"Joyride" Hydro JLUSA Build Thread

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rcadden

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Got tired of having no storage in the front, so I took a chance on this little "saddlebags" organizer that fits over the console. @Olga had tried this one previously but didn't like that the passenger side wasn't notched. @CWRUYOTE also tried a different one and had no issues, so I bought his.

To be clear, his one doesn't have the notch, but I was able to notch it myself with my dremel pretty easily. I tried to clean it up some, too. It's ugly, but it's pretty smooth.

20210814_114511.jpg


Driver's Side Notch (from factory)
20210814_110338.jpg


Passenger's Side Notch (from me)
20210814_110344.jpg


The result is pretty clean - doesn't scratch my console, and it's just big enough for my phone, or I could clip my handheld GMRS to it, etc.

(You can see a small scratch where it originally hit)
20210814_114608.jpg


I haven't bothered with the tape on the insides of the pockets - it's pretty secure without it. I *do*, however, plan to get some sticky foam tape or something else to cushion the bottom of the pockets slightly. Otherwise when I drop my phone in, it's just hitting the hard plastic.

Update - after asking at a few stores, I found what I needed for $0.99 at my local Michaels. Sticky-back foam sheets (near the scrapbooking section, sort of). Mine only had white in stock, but you should be able to find it with black pretty easily. The white's not bad - hardly noticeable when driving.

20210815_145829.jpg


After trying a few different approaches, I wound up just tracing the bottom of the trays with a pen on the foam sheet - note that you'll need to be a bit smaller to account for the thickness of the plastic. You can see in the pic below that the tip of the pen is up under the tray just a few millimeters.

20210815_145947.jpg


You definitely want to drop the cut-out in WITH the backing on first, to check fit. I had to trim mine just a little bit. Also, a free tip - once the backing is removed, it'll want to stick to the sides as you're dropping it in. To avoid this, gently fold/curve it long-ways (a little like a taco shell or hot dog bun). Don't crease it, just a little inward curve will keep it off the sides and then you can press it all down once it's in there.

The result is nice and clean and cushions the bottom just slightly for your phone or whatever else you're putting in these pockets.

20210815_145834.jpg
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o||4xe||o

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Here's the big one - when I was shopping originally, I *really* wanted the black plastic top. I just think Hydro Blue looks so much better with lots of black around it. However, the Sahara Altitude package includes the body color hardtop, which is also normally a ~$1,000 upgrade from the factory, so I just figured it would grow on me.

On a whim, I threw up a post in the B/S/T group of my local Jeep club, offering to swap my Hydro Blue hard top with someone's '21 Black Plastic hard top (plus they'd have to throw in some $$$). Lots of discussion, and I finally got a bite!

Met up with the guy last night - he's a salesman at a local Jeep dealership - and did the swap. Bonus: his top already had the headliner installed AND he had darker tint on the hard top, so I came out $500 richer and got some tint out of the deal.

And now Joyride has the top it* was meant to have. I'm so happy with this.

20210814_104949.jpg


*We haven't really decided if Joyride is a boy or a girl. So for now it's an it.
Great look, and I agree that in some configurations the black fenders and/or black top look better - I think you nailed the right combination!

My only hesitations: keeping the black from fading, and the potential for increased interior heat here in the south (tho headliners hopefully minimize or eliminate that issue).

Congrats!
 
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@o||4xe||o yeah I went with painted fenders to avoid the fade. The top is called "black plastic" but it's actually painted, so it shouldn't fade. There are numerous confirmations around the web that the black and body-color are the exact same, the only difference is the way they're finished. The black one gets a slight texture added and then the matte black paint, while the body-color is smooth and gets the clear-coat. Time will tell, though.

@Olga heads up, I added some additional photos to the post about the "saddlebags" - $0.99 at Michaels and that might be one of my top 5 interior mods. I know you were hesitant to trim the corner but IMO it's very worth it.
 

o||4xe||o

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@rcadden I had no idea the black top was painted - that could really impact my hardtop choice assuming the headliner can cut the heat enough. Thanks!

edit: my wife's 4xe will have the Tuscadero top (replacing the Hydro Blue we had on order); I'm researching/planning my Gladiator MY22 order (Mojave? Rubicon?).
 

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@Olga heads up, I added some additional photos to the post about the "saddlebags" - $0.99 at Michaels and that might be one of my top 5 interior mods. I know you were hesitant to trim the corner but IMO it's very worth it.
Thanks for the tip. That foam you added - did it solve the plastic noise issue? Or do you feel that adding sticky foam to inner sides of the pockets might be necessary?
 
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Got my first #JeepBadgeOfHonor exactly 1 month after I bought it. Here's to hittin' the trails and collecting more.

20210817_171657.jpg
 
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Thanks for the tip. That foam you added - did it solve the plastic noise issue? Or do you feel that adding sticky foam to inner sides of the pockets might be necessary?
I don't have any plastic noise, so...dunno?

The only noise I've added to my Jeep is the coins in that dang console organizer.
 

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I don't have any plastic noise, so...dunno?
Sorry, English is not my native language.

I meant the noise produced by a phone (or whatever else) when you drop it in one of the pockets, that you wrote about earlier. You added cushioning to the bottom of the pockets, but not the walls. Was that enough then? Is it still quiet when you drive around and make turns?
 
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Sorry, English is not my native language.

I meant the noise produced by a phone (or whatever else) when you drop it in one of the pockets, that you wrote about earlier. You added cushioning to the bottom of the pockets, but not the walls. Was that enough then? Is it still quiet when you drive around and make turns?
Oh, yes! However, I also have a case on my phone, so that probably muffles it too.

It would, however, be really easy to line the sides too if you wanted.
 
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Well, unfortunately, my lift+wheels+tires budget needed to be used elsewhere for a few months. It kinda works out, cause I'm still not 100% sure on the exact plan for that, but I've shifted attention to a few cheaper DIY solutions for other items on the list.

First up: hard top hoist.

Total Cost: ~$40
Eye Hooks from Lowes
Ratchet Straps from Harbor Freight
some 2x4s that I had laying around and some microfiber cloths that I'd bought for car washes.

I'm fortunate in that my rafters run the length of my garage, so I was able to screw the 2x4s to rafters in 3-4 places, to better support the full width. Additionally, I went ahead and doubled-up on the 2x4s that I screwed the eye hooks into, for better support.

20210916_182445.jpg


The 2x4s are a little too far apart - they're ~4 feet, but should be closer to 3 ft. As you can see, I was limited by the garage light. I can easily rotate the light 90 degrees and then pull the front 2x4 back about a foot, but I'll wait till it's ~60 degrees outside instead of 90. :)

20210916_182455.jpg


The end result is a somewhat janky but extremely over-engineered hard top hoist. This thing could probably hold closer to 350-400lbs, which is plenty for the ~150lbs of the hard top.

20210916_182337.jpg


I've always hated ratchet straps, so I'm still getting used to using them properly, but everything's secured, and the microfiber cloths are there for protection anywhere the hook/strap touches the top.

I still need to also trim the length of the ratchet straps as there's easily 10+ feet of spare at the ends.

Total time to remove top (including removing my Sunrider for Hard Tops) = ~30 minutes. Could probably get that down to 20 minutes, and easily 10-15 if I had a helper.

However, for the $$, this is super easy and it works. The best part is that it'd be pretty easy to upgrade to use a powered hoist/winch later, too. The hooks don't need to move, I'd just run new rope/cords through the existing eye hooks. Easy peasy.

Either way, Joyride is ready for the weekend.

20210916_182314.jpg
 

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Well, unfortunately, my lift+wheels+tires budget needed to be used elsewhere for a few months. It kinda works out, cause I'm still not 100% sure on the exact plan for that, but I've shifted attention to a few cheaper DIY solutions for other items on the list.

First up: hard top hoist.

Total Cost: ~$40
Eye Hooks from Lowes
Ratchet Straps from Harbor Freight
some 2x4s that I had laying around and some microfiber cloths that I'd bought for car washes.

I'm fortunate in that my rafters run the length of my garage, so I was able to screw the 2x4s to rafters in 3-4 places, to better support the full width. Additionally, I went ahead and doubled-up on the 2x4s that I screwed the eye hooks into, for better support.

20210916_182445.jpg


The 2x4s are a little too far apart - they're ~4 feet, but should be closer to 3 ft. As you can see, I was limited by the garage light. I can easily rotate the light 90 degrees and then pull the front 2x4 back about a foot, but I'll wait till it's ~60 degrees outside instead of 90. :)

20210916_182455.jpg


The end result is a somewhat janky but extremely over-engineered hard top hoist. This thing could probably hold closer to 350-400lbs, which is plenty for the ~150lbs of the hard top.

20210916_182337.jpg


I've always hated ratchet straps, so I'm still getting used to using them properly, but everything's secured, and the microfiber cloths are there for protection anywhere the hook/strap touches the top.

I still need to also trim the length of the ratchet straps as there's easily 10+ feet of spare at the ends.

Total time to remove top (including removing my Sunrider for Hard Tops) = ~30 minutes. Could probably get that down to 20 minutes, and easily 10-15 if I had a helper.

However, for the $$, this is super easy and it works. The best part is that it'd be pretty easy to upgrade to use a powered hoist/winch later, too. The hooks don't need to move, I'd just run new rope/cords through the existing eye hooks. Easy peasy.

Either way, Joyride is ready for the weekend.

20210916_182314.jpg
We are expecting a pretty big rain storm this weekend so I had to button mine back up. Hopefully a few more sunny days before the end of the month, even having the freedom panels out is great
 

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I plan to just throw some Rubicon take-off springs and a leveling kit
I'm waiting on a Sport Altitude so following along with your build. I'm new to the Jeep world so trying to understand all this stuff. Love everything you've done so far!

Did you add the Rubi takeoff springs and leveling kit? I can't tell from the pictures.
 
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I'm waiting on a Sport Altitude so following along with your build. I'm new to the Jeep world so trying to understand all this stuff. Love everything you've done so far!

Did you add the Rubi takeoff springs and leveling kit? I can't tell from the pictures.
Glad it's been helpful!

Unfortunately, no, I haven't done anything to the suspension or wheels/tires yet.

I had planned to in early October, but had some unexpected job changes that have put [major] spending on hold for a little while.

My next project that I plan to do this weekend is a sleeping platform. It'll be good for camping, but also I WFH so it'd be nice to be able to take the Jeep out somewhere and work from the back with room to stretch out.
 

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Unfortunately, no, I haven't done anything to the suspension or wheels/tires yet.
I'm actually glad to hear this because I've been thinking I will want to lift and change wheels soon after I get my Jeep. Seeing your pics they don't look all that bad. The advice I keep hearing is to drive it stock for awhile before making big changes so hopefully the stock tires won't bother me too much.

Thanks for sharing. Keep the updates coming!
 
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