American Jeeper’s Mountain Goat - JLUR (now with first stage build video)

  1. American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Jeremy
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    #1 Aug 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    This is my new Bright White JLUR, now named “Mountain Goat” or just Goat with help from the kids after the Jeep’s first trek to Colorado.

    I have a lot of the same somewhat limited aftermarket parts on the Jeep that many of you do, but have done a little customization and found out a few things that might help a few of you looking to do the same thing.

    ***Edit***the first stage of my build video is done. Here is the link:



    Here is the upgrade list so far with some mini-write ups:

    2.5” Readylift spacer lift. This is the 4th wrangler I have lifted, and my first with this manufacturer. The kit itself is very complete for $400, including extension brackets for brake lines and even shock extensions. Also the spacers are metal, so you get the true 2.5” front/2” rear that was advertised. Instructions were clear and was the kit that allowed me to experience the Rubicon shocks and retain the stock ride somewhat. Some parts could have been painted better. If anyone is installing this and has questions let me know.

    Firestone Destination MT/2 37 x 12.5 R17 on stock Rubicon rims with Synergy 1 5/8” wheel spacers. This is my first time with these tires and running spacers (Ihave run Duratracs, KM2’s, and KO2’s previously). The online tire reviews are awesome, so I figured what the heck. I don’t wheel a ton and do some highway driving, so a mud tire with road manners is important to me. So far these tires are awesome, handling some pretty gnarley rocks in CO and super quiet on the highway. The best part was I got them for a shade over $200 a piece with a 25% discount on purchases over $1000 special Firestone was running.

    ***By the way, I have pushed the flex on this combo as much as possible, and I have zero rubbing. The narrower 37” tire tucks nicely into the big Rubicon fender wells, and the spacer lift limiting upward spring travel probably helps some too. That 8 speed transmission is a champion with those tires too!

    For the full-size spare, I am running a Mopar tailgate hinge reinforcement bracket and Rough Country Spare tire extension mount. This is a pricey combo, but easy install and I like not having to open a spare carrier and tailgate (lazy America, I know). I extended the stock third-brake light bracket, and it clears the tire perfectly. The RC extension advertises being able to run up to a 35” tire, but the 37” clears fine and hugs the Jeep well. It feels solid and no issues running it so far.

    I am using my Smittybilt bikini top from my JKUR. To make it work, I had to drill two 1/2” holes that line up with the plastic guide rods the freedom tops sit in, and used 2 bolts, metal spacers, washers, and wing nuts to secure. The top tad narrow at the windshield channel, leaving a small gap between the top of the door, but is super secure all around and keeps the weather off the leather, man! Saved some money on a top, too.

    I am modifying a bracket I found in my garage to mount my firestick CB antenna to the hole on the tailgate hinge reinforcement bracket. Looks like it will turn out fine, and I seriously hate the idea of spending $100 on a bracket. Seems like some manufactures are doing a little price-gouging due to high demand and limited options for us at this point.

    Doors off I am running a $6 suction mirror from O’Reilly zip-tied to the side vent. This works fairly well and keeps me legal.

    En-route from Brown Santa I have a Jerry can bracket I am going to figure out where to mount (probably rachet-strapped to the spare when I need it), Warn VR Winch (sadly/luckily never had to use my last winch on my last Rubicon in 2 years, so going with the cheaper model), Maximus 3 long Roof rack for RTT, and Hi-Lift bracket for the rack (so I can also take my Hi-lift wheeling and not use it like the winch).

    I am still debating bumpers, but most likely getting ready to pull the trigger on a stubby that will accommodate the winch and retain factory fog lights. I’ll keep the rear until I find one I love and/or dent the stock one enough.

    Other than that, even though mods are never done, I will stop there for a bit.

    Down the road I may do different wheels, but I’ll see how the stock rim/spacer combo goes for a while. I want to keep things tight and narrow to protect the axles a bit and not be too much of a guinea pig on pushing the limits of them.

    If anyone has any questions or wants pics of what I have done here, let me know. Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed and this helps you decide on what you want (or don’t want) to use to build your Jeep for you.

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  2. CalsJLUR

    CalsJLUR Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Trey
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    How are you liking the spacer lift? I am in the debate stage.

    Love the color choice!

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  3. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Love it, and the install is easy if you are into turning a wrench or saving money on paying someone to do it. What else are you thinking about doing-bigger tires? A lot of engineering going into these Jeeps, and it seems a shame to not use the stock Rubicon springs and shocks for a little while. Spacers are spacers to a point I would say, but there are small differences in the kits like shock extensions and brake line extension brackets or metal vs rubber spacers. You don’t get as much travel/articulation as a proper lift, but you don’t lose any and you gain height. I may go with a full lift down the road but want to see what else comes out and how they perform before going all-in. The masses will try these and find issues or strengths as the new lifts come out. Some of the more reputable aftermarket manufacturers are taking their time here, so I am hoping that means there will be good stuff available at competitive prices by the time I am ready.

    The black and white contrast on the Bright White looks awesome! I like that Jeep wave sticker on the windshield.
     
  4. CalsJLUR

    CalsJLUR Well-Known Member

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    Trey
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    My plan is to run 37’s (up in the air about tires) and stick with 2.5 inches of lift. I am completely hands on and will do all the work to the Jeep. In my previous life as a truck guys (Cummins), ride quality was an issue with the spacer lifts, it took a good quality lift (Thuren) to not rattle the chicklettes out of your head. With the price of the spacer lifts it maybe a good holdover till the aftermarket catches up.

    The kids and wife got me the wave sticker as a new Jeep gift! My son wanted it on the front window so I didn’t have to wave at all the other Jeeps.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    37’s seem to be a great fit for the Rubicon JL, where they were way more of an undertaking for the JK. I will say that this ride with the lift is a bit firmer but still very close to stock in the feel. Tire pressure helps a lot too; there is a huge difference in running say 30 over 37 PSI to mitigate some kidney damage and keep your teeth. If you do self installations then that definitely keeps the cost down and know it is done right. There is no question that a good true lift is better than the best spacer lift at least for articulation and maybe comfort, but some lifts can make the ride harsher too. These waters are still largely uncharted, but that’s part of the fun!

    The great thing is you have a truly capabale and bada$$ ride without doing anything to modify how it came from the factory; everything else is just extra icing on the already sweet cake.

    That sticker is truly a great gift! I try to wave as much as possible but I miss a few here and there and that would fix it.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    B52CC881-A828-483A-A206-502A1780F9C8.jpeg D6E3BFFC-A3C2-4C84-A431-AE5F84E43909.jpeg 1FBC97F0-6E86-455F-BA51-2B28C4467A18.jpeg 68D958E5-6630-41A6-A6EB-AF5D8F7FC8D0.jpeg C309DD16-205E-463F-B9D6-72AE693B879C.jpeg E7F4D5A3-E9C6-457F-BC52-AFC032F552EA.jpeg C55A195F-675F-4AA4-B0ED-E1098AC146DB.jpeg Here are a few pics referencing the mods so far if anyone is interested!

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  7. CalsJLUR

    CalsJLUR Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of wheel spacers to keep the stock wheels. I can't find any wheels that I truly love enough to spend the $$$. Thanks for the help and once I pull the trigger I will let you know!
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good-I look forward to seeing some pics!
     
  9. OP
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    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    #9 Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    I installed my Maximus-3/Rhino Pioneer roof rack before my wheeling trip this weekend. Also mounted a hi-lift mount and the CB antenna bracket mount. Everything held up great on the trip with no leaks after quite a long power wash session. Winch and front stubby bumper installation coming later this week!

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  10. daviddlt

    daviddlt Active Member

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    I am thinking of doing the same thing as you. putting 37s with stock rubicon wheels. therefore, i have a question. do I need spacers in order to keep the stock wheels with 37s? 37*12.5*17. I found the spacer you listed Synergy 1 5/8” wheel spacers for $80.
     
  11. homebrwd

    homebrwd Active Member

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    Yes you will need a spacer in order to not rub.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Yes, when my tires were put on the stock wheels without spacers (I was waiting for the shipment that day) they had a tiny bit of rubbing. The 1 5/8” seem to work great. You can see how the tires stick out just enough, but not so much that they can’t tuck in the fenders when you flex off road.

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  13. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Jeremy
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    With any luck, all have my front stubby bumper delivered today, and install it and the winch tonight!

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  14. OP
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    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Okay, my bumper arrived today from Extreme Terrain. It was originally supposed to arrive yesterday, but the shipment tracking was nonexistent and it appeared to be lost. I have a second identical bumper arriving tomorrow 2nd day air. They did a good job making it right and ensuring I am ready for the holiday weekend!

    My choice was the RedRock 4x4 Crawler Front Stubby:

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  15. OP
    OP
    American Jeeper

    American Jeeper Well-Known Member

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    Four hours later, I finished the bumper and winch installation. Everything was pretty easy, with the removal of the plastic stock front bumper the biggest issue. I had to completely disassemble the bumper to get the factory fog light wiring harness free. Not too bad but just a little tedious.

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