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My Buld...So Far

DanW

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I just thought I'd lay out what I've done so far with my Rubi since picking her up in January (Or was it early Feb? I forgot the birthday already, dang it!).

My goals were to first and foremost, keep the weight down, as much as possible, while increasing off-road capability. I also wanted to maintain a nice on-road ride, as I'll do lots of long trips in this thing over the years. The less weight, the less tractive force required to get it moving, which means the less likely to get stuck. Also, less weight means less wear/tear/fatigue on the driveline and suspension components.

So, here we go.

x3iw7i0.jpg


What's been done, with notes...

315/70/17 BFG KO2's, C rated--light weight (64lbs), kept much of stock driving feel, and just an outstanding tire, on and off the road. They don't wander in road troughs and grooves, either. Amazing in sand and on dunes! Better than I though they'd be in the mud. I kept the stock wheels, because I like them and again, it keeps weight down.

2" Mopar lift--The ride was exactly what I wanted, which is smooth, but controlled. I love the way this suspension works, again, on and off the road. The Fox shocks are easily the best I've ever had. The height is perfect, as is the stance (Not too much rake, not too nose-high). Breakover ange was DRAMATICALLY improved. It also handled the winch without any sag. I do have the bowing driver side spring, but it still has not contacted the bump stop. I'm still going for the Mopar fix, but no problem with this yet, after 4,000 miles and one day of fairly hard off roading. I'd buy this lift again, in a heart beat. Solid as a rock, with no noise that I often hear in the suspension from other lifts.

JCR Winch Plate--Works great. It has slightly thinner steel (Lighter weight? Maybe, maybe not) but more anchor points than others I saw. The powder coating quality was outstanding. Install was a little challenging due to slight warp/misalighment, but some Kentucky english solved it and it went right on and the fit was perfect, once bolted down, meaning it was perfectly level and the winch fit with no trimming.

Smittybilt XRC9500 Comp Winch-- I almost went with the X20, but this one was lighter in weight...46 pounds shipping weight, and I caught a killer Black Friday deal last November, so I was able to stick tightly to my weight saving plan. It fit the JCR plate and the Jeep bumper perfectly.

Mopar Grab Handles-- Meh. They are ok, I guess. I don't hate them and don't love them. I may or may not keep them. I do occasionally like to hang my arm from them. If I tend to do that with doors off, I'll keep them. If not, bye bye...maybe.

Factor 55 Splicer-- WInch shackle/hook replacement. I love this thing. Yeah, it looks funny, but I don't care. It is for safe winching and to protect my rope end from UV and hawse fairlead from hook damage. I added a Factor 55 Fast Fid for splicing, and it helped me put it on the Smittybilt rope, as the hook had no release. I like the Splicer so much, I bought one for my JK, too.

Inspired Engineering 14" light bar--This thing is interesting. It throws light pretty well at a distance, but didn't quite give me what I wanted in terms of flood lighting. I'll keep it, because the extra light will still be welcome. It is a Prismatic light, so it will have backlighting that can be used on-road (amber) as a fog light. I haven't wired up or used that feature yet, so I don't know how bright it is. It is bluetooth controlled, so it has a thousand colors and can change to the beat of music, so my girls will go nuts dancing in front of it. We'll see how that works when I connect it. Silly, but fun. Btw, the mounting system for their lights is THE BEST. It is variable width, and rock solid.

Cooltech CB Antenna Mount with Firestick--This mount is GREAT! Right on the tailgate support. So far, the reception appears good, and superior to my Cooltech license plate mount on my JK. (Anything outperforms that.)

Uniden Bearcat CMX760 CB Radio--So far, I'm impressed. It is an all-in-mic unit, so there is no bulky box to mount. It also came with a microphone cord extension, which is a blessing. Reception seems great, and after radio checks, transmission range seems ok. I'll be getting inside it to dial up the power, at some point. (I'll probably let a pro actually do that, so it is done correctly and maximizes output as close to 4w as possible.) The mic mounted right on the flat spot to between the tuner and chicken bar. Perfect. I need to test it on the trail still.

Barricade Mirrors--From Extreme Terrain. These go in the hinges for doorless running. I went with the round ones, and they are nice and big! I haven't run them yet, so the jury is out, but they look like they'll do the job, as long as the wind at highway speed doesn't fold them in.

Lange Hoist-A-Top Simple...It will be installed in my garage soon, so I can get the soft top on! Can't wait! FAST shipping, from Extreme Terrain! Lange sent me the JL bracket, btw.

MyMedic First Aid Kit--Professional grade, and molle webbing compatible. This is on the back of my seat. It is LOADED with stuff!

Barricade Winch Recovery Kit--Nice kit with a nice quality bag! It has gloves, shackles, a snatch block, tree saver, BIG tow strap, and a chain. All for just over 100 bucks at Extreme Terrain. This is one of the best values I've seen for one of these kits. It has pockets to hold other stuff, like tire plugs, my Smittybilt rapid deflator, etc.

Glock 20 10mm--For bear country. LIght, POWERFUL, and loaded with 15 rounds of Underwood Extreme Penetrators, nearly 1500 feet per second and over 700ft lbs of energy. Proven to take down the largest bears. Works on 2 legged predators, too.

More to come...

Future Mods...

Midland MXT275 GMRS Radio--
Coming when released! This is another all-in-the-mic radio. I bought a bigger antenna and have a couple ideas for mounting. I expect much longer range and clarity than with the CB, plus I have two GMRS handhelds for spotting and friends. It puts out 15 watts of power. I applied for my FCC license last night (70 bucks, 10 years, no test.) It is a bit of a gamble, but I'm anticipating it will work well. I have another GMRS unit for my JK, with a larger antenna and magnetic mount for the hood, which won't work on the JL, thanks to the aluminum hood! Lol. I'll test these on the trail when the MXT275 arrives.

Soft Doors/Half Doors/Tube Doors--Not sure which, but eventually they will happen.

Fire Extinguisher This is a must.

I don't have too many more to go, at least for major modifications. Of course, a Jeep is never done, but this one is getting close. I may change my mind on some of these, but most will eventually happen.

I'll update this original post occasionally, as things change. So far, so good, though. I've kept the Jeep light as possible, while significantly increasing capability. I'tll get off road throughout the Midwest this summer. The big test will come in Moab, in October!

QrFGZDI.jpg



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DanW

DanW

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$uicide$hift

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Pics are all over this forum, Lol! I'll post some up tonight.
So you are going to make a post consolidating all of your mods but make us search through the forum for your posts where you may have posted a pic!

Sadistic bastard! :mad:

:cwl:
 

MacombRoger

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More pics will come as the mods occur. If anyone wants a specific pic of a modification, just let me know.
Yeah which MyMedic kit did you go with? Got a link? Find a better price on their site or elsewhere?
 

AdamH

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watch your rear departure angle with that muffler set-up. not that the factory is high and tight but from the pics your new set-up looks lower and sticks further out the back
 
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DanW

DanW

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watch your rear departure angle with that muffler set-up. not that the factory is high and tight but from the pics your new set-up looks lower and sticks further out the back
I kept the factory exhaust. I'll be putting it on for a trip to Moab in October, then swap it back when I get home. I've done some wheeling, though, and with a spotter, I can angle a bit and avoid trouble.

Update:

I added a Tuffy Security Console for safe storage with the doors off.

Installed a Lange Hoist A Top Simple, along with Lange door hangers for both the JL and JK. These work great!!

I also added a neat American flag set up on the antenna and ran around with it on the 4th of July. Pretty cool!

ns1HlUE.jpg


Next up:

Dana/Spicer armored differential covers. They have been ordered, so I'm just waiting for them now. Update...Cancelled the order for these after seeing Youtube video of how strong the original stamped steel covers really are. Saved 300 bucs.

Refrigerator...either an ARB 37 or a Snomaster LS35. I'll go with the one that is a better deal.

Lightweight folding chairs and table.

Some kind of awning...honestly, I'll probably go with a tarp with two poles, tie downs, and connected to the roll bar in the back.

Rigid side shooter lights...maybe. The light bar I have now is nice, but is a spot and doesn't add much to the already super bright LED headlights. I need more light out to the side. I might swap the light bar out for a similar one set up to flood instead of spot. We shall see.

I'm really interested in the Artec aluminum belly skid plate system. It only adds 10 pounds and replaces the gas tank skid. You also gain 3/4 of an inch of clearance. What I don't love is $2,200. Ouch! We shall see...
 
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Martindfletcher

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I kept the factory exhaust. I'll be putting it on for a trip to Moab in October, then swap it back when I get home. I've done some wheeling, though, and with a spotter, I can angle a bit and avoid trouble.

Update:

I added a Tuffy Security Console for safe storage with the doors off.

Installed a Lange Hoist A Top Simple, along with Lange door hangers for both the JL and JK. These work great!!

I also added a neat American flag set up on the antenna and ran around with it on the 4th of July. Pretty cool!

ns1HlUE.jpg


Next up:

Dana/Spicer armored differential covers. They have been ordered, so I'm just waiting for them now.

Refrigerator...either an ARB 37 or a Snomaster LS35. I'll go with the one that is a better deal.

Lightweight folding chairs and table.

Some kind of awning...honestly, I'll probably go with a tarp with two poles, tie downs, and connected to the roll bar in the back.

Rigid side shooter lights...maybe. The light bar I have now is nice, but is a spot and doesn't add much to the already super bright LED headlights. I need more light out to the side. I might swap the light bar out for a similar one set up to flood instead of spot. We shall see.

I'm really interested in the Artec aluminum belly skid plate system. It only adds 10 pounds and replaces the gas tank skid. You also gain 3/4 of an inch of clearance. What I don't love is $2,200. Ouch! We shall see...

I am heading to big bear mountain this week to test the artec pan. If your tight money I would go with steel. It’s only 70lbs more. For $800.00 I thought about leaving my 80 lb dog at home. I must admit not sure I am strong to lift the steel gas tank skid up my self.
 
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DanW

DanW

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I am heading to big bear mountain this week to test the artec pan. If your tight money I would go with steel. It’s only 70lbs more. For $800.00 I thought about leaving my 80 lb dog at home. I must admit not sure I am strong to lift the steel gas tank skid up my self.
I thought about that, but I am so obsessive about weight, I think the money spent would just make me feel better, even though the difference would, in the total percentage of vehicle weight, would be very small. God help me if they have a sale or discount! Lol! I'm serious, man, I break into a cold sweat even over 10 pounds!

Btw, does Artec offer a discount to forum members?
 

Brad41

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I kept the factory exhaust. I'll be putting it on for a trip to Moab in October, then swap it back when I get home. I've done some wheeling, though, and with a spotter, I can angle a bit and avoid trouble.

Update:

I added a Tuffy Security Console for safe storage with the doors off.

Installed a Lange Hoist A Top Simple, along with Lange door hangers for both the JL and JK. These work great!!

I also added a neat American flag set up on the antenna and ran around with it on the 4th of July. Pretty cool!

ns1HlUE.jpg


Next up:

Dana/Spicer armored differential covers. They have been ordered, so I'm just waiting for them now.

Refrigerator...either an ARB 37 or a Snomaster LS35. I'll go with the one that is a better deal.

Lightweight folding chairs and table.

Some kind of awning...honestly, I'll probably go with a tarp with two poles, tie downs, and connected to the roll bar in the back.

Rigid side shooter lights...maybe. The light bar I have now is nice, but is a spot and doesn't add much to the already super bright LED headlights. I need more light out to the side. I might swap the light bar out for a similar one set up to flood instead of spot. We shall see.

I'm really interested in the Artec aluminum belly skid plate system. It only adds 10 pounds and replaces the gas tank skid. You also gain 3/4 of an inch of clearance. What I don't love is $2,200. Ouch! We shall see...

Looks great, Dan. I’m interested in these same door hangers, as my available storage space is tight. Is there plenty of room for two doors on there? Since I may consider buying generic brackets at the home improvement store to save money, how many inches do these brackets protrude out? If you were thinking the same as me and looked for brackets locally, did you find anything comparable?
 
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DanW

DanW

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Looks great, Dan. I’m interested in these same door hangers, as my available storage space is tight. Is there plenty of room for two doors on there? Since I may consider buying generic brackets at the home improvement store to save money, how many inches do these brackets protrude out? If you were thinking the same as me and looked for brackets locally, did you find anything comparable?
Yep, plenty of room for both doors. I'll have to measure them when I get a chance. I didn't find anything like these. They are strong and the padding is nice and thick.
 

Ethan

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I thought about that, but I am so obsessive about weight, I think the money spent would just make me feel better, even though the difference would, in the total percentage of vehicle weight, would be very small. God help me if they have a sale or discount! Lol! I'm serious, man, I break into a cold sweat even over 10 pounds!

Btw, does Artec offer a discount to forum members?
It's a debate, but the Steel VS Aluminum question is easy to answer, in my mind, and has less to do with weight than you would think. If you rock crawl then get steel, as it slides over rocks and does not gall. Steel is tough and that is what you need with a five thousand pound 4x4. If you are more the pre-runner type then Aluminum is great because it is light. Also, if you are just out for light wheeling and stick to dirt & gravel roads and the occasional rock garden, Aluminum is great. But, Aluminum will stick to the rocks and sets up a scenario in which it's easier for one to get stuck in a high-side situation. If you were racing and had 40" tires and needed every bit of power to weight ratio, then Aluminum is best, as you'll most-likely have the horsepower and clearance to overcome the sticky Aluminum.... Also, weight down low is generally considered a good thing, though it's better in unsprung form. That 70 "extra" lbs (equivalent to 11 gallons of gas) would actually lower your CG in most but extreme cases. If you are rock crawling, your JL ,in particular, has other issues to look at first--like those silly exhaust tips and trailer hitch... Your departure angle is being hammered by that low hanging fruit.
 

Moto_21

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Glock 20 10mm--For bear country. LIght, POWERFUL, and loaded with 15 rounds of Underwood Extreme Penetrators, nearly 1500 feet per second and over 700ft lbs of energy. Proven to take down the largest bears. Works on 2 legged predators, too.
I second that! Love mine . Where do you keep yours in there?
 

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