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Unread 05-27-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
gorillamel
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
gorillamel: 2008 Rubi Built by a Girl

I decided to start this thread as a place for me to keep track of my progress on my Jeep build. I really do not anticipate too many comments (it's a fairly boring build). Constructive comments/suggestions are welcome.

Build goals: My goal for the Jeep is to make it a little more expedition-capable than it was when stock. I sometimes do some rocks, nothing extreme, but would like to get over an obstacle (or few) within reason. I've decided to keep the 33" tires for a while and mostly add to the comfort of traveling/driving. I'd like to be able to build shelves in the rear for my gear and someday a frige, as well as get a roof rack bracket set so I can transport my kayak. Primary goal now is to get it ready for the Rubicon Trail in Sept 2014.

Username: gorillamel
Year: 2008
Make: Jeep
Model: Wrangler
Trim: Rubicon (2-door)
Color: Forest Green
Mileage: 77,147 (when purchased Mar 2014)
Pinterest ideas page: http://www.pinterest.com/gorillamel/...p-wrangler-jk/

Sold the Xterra to pay off car loan for a car I bought for my parents.


Then realized the 2013 Fiat 500 S did not properly suit my lifestyle. Therefore, I traded it in for this:


This was the first manual transmission I have ever owned, which means driving it can certainly be full of laughs and grinding gears.


I made it into my work parking garage all on my own!

I do not plan to do any heavy wheeling with this rig until I learn to comfortably drive it, hahaha. -->Note: since I took it to Moab May 2014, I think I can now say that I have learned to drive it, hahaha!

MODS

Suspension: --> Stock JKUR springs on JKR
-2" spacers all around
-JKU springs all around
-Some unknown brand of shocks
-Polyperformance front & rear track bar bracket
-Terraflex track bar
-Polyperformance high steer kit with tie rod end adapter
-Rubicon Express rear brake line bracket

Tires/Wheels & Armor:
-Cragar soft 8 4.5" backspaced black steel wheels 17"
-315/70/17 Cooper Discoverer ATPs
-Spare (mounted on rear) 255/75/17 BF Goodrich
-Stock skids
-Stock sliders/rails
-AEV front bumper w/ winch plate, stock fogs
-Replaced parking brake shoes (thread)

Electrical, Powertrain & Driveline:
-8000lb WARN winch
-(2) IPF Driving lights (mounted on front bumper)
-Front and rear Dana 44 axles
-Front and rear tru-lok e-lockers
-Electronic sway bar disconnect
-4.1 gear ratio (crawl ratio in 4lo is 73.3:1)

Interior:
-Flip switch mounted on dash for driving lights
-Midland WX1001(?) CB (mounted next to stick shift on passenger side)
-fire extinguisher
-rubber floor mats
-rear seats removed

Exterior:
-Firestik CB antennae mounted on tire carrier
-misc stickers (for added hp :-P)
-Yakima A1 gutter mount towers with 78" bars (for the kayaks)

Suspension components (that I got for free)


Polyperformance Front Track bar bracket (BEEFY!)- pass side (below is driver side)



Rubicon Express Rear Brake line bracket


Front bumper/winch (w/some Moab mud)


Installing front springs/shocks (effing hated that bolt up there):


Rear cargo area with goodies from Brown Santa!:


Other Accoutrements:
-Shovel w/ bedlined handle
-Hi-Lift and tire adapter
-SOGfari Survival set (machete, knife, hatchet, shovel/pick)
-Yellow galoshes
-various other survival necessities
-cheapo air compressor
-survival gear in Plano sportsman trunk
-Mossan nagant WWII rifle w/ ammo
-Roller derby gear

Future Mods:
-Tire Carrier w/ Gas can mounts (OR-Fab)
-Extend rock rails to sliders
-Roof Rack (prefer Gobi, but too expensive. Probably Kurgo)
-Bestop soft top
-Bluesea fuse distributor
-More lights
-replace missing Rubicon stickers??
-AEV geometry correction brackets
-Spidershade top

Before the lift (top) and after (bottom):


I netted about 3-3.5" of lift from the spacers and JKU springs

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Unread 05-27-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
gorillamel
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
I have more detailed photos of me installing the lift and brackets and crap, but let's face it, they are not too exciting. The following photos I would consider more exciting.

Testing out the winch while getting stuck in snow in the mtns


Other uses for a 2-door Jeep:


The rear bumper set I get to have someday...(on my friend's Jeep)


Video from civicjoe @Cameo Cliffs, goneMOAB 2014: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100358181473654

Top of the World, goneMOAB 2014


Random scenic photo from Top of the World, Moab, UT.


Silver Crack, Seven Mile Rim, goneMOAB 2014


Wipeout Hill, Seven Mile Rim, goneMOAB 2014**

**Note this was my first foray into off road driving in my newly learned manual transmission :-P



Cameo Cliffs trail, Moab, UT May 2014: winching friend from off-camber spot on trail (as seen from inside the Jeep)


Video of me on Wipeout Hill (warning: it is painful to watch)
[video=youtube_share;oWRdsdakW_E]http://youtu.be/oWRdsdakW_E[/video]
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Unread 05-27-2014, 08:41 PM   #3
gorillamel
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
Bought the Jeep March 2014.
Installed the lift end of April 2014.
Took it wheeling in Moab May 2014.
Finished installing Polyperformance brackets and brake line extensions end of May 2014.

Also installed CB. Ran the coax cable through the pass side on the floor, under the front seat to where my CB radio is mounted on the center console by the stick shifter.


Lift install
Front is lifted. Still need to do rear:


Rear springs installed


Installing rear shocks


Note to the wise- when installing crap, try to remember your safety glasses. Wearing sunglasses instead sometimes sucks. Derrr...
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Unread 05-28-2014, 09:09 PM   #4
gorillamel
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
Well, I took the Jeep in to the dealership for an alignment after I finished installing all the lift components.


Lo and behold, the dealership ended up breaking/cracking the tie rod adjuster:
(bad photo, sorry)


Next day, when I took time off of work to pick it up, they tried to charge me for parts and labor for the adjuster. *sigh*
Reason #A LOT as to why I try to avoid working with the dealership.
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Unread 06-10-2014, 11:53 PM   #5
gorillamel
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
Dealership fixed the break...and then tried to charge me for it. Yeah. I do not think so.

Driving the Jeep has been awful without the high steer kit installed. Talk about "darty"! I white-knucked it on Hwy 78 out to Tiddy Springs/Murphy area to go wheeling and learned that my max top speed to drive safely was around 45mph. Ugh. Had to drive back to civilisation with my emergency blinkers on while on the highway since I was going so slow.

Since I had stock wheels on the Jeep, I could not install the high steer kit. Therefore, new wheels were due.
I decided on the Cragar black soft 8 since they have the 4.5" desired backspacing to fit my high steer kit. In my excitement for new wheels, I also got 35s (315/70/17) in Cooper Discoverer ATPs since my Maxxis Bighorns were wearing down so quickly and I was not overly happy with them.


I chose the Discoverers since this is also my daily driver and I saw no need to get M/Ts for something that will spend the majority of its time on pavement (sadly). I forgot how quiet A/Ts are! :-)
[IMG][/IMG]

Now that I have my wheels, I could finally install the Synergy high steer kit!
Worst part of the install was trying to get the old drag link off. I despise trying to get those friction-induced bolts out. Took a few hours, patience, pounding of the hammers and some acetylene torch to get them off, esp at the Pitman arm. Here it all is, happily installed:


I discovered that I could not get the cotter pin in the passenger side castle nut due to the extra height from the tie rod end adapter that I had to use for the new drag link. I'm hoping over time the bolt will settle in there and I can eventually get the pin in. In the mean time, blue loctite will have to do.

Also, if I ever have to do this install in the future, I plan to use the reamer rather than the drill bit for the Synergy TRE adapter. Frankly, a drill bit that big in an awkward position with little maneuvering room sucked. A lot.
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Unread 06-11-2014, 12:06 AM   #6
gorillamel
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
And, since this is my page dedicated to my Jeep, here are poser wheeling shots taken of me in action:


The "big ledge" on Top of the World, Moab. (c/o Amber Underhill)

Wipeout Hill, Seven Mile Rim, Moab (c/o Alex Racine)


(c/o Shiloh Gealogo)


Went on a fun adventure along Mud Flat Rd/Owyhee Byway this past weekend with a fellow forest green JK (U) friend. I must say, one of my fav mods has to be the purchase of my Trasharoo from a group buy off Expedition Portal.


Love that thing. It's so useful AND durable!


The start:


70mi later- The camp spot:
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Unread 06-15-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
gorillamel
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
I trail-led a trail-trimming event for my off road club today. We went to Sinker Creek Trail off of Silver City Rd in the Owyhee Mtns. This trail is notorious for its rampant overgrowth. We decided the trail needed some cleaning in anticipation of the "Estrogen" Run next weekend. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm a chick, i.e. have estrogen, but I am not going on that run due to work. So this is the next best (actually better) thing. :-)

My AEV bumper kissed a tree (go it on GoPro, too). Surprisingly, the tree lost (a rather large chunk) and my bumper only has a few scrapes on it. Impressive!

For once, my rig was one of the more modded, best set up for the trail run. Quite a strange feeling to do this trail in my Rubi vs my Xterra from a few years ago. It was SO MUCH EASIER this time around.

This is what a lot of the trail looked like:


We were in a canyon following Sinker Creek with a butt load of water crossings. The water level was fairly low, so no issues there. It did begin to rain at the end, so I led us out of the canyon to avoid any potential flash floods, etc.


This is the video of the trail (my first time editing a video):
http://youtu.be/C5qpYWC6ph
?start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

A time lapse video from today that my friend made:
" target="_blank">
?start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Happily my castle nut stayed on connecting my drag link to the steering knuckle. Still hoping it will settle enough to get the cotter pin in there.
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Unread 06-24-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
gorillamel
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
Went to Stanley Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness near Stanley, ID to camp the past few days.

Remnants of the avalanche along Hwy21 past Grand Jean:




Drive into our campsite: Latitude:44.24488 Longitude:-115.06505




Campsite (next to the lake):


kayaking:


The view I woke up to:


The coolest play set with a view in Idaho:


Bye-bye, till next time....


Found out how much I really want (need) a rack for my kayak. The way I have it tied down in the photos shows that I did not have a secure attachment point to prevent the kayak from sliding front to back or side to side. I had to stop a few times to move the foam blocks back into place. It was quite annoying. The plan was to bring two hard-side kayaks on the trip, but since there was no rack, we opted for an inflatable instead. *sigh*
Thinking about getting this set-up: http://www.orsracksdirect.com/2011-j...ak-mounts.html

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Unread 07-01-2014, 08:30 PM   #9
gorillamel
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
I got some Yakima a1 towers so i can have a rack for my kayak. Cost me $37 for four if them at a secondhand backcountry store in town. The owner recommended i try metal rods/tubes for the bars. I went to Home Depot and got 60" bars. Then i mounted it all up and here is my ghetto fabulous set up:





Then i put my kayak (waaaaaay) up there. And found out the bars were too flexible. Sad.

Went back to the store today and got the Yakima 78" bars. Also consigned my Yakima Mako Aero saddles. Woo!

Final set up:




You know youre a dog person when you let the dog in the Jeep (with the windows down) while you mount up the rack and then feel bad she didnt go for an actual car ride. So you spend gas money and buy expensive drive thru coffee so she can stick her head out the window (with the AC on) in the wind AND have expensive drive thru coffee water and treats. Yup. Im a sap.



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Unread 07-08-2014, 03:09 PM   #10
gorillamel
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
Had my SES light come on yesterday. Jeep idles pretty rough and shifting/accelerating has also been rough. Went to O'Reilly auto parts to use their code reader (found out theyre one of the only places around that still has a code reader).

P0302: #2 valve misfiring.

I did some research and found it could be a variety of problems. I checked the wire clips and wires inside the engine bay to make sure none are getting fried. They looked good to me.
Next step is replacing #2 spark plug. Now, i dont know crap about engines, so i had to look up plug order and how-to on changing the plugs. I also made sure the gap was correct on the new plugs. It was .045, so we widened it to stock .050.

If replacing that doesnt fix the problem, i'll move on to the fuel injector. Hopefully it's not an expensive fix.
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Unread 07-08-2014, 07:49 PM   #11
gorillamel
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 93
Replaced #2. CEL/SES went away. We'll see how long it stays off. If it comes back, I'll replace the rest of the plugs and check the connections.

Went out kayaking yesterday (and to try out my Yakima roof rack) at Lucky Peak Reservoir. I tried out a kayak I'm thinking of buying (Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125). Fell in love. REALLY want it now.

Boat dock:


Loading the kayak up by myself was no easy task...in 104F heat.


The blue one is mine (Old Towne Otter). The green one is the one I rented for the day.


I had a few people come up to me with the kayaks up there and compliment me on my Jeep. Gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. :-)
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Unread 07-29-2014, 10:37 PM   #12
gorillamel
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Making good use of my Yakima roof rack:


Prepping it for when I get my 13' touring boat since I recently sold my 9' recreational kayak (Old Town Otter).

Advantages of a lifted Jeep? Providing shade to cool off after a run in the Boise foothills:


Irony as a female Jeeper: the only time I ever get hit on is post-run when I look and smell gross and I'm driving the Jeep and have the dog with me, hahaha. I need to get a dog a wingman/dog t-shirt that says "Ask my owner out...she won't bite (but I do)."
I figure that I just scare most men out there with this combo of awesome:


Found an alternative use for the cup holders: dog water bowls! (This was after she spilled her water all over the place and proceeded to drink it up from the holders, haha)
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Unread 08-07-2014, 11:47 PM   #13
gorillamel
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I have planned a solo camping/kayaking trip to Hells Canyon this weekend. Here is the intended route: https://goo.gl/maps/vNdqy



Notes to self:
Cuprum, Idaho info: http://pnwphotoblog.com/ghost-town-cuprum-idaho/

Directions: From Ontario, Oregon head north on US-95 North for 44 miles. At the town of Cambridge Idaho, take a left on to ID-71. The road will cross the Snake River to Brownlee, Oregon and then join OR-86. Take a right towards Copperfield, Oregon, then take the next right to cross the Snake River again on NF-4545. After crossing the river take a left onto Hells Canyon Road. Just under six miles, take right onto Kleinschmidt Grade. This road is also labeled National Forest Development Road 050. In 5 and half miles Windy Ridge Road joins Kleinschmidt Grade at a “Y” intersection.

Sight-seeing goals:
3-day trip
Hells Canyon Dam
Kleinschmidt Grade (Nat for Dev Rd 050)
Wallowa-Whitman scenic overlooks of Hells Canyon (National Forest Development Road 490, OR 97842)
Possible camping spot owned by Idaho Power in canyon at bottom of K Grade: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138350 (But sounds like it will be super hot in canyon.)

Continue for another two and half miles, when Council Cuprum Road joins Windy Ridge Road. Cuprum is 1.6 miles further.
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Unread 08-10-2014, 11:31 PM   #14
gorillamel
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Post adventure update: Took an adventure this weekend from Cascade over Boise NF to Council to Payette NF, down the Kleinschmidt Grade and into Hells Canyon area. I did not make it to Sheep Rock Overlook or Hells Canyon Dam. The smoke from nearby fires was too thick to see or do much. It was about 105F in Hells Canyon, so I did not go kayaking in Oxbow Reservoir to go to the hot spring across the way. I also only camped one night vs the 2 due to the smoke. I did encounter the most amazing people at the Horse Mountain Fire Lookout- they live there 4mo of the year looking for fires. They have the most basic amenities, no sewer, power, gas, etc. They rely on propane showers and food/water driven in. Awesome! I now know what I want to do after I retire!

This is the route I ended up actually taking:


And, of course, no adventure is complete without a break or few. Right off the bat I snapped my parking brake before I even got started too far. Then my kayak rack broke and I had to tie to together with a spare tie-down strap and some paracord the fire people gave me. *sigh* I guess Yakima roof racks are not meant for off roading with a kayak, haha!

Council-Cuprum Rd (near Ox Ranch):


Camping Lone Wolf style- all the needed amenities :-)


Turn off for Horse Mountain vs Cuprum:


Horse Mountain Fire Lookout Station:
Toward Hells Canyon (smoke from fires was horrible):


Looking toward Cuprum:


View from Horse Mtn overlooking Hells Canyon (stupid smoke):


Road into Horse Mountain Lookout:


Abandoned mine near Cuprum, ID:


Lake at abandoned mine:


Sign to Kleinschmidt Grade:


Kleinschmidt Grade:


Sign at the bottom:


Snake River in Hells Canyon area:
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Unread 08-11-2014, 07:53 PM   #15
442Wrangler
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Little Lamplight
Posts: 2,089
Cool trip. Love abandoned mines.
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2008 JK Rubicon
-255/80/17 BFG KM2s, 16/59 JKU springs, 2013 Rubi rims, RC stubby hybrid front bumper, XRC8 winch with synthetic line, RR evap skid, and more to come

1998 TJ Sahara Sold
-3.25" RC spring lift, Eagle alloys 125s, 33x12.5x15 Cooper STTs, XRC8 winch with stock bumper mount

1994 YJ SE Sold
-4" RC spring lift, 33x12.5x15 Firestone M/Ts, Eagle alloys 125, and a 4 cylinder to boot

1960 Willys Wagon
-Going to be restored and painted Omaha Orange


"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."
-Steve McQueen

Male RN Jeep Club #1
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