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Old 05-17-2018, 12:05 AM
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Son of Rumble Mobile- 13 JKU sahara

As I embark upon my quest to build the ultimate halfway decent Daily Driving Yet Adventure Surviving Vehicle I hope to share with the casual observer my triumphs and pitfalls along the way.

Please bear with me as I provide a back story to explain my goals and desires for this Jeep.

In the not so distant past man was faced with a catastrophic predicament, the grim specter of Y2K weighed heavy on the minds of many a brilliant leaders across multiple fields. The banks were afraid of a crash, the preppers were afraid of an apocalyptic hellscape to follow the crash. But the boys and girls at Ford (I know this is a Jeep thread, deal with it) had only one thing in mind. Give the consumer what they needed to survive the inevitable aftermath; be it business as usual or a road warrior like mechanized battlefield on the Interstate systems. In that year 1999 that the original Rumble Mobile (narrator tips hat in respect) was hand crafted by gifted artisans with the knowledge that it would have to serve its commander to the bitter end and that bitter end would be down a long line of vanquished foes and seemingly insurmountable obstacles bested.

This vehicle came to me in what many might for see as its winter years 7 years old nearly 100K miles on her, but I knew better, recalling those dire times surrounding the birth of the beast I took it and made it mine. Fast forward several years, a devastating attack from a ninja bike, a scrappy body lift, the scavenging of a rear end of a Katrina-fied fellow F150 that could not survive the waters but served happily as a metallic organ donner, and a significant cutting of plastic body panels. The Beast Rumbled its way to Colorado one of crucibles of off-roading where many of the weak are cast out to the bone yard. As the miles poured on and the tires got bigger and parts failed, more plastic was cut, but the engine ran true, and the wilds of the great Mt. Herman and Cheyenne; even sections of moab quaked in fear of the beast. It was here where I met a lifelong friend who introduced me to the realm of Jeeps, while no path was too ferocious that I could not go where he went, I grew envious of his solid front axel (IFS is the bane of an off roaders existence) and nimbleness, But you canít carry 3 dirt bikes in the back of a jeep so I scoffed and continued singing my steeds praise and trash talking his. From there my battered but victorious Rumble Mobile soldiered on and served valiantly for another several years on the easy farmlands of the Southeast near its home. However it soon became evident that a new vehicle would be needed as the second transmission start to give its doubts. At 310K about 170 on the second trans it was time to let her go. But like any Championship Winning Thoroughbred you donít just take it to the glue factory, you put it out to pasture where lives out its well-deserved retirement in peace.

Thankfully I had just the place and just the guy who needed a new hunting truck it was only fitting to give it back to him, since in high school he paid for half of it. So now the Rumble Mobile roams the fields and cruises with ease released from the slog of daily driving, but still giving happiness to whomever holds its reigns.

All this to say my need for capability was not gone, not at all, it was insatiable. I had at the tip of my fingers unstoppable power for over a decade. And No offense to the interim replacement jeep Cherokee, but it just was not cutting it.

So like a prize bull I decided to figuratively mate the Rumble Mobile with my buddyís jeep. Hence for the Practicality of a 4 door but the nigh limitless capability of solid front axel off road chassis would be my chariot. Didnít need to move that many dirt bikes and change in latitude meant snow and I wanted to keep my stuff dry, an open bed is not conducive to that. So JKU it was and I even got to keep that pretty blue color.

And now begins the ballad of the Son of Rumble Mobile!

Please stay tuned as the Rocky like montage saga unfolds and the jeep goes from scrawny scrub to ripped Ivan Drago defeating pumped swolemasterflex freak beast, that ideally gets better than 12 mpg. Feel free to comment and provide tips or ask questions. I am intimately familiar with the F150, and replaced the motor in my dadís YJ, but the JK is a new beast to me. But I look forward to the learning process just like I did before (hopefully minus the ninja bike attack).

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Old 05-17-2018, 12:07 AM
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attempting to add pictures


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Old 05-17-2018, 12:18 AM
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educated guess on picture adding

yeah I am not sure if this is working, but pics of the old warhorse. Rumble Mobile.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:35 AM
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Son of Rumble Mobile arrives

northeast does not mess around with snow like the childish flurries of Colorado that rarely stuck oustide of the mountains, but its also not the NORTH Northeast.


Keys to survival, this rig needs to be able to fit under a garage, seems like 6'8" is the magic number to be able to go wear any old sheeple car could go. got to temper the build to keep it more practical than the truck but just as capable.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:25 AM
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prepping the power

So a few years ago I bought a bunch of LED light cubes, 8 in total for a crazy deal on ebay. I had even bought some relays because thats what the forum gods said to do when installing lights. So I had several lights and a bunch of free floating wires ready to make a huge mess inside my engine bay and no real plan for switches beyond several randomly drilled holes in the dash.

However this build would have to satisfy the aesthetic test of my primary passenger, my lovely wife, who berated me for the mess of switches and wires hanging everywhere on the truck. No, Son of Rumble Mobile would have to be cleaner.

so after doing some digging I found a functional and approved plan. I found a kit called " Jeep JK Control Box - Electronic 6 Relay System Module - Wiring Harness Kit With FREE 4 Rocker Switch Mount" google that if interested its a solid product and honestly if you wanted to get all the same parts at autozone you may only save 50 ish bucks and not have a clean product.

the install was fairly simple and actually had some good instructions. as shown in the picture the relay box mounts out of the way. the system has you route its power through one of the fuses that only gets power with the ignition on, this can easily be changed, but i figured leaving the lights on would kill my battery, with the key in the ignition I don't think I will forget and leave them on. I didn't grab a good picture of it but you have to run a fuse splitter into the fuse box. there are ways it could probably be done to help with the water proof nature of the box, but realize it wont be perfectly sealed anymore. I will get a pic of this and post it later.

the other great feature is the a-pillar light switch setup, the switches provided are all lighted when drawing power so another quick way to know if your lights are on. It only has room for 4 switches, there are 6 relays available though so you can still run some extra switches if need be.

the wiring harness kept all the wires in a sleeve and it was cut to perfect length to get to the battery, a bit extra to run to the cab and A-pillar, but it folds out the way without much issue. I ran the wires to the cab through the jeep built in access point on the driver's side of the brake booster. had to feed it though with some long neck needle nose pliers.

the nice thing is that after installing it I was not committed to any lights but had the capability to quickly add on(which i did) as opposed to setting up a new system each time I added something.

In the pictures you can see that I have already added two sets of lights to the system running my red power lines. (I will get to these) kinda wish I had more insulation on them but from experience I imagine they will be fine.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:18 AM
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back up lighting

cruising the internets late at night often leads to misguided purchases, luckily these were dirt cheap off amazon. Got a pair of 3 inch LED generic off brand flush mount flood lights to light up a camp sight or assist in backing out on dark nights.

installed them a couple weeks ago, went fairly quick. had to cut the plastic bumper. didnt have a good dremel or cutting wheel, so I picked up this adapter for my drill. It worked, but I wouldn't recommend for prolonged use. It strained the drill and probably wasn't good for the bearings.




\\note to self: air cutting wheel needed for future use\\



I took the bumper off to get a better Idea of where the holes needed to be. After doing this I realized I didn't need to, but I wanted to be 100 percent the light cube would fit. probably would have been easier to cut the holes with the bumper mounted. note the plastic is about 4 inches thick above where the bumper sits on the crossbeam frame piece that the hitch is attached to... live and learn




Used my custom artisan made stencil to measure out the cuts

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Old 06-17-2018, 02:24 AM
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<img src="https://image.ibb.co/bJEGPd/bits.jpg" alt="bits" border="0">
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:26 AM
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[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:01 AM
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disregard the technical difficulties- Rear lights added

cruising the internets late at night often leads to misguided purchases, luckily these were dirt cheap off amazon. Got a pair of 3 inch LED generic off brand flush mount flood lights to light up a camp sight or assist in backing out on dark nights.

installed them a couple weeks ago, went fairly quick. had to cut the plastic bumper. didnt have a good dremel or cutting wheel, so I picked up this adapter for my drill. It worked, but I wouldn't recommend for prolonged use. It strained the drill and probably wasn't good for the bearings.

[IMG][/IMG]


\\note to self: air cutting wheel needed for future use\\

[IMG][/IMG]

I took the bumper off to get a better Idea of where the holes needed to be. After doing this I realized I didn't need to, but I wanted to be 100 percent the light cube would fit. probably would have been easier to cut the holes with the bumper mounted. note the plastic is about 4 inches thick above where the bumper sits on the crossbeam frame piece that the hitch is attached to... live and learn

[IMG][/IMG]


Used my custom artisan made stencil to measure out the cuts

[IMG][/IMG]

came out pretty nice, plenty of space inside the bumper for the lights.

[IMG][/IMG]

rough edges covered by the mount face of the lights

[IMG][/IMG]

If anyone it interested in doing this relativley simply mod I can get the exact measurements but I believe the lights with 23 inches on center, 12.5 inches from the center of the bumper to the center of the cut.

[IMG][/IMG]


Since the bumper was thick (1/2 inch-ish) I used Buildex's gift to mankind, Teks Self tapping screws. worked great.

[IMG][/IMG]

running the wires was also pretty easy too. there are small maybe 1/4 inch drain holes in the bumper just drilled these out enough so the few inches of protected wire that came connected to the lights fit snuggly right through them. worked great. ended up pretty nice I think.

[IMG][/IMG]

I would have liked for them to be spaced wider but looking at the bumper this was the best option for the lights I was working with. special note to all would be tinkerers out there, dont use door mat for a cushion while working. It may not be an approved use for said mat and penalties for such misuse could include but are not limited to a trip to marshals to buy a new door mat... you have been fairly warned.
that said it was a real back saver, but still had to do a fair amount of rolling around. a creeper was ordered shortly after this project was done.

end result:

[IMG][/IMG]


And they worked pretty good too.

"Aziz Light!!!!"

[IMG][/IMG]

"Thank you Aziz, that is much better"

any advice of critiques are invited, any questions as well.
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:31 PM
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building the garage too

Harbor freight had a beginning of June sale, or something like that. so I after fighting bumper bolts in tight spaces I decided to cash in the coupon and upgrade my ratchet game. snagged a 3/8 drive air socket. highly recommend.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:40 PM
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back saver

in light of the floor mat incident I also ordered a creeper. Which I also highly recommend. unlike my dads 40+ year old creeper, this one actually rolls and is comfortable. It also will pop up in to a little seat that you can still roll around on. its a product that is destined to put the whole creeper industry on its head. its called a Z-Creeper. only like 30 bucks off amazon. well worth it if you need a creeper.

[IMG][/IMG]

As shown here in stool mode holding up the front bumper. which leads to me next topic. New Bumper!
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:17 PM
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New Bumper!

Pretty excited about this purchase as it will lead to the oh so life saving winch. and of lesser importance more places to mount my old ebay LED lights of destiny.

This is an EAG (e-autogrilles) stubby bumper. pretty good deal 240 off of amazon, I just went back and looked for a link if anyone else was interested. but amazon said they were currently out of stock. In any case a google of the above will find it. arrived in a big sturdy box, all the edges had thick robber protectors and the box had plastic reinforcement. kept that stuff for later use for random jobs (unlimited possibilities)

as yall can see from the above post I go the front bumper off. the air wrench was incredibly useful since there was not a lot of room to work the bots that held the stock bumper on.

[IMG][/IMG]

The bumper came with the shackles you see here, and new bolts that just mounted in the same holes. if you happen to find your self in a weird front and back license plate state like I am currently in you will need to drill some holes to mount the front plate.

Over all the install was real easy and the bumper already has holes drilled for a winch to bolt on. which in next on the list.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:19 PM
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almost forgot

Those are the stock fog lights as well. the bumper came with hard ware to mount those as well. The instructions that came with the kit were also very straight forward and had pictures. (not that this is an overly cosmic undertaking, but it always nice when that level of guidance is provided) in addition to the reuse of the stock fog lights. There are tabs on the top bar for mounting lights. Which I did on another day but didn't take any pictures. I will add them later.

[IMG][/IMG]

The shackles also came with little rubber sound dampers so they are not knocking around on the bumper as you drive, which is nice. I tested the bumper with a scale, only weighs 54 lbs, so pretty light by bumper standards. which is what I was looking for as I am sure the winch will weigh a solid 80 lbs.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:48 PM
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Had my wife snap a quick pic from me. I added more of my ebay LED cubes on to the bar of the bumper. At the base of one side of the bar underneath the bumper there was a 3/4 inch hole drilled out, presumably to run wires through for the lights, but up by the mounting brackets there were no holes drilled in the bar.

[IMG][/IMG]

I drilled directly under bar, and only wide enough so the 8 inch factory rubber coated wires could fit snuggly though (I hope this will prevent water from getting in the pipe and making it rust)Everything was going well and it seemed like it was going to be a quick project, sadly I admit that it was not. It took me an embarrassingly long time to feed wires through the holes and all the way down out of the base. But through perseverance, determination and multiple coat hangers I go them though. It was east after that to route the wires to my harness and they are now controlled by 1 of the 4 switch that came with the A pillar set. One last thing I really liked about this bumper was the chrome plates they added on the end caps, serve no real purpose, but I liked the look.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:02 PM
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Question Question for any observers

I had great luck and no problems at all with my old ebay special winch on the truck. Survived being full time outdoors in freezing cold/snow and hot humid southern summers with torrential rainfall with no issue.

So I am not too worried about another bargain winch, more so one specific capability of said bargain winch.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/X-BULL-1200...19.m1438.l2649

not sure if the link will work to but they sell them on ebay. They have a wireless controller as well as a standard cable.

My question is, has anyone had any issues with wireless controllers like these I think it might be useful to have, make it easier to winch from the vehicle, or get behind a tree to help avoid any cable snap. the control box on my old winch was super simple, I am not sure how much this remote might complicate things and hence may the winch less survivable in the elements.

If any one has any insight I would appreciate it. Thanks
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:43 PM
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back from my work trip, got a bunch of stuff in the mail. not a hole lot of time to play with the add ons but was able to hop under the jeep and take the running boards off. not really sure what the point of these are since they are so high up that they arent useful. at the request of my wife (5'1") I removed them. They really only seemed to get muddy then transfer said mud and water to water pants we were wearing.

I think maybe went the lift and tires go on She will need something to help step up into the jeep, but i still dont like the stock solution.

I dont know if anyone else has a better off the shelf solution. My fabrication capabilities are limited in Jersey.
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:08 PM
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[IMG][/IMG]
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Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f314/so...a-2293682.html
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:19 PM
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with them off, didnt have time today, but that box has my new brake rotors and the jack stands I need to change them.
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Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f314/so...a-2293682.html
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:22 PM
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[IMG][/IMG]



ebay is having a good deal right now until 11pm pacific time. the code PRIMOSALE will give you 15% off up to like 100 dollars. still got a couple hours

cant wait till it gets here. just need the time to mount it up and replace my brakes.
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Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:24 PM
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deal is not just for winches its just about everything except for "tech" items whatever that means.
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Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:37 PM   #21
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Whoah Beechbum66 I noticed you posted this like 2 months ago and not one person responded? Well I'm responding, even though I have no idea WTH you're talking about LOL but because I own a 13' Sahara myself.

Uh..great build and...keep it up yeah!
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:01 PM
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Dude thanks for looking, I installed new brake pads and rotors the 110 k on the old ones was pretty rough the front we're pretty ugle looking, but not as bad as what I have seen on my old truck and my uncle's farm truck (used exclusively for towing) but still bad. Glad I got them replaced no more squeaking. Great test of all the tools I have been padding my workshop?? Work annex with. When I get back from my work trip I will post up some pics and my eclectic description of the project.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:05 PM
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Word from my bride is that my winch has come in and her 115lb self had to drag it's 80lb box inside. I am not worthy of such diligence to protect my toys. But excited to get that mounted and wired up as well.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beechbum66 View Post
Word from my bride is that my winch has come in and her 115lb self had to drag it's 80lb box inside. I am not worthy of such diligence to protect my toys. But excited to get that mounted and wired up as well.
Yes, lets see that winch when you get it mounted!
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:02 PM
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Busy at work and back to back work trips have prevented timely update, but I have been working recently. I put on new brake rotors and pads, rotated the tires, added some diff armor and the first part of a kayak rack.

got some pics for all a that coming with the individual writeups.
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Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:16 PM
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New Brakes!

I started to notice some squealing at stops, well more so acknowledged that the squealing I had been hearing was from me and not the car in front of me. The jeep was basically stock and I doubt the rotors had ever been changed as they appeared rusty at a glance and i don't think jeeps, as light as they are, burn up rotors very often.

so I snagged a full brake pad and rotor kit off ebay. Power Sports was the Brand that made the parts the ebay store was BrakeLabs. Got it all for $160, shipped quickly and very well packaged, They have also worked out great so far....so i would recommend to a friend.


I had toyed with getting drilled/slotted rotors for the hell of it, but decided not to because I wasn't sure if they would be bad with mud/debris getting clogged up in there.
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Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:11 PM
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Since I was changing the rotors and brakes I decided to rotate the tires. which was doable with 3 jack stands having 5 total tires, but I really need to find a 4th jack stand so i can let the whole jeep float the next time I rotate the tires.

pulles the tires off and saw that there was a decent bit of rust and corrosion, but not any significant cracking of warping of the rotor at least compared to past experience.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:15 PM
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Everything is a bit rusty, but not terrible. the rears needed a bit of WD40 to pull off.

[IMG][/IMG]

my rubber mallet came in handy to break the initial rust bond between the axel and the rotor.

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Old 08-15-2018, 02:25 PM   #29
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Given your climate that's about the amount of rust I would expect.

Looking good!
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:58 PM
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these little clasps were a pain, I tried to save them to maybe reuse, but was unable, basically tore them to shreds with the pliers just trying to take them off. I dont think they will be missed as I have noticed no issues since the replacement






The pads came off without much trouble I think I needed the 19 for the lugs, the 21 for the top bolts and an 18 for the bottom bolts of the calipers. I found this reversible impact at harbor frieght works really well and you get an 3 inch extension for regular sockets. had to use a breaker bar to get everything loose but it after that my air socket made quick work of the bolts. as always everything was metric.





some rust on the cylinder, cleaned it pretty good before reinstalling. the brake compression tool in the background was 5 dollars from harbor freight, I dont recommend it. it worked fine for the front brakes, but couldn't fit the rear brakes. I would look fro something else maybe that can come all the way unscrewed or has a different handle design. I was able to work around it using a C-clamp, but it would have been nice to have the actual tool work for all four brakes.



The new pads were nice and thick and I didnt compress the cylinder enough on the first brake, so thats something to watch out for.




Something significant to note for the rear brakes is that they are a drum/disk combination brake. The normal hydraulic system squeezes down on the disk and the hand/parking brake works the Drum. taking off the first rear seamed to be near impossible after significant beating and WD40 bathing/soaking I could just barely get it to wiggle. I was distraught and started looking for something that might be hanging it up had to consult my haynes repair manual to learn about the design of the brakes. Eventually I tried working the hand brake back and forth several times and that did the trick the rear rotor was able to slide right off.





before install of the new rotors all the surfaces got a good brush down from a wire brush to remove the old rust layer.... messy so I dont have any good beforr and after pics of that.





after putting on the new rotors, which look great, I torqued the nuts and bolts down with a harbor freight special torque wrench. I am not sure how accurate the wrench is but it seemed to do its job well at $20 its a steal for a good tool. I would reccomend it as well. I have rechecked all the bolts a couple hundred miles later and found not issues.





Overall after following the brake in instructions I am very happy with these brakes definitely feel better stopping power and no more brake squeal. Seem to be a good product, we'll see how long the pads last, at a fairly checp price i may use them again if they last a descent while.

other notes, I bought a pack of pad clips, but only ended up using 2 or 3 of them, the original clips stayed in place for most of the pads. the pack I bought was 19.00 for enough clips to replace them all. I think If i were a little more gentle I would not have needed to replace any. probably something you dont need to buy if you take your time a little more than i did.

The 3 ton jack posted below was another harbor freight buy, 79.00 on the 4th of July special. worked great and is tall enough to get the tires off the ground even when jacking from the frame rail. highly recommend it.



the rust I saw on the shocks has made me press with a faster time line to put a lift and fresh shocks on. more to come with that. I dont like see that rust.





the whole project took about 3 and half hours with some of that being clean up. in all a good day wrenching on the jeep and learning about the inner workings of my new to me vehicle, which is extremely valuable and time very well spent.

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1999 F-150 "The Rumble Mobile" - out to pasture
2013 JKU Sahara - "Son of Rumble Mobile" - building as we speak


Son of Rumble Mobile build link, updated every once in a while:
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f314/so...a-2293682.html
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