I have been reading through many of these builds and find them extremely enjoyable. I wanted to leave my mark on the forum with my own build.
A little Background:
I purchased my 2015 JK back in January. My wife, as many of you can relate, was weary and not fully on board with a new vehicle purchase. Increased monthly payment and it just wasn't something we "needed." But, my man skills of manipulation brought her over to the dark side and we pulled the trigger.
That bit of information should relay to you the hesitant nature of my wife to allow me to spend money. This will further clue you into the fact that this will be a slow build.
While I would love to pour money into this awesome machine, it can't be done. This is the family vehicle (or grocery getter). My wife is visually impaired and we have two small boys. That being said, bear with me. I will do my best to make a Jeep that is all my own and enjoyable for you to see grow.
If at any point in this thread you have any money saving tips or free mods to throw into the conversation I would really appreciate it. So with that, enjoy!
It was a chilly January morning and my 2014 Patriot needed serviced. Bluetooth stopped working so I brought it into Safford of Winchester to let them take a look. While waiting my 3 year old son and I decided to look at cars so I could keep him occupied.
We looked at used and new Wranglers, and I reflected on memories of my dad and I off-roading in his Rubicon when I was younger. I had once owned an XJ (3.5 lift w/33s). We ventured to Rauche Creek and I took it through many-a-farmer's field in high school.
My son and I spoke with a salesman and stumbled upon two fairly inexpensive JK Unlimited Sport Models that had yet to hit the lot.
Knowing that spring would be approaching, I began my campaign of prodding my wife to allow me to get a soft top for warmer weather. Easier removal would make the convertible aspect of a Jeep much more enjoyable.
The task was simple really. I wanted the fast-back look. I figured if I got a fast-back soft top, it would be like having two Jeeps. Two distinct looks from the square back to the slanted back. It just so happens Bestop created the frameless Trektop. Now, you already know price is an issue, so I obviously had to go with the less expensive original Trektop ($629) vs the Trektop NX ($729). While I would have rather had the additional features of the sunrider and the safari conversion of the NX, I would sttle for the roll back original and ease of removal.
So far I have been pleased. No leaks and installation was super easy! I have already scratched the back window to hell from rolling it up and sliding it under the back seat, but oh well. It comes out easy and its awesome for trips to Lowes when I want that space to let things hang out the back like lumber or trees!
The installation was pretty easy. My dad and I spent a saturday with some pizza and beers, and installed it in about 8 hours. The instructions sucked, as you will read in the reviews. Thank God for youtube, as there is a full video on the steps to install. I was pretty pleased with the look. I got an alignment a few days later so everything was straight. Now the steering is just a bit touchy, but overall I haven't had any issues (Death wobble etc.)
I didn't really like that my grille showed the Radiator frame, and I wanted to try one of those cheap mods for mesh inserts. I followed the gutter-guard mod for Jeep Grille and it turned out pretty nice. Took about an hour. Although I have to add, the zip-tie anchors with the 3M backing didn't hold up to the heat. So I had to remove the grille and throw some Guerilla Glue under them and they have held up good so far.
Just ordered my wheels and tires from Discount Tire Direct. I went with 35/12.50 15 General Grabbers (because its my DD), and MB Razor wheels. Should be here in the next week or two so I will post pics when they arrive!