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Soda's Sting Gray Build

minisoda

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Aaron
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Yukon Denali, Audi Q7, Motorcycles, Ski Doo Renegage 800, Honda Pioneer 1000
First, I little background on our purchase. I am in my mid 40s and fairly obsessed with the cylinder index (motorcycles, snowmobiles, side by side, cars, etc)... not sure if I'm smart enough to be considered a gear head, but I LOVE machines. I have wanted a Jeep since my uncle took me offroad in his CJ 30+ years ago. At 17, I saved up enough to buy a Suzuki Samurai which "scratched the itch" given my very limited budget! Owned a couple of Grand Cherokees after college and life sort of took over... commuting, family, business, etc...

Fast forward to 2020. We have a daughter that will be driving soon, a little more fun money and a pair of near-empty-nesters that have been lusting after a Wrangler for years.

I was on a mission to find a good deal on a loaded 2019/2020 JLUR. After two were sold out from underneath me (don't get me started), I decided to place a new order. I had 5% off invoice secured, but as I was preparing to place the order, I thought a little more about how we'd use the vehicle. While we were in love with the Ruby looks, the reality is that we would never/rarely use the lockers or detach the sway bar... I quickly decided to go with a base model Sport and make it cool. I spent most of the winter restoring and making an old BMW Airhead motorcycle cool (in Sting Gray) and need another project to see me through to warm weather anyway!

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Thursday my wife and I ran to the dealership after finding a used 2019 Sport in Sting Gray (color was a hard requirement) with keys and a heater. The experience with this dealership was stellar. It was a cash deal and we were in/out the door in 60 minutes including a 15 minute test drive.

Friday was SHOPPING DAY. For whatever reason the base Sport bugs the sh!t out of me, so I quickly started the mission to build this rig:

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Stereo
- Sport stereo with 5" screen SUCKS bad
- Looked at several aftermarket head unit options to gain Apple CarPlay, but none of them retained the factory Aux/USB inputs. Decided to stay with the factory head unit for now and build a system around it.
- Sub... several options here. There is a $1,200 Alpine "factory" sub that fits under the front seat. The value just wasn't there, so I looked for aftermarket solutions. It was between two 10s under the back seat or this SSV custom enclosure built for the JL. Went with the SSV and a Kicker 10" sub.
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- Speakers all need to be replaced. Starting with the rollbar speakers! I found an SSV enclosure kit that gives the ability to put 6 1/2" speakers in the rollbar. Massive improvement over 4 inchers.

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- Speakers: Memphis PRX 603s in the rollbar, Polk DB402s in the knee panel and Infinity Reference 3032s in the dash.
- Driven by a Kenwood Excelon 800 watt amp.
- Audio Control LV7i line level convertor

Wheels, Tires and Lift
- Fuel Maverick 17x9 with machined face with Nitto Ridge Grappler 35s
- Rough Country 2.5" lift with N3 Premium shocks. I was going to do the spacer lift, but didn't like the idea of those shock extension brackets.
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Lighting
- I HATE halogen lights and the JLs really suck. I almost pulled the trigger on some $200 Amazon lights that looked good, but ultimately paid more to buy from Oracle Lighting. I like the idea of a US based company and forum sponsor that was incredibly helpful during the order process.
- Clearly we need underbody lighting.
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- And better headlights/tailights (Oracle Oculus 9" LED and ... I wanted factory looking lights and not a clown show RGB setup. We'll see if the third brake light looks corny, but I really don't like the plastic "stalk" holding the factory third brake light.
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Fenders and Winch

- DV8 full length rear fender with LED reverse lights. Front: Quadratec Aluminum Brute Strength Winch Bumper and skid plate. Smittybilt 10k lb with synthetic line.
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And last but NOT LEAST.... got rid of that silly looking factory antenna!
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Forgot the fuel filler door, so need to take a look at some options for that today!

Will keep the thread updated with progress! I clearly have my work cut out for me over the next few weeks.

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T4STE

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Allen
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Very nice. Check out the mopar fuel filler door. Simple, clean, to the point. Can’t wait to see the progress. Love the color
 
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minisoda

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Just found the fuel door and grabbed the aux switch bank... want a CLEAN switch install.
 
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minisoda

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Discount Tire called at 4pm last night and the tires/wheels were already in (shipped from California Thursday/Friday). They said to bring it over and they'd install right away. I can't say enough about how great they were to work with (and their prices blew other sites out of the water). They did notice rubbing, as I expected with the splash guard between the fender and bumper. They called me back to take a look and just ended up trimming away the plastic that was rubbing with a box cutter. I like the field repair!

The first products arrived yesterday, so I installed the new headlights, tail lights, antenna and removed the lower air dam/skid plate as the new aluminum one comes this week.

I am VERY impressed with the Oracle Lights. Everything from ordering and shipping to the quality of installation instructions, wiring harness and overall quality. They have a VERY crisp/defined pattern and super clean look. I'm glad I paid the premium for them.

No great pictures yet, but I snapped a few as I was working last night.

I was planning to replace the fender flares, but not really finding any that I like... considering just putting LED bulbs in the existing light.


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ToPar9

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Polk DB402s in the knee panel and Infinity Reference 3032s
Coincidently, I am looking at both sets you have listed above. (Crutchfield?)
Thoughts on sound? I see you do have them amp'd, I am sure they sound good.
I am still in the R&D speaker stage of improvements. :LOL:
 
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minisoda

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I changed things up a bit on the speaker setup:

- Memphis Audio PRX60C components in the kick panel with the tweeters mounted on top of the dash (requires aftermarket housing)
- Memphis PRX 603 in the rollbar (requires aftermarket housing to fit larger speakers up there)
- Infinity Reference REF-3032cfx in the dash
- Kenwood Excelon X802-5 amp drives all speakers and sub
- SSV sub enclosure with Kicker sub

It sounds "pretty good"... I think there's plenty of power and I just need to do a better job tuning it.
 

ToPar9

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I was planning to replace the fender flares, but not really finding any that I like... considering just putting LED bulbs in the existing light.
LED switchback - 40 bucks (buy the resistors that are on the page!)
They currently have a 15% off sale. Enter STAYHOME when you check out.
https://www.diodedynamics.com/7443-hp24-switchback-dual-color-turn-signal-led-bulbs.html
We have a very similar setup.
Sting-Grey, Altitude, LED Heads/Fender, smoked tails and 3rd. I also installed two additional backup lights.
I am keeping the factory tires/wheels for now. That investment will come down the road, more so with the state of the world.
Looking good!
 
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Spdu4ia

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looks nice, love to see a good sport build. i too went with a plug in LED switchback on my sport and looks WAY better
 

LIVESTRONG

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Cool to see another Minnesota Sport here...I, too, really wanted a Rubi, but just couldn't justify it. I love what you've done to yours...so far, just wheels, tires, sliders, and a "Rubi" lift for mine. Trying to resist more...trying...

Also, sweet motorcycle build!
 

jbzonda

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Looking good and some great ideas for my own Sting Grey Sport i just bought yesterday, cant wait to pick it up next week.
The Australian Sport comes with Uconnect 7.0" Display w/ Carplay as well as 9 speaker and subwoofer as standard, its a pity the US Sport doesnt come with these as standard, as i experienced myself on a recent trip to Hawaii where i drove a JL Sport. Look forward to seeing more progress.
 

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