White Rhino a 2014 EcoDiesel on 35's and Air Springs - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
robthebuilderer
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White Rhino a 2014 EcoDiesel on 35's and Air Springs

Not my first build but it is my first build thread...please be patient as I upload photos, write up process and respond to questions.

Summary:
  • 2014 WK2 Limited 4x4 EcoDiesel
  • Nitto Terra Grappler G2 295/70/R18 - 34.41" diameter (for the purist)
  • ATX Cornice AX195
  • Mopar Air Struts, Bags and Tank
  • Accuair e-Level Suspension Management
  • Bodywork/Fabrication and Custom Flares
  • Modified Mopar Rock Rails
  • Modified RRO Winch Cradle
  • Smittybilt X20 10,000lb w/Wireless Remote
  • SRT8 Headlights
  • LED Driving Light Conversion
  • Matte Black Vinyl Wrap Accents
  • Brass Monkey Paint Accents (wheels, grille, etc.)

Phase II (because we're never finished):
  • Differentials...SRT8 or something...still researching options
  • Green Diesel Engineering EcoTune
  • Gobi Roof Rack (maybe)
  • More...




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post #2 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 08:16 AM
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Wow. Can you go into detail as to what you did with the air springs?

Looks awesome.
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post #3 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 09:28 AM
TypeRod
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Looks awesome! How much extra height can you get with the air springs? When I look at the picture, I feel you should call it the white gorilla! Its like the front wheels are the gorilla's fists supporting itself! =)
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post #4 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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The name “White Rhino” came from a National Geographic show I was watching on endangered species…apparently there are only 3 white rhinos left in existence. As far as I know there are only 3 companies that have built a WK2 on 35’s…
Jeep built WK2 concept vehicles over the last few years



AEV threw some 35's on a first gen WK2


and Bulletproof Suspensions built one that showed at SEMA last year...


I really like the clean look that Detroit pulled off so we went that route.

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post #5 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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I have a few projects under my belt, from my first car (67 VW bus) to the XJ we finished a few years ago (see my JF Garage)...but this would be the first 'new' car I wanted to cut up. So I did some asking around and found a local fabrication shop...


When I first approached Mark about this project he scratched his head...they do mostly resto-mods, restorations, etc. They hadn't worked on a Jeep yet. I was persistent and showed up once a week with more information and a deadline...Jeep Beach 2016. He finally agreed to help me.

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post #6 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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We started with a completely stock low-mileage USED 2014 Limited 4x4 EcoDiesel that I picked up at a local Ford dealer in August of 2015...with the intention of towing the XJ to events.



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post #7 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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This one started out like most builds do...progressive. Was fine driving a luxury vehicle with vented seats and great fuel mileage. Then it was...let's see what 20" rims and 32" tires looks like...



Then it was...let's see what a 2.5" lift looks like...should add some Mopar Rock Rails while we're at it (those things are a PIA to install, 8 hours later)!


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post #8 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Seeing what Jeep did with the concept vehicles I knew it was possible...cutting sheetmetal was always part of the plan. The suspension however was originally going to be steel spring with spacers or OME.

The back-story on the air suspension...we had been taking my 91yo grandmother to breakfast about once a week, at least until the 2.5" lift and rock rails went on...the Jeep was just too big for her after that. So my girlfriend suggested air suspension so we could lower the Jeep and gramma could get in. Well, that just opened up Pandora's box and off I went...

I knew GC's came with Quadra-Lift so I started researching parts. First thing I bought was the tank (ebay) because it fits cleanly under/behind the rear seats...



Next was the front struts and rear bags which I purchased new from a friend at a local Jeep dealer. So far, everything I've purchased is factory Mopar parts and direct bolt on.

You may notice the RRO upper control arms...



We considered using some kind of spacer in the rear but the bags didn't need it.


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post #9 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Next was air management...QL systems are closed loop and use nitrogen to maintain pressures inside (at least) the front struts. I chose Accuair e-Level package with Touch Pad for a few reasons, the main one being ride height control...the system uses sensors at each wheel and a computer to track and correct preset ride heights. We have (3) preset ride heights with infinite manual adjustment between the full range of the air springs. Ride height at start means every time I start the Jeep it automatically raises to normal ride height (NRH) and I'm ready to go.



Our system uses (2) Viair compressors, VU4 solenoid unit, 3/8 Poly and copper hard lines (tire well) and push-to-connect fittings. It’s basically plug and play, we just had to figure out how to connect to the Mopar stuff but that wasn’t difficult.



Here you can see the wheel sensors, front struts...we're using an RRO 1.75" spacer on top of these.



The rear...switched out shocks for 6" travel Bilsteins...we're using the RRO lift kit shock spacer here.


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post #10 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Next was to open up wheel houses to fit 35” tires. The goal here was to have clearance at the lowest possible ride height so that in case of air suspension failure we could at least drive safely off the road and get help. This includes removing the stock plastic ‘flares’ and about 1.5” of sheet metal and plastic from bumpers.



Up front this includes removing the pinch weld seam and more.






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post #11 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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The rear posed its’ own set of challenges, not so much to do with clearance but with unit-body structure (quarters and doors). This is where the professionals were worth their weight in gold.











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post #12 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Next up, flares to tie it all together. Now, I tried to contact Jeep through every social media platform I could think of…nothing, nada, no response. So, we made our own…but I really like what they did so we emulated their design while adding a little ‘flare’ (pun intended) of our own.








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post #13 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Week of JB16 we were installing the winch cradle...which I modified to fit horizontal center of the 'newer' front fascia ('14-current I believe)...



Behind there is a 10,000lb Smittybilt X20 with wireless remote...although to use the remote you have to toggle a switch on the solenoid, which is hidden behind the bumper...I'll be working on this...for now the controller is tucked in next to the master cylinder.




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post #14 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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All that was left was finishing…and believe me when I tell you it came down to the last minute! This was like a SEMA or Overhaulin' build...we were programming the Accuair system in gate 70 of the Daytona International Speedway while registering for Jeep Beach 2016 (a week ago).







Lowest Ride Height..."All Down"



Setting 2 Normal Ride Height...



Setting 3 Maximum Ride Height...



A HUGE thank you to GodSpeed Rides for working with me on this!


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post #15 of 91 Old 04-27-2016, 01:40 PM
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Man, that is so impressive... Well done! Everything seemed pretty cut and dry until the reshaping of your rear quarter panels and doors. Glad you got a good company to do a great job on that, looks amazing!
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