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Unread 09-16-2014, 09:40 PM   #1
dangerz
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2014 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 399
My '14 JKU Build

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:



Latest picture:

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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, Rugged Ridge Hood Latches, Rear USB outlet | PSC Hood Louvers

Picture Post
#1 | #2 Roadtrip

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Unread 11-08-2014, 11:30 PM   #2
dangerz
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Over the last few months, I've added a bunch of little mods. First off, I had my windshield tinted.

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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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Unread 11-26-2014, 06:04 PM   #3
dangerz
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Added some Rugged Ridge hood latches. Had the jeep on a roadtrip last week and I noticed the hood moving around a lot, so hopefully this stops that.

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I have a tow receiver on order. Still enjoying the jeep in stock trim and hoping to go wheeling soon.
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Unread 11-29-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
dangerz
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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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Unread 12-20-2014, 12:23 AM   #5
dangerz
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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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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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Unread 12-23-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
dangerz
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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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Unread 12-27-2014, 07:00 PM   #7
Ethan_Newago
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The first thing I said to myself is wow you have a really nice camera haha. Good luck with this build, what cb setup do you have? Im trying to decide what to get, I really want to keep it at $100 but I dont know if what I found for that will cut it. Ive never done a CB before so what Im looking at is a 4ft black firefly on a spring with the Rugged Ridge mount for the spare carrier, what gauge wire did you use to run up to the front?
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Unread 12-28-2014, 10:19 AM   #8
dangerz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan_Newago View Post
The first thing I said to myself is wow you have a really nice camera haha. Good luck with this build, what cb setup do you have? Im trying to decide what to get, I really want to keep it at $100 but I dont know if what I found for that will cut it. Ive never done a CB before so what Im looking at is a 4ft black firefly on a spring with the Rugged Ridge mount for the spare carrier, what gauge wire did you use to run up to the front?
Thanks man. I ended up going with a Midland cb radio. It had NOAA weather info which I really wanted and its still pretty small. I just picked up a 4ft antenna for road trips. I have a 3ft for the trails. I also mount it on a spring. I think my mount came from cooltech llc or something.

For the wire, I just got a standard cb antenna cable from amazon. Not sure what guage it is under all the wrapping.
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Unread 01-05-2015, 10:22 PM   #9
dangerz
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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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Unread 01-23-2015, 01:50 PM   #10
Cuder
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I was looking through my thread and saw where you had posted. Then I wondered if you had a thread on the Jk, well here ya are. I haven't seen you on the club forum lately. We have a trail leaders run at the end of Feb, you should join. I like your JK!
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Unread 02-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #11
dangerz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuder View Post
I was looking through my thread and saw where you had posted. Then I wondered if you had a thread on the Jk, well here ya are. I haven't seen you on the club forum lately. We have a trail leaders run at the end of Feb, you should join. I like your JK!
I'd love to go but that's a trail leaders only run. I'll definitely go on the next member's run.
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Unread 02-28-2015, 11:01 PM   #12
dangerz
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Just enjoying the snow

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Unread 03-14-2015, 07:02 PM   #13
dangerz
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A nice afternoon at the lake

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Unread 04-16-2015, 10:09 PM   #14
dangerz
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I've been doing a ton of travelling for work and when I'm home, I've been spending a lot of time getting the house ready for our little girl who is due in June and getting our rental property ready to sell. I wasn't really getting to enjoy the Jeep as much, so I decided to install one of my favorite mods from my LJ, the PSC Hood Louver. The install is pretty straight forward.

Here's a before:
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Here's an after:
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The instructions that come with it are pretty thorough, but I figured I'd document the process along the way incase anyone else is interested.

First thing to do is detach the hood. You do this by disconnecting the hinges first. Some people like to disconnect the hinges inside the engine bay. I did this on the hood itself.

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Downside to this is that you break the paint seal that was put on top of the screws and hinge, but I suppose you could seal it again somehow if you wanted to.

Once you've done that part, disconnect your hood latches and the hood will lift right off. I set mine on a set of sawhorses.

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This project is easy as long as you have the right tools. Having a sturdy place to set the hood down is very important because you are going to be sawing into it. When I did this on my LJ, I did it with the hood on the ground. That was not very pleasurable.

Next thing I did was take all the screws and paint them black. I first put them into a styrofoam block to stand them up.

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Then it's just a little spraypaint and they'll be good to go. Mine did get scratched up after I installed them, so I'm going to tape them off at some point and respray them.

Now we go back to the hood. Start by taking off the rubber hood stops and the footman loop. Once you've done that, take the paper template that PSC provides and lay it on top of the hood. There will be two circles for the rubber stops. Align those with the ones on your hood currently and poke your rubber stoppers through them.

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Those two holes will align everything, so make sure your template positioning is accurate. When it comes to this project, you want to measure three times and cut once.

Once everything was lined up, I taped the template on to keep it in place. I then started drilling.

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I opted to make many tiny drill holes along the path. They say to use a 1 inch hole saw to make the initial holes, but I was using a dremel so I didn't need that.

Once I had all my holes drilled, I took the template off.

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Lots of tiny little holes. Time for tape.

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Where you see squiggley lines is where you need to make shallow cuts. Underneath those lines is the hood support frame and we don't want to cut into that. Now it's time to make some bigger cuts! I used a dremel with an attachment meant for metal. It's one of those reinforced discs. Here I am mid-cutting.

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For the areas that don't have any frame support underneath, I used a jigsaw. The hood ate through the dremel discs, so I wanted to use it for as little as possible. The jigsaw cut through the hood like a hot knife through butter.

Once all is said and done, your hood will look like so:

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Definitely no turning back at this point.

For some reason, I decided not to take many pictures after this point. Sorry. I will explain the process though.

Next thing we want to do is put on the actual hood louver and line it up in the same way you lined up the template before by using the rubber hood stops as a guide. Once it's lined up, mark where all the holes around the edge of it are going to go. Make sure that you hold the hood louver against the hood when you mark the holes so they line up when it's pushed down.

With your marks complete, take the hood louver off and use a drill to make the holes. If all goes well, everything should line up when you're done making the holes. In holes that fall in areas with frame support, I only drilled through the hood and not the frame support. If you have skinny fingers, there is enough space for you to guide a nut and washer inbetween the frame support and hood.

The only areas I had issues were next to the hinge attachments. That was a pain in the butt because that area is much thicker. I ended up drilling a bigger hole than I needed to through the bottom to be able to get the nut in.

Now with all your holes drilled, tape everything back up and put down some paint to provide rust protection. Since I have a black hood, I just used black paint. Make sure to do the top and bottom of the hood.

Once the paint is dry, it's just a matter of putting on your hood louver and screwing things down. If your holes don't match up, don't fret. Fortunately you have a lot of space to work with and worst case scenario, you might have to use a larger washer. I did this for one of my holes unfortunately but it was easy to recover from.

Here is the final product:

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I opted to keep the star on the hood because I like how it looks cut off like that. This mod isn't so much for keeping the engine cool, but for keeping the components in the engine bay a little cooler by letting the heat escape.

I ran this mod on my LJ for a while and didn't notice any negative side effects as far as water in the engine bay. I figure that it's wide open from the bottom, so adding a few holes in the top isn't going to make much of a difference.
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Unread 04-19-2015, 10:03 PM   #15
Cuder
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Nice, let's go wheelin. My Son and I are going to Hot Springs on the 30th with LSJC.
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