Cactus Dave's Storm Trooper Rubicon Build

CactusDave

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I bought my first Jeep this month, and I'm excited to build it up! I like to jump headfirst into my hobbies, so I've already ordered most of the major components.

Suspension
  • 3.5" Metalcloak Game Changer lift
  • Fox Performance 2.0 IFP Shocks 3-4” Lift (FOX-985-24-179, FOX-985-24-180)
  • BFG KM3 39x13.5x17
  • Fuel Vector Rims 17x9
  • Gorilla locking lug nuts
  • 1” Terraflex spacers for the rear
Armor
  • LOD signature shorty front bumper with stinger and skid plate
  • LOD JL Destroyer Series 4-Door Rock Sliders
  • Road Armor Stealth front and rear fenders and fender liners
  • Road Armor Stealth rear bumper
  • Artec truss and armor for the front axle
  • Rusty's full underbody skid plates
  • Metalcloak JL Wrangler tow wiring skid plate
  • Metalcloak front differential cover and skidplate
Drivetrain
  • Yukon 5.13 gears
  • Adams 1310 front driveshaft
  • RCV’s for the front axle
Lighting
  • Mopar LED fog lights
  • Mopar LED headlights
  • LED tail lights
  • Rigid 20" E-Series Pro light bar (spot/flood combo pattern)
  • Rigid D-SS Pro pillar lights (driving pattern)
  • Rigid SR-M Pro backup lights (diffused pattern)
  • KC Hilites 7318 A-Pillar Black Light Mount Brackets
Misc
  • Rusty’s tire carrier
  • ARB Dual Air Compressor with ARB passenger under-seat mount
  • Mopar floor mats
  • Warn VR EVO10-S winch
  • Factor 55 ProLink
  • Mopar satin grille
  • Tazer JL Mini
  • Spiderweb Shade mesh top
  • Mopar grab handles for the front and rear seats
  • MORE Fire Extinguisher Mount
  • Hood and fender decals
Received, but not installed:
  • Rusty’s HiLift mount - I'm not sure I'm going to carry a HiLift now...
Removed
  • BFG KO2 37x12.5x17 tires (Removed after 3k miles for 39"s)
  • Warn Elite rear bumper (Great bumper, but it stuck out further than my road armor fenders)
  • LOD Jeep JL Signature Series 4-door rock sliders (I decided I liked the look of LOD Destroyers more)
  • KC 100 SlimLite LED spot beam light pair
Current State - December 2020

IMG_2063.jpeg


Stock - August 2020

Jeep - Stock.jpg


Wheels and Tires Installed

Jeep with 37s - Stock Height.jpg


Front Grille Plasti Coated - I don't like the grey accents (I didn't spray them), so I've ordered a full Mopar black satin grille to replace it

IMG_0397.jpg





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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Installed the Rusty's tire carrier this weekend. The install had a two bumps. First, I broke the nutsert install tool on the very first nutsert, which has left a bolt and nutsert stuck in my tailgate. I went to Harbor Freight and bought their rivet gun, and the next four nutserts took about 30 seconds each. That's well worth it! Then I broke one of the four grade 8 bolts that replaced the hinge bolts torquing it to 80lbs. Luckily, I was able to remove the plate that it screwed into on the tailgate. I put the end of the bolt threads into my vise, and I was able to spin the backing plate back off. Then I drove over to Home Depot to buy new grade 10.9 bolts for the tailgate.

The tire carrier is built like a tank. I couldn't use Rusty's spare tire support without pushing my spare much further from the tailgate, so I didn't bother to put it on. Another of my friends had the same issue, and Rusty's said it wasn't needed. With just the three lugs, if I shake the tire, the whole car moves. It's solid!

The tailgate shimmed and taped:
IMG_0453.jpg


Broken nutsert:
IMG_0455.jpg


The tool I highly recommend:
IMG_0456.jpg


The rest of the nutserts installed:

IMG_0457.jpg


The finished product:

IMG_0467.jpg

IMG_0468.jpg

IMG_0469.jpg
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Got the Metalcloak GameChanger 3.5" with Fox 2.0 IPF shocks installed along with the Adams front driveshaft!

Jeep - Liffed at Home.jpg


Front Suspension Underbelly.jpg


Rear Suspension Underneath.jpg


IMG_0503 - Front Driveshaft.jpg


IMG_0502 - Front Shock Mount.jpg
 
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ExpeditionBuilds

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Got the Metalcloak GameChanger 3.5" with Fox 2.0 IPF shocks installed!

Jeep - Liffed at Home.jpg


Front Suspension Underbelly.jpg


Rear Suspension Underneath.jpg
Looks great Dave! How much lift did you gain on the 3.5" springs?

I remember on my JKU, I netted 4.25" on the M.C. 3.5" spring.


-Steven
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Looks great Dave! How much lift did you gain on the 3.5" springs?

I remember on my JKU, I netted 4.25" on the M.C. 3.5" spring.


-Steven
Here are my heights to the front fenders (stock vs after the GC 3.5" and the 37"s). I don't have the interim measurement after adding my tires, but I gained about 2" with the tires. So that means I'm up almost 5" with the lift. I'm putting on a full Rusty's skid plate package tomorrow (180lbs), front bumper (85lbs), and winch (70lbs), so I'm sure that will bring it down a bit.

The rears are only up from 40" stock to 45" with the lift and tires, but I added the Rusty's rear tire carrier and the larger spare in the back as well.

Front:

IMG_0313.jpg


IMG_0493.jpg


Rear:

IMG_0314.jpg


IMG_0494.jpg
 

ExpeditionBuilds

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Here are my heights to the front fenders (stock vs after the GC 3.5" and the 37"s). I don't have the interim measurement after adding my tires, but I gained about 2" with the tires. So that means I'm up almost 5" with the lift. I'm putting on a full Rusty's skid plate package tomorrow (180lbs), front bumper (85lbs), and winch (70lbs), so I'm sure that will bring it down a bit.

IMG_0313.jpg


IMG_0493.jpg
Thanks! I know that M.C. figures 3.5"of lift on a fully built Jeep...winch, bumpers, armor, etc..


-Steven
 

drvn

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I bought my first Jeep this month, and I'm excited to build it up! I like to jump headfirst into my hobbies, so I've already ordered most of the major components.
Dave
Nice write up. Thoroughly Impressed with your handiness. The rig looks great! Keep up the good work.
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Installed my LOD signature shorty bumper with stinger and skidplate, Warn EVO 10-S, factory LED foglights, and Mopar satin black grille. I have to wait until tomorrow to put on my Factor 55 Pro-Link, as I don't have snap ring pliers at home. It's coming along!

Jeep - After bumper and winch low angle.jpg


Jeep - After bumper and winch front.jpg
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Installed my LOD Signature rock sliders this weekend. After getting them, I'm not sure I want to keep them. I may swap them out for LOD Destroyers with the step. Installation was a little harder than I expected, as there was a little drilling and grinding required.

IMG_0571.jpg
IMG_0572.jpg
IMG_0573.jpg
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Got the Warn Elite rear bumper installed. The mounting is solid, and I liked the license plate relocation.

IMG_0620.jpg

IMG_0619.jpg

IMG_0621.jpg
 

Halstem1

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Got the Warn Elite rear bumper installed. The mounting is solid, and I liked the license plate relocation.

IMG_0620.jpg

IMG_0619.jpg

IMG_0621.jpg
I love the side profile of the Warn Elite and how it ties into the factory fender. Do you think it increases clearance or just adds the rigidity of a steel bumper? Almost looks to be the same size and profile of the OE bumper.
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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I love the side profile of the Warn Elite and how it ties into the factory fender. Do you think it increases clearance or just adds the rigidity of a steel bumper? Almost looks to be the same size and profile of the OE bumper.
I don't think I gained any clearance. The Warn is the same height as my plastic bumper (7.5"), but the Warn sticks out 8" vs 6" on the stock bumper. If you want any other pics of the bumper setup, I'd be happy to snap them.
 

Halstem1

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I don't think I gained any clearance. The Warn is the same height as my plastic bumper (7.5"), but the Warn sticks out 8" vs 6" on the stock bumper. If you want any other pics of the bumper setup, I'd be happy to snap them.
Awesome! thanks dave! I think you answered my main concern there with the measurements. The amount it sticks out was my primary concern. I really don't want anything that sticks out further than stock.
 
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CactusDave

CactusDave

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Installed my Metalcloak rear differential skid today. Easiest part install yet! it’s definitely beefy!

C3426B93-B788-4AC2-8ED5-1CFB68BCF27A.jpeg
 

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