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Discussion Starter #1
Welcome to my asphalt daily drivin, school kids luggin, latte chuggin, soccer Dad JKU build!

Got my 2016 Billet Silver 75th JKU a while back. LOVE the 75th but I admit after a while I started to miss some of the convenience features my prior Lexus RX had from a smooth suspension, bi-xenon lights, parking and lane assist, premium sound, and so on. Sure, I could have just gotten another RX but where is the fun in that?



This build is going to chronicle my add-ons meant to improve the driving experience for my wife and I during our daily carpool to work, our weekend hauls with the kids, and our trips to soccer practices/games, all the while maintaining an all-around fun vehicle to drive.

Apologies for going overboard on the posts. This was a backlog of all my installs for the past couple of years and I decided to just dump it over to this topic. Thanks for looking! :drinks:

**Many thanks to the useful topics and tips from members on this forum in which I got my ideas and inspiration from! **
 

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Exterior add-ons

Jeep Wrangler JK 3M PRO Series Paint Protection Clear Bra Kit
-The first thing I slapped on the JKU, I ordered the front end kit off ebay and made sure it was at least a 3M quality material. The install was fairly easy and a heat gun helped to mold it to the power dome hood. This will protect the front end from stones and debris. I've had situations where I've hit large debris on freeway drives and the clearbra totally saved it.


CarPros Cquartz Ceramic Paint Protection
-When I first heard of ceramic paint protection, I thought it was a gimmicky fad. But after experiencing it first hand, I realized what the rage was about and how outstanding this nanotechnology is. I admit it is alot of work where most of it is prepping the surface but since the JKU was new, I was able to skip the paint correction step to save some time. After a day of prepping, I applied about 3 coats of the Cquartz and finished off with their Reload sealant. Now water just rolls off the paint surface and dirt simply sprays off. This now also speeds up the washing process tremendously!


Also, you should look into getting a foam cannon. Helps washing the car twice as fast. Plus the kids get in on the fun of washing the jeep now since they get to have a foam party.


Mopar Fuel Door 82214793 (Recon)
-I noticed the Recon has a different style fuel cap with the raised notch on the end made a difference on the look. The one important tip I have is to be careful pulling the current gas tank cover tabs from the frame as it can tug and bend/warp the vehicle metal hole cutout a bit therefore it won’t be a complete flat surface for the new fuel cover to sit on. I had to carefully remove the housing again and used a wooden broom end to roll the cutout edges flat again (wood lowers chances of damaging the paint). Now the fuel door sits flat and looks great! I should have installed this sooner.


Barricade Rock Sliders
-Since the 75th is equipped with rock rails which I like but the wife and 7yo daughter were struggling to climb into the JKU. I liked that the Barricade was able to mount under the existing factory rails. I like the angle of the slider makes it look flush with the factory rails. Now the girls have a little help climbing into the JKU.




2017 Factory LED Headlight
-It's no surprise the factory halogen headlight output is weak. Unfortunately the new factory LED headlights did not roll out until the 2017 models. After a few tries with some aftermarket LED headlights, I was never satisfied with their light output. Then I was finally able to catch a great deal on a combo set of the 2017 factory led headlights and fogs (for 10a/75a bumpers) from the dealership I couldn't pass it up. I paid to get the 5SX flash and the led worked perfectly with no issues. What a difference the headlight makes on output and imo the best headlight option.


2017 Factory LED Foglight, Headlight Revolution
-Unlike the sales code 5SX flash addressing the flickering for the led headlight, the LNV sales code did not fix the flickering on the factory led fogs. So I had to go aftermarket to find a solution. I went with the Headlight Revolution af (part# JW-CAPJK-JEEPFOG) and it solved my problem. More info found here on my write-up


https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/2017-factory-led-fog-light-af-harness-2013274.html

Rugged Ridge Hitch 11.580.51
-My JKU did not have the tow option so figured I'd add a hitch in case I ever needed to use my bike or cargo rack. To be honest, price was the factor in choosing the Rugged Ridge over the Mopar offering. Installation was straightforward and looked great with the Jeep rubber cap.


Blind Spot Mirror - Cardeco Slim
-The lane assist feature on my RX was a helpful aid for lane changes or be more alert of my surroundings. A blind spot mirror (bsm) would help address that but I wanted one that would blend in with the rearview mirror and look factory. I found a slim rimless one on amazon and it was a good fit on the bottom corner and had a factory look. It even proved useful when I parallel park!




Window screen spline for Windshield Noise
-I had my windshield replaced earlier in the year and wind noise had started to become more noticeable when driving at high speeds or against a crosswind. The shop found no issues with the seal (obviously) so I was basically SOL. You can see the gap beetween the windshield and the a-pillar so air can get trapped in there at high speeds. A forum post mentioned using window screen spline. I picked up a few different sizes as each side of the windshield gap varied (from 0.14" to 0.25"). The noise above the center mirror is a bit quieter now. I do get some wind noise on the corner of the driver door near the freedom panel and that is due to the freedom panel seals wearing out (more on that below).




Reverse Light - JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright Max 50w
-Another simple add-on that brightened up the rear in dark situations.
BEFORE


AFTER
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interior add-ons

Mopar Hardtop Headliner
-I added this the first week. Easy install. I recommend lining areas with butyl sound deadening strips (i.e. dynamat, hush mat, noico, etc) before putting these up. Helps contain cabin temperature and noise dampening. Definitely adds visuel aesthetics to the interior than having a bare white ceiling.


Rockville 7" Dual Headreast DVD (RDP711)
-Whether it was a 30 min drive to the mall or a 4 hour interstate trip, having two kids fight in the back seat because their ipads ran out of juice or kids just being kids, this does not make for a fun drive. This setup was a good way to keep them occupied. Installation was straightforward with a swap out the factory headrests and wires drop down inside and under the seat. The headrests are much larger than the factory ones but blended in well with the black vinyl but overall I am satisfied with the outcome.


Metal Cloak Center Seat Support
-If you have an adult riding in the middle backseat, they may get a false feeling of being overweight from the seat sinking, but it's actually due to the cushion missing proper support on the bottom. Not sure why the factory decided it was a good idea to cut costs in this area. The inexpensive MC option solved this problem.




Rear Seat Recline Spacer Kit
-Another issue with the backseat is the back support is too high so somewhat uncomfortable. It was a PITA getting the bolt under the driver side out but breaker bar and cordless impact driver to the rescue. This was an easy fix which reclined the seat up to 3" with very noticeable difference in comfort.


Bolaxin Grab Bars
-I always forget I have it to use but it appears my wife uses it often since I installed the leveling kit and larger tires.


Kicker Speaker and Pioneer TS-T110 Tweeter Upgrade
-Another factory part that needed to go. Like the 2017 LED headlight swap, this upgrade had a dramatic change to the sound quality of the stereo. The sound is so much clearer and enjoyable. When I ride by myself, I can actually crank the volume above 20 and the speakers sound loud and clear and not like a crumbling paper bag with the factory speaker. This was an inexpensive upgrade to boot.




Brandmotion Backup Camera
-Another feature that I wish was standard (or even a factory option). Parking assist is so helpful especially in tight spots so I didn't mind spending a bit more to get this upgrade. I had the dealership flash my head unit before I bought the JKU so saved myself on the fee. It was basically plug and play once I ran the wiring and mounted it onto the spare carrier. Camera mounted great on the spare although I would have like that it had more adjustability (in/out and side to side) to accomodate wheels that may have the spoke in the way.


Xprite Dead Petal
-I never realized that this simple add-on was even needed until I found many members highly recommending it. Quick install and now I see what the fuss is all about. This thing just works for what it is.


To-do List (still sitting in the box):
-Gentex 453 Homelink rearview mirror - picked up this mirror a while back but haven't had the chance to install yet. I would lose my reading lights from the factory mirror but I don't recall ever using it anyways so it won't be missed. I also found another forum post where a user diy to repurpose a homelink visor module into the A-pillar so I may opt for that too.
-Mopar Freedom Top Replacement Seal Kit (68026937AB) - I found some occasional wind noise picking up near the top corner of my driver door near the freedom top area. The seals appear to be worn out already so I ordered this set but have yet to install it. I did test some weather seal around that area and the wind noise went away. Looks a bit rigged with the weather seal I used so the kit should address that. A bit pricey for the kit but will be worth it IF it gets rid of the wind noise.
-Gummi Pfledge Stift - Weird name. I picked this up to apply and re-condition the rubber seals around the JKU. Could be snake oil, I don't know, but based on other forum users, it works. So we'll see!

Wish List:
*Apple Carplay Headunit/Amp/SoundUpgrade - even with the Kicker speaker upgrade, I was still yearning for better sound. I agree with everyone the 430 head unit is the weak link and the uconnect is horribly slow. I like Carplay but waiting until Apple releases the ability to use Google Maps in their next ios update before I figure out which headunit to go with. Likely a 5 channel amp under the seat strong enough to handle the component speakers and a small woofer.
*JL Hood Latch Swap - saw a youtube video of an install and it looks great on the JK hood
*Mopar Hood Lock - I should probably get one of these sooner or later to secure my hood. You never know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Suspension add-ons

My daily morning commute is about 14 miles to downtown through the middle of a 3 year freeway expansion. So my crawling traffic road conditions includes a combination of beat up asphalt, potholes, construction debris, and rubbernecking drivers. Once you hit downtown, you're battling a series of washboard potholes and covered road construction. I kept telling myself in the beginning to keep the stock suspension as-is, but the sahara suspension was getting a beating and just not performing.

Rancho 9000XL (RS999326/RS999328)
-I swapped the stock (Sahara) shocks with Rancho 9000xl as I liked the ability to dial-in the various settings but it took me a while to find the sweet spot based on my driving habits. I finally settled with 5-Front and 4-Rear which worked well so far with my suspension setup. If I go with a spring lift upgrade in the future, I'll be looking at the Falcon 3.2 shocks which I have heard great things about.


Teraflex Leveling Kit
-I went back and forth on a puck leveling kit (Teraflex, AEV, Metal Cloak) or a quality spring lift kit with the 2.5/3.5" (Teraflex S/T2, AEV 2.5, Metal Cloak 2.5 Overland). Since I only needed enough clearance for a 33/34" tire, I didn't want to fall into a pit of additional costs to correct the suspension when you hit 2.5" and up. Install was half a days work but I am glad I did it. I like the finished look with no rake and a 1.5" total lift while retaining the current ride quality.


Hellwig 7706 Rear Sway Bar
-I hated when making turns or rolling over bumps the cabin begins to roll from the backside and wobble before rebounding. Took be a bit longer than expected to get the factory sway bar off even with the rear driver wheel off. But once I figured it out the Hellwig came on pretty quickly. I couldn't tell much difference with test drive around the block. It wasn't until my morning commute did I notice the rear feeling more planted when running over washboard contruction roads up 288N. The best noticeable improvement was when I drive up my work parking garage and make sharp turns up and around the corner the back always felt like it was being thrown around before rebounding but now I can feel the rear is firmer and rebounds quicker (since it isn't throwing around as much).


Quadratec 41 Bronze Wheels
-I loved the look of the 75th bronze wheels as it matched up with the bumper. Since I decided on larger tires, if I chose to mount it on the stock rims then it would require wheel spacers which I wanted to avoid. So the only way around this was to find a wheel with the proper backspacing. The new Quadratec 41 wheels was the answer. It comes in 17x8.5 with 5.2bs which according to Quadratec is equivalent to having up to a 1.75" spacer. The only other thing I was worried was how off the smoke bronze would match up to the 75th's bronze. Well I was surprised it was a pretty close match!




Nitto Ridge Grapplers 285/75r17 C
-I was pulling my hair out trying to decide between the 33" 285/70r17 SL rated or go larger with 34" 285/75r17 C rated size. On one hand the 33s are SL rated putting it close to stock and my 3.73 would easily handle it. On the other hand, the 34s would be on the heavy side and not sure how the 3.73 would handle it along other problems that may develop with the suspension. 33s would have been the economical choice but I didn't want to cheat myself and regret it so 34s it is! Geez what a difference these wheels made once mounted onto the 41 wheels. It looks much beefier than the stock Goodyears and definitely more aggressive. DTD installed it with 35psi so I drove home and it felt surprisingly good and close to stock. I noticed the steering was a bit stiffer due to the tire weight and size but nothing dramatic. I lowered the psi down to 33psi and will run with that for a bit to see how it feels.-




Teraflex HD Hinge Kit
-Before I got the larger tires, the cabin had developed a rattle in the rear during slow speeds and rolling over bumps. I eventually found my rear gateslow latch was the culprit. A quick fix was to adjust the latch bracket but the rattle slowly crept back. I figured the factory hinge would need to be swapped out with a heavy duty one anyways with the new wheels so I can kill two birds with one stone? I kept the stock tire carrier since since some users reported no issues using it and well I didn't want to burn a couple of benjamin's if I didn't need to yet. Install was straightforward thanks to the many youtube videos out there. New tires mounted with no issues with plenty of clearance to the 75a bumper and just below the brake light. Not only does the gate feel much sturdier now but the gate noise also went away.






Superchips 3571 Flashcal F5
-I got this for a great deal directfrom Superchips. A must-have so I can correct the speedo and shift points. Nice to have an lcd display to jump to get through the menus. Before the change, my speed was off by 4-5mph compared to Waze. After I set my tire size to 33.00" it appears to be within 0.5-1.0 mph now!


To-Do List:
Yeti Adjustable Trackbar - I'm debating if I should wait to install this all at once on the front when I get the Yeti Steering Linkage Kit as well so I can get the alignment done at the same time

Wish List:
*Amp Research Running Boards
*Hellwig 7749 Front Sway Bar
*Yeti Bottom Mount Steering Linkage Kit
*MC 1.5 or 2.5 lift springs
*Falcon 3.2 Shocks
*MC Geo Correction
*Teraflex Adjustable Tire Carrier
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sound deadening installation

I worked at a car stero shop way back in the college days so I was familiar with the usage of sound deadening for car stereo setups. However my purpose here is to address the heat emitted from the floors and also the road vibrations to the cabin. The upper headliners was an improvement but the floors and doors also needed to be covered as well. Make sure you have a free weekend because this project is extremely time consuming. Took me a total of 18 hours to complete from start to finish. If I had to do it again, I'd probably opt for 100% coverage with 2 layers.

Sound Deadening Cabin (3 Layers)


Layer 1 - HushMat 10400 Ultra Black Foil Damping Pad (56 sqft)


Layer 2 - Noico Green 170 mil Self-adhesive Closed Cell Foam Deadening Material (1/6'', 54 sqft)


Layer 3 - TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl MLV Soundproofing Barrier (40 sqft)



Sound Deadening Doors (2 Layers)
Layer 1 - Noico 80 mil Car Sound Deadening Mat (36 sqft)
Layer 2 - Noico Green 170 mil Self-adhesive Closed Cell Foam Deadening Material (1/6'', 18 sqft)




 

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FWIW almost all of your pic links are broken. AFAIK google doesn't work. Try shuutterfly or Nickpic to host your images :thumb: Or I suppose photobucket works again, but they lost me when the made their change.

Good luck!
 

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FWIW almost all of your pic links are broken. AFAIK google doesn't work. Try shuutterfly or Nickpic to host your images :thumb: Or I suppose photobucket works again, but they lost me when the made their change.

Good luck!
Thanks for the heads up! I fixed the links (I think). I just had to create a Shared folder in google pics and copy those url instead in order to grant the permissions to view them.

Good to go now. Let me know if you have any issues.
 

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Thanks for the heads up! I fixed the links (I think). I just had to create a Shared folder in google pics and copy those url instead in order to grant the permissions to view them.

Good to go now. Let me know if you have any issues.
Much better :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Love your mods. Nicely done. I also have a 75th and did some unique mods. Check out my build:
Thanks dpm7471. I actually have you to thank for your 75th build as you were one of my inspirations to get my build going haha. You build is so clean!
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Discussion Starter #15
Amp Research Powered Running Board

AMP PowerStep Running Boards - 75122-01A
I liked the original look of the 75th with just the stock rock sliders. Although the Barricade Rock sliders kept a low profile look, these were beefy and heavy, so I've always felt like it wasn't a perfect combo. Also, with the increase in height due to the addition of the leveling kit and large tires, it became more difficult for the girls to climb into the rig with the current setup.



I chose the Amp Research (AR) Powerstep because it was able to retain as close to the stock look as possible while reducing overall weight (aluminum) and help making it easier to climb into the jeep.

The install guide indicated 3-5 hrs install time...well it took me just over 8 hours, haha. The install required some drilling to fit the rear linkage but there were some major alignment issues upon the initial installation where the rear linkage was not straight. This required a disassembly of the kit to troubleshoot.

The alignment problem was due to the slight curve of the rear lower cabin by the pinch weld seams as they were not a straight line, go figure. AR accounted for that and included a few metal shims to help. 4 hours later, I got it as close as I could to being aligned enough to work and look proper. I think the AR install guide needs to add a few steps in the beginning (prior to mounting motor) to align the linkage brackets and running boards properly first. This would save HOURS of extra work having to take apart the setup and troubleshooting, especially when the instructions call to tighten each screw and you've already loctite each screw upon installation.

Another pain was getting the motor to mount to the linkage bracket. Reading the instructions and watching the install videos, it appears the motor easily slides onto the linkage while fully extended with the screw mounts lining up. That wasn't the case for me. I had to put A LOT of weight onto the linkage to fully extend it out just enough to barely insert the screw at an angle and wrench it in. What I did find later while troubleshooting was that it was much simpler to mount the motor properly once the linkage and running boards were mounted and aligned. The running board allowed more leverage to weigh and fully extend the linkage arm to slide the motor on. Clearance to mount the screws were a bit tighter since the motor was mounted but manageable with an extended allen wrench.



Overall, I'm happy with the outcome. Now my wife and daughter can easily hop in and out.

 

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Nitto's and TF Level Kit

How do you like the combo? Did you go springs or pucks....not sure I read that...

Anyway, love the build and your ideas have been extremely helpful as I am planning on taking the plunge this summer!
 

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Have you upgraded your head unit yet? I can't agree more about UConnect, so slow. Being able to use Maps and other aps on my iPhone directly is a priority for me.
 
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