring back to the front of the Jeep which would add points of failure.


Rear Aux Fuse Box
When designing the secondary fuse box I made certain to account for everything I could potentially want to install in the rear of the Jeep. I decided I would want a 12V DC outlet, a dual port USB charger, my reverse lights, and potentially a Viair or ARB compressor installed behind the passanger rear tail light. Based on the maximum calculated load I determined a 50 amp, four device sub-panel would be perfect. This panel will also contain two relays, one for the rear lights, and one for the future compressor. I plan them to be enclosed in a project box and installed behind the drivers side tail light in the void there, and powered by a 6 gauge positive and ground wire directly from the battery, run along the the drivers side of the vehicle.

Here is my wiring diagram.



I'm also planning to install a 50 amp breaker under the hood where it connects to the battery power so I can disable the circuit as needed, and have an extra level of protection in case of a short. This design should give me a common ground, a central place to wire things to in the rear, and give me maximum fault tolerance in the event of a short. I'm planning to start ordering parts to build the fuse panel later this week. Right now I'm planning to use the following:

Parts List
Blue Sea 5045 4 Circuit Compact Fuse Block (for power)
Blue Sea 2315 4 Pole 100A Mini Bus Bar (for ground)


Any thoughts or ideas are of course welcome!
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:56 PM   #10
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I love the outline and thoroughness of your build. I think the LOD bumpers you have on your list will work well with the Hurricane flat fenders.

Keep up the great work


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Old 07-03-2018, 03:00 AM   #11
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Incredible build! Love this. Keep us new
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:39 PM
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It's been a while since I updated my rig build but I've made some major progress.

In the last couple of weeks I finally got the chance to install my LoD Destroyer Full Width rear bumper along with a set of LED light pods from Super Bright LED's. Since my JK didn't come with the towing package I bought the Rugged Ridge trailer light harness to go with it. My LED pods came pre-wired with female DT style connectors as well as male pigtails. I wired these to some 16 gauge shielded indoor/outdoor wire. This was then fed into the same split loom as the Rugged Ridge harness keeping everything nice and clean as well as protected.



My only complaint with the LoD bumper is there's no travel limiter on the tire carrier which resulted in it swinging to far and hitting the rear of the body tub once. Once connected with the linkage though everything works flawelessly. There's a ton of adjustments to get things just right and I've not had any rattles or noise. I do have one new problem, which is the extra weight out past the axle has made my rear passanger side tire rub much more easily on the rock rails. If I get some shop time in the next week or so I plan to take them off and chop about 2" off to end them where the wheel well ends like they should have from the factory.

I installed an Apollointech 6 switch module to control the rear lights. I had originally planned to replace one of the switches with a DPDT switch in order to choose between rear lights on, on when in reverse, or off. Unfortunately after getting the switch mounted and all of the blade connecters attached there simply wasn't enough room between the pod and the window moulding so I opted to remove it and go back to the factory switch which is working great.



Here you can also see my Gentex homelink mirror I used to replace the factory autodimming mirror as I didn't want a removable garage door opener in the Jeep. You can also see the mic from my Pioneer AVIC-4100NEX which works fantastic! All of that is zip tied behind the moulding to the factory wiring harness for the mirror.

Lastly I finally finished up a project I've been wanting to do for quite some time: upgrading the Rugged Ridge dash mount for wireless charging! I removed the entire dash and used a 12V Quick Charge USB charger that I think is intended for motorcylce use. This was tied into the 12V outlet in the dash using scotch locks. I mounted it just above the uConnect module inside the dash. I connected that to a Star Tech USB cable with a 90deg Micro USB fitting on it. I drilled out the existing hole I had behind the Rugged Ridge mount for a USB C cable that was running to my head unit and fed that through there. I then threaded on a 1" RAM B mounting ball to the threads from the Rugged Ridge mount which allowed me to reverse the camera mount tab so I still had free threads for a GoPro or such in the future. I then connected a short RAM arm. Now, the piece that makes this all work was tricky to find. Most of these wireless chargers use a 17mm ball, but RAM only makes a 1" and a 9/16" (14.4mm) ball. Fortunately someone else makes a 1" to 17mm" adapter for Garmin GPS mounts. So using that I was able to connect my induction charger to the RAM mount. It's ROCK SOLID, looks clean, and lets me just toss my phone up there and have it charge without fussing with cables.



What do you guys think?
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:59 PM   #13
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I like how methodical you are about your build. Subscribed!
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:35 PM   #14
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Nice build....

I would suggest some Ace Rock Rails for that baby....other than that, you're doing great
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:13 AM
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It's been a while since I updated my build thread, but that doesn't mean I've been sitting idle. Apologies for the lack of pics in this post, I'll try and update soon.

Brakes
It occurred to me that putting 35" tires and a lift kit on a vehicle creates a ton of additional rotational mass that, honestly, the factory braking system just wasn't engineered to deal with. St. Louis, where I live, is a series hills caused by the New Madrid fault and river valleys made by the Missouri, Meramec, and Mississippi rivers. We are also far enough north to get snow, but far enough south that it often melts during the day turning to ice at night.

To combat all of these variables I began researching various Big Brake kits. I ultimately decided that full replacement calipers were simply out of my price range and honestly overkill for my needs as I rarely tow, don't live in mountains, and will likely never go larger than 35" tires. This made the [b]TeraFlex[b] Front and Rear Big Rotor Kits extremely attractive. They were cheaper than a full set of replacement calipers, increased the leverage applied to the rotors by the factory calipers, and came with all new slotted rotors. As one of the rear rotors on my JK was already warped I needed to replace it anyway.

I opted to order a full kit from Northridge. This included both front and rear Big Rotor kits from TeraFlex which consist of the caliper brackets and oversized slotted rotors as well as all new Hawks break pads.

These kits include a new caliper mounting bracket that moves the caliper an additional half inch or so away from the center of the axle. This allows for the mounting of a 13" oversized rotor. Basic physics dictates the larger the lever, the greater the force it exerts. So by increasing the distance from the center of the axle to the caliper I gain a mechanical advantage without requiring additional pressure from the caliper itself. Think of it as comparing a standard ratchet to a breaker bar. This has improved my stopping ability tremendously. Pedal feel is great and now feels much closer to the factory braking ability I lost by adding the larger, heavier wheels and tires. Easily one of the best upgrades I've done to the JK.

As a side note, I was quite surprised when I removed the factory pads to find the fronts were almost like new, even at 50,000 miles while the rears were almost down to the metal. Apparently the JK's breaking bias is tuned VERY far to the rear which seems counter intuitive to something so dive heavy under breaking. I suspect it's something to do with how the stability control is designed, but I'm not an automotive engineer.


Battery
About 2 weeks ago I had the pleasure of walking out of the office to find my battery had completely failed. I suspected it might be heading that way earlier in the day when it sounded slightly less powerful on turn over and my Apollointech was showing 9.5V before starting the engine. Fortunately I'm a Jeeper and so always carry a set of jumper cables in my recovery gear.

After much research and a LOT of internet drama (who knew batteries were such a polarizing thing?) I settled on an Optima 34R Red Top. I chose this battery for several reasons.

1.) It had the highest cold cranking amps of all the Optima line.
2.) It was far and away the most readily available Optima.
3.) I could not find an Interstate that would fit at the time.
4.) Optima was offering a $50 MIRB.

This battery is physically smaller than the OEM battery but fits nice and snug in the factory tray using the provided retention adapter brackets. I think this will last me a good while as I do not currently have a winch, and that is at least a year or so away on my build list. O'Reilly had a 20% off offer if you ordered online and had it shipped for free to your home. That plus Optima's MIRB and the core charge ended up bringing the battery down from $235 before tax to $150 after tax. Not to bad in my book.

As an additional side note, yes, I did make sure to have the battery and alternator tested and confirmed it was in fact the battery that failed. It was nearly 5 years old and I honestly should have replaced it earlier this year.

Next on the List
I have a shiny new 3rd brake light, backup camera, and Rugged Ridge AM/FM/CB antenna mount to install sitting on my work bench. Hopefully I can get to them in the next week or so and finally upload some pictures.

Thanks for all of the encouragement and compliments! It means a lot!

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