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Unread 03-12-2014, 04:26 AM   #1
HOKIES2010
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Robocon Build - Consolidated

My build thread was not really a build thread. More of random posts during deployments and I really like reading the other threads on here that have photos during the different stages. Thought I would go ahead and consolidate mine since I had a bunch of free time today.

I bought my JKUR in 2011 and at the time we had a TJ that my girl wouldn't let me do anything to. When I got the Rubi I got it with big intentions. I had traded my Vette in and there was no way I would have a grocery getter. She laughed at the kind of Jeeps I liked, big lifts, big tires, flat fenders and armor. She always called them Terminator Jeeps and mine got named Robocon shortly after we got it.

Here it was when it was nice and new. No scratches and still shinny. It really didn't stay this way long.

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Unread 03-12-2014, 04:39 AM   #2
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So with two Jeeps we did the next thing anyone does. We joined a local Jeep club. It was going to be awhile before I could afford to get the parts I needed to run 37s so this gave me a great opportunity to wheel it stock and make sure my choices would suit me needs.

This was really a good thing and I recommend any new owner does this. My plan changed so many times based on experience with the Rubi and I thought I already had a good idea when I bought it.

My first little outing was to a local play pit and here I decided that playing in mud holes for the sake of playing in mud holes wasn’t my thing. Too much opportunity to brake things and man do I hate the cleanup. I would find out later that I had packed mud all the way up to my front diffs.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 04:47 AM   #3
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I got to go to a Jeep weekend at Misty Mountain in Crozet VA. I recommend it to anyone in the area. It was a good time with a bunch of Jeepers from all over the area. Besides there our group liked to go out to George Washington National Forest and enjoy some of the VA/WVA scenery. Still had a great time on a stock Jeep and there was plenty you can do right out of the box with a Rubi.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 04:53 AM   #4
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We ended up moving to FL and had to leave the mountains behind. It really sucked but I ended up deploying before it could set it.

While I was deployed I had a ton of time on my hands to surf around on here and learn. I got hooked up with Jason@KrawlOff-road.com and I couldn’t have been happier that I did.

While I was gone I got my first order submitted. Until then the only thing I had installed on the Rubi was my Cobra 19, Firestick and the Safari-Straps cage. If you have dogs you cannot go wrong with that cage either. Man is it an awesome product.

Here was my order:
Rock Krawler JK 5.5" X Factor Mid Arm System (3.5” Springs)
Rock Krawler JK RRD Shocks
Rock Krawler Stackable JK Front Bump Stop
Rock Krawler Stackable JK Rear Bump Stop
OEM Replacement Tie Rod End
Tires - 37x1250x17 Nitto Trail Grapplers (Good reviews, figured I will give them a try)
Wheels - MB 72's Matte Black, 17x9, 5x5
Gears - Superior 5.13 gears and install kits front and rear D44's
ARB Diff Cover, D44
Reid High Steer Knuckles, L and R, JK D30/44
Poly/Synergy JK Heavy Duty Front Ball Joint Set (2 Upper, 2 Lower)
Poly/Synergy JK 4Dr. Front Drive Shaft, 1310
Poly/Synergy JK D30/44 Outter Shell Kit
Poly/Synergy JK Front Track Bar Bracket
Poly/Synergy JK Front LCA Mounts
Poly/Synergy JK Lower Shock Mount
Poly/Synergy JK D30/44 C Gussets
Poly/Synergy JK Axle Seal Kit
Poly/Synergy JK Lower Coil Spring Mounts
Poly/Synergy JK Inner Axle Sleeve Kit
JCR JK Front Stubby Stinger Winch Bumper, With Electric Disco Skid and D-Rings
JCR JK Rear Stubby Bumper Basic, With D-Rings
JCR JK 4Dr. Stage 2 Rock Sliders
OR-Fab JK Swing Away Rear Tire Carrier With Can Mounts
OR-Fab JK 3rd Brake Light Kit
ACE Engineering JK Tube Fenders
RROR JK Expedition Snorkel
RROR JK Breather Hose Extension Kit
Warn 9.5cit-s Winch
Warn Wireless Remote
AEV Procal

I did not get a lot of pics of the parts when they came in but I did get pics of the tires since my girl knew I would be excited. It was really funny because the first set that got sent out to me were 35s. I had to zoom in to read the letters. The order was fixed quickly though and before I knew it I had 37s waiting on me.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 05:02 AM   #5
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After I got home from my deployment I had everything from my list sitting in my garage except for my Rock Krawler RRD Shocks. Since I could not get my lift on I went ahead and installed what I could. ACE Engineering JK Tube Fenders JCR JK Rear Stubby Bumper Basic, W/D-Rings JCR JK Front Stubby Stinger Winch Bumper, W/ Electric Disco Skid and D-Rings Warn 9.5cti-s Winch Daystar JK Hood Latches I installed the ACE Fenders first since they come prefinished and I needed to get the bumpers prepped and painted. I did the install by myself (I would suggest a second set of hands just to make it a little easier). I used the install video found on the ACE website and it was super easy and straight forward. The finish on these and the quality is top notch and I am very pleased with my purchase. I would really look into these if you are shopping for tube fenders. The fenders shipped and finished come around half the price of the other options like Metalcloak and PSC. The only hard part with these is keeping the stock fender well liners in the front. There is no spot for them to hook up to. I ended up trimming the fender liners and the big hunk of plastic that comes apart from the inner stock fenders with my dremel. I was only able to keep the front half of the fender liners but I figure it is better than nothing. I installed the JCR bumpers after they were prepped and painted (I went with self-etching primer and textured Rustoleum rattle can until I could get them in for powder coating) The install on both my basic rear stubby and Dagger front stubby with stinger were super easy. You really do not even need install instructions on them to be honest. The welds on these things rock and they are super strong. Of note for those that are thinking about the stubby rear basic bumper, this bumper will not work with your factory tire carrier w/tire. This is no big deal for me since I have an OR-FAB carrier. The front disco skid was easy as well except for one bolt. I have no idea how to get to access this thing to get in on there but there are 6 other bolts holding it in place and I do not see it going anywhere. Next were the winch and hood latches. The Warn is nice and there is a ton of synthetic cable. The install is easy and after I got around to it the wireless remote was as well. The remote ended up getting stolen later on but a replacement remote is easy to get. The Daystar latches are awesome. There is zero hood flutter now and they are well worth the price. If you get these do not follow the directions 100%, there is no reason to unbolt the base of the bottom latch off of the JK and use vise grips. The stock ones are crappy enough that the ends can be broke off using a screw driver while they are still on the JK. Then slide out the factory plastic pins and off you go.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 05:17 AM   #6
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After my shocks came in it was time to get the Rubi into the shop. Main drive behind getting the lift put on by someone else was that I had a bunch of axle work getting done so I was actually getting the lift install very cheap. Had a guy from my new club down in FL do the work and I was very happy with the end product. I had him install the Poly Performance inner and outer sleeves and Cs on the stock D44 as well as the Poly front D44 bracket kit. Hindsight I might have just gone with a ProRock but so far the axle assembly has held up fine and is stout. The Reid HD knuckles are still my favorite mod so far. Besides being able to use the Rock Krawler high steer kit and upgraded rod ends I really like the orange. These are way beefier than the stock knuckles. I couldn’t believe how heavy the box was. At this time new Poly ball joints were installed as well. Everything got bolted up from the Rock Krawler kit. The CAs and TBs are very stout. I used Rock Krawlers rear TB mount but decided on the Poly components up front. The lift got finished off with the Rock Krawler RRD shocks (well worth the wait), a front ARB Diff cover, Poly driveshafts and a new OEM steering stabilizer because I trashed mine.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 05:39 AM   #7
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After the lift was on I used the procal to fix my speedo and I went to get it an alignment done. When I got it back my stomach dropped because of how bad the Rubi handled. I really thought I just dropped a lot of coin on a Jeep I didn’t want to be driving.

Low and behold the shop aired up my tires way too high. I dropped them down to 28psi per some suggestions of you guys on here and the difference was night and day. At full air this thing was way too flighty and would have caused an accident. Always check the psi when you get your vehicle back from someone. I did not reuse the psi sensors, instead I used to procal to turn them off.

Right after the alignment was done and the psi was fixed it was off to Jacksonville to go to Antiqua and pick up our new boat so we could drive it home when we got back. It was a good opportunity for a little road test for the new lift and tires at just over 5 hours on the hwy. On the way back we did not plan on the Tropical Storm we got hit with. I was on a new lift, the new 37s and stock 4.10 gearing towing a new boat on a trailer I have never towed before. Talk about a headache.

This is what really sold me on the Nitto Trail Grapplers. I was told not to get them by people on here that I value their opinions but I like the way they looked and Jason@KrawlOff-road.com had given me a killer deal so I figured what the hell, the reviews were good I will try them out. These things rocked in the severe rain. I had no issues with traction and felt very safe driving them with the boat behind me. That said if I had never went to the proper psi I think I would not have a thread to write.

The Nittos on dry pavement are awesome. We have 33x12.50R15 KM2s on our TJ and those are about twice as loud as the Trail Grapplers. Minus the cost and weight I can't find a con to owning them.

The lift handled well. It does have a firm ride (I know some have said they don’t like it) and the high steer makes everything feel nice and tight.

Road test down and good to go.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 05:39 AM   #8
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Subscribed! Been studying your rig through random postings and JKOTM contest. Thank you for putting together a build thread. Although it is a lot of time and effort it helps to understand your mod decisions and the success or failures of your choices.

And also thank you for you service.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 05:46 AM   #9
HOKIES2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkOpsRubi View Post
Subscribed! Been studying your rig through random postings and JKOTM contest. Thank you for putting together a build thread. Although it is a lot of time and effort it helps to understand your mod decisions and the success or failures of your choices.

And also thank you for you service.
Thank you. I really wished I would have taken more photos while I was doing things. I deploy and travel for work so it always felt like I was in a time crunch. I have some more stuff to do with all the time in the world when I get home this time. More photos in my future mods for sure. Esp for our TJ that I am ready to start on.

I have lurked on your build quite a few times. I love the work you and your husband have done. My girl loves Jeeps too but she is more hands off on the actual work to them lol.

Edit: Got myself in the dog house lol. My girl likes working on them just don't surfing through endless threads reading about them.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 06:40 AM   #10
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Got to head out to our local spot at Eglin AFB here in the Panhandle. This was the first time I got to stress test any of the components.

I had no issues. The lift has plenty of travel and flex. The Rock Krawler RRDs are supposed to have 11” of travel. With those and the coil retainers I had no issues with springs coming unseated. 2” of bumpstop worked out great and I never felt that hard smack of bottoming one of the shocks out. The ride always feels firm on the road and off-road I was worried about knocking fillings out but once I got out there I was happy with the ride. I was worried for nothing and it soaks up the bumps and rocks without being too firm. I would reccomend the set up without reserve.

In one of the pics you can see some of the guys in my wheel well. I was surprised that I was contacting the pinch seem on the backside of the rear wheel well and not the front. So when I got home the next thing that was on my list was to go ahead and trim those up. Like most of the mods once you get past the idea of cutting into your Jeep it was plenty easy to do. I used a cutoff wheel, cleaned up and picked a good 2 part epoxy filler, sanded and painted.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 07:05 AM   #11
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Next up was getting my gears done. I had been on 37s and the stock 4.10s for a while at this point. The only reason I could handle it was because I have a manual. It still really really sucked though.

I have the Superior 5.13s and man what a difference. I was almost sold on a supercharger until I got my regear. Now I honestly feel it’s not worth the cost. With the proper gear ratio the Rubi does everything I want it to. Passing vehicles on the hwy in 6th and/or holding 85 mph isn’t a problem and it still can crawl like a Rubi should.

When I was shopping for gears it was hard to find reviews on people that have had multiple manufactures in their Jeep. People have said the Yukons are one of the quieter sets out there and for me it is kind of hard to pick out gear noise specifically because my carpets are out on top of the tires, lift and my rear windows never being in. The Jeep is just plain noisy like it should be. So far the gears have held up well. When I changed my diff fluid I had nothing beyond the normal break in dust. I ordered Yukon for our TJ to see if I can tell any differences.

Also went ahead and got my carrier installed. I got the Jerry Can version at the time. I would seriously recommend getting the RotoPax carrier if you want fuel. The Jerry Can version sticks out quite a bit and there is only a couple companies that make cans with the proper lip and they aren’t cheap.

This was a case where I went against the bought not built because like usual work and an upcoming deployment had me on a time crunch.

The OR-FAB is really nice but install and setting the pre-load is a serious PITA (the install helped that decision to have someone else do it). The overall quality if very good and the only problem I have had is within a year I have noticed oxidation spots on the textured powdercoat that came on it. I won’t say this is an OR-FAB problem because the same thing has happened on the smooth powercoat on my bumper. I live right off the gulf. It is just something to be aware of if you live in that environment. I contacted OR-FAB and they let me know that people have had good luck with ArmorAll products. Because I can only email here being able to communicate with customers even by email is important to me. OR-FAB has shown good customer service whenever I need to ask them about a product.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 07:16 AM   #12
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Its amazing where we start and think we want to go direction wise with out jeeps, then look back and realize all the stuff we have done...

Nice rig
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Unread 03-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #13
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I had installed my JCR bumpers with my rattle can paint job. Although doable I personally didn’t like how they turned out. I really did take my time on the prep when I did them but in the end I really wanted them powdercoated so I decided to not put my sliders on until those were done.

I got my bumpers and sliders back from the powdercoat and was ready to go. The bumpers are idiot proof and JCR makes it so easy because everything lines up. I found out that the sliders are quite a bit more challenging.

These things are heavy and I had only my pair of hands so I used a borrowed motorcycle lift to help out. I got everything tapped up and got my sliders on to mark the holes. Definitely make sure your holes are good to go before you drill. I followed the instructions and had no issues here. I did run into some frustration during the install though.

Make sure you use the right drill bit. I did not and it will ruin your day. I think JCR suggested a step bit, I had one and could not find it on the day of install. Laziness of not driving to the store came back to bite me in the ***. The sheet metal is thin and the bit will run on you. It happened to me right near the door jam behind the front passenger seat. Probably the worst place for it to happen. I was able to set the nutsert though and used some of the epoxy from my pinch seams to fix it. I am still pissed to this day about it.

Since these sliders bolt through the body they use nutserts just like my ACE fenders did. Unlike the fenders these do not come with a nutsert tool per say. It’s a bolt contraption that you use to manually crush it into the hole. I found that when using two wrenches it is easy to collapse the nutsert unevenly. I asked JCR about this (after the fact) and found using a drill with a socket on it would have probably been my best bet here. Oh well my bad from the get go. I was in too much of a hurry. Lesson absolutely learned.

After I got all my nutserts in, painted and ready to mount I opted to use stainless bolts. I mainly did this because I found the provided bolts to be on the short side on some of the mounting points. I think the botched nutsert install had a lot to do with this. But with the longer bolts I was able to really suck the slider into the body. I did have an issue with a couple of the nutserts spinning on me but I was able to get everything where it needed to be. I used locktite and finished the top seam with silicone. I wanted to keep the water from running into the sliders as much as possible (think back to all the rusted out TJ/LJ rockers) but I kept the bottom open so no water would not collect. I do not see these things ever coming off so it is a good thing I really like them.

Overall I learned a lot, did not have fun but really enjoy the finished product. These offer a ton of protection.
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Unread 03-12-2014, 07:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brut4ce View Post
Its amazing where we start and think we want to go direction wise with out jeeps, then look back and realize all the stuff we have done...

Nice rig
Man you aren't lying. I bet its fun when you get the itch to fab something like you do.

Thanks
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Unread 03-12-2014, 07:34 AM   #15
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I got a wild hair to paint my fairlead and front/rear shackles red using caliper paint.

Long story made short. I don’t recommend it.

And here a rare shot of the Rubi getting a bath.
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