ZMotorsports 2011 JKUR Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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ZMotorsports 2011 JKUR Build

I am new here but thought I would throw up some pictures of my Jeep build. It is not real time as I have owned it now since November 2011.

My name is Mike and I am a mechanic by trade and pretty much enjoy anything and everything with an engine. I am married to an awesome woman who has supported me and all of my addictions throughout our 26 years of marriage. Our family has been involved in drag racing, showing cars, snowmobiling/hill-climbing, duning, sand drag racing and Jeeping/off-roading. My son is just as much of a gearhead as I am and enjoys wrenching on and building stuff in the shop with me. We have gotten out of all of our motorsports now with the exception of Jeeps and Harleys so this afforded me a little more of a budget to put into our 2011 Jeep.

My wife and I have had several Jeeps over the past 23+ years including a 1991 XJ and two 1996 ZJs and my son owns a 2004 LJ. This Jeep is my daily driver/weekend wheeler plus my wife and I tow it behind our coach when traveling as we have done will all of our previous Jeeps. I also wanted this to show off my abilities and to prove to people that a mechanic can have a nicely built vehicle that can be built in a home shop every bit as nice as those "professional" shops.


This build thread will not be in real time so I apologize as it may appear this has been thrown together quickly. However, I started building this around December of 2011 and finished for the most part by around March 2012. It is however a Jeep, so they are never truly done and I will continue to update this thread as I either change or add things on the Jeep.

It all started with a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, Black Opps addition which when I drove it home it had 3208 miles on it and within the first ten minutes of being in the shop I removed each and every sticker/decal off of its black paint.

Here it is on the lift in the shop. I went with a BDS long-arm suspension as I really like the on road manners of a long-arm as well as the off-road capabilities. Initial impression of the BDS system is fantastic. I have been very happy with the ride on road as well as off-road. Later in my build thread I will show where I have re-built the links due to not being happy with the BDS bushings.


Tires/wheels are 35x12.5x17 BFG KM2 wrapped around 17"x9" ATX Crawl wheels. I wanted a fairly light tire/wheel package so it robbed as little power as possible from the already anemic 3.8 engine. I also have heard good things about the KM2s as far as longevity and street manners. I must admit I was overall very impressed with this tire.



Here is a night shot from outside my home shop prior to installing the tires/wheels and setting it down for it's rolling debute.


Sitting on all four after torquing the wheels on.


Mike.

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post #2 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: West Point
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I removed my front axle to complete the buildup. I prefer to remove the axle to afford better access for a much better final product. Here I am welding the sleeves into the axle.


Here is what a properly done plug weld looks like. Sometimes referred to as a Rossette weld. No undercutting and just barely over flush with the parent material.


Knuckle gusset welded.


All welding completed and ready to paint then setup the gears.


Swapping out my OEM 4.1 gears for Yukon 5.38 gearsets.


One of several test fits.


Drive side gear pattern with .006" backlash.


RCV axle shafts.


Painted and re-installed back under the Jeep.


Mike.
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post #3 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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I mentioned earlier that we flat tow our Jeep behind our motorcoach so I decided to build my own bracket/crossmember to attach our Roadmaster Sterling towbar. On my previous Jeeps I built in the tow points to my bumpers when I built them, however, this Jeep is sitting a bit higher than my previous ones so I came up with a new design. This bracket sits below my bumper and slightly back behind so as to not encroach into my approach angle.

I started with some thick wall square tubing (.250" wall) and some .375" plate that I cut to slide over the tubing.




Brackets test fit over the square tubing and a spacer bolted in to simulate the towbar attachment points. This will help with my spacing.


Mocked up under the Jeep and tacked in place.


Removed from Jeep for final welding.


Back from powder coater.


Installed and completed.


Mike.
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post #4 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Moving on to my dual batteries installation.

I removed the massive battery tray and TIPM/air filter mounting box.


I also wanted to add some extra support for those dual batteries. This bracket will bolt to the fender and support the front edge of the battery tray. I will also be a mounting place for the EVAP purge valve/solenoid.


After checking dimensions I merely cut it out on the horizontal bandsaw, not too hi-tech here.


I then decided to go one extra step and add a custom touch to my bracket.


Dimple died the holes.


Bead blasted, painted and ready for installation.




Dual battery installation complete along with new mount for EVAP solenoid/valve.




Mike.
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post #5 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Next order of business is to install some gauges to monitor the vitals. Why Jeep in their infinite wisdom decided to remove voltmeter and engine oil pressure gauges is beyond me. I could not find any "A" pillar mounts at the time so I opted to fabricate my own. I wanted a voltmeter, oil pressure gauge and transmission temperature gauge all within easy viewing.

I started with a piece of 14-gauge P&O that I bent up to use as a mounting bracket.


Welded up the end and metal finished the weld.


Notched the top section where the two interior trim panels overlap.


Beadblasted and painted the bracket semi-gloss black before installing the mounting brackets for the 2" AutoMeter gauge pods.


Ran the wiring through the pods and behind the metal bracket.




Gauges wired up and installed into the pods.


I then installed the "A" pillar mount and ran the wiring down to the dash side access panel where I labeled them for future reference if I ever needed to troubleshoot anything.




Chucked up a piece of mild steel in the lathe and machined a bung for the transmission temperature sending unit and also serve as a drain plug.


Bung completed and hole drilled in trans. pan.


Bung welded into the transmission pan for the sending unit.


Completed and lit up at night.


Mike.
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post #6 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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It is now rear bumper/tire carrier time.

After removal of the rear bumper I fabricated some mounting brackets which set up inside of the rear frame rails.


I then decided on a rear profile.


I used my CAD (Cardboard Aided Design) to make patterns and then transferred to the P&O.


I made one side and merely flipped the template over for a mirror image.


Center section cutout for the spare tire to reside.


Center section tacked into place.


Angles bent into plate to form the side profile. These compound angles really add to the complexity of the pieces and getting them to fit properly to allow for welding. Ideally you want the inside corner edges of the metal to mate forming a natural "V" to fill with weld. Much nicer to blend/finish than butting the material and then welding.


Main section of the rear bumper pretty much completed and blended.


Moving on to the tire carrier part. I added a spindle then supported it on the underside along with a gusset or fish plate on top.


I also incorporated a pin type of latch to aid in holding the tire carrier in its open position.


Triangulating the tire carrier and the latching mechanism into the build.


Bumper and tire carrier fabrication completed.




Lastly to cover up the unsightly rear vent I fabricated a tramp stamp and machined some aluminum spacers to make it stand off of the vent. I did this prior to sending everything off for powder coating so it could all be coated at the same time.


Mike.
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post #7 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Bumper back from the powder coater.


Tramp stamp powder coated gloss black.


Hi-Lift jack mount powder coated in the textured black to match the bumper and tire carrier.


Installed.


Installed with tire mounted and lights installed.


Backside with the Hi-Lift mount in place and the wiring all routed properly.


Mike.
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post #8 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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I then purchased a Bestop TrekTop NX for the warmer months.

Here I removed my top and ran around for a day or so before installing the new soft top.


Backed into the shop and started installing the top.


Soft top completed and pulled outside for some poser shots.






One of our annual trips to Ouray, CO on top of Immogene Pass. This day it was storming horribly and I made a quick jump out for a photo and back in before another crack of lightning.


Another trail we ran while in the Ouray area, Owl Creek Pass.


Our Jeep parked in front of Tomkin mine, with my smiling wife riding shotgun.


Upon arriving home and fighting with a piss poor ground connection on our CB the entire trip, I opted to fabricate a new CB mount and position it at the right rear corner of the Jeep into the rear bumper for better grounding.

Here is the new mount after beadblasting and painting.


Mounted in the bumper.


I then hooked up my SWR meter and fine tuned it for both ends of the spectrum of channels.




Mike.
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post #9 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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I thought it would be prudent to install the JKS steering/sector shaft support kit as playing in the rocks and the leverage larger tires puts on these steering gearboxes can be disastrous.


Bolting the main bracket into place.


Installing the new sector shaft nut for the Pitman arm.


Mocked into place to determine where to weld the block.


Mounting block welded into place.


Scuffed, prepped and painted with Eastwood's Extreme Chassis paint.


Left side completed.


Right side welded and ready for paint.


Mike.
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post #10 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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I believe these were from two years ago's trip to Moab with an RV group that we travel with on occassion.

Airing up before getting back on the road back to camp. Worst part of the day.


Next morning airing down on the trail. The best part of the day.


This was from the same summer (2013) in Ouray, CO. This picture was taken at the Black Prince Mine.


High above Black Prince Mine looking down into the small valley.


Just one of the many breathtaking waterfalls in the San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado.


Upon arrival back home I decided it was time for a new front bumper. I got tired of people commenting on my "purchased" bumper and asking why I didn't have a home built one on the front to match my rear.

Warn Elite front bumper and Warn Powerplant removed and ready for their new owner to pick up.




Mike.
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post #11 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Fabricated my frame mounts and resorted back to my CAD (Cardboard Aided Design) for more templates.


I like the winches sitting more down inside of the bumper vs. sitting up on top like the Warn did on the Warn bumper. I also chose to separate my air compressor and winch as I had some issues with the air compressor continually tripping the thermal cutout. I went with the Warn 9.5XP for overall strength and durability.


Warn winch sitting in its new home for mockup.


"D" ring/recovery mounts welded into place. These are welded directly to the frame mounts rather than merely on the outer surface of the bumper.


One of my many welds.


Here I am forming out the front of the mounting points so the front of the bumper will be smooth and all mounting hardware will be concealed behind the bumper.


Front facia of the bumper cut out and ready to install.


Front facia installed.


Now on to fabricating the outer sections.


Sections cut and fitted nicely together to allow for full welding prior to blending. By keeping the inside corners of the material mated only allows a very strong fully penetrated weldment to be placed in the "V". This also allows for minimal metal removal when blending the corners for superior strength.


Welds blended and metal finished.








Bumper with the 2" tube front hoop bent and welded on prior to powder coating.


Back from powder coater.


Front bumper installed, along with winch wired in and new Hella driving lights.




No more having to listen to people giving me crap for not building my own bumper or why I have a purchased bumper on my Jeep.

Mike.
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post #12 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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So now that I no longer had an air compressor I had to install an onboard air system. There are many options but I chose to go with a Viair 400C compressor with a 2.5 gallon Viair remote tank and Dominion mounting bracket. I probably could have fabricated the bracket but to be honest after pricing out a lot of the fittings needed and pressure switch, the kit that Dominion offers is actually pretty fairly priced.


Bracket installed and compressor mounted. Manifold and switches prepped.


Tank installed. I must add that this is a bolt in tank kit, HOWEVER, it is not designed to work with either an auxiliary transmission cooler nor the JKS steering/sector shaft support kit. I had to get very creative to mount the tank without any ill effects to either my trans. cooler or steering support.


Next I had to get creative on where to mount my interior pressure gauge and switch for the onboard air system. I remember I had a little bit of room behind my "A" pillar panel when I fabricated and installed my gauges. Very little room I might add.


Switch and small air gauge installed.


That is probably the "busiest" interior panel in the entire Jeep.




Finished plumbing the lines and completed the wiring before encasing it all.


And lastly, mounted my air connector in an easy to access place and covered to keep the foreign crap out.


Mike.
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post #13 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Fast forward to last year's annual trip to Ouray, CO (2014) and this guy was wandering right alongside of the highway. My wife could almost touch him out her window and he wasn't the least bit afraid of us.


This picture was taken from the top of Corkscrew Gulch before dropping back down into the trees. I believe we were around 12k feet elevation here.


This was taken on top of Hurricane Pass. Again it was raining. Are you seeing a pattern with our annual trips to Ouray??


The next day we visited Tommy Boy mine, here we are heading back down. Hey, it isn't raining today.


This was up on top of Governor Basin looking down at the road we came up on.


And if anyone is familiar with Coors beer, the two small waterfalls they used for all those years of advertising, these are it. These two waterfalls are near the top of Governor Basin.


Mike.
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post #14 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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We went on a run out to Rattlesnake with some local people that we met on "another forum" and I did a stupid and put a nice bow in my tie rod. This prompted me to upgrade.

I chose to go with a Rock Krawler unit as I had heard very good things about them. They used the beefier drag link ends.


I chose to use my original steering stabalizer mount and merely modify it to work. I just had to remove a small section to allow it to fit around the larger diameter tie rod.


I then used a piece of pipe that I had lying around that was nearly the same diameter to form the bracket around.


Put it in the press and applied a little pressure to form it around the pipe.


Beadblasted and painted the bracket and job complete.


Mike.
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post #15 of 51 Old 08-10-2015, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
zmotorsports
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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Posts: 74
Prior to our next Moab RV rally I thought I had better address a protection issue for our EVAP canister. After my tie rod incident I thought maybe my luck was running out.

I started with another cardboard pattern and some scrap steel bent and clamped in the drill press.


Large hole for the side to create a blended radius.




Gusset welded in for strength.




Rear of bracket nearly completed.


Rear bracket beadblasted and painted.


Working on the front bracket.




Ready for beadblasting and paint.


Painted and installed.


Mike.
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