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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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going to get a front diff protector before you wheel it too hard? that drain plug in the front is an issue
For sure! Metalcloak front/rear diff skids on the way.....and FAD skid too. :fist bump:



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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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A few updates lately:
  • Installed VOSwitch (and re-route) wiring
  • Added front bumper "corner lights"
  • MC Rear diff skids

Especially with my latest order of the ARB twin air, i will be out-growing my AUX buttons quickly, in addition to some future plans. I do LOVE the AUX package, (obviously) because of the easily accessible interior wiring drops, but i need more buttons and i'm not really a fan of the location of the AUX buttons. SwitchPod was too much (in my opinion), so i gave these guys a shot:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VVN9T4X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I like buttons and i've done rocker switches in the past, so time to try the new stuff!
Wiring was all easy, just had to re-do a few things:

On the passenger side:
  • Cut all current hookups, re-wired and ran to the drivers side
  • Re-located my ground terminal to the driver side
  • Moved the ROAM step lights ground wire, to the native ground on the passenger side
  • Wired the VOSwitch Power to the battery positive
  • Wired the VOSwitch ground to the battery
  • Wired the VOSwitch trigger switch to fuse 52 (as mentioned by the VOSwitch instructions) and with the provided fuse-tap wire
  • New zip-ties to wire manage everything

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On the driver side:
  • Installed the VOSwitch control unit (flipped both jump switches to the up position) to enable the trigger switch. If you dont do this, the unit will remain on always, with no power (ignition) control.
  • Installed the ground terminal
  • Routed the switch panel wire under the windshield, as instructed. This was easy and made sense.
  • Wired all positive leads to the control box. This was a bit annoying, but the design is great for water/dust-proofing.
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The switch panel:
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Here's how i see wiring: i kinda love/kinda hate it, BUT if you do it right the 1st time, you dont have to touch it again, unless you re-design your wiring. End result is always awesome!

Here are the new corner lights. I got these for XMas. I believe they are "Crystal Eyes" brand. They seem brighter than my older Rigid D2s, but not as bright as my A-pillar Rigid side-shooters. I do like the extra light coverage on the front corners.
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When i wired these new corner lights, i did use a waterproof connector, so i can remove the bumper, if needed:
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On to the skids: i like the gold on mine, but @BbyGrlJJ likes that RED! So, had to paint: typical brake-cleaner, then 3 coats of "Rebel Red". We understand these will get beat, but an easy fix: re-spray.
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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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WOAH! We just did our first good trail and (Badge of Honor) trails in Hot Springs ORV, AR. MAN WAS IT AWESOME! The Jeep was fantastically capable. We will admit: we didnt think some of the 2s or 3s were as hard as they were. We absolutely used 4lo and double-locked up a few rocks/walls. Everyone was extremely nice (and respectful) and we had a blast! We did learn some limits on the Jeeps: we had skids and barely ended up using them; we will have to trim the rear fender well, as the tires rubbed at full up-travel, but a small issue to resolve. I need to address those rear fenders anyway. We didnt have to winch 1 time, which was nice. We did see a JK (Sport) that was winching all the way up. Good for them for tackling it! Unfortunately, we didnt take any pics, during the tough parts....as we were all in the Jeeps, holding on to stuff :) Next time, we will do a better job.

Gassing up to head out!
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The cross-wind was pretty bad on the way down. This was typical wheel position to hold straight:
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Hotel night before trails. Had an "SUV buddy" park next to us
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Shots from the park:
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Got some flex on this....didnt even hit the bumpstops or get fully stuffed. I have MOAR room!?!?! :)
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I used the ramp and so did the fam :)
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Drive home sucked - rain all the way:
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RubiJR

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Awesome builds and Pictures. Skids are more low dollar protection so if never used the piece of mind and saving on what could go wrong are always worth it. Where is the next trip?
 
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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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Awesome builds and Pictures. Skids are more low dollar protection so if never used the piece of mind and saving on what could go wrong are always worth it. Where is the next trip?
Thanks! We’re thinking the next trip will be to SMORR next month, pending COVID closure.
 

MMalone

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Thanks! We’re thinking the next trip will be to SMORR next month, pending COVID closure.
You sure you two don't need a week or two vacation in Florida (Hopefully) May, (Fathers Day) June?
I know of a 2020 Hella Yella that could use your tender love and touch.
Awesome thread(s), tips and ideas.
 
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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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You sure you two don't need a week or two vacation in Florida (Hopefully) May, (Fathers Day) June?
I know of a 2020 Hella Yella that could use your tender love and touch.
Awesome thread(s), tips and ideas.
Thanks Michael! If i'm ever down there, would be glad to look you up! Love meeting other Jeepers, especially from this forum!
 
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jlewissystem

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It only took 6 days from check-in!!! First round of badges!
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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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Finally got around to removing the OEM rear fenders, in anticipation of some Artec rear liners.....also, found where tires were rubbing, so wanted to start the process on addressing that. Here's how to remove the rear fender liners partially and fully.
I couldnt find a lot of good reference for how to remove these, so hopefully it helps someone else:

First is to remove the "Christmas tree" tabs. There are 8 of them total. 2 of them are off-screen. I just used needle-nose and either pulled it all at once or it pulled the top and i had to go back for the stem:
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I also removed the lower rear portion of the fender/bumper. This is where i was primarily rubbing. There are 3 (8mm) bolts holding this on. It covers a body pinch weld that i will be trimming in the future:
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After removing the 8, you can simply push (with your fingers or needle-nose) right behind or right on the side of the plastic rivets. It just pushes out:
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Then, just pull the liner out.

I feel that you can make a decision at this point. You could run with this, without any new hardware OR you could remove the fender to replace the fender hardware (with or without the fender structure, seen below. I kind of liked the look, but it does look unfinished, under the fender:
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Next, just pull the fender completely off. I started at the rear side and give a couple stiff tugs. It will pull off, breaking the factory tabs, along the way. After the fender is off, remove the factory white tabs from the body. To remove any leftover tabs from the fender: lift 1 side and twist up, towards the elevated side:
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Next - we need to drill out the 2 rivets, 1 at each end of the fender:
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After the rivets are drilled out, you can peel the fender structure out of the fender. I started at the rear side again. There are plastic welds that will break, but it will peel out:
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Structure removed:
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Next: cut the factory structure tabs off:
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After the tabs are cleaned up, time to re-install:
I dont document how to install the rivnuts, but i will give a tip. I've tried a few different methods to install these things, but here's what's worked best for me:

The rivnuts are from the AAL hardware retention kit - https://americanadventurelab.com/product/jeep-jl-fender-retention-hardware/

First - i used a step bit, to slightly drill-out the mount holes.
Next - i painted the raw metal, prior to installing rivnuts.
After the paint is dry: put the rivnut in the hole, via assembly below.
Here's what i used to install these:
1 M6-1.0 x 30mm
2 Grade8 1/4" washers
1 spare 1/2" nut (which is bigger than the screw)
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I used my impact 1/2 to 3/8, using a 10mm 12pt socket and the 1/2 crescent wrench (for the nut)
After doing all the rivnuts, install the fender, using the new hardware. I did opt for blue loktite.

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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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It was a fantastic day here yesterday, so we got our A$$E$ of the couch: wash, wax and soft tops!!

We didnt have much room for hard-top storage, so we decided to do the DIY carts - https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/hardtop-cart-holder-diy.6581/

Built 2 of those: added some rubber padding under the carpet. Used 5linear ft of carpet. Took about 2 hours to make them both. Not bad. They do the job perfectly and stack nicely.

Bestop sent us new tops (due to the flapping issues), so we're anxious to see how the new hardware will be. They basically added 2 strips of velcro on the top back flap. Since the original purchase, we have also been sent replacement rear gate seals, as the originals would droop. New ones are good.
BTW: We do have to relocate the fire ext to a new location, as the Bestop rear window hits it.

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grandsrus

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WOAH! We just did our first good trail and (Badge of Honor) trails in Hot Springs ORV, AR. MAN WAS IT AWESOME! The Jeep was fantastically capable. We will admit: we didnt think some of the 2s or 3s were as hard as they were. We absolutely used 4lo and double-locked up a few rocks/walls. Everyone was extremely nice (and respectful) and we had a blast! We did learn some limits on the Jeeps: we had skids and barely ended up using them; we will have to trim the rear fender well, as the tires rubbed at full up-travel, but a small issue to resolve. I need to address those rear fenders anyway. We didnt have to winch 1 time, which was nice. We did see a JK (Sport) that was winching all the way up. Good for them for tackling it! Unfortunately, we didnt take any pics, during the tough parts....as we were all in the Jeeps, holding on to stuff :) Next time, we will do a better job.

Gassing up to head out!
IMG_5398.JPG


The cross-wind was pretty bad on the way down. This was typical wheel position to hold straight:
IMG_8140.JPG


Hotel night before trails. Had an "SUV buddy" park next to us
IMG_7560.JPG
IMG_6024.JPG


Shots from the park:
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Got some flex on this....didnt even hit the bumpstops or get fully stuffed. I have MOAR room!?!?! :)
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I used the ramp and so did the fam :)
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Drive home sucked - rain all the way:
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Awesome pics, however look at the jam nut on the t-bar!!! Waaaay loose!
 
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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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Awesome pics, however look at the jam nut on the t-bar!!! Waaaay loose!
lol, thanks! I did catch that and resolved :) I heard it rattling on the trail. Thanks for looking out! :fist bump:
 

grandsrus

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lol, thanks! I did catch that and resolved :) I heard it rattling on the trail. Thanks for looking out! :fist bump:
Anything to help out a fellow member. Had a 93 ZJ that i couldn't track down for days. I was 17 back then, lol. Great builds!!!!
 
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jlewissystem

jlewissystem

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ANOTHER Good weekend over here: did Synergy Sector Braces and ARB Twin AIR.

@BbyGrlJJ had some slop and a dead spot in her steering, so decided to order us the sector braces, while talking with Marcus @River City Offroad, while i was placing a different order. Thanks for all your expertise and customer service Marcus! I love working with you and your company!

The sector brace absolutely helped her steering issues, although it did not fix them all. It fixed about 95% of her issue. I could still feel some slop, but it was way more tight. I will probably still look at the steering box: either check the P/N for potential replacement or look to adjust it, as others have done. It didnt seem to do too much to mine, but i didnt have any existing issues. The install was very straight-forward. As suggested by @Roky i put some (Green) grease on the bearing, before slipping it over the new Pitman Arm nut (OOOOOOHHHHHHH and let me tell you about that factory NUT): my impact didnt stand a chance. I HAD to use HEAT. Look peoples.....if you're doing this, USE HEAT. I consider myself a strong dude.....and it was a pain in the ASS! Used heat and a cheater-bar and it came off, but not after some pain :)

I had a Northern Tool by me, so picked up the 42mm for the pitman arm nut - https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200653938_200653938

After the install, i hit all the zerks with the GREEN!

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I've been waiting for this one for a few weeks: ON BOARD AIR!
I ordered a "package" from Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FMJ37NP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I decided to use the MORE bracket, mounting the compressor behind the drivers rear seat. I like that location for accessibility.
MORE Bracket: https://mountainoffroad.com/collections/wrangler-jl/products/arb18-dual-compressor-bracket

I used @Jeep Generation's vid for assistance -
We dont have air lockers (for now), so this was somewhat simple of an install......just a few wires though.

Since i will be connecting the ARB to my VOSwitch, i will only need to run power/ground and attach the lead from the VOSwitch. I cut the provided power harness: removing the plastic loom and cutting it about 16 inches from the ARB side connector. I started on the engine-side: i cut/connected my own power wires (10awg for the 2 power wires, 8awg for the ground). I taped all 3 of the wires at the start. Using "the firewall grommet" on the passenger side, i used an exacto knife and speared a cut through the grommet. I inserted at the 6 o'clock and angled up/right to the 2-3 o'clock position. I used another knife (while the exacto was sticking out) to cut the opening a little bigger. Then i pushed the start of the wires through, while @BbyGrlJJ helped on the other side with some needle-nose.
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I fed these around the passenger kick-plate and through the side-molding, to the rear.
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At this point, i routed them under the carpet, to the other side of the rear, where the compressor will mount.
I cut/crimped this side of all of the wires. AGAIN: we only need the 2 power wires/1 ground that we ran and a signal wire from the switch (which connects to the purple wire).

Using the MORE mount, i mounted the compressor, cutting a 3inch slit in the carpet, under the compressor.
NOTE: mounting the compressor is tight! Make sure you have a 10mm ratchet-crescent, to help with the job....and another tool(crescent) for leverage on the far-lower bolt.
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Here's the engine side, with the 2 new power runs and added ground (both to battery):
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Cant wait to start using it!
 
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