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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My end goal of this build is to find a comfortable middle between trail and road use.

In my old build thread, I had a lot of fun building up my LJ. I ended up selling it because I wanted to switch back to the Corvette world. I built up my Corvette for the track and had a blast with it. At the end of the day, though, I still really missed my Jeep. My wife enjoyed the jeep a lot more than the vette, so we started looking a few months ago. I was looking at used '12 JKUs (I wanted the Pentastar and the wife wanted 4 doors) when I came across this one. It's a 2014 Freedom Edition. It wasn't even that much more expensive than a used one, so I bit the bullet.

This thing is luxurious and not at all what I expected a jeep to be like. It almost makes me nervous to take it on the trails, but I'm looking forward to going out. Here it is the day after I got it:



I don't have any immediate mod plans. I want to learn to wheel it in stock trim and build it up slowly. I did that with my vette on the track and it was awesome because I could get a feel for each mod after I installed it. I do plan on resuming work on the jeeputer that I was building with my LJ.

Mods
Windshield Lights, Windshield Tint, CB Radio, Door Sill Plates, Black Jeep Logo
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Over the last few months, I've added a bunch of little mods. First off, I had my windshield tinted.

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Hosted by JeepParking.com

I also added one of my favorite stickers:

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Next, I added a cb radio and antenna. I ended up mounting the antenna between the tire and rear tire carrier.

Ran the wire through the pre-existing holes:

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Mounted the radio right next to the shift knob:

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I went with the Midland 1001LWX. I used to have a Uniden PRO520XL and it was a great radio, but I really wanted the NOAA weather. The Midland is the same size, has the same features and has NOAA weather so it was a no-brainer.

Next set of mods were a set of door sill plates for all 4 doors:

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Lastly, some windshield lights and I replaced the front chrome Jeep logo with black ones.

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So a whole bunch of little mods to get me started. I also have a dual-usb charger socket that I want to install for the rear seat passengers. My wife and I like to do roadtrips and I think this'll come in really handy to keep phones and cameras charged.

I've done some very minor wheeling.. just some local trails around a lake near my house. I really want to get it out on some actual trails soon. I need some more local wheeling buddies.
 

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Nice start. I am learning to love my JKU. I came from a TJ and it really is different. Not worse just different. You'll see. Have fun and keep posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Went to take some pictures with all of the mods so far. Still not many mods, but it's something. I was hoping to get these shots while wheeling but I just haven't had the opportunity. Anyway, here are some mall-crawler pictures.







There are a ton more in the album here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey how do you like the rr hood latches? I'm looking at these for my jeep and wanted the opinion of someone who has them.

Jeremy
I just got them a few days ago. We went on a several hundred mile road-trip last week and the hood was fluttering like crazy, so I wanted something to stop that. I have a 3500 mile trip at the end of December which will really put them to the test.

In the few rides I've had with them though, they've completely stopped the hood flutter. The install was pretty straight forward. It was a little of a pain to take the hood latch holder off the fender, but besides that they're well built and very solid.

If you care about scratches, you might be concerned with putting the latch down on your fender when you unhook the hood. It's just solid metal and there's no padding there, so it'll definitely scratch it up.
 

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Nice I'm glad you're happy with the latches! Thanks for the review that helped solidify my decision. If you need anything in the future for your rig feel free to let me know I can help you out. Keep up the great work on the Jeep it is coming along nicely!

Jeremy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've done some little updates to the jeep. I got these from my secret santa:

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Ended up putting them in the back. Next thing I got was a Harbor Freight hitch carrier.

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This thing got a lot of good reviews across the different forums. I'll probably spray it with a few coats of bedliner just to be safe.

We're about to go on a roadtrip and take the jeep with us. My brother is tagging along and I wanted a place for him to be able to charge his phone, so I added a rear USB charger that I got from Amazon. For power, I tapped into the fuse for the rear seat heaters (I didn't know those were even an option in Wranglers).

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I think I spent more time trying to figure out where I wanted to put the outlet than I did installing it all. I ended up mounting it behind the driver's seat in the door cowl. I used 12 ga wire and have a 10amp fuse. The USB outlets are 2.1 amps for the bottom and 1 amp for the top. Nice thing about that is I can add another one to the passenger side and not blow the fuse if they're all being used at once.

Here's how it looks:

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Hosted by JeepParking.com

I'm pretty happy with it. It's a little crooked, but it's in the back so I won't notice. It's waterproof so it should be ok that far low.

Besides that, I'm just happy to be back home and in my Jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just finished a 1500 mile roadtrip from Texas to Pennsylvania. The Jeep did great! Fully loaded with 3 adults and tons of gifts and luggage, we averaged ~19mpg. Cruise control was set to 75mph most of the way. The weather was pretty decent until we hit Virginia or so. Then we had rain the entire rest of the way. I got a bunch of pictures to share.. pretty much at every stop.

Let's start with my ugly mug.

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I had the phone mounted on the same mount I was using in my vette for track days, so it didn't budge the entire time.

Here we are at the start.

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We don't have any snow up here yet but we do have a ton of fog. My family's place is on a mountain and my uncles place is near the top which is where the fog is the worst. I tried to get a cool shot.

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So overall the Jeep has been awesome. I might try and visit Rausch Creek while I'm up here if I can find the time.
 

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Great looking build! I have the same hood latches. Honestly, one of my favorite mods. Zero hood flutter since and I think they really enhance the look! Highly recommend to anyone considering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
So after ~4000 miles, we are back. That trip was an awesome way to break in the Jeep. If you want to see a slideshow of all the pictures, I have them here.

Overall, the Jeep did great! I had zero issues the whole trip and it was a lot more comfortable than I thought it'd be. I can only think of two things that could've been improved.

#1, the headlights. I can see why people upgrade these. They're not bad around areas that are lit, but the second you get away from cities and onto highways that don't have light it becomes very easy to outrun your lights. The other issue is bad weather. As we were coming up to Meridian, Mississippi, I heard a trucker on the cb say "If you're heading towards Meridian, you need to pull over now. They have tornados on the ground, trees on the highway and zero visibility." The storm was pretty terrible and my lights were not making it any easier to see where I was going. That's definitely an upgrade I'm going to look for in the future.

#2 Gas mileage. Ok, nothing we can do here. I did get 21mpg for a while which was nice, but average for the trip was 19.

Overall, though, it was a great roadtrip vehicle. We did hit some pretty terrible weather but the Jeep had no problems. There were several times where we hit flooding and it was nice to not really be worried about it. I had read that Jeeps don't handle well in the rain, but I had no problems. It probably also helps that my tires are practically brand new.

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The basket on the back worked really well. I couldn't even tell it was there while driving. I did strap it to the tow hook so it wouldn't move around as much.

I upgraded to a 4 foot Firestik antenna while I was home. I'm really happy I did because that CB came in very handy during the bad weather. Also while sitting in traffic, it was amusing talking to the truckers. I still have the 3 foot that I'll use in my normal day to day since the 4 foot doesn't fit in the garage.

When we got home, we found a nice surprise waiting for us. A bunch of my family had gotten together and got us an early baby gift.

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We are now a 2 Jeep household. I'm looking forward to modding and wheeling the second Jeep this coming June.

So now that I'm back, I'm going to continue working on my website JeepParking.com - Jeep Picture Image Hosting. I want to write an Android and iPhone app to make it easier to add pictures. It's been a fun little side project and it's nice to have a simple spot to host all my pictures.

I'm also going to start saving up for a headlight upgrade. After that, probably a set of Currie Anti-Rock's for the front. I really want to get this Jeep out on the trails and don't want to mess with disconnecting sway bars.
 
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