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JL Rubicon 2-Door Build

VolCntry73

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Decided to start a build thread for my 2018 JLR. Some of the mods I’m doing myself, others I’m leaving to the experts at a shop in Knoxville. Figured I would do this as kind of a combo thread. While I won’t go through the installs step by step as there are plenty of videos and mod threads out there, I’ll just mention some things that others may need to be aware of before doing the install, why I chose the brand/design, and my own personal review of the mod. So without further ado….

Just a bit of history, I ordered the JL in June of 2018. Took delivery in Aug of 2018. Here it is on purchase day...
20180802_112253.jpg



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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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First significant mod was a front bumper and winch shortly after I got the Jeep in 2018. I decided to go with the LOD Signature Series Mid-Width. The bumper wasn't too bad of an install, overall...but of the 8 attachment bolts for the bumper, the two outside bolts on each side are a BEAR to get to. You can't come up from underneath the bumper, and you can't come from the "tire side" either. So the only way in is from the center, and getting washer and nuts on, especially past the two inside bolts, is very tough. I recommended to LOD to weld the two outside nuts on each side to the attachment plate on the bumper itself. This would allow installers to just tighten the bolt only, which is not that bad to get to. But not sure if they ever modified the bumper based one customer's suggestion or not. Secondly, I also suggested welding a wiring harness channel inside the front of the bumper. Just something that people could run the wiring harness through for the fog lights. I ended up running my harness through some loom and gorilla taped it to the inside of the front part of the bumper. It looks very clean, but we'll see what the longevity will be like for that solution. So far so good. No complaints so far. The bumper is well made and the powder coating has held up well except for around the shackle tabs. I need to touch those up. I did plasti-coat the logo and after a year and a half, it still looks the same. One note, the two spacers used on the winch plate were not painted and now have surface rust. I would recommend painting those before install unless LOD now does that.

For the winch I went with a Smittybilt winch. While not a Warn, not something I cared whether I splurged on or not and I think it was a solid choice. May upgrade down the road, but not high on the priority list. The only thing I'm not a fan of with this combo is that the winch is very close to the body/grill of the Jeep. While it doesn't rub, it does make it tight to get a winch cover in. So much so, I haven't had one on it because I'm concerned that wind would cause the cover to rub the paint there. Not sure anything can really be done about it.

I will probably change out the bumper down the road. Not because I don't like the LOD, but because I would like to go to a stubby and the market now has alot more choices as opposed to when I did this install. But if you are looking for a good mid-width bumper...this is a good one.

20180816_180512.jpg


20180818_165738.jpg


20180824_143246.jpg


20180818_165726.jpg
 
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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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Outside of Hotheads Headliners, UPR Catch Can, and Gorilla black locking lugs, I have installed the ROAM Offroad frame mounted rock rails.

Again, alot of install threads/videos out there I think, but I will just make a couple of a comments about them. I was not fortune enough to have them install "straight". As you may know, because of the angle of one of the brackets relative to the frame itself, the rails made need to be leveled when installing. I haven't looked into this in a while as I have had the rails installed for some time now, so this may no longer be an issue or there may be a good fix. While my long term plan is to eventually get some shim plates made to level them right, at the moment, I just used washers to level them. If I intend to do any serious offroading where they may get smashed, I'll have better shims in place.

While there are some other options out there that I personally liked a little better, to help accommodate the wife, I got something that I liked and that she could have the benefit of a step. One of my main criteria was that they be frame mounted as I didn't want to deal with removing body mount bolts or drilling into the jeep. They have been on for a while now and I still like them. They will come in handy with the 2.5 inch lift and 37's that I'm getting done now. I never took pictures of the after install, but I'll do so in the coming days...
 
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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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The current projects:

Rage 4th Pro 76 Bumper
Motobilt tire carrier
Metalcloak 2.5 inch lift
Fuel wheels and 37's
Steersmart front end package
Adams drive shafts

I'm installing the bumper and tire carrier...shop is doing the lift and steersmarts. Everything should be done by Sunday, so stay tuned
 

lodoffroad

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First significant mod was a front bumper and winch shortly after I got the Jeep in 2018. I decided to go with the LOD Signature Series Mid-Width. The bumper wasn't too bad of an install, overall...but of the 8 attachment bolts for the bumper, the two outside bolts on each side are a BEAR to get to. You can't come up from underneath the bumper, and you can't come from the "tire side" either. So the only way in is from the center, and getting washer and nuts on, especially past the two inside bolts, is very tough. I recommended to LOD to weld the two outside nuts on each side to the attachment plate on the bumper itself. This would allow installers to just tighten the bolt only, which is not that bad to get to. But not sure if they ever modified the bumper based one customer's suggestion or not. Secondly, I also suggested welding a wiring harness channel inside the front of the bumper. Just something that people could run the wiring harness through for the fog lights. I ended up running my harness through some loom and gorilla taped it to the inside of the front part of the bumper. It looks very clean, but we'll see what the longevity will be like for that solution. So far so good. No complaints so far. The bumper is well made and the powder coating has held up well except for around the shackle tabs. I need to touch those up. I did plasti-coat the logo and after a year and a half, it still looks the same. One note, the two spacers used on the winch plate were not painted and now have surface rust. I would recommend painting those before install unless LOD now does that.

For the winch I went with a Smittybilt winch. While not a Warn, not something I cared whether I splurged on or not and I think it was a solid choice. May upgrade down the road, but not high on the priority list. The only thing I'm not a fan of with this combo is that the winch is very close to the body/grill of the Jeep. While it doesn't rub, it does make it tight to get a winch cover in. So much so, I haven't had one on it because I'm concerned that wind would cause the cover to rub the paint there. Not sure anything can really be done about it.

I will probably change out the bumper down the road. Not because I don't like the LOD, but because I would like to go to a stubby and the market now has alot more choices as opposed to when I did this install. But if you are looking for a good mid-width bumper...this is a good one.

20180816_180512.jpg


20180818_165738.jpg


20180824_143246.jpg


20180818_165726.jpg
Thats a great looking Jeep, send us some full res pictures so we can post them on our site!
 
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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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Thats a great looking Jeep, send us some full res pictures so we can post them on our site!
Thanks!! I'll send some updated ones as well later this weekend.
 

Jimmy_jak

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I'll do a more in depth walk around in a few days...but here is a preview of the latest upgrades...

JL.jpg
Can you take some pics of your front springs and their relationship of inner coil space to the bump stops? Does that make sense? Mine seem close.

IMG_20200120_202743.jpg
 
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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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Can you take some pics of your front springs and their relationship of inner coil space to the bump stops? Does that make sense? Mine seem close.

IMG_20200120_202743.jpg
Here are mine.

bump.jpg
 
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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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Alright, so let's get back to the build...

Going to highlight the bumper a bit. I chose the Rage 4th Pro 76 rear bumper with Rigid flush mount lights. This bumper is specifically made for the Rigid 922513's.

Install - Overall, the install is simple. It does utilize the factory bolts for the install. I was going from a plastic rear bumper and the hardest part was removing and installing the factory back-up sensors. If you have a steel bumper, you will likely be able to use the brackets and bezels from the factory bumper. However, if you are like me, and you are going from the plastic, you will not be able to use the brackets and bezels. I would recommend ordering new bezels and brackets for the steel bumper to use. I was told to order one particular bezel, and while it does work, my back up sensors are picking up false positives pretty regularly when backing up. I'm not entirely sure if this is because the bumper naturally has the sensors pointing down a bit, or if it's because I didn't use the same brackets/bezels that come in the steel bumper. I'll retackle this project down the road. I don't really rely on the sensors much anyway, so it's not really a big deal. In my opinion, I think the brackets and bezels needed are listed here: https://www.factorychryslerparts.co...key_assembly=2137644&ukey_product=13278928#22 Since they are angled different, there are four unique bezels and brackets. Other than that, just watch your gaps between the pinch seams behind the rear tires. It's close. I actually put a 1/4 inch spacer (a water bottle cap works well) on each side when tightening the bolts down to make sure I kept the gap while underneath the Jeep. I initially had a little concern that maybe normal body movement might result in the body rubbing against the bumper. But after reaching out to Rage 4th, they have had no issues with hard wheeling. So far, no issues on my end either. The lighting was easy as well. I actually ended up installing the lights to come on when I back up or I can turn them on with AUX 4 on the panel.

Review - I searched for a long time on which bumper I wanted to put on my Jeep. Finally settled on this one as it checked all the boxes. I really like how it looks and it is ROCK solid. I have no doubt it could take significant punishment on the trail. I'd definitely recommend Rage 4th.

Next up....Wheels/tires and Tire Carrier.

JL.jpg


Bumper 1.jpg


Bumper 2.jpg
 

NewbieJL

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Alright, so let's get back to the build...

Going to highlight the bumper a bit. I chose the Rage 4th Pro 76 rear bumper with Rigid flush mount lights. This bumper is specifically made for the Rigid 922513's.

Install - Overall, the install is simple. It does utilize the factory bolts for the install. I was going from a plastic rear bumper and the hardest part was removing and installing the factory back-up sensors. If you have a steel bumper, you will likely be able to use the brackets and bezels from the factory bumper. However, if you are like me, and you are going from the plastic, you will not be able to use the brackets and bezels. I would recommend ordering new bezels and brackets for the steel bumper to use. I was told to order one particular bezel, and while it does work, my back up sensors are picking up false positives pretty regularly when backing up. I'm not entirely sure if this is because the bumper naturally has the sensors pointing down a bit, or if it's because I didn't use the same brackets/bezels that come in the steel bumper. I'll retackle this project down the road. I don't really rely on the sensors much anyway, so it's not really a big deal. In my opinion, I think the brackets and bezels needed are listed here: https://www.factorychryslerparts.co...key_assembly=2137644&ukey_product=13278928#22 Since they are angled different, there are four unique bezels and brackets. Other than that, just watch your gaps between the pinch seams behind the rear tires. It's close. I actually put a 1/4 inch spacer (a water bottle cap works well) on each side when tightening the bolts down to make sure I kept the gap while underneath the Jeep. I initially had a little concern that maybe normal body movement might result in the body rubbing against the bumper. But after reaching out to Rage 4th, they have had no issues with hard wheeling. So far, no issues on my end either. The lighting was easy as well. I actually ended up installing the lights to come on when I back up or I can turn them on with AUX 4 on the panel.

Review - I searched for a long time on which bumper I wanted to put on my Jeep. Finally settled on this one as it checked all the boxes. I really like how it looks and it is ROCK solid. I have no doubt it could take significant punishment on the trail. I'd definitely recommend Rage 4th.

Next up....Wheels/tires and Tire Carrier.

JL.jpg


Bumper 1.jpg


Bumper 2.jpg
These wheels look amazing with this color! I may not be able to wait to hear the brand! Please tell me! I am about to make a purchase and I just might change my mind.
 
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VolCntry73

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ULTRA JL

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Alright, so let's get back to the build...

Going to highlight the bumper a bit. I chose the Rage 4th Pro 76 rear bumper with Rigid flush mount lights. This bumper is specifically made for the Rigid 922513's.

Install - Overall, the install is simple. It does utilize the factory bolts for the install. I was going from a plastic rear bumper and the hardest part was removing and installing the factory back-up sensors. If you have a steel bumper, you will likely be able to use the brackets and bezels from the factory bumper. However, if you are like me, and you are going from the plastic, you will not be able to use the brackets and bezels. I would recommend ordering new bezels and brackets for the steel bumper to use. I was told to order one particular bezel, and while it does work, my back up sensors are picking up false positives pretty regularly when backing up. I'm not entirely sure if this is because the bumper naturally has the sensors pointing down a bit, or if it's because I didn't use the same brackets/bezels that come in the steel bumper. I'll retackle this project down the road. I don't really rely on the sensors much anyway, so it's not really a big deal. In my opinion, I think the brackets and bezels needed are listed here: https://www.factorychryslerparts.co...key_assembly=2137644&ukey_product=13278928#22 Since they are angled different, there are four unique bezels and brackets. Other than that, just watch your gaps between the pinch seams behind the rear tires. It's close. I actually put a 1/4 inch spacer (a water bottle cap works well) on each side when tightening the bolts down to make sure I kept the gap while underneath the Jeep. I initially had a little concern that maybe normal body movement might result in the body rubbing against the bumper. But after reaching out to Rage 4th, they have had no issues with hard wheeling. So far, no issues on my end either. The lighting was easy as well. I actually ended up installing the lights to come on when I back up or I can turn them on with AUX 4 on the panel.

Review - I searched for a long time on which bumper I wanted to put on my Jeep. Finally settled on this one as it checked all the boxes. I really like how it looks and it is ROCK solid. I have no doubt it could take significant punishment on the trail. I'd definitely recommend Rage 4th.

Next up....Wheels/tires and Tire Carrier.

JL.jpg


Bumper 1.jpg


Bumper 2.jpg
great looking build. I’m curious how you wired both the backup and the aux switch? Thanks in advance for any tips.
 
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VolCntry73

VolCntry73

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great looking build. I’m curious how you wired both the backup and the aux switch? Thanks in advance for any tips.
Thank you!

The cliff notes version is that I ran a wire from the Aux 4 switch inside the cab (under the passenger side dash) to the back of the Jeep (underneath all the trim). I ran that wire to a diode then tied into the aftermarket backup lights. I also ran a wire from the Jeep's back up light, to another diode, then out to the aftermarket backup lights. Here is a good thread that goes into detail about how to do it. https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/backup-lights.10763/ and I did mine similar to post #123 (found here https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/backup-lights.10763/page-9), except I didn't use the aux wires under the hood. There are few different ways to accomplish the same thing, but I did all my wiring connections in the passenger side brake light housing. I can go into more detail if necessary, but I just made sure everything was clean. Some have used the wiring under the hood to tie into the aux switches and then run their wires through the frame rails, but I didn't go this route. I wanted to keep everything clean so I went with the interior aux switch connection. More work, but everything is out of the elements. Here are some videos if you decide to go this route. and and
Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions!
 

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