jackthejl

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First time poster here, figured might as well start with a build thread! My wife and I ordered our Punk’n Orange 2018 JLUR in June of 2018 and took delivery in July of 2018. My wife and I decided on calling the Jeep “Jack” given its color. Originally I had wanted Mojito but by wife insisted on Punk’n and it really grew on me. Since we ordered ours we got to select all of our options, this is what we went with: 3.6L, 8-speed auto, tow package, LED lighting group, cold weather package, keyless entry, black hard top, 8.4 uConnect with Alpine sound, cloth seats, and factory aux switches.

Before we even had picked the Jeep up from the dealer we already had a 2.5” Rock Krawler X-Factor and Fox 2.0 shocks with 37x12.50R17 Cooper STT Pros mounted in 17” Method 105 beadlocks. Having already have owned my 2006 TJR for about 8 years at this point, I already had an idea (or so I thought) of the direction I wanted to take this build. The original goal was a clean build on 37s to handle camping and moderate rock crawling here in Colorado and Utah.

Here are some pics of when we picked it up.
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Here was our new JLUR next to our 2006 TJR.
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About 12 hours later, with about 50 miles on the odometer, we were already tearing off the stock suspension.
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So after having the Jeep for about 24 hours, this was what it looked like after the 2.5” Rock Krawler X-Factor, 37s, beadlocks, and a JCR spare tire delete.
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jackthejl

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After having the Jeep, now on a 2.5” lift with 37s/beadlocks for about a week, we took it on its maiden voyage to Chinaman Gulch in Buena Vista, Colorado. The only other “mod” we had done up to this point was getting the front windows tinted to match the rear, which is why only the rear windows were rolled down in some of these pictures.

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As you’ll see, we did a lot of wheeling with the paper plates.
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My initial thoughts after having never wheeled a 4-door or an automatic, were first, I love the automatic when on inclines and trying to climb up obstacles and hate it when going down obstacles or declines (I was not used to having to ride the brakes in my TJR with a 6-speed manual).
Secondly, the 4-door (especially the JLUR) is a big, wide Jeepprevious off road experience was all in a 2-door which is much more nimble, especially on a trail like Chinaman Gulch. The lines you have to take in the 4-door were quite different than what I was used to in the 2-door, so I was going to need some practice behind the wheel of the JLUR.
Lastly, while I really liked the LCG and ride of the 2.5” lift, I quickly realized and made a mental note that it was not enough, especially given the break-over of a 4-door. Besides that, we also realized we would need to replace the front bumper fairly quickas we were constantly rubbing on it while turning on the trail. We also were going to have to trim the rear inner fenders even more than we had when we initially installed the lift. Overall, while I was impressed with the JLUR on its first trail, it became clear I would have to learn the intricacies of wheeling a big, long Jeep.

On to our next trail, in order to get used to the JLUR, we quickly took it on another trail we had frequented in our TJ, Hackett Gulch.
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The Jeep did great on the trail, but it was a fairly easy trail that can be done in a relatively stock 4x4. We then took it to Rainbow Falls to try it out on an area deemed as “Mini Moab” here in Colorado.

The only other mod we had done up to this point was a Magnaflow rock crawler exhaust that ends before the axle, as seen below.
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Frees up so much space taking out the clunky, rock magnet muffler!
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I really love this exhaust system on the 3.6L. It sounds great, not overly loud and obnoxious, and adds the function of increased clearance.

We also took the Jeep out on the China Wall trail to see how it would fair!
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Needless to say, the more trails we took the JLUR out on, the more impressed I became. After a somewhat “rocky” start with its maiden voyage on Chinaman Gulch, I began to really love this Jeep on the trails.
 
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So, after telling my wife I was happy with where the Jeep was with the 2.5” lift and 37s, this is the point where things probably started to spiral a little out of control. First it started with replacing the cumbersome stock plastic bumpers. We ended up ordering from our friends at JCR (my TJ had all JCR armor) and went with the Mauler Stubby front bumper, Vanguard rear bumper, and Crusader sliders.

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Luckily, the front bumper (which had the most clearance issues) came first so we were able to install it and take it on some wheeling trips! I should also mention we did add a Fox 2.0 steering stabilizer and I forgot to mention we also purchased a Tazer JL with the lift kit initiallyto address the correcting the speedometer
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More paper wheelin’!
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Here it is after we finally got all of our JCR armor. Of course I also had the throw in a Warn Zeon 10s, Factor 55 flatlink, and some Rigid SAE fogs to replace the ones gone with our factory bumper.
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We also threw in some Rigid midnight series for the rear bumper.
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Now all we were waiting on from JCR was our sliders!
 
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Next, we had the opportunity to take the JLUR on its first snow wheeling adventure here in Colorado, after installing some EVO Pro-tek skids!

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We also installed some Rock Hard 4x4 control arm skids and the JCR FAD skid.
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In the picture above you can kind of peep our JCR Crusader sliders that we finally got as well, more pictures to follow below!
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We also upped our lighting game with a Rigid 10” light bar on the front bumper and 4 pods on the Artec B-pillar bracket.
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As you can see, the build was starting to progress rather nicely, and dare I say, to almost a “finished” phase, which of course did not last long.
 
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This is where things got interesting. In preparation for our upcoming trip to 2019 EJS, our first time ever attending, we wanted to do some more major modifications. So we started by installing the EVO bolt-on coilover kit, King air bumps for the front, Synergy tie rod, drag link and stabilizer flip kit, Rancho front diff skid, and a set of Adam’s 1350 drive shafts.

We also had Predator 4x4 here in Colorado Springs install the EVO truss and C-gussets on the front axle for a little bit of extra security.
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I guess I forgot to mention we also purchased a set of JCR front and rear inner fenders along the way, we were able to salvage the rear but the front, not so much.
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Trying to flex it out in the drive way to check clearances, couldn’t get anywhere near its limits.
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Not pictured are a couple of things we ran out of time to install before leaving for EJS, which were a set of 2-piece RCV axles and American Adventure Lab hi-line fender lights/brackets.

Our first time out in Moab was great and it was our break-in run for all of the recent modifications.

The first trail we hit was Hell’s Revenge, here I am piloting the JLUR up Hell’s Gate.
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Unfortunately, after going up the “Tip-over Challenge,” we lost a nut on our passenger rear sway bar link, which then ripped our ABS line. The best part is with how everything is intertwined on the JLs, this also meant we lost stability/traction control and our lockers.
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We ran the rest of the time/trails during EJS with no lockers, as no one in town at the time had a wheel speed sensor line for a JL.
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Our Adam’s driveshaft lookin’ clean before getting all banged up.
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Overall, the Jeep did awesome on its first outing to Moab, despite being without lockers for most of the trails. My only complaint thus far was on the road, the coilovers ran a bit harsh and rough, but off road they were amazing.
 

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Nice post man. Saw your beast at China wall couple weeks ago. Lots of updates to come to this journal from what I saw
 
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Nice post man. Saw your beast at China wall couple weeks ago. Lots of updates to come to this journal from what I saw
Thank you! That’s awesome, ya we took it out on China Wall to test out some of the most recent modifications. Hopefully soon I will have the thread caught up to current time haha.
 
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After getting back to Colorado from our EJS trip, we installed the remaining mods we didn’t get around to before leaving. We also swapped out the Rancho front diff skid for a set of front and rear Dana differential covers.

We also added a Rigid chase light to replace the one that came with our JCR spare tire delete, because a few of the LEDs had burnt out.
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Love how the Rigid chase light has a halo that matches it nicely to the taillights.
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Here the Jeep is with the American Adventure Lab fender lights/brackets, diff covers, and RCVs.
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Getting a better idea of the limits of the coilovers with the short arms and limiting straps.
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We then wanted to solve our next issue, which was the front inner fenders. EVO said they had planned to make a set eventually for the coilover kit, but after talking with American Adventure Lab at EJS, they said they could build something for them, but would need our Jeep in order to do so. So we headed out to St. George, Utah for a long weekend trip so they could use our Jeep to model their inner fenders for EVO coilovers.

On the way back home, we stopped in Moab and ran Top of the World!
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Insert cliche Top of the World picture below.
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And here was the finished product with the custom inner fenders from American Adventure Lab, man they look awesome!
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After gaining a ton of clearance with the EVO coilover kit (we had the kit sitting at about 3.5-4” of lift) and American Adventure Lab hi-lines, and seeing the success most people were having with the JL Rubicon 44s on 40s, we decided it was time.

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Boom!
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Seeing a bunch of people out at EJS running these, we decided to give the Mickey Thompson Baja Bosses a try in 40x13.50R17s.
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After going up to 40s, it was also time for a regear. Seeing as we were still on the factory axles, we opted to try to compromise with strength and gearing and went with a set of Yukon 4.88s. We had Northridge 4x4 in Denver do the install.

The JLUR next to our TJR at Northridge.
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After breaking in the new gears, we shook the Jeep down for its first run on the new 40s.
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We then took the JLUR on its first trip to Ouray on our annual trip.
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At some point, I can’t remember exactly when, we threw on some Bartact seat covers and their Zeon winch cover.
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Gotta keep it clean with Chemical Guys!
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After the 40s and gears, we did a few minor add-ons and ran like this for about a year with no major issues.

The first was a 15lb Powertank system which made airing up the 40s a breeze. We also added some XG Cargo bags to store our hoses and tools.
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Then, we wanted to address the somewhat flighty feeling steering that tended to shimmy at higher speeds. We added a Synergy track bar brace which essentially erased all of the play the steering box had (we have a 2018 so it’s the aluminum box).
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Below are some pictures over the year or so that we ran this set up. Besides local trials, we ran Chinaman Gulch (the first trail the Jeep had ever been on), took it to Moab, and took it to Ouray again.

Chinaman Gulch:
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Moab:
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Ouray:
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First time taking the doors off the JLUR, man these things are surprisingly light!
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Up until this point, we never really had any major issues with the Jeep. I did have some gripes, for instance, the coilovers riding rough and harsh on the road, the 4.88s not being low enough in 4-LO, and the brakes not being quite enough for 40s. My only real substantial gripe was steering. In places like Moab, there were spots with the 40s where it was nearly impossible to turn without hydro assist. Of course, the fact we were running 40s on the stock axles (albeit reinforced with RCVs) was always in the back of my mind as a possible failure point.

This brings us to the Jeep’s most recent round of upgrades. After selling my 2006 TJR, I was looking at options and this is what I decided to go with. We normally do most of the work/installs ourselves on the Jeep, but this time we, considering the magnitude of the upgrades, left it up the the professionals at 3D Offroad here in Colorado Springs.

My old TJR we sold due to unfortunately not being used enough (thanks a lot JL)!
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First, and most importantly, a set of UD60s with 5.38s and e-Lockers (not pictured here is the Z-Automotive locker harnesses which allow us to use the stock Rubicon locker switch without having to rewire the lockers to another source).
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The rest of the parts pile that was taking up space in my garage.
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Some of the highlights of the pile are an EVO long arm kit, PSC hydro assist kit, RPM 2.5 ton steering, and Rockjock track bars.
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We also decided to switch it up and start running a spare, so we went with CavFab 4x4’s tire carrier.
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Seeing as we were already adding weight to the tailgate, why not add a VersaTable from American Adventure Lab?
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We were going to try a set of Nitto Trail Grapplers, however, they were out of stock and on back order for some time. So we went with Toyo MTs (40x13.50R17) since we loved them so much on the TJ. We also had to change the beadlocks up due to our new bolt pattern and decided on a set of KMC Grenade Crawls.
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This finally all brings us to the current day, I will try to make a list of all the current modifications, but here are some pictures after we got the Jeep back from 3D Offroad and installed the tire carrier and VersaTable.

Behold, the new Jack!
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Due to the added weight on the rear, 3D Offroad adjusted the coilovers to raise the rear so that the Jeep would sit level.
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The forklift droop.
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Jack’s first outing on the new set-up was a success with no major issues! I will attach a few pictures from our test run on China Wall trail. But first, here is a list of everything I can remember that we’ve done to the Jeep thus far.
Also if anyone in Colorado Springs or the Colorado area is looking for axles, I will be selling my built JL Rubicon 44s with RCVs, truss/gussets, and 4.88s, as well as a set of 40x13.50R17 Mickey Thompson Baja Bosses on 17” Method 105 beadlocks.

Engine:
K&N Cold Air intake
Magnaflow Off-Road Pro Series Catback
Tazer-JL

Drivetrain:
Front/Rear UD60s with 5.38 gears and e-Lockers
Z-Automotive locker harnesses
1350 Adam’s Driveshafts front and rear

Suspension/Steering:
EVO bolt-on King coilovers
EVO spec King air bumps (front)
EVO high clearance long arm
Rockjock 4x4 front and rear track bars
RPM 2.5 ton steering for UD60
PSC hydro assist kit for UD60
Synergy front and rear track bar braces

Exterior:
JCR Mauler Stubby front bumper
JCR Vanguard rear bumper
JCR Crusader sliders
JCR rear inner fenders
EVO Pro-tek skids
CavFab 4x4 tire carrier
American Adventure Lab fender lights
American Adventure Lab front inner fenders
Z-Automotive front camera
PIAA Si-Tech Silicone wiper blades

Interior:
Bartact front and rear seat covers
Bartact center console cover
Bartact sun visor covers
Bartact grab handles
Bartact fire extinguisher mount
H3R Maxout fire extinguisher
67 Designs rail mount with phone holders/GoPro mount
Spiderweb Shade grab bag
American Adventure Lab VersaTable
XG Cargo bags
15lb Candy Blue Powertank
Mopar slushmats
Mopar door sill guards
Mopar screen protector
WeatherTech cargo mat
Quadratec JL flashlight mount
K&N cabin air filter

Wheels/Tires:
40x13.50R17 Toyo Open Country MTs
17” KMC Grenade Crawl beadlocks
TeraFlex lug nuts

Lighting:
Rigid SAE fog lights
Rigid D-series pods
Rigid D-series 10” bar
Rigid Midnight series pods
Rigid Chase light
Artec dual pod B-pillar mounts
KC RGB rock lights

Recovery:
Warn Zeon 10s
Bartact winch cover
JCR Hawse fairlead
Factor 55 Flatlink with Ropeguard
ARB recovery kit
ARB tire repair kit
Colby emergency valves

I believe that is everything thus far! My initial impressions are that the Jeep feels amazing now. The ride is so much better than before with the long arm and I think having the spare on the back helped as well, since EVO tunes their coilovers with a spare in mind. The travel the long arm gives off road is unreal, and it allows the coilovers to operate to their full potential with no more limiting straps.
The next thing I will say is PSC is awesome. In my opinion if you are running 40s PSC is a must. Turning has never been easier and it turns easier than a stock Jeep. On top of that, it is stable as can be and completely eliminated any sort of steering wobble/shimmy that the factory box had.
The last thing I will mention is the UD60s. These things are pure beef, and the 5.38s feel much better with 40s both on and off road. The Jeep just feels more solid overall with the rigidity of these axles, and I have peace of mind now while running 40s. I must also say, the Z-Automotive locker harnesses that let you use the stock Rubicon switch is awesome, not only were they completely plug-N-play, but they also keep it so you can see the lockers being locked in the display or Off Road Pages.
Overall, I am very happy with the current state of the Jeep and it performs flawlessly. There are a couple of things I want to do before the end of the year, like a rear Rockjock/Currie Anti-Rock and possibly the RockHard 4x4 sport cage, but we shall see!
 
Last edited:

rcr1340

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
119
Location
Spring Hill Florida
Vehicle(s)
2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
Did you like the Mickey Thompsons? Do you like the 5.38s alot better than 4.88?
 

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