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Old 09-23-2014, 06:20 AM
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looks great! where did you get the aluminum inner front fender liners?
The Metalcloak front fenders come as three pieces and you replace the entire front fender, with no cutting. The inner fender, the aluminum one that you see, is part of that kit. They aren't cheap, but the quality and fit are top notch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=3cXbKTs_VHE

Jeep Wrangler TJ/LJ Overline Full Replacement Flat Tube Fenders

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Old 09-26-2014, 10:29 AM   #32
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clean, clean, clean. love what you have done with it.

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Old 09-26-2014, 11:34 AM   #33
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I usually don't like the dark blue color for Jeeps all that much, but this one looks fantastic. The metalcloak fenders also look so good painted. They'd never fly here in MA with our fender laws though. And looking through all your pics, I couldn't see any trace of rust. Come on, where are you hiding it?
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:16 PM
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I usually don't like the dark blue color for Jeeps all that much, but this one looks fantastic. The metalcloak fenders also look so good painted. They'd never fly here in MA with our fender laws though. And looking through all your pics, I couldn't see any trace of rust. Come on, where are you hiding it?
Hah.....I'm anal about that. I power wash, treat anything remotely resembling rust, then paint/undercoat everything underneath at least twice a year. It's a pain, but protects everything very well, and I have virtually zero rust!
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:21 PM
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clean, clean, clean. love what you have done with it.
I checked out your build. Nice to see a West Coast Patriot Blue Brother!
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:39 AM   #36
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I checked out your build. Nice to see a West Coast Patriot Blue Brother!
Thanks man! I'm getting there. I'm terrible to update the thread but progress is coming. Yup bought it in San Diego!
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:37 AM   #37
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Seeing your build makes me want to keep mine
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:47 AM   #38
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Great job. Thanks for posting. I just bought a 2005 LJ Rubicon and your build is great inspiration.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:42 PM   #39
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Great build thread...
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:21 PM
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Been a while since an update, so a little catch up here.

Stock (As I brought it home 6/13):




Phase 1 (Mechanicals refresh, lift, bumpers, tires, etc. (See early build)):



Phase 2 (Fenders, skids, rocker guards, interior upgrades, lift upgrade, etc. (See build history)):



Phase 3 (Half doors and soft top):




Phase 4 (Upgraded lighting):







.....more to follow......
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:57 PM   #41
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Hey in the first post you said that you are running 315/70R17s and then a few posts down you said you are running 35x12.5 17s.......I am curious which one it is. I know they are both 35's ....but I would like to use your jeep for reference. I was thinking about steeping up to 17's on my 35's, but am not sure which tire size to go to......thanks!
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:23 PM
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Hey in the first post you said that you are running 315/70R17s and then a few posts down you said you are running 35x12.5 17s.......I am curious which one it is. I know they are both 35's ....but I would like to use your jeep for reference. I was thinking about steeping up to 17's on my 35's, but am not sure which tire size to go to......thanks!


Tires are 315/70 17. This translates to approximately 35 x12.50 17.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:57 PM   #43
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Tires are 315/70 17. This translates to approximately 35 x12.50 17.
ok thanks!
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:30 PM   #44
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Best LJ ever. Love the way it looks and your parts list is amazing. You really put some serious attention to detail to this Jeep. I've heard only good things about the MC products especially the lift.
Which soft top are you using?
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:08 PM
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Best LJ ever. Love the way it looks and your parts list is amazing. You really put some serious attention to detail to this Jeep. I've heard only good things about the MC products especially the lift.
Which soft top are you using?
I'm obsessed with little details and did put a lot of studying and planning time, as well as labor, into this build, so many thanks for the complements.

Having installed lots of aftermarket parts during my life, I can say that MC is among the best 4x4 companies on the market today. Simply put, everything fits and works as it should, with no corners cut. Their stuff is certainly is pricey, but I wouldn't change a thing with regard to my choice to try their products. In fact, I can't tell you how many times people have been blown away with the amount of flex my short arm suspension has, how smoothly it drives/rides, and how nice it looks. Full disclosure, I'm not saying it's perfect, but it is a perfect intersection of cost and performance for my needs.



As for the soft top, I run the factory sunrider top in the Summer, along with half doors. In the winter the hardtop and full doors go on!
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:29 AM
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Been a while, so a few updates:

Put the Jeep on a diet:

I finally received my new UCF aluminum front bumper, aluminum winchplate, & steel hoop.







Removed existing bumper:


Prepped the new bumper (Painted the bumper black, and the winch plate and hoop grey):


Installed bumper and winch plate:


Installed winch and hoop:


Because the bumper didn't have light mount points, I had to fabricate a couple. Using a piece of 2" aluminum I:


Raw aluminum:


Cut, drilled, beveled edges, and rounded corners for bracket:


Test fit bracket:


Finished the cleanup, painted it gray and installed them:


Spooled up the winch-line and called it done!

- Original front bumper weighed in at 62.5lbs
- New UCF aluminum bumper weighed in at 24.4lbs
Total weight savings of 38.1 lbs on the front!

Before:


After:
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:37 AM
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Received my UCF rear bumper and did the install.

Bumper removed and frame cleanup


Prep and paint of new bumper



Install Bumper & tire carrier




Now I can open the tailgate and tire combo in one step...sweet!



- The original bumper/tire carrier combo weighed in at 96.6 lbs
- The new UCF combo weighed in at 65.1 lbs
Total weight savings of 31.5 lbs
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:40 AM
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Finished up the rear bumper adjustments this past weekend. So far, I'm super impressed with both the front and rear Undercover Fabworks (UCF) bumpers.

Pros (Front Bumper):
- shaved 38.1 lbs of weight off the front end
- increased approach angle (pulled the front bumper in flush with the frame rails)
- opened up the front fenders (went from 55" to 36" width)
- quality cuts and welds
- quality materials

Cons (Front Bumper):
- bumper was shipped with no packaging (resulted in gouging from shipping)
- required approximately one hour to clean up and prep for paint (due to gouging)
- no light tabs available
- no instructions for install

Pros (Rear Bumper):
- shaved 31.5 lbs of weight off the tail end
- quality cuts and welds
- quality materials
- pulled the tire in 6 inches closer to the tail gate
- dropped the 100 lb spare tire 8 inches, for a lower center of gravity
- I can see out of the back window now
- tail gate & tire carrier open with one motion

Cons (Rear Bumper):
- bumper was shipped with no packaging (resulted in gouging from shipping)
- required approximately one hour to clean up and prep for paint (due to gouging)
- top tail gate bracket interfered with tail gate vent (had to put 1/4" spacers between the tail gate and bracket)
- no instructions for install (since the rear was considerably more complicated than the front, it was a little bit of a challenge to figure out how it all fit together)
- cost (15% off, plus free shipping, makes it much more tolerable)

For an overall review, these are quality bumpers that are very functional in nature. UCF could definitely do a better job of packaging and providing instructions, but provided good customer support when I had questions. Also, Matt Walton, President of UCF, personally handled my order and modified the tire carrier to accommodate my 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern for the spare (normally it accommodates either 5 on 4.5 or 5 on 5), which he did for no additional cost. Matt did tell me that he has only sold a few of the rear bumpers, due to the cost. Bottom line, thumbs up for a very good product!

Front:


Rear
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:21 AM   #49
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Good looking jeep ! Keep up the good work.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:57 AM
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I've spent a fair amount of energy and time losing weight on the Jeep. As of today, the numbers look like this:

Sprung weight reduction totals:
-168 lbs (HiLift, Tools, & over loaded trailbox)
-38.1 lbs (Front Bumper)
-31.5 lbs (Rear Bumper)
-199 lbs (Hard Top)
-2.4 lbs (Spare)
Total = 436+ lbs

Un-sprung weight reduction total:
- 9.6 lbs (2.4 lbs ea. x 4) (Raceline Wheels & BFG KO2 tires)
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:06 AM
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I've been weighing the pros and cons of different wheels and tires, and finally settled on setup. In the end I went with Raceline wheels, wearing new 35x12.50/17 BFG KO2s. Even though the tires weigh 7 lbs each more than my previous 315/70R17 Duratracs, the wheel tire combo weighs 2.4 lbs less. The net result is a reduction in unsprung weight.

Old tire/wheel setup



New tire/wheel setup



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Old 05-29-2015, 05:57 PM   #52
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How'd you mount that fire extinguisher?
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:03 PM
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How'd you mount that fire extinguisher?
Used large black zip ties and the bracket that came with the extinguisher. Cheap, easy to do, and it's held up to 2+ years of abuse.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:57 PM   #54
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I've been weighing the pros and cons of different wheels and tires, and finally settled on setup. In the end I went with Raceline wheels, wearing new 35x12.50/17 BFG KO2s. Even though the tires weigh 7 lbs each more than my previous 315/70R17 Duratracs, the wheel tire combo weighs 2.4 lbs less. The net result is a reduction in unsprung weight.

Old tire/wheel setup



New tire/wheel setup



Love the wheels and tires. Where did you get them?
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:49 PM   #55
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Where did you get the Warn Locking hub conversion kit? LJ looks awesome! How are the BFGs compared to the Goodyears?
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:47 PM   #56
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Wow!! Great work man! I love it. I just bought another LJ after missing mine too much. I'll be working a build soon
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:46 AM
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I ran the KO2s in a variety of conditions over the summer, so thought I would share my experience thus far.

Tire specifications:
BFG KO/2
Size: 35X12.5R17LT
Sidewall Style: Raised White Letters
Load Range: E
Overall Diameter: 34.5"
Section Width: 12.5"
Weight: 66lbs

On road I'm running these at 35lbs and they are amazingly quiet. In dry conditions they handle extremely well with no noticeable flex or roll. The ride is surprisingly smooth for an "E" series tire. Under moderate rain they are sure footed with zero handling problems. However, in heavy rain they do have a tendency to "float" a little, so caution should be used in those conditions (this is really the case for any tire though).

Off-road, I put them through a variety of conditions and couldn't believe how well they performed. In this case I aired down to 12lbs and they handled, dirt, rocks, light mud, and thick gooey mud with ease. At one point I purposely tried to get stuck. To do so, I ran perpendicular to a nasty gooey ditch and placed both front and rear tires in the ruts. In between the ruts was a mound that was just shy of hitting my skid. I was able to rock back and forth enough to eventually pull myself out. In the rocks, I ran the sidewalls up against sharp rocks with no damage to the tires at all. In climbing wet rocky slopes they gripped amazingly well, with virtually no wheel spin.

Bottom line, these are not a mud tire, but they surpassed all my expectations and I couldn't be happier with the choice. Here are a few pics to show the tires, as well as the gooey mud!

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.







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Old 09-24-2015, 09:33 PM   #58
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I love this Jeep. Great job! Love the fenders
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:44 AM
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The obsession with weight reduction on the Jeep continues. As part of the latest round of changes, I removed the steel UCF transfer case and oil pan skids, which combined weighed in at around 96 lbs. In place of those I opted for the UCF aluminum skids, which weighed in at around 44 lbs. This netted approximately a 52 lb reduction in sprung weight.

So far, the weight reduction numbers look like this:

Sprung weight reduction totals:
-168 lbs (HiLift, excess tools, & over loaded trailbox removal)
-38.1 lbs (Front Bumper swap)
-31.5 lbs (Rear Bumper swap)
-199 lbs (Hard Top removal)
-2.4 lbs (Changed wheels & tires - spare wheel weight reduction)
-52 lbs (Steel transfer case & oil pan skid swap)
-40 lbs (Rear seat removal - weight estimated)
Total = 531+ lbs

Un-sprung weight reduction total:
- 9.6 lbs (2.4 lbs ea. x 4) (Raceline Wheels & BFG KO2 tires)

Here are the new aluminum skids installed:



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Old 09-25-2015, 02:43 PM   #60
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The obsession with weight reduction on the Jeep continues. As part of the latest round of changes, I removed the steel UCF transfer case and oil pan skids, which combined weighed in at around 96 lbs. In place of those I opted for the UCF aluminum skids, which weighed in at around 44 lbs. This netted approximately a 52 lb reduction in sprung weight. So far, the weight reduction numbers look like this: Sprung weight reduction totals: -168 lbs (HiLift, excess tools, & over loaded trailbox removal) -38.1 lbs (Front Bumper swap) -31.5 lbs (Rear Bumper swap) -199 lbs (Hard Top removal) -2.4 lbs (Changed wheels & tires - spare wheel weight reduction) -52 lbs (Steel transfer case & oil pan skid swap) -40 lbs (Rear seat removal - weight estimated) Total = 531+ lbs Un-sprung weight reduction total: - 9.6 lbs (2.4 lbs ea. x 4) (Raceline Wheels & BFG KO2 tires) Here are the new aluminum skids installed:
wanna sell those old steel skids? Lol

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