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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not usually one for doing a build thread, but then this is my first Jeep. I had already purchased close to $1000 in 'stuff'' for it before it even arrived.

I picked it up last night, close an hour later than I had originally planned.

Below is one of the few pics I have bone stock. My wife and son were able to go check it out while I was out of town. My wife was kind enough to send me a few pics.



This morning I added some Bartec paracord grab handles that I picked up on Amazon and a set of Smittybuilt SRC 76633 side step/ rock rails. The OEM rock rails looked cool, but then didn't have a step to make getting in a little easier. I have short legs, and my wife has a bum knee.




Next I added some LED headlights from Inspired Engineering (they're a WF supporting vendor)




I will be adding the day time running lights feature in the near future, I just need to do a little more wiring first.

The headlights were surprisingly easy to install. I would say that it took me only about 45 minutes from start to finish, and that included clean up. The step bars took me about an hour to install. I did them by myself which made things a little more difficult, as I had to hold one end up while trying to get the nuts started on the other end. It would have been much easier with two people.

I'll be adding vent visors later this afternoon/ evening. I don't foresee any issues with those (I hope).

Next week some time I will also be adding a DayStar switch panel, a fused terminal block, and an unfused terminal block, a back up camera, and wiring everything up.

Eventually I'll be adding a MOPAR light bar to the bumper along with a set of LED lights, set of cubes to the A pillars, and painting some of the interior trim to match the exterior.

So far I have been loving the Jeep.

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
awesome color choice and thats not me being bias ;)

how do you like those headlight ?
Thanks. Hydro was the ONLY choice for me.

I like the looks of them during the day. I haven't had a chance to try them out in the dark yet, so the jury is still out there.
I'll update after a lil trip tonight.

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
how do you like those headlight ?

Last night after it got dark, I took the Jeep for a ride around the block. Granted it was just tooling around the neighborhood, but from what I have seen they do and will work very well.

The light output is pretty good on low beam, and on high beam it almost looks like a set of high intensity spot lights.

I would say that I'm pleased with the results.

Exco
 

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Last night after it got dark, I took the Jeep for a ride around the block. Granted it was just tooling around the neighborhood, but from what I have seen they do and will work very well.

The light output is pretty good on low beam, and on high beam it almost looks like a set of high intensity spot lights.

I would say that I'm pleased with the results.

Exco
thats awesome. for the price you cant beat it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thats awesome. for the price you cant beat it.
I agree. It's part of why I went with these rather than the truck lights or the JW Speakers. I also like the DRL feature.

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is the DRL a modified output function of the headlights? How is it wired to enable this?
No, the DRL is an included feature of the headlights that I purchased (link above). Each light has an extra wire coming off of the housing, which is for the DRL feature. I'm not sure what they were intended to be tapped into but I will be running those two wires to a relay that will be triggered by an ignition circuit of some sort and a switch.

I will be posting pics later, once I figure out the logistics of placing my terminal blocks and relays. I'm in the process of fabbing up a panel of sorts to mount everything.

Exco
 

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Love the color, looks great with black accents. But am I the only one who sees the Hellcat in the background? I think it's a Hellcat anyway.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But am I the only one who sees the Hellcat in the background? I think it's a Hellcat anyway.....

Yup! You're the only one who see's a Hellcat in the background.

It's not a Hellcat, it's a Skat Pak with the Shaker. It's my wife's car... she's very much aware of what she has, as it was ordered to her specs. I admit that it's a bad ass car, but it's not really something that I enjoy... she's happy, so that is what's important.

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice jeep!
Thanks!



I noticed the other night when I went to work that the rear cargo area was pretty dark, and that the dome light on the sound bar didn't provide much of any light. I set out to correct that issue.

I ordered a bolt style LED light from Oznium for about $10 including shipping. Like a bone-head I didn't take any daytime pics, so those will have to wait a day or two.

I installed it on the left side in the plastic interior panel. I had to remove the two torx bolts to the left of the sub, then just popped the panel out enough where I could get behind it. I drilled a 1/4" hole to mount the 'bolt', grounded it on one of the torx screws and ran a wire up to the driver's side footwell to the small LED light that was installed OEM. I think it took me about an hour from start to finish.

I'm pretty pleased with the results. I now have enough light back there without the blinding effect of installing something bigger.

The first pic is just a pic of the LED, granted not much can be seen. The second pic is showing the results.





I'm also getting closer to completing my wiring project for my DayStar switch panel. If I weren't going to work tonight/ tomorrow morning I could probably have it completed in a few hours. As it stands, I'll have to wait a few days until I get back in town. I'll probably do a separate write up when I get that project going though.


Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Backup Camera installed

I installed my backup camera this morning. It wasn't all that difficult, but it certainly was a PITA.

I got my camera and harness from Amazon, and I got the mounting bracket from Extreme Terrain. I should have gotten an RCA coupler when I purchased the camera, but didn't think about it. I ended up getting mine from Best Buy for more than I should have paid.

I pretty much followed the direction that came with the mounting bracket for running the cables for the camera. I went through the left most vent, and I fished it out of the hole that is behind the horizontal black piece of trim. I just used about an 18 inch piece of scrap wire that I had on hand as a fish.



I taped up the connectors once they came through the hole. I then tie wrapped them to the existing wires for a cleaner look.


I ran both the power wire and the video cable through a piece of wire loom for a cleaner look.


A pics after I put it all back together.



The rest was just running the wires. The power lead I tapped into the right reverse light. If you remove the two screws for (what look like) tie down spots, you can pull the plastic panel away from the 'wall'. There is a rubber grommet that you can easily use to access the tail light with your power wire. I worked the video cable up along the edge under the carpet until I reached the front. It took some doing and a lot of patience as most of the trim pieces needed to be loosened inorder to get the video cable up underneath.

Once I reached the front, I removed the glove box and ran the cable up into the glove box.

I used a video I easily found on Google ('JK radio removal') to show me how to take the dash apart to get access to the radio. I think the dash disassembly was the easiest part. It literally only took about 10 minutes to get it apart.
*I tried linking the video, but it kept coming out screwed up*

Everything went back together in reverse order. It takes some doing, but all the wires from the harness can be tucked up out of the way. I'd recommend pulling the harness down below the radio when you reinstall, as there is a bit more room. I taped up all the wires except for the camera lead. I joined the two, and I'm hoping after I get it flashed everything will work as advertised.

A few finished pics. The 'in action' pic is one that I took of a portable DVD player I have that I was using as a monitor for alignment purposes. It doesn't appear so, but the image is actually straight... it's just my bad photography skills that make it look off.



I plan on starting on my wiring project for my switches tomorrow if I can get the camera activated early enough.

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My major wiring project is on hold until I can figure out something different. I can't get the DayStar switch panel to fit properly, either the top doesn't snap in, or the bottom is not flush.

I've come to the conclusion that it just doesn't quite fit. I don't know if it's the panel that I purchased, or if it's a '16 thing. I've tired everything that I can think of. I've pulled the center console out of the way as best I could (another thread on that) based on the fact that my TC shift knob won't come off). I've swapped out the retaining clips to others from the original center panel. I've flipped the retaining clips over, I've beat on it with various instruments of destruction, and I feel like my head too.

I may get another panel, or I may modify the existing panel to work a different way. I haven't decided yet, as I'm so frustrated that I'm stepping away for a day or 300.

I have started to paint some of the interior trim pieces. I initially painted the grab handle above the glove box all blue, but I didn't like the way the finish turned out. I decided to wet sand it to try and smooth it out. As soon as I started wet sanding the paint started to completely come off.

I initially was just going to strip it all down and start over. I changed my mind after I was about 80% done sanding. It looked pretty good with the "Jeep Since 1941" blue and the rest silver/ grey. My wife agreed, so that is how I'm going to leave it.

I'm working on the passenger side door insert, and will probably do the driver's door and a couple of the vents when I get some time. The painting is a project that I had planned to do a little at a time anyway.

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've done some interior painting. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I did the trim piece on both doors, the center two vents, and the letters on the grab handle above the glove box (don't have any good pics of that yet)





I have also done both the top cap of the TC shift knob and the transmission shift knob. I've got the TC one installed, but the one for the transmission I'm giving a bit more time to cure... I'll be heading out of town again tonight, so it should be good to go when I get home (you can see the 8 ball that I'm using on a temporary basis in one of the pics above)

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've done quite a few minor mods since I last updated this thread. I've hooked up my DRL, the DRL feature was included with the lights that I purchased from IE. I've swapped out my fogs for some LED ones from Quadratec (thanks Rick), added some bolt style LEDs to the rear bumper to function as auxiliary back up lights, swapped out the dim yellowish footwell lights to white for when the dome is on, and blue for when the headlights are on, and of course all the switches, wiring, etc that went into it all.

now on to the pics:

These are my DRL


Headlights with the fogs. I don't think I turned off the DRL for the pic, which is why there is multiple lines of light on the headlights.


Reverse lights. I had previously replaced my reverse light bulbs with some LEDs that I picked up at PepBoys, the little ones in the bumper are just 16 mm bolt style LEDs


I have tied everything together under the hood using two terminal blocks, one fused, the the just a convenient way to connect everything together. (pics on that below). I'm using very low power switches, so everything will be controlled through relays, and the switches that I used are listed as anti-vandal LED switches. I have 4 on my A pillar, one for DRL, one for reverse lights, and two for future A pillar and bumper lights.


Terminal blocks and relays


I tried to run as much of the wiring as possible inside wire loom, just to make a cleaner look



Foot well lights that are connected to the dome light. There is a set of lights on each side held in place by a single phillips screw. The one on the driver's side I couldn't get to very easily due to the angle, but the one on the passenger side was pretty easy. I just removed it, did all of my wiring sitting at a table. When done I just plugged it back into the connector.



I will try to get pics of the blue that are connected to the headlight circuit later.

I used surface mount LEDS (5050) in 6000K color for the white and slightly smaller ones for the blue (2835). Both sets were pre-wired to make things easier.

I'm not sure what is next, as I received a Quadratec catalog when I got my fogs in :D

Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now that it's gotten dark, I was able to get some pics of the blue foot well lights




Exco
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I got my Rugged Ridge hood latches/ catches installed this afternoon. I couldn't pass up the great weather (it's in the mid 70s). I got them for an excellent price using Ryan's secret discount code :D

They were a bit of a PITA, and I wish that I had a set of allen wrenches that would work in a socket, instead I had a set of the old reliable angled ones we've all seen and grown to hate. I almost purchased a set of the socket versions, but figured that I didn't really need 'em. Now I wish I had..

A 10mm and 13mm socket is need, along with a 13mm box end wrench, as well as the appropriate sized allen wrenches (not sure of those sizes) to do the actual install, and you'll also need a 17mm open ended wrench for the jam nuts when trying to adjust the tension on the catches.

It took me about 30-45 minutes including pulling my grill and headlights (which gave me just a few extra inches of access).

I did pull a couple of wires out of the connected on my IE headlights, but I was able to fix that pretty easily with some quick disconnects. The connectors are a bit on the cheap side and the wires pulled out pretty easily, but no big deal as they're fixed now.

I am over all pleased with the results.




Exco
 

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Looks good Exco! Did you happen to take any photos of the lights/harness of the foot well lights (the blue ones)? Is there any way of swapping out the stock ones without cutting and splicing?
 
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