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First thank you all for your input. I have been gathering a ton of information from this awesome forum and have a good idea of what I want to do, I’m just unsure of which brands to go with. I recently picked up my first JK as a retirement present to myself (20yrs active duty) and I must put some mods on it. My intent is to get as much done as possible in one shot. The local shop I have made contact with is scheduling about a month out, which is fine because I’m going out of town in a few weeks.
This Jeep will be my DD but I will hit some moderate trails. Below is the list of the things I want to get done and would appreciate your input/opinion on each. I’m not trying to get the most expensive, but somewhere in the middle of the road. It’s hard for me to distinguish which manufacture is better than the other because I don’t know enough about each individual product, but I have been trying to read up as much as I can. I don’t necessarily have an unlimited budget, but I do want to get the right stuff the first time. With all I have listed, if you feel something else would be better, please let me know what it is and briefly why. I would like to primarily buy local to support the local shops, but sometimes certain items are less expensive online. Some of the brands that have caught my attention and are leaning towards – Teraflex – Warn –Quadratec – If there is anything I am missing or something you think I may be interested in please tell me what it is. Again this Jeep is a present to myself after spending 20yrs in the Infantry. I want to make this Jeep as bad ass as I can.

My Jk- 2014 JK “Altitude” Amped color -3.6 motor – 3.21 gears

2.5 Teraflex lift kit w/ rancho 9000 or Bilstein shocks – fixed sway bar (brand unknown)
33” or 35” GY Duratec w/ 17” wheels..maybe Fuel 5.5 bolt config & 4.5 back spacers
Front w/ fog lights & rear bumber w/ tire rack – I’m thinking Smitybuilt – also want a 9000lb Warn winch – recovery kit – aluminum bumpers better?
Rock sliders – so damn many to choose from I don’t have a clue but this one is sweet.. https://www.quadratec.com/products/12562_1003.htm
Roof rack – no drilling - Gobi a good choice ?
Light bar & 2 single lights in the rear
Windshield protectant film- is there one that is better than others?
Hood locks – gas cap lock
Mesh grill
AEV Procal module
 

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Build Thread Queen
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Honestly, with the wheels/tires you're looking at, plus the lift, I'd be looking at swapping out those 3.21 gears. Mike has a TeraFlex 2.5" lift with 35" DuraTracs, but he's running 3.73. We can definitely feel the loss of power over his old 33s and over stock. 3.73s are acceptable, not awesome. I can't imagine the performance hit you'll take running them on 3.21s.

You may want to ask one of the tech experts for more advice about gears. I am by NO means an expert there, just based on how it feels to me driving the different wheel sizes on 3.73s.

Good luck! Sounds like you have an awesome build planned! :thumb:
 

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First of all, I'd like to say thank you for your service and gratz on the retirement.

Your plans sound very much like my build. I went with a 2.5" lift and 315/75R16 Duratracs and love the combo. I went with the 16" wheel for more sidewall flex when I air down. Also with this comb, your plan on a ProCal is a good one.

I've rarely heard anyone say anything good about Smittybuilt. I love my rampage front bumper and if I could do it over, I'd have gotten an Ace rear bumper and tire carrier that opens with the tail gate.

As far as the rock rails go, I'd recommend Ace both because of their toughness and their lifetime guarantee. IMO, rails that have a stem that extends and retracts are only good for mall crawlers. I wouldn't want them extending while on a trail and getting snagged on a rock. But that's up to you.

I can't speak for the roof rack, light bars or window film.

I like going topless as much as possible so instead of the light bars I opted for off road lights on the window A-pillars and front and rear bumpers. (I think the light bars look weird on topless Jeeps, but that's just me.)

Good luck on your build and hope to see some pics
 

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Hey, Beast... are you running 3.21s or 3.73s?
 

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I've rarely heard anyone say anything good about Smittybuilt.
I run a Smittybilt xRC MOD Front Bumper setup, and absolutely love it. I have the stubby center section and the Stinger on it. No issues with quality of manufacturing or installation. The entire thing feels very very rugged and strong. Though mine is not field tested yet, I don't have anything bad to say about it...Just saying.
 

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Hey, Beast... are you running 3.21s or 3.73s?
4:10s

It came from the factory that way. I'd rather have 4:88s which would be ideal but having a hard time convincing myself that the small change is worth the $1000 cost.
 

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Now that's a cool retirement present!

20 years in! Good on ya man! Thank you very much for your service! :worthy:
That is one beaut of a Jeep! :thumb:

I don't envy the decision you have to make on lift and tires. Like the others have said, the 3.21 gears are really limiting. Also this model has the Dana 30 up front.
Something to consider would be looking for a good Dana 44 take off, with 3.73s or 4.10s. That would also get you a front locker. Then just re-gear the rear to match the front. 35's will work on 3.73s or 4.10s for a daily driver.

Like your idea of buying the Warn Winch, great product made in America. I just found a smoking good deal on eBay for a new 9.5ti through a Jeep dealer at $700 delivered. So keep your eyes open.

Aluminum bumpers are awesome for weight savings, but the rear bumper can really limit what you do for a tire carrier. If you don't need to carry fuel and water cans, Teraflex makes a nice hinge assembly tire carrier, that would work great with the aluminum bumper, and it would save even more weight. That means an even bigger cooler of beer! :D

On the locks, something to consider is all the extra keys you'll need to carry. Mopar makes a hood lock that uses the ignition key. Bolt Lock Company makes a Spare Tire Lug Lock, and Hitch Pin Lock that also keys to the ignition key. They also have paddle-locks, and truck box latches that key to the ignition key. So shop right, and you'll only have two keys (one for gas cap, and one for everything else).

Be careful with backspacing on what ever wheels you choose. The more backspace you can keep without rubbing the longer the unit bearings, and ball joints will last. It also drives nicer on the road.

Good luck with your choices. Will definitely look forward to following your build thread! :beerdrinking:
 

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As suggested, if you go 35s, a regear for sure. And with the gears open, would be a good idea to install at least a rear locker. (I would not locker the front on a Dana 30-see below).

On your list I dont see any belly armor aka skid plates. Not a pretty product, and not visually badass as they are hidden underneath-but if you are looking to run moderate trails, you just might want to consider.

Also with moderate level wheeling, 35s are gonna stress that front axle. If you cant replace it, at least truss it and consider beefing up.

Thank you for your service!
 

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:facepalm: Sorry!

Do you think 3.21s with 2.5" lift and 35s would be a good idea?
I think it'd be a real slug on the road.

As suggested, if you go 35s, a regear for sure. And with the gears open, would be a good idea to install at least a rear locker. (I would not locker the front on a Dana 30-see below).

On your list I dont see any belly armor aka skid plates. Not a pretty product, and not visually badass as they are hidden underneath-but if you are looking to run moderate trails, you just might want to consider.

Also with moderate level wheeling, 35s are gonna stress that front axle. If you cant replace it, at least truss it and consider beefing up.

Thank you for your service!
Mommy brings up a good point about beefing up the front axle. You are expecting only moderate off roading but some time in the future you might want to think about reinforcing that Dana 30.

Sorry for the long post but to put things in perspective:

I've done allot of 4-wheeling and have lockers front and rear. I don't get real hard core but I installed a full set of Artec armor to reinforce my axle and "Cs". I pretty much did the upgrade for peace of mind but I haven't had any problems off road.
I recently got into an accident when a lady pulled out in front of me and the front bumper and axle took the brunt of the force. (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/my-sarge-is-in-the-infirmary-658569.html) My rig is still in the shop and they are having to replace tons of stuff like the left axle shaft, upper and lower control arms, ball joints on both sides, tie rods and drag links, steering shaft and drive shaft (the list is longer but you get the point).
The one thing that came out virtually unscathed was my axle shaft! No bent "Cs", no bent tube, nothing. Granted, it would have been covered by the insurance but the axle would cost $3k to replace. IMO, it's all due to the Artec truss and reinforcement of the "Cs".
 

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First thank you all for your input. I have been gathering a ton of information from this awesome forum and have a good idea of what I want to do, I’m just unsure of which brands to go with. I recently picked up my first JK as a retirement present to myself (20yrs active duty) and I must put some mods on it. My intent is to get as much done as possible in one shot. The local shop I have made contact with is scheduling about a month out, which is fine because I’m going out of town in a few weeks. This Jeep will be my DD but I will hit some moderate trails. Below is the list of the things I want to get done and would appreciate your input/opinion on each. I’m not trying to get the most expensive, but somewhere in the middle of the road. It’s hard for me to distinguish which manufacture is better than the other because I don’t know enough about each individual product, but I have been trying to read up as much as I can. I don’t necessarily have an unlimited budget, but I do want to get the right stuff the first time. With all I have listed, if you feel something else would be better, please let me know what it is and briefly why. I would like to primarily buy local to support the local shops, but sometimes certain items are less expensive online. Some of the brands that have caught my attention and are leaning towards – Teraflex – Warn –Quadratec – If there is anything I am missing or something you think I may be interested in please tell me what it is. Again this Jeep is a present to myself after spending 20yrs in the Infantry. I want to make this Jeep as bad ass as I can. My Jk- 2014 JK “Altitude” Amped color -3.6 motor – 3.21 gears 2.5 Teraflex lift kit w/ rancho 9000 or Bilstein shocks – fixed sway bar (brand unknown) 33” or 35” GY Duratec w/ 17” wheels..maybe Fuel 5.5 bolt config & 4.5 back spacers Front w/ fog lights & rear bumber w/ tire rack – I’m thinking Smitybuilt – also want a 9000lb Warn winch – recovery kit – aluminum bumpers better? Rock sliders – so damn many to choose from I don’t have a clue but this one is sweet.. https://www.quadratec.com/products/12562_1003.htm Roof rack – no drilling - Gobi a good choice ? Light bar & 2 single lights in the rear Windshield protectant film- is there one that is better than others? Hood locks – gas cap lock Mesh grill AEV Procal module
Congrats on your retirement and thanks for your service.

I can't speak to the big mods but we installed a metalcrafter grill insert today and the rampage locking hood latches. We had to so some modification on the latch hardware like others but the end result is very nice. I also have the Mopar locking has cap that keys to the ignition key. If you want fewer keys, you can get the mopar hood lock but you'll have to cut your grill insert.

Good luck and again, congrats!!
 

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Now just let me give a little unput on 3.21's. I have them with a 2013 3.6 pentastar and automatic trans. I run 315-17" duratracs and I will say that its not a screamer but it is not a dog. The 3.6 makes up alot for that old 3.8 many of you run. Now I am going to regear because I do notice some dogging when driving around in the city. It hits 4th gear too early and bogs a little but once again not terrible.
I would say do your mods and lift and tires but drive it for a while at 3.21. Find a guy who has 4.10's in a rubi or someone who has regeared to 4.56 or 4.88 and drive it if you can. Feel the difference and see if it is worth it to you to regear. It can be done anytime.
Thanks for your service and enjoy that retirement gift!
 

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I've gone through my own grocery lost of mods in the first two months of owning a JK, but the best by far has been installing a Magnaflow 15160 cat back exhaust.

1) It's black and looks totally badass.
2) It sounds really great. At city speeds, it has a nice, low growl that isn't very loud at all. At highway speeds, it roars.
3) It's improved acceleration. It's too soon to know if it's increased my gas mileage any, but even it's just 1-2 mpg, I'll be happy since my Jeep is my daily driver.
 

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First thank you all for your input. I have been gathering a ton of information from this awesome forum and have a good idea of what I want to do, I’m just unsure of which brands to go with. I recently picked up my first JK as a retirement present to myself (20yrs active duty) and I must put some mods on it. My intent is to get as much done as possible in one shot. The local shop I have made contact with is scheduling about a month out, which is fine because I’m going out of town in a few weeks.
This Jeep will be my DD but I will hit some moderate trails. Below is the list of the things I want to get done and would appreciate your input/opinion on each. I’m not trying to get the most expensive, but somewhere in the middle of the road. It’s hard for me to distinguish which manufacture is better than the other because I don’t know enough about each individual product, but I have been trying to read up as much as I can. I don’t necessarily have an unlimited budget, but I do want to get the right stuff the first time. With all I have listed, if you feel something else would be better, please let me know what it is and briefly why. I would like to primarily buy local to support the local shops, but sometimes certain items are less expensive online. Some of the brands that have caught my attention and are leaning towards – Teraflex – Warn –Quadratec – If there is anything I am missing or something you think I may be interested in please tell me what it is. Again this Jeep is a present to myself after spending 20yrs in the Infantry. I want to make this Jeep as bad ass as I can.

My Jk- 2014 JK “Altitude” Amped color -3.6 motor – 3.21 gears

2.5 Teraflex lift kit w/ rancho 9000 or Bilstein shocks – fixed sway bar (brand unknown)
33” or 35” GY Duratec w/ 17” wheels..maybe Fuel 5.5 bolt config & 4.5 back spacers
Front w/ fog lights & rear bumber w/ tire rack – I’m thinking Smitybuilt – also want a 9000lb Warn winch – recovery kit – aluminum bumpers better?
Rock sliders – so damn many to choose from I don’t have a clue but this one is sweet.. Rock-Slide Engineering BDSS100JK4 - Rock-Slide Engineering Step Sliders for 07-14 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 Door - Quadratec
Roof rack – no drilling - Gobi a good choice ?
Light bar & 2 single lights in the rear
Windshield protectant film- is there one that is better than others?
Hood locks – gas cap lock
Mesh grill
AEV Procal module

Thank you for your service. You have a great looking Jeep and platform to build on. Like most, you mentioned that you don't have an unlimited budget. The 33" vs. 35" tire debate has been discussed many times on the forum, and it's a tough decision.

Are you going for looks or functionality and getting the most mods for your money?

A few points:

-33" tires cost less, are more fuel efficient, and only give you 1" less clearance than 35's. Duratracs are a popular choice. Great tire.
-35's look good. That said, they will require an oversize tire carrier, procal or the like, re-gear, and a taller, more expensive lift. They wear everything out quicker and can even give you issues with your warranty. All that money for 1" that could be spent on other mods.
-Smittybilt does make some quality products. I am partial as I run sliders and bumpers. They look great and can take a beating. Some have had fitment issues but I am not in that group.
-Product reviews are your friend. Check different sources and research before you buy. You'll avoid costly mistakes and "I wish I would have..." moments.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate it a lot. This has helped me to narrow down the mods. I still have a few things I'm looking at. A great point that was brought up that I want to adhere to is choosing the right mods that wont cause severe mechanical wear & tear on parts. I will never get rid of this Jeep...ever. I have a 2003 chevy silverado with 220K miles on it and she's still going strong. I want to ensure that the mods I choose will allow me to be fairly trouble free of mecahnical issues. I know that when owning a jeep there inherent issues the longer you own it, but i want to mitigate that as much as possible. Again thank you all for your input and once I complete my list and get it in the shop I'll post pics.
 
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