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Discussion Starter #1
And so it begins.........

So I bought a new 2014 JKU under her recommendation, because I’m indecisive. She said she always wanted one and it’d be fun. Wellllllll it is a lot of fun, and expensive. Fast forward to 4 days ago when we saw a TJ sitting on a used car lot. She said I’d drive that...... DONE!!

2004 Rubicon automatic with 46000mi and near new condition.



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Discussion Starter #2
So the same day I brought it home I decided to take the top off. As I was unzipping the rear window it got stuck, so I tried to muscle it. Well it ripped and fell apart. Being in a hurry to have a top just Incase the weatherman was wrong I ordered a new one.

I went ahead and ordered a MasterTop premium in Black Diamond. Very easy install. I watched a video and then tackled the project. It me about 30-45min. Fitment is very tight, a lot of cussing was done, I’m hoping that over time it stretches a little. It seems relatively quiet inside, not a whole lot of road noise. So far I’m happy with the product. I’ll update my opinion once we get a good rain......



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The steering has been a little sketchy ever since I bought it, loose with some bump steer. I have been a thread whore the last couple weeks trying to get information to start my build. I finally settled on a TeraFlex 3” lift with front and rear LCA’s and TeraFlex 9550 shocks. 3” lifts seem to be an odd height for TJ’s and steering components. Most products seem to cater to 4”-6” of lift, or don’t like stock wheels. After asking questions and some research I settled on the ZJ upgrade. I ordered through all the parts through Amazon, Moog parts and also got a TeraFlex steering stabilizer, $273. Install took about 2hours and is pretty straightforward.



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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So over the last couple days I’ve been installing a TeraFlex 3” lift with front and rear LCA’s and 9550 shocks. If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ve probably noticed I’ve had a hell of a time. The front took forever, mostly due to rusty bolts, but over a day and a half it’s done and together.

The rear is another story. It came down to the last bolt removed, an upper shock bolt, and it snapped. I have it all back together except for the rear passenger shock. I’m hoping that I can use a cutting wheel to remove the nut and just replace it with a regular bolt /nut combination. The other thing that confused me was that the stock rear endlink bolts didn’t fit the new end links.the shoulder was too big to fit. I had to go to the local Home Depot and pick up some grade 8 replacement bolts and some washers.

I will have pictures when I’m done and back on the road.

Thanks again for all the help and information I’ve received from forum members with the issues I’ve had. You’re combined knowledge and experience has been invaluable.


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Discussion Starter #7
How has the ZJ held up? I'm looking to do that swap too


Funny thing is it hasn’t moved out of the garage since I put it on. I’m just putting the final touches on the lift then off to the alignment shop. I will say it looks and feels beefier. I will absolutely give my thoughts after I put a few miles on it.

I ordered everything off of Amazon.


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Funny thing is it hasn’t moved out of the garage since I put it on. I’m just putting the final touches on the lift then off to the alignment shop. I will say it looks and feels beefier. I will absolutely give my thoughts after I put a few miles on it.

I ordered everything off of Amazon.
Nice. I just ordered everything on Amazon and I'm going to get a new track bar too hopefully to just sturdy up the front end. No death wobble, but its not as predictable as I'd like
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So it’s finally done, 4-5, 6 hour days, it was well worth it. Lots of rusted bolts and had to cut one nut off. The suspension feels a lot tighter than it did before. Right now it sits level front to rear with no rake. The lift install wasn’t any harder than other lifts but between rusted bolts and fixing broken shock nut it took a little longer. I asked the forum members for a lot of help along the way and the response was overwhelming, thank you guys.

So as I mentioned before, the lift I chose was the TeraFlex 3” lift with swaybar disconnects, front and rear LCA’s and adjustable front track bar. Very solid parts and decent instructions, YouTube was a great reference as well as the forum. The front trans skid and crossmember had to be removed for clearance. The future holds an aftermarket skid for engine / transmission protection. I temporarily did the transfercase skid drop for improved drivetrain angles. I will go to an MML an 1” BL and get rid of the spacers in the future. I used the TeraFlex 9550 shocks that came with the kit, they’re firm but not jarring.

The top is the after and the bottom is the before.




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Discussion Starter #10
So I never really noticed how much I hate radio. Between the commercials and mindless banter it is really annoying. As stupid as it sounds I didn’t drive my, actually my wife’s, TJ as much because of it. So I finally bit the bullet.

I purchased an Alpine CDE-HD149BT. I purchased it from Crutchfield along with their pre-made harness. It took about 30min to take it apart, hook it all up and put it back together. There’s a lot to like about it, I especially like the Alpine Tune-it app. I wish the display was the same color as the buttons but oh well. I love that I can USB my phone and play what I want.


It keeps the dash minimalistic and clean.

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The second part of the radio install were the speakers. I went with Infinity Reference speakers front and rear. They sound really good for their size. I wasn’t expecting big / rich sound from such small speakers but it’s definitely 10X better than stock. Great high’s, ok mid’s and really no low’s. I’m sure down the road I will add a small amplifier. Install was relatively easy and took about 30-45min. All in all definitely worth the upgrade.


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Discussion Starter #12
So yesterday I installed Body Armor rockcrawler side guards, not that she’ll be doing any rock crawling. When I got the Jeep, it had large silver side steps. They stuck out too far and were just too bulky.

The install took about 1hr, including removing the old ones. I can see, in reviews, why people have fitment issues. The fit is very tight against the frame, but also very secure and sturdy. They seem very sturdy and the rough powder coat looks good.

All in all I’m very happy with them. They give a nice clean look to the Jeep.



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Discussion Starter #13
So just an update. I’ve only put about 500mi since the lift / suspension install. I’m very happy with the final product. I would definitely recommend this lift to anyone. I might actually enjoy it more than my JKU. I’ve also picked up a small rattle at idle that I’ll chase down once it warms up.

I did find out that the Rubi’s don’t need a SYE Kit so I think I’m just going to get rear UCA’s and a new driveshaft to fix driveline angle problems. I’ll remove the transfer case drop and forgo the BL and MML lift.


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