Silent Panda's 2 door Rubicon build

  1. Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30
    Hello JL community. The contents of this thread will be a chronicle of my 2 door Rubicon build. This is my first Jeep build but not my first project car/moto build. The objective for our Jeep is to do some wheeling in as many places as we can and have a kick ass time doing it.

    We've wheeled it a couple times stock. Some of the parts like the front and rear axle protection might seem to be extraneous but we've had some impacts in both places. Also the steering damper is in a terrible position and needs to be relocated.

    The lift will be mild with 37's.

    Build brief:
    Sting Grey 2 door Rubicon
    Tires - 37's TBD (most likely Patagonia MT's)
    Wheels - Turbomac HD in bronze
    Lift - Metalcloak Game-Changer 2.5" no shock version
    Dampers - Bilstein 5165's. 25-187748 FA and 25-187731 RA. These will get some tuning after EJS.
    Fenders - Metalcloak Overland
    FA axle protection - Metalcloak Front Axle Disconnect Skid Plate System/Stabilizer Relocation
    Steering damper - Bilstein - starting with a 25-158428..might have to make one. Bilstein doesn't have a JL damper yet.
    RA axle protection - Metalcloak rear dif skid plate
    FA bumper - Ace Engineering Pro Series
    RA bumper - Ace Engineering Pro Series
    Rocker protection - Ace Engineering Night Runner. The first one!!
    Programmer - TBD

    I will try to break the updates into chunks so the posts aren't days long.

    A before pic of our Jeep the day we bought it.
    IMG_5673.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30
    The Metalcloak parts have arrived!

    598A62FA-E1FF-4A9C-9872-FFD267A44C8E.jpeg
     
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  3. Dagwood

    Dagwood Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    David
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 Jeep JL, 1999 Jeep xj, 2008 Scion XB, 2015 Scion XB, 1966 Ford F100, 1969 Oldsmobile
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Location:
    Alabama
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    I won't be far behind you, I'm still waiting on my two door sting gray Rubicon to come in. Parts are building up in the garage, front and rear bumpers, kc pro6 lights, warn winch and mesh top now. I'm sure more parts will get here before the jeep.
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30

    NICE. Which motor?
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30
    Made some very small progress last night and got a few more parts...Dampers and steering damper.

    I got the Metalcloak Front Axle Disconnect Skid Plate System/Stabilizer Relocation parts installed. their part number is 6372.

    Disassembly and install were pretty simple...the only tricky part was drilling the track arm bracket. it was tough to reach with a normal drill.

    I'll start with I wanted to install the kit (whatever goes on our Jeep has to have some value...it isn't a parts hanger). On our first trial ride, we did a little damage to the stock steering damper. It is in a terrible location. This might be the only time I ever say this but...I happy it is a twin tube damper...the dent didn't affect its function.

    Before pics:
    IMG_7158.JPG IMG_7159.JPG

    As you can see the damper is positioned below and forward of the axle and the disconnect skid plate is more like a scoop. There was plenty of mud, rocks and other debris packed between the skid and disconnect module.

    Below are pics of the Metalcloak kit as well as a couple pics of the two skids plates side by side.
    IMG_7165.JPG IMG_7167.JPG IMG_7168.JPG
    As you can see the Metalcloak part is designed to cover much more of the axle disconnect components than the stock skid. Its also GOLD!

    Below you can see the difference in thickness between the two skid plates. The Metalcloak skid is 3/16" thick. The stock part is 1/8" thick.
    IMG_7169.JPG

    I am using Bilstein part number 25-158428. In their catalog, it is listed as a JK steering damper. I checked the compressed and extended lengths for this damper against the travel of the stock damper measured on the car. The Bilstein had about 1.5" more travel than required...I went with it.

    Stock and Bilstein steering dampers
    IMG_7172.JPG

    Below are the installed parts patiently waiting to be taken to the trail. You can see the damper has been moved out from under the axle and is the axle disconnect skid is no longer a scoop and is also much more substantial.IMG_7178.JPG

    If anyone has questions about the install or anything else, please let me know.
     
  6. Dagwood

    Dagwood Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    David
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 Jeep JL, 1999 Jeep xj, 2008 Scion XB, 2015 Scion XB, 1966 Ford F100, 1969 Oldsmobile
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Location:
    Alabama
    Posts:
    172
    Liked:
    285
    3.6, I'm in the thinking that a jeep should be as simple as possible and that mild hybrid turbo sounds a bit complicated.

    I got the trailer tow package, upgraded stereo, led lights and floormats as options.

    I've already got smittybilt front and rear bumpers, kc hilites pro6 gravity lights, warn 10,000lb synthetic winch and mesh sunscreen here before the jeep.

    I'm not planning on a lift currently. I will start with a 1/2 inch leveling kit for the weight of the bumpers and hold off in the hope that someone will make a 1" spring lift as I don't plan on running larger than 35s. Maybe fenders and inner fenders at some point.
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
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    There is certainly that potential. I wanted the that big area under the torque curve though.

    That pile of parts is substantial. I am glad I’m not the only person that buys parts for cars they don’t own yet!

    Our Jeeps have similar options. I have cold weather pack in place of your tow pack. The bumper will have an integrated receiver.

    I only wanted 35’s too...best laid plans right!
     
  8. Dagwood

    Dagwood Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    David
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 Jeep JL, 1999 Jeep xj, 2008 Scion XB, 2015 Scion XB, 1966 Ford F100, 1969 Oldsmobile
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2019
    Location:
    Alabama
    Posts:
    172
    Liked:
    285
    Mine does as well but I got the tow package for the pre wired switches and alternator upgrade. In Alabama I don't need cold weather package for the one month a year cold enough and I'm not complaining about that.
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30
    More parts for the build are here!

    The wheels and dampers!

    1552 Turbomac HD
    14BEDD68-3A3D-4C8E-A239-B03739183C41.jpeg

    And we got the dampers finished!
    6C38C13B-56ED-481F-A874-8BD1F6D63FC7.jpeg

    It is going to be a busy week/weekend! The Jeep is due on the alignment rack on the 28th!
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
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    These are the first 2 door JL Night Runner rocker protection from Ace Engineering. Our JL was the test fit mule and now we have the first production pieces.

    I don’t have install pics because Ace wanted to do the first install...for instructions and what not.

    We are also running their Pro Series bumpers.

    1E8BE3E7-7E53-4100-BC88-0219C44BA410.jpeg BC466F14-FB22-4274-B5D3-FBD8C412EF47.jpeg F809E4EF-A899-4A7E-B479-1635A9D74430.jpeg
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
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    Made lots of progress over the last day or so. Many posts coming.

    First up is the muffler delete. We beat the hell out of ours on our first wheeling session.

    CD37BC3F-22E6-4B50-A38F-E83AE8E206A1.jpeg
    52CB0372-EAE7-4FFB-B13B-CEF1D978CDFB.jpeg
    C63FB7AB-846E-412B-963E-ED1F72FF8FDE.jpeg

    We went with the Dynomax muffler delete. I like the way the tip was tucked up high.
    504E9191-721B-4596-95AC-A4116282E10A.jpeg

    Installation was very easy. The sound is both a little louder and deeper at start up. When the car comes down the low idle, the sound is very close to stock.

    I will post some more impressions of the sound after the honeymoon is over.
     
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  12. ads75

    ads75 Well-Known Member

    Vehicle(s):
    2019 2Door JL Rubicon in Mojito, 2016 Acura RDX
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2018
    Location:
    Reading, Pa
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    580
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    I was expecting a Bright White, not Sting Gray, for a build by someone with your user name.

    Looking forward to a 2 door build though, and those Turbomac wheels.
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30
    Silent Panda is a very old nickname I was given when I played paintball...I moved around the field aggressively and very quietly...and was shaped like a Panda...
     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
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    #14 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    UPDATE!

    I have been busting but to get the Jeep finished enough to take to the alignment shop...my appointment is 3/28 (tomorrow). I made it! Many late nights and early mornings later and I have a rolling driving 2 door JL on 37's.

    I'll break the posts into bumpers, sway bar disconnect flip, fenders, lift and wheels/tires.

    Bumpers:

    I went with Ace Engineering Pro Series front and rear bumpers. I won't go over the disassembly...it is a little tedious on the rear bumper..

    The front Pro Series is the mid height bar and factory fog light version. They have a taller stinger type and the other light options are none and an LED light bar. I was able to reuse my factory fogs since I had the plastic bumpers and LED lights. My understanding is the housings are different for metal and plastic bumper LED fogs.

    The disassembly of the front bumper is easy one plug and 8 bolts. Reassembly is likewise simple.
    - Transfer the lights and harness from the old to the new bumper
    - Set the bumper on the frame horns.
    - Bolt it down
    - Reconnect the plug for the lights.

    ***There is an option to flip sway disconnect module for better ground clearance. See the next post.
    IMG_7262.JPG IMG_7265.JPG

    Rear bumper - I chose the Pro Series because of the direct frame mount, integrated receiver hitch and the tire carrier. I did not want a 37 hanging off of the tailgate.

    Disassembly was a PITA. so many screws and brackets.

    Assembly of the the rear Pro Series was as simple as the front. only one or two holes have to be opened up for installation. I used a stepped drill bit. It is easier to get a round hole in sheet metal with a stepped bit. Pics below:
    IMG_7211 2.JPG IMG_7214.JPG IMG_7216.JPG IMG_7219.JPG



     
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    Silent Panda

    Silent Panda Active Member

    First Name:
    Jason
    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JL Rubicon
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Posts:
    31
    Liked:
    30
    Sway bar disconnect flip

    Ace makes a simple bolt that allows the sway bar disconnect module to be rotated up, increasing clearance under it and tucking up under the bumper.

    Before flip about 17.5" to the ground with stock suspension and tires.

    IMG_7222.JPG


    After flip there is 20" of clearance to ground.

    IMG_7223.JPG

    The installation was very simple remove two bolts, add on new one. None of the wire harness had to be rerouted.

    I also cut off the long portions of the frame the are meant to protect the disconnect module. I used a electric angle grinder with a cut off wheel. No issues. Stay below the welds for the sway bar mounts though...

    IMG_7257.JPG

    IMG_7224.JPG
     
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