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LeoTheDragon

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Thanks! Sorry for the slow reply.

Well, I definitely wish I hadn't gone with that @JcrOffroad winch plate. They ended up refunding my money, but I'll never get the time back. I also just installed the JCR Vanguard full width rear bumper and Adventure Tire carrier. I have several issues with those products and their installation. Overall, I don't think I'll be ordering from JCR again unless they make some big improvements.

Not sure I would go with the Rock Hard 4x4 skid plates again, either. Maybe would do Artec or wait for GenRight.
What issues did you have with the JCR winch plate and how is the Warn one better? I just installed the JCR yesterday and... For something so simple, it sure as hell was a pain in the ass and I wanna see if your struggles were the same.



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swampcat14

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What issues did you have with the JCR winch plate and how is the Warn one better? I just installed the JCR yesterday and... For something so simple, it sure as hell was a pain in the ass and I wanna see if your struggles were the same.
Here's a link to a post I made with all the details --> https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...on-mopar-steel-bumper.3921/page-6#post-260688

short version: really bad fitment, and insufficient strength (the plate allowed the winch to move/rotate under load).
 

LeoTheDragon

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Here's a link to a post I made with all the details --> https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...on-mopar-steel-bumper.3921/page-6#post-260688

short version: really bad fitment, and insufficient strength (the plate allowed the winch to move/rotate under load).
Holy crap, I just read your post and I had the exact same problems.. It took me over an hour just to shimmy the bumper back on and I eventually gave up and just started tightening the nuts I could which eventually forced the bumper to slowly slide into place..

The fairlead plate was also warped so that was fun to try to straighten and get bolted in.

I thought a little play in the winch was expected but it looks like that's not the case? I was pretensioning my rope after installing everything and noticed the winch was twisting a bit under load.. Hmm definitely a little concerning now. I'm not as bothered about the painful install process anymore since it's done but if the structural integrity is questionable then I might have to investigate it a little further.. Thanks for the writeup and review even though I didn't even see it until after I got it. Poop
 
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swampcat14

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Holy crap, I just read your post and I had the exact same problems.. It took me over an hour just to shimmy the bumper back on and I eventually gave up and just started tightening the nuts I could which eventually forced the bumper to slowly slide into place..

The fairlead plate was also warped so that was fun to try to straighten and get bolted in.

I thought a little play in the winch was expected but it looks like that's not the case? I was pretensioning my rope after installing everything and noticed the winch was twisting a bit under load.. Hmm definitely a little concerning now. I'm not as bothered about the painful install process anymore since it's done but if the structural integrity is questionable then I might have to investigate it a little further.. Thanks for the writeup and review even though I didn't even see it until after I got it. Poop
No, your winch should not move independently from the vehicle at all. If it does, eventually it will free itself from the vehicle, and obviously that will happen when the winch is under load which makes it a very dangerous issue.

The Warn plate lived up to my expectations. If you're seeing the same issues I had, I highly recommend that you remove your JCR plate and replace it with a Warn.
 

butcho

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How do you like the Falcon 2.1s? I’m trying to decide between those and the 3.1s. Mostly highway and road driving.
 
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swampcat14

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How do you like the Falcon 2.1s? I’m trying to decide between those and the 3.1s. Mostly highway and road driving.
I love them. They offer an excellent balance between highway and trail performance. Based on what you said, I'd recommend you save the money and go with the 2.1s.

I think I'll probably move up to the 3.3s eventually, primarily for the quick adjustability. I do about 60/40 road/trail.
 

JeepBrewer

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Thanks! Sorry for the slow reply.

Well, I definitely wish I hadn't gone with that @JcrOffroad winch plate. They ended up refunding my money, but I'll never get the time back. I also just installed the JCR Vanguard full width rear bumper and Adventure Tire carrier. I have several issues with those products and their installation. Overall, I don't think I'll be ordering from JCR again unless they make some big improvements.

Not sure I would go with the Rock Hard 4x4 skid plates again, either. Maybe would do Artec or wait for GenRight.
Hate to hear you had such problems with the JCR winch plate. I got the Maximus 3 plate and it has been fine, though I haven't had it under real stress yet so we'll see.

What issues did you have with the Vanguard bumper and the Adventure Tire carrier? I was considering getting the Crusader bumper and Adventure carrier so I curious what you had issues with installing them. Can you post a pic of the rear of your jeep? I'm curious how it worked out with the license plate relocation as well as the rear camera and what you had to do to move the wiring around for that.

We have very similar tastes in upgrades so this has been very helpful.

Thanks!
 
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swampcat14

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Hate to hear you had such problems with the JCR winch plate. I got the Maximus 3 plate and it has been fine, though I haven't had it under real stress yet so we'll see.

What issues did you have with the Vanguard bumper and the Adventure Tire carrier? I was considering getting the Crusader bumper and Adventure carrier so I curious what you had issues with installing them. Can you post a pic of the rear of your jeep? I'm curious how it worked out with the license plate relocation as well as the rear camera and what you had to do to move the wiring around for that.

We have very similar tastes in upgrades so this has been very helpful.

Thanks!
Thanks for commenting and following the build!!

I've been rubbish at posting updates. Life got really busy there towards the end of the year. So, here's a synopsis of my experience with the @JcrOffroad Vanguard full width bumper and Adventure Tire Carrier...

First, the packaging didn't hold up to shipping. One small hardware box (that was packaged inside a larger box) had completely come apart and it's contents were jostling around loose inside the larger box...

IMG_20181107_172056.jpg



Next, the powder coating left MUCH to be desired. It arrived blemished from just the cardboard, and flaked/cracked off anytime anything metal touched it (so anytime I tightened a bolt).

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Next, the spindle did not fit into the bumper properly (or as described in their instructions). It was supposed to just slide in. Mine got about 1/2" before I had to get out the dead blow hammer. Then, when it was all the way in, it didn't sit flush on the bumper... This is just poor craftsmanship...

IMG_20181107_170919.jpg


The bumper itself fit well enough and bolted on well enough. And it does look awesome...

IMG_20181107_190030_220.jpg


Getting the main part of the tire carrier on, installing the bearings, greasing everything, etc was all pretty straight forward. On the latch side of the carrier, I had to grind away a little of the carrier because it would contact the stop plate (will add pics of this later, this is where I started getting frustrated and stopped thinking about pictures).

Also, with nothing on the carrier, the latch mechanism was way too high and wouldn't engage the latch pin. This may have been due to the fact that the spindle wasn't sitting flush, and so it angled the carrier up just enough to cause the misalignment. Once I added the tire, the weight of the tire brought it down some, but I still had to add a couple extra washers under the latch pin to get it to latch properly every time (will add pics of this later).

The tire mounting plate was frustrating. The lugs had to be pressed in (which is common), but I don't have a press. So I used the poor man's press method (washer, box end wrench, lug nut, and impact driver). This did the trick but took forever and destroyed both the powder coating on the plate, and one of the lug nuts they provided. Luckily I had a couple extra lugnuts come with my order (dunno if that was intentional). After I got the lugs in I realized JCR had used lugs that are a different thread pitch than the factory lugs, so my keyed lugnuts wouldn't work. If I had realized this before installing them I probably would have tried to use the factory spare lugs out of the factory tire carrier. Dunno if that would have worked.

Then we get to the license plate relocation.... ugh. The brackets themselves are alright, although have the same powder coating issues. The license plate light and the 3rd brake light they provide are super cheap, but they're LEDs and they work, so no biggie there. The instructional video posted on the JL License Plate Relocation kit product page is SUPER confusing because they got lazy and just edited together a couple of other videos (including some clips from the JK), and the result is horrible.

The real crappy part here was that the electrical engineering solution for the camera/license plate light/3rd brake light is woefully insufficient. If you did it the way they describe in their video, you'd end up with one solid run of wire from your passenger taillight out to the license plate, which means when you needed to use your spare tire, you'd have to cut those wires... then splice in new wire when you put your spare back on.

I decided that instead of abandoning (taping up and waterproofing) the factory connector for the license plate light (as they instruct), I would cut that connector off and extend those wires all the way to the tire carrier. I also de-harnessed the factory 3rd brake light wiring and the camera cable all the way back to the tail light, then re-routed them to the carrier. Then I found a convenient spot in the carrier and added some waterproof quick disconnects so if I ever needed to remove the license plate, I didn't have to cut anything and could easily put it back together. THANK GOD, I didn't have to cut or add a quick disconnect to the camera cable because it had sufficient length that I was able to use factory connectors. Then I added some split-channel wire protectors and cleaned it up running between the bumper and the body by the spindle.

IMG_20181118_211127.jpg
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IMG_20181118_211109.jpg


That was about a month ago. The tire carrier is driving me crazy now for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows for a significant amount of tire movement front to back. I can see the thing wiggling around back there like jello as I'm driving down the road. Trails are even worse... and yes I've checked and rechecked bolt tightness on everything. Second, I had to turn off my parking sensors because no matter how I adjust the tire, it constantly sets them off. Third, I really have to slam it to get the latching mechanism to lock in (and yes I've tried adjusting it about a million times). Fourth, the latch is super stiff, and if I don't open it for a few days, it gets to where I have to use some kind of tool (usually a hammer handle) to pry it open. Fifth, the powder coating is continuing to chip off at the slightest gust of wind. Sixth, there's a spot in the carrier near the spindle that is completely enclosed and collects water. I ended up drilling a couple of small drain holes in there so it won't rust out.

And last but not least, this is what my tailgate looked like after all that, because JCR didn't think to include any plugs or a vent cover plate or anything...

IMG_20181118_212557.jpg


So, I bought a tramp stamp from Poison Spyder and a set of UFOs from @Vector Offroad to clean it up...

IMG_20181119_190622.jpg


Overall, it's clear that JCRs 'Handmade in the USA' assertion doesn't come with a 'QA/QC Checked in the USA' backing. Maybe instead of 'Built for Whatever' it should by 'Built by Whoever'.

All jokes aside, they're not a bad company. They have a solid foundation, they just need to focus more on quality control and production consistency. They raced to be first to market with their JL products, and it shows. I got suckered into the hype and in retrospect should have been more patient. I will be selling this bumper/tire carrier and going with a more reputable manufacturer... probably AEV.

The crappy part is that I don't feel like this setup is worth what I paid for it, so I don't feel right charging someone else anything close to that. Guess I'll learn that lesson with my wallet...



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swampcat14

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! I've accepted a sponsorship offer from @offroadaddictionokc to take #projectswampcat to the next level!! We are partnering to develop their #JeepJL line of products, and I could not be more excited! Mike, Rob, and the #offroadaddictionokc crew are great guys who treat their customers like family, and build #Jeeps that are darn near #indestructible. I am honored and very grateful for this opportunity, and look forward to working with these guys. Keep an eye out right here, on my FB and IG pages, and at www.c4x4.com over the next few months as we cover the build progress and release! And of course, head over to www.offroadaddiction.net for all of your #offroad needs!!

IMG_20190216_210357_928.jpg
 

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Congrats!
 
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swampcat14

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swampcat14

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Hi Everyone! Been a while since I posted, so I thought I'd give a little update. We're heavy into planning the build with Offroad Addictions, Inc. Hopefully I'll drop Swampcat off this weekend and we'll get things started.

Meanwhile, I wrote a review and posted a DIY install video for the Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, which you can find at the link below. I've been running these steps for about 10 months now, and I could not be more impressed with them.

http://www.c4x4.com/Articles/Feb2019/RockSlide/RockSlide.html
 
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I added a Tekonsha trailer brake controller a while back. I've been lazy about getting this one posted, but figured it could help someone. I used a RAM Mount X-grip with my previously installed Carolina Metal Masters A-Pillar 1" Ball Mount solution, and just ran the harness up to the dash.

I wanted to avoid permanently altering as much of the dash trim as possible. I did end up cutting a little plastic, but it's out of sight and on a panel that's relatively cheap to replace. I also wanted to be able to remove and store my controller when it wasn't needed. When the controller is not mounted, the end of the harness tucks up neatly out of sight between the windshield and the A-pillar.

MVIMG_20180714_150955.jpg


Here are the parts I used:
- Tekonsha 3014-P Brake Control Wiring Adapter for Jeep
- Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control

- Carolina Metal Masters A Pillar 1" Ball Mount Solution
- RAM MOUNTS Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder with Double Socket Arm

Here are the tools/extras I used:
- Torx T40 (included in your Jeep Toolkit)
- Socket Driver (included in your Jeep Toolkit)
- 7mm Nut Driver/Socket
- 15mm Nut Driver/Socket (included in your Jeep Toolkit)
- Angled Flathead (or body/trim tools)
- Scissors/Snips
- Small Picks/Hooks
- String and Washer
- (Ignore the box-end wrench pictured, I got a little crazy removing trim panels, you won't need to go through all that)


IMG_20180619_195724.jpg

  1. Click this article for instructions on how to install the Carolina Metal Masters A-Pillar solutions.
  2. Drop the windshield. (Instructions in your Jeep Toolkit also)
    1. Use the 15mm socket to remove the two (2) wiper blades.
    2. Use the Torx T40 to remove the four (4) bolts across the top (accessible from the interior).
    3. Carefully lower the windshield onto the hood.
    4. IMG_20180619_183317_559.jpg
  3. Remove the driver's side tweeter speaker cover.
    1. There are 4 clips holding it on.
    2. Use your hands, flathead, or trim tool to carefully pry it off.
    3. MVIMG_20180619_183849.jpg
  4. Remove the driver's side tweeter speaker (Optional step. Helps avoid damaging the speaker inadvertently).
    1. Remove the two (2) 7mm trim screws holding the speaker. Don't lose the screws.
    2. Carefully lift it up and disconnect the wiring harness
    3. Set speaker aside.
    4. IMG_20180619_194548.jpg

    5. MVIMG_20180619_183902.jpg
  5. Remove the driver's side dash end trim panel.
    1. There are five (5) clips holding it on.
    2. Use your hands, flathead, or trim tool to carefully pry it off.
    3. IMG_20180619_194102.jpg
  6. Remove the driver's side lower trim panel covering the door harness plug.
    1. There are two (2) clips holding it on.
    2. Use your hands, flathead, or trim tool to carefully pry it off.
    3. IMG_20180619_194050.jpg
  7. Remove the trim panel under the steering wheel. (Optional, but gave me more room to get my hands under the dash).
    1. There are six (6) clips holding it on.
    2. Use your hands, flathead, or trim tool to carefully pry it off.
    3. IMG_20180619_194128.jpg
  8. Crawl up under the dash and find the factory harness/plug for your trailer brake controller. It will be tucked up pretty high by the ECU and taped to the ECU harness. Remove the tape by hand. DO NOT CUT THE TAPE.
    1. IMG_20180619_194215.jpg
  9. Tie the washer to the end of the string.
  10. Locate the gap between the A-pillar and the dash plastic in the very corner of the dash. (Picture is after I had pulled the harness back up).
    1. IMG_20180619_194504.jpg
  11. Drop the washer down this gap, and guide it down the side of and behind the dash towards the location of the factory wiring harness/plug. This will be a trial and error effort until you get the string routed properly.
  12. Plug the brake controller adapter into the factory harness.
  13. Remove the washer from the string and tie the string around the free end of the brake controller adapter. Tie it so it pulls the plug straight up, rather than pull the the harness and dragging the plug. This will make it easier to get the plug through the small gaps.
  14. Carefully pull the string and guide the adapter plug up along the route until the plug is coming out of the top of the dash. Pull the slack out of the harness, but don't pull too tight. You don't want to put any strain on the plug/harness under the dash. The picks come in handy here to help gently guide the plug through the gaps.
    1. IMG_20180619_194322.jpg

    2. IMG_20180619_194017.jpg

    3. IMG_20180619_194028.jpg

    4. IMG_20180619_194042.jpg

    5. IMG_20180619_194037.jpg

    6. IMG_20180619_194507.jpg
  15. Plug in your brake controller and ensure everything works.
  16. Remove brake controller again.
  17. On the driver's side tweeter speaker cover, cut off about 1/4" to 3/8" to make room for the harness. You want it to be enough so the harness isn't pinched, but not so much that the harness flops around.
    1. MVIMG_20180619_195320.jpg

    2. MVIMG_20180619_195345.jpg
  18. Reinstall the tweeter speaker (if removed earlier).
  19. Reinstall the tweeter speaker cover.
    1. IMG_20180619_195421.jpg
  20. Reinstall the side dash trim panel.
    1. IMG_20180619_194359.jpg
  21. Reinstall the lower trim panel covering the door harness plug.
  22. Reinstall the trim panel under the steering wheel.
  23. Raise and secure the windshield. Be careful not to pinch the controller harness.
    1. MVIMG_20180619_195504.jpg
  24. You're done! Have a beer!
    1. IMG_20180714_150947.jpg

    2. IMG_20180714_150952.jpg
 
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swampcat14

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Also, the sponsorship build will be wrapped up this week, so stay tuned for the reveal on that!!
 
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swampcat14

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I'm way late in posting, but here's the completed sponsor build!
swampcat lightroom photos-08485.jpg
 

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