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Old 01-08-2020, 11:44 AM
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Scout: My First/Last JK Build

2013 JKUS, my first ever Jeep Wrangler. Iím the second owner and purchased it in 2017 as an unmolested example.

It came from the factory with some pretty decent options:

17Ē wheels
Tow package
3:73 gears
Alpine stereo
Power windows / locks
Remote start
Slush mats
Tinted windows
Chrome package (ugh)

Iíve been slowly learning all the capabilities and realized just how easy and fun it can be to start down the slippery slope of modifications. I mostly use it as a daily driver and weekend trail use for reaching the trail heads and camping sites in the Pacific Northwest. Mostly forest service mountain roads with huge pot holes and washboards in the summer while covered in snow and ice in the winter.

Iíve found it to be very capable in stock form but wanted to start with a few simple mods to increase the capabilities, safely and comfort.



Iíll be posting all the mods Iíve already done along with what has worked well and what hasnít worked out. Chime in if youíve done something similar, have questions, or went in a different direction. My goal is to learn, improve, and get feedback from this great community.

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Old 01-08-2020, 11:53 AM
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First up, the stock 130 alpine ďupgradeĒ had to go. After researching a bit I decided Iíd install the Alpine Restyle i207-WRA.

The factory radio felt like Iíd stepped back in time to the 1980s. No screen, poor sound, no navigation, no XM radio.

While the restyle upgrade was expensive at $1,100 (including the XM tuner), I wanted a big improvement and the reviews looked positive. So I placed an order with crutchfield and did the install myself. It went pretty well and I had to learn a lot about removing the dash trim. Once installed it was a huge improvement! It looked great and sounded better. Plus having CarPlay so I could get navigation onscreen was a bonus.

Ultimately I went back and added the parking brake bypass so I could get to the settings and camera while not in ďParkĒ with the brake on. Pretty easy mod.

Overall a win.

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Old 01-08-2020, 02:25 PM
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After a couple months of use, the Alpine headunit developed a delayed start. It would take 2 mins for the unit to wake up after starting the jeep. Flashing the maestro unit didnít help. After researching it seemed others had the same problem.

Crutchfield agreed to replace the unit. After receiving that and completing an uninstall and re-install itís been fine since.

I took the opportunity to install a BrandMotion 9002-8848 adjustable backup camera. Routing the wiring from the spare tire mount through the tailgate loom and under the trim all the way up to the head unit was a bit time consuming but worth the effort for the look of a factory install. I went with the adjustable mount since I thought Iíd eventually be upgrading to after market wheels.

I like this backup camera a lot. It has grid lines and can be viewed on the head unit via the ďcameraĒ menu button in addition to automatically when backing up.

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Old 01-08-2020, 06:01 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum! Nice to see a new build getting started.

You're right...a stock Jeep is super capable. Good luck with your mods



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Old 01-08-2020, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Buildit View Post
Welcome to the forum! Nice to see a new build getting started.



You're right...a stock Jeep is super capable. Good luck with your mods

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:43 PM
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Scout: My First/Last JK Build

After reading all the posts on how the factory rubber hood straps might snap, or how the hood might flutter in high wind, I felt like a more secure solution might be wise.

It seems the aluminum Rugged Ridge hood catches come highly recommended. Pricy but they look great and installed easily.



One less thing to worry about now.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:51 PM   #7
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Shiny! Looking forward to more pics and your progress.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:05 PM
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Shiny! Looking forward to more pics and your progress.

Way too shiny... working on de-chromeíing. Some of it easier to do than others.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:26 PM
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The new Alpine Restyle head unit is great but the sound is still lacking. Particularly the low end bass. Iíve got the factory alpine subwoofer but it really doesnít add much and I suspected it is underpowered.

So after reading up on what others are doing it seems a popular upgrade is to replace the factory sub speaker with a direct fit Pioneer sub speaker. Lots of great reading here:

Subwoofer Mod (replacement)
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/s...nt-921921.html



Following this guide, the Pioneer speaker was a perfect fit replacement and with the wiring adapters it was plug-and-play.

However it just still lacked low end punch. I suspected it had to do with the factory supplied Alpine amp and being under powered. So off to Best Buy to purchase an after market mono amp to drive the new sub speaker: Alpine MRV-500.

I wired it directly to the head unit pre-out and ran power via an amp power wiring kit I got on Amazon. The hardest part was running the 4 gauge power wire through the firewall and directly to the battery (with a proper fuse setup).



Once that was done I needed to mount the new amp and decided to place it under the passenger front seat after fashioning a bracket using metal shelving parts I purchased from Home Depot.

After getting everything in place I can enthusiastically say wow. Itís made a huge difference and music sounds the way it should. You can feel the low end not just hear it.

Donít be intimidated to do this yourself or by the size of the 8 inch Pioneer sub. It really thumps with 500 watts of power.

Another win!
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:40 PM
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Scout: My First/Last JK Build

Time to de-chrome the front end and complete a few more mods: That chrome grill had to go. I was able to locate a black matte Mopar replacement. So much better now.



While installing that it was a good time to take care of a few other mods:

1. A wire mesh black grill radiator guard:


2. A Bolt hood lock keyed to the factory key. It installs with rivets so I had to pick up a rivet tool from harbor freight to get this installed.


3. Procomp LED headlights. These were a huge improvement in brightness and in spite of the current problems others have experienced with these in the bright settings. Mine have worked flawlessly so far.


4. LED fog lights from Xprite. These were direct plug-and-play replacements and although inexpensive at $40 USD, they have continued to hold up well.


Glad to get these fairly inexpensive upgrades knocked out.

Now to figure out how to de-chrome those side mirrors and door hinges. It might be easier to just replace them.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:44 PM
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Itís lift time. After agonizing over which lift to choose and narrowing it down to either Teraflex or AEV, I settled on the AEV 2.5Ē Dual Sport. After reading (a lot) it seems most are happy with ride quality as a daily driver, yet it also performs well off road. Since this is my daily driver it was important that it be well behaved around town. AEVís reputation won out even though it was more expensive, and probably overkill for the kinds of off-roading I do on forest service roads to get to trail heads. But I figured buy once cry once.

Since I donít have the space to install this on my own I decided to have the good folks at Northridge do the install for me. While in the shop I wanted to upgrade the wheels and tires as well.

I ended up with Procomp 17Ē wheels with BFG 35ís at each corner plus the spare. This of course required an upgrade from the stock carrier to the Teraflex tire carrier.

It all came together for a dramatic change in the look and performance. It took a solid 10 hours in the shop to get everything installed and the reprogramming done. Northridge did a fantastic job and even used a paint pen to mark the bolts for later inspection.

Iím really pleased with this lift and tire combination. Itís road manners with the added geometry brackets are impressive. Over all I gained 3 inches of lift plus another 1.25 in tire height.
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