Ethan's Silver JLUR Build -- with fabrication involved

jl_colllllllorado

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Not sure if you addressed it but, on the 3.5 Mc lift , I’m in same boat waiting on shocks, did you go with extensions temporally or ?



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Blu bi Kong

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Great job on the sliders. I have a very similar design in the works now. I have not taken the gas tank skid plate off. I will with the belly pan I am making as well ( 1 Central square of 5/16 steel plate under trans and transfer case that I will work outward from there. My question is about the gas tank side. I'm planning on making a beefier gas tank skid incorporated with Central piece. Were you able to thrubolt your mounting brackets on passenger side? Is the tank positioned off the frame tube enough clearance to allow a locknut?
Thanks
 

Mud2Sno

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Awesome fab work!
 
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So, I have been working on my JLUR for a few months now, took it up to the Rubicon Trail, Barrett Lake Trail, Sierra Buttes, and various other paths less traveled. So far, it's a been a blast! The JLU platform has been a big step up from my built JK Rubicon 2-dr.

About the build: Before I bought the beast, I decided that this time I would fabricate bumpers and frame-mounted rock sliders. I also had my eye on a MetalCloak Game Changer suspension system and Artec Bellypans. I bought my last Jeep, a 2013 JK Rubicon 2-dr 10th-Anniversary Edition, pretty much built. However, there were many things I didn't like about it, but it gave me a chance to get in the rocks and make some choices about the next Jeep. Particularly, I learned that I needed more wheelbase, but regardless, we had some great trips in that machine! Anyway, on to my JLUR build.

*MetalCloak Game-Changer 3.5" Rocksport Edition. RockSport because I will most likely go to Fox or King shocks. I don't plan on a coilover setup.
-I have installed the MC Game-Changer, RockSport Edition, minus the RockSports, as they are still on backorder. The rest of the system has performed very well.

*37x12.50R17 Cooper STT Pro's on my old JK Rubicon wheels.

*One-ton axles: I bought Dana Ultimate 60's for my JK, but never installed them! So, I'll strip the brackets off, re-gear to 4.88, truss, and reconfigure everything for the JLUR! This will be a fall project. For now, we gotta keep hitting the trails! We have a Slick Rock Trail trip at the end of August and then Dusy Ershim Trail trip planned for late September, so the 60's will have to wait.

Artec Bellypan System.
- I have installed the Artec Belly Pans. This system is beautiful and fits together like pieces of a puzzle. A very well-thought out design.

Bumpers:
- I completed the front bumper, but haven't painted it yet, because I am waiting to paint everything at once. It's a stubby and houses a Warn Zeon 10s, Factory Fogs, and Rigid cubes. It looks like this:
IMG_5149.jpg

Do I leave the welds or grind them smooth before paint?


- I also made a rear bumper with a swing-out tire carrier, license plate relocate, RotopaX holders, Hi-Lift jack mount, and a third brake light situation. It's not done yet, but it's functional. I still have to knock the sharp outside corners off, add clevis mounts, and cut a 45˙ edge into the bottom corner. I'll post pictures when I do it. The bumper It works great as-is and looks like this right now:
IMG_5121.jpg
Swing-out locks down via the toggle clamp to prevent rattling, but is actuated by the tailgate. Not a new concept, but one that I liked. I may change this, but wanted to give it a chance. So far, it's worked great. I will also French-in the license plate frame and trailer plug as well as create a bolt-on hitch receiver when I tackle the rear bumper details. Winter project...


*Rock Sliders: After having owned a JK with body-mounted sliders, I decided I would never have that again. The sheet metal on a JK & JL is just too thin if you plan to play in the rocks with body-mounted stuff. I learned that the hard way. So, I made some frame-mounted sliders for my JL. They are fabricated from 1-3/4"x.120" DOM tubing, various flat bar, and fabricated sections. They are bolted to flanges that are then welded to the frame. I mounted them this way so that I could easily repair them or the JL if I need to. I also came up with a unique design that provides the same clearance as the OEM Rubicon sliders. I designed this after running Barrett Lake Trail. Because we used every inch of clearance to get through some of the obstacles, I couldn't see giving anything up. They look like this:
IMG_5204.jpg

It's starting to resemble a rock-capable JLUR!

IMG_5197.jpg

I have yet to finish all the welding. I'll weld the bottom two seams and the inside two seams before I paint.

IMG_5196.jpg

Here, you can see the twin bottom tubes that are bridged with a piece of 3/8"x2" Cold Rolled Steel flat bar. The holes are there to shed water and mud. They also lightened the flat bar by about 5lbs. The reason for this configuration is so the pinch seam is allowed to hang down into this area. Therefore, I can raise the tubes higher and gain ground clearance.

IMG_5202.jpg

Weld porn.

IMG_5203.jpg

More weld porn.

That's it for now. I'll continue to post changes and additions here as the project progresses. My girlfriend, who is a photographer, shot a bunch of video of the the various projects, so we'll have some videos of the project to share. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading.

FullSizeRender-1.jpg

First JLUR on the Barrett Lake Trail. We were the first ones through the gate this season!
Nice to have skills
 
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Ethan

Ethan

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Not sure if you addressed it but, on the 3.5 Mc lift , I’m in same boat waiting on shocks, did you go with extensions temporally or ?
Yes, I installed the extensions. They work, but the stock shocks can’t keep up with the 37’s and MC springs.... I’m dealing with it for now. RockSports are supposed to ship any day. I’m stopping by MetalCloak tomorrow, so I’ll see if they have them in yet...
 
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Ethan

Ethan

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Great job on the sliders. I have a very similar design in the works now. I have not taken the gas tank skid plate off. I will with the belly pan I am making as well ( 1 Central square of 5/16 steel plate under trans and transfer case that I will work outward from there. My question is about the gas tank side. I'm planning on making a beefier gas tank skid incorporated with Central piece. Were you able to thrubolt your mounting brackets on passenger side? Is the tank positioned off the frame tube enough clearance to allow a locknut?
Thanks
Well, I wouldn’t mount my sliders like that. There may be enough room to squeeze a nut in there, but I can’t picture it in my head. Imagine if you want to take the slider off for some reason? You’d have to remove the fuel tank skid, which, essentially holds the fuel tank in-place. I went a different rout and welded 3/8”x5”x7” plates to the outside of the frame. Those plates have (4) 10mm threaded holes. The sliders have flange plates that mate with the frame plates. This way if I need to I can remove the sliders in about 5 minutes.... I also used grade 12.9 bolts...

5/16” plate will be heavy, but should hold up great in the rocks!

The photo is a bit dark, but here is my slider frame mount detail:
B4CE5C24-2EBE-4560-9A1F-A886CCF3B6EC.jpeg
 
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Ethan

Ethan

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I’ll be back on Barrett Lake Trail tomorrow, but here’s some photos of the rear bumper build:


D6C28BF2-EF8D-476F-A7AF-76CCCE9FF343.jpeg

Back bumper nearly complete. Shackle mounts and trailer plug mount all done!

43FA4436-281C-4BC9-875B-0DF5AF65D272.jpeg

Detail of the trailer plug mount.

E632413B-36D6-4341-A711-73610F59F4DC.jpeg

Shackle mounts go though the bumper and weld to the frame mount brackets as well.

4C760D6B-9D44-4073-822E-BBC175B72180.jpeg

There she is! The bottom of the bumper angles back 45° and meets the Jeep rear frame for maximum clearance. The 45° section is made from 1/4” stainless plate so it’ll keep rust to a minimum. Since this photo was taken I have powder coated the bumper. And, we’ll go scratch it up on the trail tomorrow!

EB18BDD4-8455-4621-9810-AB3ADF119621.jpeg


3BD74FA4-AD02-475C-9F62-23CA9816024E.jpeg


888D5401-CECE-43B0-8475-9679C6A3D682.jpeg


CBA77CF2-89F1-48E8-B4AD-8EE64F83C969.jpeg
 

Blu bi Kong

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Well, I wouldn’t mount my sliders like that. There may be enough room to squeeze a nut in there, but I can’t picture it in my head. Imagine if you want to take the slider off for some reason? You’d have to remove the fuel tank skid, which, essentially holds the fuel tank in-place. I went a different rout and welded 3/8”x5”x7” plates to the outside of the frame. Those plates have (4) 10mm threaded holes. The sliders have flange plates that mate with the frame plates. This way if I need to I can remove the sliders in about 5 minutes.... I also used grade 12.9 bolts...

5/16” plate will be heavy, but should hold up great in the rocks!

The photo is a bit dark, but here is my slider frame mount detail:
B4CE5C24-2EBE-4560-9A1F-A886CCF3B6EC.jpeg
An excellent point! Great job btw.
 

Will

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I’ll be back on Barrett Lake Trail tomorrow, but here’s some photos of the rear bumper build:




EB18BDD4-8455-4621-9810-AB3ADF119621.jpeg


3BD74FA4-AD02-475C-9F62-23CA9816024E.jpeg


888D5401-CECE-43B0-8475-9679C6A3D682.jpeg


CBA77CF2-89F1-48E8-B4AD-8EE64F83C969.jpeg
Looking forward to more pics of that tire carrier and how it ties into the swing gate. Looks awesome!
 
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Ethan

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Barrett Lake Trail was a beauty, as usual. All the stuff I fabbed held up perfectly. However, the factory steering stabilizer no so much! Managed to bend the factory tie rod for the second time too. The first time I straightened it, this time it will stay until the UD60s go in. Also, the weld nuts on the factory trans crossmember will pull out, because two did, so stay tuned for a factory cross member rebuild...
IMG_5310.jpg


Here's a few more photos of actual wheeling, the reason I bought this gas hog:
IMG_5285.jpg
IMG_5288.jpg
IMG_5301.jpg
IMG_5302.jpg
 
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Ethan

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I had a couple minutes after work so I cleaned up some trail ConCarnage. Out with the now banana shaped and crushed OEM stabilizer and off with the flattened OEM exhaust tip.

IMG_5320.jpg

IMG_5314.jpg

IMG_5316.jpg


I called around today, but nobody has a Fox or King stabilizer yet... so, I'm gonna go with a universal unit and fab up an axle mount. I think I'll go with a Fox IFP unit. Reason being, I can't justify another $300 for a knob I'll never twiddle on the ATS unit.

I can report that, on the street, the JL handles fine without a stabilizer, albeit you do feel the bumps through the steering wheel alot more. Reminds me of my '71 Ford F250... I'm willing to bet it could be very tiresome off road. But, no death wobble.

Dusy Ershim Trail is at the end of the month so there's lots of work to be done before!
 
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Ethan

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Ok, speaking of the Dusy, I have a list of jobs to complete. I'll share it here and then update as I go.

My girlfriend, Jenn, wants to remove the rear seats, pack everything low, strip down our camp kitchen (which takes up more room than anything), and then sleep in the Jeep rather than our tent. We're both shorties at 5'-8"-ish, so it seems feasible. She said it will keep our center of gravity lower, reduce weight, and sleeping inside will be warmer at the end of September..... She's been thinking about this more than I. What a woman!

Tasks:
-Fabricate a new high mount steering stabilizer.
-Fabricate skids for all bashable control arm mounts, axle side and frame.
-Reinforce the factory FAD skid.
-Fix and reinforce diff covers. The rear is seriously warn down, as much as half way through the lower bolt heads. I'll post pix later. The fix will be easy. I'll just add some metal like you see on heavy equipment buckets.
-Powder coat & install new custom 1/4" thick Artec steel belly pans.
-Rebuild the OEM trans cross member.
-Finish swing out tire carrier.
-Finish front bumper.
-Make a floor panel where the rear seats are. Maybe even strip-out the carpet? Hmmmm...
-Mount my other set of Rigid cube lights up on the hood cowl.

I think that's it....
 

                           
























































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