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Discussion Starter #1
This is the start of our new 2016 JKR build and if you squint your eyes just right you can see our new Mojave Sand Jeep Wrangler as we wait for Chrysler to start building our Jeep!

Nonetheless, who says you need a Jeep to start a build? I might not have a Jeep to build on yet, but we can get started anyway. So, I started gathering all the parts that will be used in the base build process.

Maybe a little history first. We bought a used 2011 JKR about a year and a half ago we bought our first Jeep. Many here (in particular kjeeper) helped me endlessly, as I did the typical mods. I consider myself to be mechanically inclined, but this was all new to me. You can see in my sig line what stuff I did to the 2011.

We eventually decided we wanted a "forever" Jeep and I felt like I really wanted the newer motor/transmission in that forever Jeep and I wanted the traditional design, rather than whatever they end up producing trying to reach the CAFE standards. So, we ordered a new Jeep with all the options, less smokers package, two weeks ago. And the wait goes on...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The build plan includes using the Rock Krawler 2.5" Max Travel lift from the 2011. All of the RK components. I'll also be reusing the Off Camber front and rear bumpers, and the rock sliders. Along with the Teraflex spare tire carrier, AEV wheels and BFG KM2s.

I am planning front diff mods using all Artec stuff where I can. Truss, inner C gussets, HD TB bracket, LCA skids, Johnny Joint bushings for the axle side UCAs and an ABR diff cover. On the rear diff I'll be doing Artec LCA bracket/skids, HD TB relocation bracket, and spring perches, along with an ARB diff cover.

I am going to vent the two diffs, transfer case and transmission through an ARB vent kit in the engine bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Today I got some of the welding done on the Artec brackets as prep work so I can be ready for when the big stuff starts.

I worked a large part of my adult life in electrical construction years ago and took a couple welding classes back then to weld on construction sites. Eventually I went through my off road race car building days and that lead to buying a Millermatic 35 in 1980.

That wire feed built many a car, car trailer, utility trailer, and who knows what all? But that was many years ago. So when I started doing some of the mods on our 2011, I needed advice and drvn4life1972 got me lined out.

Now after a little practice and a tuneup for my gear, I am making welds I don't have to be embarrassed about. That's important to me, because I'm doing all of the work on our Jeeps and I want it right.

All that said, please remember, I never said I was a welder!

Here's where I started:

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #5
Like I said, not a welder but I was pretty happy with the work.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
Spring perches. This step isn't really necessary, but it has always bugged me that my rear springs are bent on the 2011 even though I had correction wedges under them. So, this time I am going to clock the perches so the spring are straight. :)

 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
And rear LCA bracket/skids. Artec stuff is so HD, I love it. But this step really wasn't necessary either...unless you try to rip them off the axle housing on a rock!











 

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Discussion Starter #8
Axle brackets welded and waiting for an axle to put them on! More waiting...

 

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Discussion Starter #9
The new jeep has arrived and the build plan has changed a little because the buyer of the 2011 decided to take the lift as part of the deal.



So I started ordering Rock Krawler parts and ended up with their 2.5" X-Factor kit with Rancho XL9000 shocks. The building is underway.

 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Removed rear axle housing to start work.

Cut off stock brackets and clean up the housing.



Mounting Artec LCA brackets, spring perches and TB bracket.





 

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Discussion Starter #14
The rear completed with new Artec spring perches, TB bracket, LCA/shock brackets, and an ARB diff cover.





 

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Discussion Starter #16
With the pinion angle set at -2* lower than the drive shaft angle, the spring perches and TB brackets are plumb and level, so no need for correction wedges and the springs don't bow. That part I really liked, but after completing this stage, I learned that I probably should have set them up with 1-2* rearward slope. Oh well, live a learn!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Then it was off to the front diff. I knew this would be much more challenging and I would have been sunk without the help of kjeeper10 and dvn4life1972. They helped me a ton!
 

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Discussion Starter #18


I don't have plans to run anything larger than the 33s, but since this is supposed to be the "forever" Jeep and I wanted to do the inner C gussets, I figured that now was the time to do an Artec truss as well.

So, I pulled the front diff assembly (never done anything like that before) and set up to start a bunch of welding like I have never done. I was VERY nervous about it, but got a lot of encouragement from dvn4life1972 and ScaldedDog.

Let the welding begin!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I started by striping the diff housing and removing the ball joints and UCA bushings.

Then welded in the Artec inner C gussets.



 

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Discussion Starter #20
Then moved on to the Artec truss and Front TB bracket.





 
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