Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 101 Posts

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[edit] I started this on my phone and I hate typing on that thing LOL so I'll have to edit on the PC but I use the phone as a camera these days and it's easy to upload pics that way. So here goes!

First, I suppose I could introduce myself ;) Hi, I'm Erik, an old jarhead ;) Actually, I'm not THAT old lol I just feel it some days. I'm young to many at just 55 but as the story goes, after serving over 5 years in the Marine Corps (extension courtesy of Uncle Sam for that little shindig in the Desert back in 90/91) and a 5 year break in service I did a short stint in the Army to get some training (I was a good Marine and it was hard finding a job for a shooter ;) ) that would help me in a carrier outside of the service. In the Army, in my 30's I was 'an old jarhead' and it just sorta stuck.

I grew up on sports cars and sports car racing so naturally that's what I usually bought but after too many tickets and really wanted to take my kids camping which I could not do in my Firebird, I sold the bird, bought my first Jeep (a 2001 XJ Sport manual) I fell in love with Jeep's (I'd always liked them, always thought I wanted one, but once you have one....).

A divorce took that one from me (B*[email protected]) but soon I picked up a '98 XJ Sport automatic -- it was my first auto ever and I hated to automatic tranny but had to admit it was good offroading (at least I thought)....it had 100k miles on it and you know the drill: suspension was tired so on went the OEM 3" lift...tires were tired so Devino offset wheels and 31's (Toyo Open Country), needed room to carry stuff so back rack and roof rack, fenders needed to clear tires so cut out, new Rusty's offroad flares, got a deal on a warn brush gaurd and winch, had to have it, headers, dizzy rebuild, top end done, 2 core rad, throttlebody blah blah blah.....4.10's on and on...and I loved it!
4487873

This was before the flares were done but you get the idea.

We put 160k miles on it and it got tired. I was living at the cabin while working remote and the wife needed something reliable to drive so we bought her a Subaru and I was driving an F150 for the load capacity as I needed to haul stuff to the cabin at this point....so we let the Jeep go (it was called 'the Road Warrior') and I began to miss it. Fast forward about 6 or 7 years....

We bought this Rubi on the 2nd of January. I'd been looking for some time but the last few that were priced well were just not at the right time as I'm trying to retire (soon) and paying off bills is the priority (rather than adding to them with a new rig). But when I saw this one advertised it was at a good time, the price was 'ok' (as far as I was concerned anyway as I'd seen Rubi's with similar miles etc go cheaper by as much as $5k and this dealer isn't known for good prices though they always seem to have very nice rigs). Anyway, we went to take a look and fell in love (right?).

I was really looking for a Wrangler Rubicon, no specific year, no major mods, low miles etc, as our Cabin rig and as a toad behind our truck camper. Of course, some mild wheeling would be in the future but mostly just to get places to camp and/or fish.

Anyway, we stumbled across this one, loved it, barely talked them down any and took off with our new toy :) We were all smiles for miles at that point.

However, that hood. I loved it, wanted to know what the deal was and the 10th Anniversary plate was begging for an investigation. I did some research and discovered that we'd accidentally bought one of the best Jeeps to by (for us) and at a price much better than it could have been! Even more smiles at that point!
4487874

This will not be a major build, just a few small things that should improve it for our mild off roading and cabin trips, specially in the winter and that brings me to the first couple items.

I knew I would need to haul stuff on the jeep and had been thinking a lot about camping; we have an awesome camper (Arctic Fox 990) and an F350 to haul it but I wanted the freedom to go where I wanted to and do some short trips after a little wheeling like I used to do in the XJ (there is this little lake up an old wash.....you get the idea) so I picked up a back rack and ordered the KMS Pro rack (it's a little confusing since it's now ARS but the boxes still say KMS and it's owned by Metalcloak).

Then we headed to our cabin and having discovered we could not put on big chains (maybe the front would be ok but not the back at all way too close to the control arms). I'd bought some quick on Les Schwab chains, the smallest they had, and while they worked, it was almost as if they weren't there....the next trip, in nearly two feet of snow and with a 21% uphill grade to get to the property the cabin is on and almost not making it, made me decide on wheel spacers.
20210306_120441.jpg

I picked up a set of Supreme Suspensions billet spacers and had them installed by my mech (I used to do almost all the work myself but I'm letting someone else do a lot of it today).

20210306_124054.jpg

As you can see, the wheels sit much better now and I have the clearance to put on chains!
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I also added 1" Teraflex Front Coil Spring Spacers as I didn't like the heavy rake to the front, much probably because of the winch weight. Adding these really worked and the rake is now only around 1/4".
4487875

It still looks a little raked here but it's just where it's sitting. It's not flat across the top, but close. The KMS rack is installed here as well (that I did myself) and while there was some cussing and swearing and a lot of using Metalcloak's name in vein, I was able to get it right (with a 2nd pair of hands which made all the difference) and am pleased with the rack. It's stout...like put an elephant up there stout

Also installed Maximus3 front tow eyes and have the Roadmaster adapters for them and the bar for the camper. This week I will have the InvisiBrake system install completed as well.
4487877

Don't like the 7pin plug sticking out so high so will need to sort that one out by tucking or dropping it at least an inch but we shall see. For now, it's there because Jeff over at Autoworks commented "when you get out of the drivers side and walk back it will be right there to disconnect. Good point.

20210306_120513.jpg

Next up will be some SS brake lines and possibly shocks as well since Jeff told me the lines were kinda tight with the 1" lift up front and I'll need to do something to protect them from damage if I get a lot of droop in the front. He felt the front and rears could use it and he's probably right. Shocks are still good, it's only got 25k on it now but he felt I'd be happier with longer shocks that will allow more flex...perhaps ;)

Then again, he suggested a cold air intake and I explained I had no plans to do any engine upgrades. Just minor suspension tweaks etc to improve things mildly. I don't want to wander too far from the 10A stock.

Don't plan on much more but we shall see.
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Lol well that as the case with my last one! An XJ that I spent a buck or 3 on lol. But I'm older now;)

Actually the 10A suits me well though I can see 33's in the future, better shocks and some overlanding stuff (guess I will have to edit this a bit).
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
After just about 3hrs of wrenching, scratching my head, cussing, arguing (with myself and the wife) we got the Mod-rack up top and adjusted with red lock tight on the bolts. Also got the load bars on.

Will do a write on it later but I have some grumbles to share. However, I do like the rack and am impressed so far.
20210307_183331.jpg
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Yesterday, after FedEx dropped off some boxes
4487878

I had to get to work! I'd ordered the ARS Mod-Rack, load bars and tent mounts and wanted to get them installed right away (it's a disease I think).

At first I was a little surprised as I hadn't realized the rack was 5 separate pieces all bolted together. Not sure that makes a difference overall, but putting in 12 bolts, nuts and washers just to assemble the rack base was a bit of an annoyance ;) Then the main rack rails go on, end caps and mounts, all of which is only a little tight because I know I'll have to put it up on the jeep, plan some things out, take it off, move things around, tighten the bolts (with locktight on those without lock washers) and then put it back on the jeep....it took a little more than 3hrs and my wife (who wasn't happy as it was cold) but I got it done.

4487879

First comment is that the mounts that you use to mount the rack to the bars are not black. They are grey and don't match the rack. For the money I spent on this setup, I'd think they could match! (might seem picky but I've got $2000 invested in the rack now so I think they could match).

I do like that the mod-rack has a bit of an airfoil built into the platform and the platform itself appears to be VERY strong. I'm thinking you could jump up and down up there without a worry. It's strong and all those holes mean it is likely great for mounting extra stuff too, even if I haven't found too many things to add yet (other then grab bars and rails).

4487880

Looking to the front without the front load bar on yet, you can see the individual pieces of the rack system.

4487881

and the grey mounts....grrrr

4487882

Here it is with both bars added. Why the bars? So I can haul a canoe up there as well. For us it's all about the options. With the bars I can put the canoe on top and drag them both behind the camper. Or I can put on a tent and tow the canoe :D as I have a trailer for it.

4487883


I have plans for lights, just not sure where yet and though I have a big Galaxy 959 CB with SSB that's Peak and Tuned it just doesn't fit in the Jeep so I'm looking at other options and the big radio will likely go into the camper hauler if I can figure out where to put it.

Other minor things done so far are the bling type things on the back (US flag tail light covers, USMC third brake light cover, USMC spare tire cover and US flag grill insert. It also had LED headlights installed already and I added a back rack and after removing the back seat we got some foot locker sized bins that we can strap into the back. We already head a 12v cooler that works very well that we can use on short trips and I ordered the ARB roof top tent and annex which should arrive in a week or two.

I'm looking at the Outback Adventure Products Tailgater as I think that would be very useful for both camping as well as lunches in the woods while wheeling (or even just ghost town hopping like we have planned this summer).
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One last note: these were left over...
4487886

The problem is that the instructions call for 1 lock washer and 1 flat washer as well as a button head screw to place here:
4487888

However they didn't provide enough button heads and the cap screws worked better up top anyway (they provided them) but you cannot get a lock washer and washer under that cap screw up top as the holes are too close to the bracket to do so. I'd remove that from the instructions and plan to just lock-tight those screws in place.

As for the lock-tight, I noticed I had a couple mount screws on the main rack that were a little loose after a week or two. Rather than just tighten down I added lock-tight to make sure they didn't come loose on rough road.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,937 Posts
I seem to always need loc-tite when I assemble racks for Jeeps, even with lock washers. I use the blue though. I have an ACE Engineering rear cargo rack in my 10A and I ignored my gut and just used the lock washers at first. Within 6 months it was rattling and I found two loose bolts. I went around removing one bolt at a time and re-installing with loc-tite. Not a rattle since.
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That would suck with this rack. To tighten the bolts under the Mod-Rack I'd have to remove it! :oops:o_O(n)
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is a quick video of the rack installed. Just a short vid of it. Nothing fancy.
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess I could have added that I'm kinda pic intensive and have similar threads on other forums (portable sawmilling, cabin building etc) and that I used to run a very popular darts forum (worlds top at one point) so have spent much of my adult life on Forums for various reasons :D Literally from when forums were new to the world!

Anyhow, here are a couple more pics and comments on the new rack system:

4487902

One issue I had was that the rear rack bars are too close to the fuel tank filler/cover. Hard to fix I guess but also hard to open (security measure?). I literally have to use a pocket knife to open it (maybe it's my sausage fingers which is what my wife said).
4487903

You can see just how close that is here....aint easy getting that door open!

4487904

Next up is a shot of the underside of the Mod-Rack. Hard to see but you can make out the bolts holding the rack sections together. I'm thinking lock-tight is in order there but I should have done that BEFORE finally installing on the Jeep as it's a pain to remove......BUT! I can remove the top and do it then :D I'll try that instead.

4487905

Last comment on the rack is this: Those load bars have to be TIGHT to the Mod-Rack to get them to sit well. I'll have to loosen them up and shove them back a little more in hopes of getting rid of this gap here (which will just make noise, provide a home for wasps and be a dirt collector/water collector).
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Couple other things I've done to the 10A so far:

The wife saw these on another Jeep and loved them (the brake light covers)...we bleed Red, White and Blue so it fit nicely :D So too did the USMC 3rd Brake light and the EGA Tire cover ;) and let's not forget the US Flag front grill :D
4487977


4487960

Added a StoNSho front plate Carrier. We're not made of money but these seemed like a great option....now I don't feel as excited about it and wouldn't recommend to others unless you really needed the GoPro mount that you can get with it. It was fun for 30 minutes...now it just gets bent, becomes hard to remove and seems like a waste of over $80 that could have gone elsewhere. (note to self: smarten up!)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,937 Posts
Looks good. Keep the updates coming. It is nice reading about what others do to their Jeeps.

We feed off of each other too, so this can get expensive for everyone as presently unknown items are displayed on someone's build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
If it's a metal fuel door, maybe you could use a magnet to open it.
Unfortunately MetalCloak is still using up the leftover KMS product from the buy out. I would speculate that fitment and quality would go up slightly when ARS is producing them.
I just bent a piece of stainless steel I had to mount the front license plate and used the bolt holes on top of the bumper.
4488029
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just for fun, I decided to flex things a little to check the brake lines. I need to get the Jeep up to our cabin where I can do a better job flexing things but this little retaining wall was a start.
4488113

I could have driven further on and gotten more than 24" (maybe 32" but then both passenger side wheels/tires would be up on the wall and I wanted the rear down flat as much as I could...didn't get much flex but didn't see an issue with the brake lines at all....going to have to really push it to see.

4488114

I dropped it into 4low and hit the sway bar disco and rack it back and forth a bit to make sure it took and let the rig flex but need a lot more wall to test it on ;)

4488115

Then I grabbed a shot with the rack on from above to get a better vantage to see the rack from. It's not much longer/wider than the RTT will be but should give me a little extra space for things up top when the RTT is on and I like the low profile bars in front and back of it. On a side note it's got a bit of a deep base hum when the wind hits just right. Not a bad one, but definitely a little more noise now.
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As more of an intro about me, jeeps and the old Marine part...

My first memorable off-roading experience was in an FJ40 (about the 1970 model) and a friend of my dad's. It was fun, we did some pretty rocky and steep trails in the mountains around Port Alberni BC and though it was a lot of fun, I grew up on sports cars and sports car racing. So, my first vehicles were Fiat's and MG' and later Austin Mini's. I built a full race (vintage Morris Mini 998 - cooperized somewhat) and had about 7 of them with the last that I made into a vintage Ralley car but that was later when I had my first Jeep). I didn't know much about jeeps but I knew I wanted an XJ. Everything I read said that was what I needed for a family off-road vehicle for camping etc but I didn't finally get one until 2001. I did however, get to play with a Blazer II in the corps and loved it and later a Jeep pickup that was also a lot of fun...I was really hooked by then.

Anyway, my next intro to off-roading was in a LAV25 in the Marine Corps back in '86 and I had the full recovery training to go with it. Of course, with 8 wheel drive it was amazing where we could go and what we could do and I loved it! I spent 5 years 'wheeling' in LAV's before leaving the corps with an MGBGT in tow (my 3rd MG at that time) back in 1991 after Desert Storm (where I did a fair bit of 'Desert Wheeling' in Hummers. Still no XJ at that point and I spent time playing with sports cars etc until 2001 when I was tired of speeding tickets and not being able to take the kids out to go camping. I had a Dodge 1500 4x4 for work and had to do some off-road sections for work and loved the freedom. I'd also spent a bit of tiime in the woods with friends hunting etc in their trucks and off-road rigs and finally sold the Firebird I was getting into trouble with and bought an XJ. It was a 2001 XJ sport, 4 door and a 5 speed. Got a good deal on it and loved it! The first time I took it out was to scratch up the paint a little on tight backroads and the first impression was "I wasn't 4 wheeling in the truck at all!" In fact, I took the jeep where I used to take the truck and realized it was an entiurely different world! Where the truck felt like it was really 'wheeling' the Jeep was like "this is a highway!" Ya, I had much to learn!

I really was still new to the Jeep world and off-roading but I had a good time in that thing until it was lost in a divorce.

Finally, in need of a new vehicle (my Mini Cooper was fun and all, but...) I picked up a '98 XJ Sport, automatic with 109,000 miles on it and loved it. Started doing some mild wheeling in it out here in the desert of Eastern WA and soon found myself replacing the suspension, getting better tires, wheels with offset, a winch and brush guard and a whole lot more! I wasn't into rock crawling etc but used that Jeep to do some 4 wheeling in the hills around Dayton and in the Okanogan and hauled an off-road tent trailer with it as well. Eventually it had to go but by then I knew I wanted at least a front locker though the Limited slip rear end was good and all in all the vehicle was excellent for what I needed. Every new thing I did made me want more and really I wanted a wrangler but I didn't like the Unlimitted's when they came out so the XJ was it until I finally sold it with the plan to someday get a Wrangler. I knew then I also wanted a Rubicon as I wanted the lockers and Sway Bar disconnect. Sure, all that can be added to a sport but I wanted to get it all in one package with little need to do much more as I had no plans for Moab etc. Just wanted to be able to hit the backroads without much worry and most importantly I wanted to make it to the cabin in the winter in 2 feet of snow without too much worry. I winch was a must as well and I got all that and more in the 10A I picked up.

So here I am, looking to do more camping and some mild wheeling with a little overlanding mixed in (either with the wife or alone)....but also looking to meet up with others that don't plan on anything really nuts (I'm 55 and no longer enjoy the feeling of almost rolling LOL).....and of course, I wanted a vehicle to tow being the truck/camper for ease of travel when camping or on the road. Nothing wrong with the big dually and it's a joy to drive but it is NOT an off-road vehicle really, specially not with the 5000lbs camper on the back! We love to camp, go to our cabin, drive down old logging roads etc and see cool sites deep in the woods.

And now you have enough I suppose, to know more about me, where I am and what I plan to do with this little 10A
 

·
Registered
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Joined
·
322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
4488388

Here I am, just a kid, back in 1988....that behind me is the LAV25 (Pronounced EL AY VEE 25 by Marines) and was later dubbed "The great destroyers" by the enemy in Iraq ;)

4488389

The Road Warrior - I believe this was taken when I was getting the skid plate ready to put back on since it did not fit with the brush guard and winch (had to be cut to fit). I actually really enjoyed that Jeep and it was perfect for the boys and I or the wife and I to go camping in. We typically drove it on mostly paved roads to the campsite pulling a trailer and then took off during the day to explore the various mount roads around us. Good fun!

I will say I hated the Yakima bars and clamps on top and resorted to duck taping them secure as they would open on their own off-road. The Load Warrior rack was a decent rack but for the money I could have done much better with a more purpose built rack...it was a learning experience.
 
1 - 20 of 101 Posts
Top