Jeep Wrangler Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am actually three years into the build of what I had decided would become a dedicated trail rig. It has hit some bumps and I have learned a lot but as I have progressed I have decided that I want to be able to take long road trips in my Jeep and still be very capable in the rocks we see here in the desert SouthWest.

As I sit now. 2012 JKU Sport MetalCloak 3.5" Dual Rate Springs
MetalCloak front Trackbar
MetalCloak front lower control arms
Bilstein 5160 Shocks w/reservoir
ARB air locker rear
Aussie locker front
4.88 Yukon gears
37" Cooper Discoverer STT tires
17" Pro Comp wheelsSynergy Drag Link (flipped)
Synergy Tie Rod
Front Currie Anti Rock Swaybar
Artec truss (front axle)
Synergy C-Gussett
Nemesis industries front lower shock relocation brackets
MetalCloak rear lower shock relocation brackets
SOLID diff covers
Extended brake lines
AFE high tuck Catback exhaust
RuggedRidge Snorkel
Custom front driveshaft
Adams 1310 rear driveshaft
Smittybilt XRC8 winch with synthetic line
JCR Front Stubby Dagger Stinger Winch Bumper
10" led lightbar
PIAA spot lights
ARB OBA
sPOD
Smittybilt SRC rocker armor
Smittybilt XRC fender flares
Uniden CB radio
Firestick antennae
stubby radio antennae
OR-Fab Tire Carrier with Rotopax
SWAG Offroad tailgate conversion
EVO Rear Bolt on D-Ring Mounts
Fire Extinguisher
Amazon heated seat inserts




The idea is to keep as much of the storage responsibilities inside of the Jeep, in other words no roof rack. Roof Racks interfere with rock crawling and as I want a very capable dual purpose rig, I will not be using a roof rack of any kind. I currently only have the passenger side rear seat in and use the driver side for storage area. I plan to take that even further by removing the entire back seat and replacing with storage that I will make out of a pressed board or metal depending on storage needs. My backseat passenger is a 12lb dog who gets seatbelted in her carrier when riding. She will be on most of our trips and so I have to build a doggy zone into my plans.



I run the soft top most of the year but the hardtop will be used for overlanding trips just because of dust, road noise and security when parked. It will be difficult to keep the weight down, currently I am sitting right at about 5000 lbs with the top, doors on.

This will not happen over night, I am not wealthy but I will update as I go and I hope to share whatever I learn as I go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Nice build so far looking forward for more
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Since I am planning to do longer trips which will require the use of the entire gas tank I have decided to drop the stock skid plates for some Artec stuff. It should be here sometime this week I hope which would allow me to get everything on by the end of the weekend. I am hoping that it will help cut down some of the turbulence under the Jeep and give me a couple extra miles per tank. Also, my stock stuff is so bashed in that I am pretty sure I don't have the same gas tank capacity that I did when it was new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
I am sure this will be an awesome build! I am going the overland route with mine as well. My GFs mom lives in central Colorado and my parents have a place in western Colorado. We live in Oklahoma so it takes 12 hours to get to both, but we have multiple trips per year planned to go out there. So I am working to make mine as capable on the highway as it is on the trail. I agree with your choice of not running a roof rack though, the JKU has lots of storage inside and the rack will hurt MPG on the highway. Finding a balance between trail and street is what I am working on now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
This weekend did not go exactly as planned. The Artec undercarriage stuff mostly came in. The crossmember which is pretty important to the process was shipped separately from the rest of the stuff and so the armor did not go on. Hoping it will be here this week.
I had been fighting a weak axle side trackbar mount on the front of my JK for a very long time. I reinforced the stock one with a Synergy bolt on over a year ago and that one subsequently cracked while out on the trail. It gave the wife and I a good scare when we got a little death wobble going about 30 mph coming home from a trail 3 hours away from the house. Luckily our friend brought his trailer and had his welder and generator so we were able to weld it good enough to make it home. When I got home I added some more welds and since than they had slowly been cracking. They finally broke completely free. Trackbar mount moving 2 to 3" when you steer is not cool. I had already purchased an Artec replacement which is 1/4" steel and fits nicely. I had that welded on last Thursday and Friday and the steering is as tight as it has been in a long time.
This week I will be pulling the seat out and hopefully starting to outline the base for the rear storage area, if the Artec crossmember arrives I will shift focus and put the skids on.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Backseat is out and so is the carpet and I have begun measuring for the storage.

ForumRunner_20150324_182833.jpg



ForumRunner_20150324_182953.jpg

I need to figure out which ones of those wires are for the 12v so that I can run a USB charger and 12 volt to the rear.

ForumRunner_20150324_183013.jpg
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,376 Posts
This weekend did not go exactly as planned. The Artec undercarriage stuff mostly came in. The crossmember which is pretty important to the process was shipped separately from the rest of the stuff and so the armor did not go on. Hoping it will be here this week.
I had been fighting a weak axle side trackbar mount on the front of my JK for a very long time. I reinforced the stock one with a Synergy bolt on over a year ago and that one subsequently cracked while out on the trail. It gave the wife and I a good scare when we got a little death wobble going about 30 mph coming home from a trail 3 hours away from the house. Luckily our friend brought his trailer and had his welder and generator so we were able to weld it good enough to make it home. When I got home I added some more welds and since than they had slowly been cracking. They finally broke completely free. Trackbar mount moving 2 to 3" when you steer is not cool. I had already purchased an Artec replacement which is 1/4" steel and fits nicely. I had that welded on last Thursday and Friday and the steering is as tight as it has been in a long time.
This week I will be pulling the seat out and hopefully starting to outline the base for the rear storage area, if the Artec crossmember arrives I will shift focus and put the skids on.
Thanks for that pic of the track bar bracket, it's the only piece of the kit we didn't get welded on (ran out of time) Was curious how it would look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for that pic of the track bar bracket, it's the only piece of the kit we didn't get welded on (ran out of time) Was curious how it would look.
I am not sure that we did it as Artec intended. I had already cut off some of the stock stuff but it seems to be fine as it is. I think as long as the welds are good it should hold up just fine. The guy who welded mine seems to do a good job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yesterday I began installing the Artec under carriage armor. I didn't get super far, I am not in a hurry and really wasn't super motivated to begin with. The cross member has two different bolt sizes 18mm and 16mm. For all the bolts that were exposed I had to use a 19mm socket to get them out. For the 16mm bolts inside the crossmember that attach to the transfer case, a deep 16mm socket would be best. Since I was home alone and I promised my wife I wouldn't kill myself while working on the Jeep, I secured the transfer case with a block of wood sitting on my jack. I then ran another block of wood across my transmission pan, which by the way looks like it has taken a beating. I painted the new crossmember with black high heat Rustoleum spray paint. The new crossmember went in very smoothly, no complaints there at all. Thank you Artec.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
subscribed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Love the build, using it as inspiration for my one :thumb:

Just wondering are you still using the Dana 30 up front? I didn't see an upgraded axle in your parts list. If so, how is it holding up to the 37s?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
For the first time ever I got on an RTI ramp. It was good I did since I found out my rear driveshaft is rubbing before I max out the suspension. Looks like I need to do some trimming on the gas tank skid.

ForumRunner_20150823_090602.jpg



ForumRunner_20150823_090612.jpg



ForumRunner_20150823_090624.jpg
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,540 Posts
Excellent...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Looking forward to following along on your build.
I'm just getting ready to start a raised floor as well. So definitely will enjoy your work. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Went to do some rock crawling and had a great time.

ForumRunner_20150927_151914.jpg


This is right after I snapped a lower control arm. We were able to trail fix the control arm and drove it to pavement.

ForumRunner_20150927_152047.jpg


ForumRunner_20150927_151930.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
It seems as though MetalCloak being the company they are, will be replacing the lower control arm I snapped. Good on them, I really appreciate it. I ordered the upper control arms from them as a way to thank them for doing what they did, having an awesome warranty.
The benefit of not having to pay for a replacement is I can move on with the project I had already started buying for. Adding more switches, because I don't feel as though you can ever have enough.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top