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Old 10-09-2018, 01:42 PM
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As mentioned earlier, it has been a while since I provided an update on the modifications to the jeep. Some of the parts had been sitting a while from last year, and I just now got to installing them or having the garage do the work. To be honest though, it was an unusual ‘whirring’ noise coming from the rear differential, that set me down the path of spending even more on upgrades (I’m learning to use any reason possible to always upgrade ).

The ‘whirring’ noise came on suddenly during a road trip. It sounded like a high pitch whine that happened regardless of acceleration or deceleration. So, rather than wait for the differential or axle bearings to blow up, I brought it to my local garage. They ran it up on the rack and the sound was definitely coming from the rear differential. They pulled off the cover and as they put it there was excessive metal shavings and wear on the teeth. I’m surprised at 30K miles, even with 35” tires.

So, down the upgrade path I go and before you know it (except for my bank account draining), I’m running 37x13.5x17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers and geared with new G2 4.88’s. I also had the ARB differential covers installed at the same time. I’m glad I’m not looking at the boxes in my garage – they had been sitting there for a while. I also contemplated replacing the wheels, but the budget just wouldn’t support it at this time. Not that I mind the Fuel’s, I was just thinking it was time for a little different look. Another upgrade for a different time.

My first impressions with the setup are very positive. While I was sad to see the Nitto Trail Grapplers go (I like the aggressive look), I will say that the Ridge Grapplers ride a lot smoother with very little road noise. In addition, the 4.88 gears make acceleration nice and even better than 4.10’s with the 35” tires. I also have no rubbing running 13.5 width on a 4.5 backspace on the street. Wheeling may be a different story as the rocker is close to the rear tire and of course I will need to upgrade the flares. The only complaint so far is from my wife that it’s now even more difficult to climb into it with the additional height. I don’t mind so much .

More to come…I did some other mods and will post soon: Mopar Big Brake Kit and Teraflex Rear Brake Kit (with EBC Pads all around), Steer Smarts Griffin XD Steering Attenuator, KMS A Frame Hoop (KC lights coming soon), and Rugged Ridge Hood Latches.

Upgrades waiting to be installed – PSC Steering Upgrade (gearbox, pump, reservoir, cooler), Steer Smarts HD-N Stabilizer (replacing FOX ATS), Bushwhacker Front Deflector, Rear Seat Recline Kit (tired of hearing people complain), and upgraded Metal Cloak Front Shock Brackets.

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'16 JKU HR / G2 4:88 / MetalCloak GC 3.5" Fox / SteerSmarts Yeti No Drill Top Mount Draglink w/Griffin XD Attenuator, Tie Rod & HD-N Stabilizer / Adams F/R 1310 Shafts / Magnaflow 19327 & Banks RAI / PSC Power Steering Pump, Cooler & Big Bore XD Gear /Maximus 3 Stinger /17x9 FUEL Vapor / 37 x 13.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler / Mopar BBK & Teraflex Rear w/EBC Yellow Pads / Rhino Rack Platform & KMS A Frame Hoop / JW Speaker J Series Head Lights, Fog Lights, Tail Lights / AEV Tire Carrier / My Build
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by TO4DM4N View Post
As mentioned earlier, it has been a while since I provided an update on the modifications to the jeep. Some of the parts had been sitting a while from last year, and I just now got to installing them or having the garage do the work. To be honest though, it was an unusual ‘whirring’ noise coming from the rear differential, that set me down the path of spending even more on upgrades (I’m learning to use any reason possible to always upgrade ).

The ‘whirring’ noise came on suddenly during a road trip. It sounded like a high pitch whine that happened regardless of acceleration or deceleration. So, rather than wait for the differential or axle bearings to blow up, I brought it to my local garage. They ran it up on the rack and the sound was definitely coming from the rear differential. They pulled off the cover and as they put it there was excessive metal shavings and wear on the teeth. I’m surprised at 30K miles, even with 35” tires.

So, down the upgrade path I go and before you know it (except for my bank account draining), I’m running 37x13.5x17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers and geared with new G2 4.88’s. I also had the ARB differential covers installed at the same time. I’m glad I’m not looking at the boxes in my garage – they had been sitting there for a while. I also contemplated replacing the wheels, but the budget just wouldn’t support it at this time. Not that I mind the Fuel’s, I was just thinking it was time for a little different look. Another upgrade for a different time.

My first impressions with the setup are very positive. While I was sad to see the Nitto Trail Grapplers go (I like the aggressive look), I will say that the Ridge Grapplers ride a lot smoother with very little road noise. In addition, the 4.88 gears make acceleration nice and even better than 4.10’s with the 35” tires. I also have no rubbing running 13.5 width on a 4.5 backspace on the street. Wheeling may be a different story as the rocker is close to the rear tire and of course I will need to upgrade the flares. The only complaint so far is from my wife that it’s now even more difficult to climb into it with the additional height. I don’t mind so much .

More to come…I did some other mods and will post soon: Mopar Big Brake Kit and Teraflex Rear Brake Kit (with EBC Pads all around), Steer Smarts Griffin XD Steering Attenuator, KMS A Frame Hoop (KC lights coming soon), and Rugged Ridge Hood Latches.

Upgrades waiting to be installed – PSC Steering Upgrade (gearbox, pump, reservoir, cooler), Steer Smarts HD-N Stabilizer (replacing FOX ATS), Bushwhacker Front Deflector, Rear Seat Recline Kit (tired of hearing people complain), and upgraded Metal Cloak Front Shock Brackets.
She looks soooo right on her new 37's

The next round will be great additions to your build. Nice work Amigo!



-Steven

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Old 10-10-2018, 10:17 AM
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Continuing on with the upgrades…I have been running the Magna Flow cat-back system for over a year and absolutely love the sound. To enhance it even more, I added the Banks Ram-Air Intake (quick and easy install). The sound is perfect as it resonates from the front to back, but with little drone on the highway. Yes, it does turn heads at stop lights, but it’s not obnoxious…just enough to get attention. My only complaint on the exhaust system is how quickly the paint wore down (Midwest winters). It was an easy rattle can fix with VHT high temp paint and a perfect match.

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'16 JKU HR / G2 4:88 / MetalCloak GC 3.5" Fox / SteerSmarts Yeti No Drill Top Mount Draglink w/Griffin XD Attenuator, Tie Rod & HD-N Stabilizer / Adams F/R 1310 Shafts / Magnaflow 19327 & Banks RAI / PSC Power Steering Pump, Cooler & Big Bore XD Gear /Maximus 3 Stinger /17x9 FUEL Vapor / 37 x 13.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler / Mopar BBK & Teraflex Rear w/EBC Yellow Pads / Rhino Rack Platform & KMS A Frame Hoop / JW Speaker J Series Head Lights, Fog Lights, Tail Lights / AEV Tire Carrier / My Build
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:51 AM
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Yeti sighting! I was able to wrap up my SteerSmarts install this past weekend with the addition of their new neutral (HD-N) steering stabilizer. This stabilizer is replacing my Fox ATS.

Honestly speaking, I was skeptical at first, but now I'm a huge fan. It works flawlessly with the Griffin XD attenuator that I added a few weeks ago. While running the Fox ATS during that time, I felt like the Fox ATS was always fighting with the attenuator. I also ran with no stabilizer for a week to see how well the attenuator performed solo. It made a huge difference in steering, and now even better with the HD-N.

My only issue with the install was finding a bolt that would fit the Synergy bracket and the bushing sleeve on the HD-N. It seems that the sleeve is a little smaller than the sleeve on the Fox ATS. I rummaged through my lift kit bolts and found the bolt used on the stock stabilizer and it fit perfectly. I also had to trim back the skid plate about 1.5" to accommodate the Griffin XD. A metal wheel made quick work of the plate.

Thanks to SteerSmarts for great products - now running these parts and love them:
  • No Drill Top Mount Draglink with Griffin XD and Tie Rod
  • HD-N Steering Stabilizer and Damper Bracket
  • May need to pick up the draglink and tie rod caps to dress them up a bit

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'16 JKU HR / G2 4:88 / MetalCloak GC 3.5" Fox / SteerSmarts Yeti No Drill Top Mount Draglink w/Griffin XD Attenuator, Tie Rod & HD-N Stabilizer / Adams F/R 1310 Shafts / Magnaflow 19327 & Banks RAI / PSC Power Steering Pump, Cooler & Big Bore XD Gear /Maximus 3 Stinger /17x9 FUEL Vapor / 37 x 13.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler / Mopar BBK & Teraflex Rear w/EBC Yellow Pads / Rhino Rack Platform & KMS A Frame Hoop / JW Speaker J Series Head Lights, Fog Lights, Tail Lights / AEV Tire Carrier / My Build
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:31 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by TO4DM4N View Post
Yeti sighting! I was able to wrap up my SteerSmarts install this past weekend with the addition of their new neutral (HD-N) steering stabilizer. This stabilizer is replacing my Fox ATS.

Honestly speaking, I was skeptical at first, but now I'm a huge fan. It works flawlessly with the Griffin XD attenuator that I added a few weeks ago. While running the Fox ATS during that time, I felt like the Fox ATS was always fighting with the attenuator. I also ran with no stabilizer for a week to see how well the attenuator performed solo. It made a huge difference in steering, and now even better with the HD-N.

My only issue with the install was finding a bolt that would fit the Synergy bracket and the bushing sleeve on the HD-N. It seems that the sleeve is a little smaller than the sleeve on the Fox ATS. I rummaged through my lift kit bolts and found the bolt used on the stock stabilizer and it fit perfectly. I also had to trim back the skid plate about 1.5" to accommodate the Griffin XD. A metal wheel made quick work of the plate.

Thanks to SteerSmarts for great products - now running these parts and love them:
  • No Drill Top Mount Draglink with Griffin XD and Tie Rod
  • HD-N Steering Stabilizer and Damper Bracket
  • May need to pick up the draglink and tie rod caps to dress them up a bit

Attachment 4101403
Attachment 4101399
Attachment 4101397


Nice looking install. The Griffin loves the Steer Smarts Stabilizer.
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:30 PM   #36
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Saga - 2016 Rubicon Hard Rock

Very nice, I too am performing the full yeti XD uprade with Griffin attenuator. Switched out your fox ATS for the Hdn stabilizer? What is that u were looking more to keep everything consistent with steer smarts or is your fox stabilizer shot? Disregard just read the battle it was having.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:05 PM
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Wicked Winter

I'm sure glad Spring is here. The tools are thawing out, projects from last year are coming back to life and it's possible to actually work on the Jeep without freezing. It always seems like winter comes along and I climb into my den for hibernation. Thanks to a ridiculously cold winter in Chicago, hibernation seemed like a good thing. Nonetheless, a few upgrades happened just before the frozen tundra took over and during the polar vortex.

PSC POWER STEERING
First on the list was a complete PSC power steering makeover that happened just before Thanksgiving. What started out as a small project to just replace the gear box, turned into a complete overhaul replacing the pump, lines and reservoir and adding a cooler into the mix. Running the larger 37's this setup has been a champ...I would even say it is better than stock. My wife even commented that the turning is now as easy as her Mercedes GL550. I'm not sure if that's an insult or not to be compared to a Benz, but I do agree it turns easily and I hardly realize there are 37's attached.

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PSC Reservoir - phew - just fits!

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PSC Cooler - powder coated black and tucked just behind grill..nice!


MOPAR BBK AND TERAFLEX REAR KIT
At the same time the shop installed the power steering system, I had them add the complete Mopar BBK which includes the booster and master cylinder. Just before bringing it in for the work, I did a quick job at replacing the rears with the Teraflex Rear Brake Kit. I can honestly say that this is a great upgrade to the brake system. I have absolutely no worries that this combo can stop all that weight and hold just fine while wheeling. With teenagers driving the Jeep, I feel much better knowing that things are under control…well at least with the jeep. The teenagers…well that’s a different story.

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Teraflex Rear Kit with EBC Yellow pads

GENESIS OFFROAD DUAL BATTERY
Did I mention the polar vortex in the Chicagoland area this past winter? I have lived all over the country in many different climates…some better than Chicago, some worse. All I can say is that it was freakin’ cold this past winter reaching something like -40 degrees with wind chill. Now, yes, I know that some of you wonderful Jeepers up North are laughing, but come on…that’s still cold no matter where you live!

Anyway, the wicked weather took its toll on my battery, and after having to jump it late at night in -10 degree weather, I knew it was time for an upgrade…I mean to replace the battery (don’t tell my wife it’s not the OEM battery). So, I went with a dual battery system from Genesis Offroad along with two Odyssey 34-PC1500. Nothing like overkill, but this system should rock just about anything I throw at it. I like the auto power distribution functionality (never drain main battery) while also having peace of mind that the second battery can jump the first.

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Dual Batteries!

sPOD 8 SWITCH and SOURCE SE SYSTEM
And of course, one can’t install a new battery solution without preparing to hook up some goodies. So I went with the tried-and-true sPOD system. It’s a little more coin than what I wanted to spend, but I like that this system has eliminated the need for fuses and utilizes a smart current-sensing MOSFET that automatically protects from 1.5 amps to 30 amps. It definitely makes it easier to connect devices to it and not worry about inline fuses. I’m also in the process of swapping out the stock switches with some nice customized ones from OTRATTW. I’ll snap a few pictures when I get those installed later.

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sPOD - lets hook up some toys!
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'16 JKU HR / G2 4:88 / MetalCloak GC 3.5" Fox / SteerSmarts Yeti No Drill Top Mount Draglink w/Griffin XD Attenuator, Tie Rod & HD-N Stabilizer / Adams F/R 1310 Shafts / Magnaflow 19327 & Banks RAI / PSC Power Steering Pump, Cooler & Big Bore XD Gear /Maximus 3 Stinger /17x9 FUEL Vapor / 37 x 13.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler / Mopar BBK & Teraflex Rear w/EBC Yellow Pads / Rhino Rack Platform & KMS A Frame Hoop / JW Speaker J Series Head Lights, Fog Lights, Tail Lights / AEV Tire Carrier / My Build
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:18 PM
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Wicked Winter Part 2

KC GRAVITY PRO 6
And finally, this all leads up to new lights! After much research, I decided to go old school (well at least with design as these are excellent LED’s!) with the rounded look. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted KC lights on a roll bar…the dream was on a Toyota 4x4 during the 80’s, but the Jeep will do…better vehicle anyway as we all know (yes, fighting words and a long time family debate)!

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KC Pro6 - roof and a-pillars

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Yes, snow in Chicago at end of April - ugh!

While not yet mounted (hopefully in the next week or two depending on weather – picture above from this past weekend’s 3 inch storm), these will go on the KMS front hoop and A-Pillars. I’m still noodling on how best to run the wiring from the light bar up top. I may drill a hole into the KMS hoop and run it inside the hoop tube. We’ll see how ambitious I get…any thoughts?

Well that wraps up the installs over the winter and bringing us up to current. I can’t wait to get these lights installed and to start working on some other goodies. Still up are fenders and bumpers…one thing at a time. Parting shot of some decal additions...

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'16 JKU HR / G2 4:88 / MetalCloak GC 3.5" Fox / SteerSmarts Yeti No Drill Top Mount Draglink w/Griffin XD Attenuator, Tie Rod & HD-N Stabilizer / Adams F/R 1310 Shafts / Magnaflow 19327 & Banks RAI / PSC Power Steering Pump, Cooler & Big Bore XD Gear /Maximus 3 Stinger /17x9 FUEL Vapor / 37 x 13.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler / Mopar BBK & Teraflex Rear w/EBC Yellow Pads / Rhino Rack Platform & KMS A Frame Hoop / JW Speaker J Series Head Lights, Fog Lights, Tail Lights / AEV Tire Carrier / My Build
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:45 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by TO4DM4N View Post
I'm sure glad Spring is here. The tools are thawing out, projects from last year are coming back to life and it's possible to actually work on the Jeep without freezing. It always seems like winter comes along and I climb into my den for hibernation. Thanks to a ridiculously cold winter in Chicago, hibernation seemed like a good thing. Nonetheless, a few upgrades happened just before the frozen tundra took over and during the polar vortex.

PSC POWER STEERING
First on the list was a complete PSC power steering makeover that happened just before Thanksgiving. What started out as a small project to just replace the gear box, turned into a complete overhaul replacing the pump, lines and reservoir and adding a cooler into the mix. Running the larger 37's this setup has been a champ...I would even say it is better than stock. My wife even commented that the turning is now as easy as her Mercedes GL550. I'm not sure if that's an insult or not to be compared to a Benz, but I do agree it turns easily and I hardly realize there are 37's attached.

Attachment 4146717
PSC Reservoir - phew - just fits!

Attachment 4146719
PSC Cooler - powder coated black and tucked just behind grill..nice!


MOPAR BBK AND TERAFLEX REAR KIT
At the same time the shop installed the power steering system, I had them add the complete Mopar BBK which includes the booster and master cylinder. Just before bringing it in for the work, I did a quick job at replacing the rears with the Teraflex Rear Brake Kit. I can honestly say that this is a great upgrade to the brake system. I have absolutely no worries that this combo can stop all that weight and hold just fine while wheeling. With teenagers driving the Jeep, I feel much better knowing that things are under control…well at least with the jeep. The teenagers…well that’s a different story.

Attachment 4146725
Teraflex Rear Kit with EBC Yellow pads

GENESIS OFFROAD DUAL BATTERY
Did I mention the polar vortex in the Chicagoland area this past winter? I have lived all over the country in many different climates…some better than Chicago, some worse. All I can say is that it was freakin’ cold this past winter reaching something like -40 degrees with wind chill. Now, yes, I know that some of you wonderful Jeepers up North are laughing, but come on…that’s still cold no matter where you live!

Anyway, the wicked weather took its toll on my battery, and after having to jump it late at night in -10 degree weather, I knew it was time for an upgrade…I mean to replace the battery (don’t tell my wife it’s not the OEM battery). So, I went with a dual battery system from Genesis Offroad along with two Odyssey 34-PC1500. Nothing like overkill, but this system should rock just about anything I throw at it. I like the auto power distribution functionality (never drain main battery) while also having peace of mind that the second battery can jump the first.

Attachment 4146739
Dual Batteries!

sPOD 8 SWITCH and SOURCE SE SYSTEM
And of course, one can’t install a new battery solution without preparing to hook up some goodies. So I went with the tried-and-true sPOD system. It’s a little more coin than what I wanted to spend, but I like that this system has eliminated the need for fuses and utilizes a smart current-sensing MOSFET that automatically protects from 1.5 amps to 30 amps. It definitely makes it easier to connect devices to it and not worry about inline fuses. I’m also in the process of swapping out the stock switches with some nice customized ones from OTRATTW. I’ll snap a few pictures when I get those installed later.

Attachment 4146723
sPOD - lets hook up some toys!
Agree...that was a tough winter for us!

Wow, you've been busy! Really nice upgrades, well done



-Steven
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~2016 Hard Rock~Auto~4:88~JWSpeaker~Recon~Banks Ram-Air~~Mopar Performance BBK~MetalCloak 3.5" GC/Falcon 3.3~Method M106BL~37" Nitto R.G.~TeraFlex HD Carrier~VPR 126-S-S~Warn M8000-S ~KMS Lo-Pro Mod~
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:13 PM
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Thanks, Steven. Still gearing up for a trip to Moab this year, we'll see how the work travel schedule works out...lots of travel coming up. I was in SoCal a month ago on business and made a quick trip out to Joshua Tree Park and Mojave Desert...man do I wish I had the jeep! I may have to put a trip out there with jeep on the bucket list.
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'16 JKU HR / G2 4:88 / MetalCloak GC 3.5" Fox / SteerSmarts Yeti No Drill Top Mount Draglink w/Griffin XD Attenuator, Tie Rod & HD-N Stabilizer / Adams F/R 1310 Shafts / Magnaflow 19327 & Banks RAI / PSC Power Steering Pump, Cooler & Big Bore XD Gear /Maximus 3 Stinger /17x9 FUEL Vapor / 37 x 13.5 Nitto Ridge Grappler / Mopar BBK & Teraflex Rear w/EBC Yellow Pads / Rhino Rack Platform & KMS A Frame Hoop / JW Speaker J Series Head Lights, Fog Lights, Tail Lights / AEV Tire Carrier / My Build
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:55 PM   #41
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Thanks, Steven. Still gearing up for a trip to Moab this year, we'll see how the work travel schedule works out...lots of travel coming up. I was in SoCal a month ago on business and made a quick trip out to Joshua Tree Park and Mojave Desert...man do I wish I had the jeep! I may have to put a trip out there with jeep on the bucket list.
Nice to hear you're heading to Moab this year, an incredibly place and once you've wheeled, you get a whole new respect for your Jeep.

I think we should keep adding great places to wheel our Jeeps to our bucket lists and plan on checking them all off.

What's next for your build?


-Steven
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~2016 Hard Rock~Auto~4:88~JWSpeaker~Recon~Banks Ram-Air~~Mopar Performance BBK~MetalCloak 3.5" GC/Falcon 3.3~Method M106BL~37" Nitto R.G.~TeraFlex HD Carrier~VPR 126-S-S~Warn M8000-S ~KMS Lo-Pro Mod~
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:51 PM
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Nice to hear you're heading to Moab this year, an incredibly place and once you've wheeled, you get a whole new respect for your Jeep.

I think we should keep adding great places to wheel our Jeeps to our bucket lists and plan on checking them all off.

What's next for your build?


-Steven
That's a loaded question...plans for this summer:

FRONT
1) Poison Spyder Bruizer - Grille Width: I'm still debating on grille width or mid width. I think I like the looks of the grille width better, but it's difficult to get an exact perspective from pictures on the forums/internet.
2) Poison Spyder Bruizer Front Skid: Finishes off the bumper nicely with a little added protection for the electronic swaybar disconnect motor.
3) KC Gravity LED G34 fog lights: Perfect fit with the bruizer bumper.

RECOVERY
1) Warn Zeon 10s winch: Need to start thinking about a recovery solution and this seems like a good fit. Will mount nicely into the bruizer bumper.
2) Factor 55 Fairlead: Going with the 1.5" to provide a little more protection for the synthetic rope and heat dissipation.
3) Factor 55 FlatLink: Need something…plenty of other alternatives but will start with this. Or, if money is burning a hole in my wallet the Ultrahook
4) Gator-Jaw Synthetic Shackles: I like the idea of using synthetic rather that steel for strength and safety. For looks may pick up some steel shackles.
5) Factor 55 Shorty Strap: Just because it's good to have options for a recovery situation.
6) Factor 55 Tree Saver Strap: Be kind to mother nature!

FLARES & ROCKERS
1) Nemesis Industries Odyssey Front Flares: Love the look and receives great reviews.
2) Nemesis Industries Notorious Dovetail Rear Flares: Perfect match, will align well with rear bumper
3) Nemesis Industries Inner Fender: Clean up the front wells
4) Nemesis Industires Billy Rocker Kit: Tough rockers that look good and fits well with the flares

REAR
1) Poison Spyder Bruizer: Brings it all together
2) KC Gravity LED G34 fog lights: Perfect fit with the bruizer bumper.

UNDER - not fully decided
1) Rock Hard 4x4 Oil/Transmission Skid
2) Rock Hard 4x4 Transfer Case Skid
3) Rock Hard 4x4 Gas Skid
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:07 PM
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Had a few minutes to install the new rocker switches from OTRATTW. My boys and I thought they were pretty cool, my wife did the 'are you serious' eye roll. Success!

Hopefully I will have the light bar and A-pillar lights hooked up in the next week or so. Plan to also tackle a rear camera system at the same time...need to get something back there.

A few pictures of the switches

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Old 05-10-2019, 06:37 PM   #44
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That's a loaded question...plans for this summer:

FRONT
1) Poison Spyder Bruizer - Grille Width: I'm still debating on grille width or mid width. I think I like the looks of the grille width better, but it's difficult to get an exact perspective from pictures on the forums/internet.
I think stubby (grill width) is best if you like the look. If you ever go to flat fenders some might not look good with a mid width. I made that mistake and ended up buying a second stubby bumper.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:15 PM
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Backup Camera and USB Power

I was hoping to get the KC lights installed this weekend, but I’m a little indecisive in how I want the A-pillar lights installed. Ideally, I want them installed on the inside of the KMS hoop but the KC brackets I have won’t fit in that spot due to the tube. I could outside mount them, but the KC brackets would require me to drill into the side of the KMS hoop frame.

So, I decided to get the KMS Kat Walk . I’m not a huge fan of the looks, but it gives a good mounting spot for the lights...or a good place to stand if stuck outside the jeep during the zombie apocalypse. We’ll see…worse case I’ll custom fabricate and powder coat brackets to fit just inside the tube of the hoop.

Anyway, that wasn’t going to slow me down this weekend. I figured it would be good to hang out with the jeep while contemplating lights, so I tackled a few other projects. First on the list was installing a backup camera. Rather than dealing with a dealer flash for the backup camera I decided to go with the PAC BCI-CH21.

In addition to the rear view camera flash, it also allows for viewing of the camera while driving as well as access to the NAV and video playback while moving. Kind of cool features, but probably not entirely necessary. I was able to get all the hard wiring done, but I needed to custom fabricate a bracket and wasn’t able to get it painted in time. Final camera install will need to wait until next weekend.

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It actually looks worse than what it is...pretty easy to run the cable

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And back to OEM looks

While I had the dashboard apart to connect the BCI-CH21, I decided to install a USB power port on top of the dash. I had already installed Vector Offroad’s Dock and thought it would be great to have a place to plug in devices on top of the dash for better cable/power management. I found a great spot with just enough room to the right of the instrument cluster. I purchased the USB connector from Genesis Offroad . It was a little hit and miss on the measurements as it’s a pretty tight fit, but nailed it the first time. I figured worse case I’d buy a new dash…ugh!

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Ran the cable behind the cluster and mounted just to the right...tight fit but there's room!

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Looks good and functional!

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Easier and cleaner cable power management for Vector's Dock

Overall a pretty productive weekend. The KMS Kat Walk should arrive this week, so I’ll tackle lights next week and finish off the backup camera.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:01 AM   #46
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I was hoping to get the KC lights installed this weekend, but I’m a little indecisive in how I want the A-pillar lights installed. Ideally, I want them installed on the inside of the KMS hoop but the KC brackets I have won’t fit in that spot due to the tube. I could outside mount them, but the KC brackets would require me to drill into the side of the KMS hoop frame.

So, I decided to get the KMS Kat Walk . I’m not a huge fan of the looks, but it gives a good mounting spot for the lights...or a good place to stand if stuck outside the jeep during the zombie apocalypse. We’ll see…worse case I’ll custom fabricate and powder coat brackets to fit just inside the tube of the hoop.

Anyway, that wasn’t going to slow me down this weekend. I figured it would be good to hang out with the jeep while contemplating lights, so I tackled a few other projects. First on the list was installing a backup camera. Rather than dealing with a dealer flash for the backup camera I decided to go with the PAC BCI-CH21.

In addition to the rear view camera flash, it also allows for viewing of the camera while driving as well as access to the NAV and video playback while moving. Kind of cool features, but probably not entirely necessary. I was able to get all the hard wiring done, but I needed to custom fabricate a bracket and wasn’t able to get it painted in time. Final camera install will need to wait until next weekend.

Attachment 4151551
It actually looks worse than what it is...pretty easy to run the cable

Attachment 4151553
And back to OEM looks

While I had the dashboard apart to connect the BCI-CH21, I decided to install a USB power port on top of the dash. I had already installed Vector Offroad’s Dock and thought it would be great to have a place to plug in devices on top of the dash for better cable/power management. I found a great spot with just enough room to the right of the instrument cluster. I purchased the USB connector from Genesis Offroad . It was a little hit and miss on the measurements as it’s a pretty tight fit, but nailed it the first time. I figured worse case I’d buy a new dash…ugh!

Attachment 4151555
Ran the cable behind the cluster and mounted just to the right...tight fit but there's room!

Attachment 4151557
Looks good and functional!

Attachment 4151559
Easier and cleaner cable power management for Vector's Dock

Overall a pretty productive weekend. The KMS Kat Walk should arrive this week, so I’ll tackle lights next week and finish off the backup camera.
Really nice work getting the USB port on the dash



-Steven
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:59 PM
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Special call out to Gatlin at PSC Motorsports. These guys rock and stand by their product with excellent customer service. As well all know with our jeeps...we will run into some kind of problem with our upgrades. The real question is how do the manufacturers treat us as customers. I had a small PS fluid leak from the adapter fitting going into the PS pump. Without hesitation Gatlin took care of the situation with speed, professionalism and great customer care. I highly recommend PSC products for any type of steering upgrade you may be considering!
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Old 05-24-2019, 03:12 PM   #48
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Special call out to Gatlin at PSC Motorsports. These guys rock and stand by their product with excellent customer service. As well all know with our jeeps...we will run into some kind of problem with our upgrades. The real question is how do the manufacturers treat us as customers. I had a small PS fluid leak from the adapter fitting going into the PS pump. Without hesitation Gatlin took care of the situation with speed, professionalism and great customer care. I highly recommend PSC products for any type of steering upgrade you may be considering!
I agree, Gatlin is great to work with. I was by Max It Offroad today and saw your Jeep in a bay. She looks great in person


-Steven
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:46 PM
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I agree, Gatlin is great to work with. I was by Max It Offroad today and saw your Jeep in a bay. She looks great in person


-Steven
Lol...awesome and thanks for the compliment! A little dirtier than I like but it’s Spring. Hopefully lights go on this weekend. Katwalk from KMS arrived today. May try to get the wheel spacers on as well.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:16 PM   #50
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Lol...awesome and thanks for the compliment! A little dirtier than I like but it’s Spring. Hopefully lights go on this weekend. Katwalk from KMS arrived today. May try to get the wheel spacers on as well.
Happy modding Amigo! Our Jeeps are set-up in a very similar way.

I like to Genesis dual battery set-up you have. Planning on powering a fridge?


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Old 05-24-2019, 06:28 PM
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Happy modding Amigo! Our Jeeps are set-up in a very similar way.

I like to Genesis dual battery set-up you have. Planning on powering a fridge?


-Steven
Just picked up the Jeep from Max It Out. Gotta throw out props to Casey and the crew in the pits. Great shop that knows customer service. Since they installed my PSC system they covered the labor to fix the leak from the PS fitting. Difficult to find that kind of service these days.

Yep, that’s the plan. Overland gear is next on the list including a fridge. I also like the idea of being able to power ext lights on the Jeep at a campsite without needing to worry about draining main battery. Spod provides some safety with LV protection but with the Genesis you don’t need to worry about it because the system will let you drain the second battery completely without touching the starting battery. Highly recommended and only took a couple hours to install if you diy.

Todd
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:30 AM
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Backup Camera

Quick follow up on the backup camera. I've been running this for a little more than a week, and no issues. I wish the resolution was a little better, but we all know the limitations of the stock head unit. Regardless, I already feel much better having eyes at the six knowing if there's anything back there. The BCI-CH21 is working flawlessly after ironing out some issues with my splicing at the camera end of the equation. I do like the fact that i can activate the rear view camera without being in reverse, although you get a little vertigo driving on the highway at 70mph and looking behind the jeep. Couple snapshots of the system, camera and display.

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PAC BCI-CH21 and Camera


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Camera mounted...required some custom metal bending for the bracket

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Resolution isn't the best, but to be expected with OEM unit
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:59 PM
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Brake Switch

During the install of the rear camera system, I noticed that the third brake light was no longer working. Thinking that it was something I had done during the install, I began to tear apart carpeting and panels looking for a pinched wire.

About half way through disassembling and backtracking from the camera to the head unit, it dawned on me that it may be the brake switch. With the jeep only three years old, I doubted it but for a $20 part it beat ripping apart the dashboard again and 'reinstalling' everything. With the new switch in hand I did a quick swap....and....all good! So, to save someone else the headache, if your brake lights are giving you problems, check the switch first!

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Oh the headache this little guy caused!
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:12 AM
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KC Gravity Pro6 Light Bar with Single Gravity Pro 6 A-Pillar

In addition to the backup camera install a couple weekends back, I also tackled the Pro6 Light Bar and A-Pillars. Installation was fairly straight forward for the light bar. I purchased the tube mounts from KMS which made it a breeze to install onto the KMS front hoop. To customize install, I ran the wire inside the tube and out the bottom for a cleaner look. I also purchased some heavy duty braided sleeving to tone down the glossy sheathing already on the wires and to provide a little more durability to the Midwest external environments.

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Durable braided sleeving

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Drilled hole for light bar wiring

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KMS tube clamps made installation pretty simple


For the A -Pillars the KMS front hoop provided a little more trouble. I wanted the lights on the inside of the hoop and there just wasn't good clearance without fabricating custom brackets or drilling new holes in the hoop. To remedy the situation, I installed the KMS Kat Walk which provided a good mounting surface for the lights. It pushed them out a little further than I wanted, but overall they are in a good position and do not create any blind spot issues while driving. I also wrapped these wires in the new sleeving to match the light bar. Routing of the all the wires was fairly straight forward as was connection to the sPOD.

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Wire routing for A-Pillar and Light Bar

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Wire routing for A-Pillar and Light Bar
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:14 AM
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Light Security

In a few threads that I follow on the forums, I have come across a few questions around security of external lights. I thought I'd share my solution for anyone stumbling across my build. For the KC lights I simply purchased their keyed cap nuts as seen in the photos from the light bar - there is a similar keyed nut on each a-pillar light. While I thought I was pretty smart with this obvious solution, it was my wife that pointed out the KMS Front Hoop and Kat Walk were simply held in place by 10 cap bolts. All it would take is for two people to walk by unplug the connectors and with a drill and bit for the caps have the entire assembly off the Jeep in minutes. Ugh! So, while not entirely foolproof, I purchased security cap bolts that will require a special bit to disassemble the hoop and walk. Again, it may not prevent a determined thief, but hopefully it will slow them down or encourage them to move on.

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Keyed cap nuts from KC

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Security cap nuts for Hoop and Katwalk
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:19 AM
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Final Thoughts on Pro6

I'm very pleased with the new look of Saga. The lights definitely give her a more aggressive and trail ready look. Not that she was bad before, but I have noticed a lot more heads turning…especially from fellow jeepers. And the light output is unbelievable. I can't wait to fully utilize and test these in a remote location.

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Love the head-on look, time to change bumper and fenders!

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Side view isn't to shabby either

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Katwalk isn't as bad as I thought it would be

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Finished wire in hoop up top...need to clean it up a little
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:31 AM   #57
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I'm very pleased with the new look of Saga. The lights definitely give her a more aggressive and trail ready look. Not that she was bad before, but I have noticed a lot more heads turning…especially from fellow jeepers. And the light output is unbelievable. I can't wait to fully utilize and test these in a remote location.

Attachment 4155191
Love the head-on look, time to change bumper and fenders!

Attachment 4155193
Side view isn't to shabby either

Attachment 4155195
Katwalk isn't as bad as I thought it would be

Attachment 4155199
Finished wire in hoop up top...need to clean it up a little
Looking good Todd, really good! Did you curve the light bar or running straight configuration? What beam pattern are you running on the A-Pillar?


-Steven
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:49 AM
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Thanks, Steven. I'm running spots on the a-pillar. I'll turn them out slightly when on the trails for a little better peripheral vision. My thinking is that with spots on the pillars, running straight configuration on the light bar makes best sense. Need to play around with it though. How do you have yours configured?
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:04 AM   #59
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Thanks, Steven. I'm running spots on the a-pillar. I'll turn them out slightly when on the trails for a little better peripheral vision. My thinking is that with spots on the pillars, running straight configuration on the light bar makes best sense. Need to play around with it though. How do you have yours configured?
I radiused the two outside lights, which helps to disperse/spread out the light. The two outside lights are the 40 degree wide beam spread.

I ran these for about three hours into the night when we were on Steel Bender. I really like them. There's an easy on the eye illumination with the larger round PRO6 housing.


-Steven
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Buildit View Post
I radiused the two outside lights, which helps to disperse/spread out the light. The two outside lights are the 40 degree wide beam spread.

I ran these for about three hours into the night when we were on Steel Bender. I really like them. There's an easy on the eye illumination with the larger round PRO6 housing.


-Steven
Good advise. I need to find a nice dark remote place to work on aiming without blinding the neighbors sitting in their family room.

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