Well JeepForum-ers, it has been a few year's since I have posted on here. Previously I had a 2000 Cherokee, lifted on 35's. I had it since I was in high school and slowly built it over the last couple of years. For reference:
About three month's ago while getting off deployment, I decided I wanted something not rusty, more reliable, and not a constant fight against death wobble. I bought me a brand new 2013 JK Rubicon in true blue. The next day, I promptly got it stuck. Twice. Decided it was time start making some changes.
So the upgrades began, starting with the bumpers. I threw some money at Poison Spyder Customs, with their BFH front bumper with trail stinger and lower skid, and the Rockbrawler II rear bumper/tire carrier. I also put in a Jet PCM Stage One.
And thats how it sits this moment. I knew when i bought it that I wanted to go big. I spent a week looking at 40's, then I realized that I don't get paid nearly enough. But I wanted to be bigger than my old Cherokee, so 37's seemed like the fit for me.
So I emptied the rest of my pockets yesterday and now have the following on order:
MetalCloak - Overline fender flares, front and rear, inner liners, rocker rails and rocker exo skin, led markers, and a vacuum pump relocation bracket (I have it sitting zip tied inside the PSC bumper for the moment)
AFE - Power Mach Force XP exhaust and Momentum GT intake
Rigid Industries - 2 pair of their Dually D2, one driving, the other diffused/flood, and a set of A-pillar brackets
Poison Spyder Customs - Hawse fairlead winch mount and associated light bracket
Superwinch - LP8500 winch
Trail Worthy Fab - set of 5 8-bolt recentered HMMV double beadlocks in a hammered black finish, and grooved BFG Baja's
Now i don't know who will be crying worse, me over the death of my wallet, or the fed-ex guy lugging my goodies up to my door.
Currently I plan to see how the 37's will work with no lift, but I do plan on eventually want to go to about 2.5". Updated pics will come as I start getting parts on or go wheeling.
Was able to pick up the AFE Momentum GT intake and one pair of the Dually D2s. Lights were not mounted due to lack of mounting brackets. I did put the intake on.
Factory filter vs AFE (I got the dry filter; didn't think the oiled would be good with the hawaii dust):
Lessons learned: Do not pull the breather tube out of the back of the motor; a winch less winch bumper makes a great step to reach the entire motor.
Was easy to install with just a 10 and 11mm sockets and a flathead screwdriver.
Driving impressions: Not noticeable on startup or idle. I could start to hear it from the drivers seat at 1700-1800 RPM. Noise picks up at about 2500 RPM, and it gets LOUD at WOT between 4500 and the rev limit. For the most part it has an aggressive tone (at least form the drivers seat). Casual driving it really isn't too noticeable or annoying. However, with the pedal to the floor, it makes some noise. As far as performance gains, AFE claims 12hp and 11ft/lbs. Can't say for sure without a dyne, but it does "pull" faster at WOT, seems to make it through the gears faster (noticable from 3->4->5). I would buy it again.
Have not had any new parts come in, but the one set of Rigid Dually D2s made it on the Jeep. In a quick and dirty setup. Tomorrow night I had a night wheeling trip planned so I figured that I would throw the lights on prior to having the fairlead light mount or a-pillar mounts.
I used the holes for the winch fairlead to mount the lights, then ran the wires under the grill and up around behind the driver headlight to the rear driver corner of the under hood. The included wiring harness is superb, with built in relay and inline fuse. all one piece. The wire was long enought to connect to the battery terminals, zip tied along the cable run at the back of the engine bay to the rear drivers corner where the relay is. The firewall has a "hole" for routing wires built in, about 8 inches down near the drivers fender outboard and below the brake booster. I ran the wire under the driver's dash to the forward center council. As this was quick and temporary, I simply zip tied the switch to the lower center dash netting.
Once I get the second set and all the mounts, I will be more permanently mounting the switched. probably about 5 or 6 inches above my current switch location, and more towards the steering wheel. In my garage, the lights were bright, but i could not tell how much so, in the daylight.
I went to the trail at about 8pm to test them out prior to the trip tomorrow. Wow, what a difference they made. This pair is the "driving" pattern beam. When the box says that they are not for highway use, turning them on at night will show you why. I could see the trail as if it were daytime, for maybe 300 feet distance and 50 feet wide. After driving down the trail, I turned them off for an oncoming vehicle, and could hardly see; it makes the stock headlights seem like candles. Some headlight upgrades may be down the road, as I felt blind on the drive home. The pair of Rigid lights was $360 through 4Wheel Parts. I would say they are a must for night wheeling. The bee's knees if you will. Not nearly as cool as my roomba, but only because they don't vacuum my Jeep out
No parts in yet, the waiting is killing me. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be getting 2 pair Polk speakers and an 8" Kicker sub to upgrade the factory premium "Alpine" system. Since I have about 11 days of leave that I'll be taking at the end of the month, I figured that I wouldn't want to get board. So I went ahead and also ordered a Rock Krawler 2.5" Max Travel lift and four Fox Shox 2.0 (non remote res).
Now its time to put my credit card in a block of ice in the back of the freezer
Started install of my stereo. A Kenwood DDX770 7-inch touchscreen, 4- Polk DXi651s speakers, Rockford Fosgate PBR300X4 4-channel amp, Kicker 40CWD82 sub, and a Kicker CX300.1 mono amp.
Done with most of the install. Helps having an electrician as a roommate. As 2-door space is at a premium, I wired up both amps under the dash; the mono on the driver side next to the factory amp, and the 4-channel on the passenger side between the glove box and the center part of the dash. Getting small amps was worth it. Sub is an 8 inch in the factory Alpine location; slightly smaller/larger at the same time. Was not able to reuse factory sub grill or mounting holes. Still need to wire up the sub and figure out all the features of the head unit.
Still waiting on my fairlead light mount to put my driving beam Dually D2's back on, but in the meantime my diffused/fog pair came in along with Rigid Industries A-pillar mounts. Spent about an hour bolting them up and wiring them in.
Also picked up a winch wetsuit....err...cover, to help keep the elements off the winch elements.
My RK 2.5" lift is scheduled to come in on the 18th. Not sure about the rest of my parts.
Last night I took my roommate to the dealership and he bought himself a brand new JK as well. 2013 Sahara, 2-door with hardtop, black on black. Much better than his Ram 2500 Heavy Duty, or at the very least, more garage space
So yesterday I went down to 4 Wheel Parts as they finally got in my AFE throttle body spacer and exhaust, Poison Spyder Customs roll bar grab handles, Smittybilt fairlead light mount. I also got a Superchips Flashcal, JKS adjustable bumpstops, Teraflex exhaust spacers, and most importably my 2.5" max travel lift from Rock Krawler in the mail.
Light bracket installed, and put my driving beam D2s back on:
The light only looks yellowish because of the factory headlights.
AFE exhaust went on fairly quick once I busted out the sawzall and grinder. Had to use a cut-off wheel to take off the clamp before the resonator where the pipes come together, then the sawzall to make quick work of the hangers. Unbolted the factory transfer case skid to take the over axle and along the frame portion off, the AFE was in 4 parts and slid on real easy after that. Finished product:
Maybe inch and a half more clearance than stock, it hangs about half an inch or so lower than the bumper/rear crossmember. Louder than stock, from the moment you start the engine, but it isn't Flomaster obnoxious or anything. Only drove it for a mile or so and it hasn't fully broken in yet.
Then I started on the lift. I have the front end apart for the night, stopped because it was 10 PM and i'm trying to be a little respectful towards the neighbors.
Got my lift all done on Monday, but haven't got around to pictures until today.
On level-ish ground:
And not so level-ish ground:
I have not flexed it out yet, still a little concerned about a few smaller details. Also, lesson learned: don't unbolt your tie rod or other components if not necessary. Stripped right outer TRE threading at the knuckle. $200 later and a day lost waiting for parts places to open before I could drive again. Will be getting alignment done on Friday, as well as recall work for the transmission coolant line? and my first oil change.
Still waiting on my wheels and tires, they are currently somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, between Cali and Hawaii (shipping via ship, who wudda thought?). But I will give props to Andy at Trail Worthy Fab for arranging all the shipping to me here in Hawaii for a very fair rate, and sending updates on the status (i.e. at the powder coaters, ready to ship) The factory ~32's look a little silly with the lift, or at least without wheel spacers. I may have to store them in the garage for a bit until my Metalcloak flares come in, stupid tire coverage laws, where the harm in rolling flare less?