Dasher320 JLURD build

grandsrus

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I haven't really had noticeable bumpsteer or any wobble at all. My main issue is the dead spot. I installed the SteerSmarts Yeti tie rod and steering stabilizer relocation bracket with HD-N steering stabilizer today. That is another incremental fix, but the dead spot is not gone still. I have the drag link also, but there isn't enough room to install it until I lift the Jeep.
Then tighten the steering box. It will cure your issue without buying all of the extra other parts.

 
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Dasher320

Dasher320

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Then tighten the steering box. It will cure your issue without buying all of the extra other parts.
That's the plan. Though on the diesel it looks like that adjustment nut may be nearly impossible to reach without pulling several components out of the way.
 
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Dasher320

Dasher320

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GenRight Offroad Aluminum front bumper with winch guard bar and Quadratec Q-Performance Stealth 10K winch

I went with this one because it is aluminum so won't add a ton of weight since the winch and winch plate are heavy. The cons are no built it fog lights or the ability to hook a hi-lift jack up to it. I have a pair of Diode Dynamics fog lights to install next. I really like the Quadratec winch, it has nice features like wireless/wired hookup and a light that comes on to light up the spool when you turn it on. I have a Warn winch on my TJ and they are definitely the best, but I have used it so rarely it's hard to justify the 3x price point.

The install was straight forward though the directions could be better. At one point you need to tap a couple of holes on the frame--I was looking all over the garage to try to find the correct tap before I realized they included the tap in the hardware. That's a nice touch. On my Jeep the holes on the top did not line up with the holes that you tap. They were close so I just drilled the holes out a bit. Overall it was a pretty painless install.

I added a Factor 55 FlatLink. I've never used one of these before--I like the ease of cinching up the line without having to grab a D-ring with the hook.

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Dasher320

Dasher320

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Diode Dynamics fog lights

This wiring diagram was helpful--came from this page of links. Thanks to whoever put that all together. I cut the connector off of the stock bumper and used it to make a one in/two out wiring harness so these use the normal fog light wiring and switch.

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Dasher320

Dasher320

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Installed the trail camera from Z Automotive on the front grill. Way harder than I had hoped, but it's done. Not sure I would suggest doing it. We'll see how much I like it when I go off road.

Notes from installation:
--They start at the grill on the instructions, then half way through tell you it is probably easier to run the wires from inside to out. I read all the instructions so I started at the radio and worked toward the grill instead. That's the way to do it.
--Getting the wires through the clutch plug was a pain in the ass. It is really hard to get to on the diesel. I finally just got a really long drill extension and drilled a hole in it without removing it. Then of course it popped out and I had to get it back in the hole that is impossible to reach.
--I didn't have the video cable connector that plugs into the radio connector. Either I lost it or it didn't come with the package. I'm not sure which, but when I contacted Z Automotive they sent me one out for free even after I offered to pay for it. Great customer service!
--When I did plug the AV cable into the radio harness I couldn't get the red guard back on. Ended up breaking a small piece off of it to get the red guard to snap back down.
--I never got the camera straight up and down. It has a slight list to one side, that's on me for lack of patience adjusting it.

The pictures below are of the clutch plug and where it is. I had to remove one of the bolts for the windshield washer tank to even get a hand in there to get to it.

Overall quality product and great customer service. We'll see if I ever actually use it on the trail.

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Dasher320

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Cool Tech CB kit and Carolina Metal Masters JL Grab Bar Ball Mount with ram mount

The CMM grab bar mount is super easy to install, nice and solid, and is perfect for holding a phone or iPad right where I want it. I got the ball from CMM but got the ram mount from Amazon because I wanted a longer arm for the mount.

The Cool Tech CB kit is nice because it has all the parts you need if you want to install a minimal space hogging CB. I hardly use a CB except on trail rides with friends. I don't need much range so I put the antenna mount on the bottom hinge to keep the antenna from banging going in the garage every day.

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Dasher320

Dasher320

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RCV axle shafts

Can't wait to get the 37's and start working these axle shafts hard.

Learn from my mistakes:
--There is a metal snap ring about 1/2 inch from the end of the shaft that the CV joint has to fit over. On the driver side the CV joint popped right onto the shaft pretty easily. On the passenger side I could not get the CV joint past the ring even with a BFH. It was Sunday and I had to move the Jeep so I just took the ring off, slid the joint on the shaft, and moved the Jeep inside and parked it. Monday I called RCV to find out what I needed to do. They told me the ring has to be on the shaft to keep the shaft from walking out of the diff, so I had to get it on there. They recently made a change and got rid of a rubber ring under the metal ring. If you get an older one like I did, dig that rubber ring out of there and it will be much easier to get the CV joint past the metal ring. Of course I had mangled the ring taking it off and putting it back on so I had to call RCV back to get a replacement. I would suggest you assemble the shaft, boot and CV joint together before sliding them into the tube. (But don't slide the boot onto the CV joint until after you get it through the knuckle. Once the boot is on the joint won't fit through the knuckle.)
--To get the boot over the knuckle I used a zip tie like they suggest and I heated the boot up with a heat gun for a minute or so. Without the heat gun and a pry bar I don't think I would have ever gotten it over the joint.
--I did not know about the axle tube seals that you can get to keep debris out of the tube. I wish I had ordered those and put them on. If it's possible to do after the fact I will pull the shafts back out and install those later.

RCV customer service is really great. They listened, understood my layman's description of what the problem was, told me exactly how to fix the issue, and even shipped some new snap rings to me free of charge. Awesome people to work with. I was considering putting cheaper shafts on the rear, but I think I will save up to buy their's--I'm really impressed by their knowledge and willingness to help out. (and he even showed empathy for my stupidity LOL)

I got the version that retains the FAD. I'm not sure if I would do that again. It definitely adds complexity to the install and to the system, and I'm not sure how much gas it will save in the long run. If I never have a FAD issue down then road, then it will have been the right decision.

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Dasher320

Dasher320

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Ace Engineering rear bumper and tire carrier

Both are well-built, nice products. Neither came with any instructions at all. No big deal on the bumper, but the tire carrier needed some instructions. I watched their video several times, stopped, zoomed, all to just figure out which bolts go where. I ended up with a couple of extra washers and plastic pieces that I hope I didn't need LOL. They didn't include zerk fittings for the outer hinges so I will be calling them Monday to see if they will ship me a couple.

Installation notes:
--I had to grind down a weld at the back of the frame to get the rear bumper on. Not Ace's fault, but it made the install a lot more challenging trying to figure out why the heavy ass bumper wouldn't go on. I love having the tow plugs protected, not hanging low. I got the LED backup light and it is bright. Overall I really like the bumper. I might go with an aluminum bumper in the future for weight reduction, but this one is solid and will do great.
--I installed the bumper before the tire carrier got here. With all the COVID BS, everyone is having trouble getting parts out--ask me about AEV >:-( Warning, if you do that, the stock wheel will not go back on, it hangs down too low. I ended up buying a cheap bracket to raise the OEM tire carrier a couple of inches while I waited for the Ace tire carrier to come.
--For the Ace tire carrier, I could not get the hinge bolts into the top hinge for the carrier. I loosened everything, used a jack to try to change the angle, beat on it with a BFH. Nothing was going to get the bolt all the way down and seated. I took the hinges back off and assembled everything first then slid the hinges back in. The bottom hinge bolted in easy, the top hinge was very difficult to line up with the holes on the Jeep. I probably should have taken it back apart and drilled out the holes a few millimeters, but I was able to get the bolts started so I screwed them in. There's a chance they are stripped, but I don't think so. They were difficult to screw in so I hope I never have to take this thing apart again.
--I found a good YouTube video that showed how to take the trim out of the back of the JL to get to the hinges. That part was not covered at all by the Ace video.
--I have the stock tires/wheels on now, but I will be going to 37's if AEV ever ships wheels to me. This thing will easily hold that combo. I really like that the tailgate works without having to move the carrier out of the way. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but on my TJ it is just such a pain to open the tire carrier every time I want to get in the back.

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Dasher320

Dasher320

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I finally got my AEV wheels delivered so I could get the 37's put on. I installed a MetalCloak Game Changer 3.5 inch lift last month and have been waiting for the wheels. Turns out AEV discontinued the machined Borah's and didn't bother to tell anyone, including me who was waiting for them to be shipped.

Game Changer installation notes:
--It took me and a buddy about 18 hours total to do the lift-there was lots of learning along the way.
--The front track bar end on the axle side does not fit in the mount without grinding the opening on the bottom of the mount out a bit.
--The rear upper control arms adjustable end goes on the frame side (the instructions say "to the rear" which is not the frame side). The adjustable end is also canted a bit, so there is only one way that works, i.e. you can only adjust by full turns, not 180 degree turns. If you get 180 degrees out, it is a bitch to get them installed, then they will bind when you drive, then they are a bitch to get back out and put in correctly.
--Back spacing on the OEM wheels does not work with the rear sway bar links. I removed the rear sway bar and left the links off. Now that I have the new wheels, I will install the sway bar and links tomorrow. (I don't think the rear sway bar does jack so I haven't missed it.)
--The ebrake lines are a bitch to get disconnected and then you will need to route them under the frame crossbar. The easiest way to get the round fitting loose from the bracket on the axle is with a small hose clamp. Also, if you aren't careful, the cables will come loose under the center pedestal and you will have to loosen that and reach under and reconnect them.
--Be careful to make sure all of the electronic connectors and brake lines have enough slack for full droop. I disconnected all of the ties for the FAD and lockers wiring. I also made a little more slack in the brake lines by disconnecting a couple of the plastic ties.
--If you accidentally cut one of the ABS sensor cables during the install, you will get an ABS light, and ESS light, a SERV 4WD light, and the cruise control won't work. They are pretty easy to replace, but not easy to find. (I have no idea how I managed to do that.)
--MetalCloak customer service is fantastic. I owe Eric a beer if I ever meet him.

Borah beadlock install notes:
--Cooper Discoverer STT Pros will fit on AEV Borah beadlock wheels.
--I attempted to install them myself and could not get the bead to stretch enough to set on the ring side.
--I took them to a shop to get them installed. I didn't ask, but the bead may have had to be trimmed a little bit. It was the best $50/tire I ever spent--it took me a lot of sweat to decide I wasn't going to be able to do it on my own.
--AEV customer service is non-existent from my experience.
***UPDATE***
The Cooper's don't fit on the Borahs! The original shop installed them and I felt a little uneasy on how they looked. Drove them across country and decided to re-torque the bolts. Almost all were at less than 10. One of the bolts broke with the torque wrench set at 10. I took them to a shop in Colorado and they said I was lucky that they were holding air at all. I just had them install them as non-beadlock and removed the ring. I got over 5 mpg back, and I never really needed beadlocks anyway.

I also upgraded my security system today--reference last picture.

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JeepinJason33

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Thanks for all of the notes on your purchases! I just ordered a 2021 and will do much of the same. A couple of questions for you: Are you going to order the MC skid plates? I think I may do that at the same time. I am also ordering the ACE side bars and stand alone tailgate mount. However, I am torn between the ACE rear bumper and the MC rear bumper. I like the light bar on the ACE, but like the wrap around coverage on the MC bumper better. Your thoughts?
 


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Dasher320

Dasher320

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Thanks for all of the notes on your purchases! I just ordered a 2021 and will do much of the same. A couple of questions for you: Are you going to order the MC skid plates? I think I may do that at the same time. I am also ordering the ACE side bars and stand alone tailgate mount. However, I am torn between the ACE rear bumper and the MC rear bumper. I like the light bar on the ACE, but like the wrap around coverage on the MC bumper better. Your thoughts?
I've been holding out for Artec aluminum skid plates, but they haven't made them yet for the diesel. The ACE rear bumper has been fine for me. I was worried about the coverage as well, but I haven't run into any problems yet. I have taken it onto some trails in Colorado, Utah and Arizona and haven't gotten any damage even though I have banged that bumper on the rocks a few times. The bumper is very heavy and I really wanted an aluminum one, but decided to go with the steel for cost. If I replace it, I will go with an aluminum bumper like the GenRight. I've got aluminum on the front and it has been great.
***UPDATE***
Forgot to add: I have disconnected the two center sensors on the bumper because they constantly went off when I was in reverse. I talked to ACE and they said it was probably because I had D-rings back there. I took off the D rings and the problem didn't go away, so I just disconnected the two middle sensors. I still like the bumper because I have the tow package and the connectors are protected, not hanging below the bumper like most other bumpers.

I ran into trouble with the Coopers on the Borah wheels so I'm updating that post. That combo does not work--or at least it did not work for me. I removed the beadlock rings and mounted them as non-beadlocks and they are fine. Bonus, that increased gas mileage by over 5 mpg. My beadlock experiment is over. I never needed them before, but thought I would do it with this build. I wouldn't do it again unless it was a dedicated trail rig.
 
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Dasher320

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I installed the Z-Automotive Z Locker OEM ( https://www.zautomotive.com/product/z-locker-oem/ ).

I started getting an intermittent rear locker warning on the dash--somehow the same day I got an email advertising this product. The rear locker issue wouldn't go away, in fact it got worse and worse, so I ordered the Z Locker. Solved the problem for me without having the dealer tear apart my rear diff. I don't know how big an issue this is, but this was an extremely easy way to make the problem go away.

 

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