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End of Summer Sale, 20% OFF!2007 - 2011 Jeep JK Long Arm Lift KitsIntroducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

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Unread 02-12-2014, 11:12 PM   #1
Dumpsterfish
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Lurk No More: Dumpsterfish's JK build thread

Well, after almost a year and a half of owning and driving a JKU, I am ready to get my build plan going in earnest.

The delay in starting this thread, and for that matter in modifying this Jeep, was due in equal parts to lack of funds and what my nerdy board gamer friends refer to as:

AP-Analysis Paralysis: The state of almost catatonic bewilderment that can overcome the senses of your average jeeper after pouring through countless build threads, 4x4 site reviews, and product guides in a misguided but understandable attempt to "get all the facts" prior to starting a build.

In short...time to stop reading and start wrenching

So, here she is the day I picked her up from the dealer:


IMG_3831 by ewech, on Flickr

The vital stats:

2013 JKU Sport S
Auto, 3.73, Limited Slip, hardtop

Driving this thing after many years in YJs was like upgrading from a horse and buggy to a freakin' spaceship. Bluetooth? Steering wheel controls? Wait, wait, wait...AIRBAGS???

Kidding aside, I love this jeep. I plan to keep it for a good long time, and daily drive it throughout its lifespan. However, to keep that gargantuan midsection (the jeep's, not mine) off the pokey scratchy stuff abundant here in Socal, a few modifications:

the plan...

Lift: MC 2.5" Game Changer "Lite" built up piecemeal as cash allows
Tires/Wheels: Goodyear MT/RK 35x12.5x15, Level 8 trackers, 15x8, 3.75" BS
Driveline: New driveshafts and TF exhaust spacer kit, Artec armor kit for the D30, Nitro Sleeves, gears (4.56 likely), lockers tbd.
Armor: Rock rails, bumpers f+r, RROR skid plates, some sort of corners, flat fenders, tube doors

Other stuff:
OBA (want to homebrew a way to run a York off my Pr0nstar without tapping the harmonic balancer, may just end up running Viair etc)
Cobra 75 CB

Heading to bed for now, but will be posting up pics as the mods roll out. Already have a few items checked off the list, but plenty of work to do.

So, there it is. Hoping to have lots of fun with this Jeep.



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Unread 02-13-2014, 05:44 AM   #2
222Doc
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not a lot of room to plant a york in there. not saying i can not be done. might be like getting a Elephant in a suit case. I think the Jks engine bay is about as tight as i have ever seen. hardly room for a stray cat.

Mc is a good choice.
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Unread 02-13-2014, 09:50 AM   #3
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OK, so the first mod I did, in accordance with what I know to be the most important aspect of Jeep ownership, was to plasti dip the rims and grill:


IMG_4342 by ewech, on Flickr

I then tried my hand at some fiberglass work to make my stock sub enclosure fit a Kicker 10" sub.


IMG_4949 by ewech, on Flickr

Next up I put my fabricating skills to the test on a set of rock rails and a front bumper:



IMG_5446 by ewech, on Flickr


IMG_6311 by ewech, on Flickr
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Unread 02-13-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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ditched the factory hard top in favor of a premium soft top I picked up off craigslist:


IMG_6309 by ewech, on Flickr

And then installed 1" TF pucks up front to correct the sag caused by my bumper:


IMG_6310 by ewech, on Flickr

And that's it so far...though I did put some stickers on it, and thus gained a few HP. More pics to come as my plans take shape.

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Unread 02-17-2014, 05:51 PM   #5
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Took the jeep out on a few trails near Big Bear on Saturday...here's me high centered on Gatekeeper.



image-4020066742.jpg

I'm impressed overall with the capability of this jeep in stock trim, but also thinking I want to beef up on clearance. Contemplating a 3.5" setup over a 2.5.

Will that be overkill with just 35s? Called MC and they said a 3.5" kit will sit closer to 4" give or take depending on bumpers etc. anybody on here running either kit with 35s, and if so, how does your JKU do in the rocks?

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Unread 02-17-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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subscribed Nice!!
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Unread 02-17-2014, 06:40 PM   #7
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I usually steer people toward 2.5" for lower maintenance. But getting high centered on 3.5" lift and 35s even sucks. Usually I do pretty well but you'll still drag bottom over big rocks here and there. Overall I've been really happy with the height and tire size.

Just beware that cost goes up substantially. At 3.5" you'll want to run strong adjustable track bars, control arms, drive shafts etc. Personally I prefer a high steer kit up front for the raised roll center, and a raised rear track bar as high as possible for the same reason. Keeping the track bars as flat as possible is good for many reasons.

After almost two years I also ended up buying a new teraflex 44 front axle for the increased split between caster and pinion angle, needed to correct the pinion angle with dual cardan drive shafts.

All steering components will need upgraded for hard use with 35s too. The only factory parts below the frame on mine are the rear axle housing, locker and axle shafts, front sway bar (different links and manual rubicon disconnect), and rear sway bar, brakes.

Be sure to add in full suspension bolt kit, track bar/sector shaft brace, hd ball joints etc.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 07:02 PM   #8
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I just bought a 2014 Rubicon. I've been lurking, I mean analyzing for a week already. Looking forward to watching your build.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjw
I usually steer people toward 2.5" for lower maintenance. But getting high centered on 3.5" lift and 35s even sucks. Usually I do pretty well but you'll still drag bottom over big rocks here and there. Overall I've been really happy with the height and tire size. Just beware that cost goes up substantially. At 3.5" you'll want to run strong adjustable track bars, control arms, drive shafts etc. Personally I prefer a high steer kit up front for the raised roll center, and a raised rear track bar as high as possible for the same reason. Keeping the track bars as flat as possible is good for many reasons. After almost two years I also ended up buying a new teraflex 44 front axle for the increased split between caster and pinion angle, needed to correct the pinion angle with dual cardan drive shafts. All steering components will need upgraded for hard use with 35s too. The only factory parts below the frame on mine are the rear axle housing, locker and axle shafts, front sway bar (different links and manual rubicon disconnect), and rear sway bar, brakes. Be sure to add in full suspension bolt kit, track bar/sector shaft brace, hd ball joints etc.
So you are running 3.5 with 35s?

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Unread 02-17-2014, 07:27 PM   #10
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Yes. Not metalcloak though.

Started as an AEV 3.5" lift with Bilsteins. The remaining components from that are springs, shocks, bump stops, brake line brackets and rear track bar tower.

Now have synergy bolt kit, synergy tie rod, track bars (f/r), high steer drag link, frame side track bar and sector shaft brace, metalcloak control arms, teraflex 44 front axle (raised track bar bracket) with synergy ball joints, rcv shafts, 4.88s, ARB, Reid knuckles, fox ATS steering damper, JKs adjustable end links. Tom woods 1310 driveshafts rebuilt with sealed spicer joints.

Height with just the AEV lift and 35s.


It probably sits slightly lower now with bumper, winch, compressor, pop-up top etc. Like I said I've been happy with the height, just not with the fact that I kept having to upgrade everything to keep it driving right!

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Unread 02-18-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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That's exactly the sort if insight I was hoping to see. Ok, think I'll start at 2.5 and build from there. The nice thing about the MC kit (and a lot of others too) is that they include front trackbar, rear tower etc.

Should be placing my orders soon.

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Unread 02-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #12
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Nice lookin Jeep!
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Unread 05-12-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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So money has been tight, and I'm an impatient person, so I've decided to get some of this done on the cheap to be out on more interesting trails sooner...

...to that end, pulled out the sawzall and chopped fenders today.



image-494680692.jpg

Next up is a TF bb w/adapters and some meats.

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Unread 05-12-2014, 08:37 PM   #14
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Nice rig. What kind of nerdy board games?
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Unread 05-12-2014, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubAtomicGenius View Post
Nice rig. What kind of nerdy board games?
Love all kinds of them, honestly. My collection is small, but includes:

Ticket to Ride
Acquire
Power Grid
Last Night on Earth
Twilight Struggle
Storms of Steel
Pandemic
Flash Point
assorted card games

I really like Stone Age, Dominion, etc.
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