BradyW

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Phase 1. Basics (Complete):
  • Onboard Air: IJKP-24-ARB: 4-Tire Air System with ARB Twin Compressor CKMTA12
  • Winch: Warn Zeon 12S + Warn Plate + Factor 55 Flatlink
  • GMRS Radio: Rugged Radios GMR 25 "Kit"
  • Recovery gear: Factor 55 Sawtooth + extra hard and soft shackles
  • Weathertech mats front/rear
  • Rugged Ridge door entry guards
Phase 2. Basic Protection (Complete)
  • Rock Hard 4X4 Patriot Sliders (Angled Up)
  • Rock Hard 4X4 LCA Skids
  • Finish out tool roll. Adventure Tool Company Shop Roll
  • Safejack 6 ton bottle jack + accessory kit + universal stabilizer
  • Design 67 drivers side phone mount
  • CoolTech + H3R Performance Fire Extinguisher Mount + Halguard Extinguisher
Phase 3. More Suspension Please (Complete):
  • Fox 2.5 DSC shocks (2-3" lift front/rear) [883-26-050/054]
  • Clayton Off-Road 2.5" 392 Overland+ Lift
  • Rock Krawler No Limits Sway Bar Links
  • Rusty’s LCA frame side skids
Phase 4. More Protection Please (Purchased but not received)
  1. Next Venture aluminum belly + exhaust skids. + UHMW option
  2. Next Venture front/rear Diff Covers
  3. Next Venture front/rear Diff Skid Plates
Phase 5: Unknown but builds are never fully completed so...

Phase 3 Complete Photo:
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BradyW

BradyW

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Factory fresh. Personal opinions and goals of the build.

This Jeep is to be my daily driver. However, it is not a garage queen, I intend to wheel it whenever possible. I'm looking for something that will perform reliably and not get so built out that you are constantly replacing or tweaking parts. I'd like to be able to work up to trails like Holy Cross and the Rubicon and have the Jeep in a place to compete them without major damage and then drive it to work the next week.

Here is Dory fresh on the dealer's lot. I did not custom order Dory but I did purchase the Jeep a week before it arrived on the lot, sight unseen, and without ever even sitting in a Wrangler prior to the purchase. I was able to purchase the 392XR for sticker which felt terribly dirty but I guess is a win considering the rarity and the 2021ness of the whole situation. The dealer wouldn't take my trade, a Tesla Model 3 Performance, so I sold it to Shift.com for $2600 more than any Jeep dealership had offered prior.
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Dory is my first experience with a full-size Jeep but I cut my teeth on the dark side of 4X4's 10 years ago with RZRs. The old 800 was originally setup to be a mudder and has no problem driving in water as deep as your head in the driver's seat. The 4 seater 1000 is a family machine complete with a 3 harness rear bench and retractable harnesses in the front. My experiences with the RZRs already have and will continue to shape the build of the Dory over time.
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My kids took to the Jeep lifestyle instantaneously on the first night Dory was home. The cat also loves the one-touch power roof and has deposited permanent cat hair on the top. The one-touch roof is something I would not have ordered myself but I've really enjoyed it so far. It's too early in my ownership experience to be totally sold on its longevity but its convenience and ability to open up while on the trail is extremely nice!
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BradyW

BradyW

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Phase 1 Build. This was all completed in the first 72hrs of ownership before hitting trails for the first time.

  1. First and foremost self-recovery. One of my first experiences off-roading in the RZR 12 years ago was getting stuck in a semi-remote area late on a Sunday afternoon. The RZR was just barely stuck to the point that rocking, pushing, and limb jamming wouldn't get it free. After a couple of mile walk, we happened across another person (luckily) who was able to help us out. From that day forward I swore I would never ride off-road without a winch again, and I have kept that promise. Riding East Texas mud parks teaches you a lot about winches and why you should respect their duty cycles. Let's just say I had no qualms whatsoever laying down the $ for a Warn Zeon 12S.
    • Install was uneventful but took more time than expected. If you have trouble getting your OEM bumper back onto the main mounting studs, I highly recommend facing away from the bumper and doing a donkey kick against it.
    • Tightening the nuts on the inside set of the main bumper studs is a PITA after the winch and plate have been installed. You can tighten up the winch to the plate after this step so that can give you a bit more access to each nut. I wound up attacking the top nuts from the top side of the bump and the bottom from the bottom. Before the winch plate it was easy to access the top and bottom from underneath the Jeep.
    • One of the hardest parts of a Zeon installed, in my opinion, was getting the rope installed on the spool. I did the best I could by hand and then I set the key all the way by attaching the winch rope to another vehicle and gently reversing, using the weight of the Jeep to set it all the way. Respect and maintain your synthetic Iine, because it's no fun to replace it!
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When you are here and feel like you are 50% of the way done, you aren't. This is around 30% of the way done...at most.
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Dory's first scratch was on the bumper from a slipped torx key. It already has plenty of company elsewhere from the trails so it's insignificant other than it was the first.
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The Warn winch, and the mounting plate, are both very heavy. It's a bit shocking how much heavier a 12k winch is than a 4.5k winch built for SXS's. The winch install caused the front of Dory to sag by 0.5". This loss of spring height is VERY important on the 392 platform for reasons discussed in a future post.
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mikem20

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That blue and 392 is a super nice combo! 🙌🏻🙌🏻
 

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@BradyW , Sweet rig brother……..can I trouble you for a pic ? I’d like to see the front bump stop at tide height. Maybe one with a tape measure so I can see how much longer it is…… if you can’t, no worries……….much appreciated ……✌
 
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BradyW

BradyW

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@BradyW , Sweet rig brother……..can I trouble you for a pic ? I’d like to see the front bump stop at tide height. Maybe one with a tape measure so I can see how much longer it is…… if you can’t, no worries……….much appreciated ……✌
It’s not a great one but I already have it on my phone. Let me know if you want it from a wider perspective or with the top of the tower in the photo. I’m meeting some forum guys at Hidden Falls Adventure park today so I’m sure I’ll get a nice hard bump stop hit to confirm this up travel shot.
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@Roky
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Roky

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It’s not a great one but I already have it on my phone. Let me know if you want it from a wider perspective or with the top of the tower in the photo. I’m meeting some forum guys at Hidden Falls Adventure park today so I’m sure I’ll get a nice hard bump stop hit to confirm this up travel shot.
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@Roky
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Thanks man…….. yeah, a buddy wheeled one the other day, and he said he could feel the weight of the engine and was into the bump stops most of the day. You’re gonna have to lift it to get a more comfortable trail ride.

Looking at that pic of shock shaft, there’s not a lot of up travel available…..I have a friend that’s waiting on his 392 and asked me if he should go ahead and get lift coming, so this helps a lot , I’m gonna tell him to get on it……lol……anyway, I know that’s on your to do list, lol….. appreciate the time bro……..✌
 

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I have a friend that’s waiting on his 392 and asked me if he should go ahead and get lift coming, so this helps a lot , I’m gonna tell him to get on it……lol
Let me guess, he ask you to install as well lol. I think you should dissect it for all of us when he receives it 👍🏻 I’m real curious if the extended front bump tower can be easily modified if wanted. 🤷‍♂️
 
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BradyW

BradyW

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Phase 1 Build. Onboard Air & Radio Comms.

One of my main goals in moving from SXSs to a Jeep was to reduce the minor hassles of getting out onto the trails. The time investment of connecting a trailer, checking the trailer's condition and tire pressures, and strapping down the RZR makes quick half-day trips nearly impossible. In my experience, the cumulation of minor hassles can lead to less time participating in the hobby after the honeymoon period is over. With that in mind, I determined that a fast and reliable way to air up and air down was essential.

I chose to go with the Innovative AT Products 4-Tire Air System with ARB Twin Compressor CKMTA12. This system allows you to air down and air up all four tires simultaneously. The ARB twin compressor will air up all four of the 35" KO2s from 15psi to 37psi in 6min. Factor in removing/replacing valve caps and setting up/breaking down the air lines, and it's about a 10min process. I enjoy that all four tires are pressure equalized automatically and that after connecting, a majority of the "work" is just watching the TPMS pressures on the dash.

Installing the air system took a long time, but I didn't encounter any significant snags. If I was to install one of these systems on another Jeep, I think I'd remove the passenger seat completely to give more working space. I chose to route the wiring harness for the air compressor through the floor drain plug, which works just fine, but I feel as though going through the firewall with a proper boot or grommet would be a slightly better solution long term. The "it's a Jeep thing" really sunk in for me when I was drilling holes in the seat brackets and had half the interior trim panels ripped out of Dory within 12hrs of getting it home from the dealer. Overall I'm delighted with this system and highly recommend it.

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For radio communications, I went with the Rugged Radios GMR25 "Kit." Rugged has a strong presence in the SXS world, and though I'd never put radios in the RZRs, I wanted to try out their system in the Jeep. They have a video on YouTube where they install one of these kits, and they make it look like a well-put-together system, tailored explicitly to Wranglers.

I HOPE that they were out of the actual Jeep kits and sent me random parts instead of putting my purchase on backorder because what I received couldn't be classified as a kit in any way, shape, or form. Here are a few differences between their YouTube video and the parts I received.
  • The YouTube kit had the power and antenna cables wrapped together in a harness after they could be brought together; mine did not.
  • The YT kit had a grommet for the harness to fill the hole in the firewall that the harness passes through; mine did not. I now have an unsealed hole in my firewall that needs addressing.
  • The antenna mount bolt was WAY too long, and I now have a stack of washers on the outside of my Jeep to fill the gap and keep the bracket tight. I know this is a simple fix with a trip to the hardware store, but it's still frustrating.
  • The YT video showed the kit with power/antenna cables precisely cut to length for the Wrangler; this was very appealing and swayed my purchase decision. My "kit's" power cables were more than a foot too short, so I had to cut them and splice in extensions. On the contrary, the antenna cable was WAY too long, comically long, if you hadn't paid good money. I wound up routing the antenna cable around the passenger footwell, underneath the carpet, to make a big loop to take up the slack. Duct tape currently holds the antenna cable in place, which is unacceptable for an aftermarket product sold at a premium compared to its Chinese roots.
The radio works as expected, and the magnetic mount for the mic is a nice feature. I have no complaints about the radio's performance, but the install was the worst of any product I've purchased for the Jeep or the RZRs in my 12yrs in the hobby.
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oceanblue2019

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Let me guess, he ask you to install as well lol. I think you should dissect it for all of us when he receives it 👍🏻 I’m real curious if the extended front bump tower can be easily modified if wanted. 🤷‍♂️
Sawzall and a couple blades can solve all such problems
 

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Sawzall and a couple blades can solve all such problems
Lol. I bet it would. Question - can you trim some off, let’s say back to original length before addition and still reinsert the rubber? Never looked at or investigated how the tower is manufactured/assembled.
 

oceanblue2019

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Lol. I bet it would. Question - can you trim some off, let’s say back to original length before addition and still reinsert the rubber? Never looked at or investigated how the tower is manufactured/assembled.
Not sure. Normally you cut them off to install an air-bump.

If I owned a 392 that is the direction I would go - chop them back and install air bumps, a good set of shocks, and cycle check everything and set the bump stops up right.

The 392 I had the pleasure to drive did two things very well -- hit the bumps on every little obstacle and melt the tires at will.
 

hoag4147

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@BradyW sorry Brady. Will stop derailing your build thread. Mods are looking great 👍🏻
 
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BradyW

BradyW

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Not sure. Normally you cut them off to install an air-bump.

If I owned a 392 that is the direction I would go - chop them back and install air bumps, a good set of shocks, and cycle check everything and set the bump stops up right.

The 392 I had the pleasure to drive did two things very well -- hit the bumps on every little obstacle and melt the tires at will.

You summarized it well! I'll try to verify when installing my lift but I've read that the extra-long bump stops on the 392 are to keep the axle off the engine and shouldn't be cut down. I haven't got this far in the build thread yet but in real life, I've installed Fox 2.5DSC's to try and reduce the bottoming out at the stock ride height. Even at 5 clicks of low-speed compression and fully maxed out high-speed compression damping (7-8 clicks) on the 2.5's I'm still bottoming too easily.

I'm installing a 2.5" Clayton lift and keeping my stock tire height. This should allow me to get an extra 1.5" of up travel in the front since I won't be installing any additional bump stops. (The lift is +1" over stock and I lost .5" with the winch up front on stock springs) If the lift Isn't enough I'll look at doing air/hydraulic bump stops as the last resort. The 392 blowing through its limited up-travel is the least talked about shortcoming of the 392 in my personal opinion. I love the jeep, but the bump stops shouldn't be such a familiar acquaintance when venturing off the highway.
 
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