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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2014 JK build: From Sport to Rubi and beyond

Decided to start my own build thread

Here how it all started:



2014 JK Sport, almost barebones. The only features are: AC, hartdtop and auto

Very first mods, done within first two months:

  • Door sill guards
  • 17" wheels with Nitto TerraGrappler tires
  • Ace Rock sliders
  • Hella 500 lights




Fast forward to 2017:



Mods made over the years:

  • Rubicon sway bar disco (my first "serious" off road mod)
  • Dana 44 + lockers, front and rear (yeah baby!)
  • Rubicon springs and shocks (cheapest lift ever)
  • Front bumper and winch (was thinking about LoD ArmorLite, ended up with Signature mid-width)
  • Premium soft top (sold my hardtop after that, no regrets)
  • Bartact Seat Covers (wish I got them from the very beginning)
  • Rubi HR wheels and tires (never actually looked for these specifically, but suddenly got a no-brainer deal on CL)


From here I'm starting the build. Plans are:

  • Real Lift (most likely AEV)
  • 34" Tires
  • Tire Carrier
  • ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Another thing added recently (not really a mod, but neat addition)



Outback Adventures Trailgater table. Stupid expensive for what it is, but I believe it is the best tailgate table option currently available.



Installation was super easy, took less than 10 minutes. Table is solid, extremely well made and 100% rattle free.

Word of advice: skip the bamboo, get the plastic board instead. Bamboo was covered with some really toxic lacquer - strong chemical smell never went away. I ended up just stripping it completely and refinishing with cutting board oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, removed the old t-case today.
Was going to install a new one as well, but decided to do it tomorrow morning.

T-case removal took more time that I expected and really was a royal pain in the butt! Getting to those bolts is freaking hard even with all variety of wrenches/sockets I have (including half moon wrenches).
Ended up removing the frame crossmember and transmission mount to get to the driver side bottom bolt (wish I did that from the beginning and saved tons of time).

Here they are:



(see how bigger and beefier Rubi t-case looks compared to the regular 2.72:1)

...to be continued
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Finished the swap today.
Installation was straightforward, took few hours to put everything together, but overall wasn't too hard.
Wife did her part as a hydraulic jack operator and safety observer :)

Had one hiccup - pinched breather hose between t-case and transmission, found that when I almost finished torquing all bolts (of course!) :banghead:

Renting transmission jack for this job was really wise idea, made attaching new t-case much easier and safer than it would be with a regular floor jack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Accidentally came across an absolute no-brainer deal on brand new HR rear bumper on the local Craigslist and here it is:



Also added tan soft top to a quiver. Its not going to replace my premium top for all-year use, but should be a nice option for summer trail rides.
Got it from RoughCountry for $99 (fabric only) + found a donor frame on CL
 

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Nice job! Lots of upgrades but definitely moving beyond a Rubi not that there is anything wrong with them. What lockers did you select? Any challenges besides cost to install the OEM swaybar disconnect versus say JKS swaybar disconnect choices?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice job! Lots of upgrades but definitely moving beyond a Rubi not that there is anything wrong with them. What lockers did you select? Any challenges besides cost to install the OEM swaybar disconnect versus say JKS swaybar disconnect choices?
Thanks!

I did a complete axle swap to a Rubi Dana 44 takeoffs with original e-lockers.

OEM swaybar disco install was super easy, literally took less than 30 min, four bolts and two nuts. I replaced electric actuator with manual knob from EVO MFG and it works great.
This is the mod that I highly suggest to everyone, huge increase in the off-road capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, now I'm really going beyond the Ruby :)

Installed AEV 2.5" DualSport lift + AEV brackets over the weekend:





Not super hard, not super easy either (as with all kind of DIY suspension work - tons of torque, lots of hard to reach bolts, moving/lifting heavy stuff). Took me about 10 hours over the course of two days. Biggest pain in the ass was removing the old brackets from the front brake lines. Ended up buying new locking pliers from Home Depot just for this job alone.

Two things I didn't like:

1) Silly brackets AEV included for the front sway bar links. Why they didn't include longer links as pretty much all other companies do is beyond me.
Besides being a pitiful substitute for the normal links, this brackets simply didn't fit over the axle and holes never lined up. Had to use grinder to make them fit. I believe AEV could have done better than that, especially on $1000 kit:


2) Mounting front Bilstein shocks was much harder than stock Rubi shocks I had before. On the passenger side you MUST trim some plastic (which is actually a bottom part of relay/fuse box), otherwise there is no way to fit the top washer for the shock mount.

Anyway, those were minor annoyances.

The good thing is that this lift rides as good as stock and even slightly better (nose dive when braking is almost gone). Didn't have a chance to test in all the way, but initial ride was great.

Here's the look with stock Rubi wheels/tires:



The biggest flex I could try in the neighborhood, lol:



Now waiting for the new tires to arrive...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's the AEV front spring vs original #18 Rubi spring:


My overall height gain wasn't that dramatic compared to my previous setup (18/56 springs + 3/4" spacers in the front) - overall I've got ~1.5" front and rear with AEV.
Considering that Rubi springs+spacers already gave me ~1.5" over bone stock, that looks about right.
 

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Another thing added recently (not really a mod, but neat addition)



Outback Adventures Trailgater table. Stupid expensive for what it is, but I believe it is the best tailgate table option currently available.



Installation was super easy, took less than 10 minutes. Table is solid, extremely well made and 100% rattle free.

Word of advice: skip the bamboo, get the plastic board instead. Bamboo was covered with some really toxic lacquer - strong chemical smell never went away. I ended up just stripping it completely and refinishing with cutting board oil.
Does it rattle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Does it rattle?
Nope. It has rubber bumpers, so everything kept tight when it closed.

I had one issue with two bottom screws got loose after driving on washboard road and the whole thing started to rattle. Doug from Outbackadventureproducts sent me a new hardware with longer screws and it is fine now (he said from now they're including longer screws with all trailgaters)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Installed new Teraflex HD adjustable front trackbar. Not that I really need to adjust anything (didn't notice any measurable axle shift after the lift), but having more solid trackbar with heavier wheels is definitely an improvent.
Steering feels much better, "sponginess" I felt after installing new tires now completely gone
 
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