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Hello Jeepers,

I recently purchased my first Jeep 2 weeks ago and am excited to get my build underway, I hope you enjoy this journey along with me. I can honestly say I was hesitant to buy a jeep, but my daughter who is about to get her license has wanted one forever and talked me into looking at them. After I actually drove one and started researching all the cool mods and builds, she had to say no more, I was a proud JKU owner. The wranglers are IMO the coolest SUV on the market. A bit pricey but you get what you pay for I guess.

I purchased a pre-owned 2013 Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara w/ the following options installed:

Auto Transmission
Remote Start
UConnect 730
Leather Seats (Saddle Brown)
18"x7.5" wheels
Jeep Slush Mats
AC w Auto Temperature
Front Seat Mounted Side Airbags
Alpine 9 Speaker w Sub
Freedom Top (Body Color)
Trailer Tow Group
Connectivity Group

I will upload the before picture soon.

I anticipate that this will be a 4-6 month build (I hope, these little add on's add up quick). In the past 2 weeks I have purchased the following but yet to have anything installed as I am getting boxes daily....

This I think is a good start..... I am a little light in the wallet after these purchases....

Zone 4" Lift Kit w White Shocks and Black boots
Zone Steering Stablizer White Shock w Black boot
5 Fuel Maverick 20x12 black machined rims
5 Federal MT 35/12.5/20 tires
Interior Wood Dash trim Kit (burlwood)
RR Black Headlight Bezel trim
RR Turn Signal Bezel trim
Mc Guard Anti theft door locks
Mopar Door Sill Guards
Jeep Trailer hitch cover
RR Dash Multi Mount Phone kit
SmittyBuilt Tire relocation bracket
Third break light extension kit
Mopar Freedom Top Panel Storage Bag
SuperChips Flashcal tuner
Mopar Wheel Locking Lug nuts
SS Clack Gas Fuel Cap door cover
Front Mesh insert Grille cover trim kit
AntennaX 13" antenna
Ops Armor Black Ceramic Coated Dual Exhaust
VDP Front Bumper Stubby End Cap
RR Black Aluminum Hood Latches
Mopar Tail Light Guards
Molded Rear Splash Guards
Warrior Hardtop Quick release kit

This is phase one of the build. To maintain my marriage (LOL) I will have to complete this build in phases and the above is Phase 1. I should have everything installed in the next 14-20 days. Still waiting on lift, rims, tires, exhaust and some of the little things.

Phase 2 of my build will include....

Paint front and rear bumper end caps, and mirrors to match the rig
HID Light Conversion Kit
NAVTV front and rear cameras
Hoist for removing the Top (if this bad boy can fit in the garage, it should based on my measurements)
Rough Country Rear CV Driveshaft
Headliner insulation kit

Phase 3 will include.....

SmittyBilt XRC Armor Body Cladding
Bushwacker Pocket Style Fender Flares (Front and Rear painted to match rig)
Rock Slide Engineering Rigid Full Front Bumper with Bullbar
Tuff Stuff xtreme 12500 lb winch w synthetic rope

And that should do it. If interested I can include purchase prices and vendors for all items in the event you are looking at any of these same mods.. just let me know. Again, I will upload the before picture but can't wait till I can upload the completed build. I am quickly finding out that this is a tight knit community (Jeep owners) and I am glad to finally be a part of it. I figured this out when I would be driving and whenever I passed a Jeep I would get a quick wave. I asked my daughter who was in the passenger seat do we know those people, she said no but everyone with a jeep waves at each other on the road around here. At that point I realized I did not just buy into a jeep but also a passionate community.

All the best.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I started my post by saying that this was my first jeep purchase. I was quickly reminded that was not the case.....
 

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I take it you won't be doing much off roading with 20" wheels???
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I take it you won't be doing much off roading with 20" wheels???
Hurricanehb,

I know my wheel/tire package is not suitable for heavy off roading. Being a complete noob to this whole Jeep Mod/Build idea I'm sure I will make plenty of mistakes as far as maximizing the possibilities of these SUV's, to be honest I got caught up in the "look" and not the off road functionality. Since I am not in the desert and don't have the luxury or the guts to tackle some of the extreme rock trails I have seen on here I was hoping this combo would allow us to just play in the Mud in a little bit. I would be really interested in getting feedback as to what to expect with 20's on 35's on mild trails. Last thing I need to do is get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no cell coverage with the wife, she will never go back (LOL).

I know this choice would not go over well with the hard core jeep guys. I was thinking about the possibility of getting 16's with 35's down the road as my off roading set but truth be told this rig will be 99% a Pavement Princess between my wife driving it and my severe back problems (all the more reason to have more rubber on the trails, if I can even handle it)

Thanks for checking out my build. Please give me any feedback. I am new to this.

All the Best....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
407guy,

Thanks for taking the time to post the gear ratio thread. I learned something new, I need 3.73's (LOL). I do know that when the jeep was purchased new it was a special order and it has every visable option for 2013, I am just praying the original owners ordered the rig with 3.73's. I guess my next stop is to the jeep dealership and have them run the vin so I can know for sure unless there is another way to find this out.

If the rig doesn't have the 3.73's do you think the Superchips tuner will make an appropriate adjustment where I would not fully lose HP as mentioned in the gears thread. When I reread the tuner specs it states that it will reprogram for tire size / gear ratio. I hope this works bc I don't have 1k right now after my phase 1 expenses of the build. This hobby adds up quick.

I do know my friend has a 2013 F150 with an 8" lift and 35's and his performance went way down as he never programmed the tire upgrade. He is currently getting only 9 MPG. Have no idea about HP because he never put it on a dyne. Cant blame him its a F150 not a Fords Mustang GT.

Thanks Again..... All the best......
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Congrats on the new rig.

What differential do you have, 3.21?

May want to change that with the lift kit and wheel/tire package you have.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/gear-ratio-3-21-vs-3-73-a-264114.html

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407Guy,

There is a free site that list your actual build sheet with all added options by inputing your VIN. I am happy to report mine was ordered with a 3.73 differential. I am just loving this jeep more and more. This was a major relief.

For those who purchased pre owned jeeps and are interested in finding out what your build sheet looked like with all installed options do the following:

In your browser enter the following website www.jeep.custhelp.com on the left hand side you will see an "Equipment Listing" tab under "Your Vehicle" enter your VIN number in the VIN box then press search. There you have it, best part, its free.
 

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The 3.73 will definitely be better than the 3.21, but most "street" rigs tend to run 4.10 or 4.56 with 35s, at least 4.10s 3.73 would be better for 33 inch tires.

You seem like a very nice person who is just trying to enjoy their Jeep. It is perfectly ok not to be a "hardcore crawler" - so long as you build your rig correctly for what YOU need it to do. And doing mods for looks is absolutely ok. A few comments and questions or food for thought tho on some of your choices as I suspect they may not make it as enjoyable for you:

A 4 inch lift is way more than you need for 35s. That is enough height that you need to be very aware of driveline issues and driveshafts going sooner rather than later (on a 4 door, it will most likely be the front to go first rather than rear). You also may have steering issues. If you have a bad back, not sure what led you to 4 inches? I dont know exactly which kit you bought, but at 4 inches you are in the territory that even on a 4 door would pretty much need control arms or drop brackets (I am not sure if drop brackets will correct enough at that height - I never investigated them much as I went with control arms) to eliminate flighty steering and other issues. I would strongly reconsider that lift if you can return it. I am not familiar with Zone other than they are lower price point including shocks - the last thing you want at 4 inches. Truthfully for what you indicate you plan to do with your rig, I would have instead looked at Rough Country puck lift or Teraflex Budget Boost in the 2.5 inch range. These are not very expensive - like $200-300 plus shocks or adapters. Rancho shocks are nice, and I believe they currently have their spring rebate going on. A puck lift will treat you better than a cheap spring lift for certain. The factory steering stabilizer is fine - you dont really need a new one.

At minimum if you stay with the 4 inches you are going to need heavy duty grab handles. Garabars are really nice and very sturdy. And you will probably need an exhaust spacer. Does your 4 inch kit include brake lines and bump stops?

I know little about tires, but can you really put a 12.5 tire on a 12.0 wheel? 35s are not ideal "daily driver" material for something that is 99% street rig. If I found the right tire, that is an offroad load range E mud tire. It is not going to drive like a passenger AT tire - not even close. Just be aware of that. You will need a new tire carrier with 35s. I would not do 35s with a tire relocate, 33s maybe. A temporary option is ratchet it down in the cargo area. You just got your rig, I am sure you dont want to be bending the tailgate and popping welds there.

For those middle of nowhere places, google Spot Gen 3. It is a satellite device that will work where you have no cell coverage and allow you to send text or email messages to people if you are running late/broke down/need help. It will even bring out the emergency responders (sheriff, helicopters etc) as it has a button that goes direct to a 911 center. It automatically transmits your GPS coordinates with the messages. You can even set it up so that folks at home can click a link and follow exactly where you are while you are still on the trail.

Good luck with your build and look forward to more pictures! I really like the leather seats with the black exterior.
 

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The 3.73 will definitely be better than the 3.21, but most "street" rigs tend to run 4.10 or 4.56 with 35s, at least 4.10s 3.73 would be better for 33 inch tires.

You seem like a very nice person who is just trying to enjoy their Jeep. It is perfectly ok not to be a "hardcore crawler" - so long as you build your rig correctly for what YOU need it to do. And doing mods for looks is absolutely ok. A few comments and questions or food for thought tho on some of your choices as I suspect they may not make it as enjoyable for you:

A 4 inch lift is way more than you need for 35s. That is enough height that you need to be very aware of driveline issues and driveshafts going sooner rather than later (on a 4 door, it will most likely be the front to go first rather than rear). You also may have steering issues. If you have a bad back, not sure what led you to 4 inches? I dont know exactly which kit you bought, but at 4 inches you are in the territory that even on a 4 door would pretty much need control arms or drop brackets (I am not sure if drop brackets will correct enough at that height - I never investigated them much as I went with control arms) to eliminate flighty steering and other issues. I would strongly reconsider that lift if you can return it. I am not familiar with Zone other than they are lower price point including shocks - the last thing you want at 4 inches. Truthfully for what you indicate you plan to do with your rig, I would have instead looked at Rough Country puck lift or Teraflex Budget Boost in the 2.5 inch range. These are not very expensive - like $200-300 plus shocks or adapters. Rancho shocks are nice, and I believe they currently have their spring rebate going on. A puck lift will treat you better than a cheap spring lift for certain. The factory steering stabilizer is fine - you dont really need a new one.

At minimum if you stay with the 4 inches you are going to need heavy duty grab handles. Garabars are really nice and very sturdy. And you will probably need an exhaust spacer. Does your 4 inch kit include brake lines and bump stops?

I know little about tires, but can you really put a 12.5 tire on a 12.0 wheel? 35s are not ideal "daily driver" material for something that is 99% street rig. If I found the right tire, that is an offroad load range E mud tire. It is not going to drive like a passenger AT tire - not even close. Just be aware of that. You will need a new tire carrier with 35s. I would not do 35s with a tire relocate, 33s maybe. A temporary option is ratchet it down in the cargo area. You just got your rig, I am sure you dont want to be bending the tailgate and popping welds there.

For those middle of nowhere places, google Spot Gen 3. It is a satellite device that will work where you have no cell coverage and allow you to send text or email messages to people if you are running late/broke down/need help. It will even bring out the emergency responders (sheriff, helicopters etc) as it has a button that goes direct to a 911 center. It automatically transmits your GPS coordinates with the messages. You can even set it up so that folks at home can click a link and follow exactly where you are while you are still on the trail.

Good luck with your build and look forward to more pictures! I really like the leather seats with the black exterior.
Thanks for the post MommyMallCrawler. I love the handle BTW. Also, I really got a lot out of your post and that you for really taking the time to explain your experiences and rational. If it is not that obvious yet, I have a lot to learn and am realizing I probably needed to even more research than I did. Instead, I read several reviews went for "looks" and basically went crazy ordering stuff on ebay, albeit, I did you for the most bang for the buck.

Since I am finding that every mod adds up in price I am going to cross my fingers and hope that the 3.73's meet my expectations for the time being. Good to know about the potential problems with the front drive shaft with 4" lifts. Do you think in your opinion that the front drive shaft will hold its own on a "Pavement Princess" rig with the occasional mild off road adventure?

As far as a 4" lift, well this is pretty stupid of me but I figured a 3" lift would work great but I can get another inch for an additional $100. I was thinking 1" isn't that high, no big deal. Not to mentioned this rig is based in Texas where the big lifts seem like the norm. Again, ignorance, as I was unclose next to a rig today that will mimic the size of my build. It looks pretty massive. Considering my back issues and the overall height of the rig it looks like the Amp Research Powerstep is in the near future. I will sell my factory running boards to offset the cost, need to see what I can get out of those factory running boards, any idea???

I have been blessed with 2 left hands and some medical problems so my install ability will be limited to peeling tape to install the door sills and unscrewing 8 screws to install the rear light guards. Luckily, we have a mechanic in the family, my Nephew has offered to do a lot of the mods. I will be on hand for moral support and in charge of handing him screwdrivers, ratchets, etc. I will be the equivalent of a "Su Chef" and try not to be over his shoulder too much while the rig is in pieces.

I also have the factory grab handles which you mentioned that need to be installed. Again, thanks for the post MMC.

Happy Wheeling..... All the Best....
 

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As far as a 4" lift, well this is pretty stupid of me but I figured a 3" lift would work great but I can get another inch for an additional $100. I was thinking 1" isn't that high, no big deal. Not to mentioned this rig is based in Texas where the big lifts seem like the norm.
At 4" you've crossed a line (3-3.5") that requires MORE modification. Mainly front/rear drive shafts. It also makes the vehicle more top heavy and prone to poor handling in windy conditions. Your Jeep, your call. Just trying to make you aware. :thumb:
 

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Move the front bumper and winch to mod number one. Remember big lift and big tires. = big stuck . Small tires no lift no where near as bad. Other than that build away.
 

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At 4" you've crossed a line (3-3.5") that requires MORE modification. Mainly front/rear drive shafts. It also makes the vehicle more top heavy and prone to poor handling in windy conditions. Your Jeep, your call. Just trying to make you aware. :thumb:
Thanks for the input blue, well noted, your comment, I am learning is spot on. I am hoping the steering stabilizer helps with the handling issues you mentioned. I hope my rig doesn't not turn into a "Garage Queen" before I have the funds for the driveshafts.

And when I traded my 6-series in 2 weeks ago I was telling my wife, won't this be great every time we take the new rig to the dealership it won't cost us $1k. Well I guess I was kinda right. Learning quickly that when one buys stuff for the "look" there are way more things to consider.
 

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Move the front bumper and winch to mod number one. Remember big lift and big tires. = big stuck . Small tires no lift no where near as bad. Other than that build away.
Wish I had the $$$ to do so. As I mentioned this rig will be 99% pavement princess, so once every 3 months on MILD trails. So looking like the first 99 days on the road. Either that or need to find a wheeling buddy with a winch to pull me out.

Guess another option could be to put the winch on the stock bumper. This is the winch I had on my build list. Any thoughts guys?
 

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ALWAYS wheel with a buddy or 2 or 25! Safety in numbers. And a recovery strap and a buddy to hook it to can get you out of most stucks - cost like $30.
 

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ALWAYS wheel with a buddy or 2 or 25! Safety in numbers. And a recovery strap and a buddy to hook it to can get you out of most stucks - cost like $30.
Good advice, one problem my only buddy at this point is my 15 year old daughter who is excited to be my co pilot. I am hoping I can meet some new friends on this site that would not mind taking a newbee on his maden wheeling experience.

The recovery strap $30....Done. Now that im into this build and everything I like or need seems to be $500+, $30 seems like a $1 in the grand scheme of things. In all seriousness, being a rookie wheeler I would never go on a trail solo. Might get through it but would be nervous and praying the whole time.

So far my jeep group consists of the following.....



This is my crew so far.....
 

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Lol beeshka! Not sure if you found it yet, but on the home page wayyyyy down at thr bottom are state specific forums. These folks may take a run with you, or point you to a local Jeep club. I belong to a local Jeep club and best thing ever! Made boatloads of new friends, always someone to wheel with, classes and events, folks to help wrench or diagnose issues on your rig, meet and greets (basically show up, usually at a restaurant, and eat and play Jeep show and tell and see what others run on their rigs). Our Jeep club operates a members search and rescue as well - sends automated notices to those who volunteer for it if someone needs help, and you will have a bunch of folks rolling to assist you before you can shake a stick - even if you just need a tow roadside. And the cool part is there is such a wide variety of people - I have met chiropractors, mechanics, handymen, accountants, lawyers, you name it.

Texas Jeep Forum - Jeep Wrangler Forum
 
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