2020 2dr Rubicon Build - Moab or BUST

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t0mills

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A couple wheeling trips back I dug my 35" spare into the mud on a climb-out. And on this past trip I smashed a rear bumper corner on the stock plastic unit. So, addressing all of that was quickly becoming a priority. That is the downside to running less lift.
Spent several nights just looking at rear bumper options, and there's a lot out there. I ended up finding the Rock Hard 4x4 website and knew that I wanted their Patriot rear bumper setup. Reviews were good, with most people commenting how strong the bumpers are.
3 days after placing my order over the phone, a LTL truck was delivering a huge pallet of parts/pieces. I got all of the options that were on the site, so it included everything from the bumper to the basket to even the hi-lift jack.
One thing was for sure, I knew after trying to move that pallet that I was going to need new rear springs....

In an effort to keep weight down as much as possible (i know, this is NOT the bumper for that) and improve rear clearance, I decided to get rid of the OEM muffler in the rear. Now was the time to do that it seemed.
I then ordered the Flowmaster delete pipe as it was the only one that I had seen that actually went ABOVE the rear sway bar. It only makes sense in my head to do it that way..

The bumper setup along with my spare wheel/tire is extremely heavy. It's complete overkill but should last forever and be indestructible. Not sure how that swing-out spindle handles all that weight, but it does.
After installing, I had lost a full inch of height in the rear (50% of my lift!!). :CWL:




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t0mills

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I called up Synergy and got a set of their 3" rear springs on the way. I was running the 8864-10 rear springs (150lb/in) which gave me 2" of lift over stock. While I was comparing the specs to their 8864-20 rear springs (175lb/in), I didn't figure that these would give me a full inch of lift in the rear but decided to give them a shot.
They arrived quickly and I got them installed (no pics of that). They gave me back 1/2" of lift in the rear and the added spring rate made the weight less noticeable in the rear. I adjusted my LSC setting on the rear shocks up one click and that took care of the rear weight being "noticeable" when driving.
I still need to do something to gain the other 1/2" of lift in the rear, so I ordered Teraflex 1/2" load level spacers for the rear (not installed for these next pics).
These pics are showing how it sits with just the 8864-20 rear springs.



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t0mills

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My first inclination that this rig was now tail-heavy came from the fact that I had to increase rear tire pressure from 30psi to 34psi after installing the rear bumper setup.
Decided to toss it on the scales and see how bad it was....

The weights shown are with me sitting in the driver seat (190lbs). It's incredibly balanced from side-to-side, but definitely tail heavy. We will see how that does offroad. Hoping I won't pop a wheelie and flip over backwards.. :facepalm:

Really wish I would have checked the front/rear weight balance before doing anything to the jeep. Maybe someone can chime in and let me know what a stock jeep weighs on the rear axle??

This works out to:

46% front
54% rear



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JoshuaaT

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You have a SWEET build here. That rear is definitely going to get heavy if you add jerry cans and a cooler during trips.
 
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You have a SWEET build here. That rear is definitely going to get heavy if you add jerry cans and a cooler during trips.
I know right.... For longer trips the rear seat can be removed, so that will help and allow me to keep the cooler inside behind the front seats. That will help with distribution. The basket rack on the rear bumper is really way too high for a cooler anyway.
I've got a pair of steel jerry cans but looking at some rotopax options to drop some weight. Either way, additional fuel storage is a must with the small tank on 2dr JL.
 
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t0mills

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Haven't had much time to update this, but need to get back on track.

I've ran PSC steering on several vehicles that I've built in the past, all with good results. In fact,their steering setup was in the plans before I ever decided to buy a jeep. It's just that good. I really like how the hydro assist cylinder takes ALL of the road/trail feel out of the steering. Hitting bumps/potholes/rocks with one tire no longer moves the steering wheel in your hand. Nor does crosswinds or ruts in the road.
Installation was a lot easier than their previous JK kit. The JL kit comes with all pre-made hoses and a really nice steering cooler that bolts up to the core support (JK kit you had to make all that stuff).
I'm also a big fan of how the ram attaches to the tie rod. All previous kits i've ran required you to figure out WHERE to place the clamp on the tie rod, and then figure out HOW to keep the clamp from sliding when under heavy load. Usually this was tack welding in place.
The JL kit comes with a bracket that bolts to the stock holes in the passenger side tie rod end. It' will never be able to slide around.
The Big Bore box is a ginormous improvement over the stock JL steering box, both in size and quality. There is no more "dead spot" in the wheel and the steering shaft looks to be dang near double the diameter! Should be a very durable part.

Not many install pics, but a few.



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t0mills

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Next up was a sweet stubby antenna mod. I think this one was a 15" version. Puts it right at snorkel height.




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I also installed the Teraflex 1/2" load leveling rear spacers, along with a stainless shim that I cut (0.375"). I probably should have just ordered the Synergy 4" rear springs from the get-go (instead of the 3" rear springs) but it's so hard to guesstimate that stuff.
It sits level now and i'm finally happy with the ride height after installing the heavy rear bumper setup.





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Chubrocker

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Great posts, I also have the RH Patriot rear (and front) after bending the stock steel. Won't have that problem again.
 
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Finally time to re-gear. Gears are typically my favorite vehicle mod, and this was no exception. Most people would (and have) said I'm crazy for going with a 5.38 gear and a 35" tire. Even though I had done the math, and I know my personal preferences quite well, I was second guessing myself for a bit.
After install, I immediately knew I had made the right choice. It's exactly how I wanted and expected it to drive. This area is particularly hilly/mountainous and these gears made all the difference. If I had it to do over again, I'd go with the same ratio.
Also installed Yukon rear chromoly shafts and an Adam's 1350 driveline. Again, overkill for 35s, but I don't want to worry about it.
The gears are Dana Spicer and the setup was simple. Both the front and rear gears were "0" offset, so we were able to simply replace and use the same shims that came out with the stock setup. Patterns were perfect. Rear crush sleeve sucked. I swear that the youtube heros are pre-crushing the sleeves in order to make it look so easy.... :LOL:







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Front axle went a lot quicker. Tossed in some RCV shafts (one-piece passenger side) and a FAD block-off plate. The RCV axle tube seals are worth the price. They seal up really well.
Also running a matching Adam's 1350 front drive shaft.





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That pretty much catches everything up to date. I've got about 1500mi on the jeep now and am trying to get about 200 more before I swap the diff fluids. Then it'll be ready to head out west!
 

JoshuaaT

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You’ve been busy! Do you plan to hit any other trails on the way to Moab?
 

Krondor

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Man on a mission. lol

Great build and I'm interested in your review of the shocks. I am enjoying my current setup but feel like I'd like the adjustability to stiffen up for street duty. Also, I was looking at 4.88's to be a bit deeper than the math would suggest for 35's. Are you worried about the strength going all the way to 5.38's? How's the RPM's at 80? This motor does like to spin up, so I imagine you are doing just fine. Look forward to more reviews as you go.

:beer:
 

Krondor

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Actually working on some plans to hit a couple places in Colorado on the way back home. I'm open to suggestions!
Ouray. :camera:

Very scenic and worth the trip, imho.
 








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