Silent Panda's 2 door Rubicon build

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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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Jason
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The fenders.

I went with Metalcloak Overland fenders. I chose the Metalcloak fenders because I liked the way they attach to the body, they retain the functionality of the stock fender lights and the small details. The packing of the fenders was impressive. They were very well packed and protected.

Front fenders

No rocket surgery here...disconnect the wire harness plug for the lights, pull off the stock fenders, take the wire harness from them and add the new LED lights to the stock harness per the instructions and bolt up the new fenders.

Mounting them means you must have a certain comfort level with taking a drill to your Jeep. Most of the holes below were opened up to 3/8 for the hardware (stainless). Three are opened up fro the rivnut. A basic rivnut tool is included with the hardware. I do have a proper tool fro them and that makes life very easy...I am workign to use a combination of an Ace Engineering inner fender and some of the stock liner. Results are TBD.
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Rear fenders

Disassembly is easier for on the rear fenders...the trail helped me do most of the removal...

I was able to use a portion of the stock fender liner to help protect the various plugs and hoses from being directly assaulted buy debris coming from the tires.

Again lots of holes need to be opened up and there are many more rivnuts on the rear.
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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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Next update...The Lift.

I went with a Metalcloak Gamechanger 2.5" lift. I wanted a lift that included all 8 arms and bot track bars so that I could correct the suspension geometry. Another goal was to get a bunch of droop travel. I also like the theory of the Duroflex bushings...bushing compliance and the rotation of a ball and socket type joint.

The dampers are Bilstein 5165. They don't make 5160's for a JL yet. I had a bit of "customizing" of the shock towers at the front to clear the banjo bolt for the remote reservoir. We also had to add a 1" spacer under the working piston to limit the travel to suit the travel of the lift.

The installation was relatively simple (for tearing the suspension out of a Jeep). I was able to complete it in my garage with jack stands and two jacks. The second one was not totally needed but made aligning some the joints a little easier.

On with the pics!

A shot of the front arms. Not only are the arms beefier but so are the ends with the bushings.

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On the front passenger upper bolt, the kindly FCA engineers made it very easy to remove. I am pointing to the offending bit of the Jeep that was in the way of allowing the bolt to be removed here. Fortunately, the offending valve can be moved aside after unbolting it.
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Seen here is the hard touch preventing the dampers from being completely bolt in. I have heard that Bilstein will be making a change to the bushing that pushes the damper a little outboard, allowing it to be bolted in with no shock tower modifications.

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Here are the completed front and rear suspensions. I used 2 of the 4 bump stop pucks in the front and 3 of 4 pucks in the rear. I did get some proper reservoir mounts after the pics...
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Here are the results of the lift doing the hyper realistic fork lift flex test. Our Jeep will surely excel at fork lift crawling. The guys at All Terrain Outfitters did the alignment. The link lengths in the Metalcloak instructions were bang on the 6 deg of castor.
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I have about 60 miles on the lift so far. If you closed your eyes while driving (don't do that) you'd think you were in a stock Rubicon but with less inclination to wander. There are no clanks or creaks. The springs are not stiff and by a stroke of luck, I think the ride of the dampers is pretty damn close to correct.

Overall, I am quote impressed by the kit. From the directions to the fit and finish of the parts, the kit is impressive. We are very happy with it on our mixed use Jeep and look forward to seeing how it works on both our local trails and in Moab at EJS.
 
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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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Last update for now...

Another piece of protection. The Metalcloak Read Differential Skid Plate.

I thought this piece was a bit of unnecessary bling when I first saw it.

After reading their brief of the application, I crawled under our Jeep to have a look at the diff. Sure as shit, there were some dings in it already. It isn't hard to imagine doing more serious damage to it so I scooped the skid and installed it.

Here you can see the lip that can snag and create a pretty bad day.
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Some light dings. They aren't serious but evidence that I do snag the diff and there could be some issues in the future.
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I cleaned up the surface rust and dirt with a wire bush and scotchbrite pad and hit it with some rattle can bedliner before installing the skid.

Installation is pretty self explanatory. Hold it up there and bolt it on.

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Our rear diff should now be snag free and protected from the type of impacts that would break the housing at that lip.

Who thought that lip would be a good idea?
 

D60

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The rear diff skid seems prudent and I like the disco module relocation!
 
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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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A few pics of the build being used at EJS this year. To say I'm happy with the result is a massive understatement. The Jeep runs down the highway better than stock (more caster) and is very flexible.

Enjoy the pics!
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UKCATS

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aai

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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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that would be a dream come true!
 
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aai

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not gonna lie to you, I have that image currently as my wallpaper on a couple of my laptops lol. Being sting grey is the icing:beer:
 

Trav.city

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Awesome build. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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Jason
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not gonna lie to you, I have that image currently as my wallpaper on a couple of my laptops lol. Being sting grey is the icing:beer:
PM me your email and I can send you the high res images.
 
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pokey02

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