Colorado Adventures Continued (Punk'n JLR)

Krondor

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My first Jeep was a 2006 LJ with 4.5" lift and 35" mud terrains. I loved that Jeep. It got me anywhere I wanted to go and a few places I didn’t.

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Being my first Jeep I had no idea what my goals were or what I needed to get there. So I followed a meandering build path that led me to much heavier tires on a Jeep that was too tall and no longer fun to drive on the streets. Acceleration, braking, cornering, talking to the wife at speed, all took a hit for the ability to crawl over rocks I wasn’t looking to conquer.

I bought the new 2018 JL to start over. The goal is to wander more and worry less.

I chose the 2 door manual because it’s more suited to my needs/wants: Fun and easy to maneuver. The 4 door auto may have been a better choice for an overlander, but I’m stubborn that way.

Update: After failing to stay stock, I did add several bits to make for more fun on the trail. I'm still grinning ear to ear every time I take her out.

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I was never one for naming my vehicles, but this time "Wanderer" seemed right.

I like to hike, bike, explore, and sometimes just get lost. :)


Ordered on: Saturday 2/3/2018
Born on: Thursday 6/7/2018 at 8:00 PM (MDH: 060720 322AA)
Delivery on: Friday 6/22/2018

Pinch Seam Height
  • Stock 32.7" tires = 17.25"
  • With 34.4" tires = 18.75"
  • With 34.4" tires & MetalCloak 2.5" lift = 21"
Mileage
  • Stock averaged 21 mpg
  • Bigger tires averaged 18.5 mpg
  • Bigger tires and lift averaged 17.5 mpg
  • Bigger tires, lift, and added lights averaged 16.5 mpg (Also winter 4wd use) (17.3 mpg on summer fuel)

Trips


Updates

There were several and most are covered in the posts that follow. Some of my favorites are:

Planned

I still plan to re-gear to 4.88's to help with the mountain drives over the pass and a bit better grunt for crawling. They will also help tow my eventual camp trailer. Other than that I want some adjustable shocks to firm up the ride on road and soften it offroad, the Outback Adventures JL Trailgater, some amber lighting for the trail, and a shade for summer.





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Krondor

Krondor

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Ordered on 2/3/2018
Delivery on 6/22/2018

Pictures at the dealer before prep...

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Took delivery that day.
 
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Krondor

Krondor

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Initial impressions (condensed):

  • Color: Awesome in person and I'm loving it.
  • 6-spd: Tall gears, very smooth, and after 200 miles I'm feeling very comfortable with it. Like a glove.
  • Stereo: Android Auto? Awesome. Why do I need 8.4? 7 with Alpine would be enough with my phone hooked up. Nav doesn't show above the wheel if using phone navigation. XM is nice but does cut out a lot, even in Colorado with not a lot of cover. I'm very happy I added this option never the less.
  • Seats: Very comfy. I can see spending time in them on long trips. Well done.
  • Motor: Peppy though I'm being easy on it during break in. I know it will be enough to motivate. Low end is there, though perhaps not v8 or electric there.
  • Suspension: Soft and comfortable. Great daily driver, but not a speed racer. I look forward to off road testing. Impressive.
  • HAVC: With a hard top, the AC blows cold in 90+ degree weather keeping the cabin impressively comfortable. Have not used heat yet, but it's a Jeep. It'll be toasty. Controls are easy to use after you spend a moment to find your way around.
  • Storage: Ah... yea. Well I can take the rear seat out.

The thoughts right now are: Love this Jeep.
 
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Krondor

Krondor

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First Upgrades: Mopar bits, hinge protection, and wheels!

First upgrade was the Mopar Grille & Winch Guard (P/N 82215351). Installed while Ryan drew up the paperwork. :whew:

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The Mopar all weather floor liners and the door sill guards were next.

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Gotta protect the hinges. I used some 3M film cut to fit by Red Rocket Racing.


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Finally, I was able to get the upgrade Rubicon wheels: black with silver lip.

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Krondor

Krondor

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Mount Antero: First day out playing in the hills.

Got dusty and spilled a bit along the way, but this Jeep is amazeballs!

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The wet pup and my wife's sticky drink took care of the new car smell in a hurry. :cwl:


Off road impressions:

  • Clearance: This Jeep is a tank. I skimmed over rocks I thought were sure to give me trail scraps without so much as ding. Still mall crawler material here. Nothing to see. Move along. (I love the clearance on this Jeep. Right there with the LJ with a 4.5" lift and 35's to be honest.)
  • Torque: There is a lot of it and first gear is incredible. Lots of the time I was tooling around in 3rd and 4th, and if a spot needed more grunt 2nd was enough for most things. First gear in 4 low is just a crawl monster.
  • Toys: I didn't get to use the lockers yet, but the swaybar is great. Love getting that articulation at the click of a button. The gauges are all great though you have to scroll through them. I really like the pitch and roll along with TPMS readings of each tire's pressure. Very cool.
  • Tires: These have more grip than I had thought they would have in this loose stuff. They did slip in the mud a bit but not bad. (Water running down the road of Antero, so more slip on the slope really.) Aired down to 23 psi and the ride got noticeably more grippy and comfortable. (Had to keep a bit more air in as I forgot the tank. D'oh!) Highway driving is still "Jeep like," with lots of sidewall flex but comfortable and quiet. Do love these tires.
  • Turning Radius: O M G ! - Thing of wonder, this new Jeep spins round on a dime.

Great getting out again. :beer::rock:
 
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Krondor

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Second Upgrades: Warn winch, winch plate, first wax, and painted muffler!

My Jeep finally has a winch.

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I had to cycle through three different plates:

  1. JCROffRoad Steel Bumper Winch Plate
  2. Dealership Mopar Winch Mounting Kit P/N 82215182AB
  3. 4 Wheel Parts Warn JL Rubicon OE Winch Carrier - 101255

Funny, Warn had two different designs for their plate. The one from the dealer was more expensive and didn't come with an adapter plate. (P/N 82215528AB) So more money. More money. More money. :piggybank::piggybank::piggybank:

The JCR winch plate ended up being a bit too tight IMHO because it was a bit too high and mounted the winch too far back and against the Jeep.

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Also, the Mopar plate from Warn had two loose L brackets that attached to the front. They were an extreme pain to get in place as there was little room to tighten them with the winch in place. Setting them up without the winch was easier, but that left me shoehorning the winch back in place. This resulted in scratches on the new winch. :angry::facepalm:

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This was bad for my mood. :( (Later painted but damage done.)

The final Warn part from 4 Wheel Parts was "just right" with an easy install and a solid plate putting the winch in just the right location.

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The only down side was that the skid plate needed a bit of modification to allow the back bolts to be installed. The bolt holes needed to be elongated. Other than that, it was my favorite of the three.

The extra weight (+110-125lbs for both the winch and plate) is noticeable. The front bumper dropped about 3/4" on the driver's side and about 1/2" on the passenger side as shown:

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Before.

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After.

I'm sure it will settle even more as I drive, but there you go.


First wax completed!

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Painted muffler!

I never really liked the big muffler they put under the back of these Jeeps, but painting it black makes it look a little better. IMHO

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I'm sure touch ups will be required, but after seeing some of the Nacho Jeep photos I was sold on a black muffler.
 
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tnjrb

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Looking good man. I "think" I'm going to try and squeak a Punk'n 2 door order in before the deadline next week.

Only things I'm thinking of doing different than yours are orange fenders and tan leather seats. debating both still!
 
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Krondor

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@tnjrb

I love my black cloth seats, but the fenders did pull me for a bit. I might have chosen poorly. Though I like the contrast with the black fenders, and know they will get scratched, the painted fenders do look awesome.



Update on the winch: The bumper did dip a bit more to 28.75" on the passenger side and 29" on the driver's side.

Guess that will help with the lights at night. Oncoming traffic might not think I have my brights on anymore? :cwl:
 
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Krondor

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Mojito looks great in person too. Saw one up here on the dealer's lot.

My brother still lives in the Springs. Gotta love Pike's Peak.

See you out there! Should be hard to miss each other. :beer::beer::beer:
 
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Krondor

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Mt Lindsey: Great hike, if a bit more technical than anticipated.

The Jeep did great for the long drive out there. Very comfortable and I do love the music options on Sirius XM. Got to the trailhead without drama, and never left two wheel drive.

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tnjrb

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Looking good! What was your process for removing the stickers?
 
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Krondor

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Looking good! What was your process for removing the stickers?
I have a heat gun that I warmed them up with and they pull right off. Cleanup was WD-40 to remove the remaining adhesive, soapy water to clean, and wax to catch up with the rest of the paint. I'll wash and wax again before winter.
 

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