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Discussion Starter #1
OK, this is my first thread EVER! ANY WHERE...so here goes (and if I'm the only one who ever visits it, that's OK too :) )
So this is to show the mods and my work I do to my '16 Mojave Sand JKU Sport. I ordered it, so it's exactly what I wanted.
I'll include some patterns and parts break downs for the things I fabricate my self (in my small garage, with limited tools, some skills, free time, and way too many "clever but overly complicated" ideas). It's clearly a USAF theme from my 20 years active duty (AMMO!) When I seen the Mojave Sand color, I fell in love and knew I'd militarize it.
Oh, and since I have a 24" vinyl plotter (I did decals on the side for about 15 years) I might go a little overboard with the decals, but I'm tryin' Ringo...I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd. :).
With all that said, here's my first pics from when I got it. I added the hood and doors USAF "Stars-n-Bars", and the hood side lettering, on day two. Just FYI, the USAF is obviously the Air Force, the 2W071 was my career field (munitions spec. It was originally 461X0 when I joined in '86, but was re-designated around '90-ish?)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Since I starting this thread later in my build process, I have some catching up to do. So these early posts might come pretty fast (or at least fast for an old guy with the classic hunt-n-peck typing style).
First mods will always be decals (and since I change them sometimes, or the design evolves, I'll skip the older versions and just post what's current).
First, I added my ribbon rack and 7-level badge on the back glass. My plotter doesn't print, so I got this from Military-Graphics in AZ Military Decals Stickers Insignia Vinyl | Military-Graphics.com Home . Real happy with them. They customized everything including the silver/bronze oak leaf clusters, campaign stars, even the valor "V" device. Put everything in order, and sent me a jpeg proof first. They have tons of military unit patches, ranks, etc.
 

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Made my own logo for the fender. Used an early '70s Plymouth Duster Twister decal for the center (I'm an old Mopar guy). Figured Mojave Sandstorm ties in the color, and hints of Desert Storm. We don't have twisters here in AZ, we have dust devils, so I just made my own edition. And it's just dust and sand here.
Also added the (knock-off) 75th anniversary badges and matching Trail Rated badge, 'cus I just liked the bronze on the sand color.
Finally, I made Mangler Unlimited decals, just 'cus. I figure most people won't even notice, but I'm OK with that :)
 

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One of the reasons I got my JKU was to haul my dog around (I had been using my SRT-4 with all the seats removed except the drivers seat, but I figured this was better) so I removed the rear seat and made a hinged 3/4" plywood floor. I made brackets that mount to the factory seat bolts, that the hinges mount to. There's no more gap in the floor like there was with the seats folded, and there's room under it for my entrenching tool, spax axe, etc.
I found a large cargo pet liner on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CWHBMZK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 that's great. Bottom is rubberized so it doesn't slip. Long enough to go all the way up the front seat backs, and has a zippered pass-through. Covers all the way to the back (and then some) and up both sides. I added snaps at the corners, and to the plywood, so it's super secure. Also added eyelets and use Velcro strap to hold the sides to the roll bars, and Velcro tape to the back gate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One of my favorite things about Wranglers is being able to open the hood all the way to the windshield (I'm 6'4" and I've been wrenching on vehicles my whole life, and I've cracked my head way too many times!) So rather than grab a towel every time, I decided to add an extra set of hood warts. I used the shorter ones (from the hard rock hoods) and I love this mod. Simple, cheap (like $8 from Quadratec) easy and functional.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gotta' be able to secure my CCW when I go someplace that doesn't allow it (like the USPS or the VA) so I got a pair of Bestop under seat lock boxes (cut some foam for the drivers side to keep my ultra carry from sliding). They were keyed differently, but I just disassembled one cylinder, moved the tumblers around, filed one, and viola :) One key for both.
 

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The militarization continues...
Added a fender blackout light w/mount. Got both pieces cheap on eBay (the mount came from India, but it's got the F stamp). I was a little worried about the strength of the plastic fender, so I made a steel plate for the underside. It sandwiches the fender between the mount and plate, spreads out the screw load, and also bolts to the factory steel fender support (the plate is upside down in the pic). Did a rattle-can base coat/clear coat paint job (got the paint from PaintScratch.com).
 

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Time for some lights...
Got two sets of NiB mil surplus lights (before they got expensive) two with clear lenses, two with IR lenses. Obviously they got some paint. They were 24v, but I just grabbed some GE 4454 (60w/60w) PAR 36 12v bulbs. Because of how deep they are, and that they use packard connectors out the back, I couldn't find mounts that would work/that I liked (I also wanted them low and in-board) so I decided to make my own. I used 11g steel plate that I had in the garage (always keep steel plate on-hand :)). I made some cardboard mock-ups, then the pattern (which I had to adjust a bit so I could make the bends in my vise brake), cut it out (hack saw, Dremel tool, bench grinder, drill and a file) bent it up, painted it and bolted them to the existing bolts (after making some .032" thick rubber gaskets). I wasn't sure if 11g would be strong enough, but these are damn solid!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
'Cus of the pillar lights size/location, the stock antenna wouldn't fit, so I did the free 45° rotate mod (thanks WranglerForum). Then got a shorter and stiffer 21" spring steel antenna (the stocker just moved around to much to be that close to the pillar). I'm not really sure why I did this, I still haven't even tried the radio. But might as well...
 

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Mounted the IR bumper lights using Quadratec economy aux light mounts. I had to relocate the outside temp sensor so I could locate the lights in-line with the outer grill slots (just to make the wiring/packard connecters fit easier). These mounts are plenty strong enough for the heavy mil lights.
I also installed some VDP stubby bumper end caps. Pretty simple, quick install...definitely changes the look, 'till I get a steel one.
 

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Had to go with steel wheels, painted Mojave Sand. Went with Pro Comp series 98 (17x8 4.75bs). $82 each w/free shipping from Amazon (I didn't even know you could get wheels from Amazon). Local shop painted 'em for $30 each. I added hub-centric rings (just to fill in the space) and painted the hubs. Got some black lug nuts also, not pictured.
Yes, I know I need better tires, but that'll have to wait 'till these wear out...
 

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Wanted to make some kind of spare tire lock (nothing bullet proof, just another layer) so I cut some more 11g plate, used some 1/4" steel to space the lock out, four 3/16" steel rivets to attach it, paint, some lock/unlock icons, and a short cable w/ pin in case I forget to lock it (attached to the home made AEV 3rd brake light mount). If nothing else, it's different...and upgradeable (got an idea :))
 

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Since it no longer says Wrangler on the fenders, I figured it should say it somewhere. I got the Wrangler part from the '15 Staff Car concept, and just carried it over to the Jeep part.
Also made a bomber style ops list (partial) decal, version 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is probably a dumb little mod, but it was free (I already had the Plasti Dip, and make my own decals) besides my time. Made this dust cover for the data link connecter plug. I covered the plug end with tape, put a (very) thin layer of dielectric grease (using a spare plug), and dipped it in plastic about six times. Popped it off easily the next day, trimmed it, and added the decal. Fits nice and snug but can be removed easily. It's the little things in life :).
 

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Read a recent thread about Bolt hood locks being popped through from the front, so I wanted to try something. Since I had to remove the lock any way (Bolt sent me a free retro fit kit) I decided to make a backer plate. Cut and bent some 10g steel, attached it with four 3/16" steel rivets, and it's snug to the back of the cylinder/arm. Just another layer, or maybe a pointless waste of time :)
 

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Whew, that should cover it for now. I'm working on two slick mods (i.e. overly complicated, more work than it seems, mods that look easy) currently that are waiting completion, and I don't want to start posting pics 'till they're done.
One is a concealed six switch pod, but four of the rockers are back ordered, so hopefully it'll be done next month ('cus I'm nit-picky)
The other is a inexpensive military style tail light mod that's just waiting on paint (already ordered some). It's a stupid amount of work for what it is, but I'm dumb about the little details! Might be done by next weekend, they're mounted/working already, and look great, just some final touches and paint still.
'Till then here's my last two decals I made. A presentation flag w/reflective white stars, and my last two dogs paw prints (flat black on the back glass).
 

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Installed some Daystar hood vents. $110 shipped from Amazon (yes, I'll shop around for days to find the best deal). Install wasn't bad, a hole saw and my trusty Dremel work horse (I use my Dremel w/cutoff wheels for everything except pounding nails :)). Good instructions w/mounting template.
Took a couple of hours, but I also spent another day to paint them after fitting them. These work great, even after stopping. After a drive, you can feel the hot air coming out of them. And lets face it, they look cool too. For some reason, I don't see many painted?
 

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EDITED: In the military we would call this "change to the change".
Initially I posted this idea as a cheap 3rd brake light for others, as I already have the AEV CHMSL. But I've been thinking again (uh oh) so I decided to try this. I removed the guts out of the light, and installed it as a lens-only over my CHMSL. Right now, I like it, but if I change my mind it's a two second removal. Total cost was under $3.50 (in parts that I already had laying around) and about 5 minutes of time. I'll have to make another cable-retainer for my spare tire lock, but I have all the parts.

Obviously this idea would work as an actual 3rd brake light if needed. It fit great in the holes of my Pro Comp "soft 8" style steel wheels. Grommet says 2 3/16" holes, but it works fine one these 2 3/8". Goes in pretty easy, pops out easy enough, and uses standard trailer plug.
These came from etrailer.com, about $2 for the light, $1.35 for the grommet, and $1 for the plug pigtail. So for under $5 you can have a 3rd brake light if you have 17" soft 8 wheels (might fit on others too). There are also LED ones that run $7-$8, still only $10-ish total, or you can use more than one.
And, you could also use this idea for additional backup lights. Up to eight of them :). Any 2" grommet-mounted light.
Again, just an idea...
 

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I would love to see someone create ariel mounts exactly like those we had on the M-151A2’s back in the 70’s and 80’s. I mostly operate in the Mojave region and being able to mount 109” steel whip high, off the left corner of the rear tub ABOVE the roofline would be truely bitchin’!

I could give a rats bowhind about those whom raise cain over whips being too tall and dangerous. I (WE) drove M-151’s (MUTTS) all over hell and back having all antennas up, untied during operational movements and convoys.

The steel whip, painted accordingly, would look bodacious!
 

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