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  #1  
Old 03-07-2016
theksmith's Avatar
theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Vehicle: 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
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Jeep Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
yes, i've finally joined in with the JK herd!

...and yes, Lafawnduh will be for sale in a few weeks once i get her shined up and in tip-top condition. i'll be selling her as a turn-key expo rig with everything intact except for my tools and the ham radio (nothing like starting completely fresh)!

without further adieu, here's the new 2016 Wrangler (JK) Unlimited Rubicon in Granite Pearl, the morning after we picked her up:



it happened the night that Brady and I came back from the Turkey Creek trip. Aimee and i went in to the dealership because we'd been talking about possibly getting one later in the year and we wanted to see #1, what was the cutoff date for ordering a 2016 before they changed over the assembly line for the new Wranglers? and #2, what exactly would the 1% below invoice price be (FCA affiliate program for Tread Lightly $100 members).

like any dealer, they wanted to sell us something on the lot - but it turned out they really did have exactly what we were looking for with only 1 extra option (upgraded sound system). after a little haggling, we had the price below what the affiliate program would have given us if we ordered one and soon we were signing our lives away. it turns out that was Aimee's plan all along - a huge THANK YOU to her for making this possible!


the real test drive...

3 days later was my birthday, so i took a couple hours to run Camp Creek Wash, trying out all the shiny new buttons and levers and letting that new car smell mix with some desert dust!



i didn't even air down, but hey that push-button sway bar disconnect is kinda neat


plans & why?

this will be an epicly slow build thread. i will lift her eventually, but nothing much is happening for a while as we recover from the down-payment.

i know i'm going to get a lot of "WHY WOULD YOU SELL YOUR HEAVILY MODDED WJ FOR A JK?" - let me just say i want to refocus on my career and so having a vehicle that doesn't consume as much of my time but can still do 75% of the trails i enjoy makes sense right now...

as a used vehicle, the WJ of course requires a little more maintenance, but moreover it's always been a custom project vehicle. for example, there are only 3 or 4 production tire-carriers for the WJ, none of which i love - but for the JK there are probably 25+ variations available. i will miss the uniqueness of Lafawnduh, and one day i may have a really custom rig again (SAS'd 4 door Taco maybe?).

of course i'll still be doing some custom projects, and trying to "make it mine" - but those will be mostly little afternoon endeavors instead of major fab work - at least that's the plan for now!

Last edited by theksmith; 03-07-2016 at 10:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2016
theksmith's Avatar
theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Vehicle: 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
reserved for current photos...

this post has the major mods listed for those with no patience to read through an entire thread!


03/2016 - debadged:




04/2016 - comms and accessory wiring/switch-panel in place:




05/2016 - 2.5" budget boost:




08/2016 - stubby bumper caps:




10/2016 - fridge, rear storage/organization, and tailgate table all completed:




01/2017 - sleeping platform complete:




02/2017 - rock lights:




04/2017 - on board air:




07/2017 - Pioneer 4200NEX stereo & trail cameras:




07/2017 - she has a name now: Gadget!




08/2017 - Teraflex 3" short arm lift:




01/2018 - Garvin Wilderness rock rails, Teraflex diff covers, Rock Hard evap canister relocation, sway-bar motor flip:




02/2018 - 315/70-R17 Cooper Discoverer STT Pro's, black lug nuts, 1.25" Teraflex wheels spacers:




03/2018 - front lower coil retainers, OME front 10mm passenger coil spacer, Teraflex VSS steering stabilizer, Barnes 4WD heavy duty crossmember, Uniden CMX760 CB:






03/2018 - Expedition One Geri water container & fabbed custom bracket:




05/2018 - BOLT hood lock:




05/2018 - removed exhaust spacers, replaced with Dynomax/Tenneco mid-pipe:




08/2018 - left cylinder head replaced under warranty, removed engine plastic cover & all foam insulation around intake manifold:


Last edited by theksmith; 6 Days Ago at 03:57 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2016
theksmith's Avatar
theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Vehicle: 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
mod #1, debadge!

cost: free!

as with every vehicle i've owned, step one was to debadge it - i did leave the RUBICON stickers on the hood a couple days, but finally decided they needed to go as well



ScottL got the "Trail Rated" badge and put it to good use...
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2016
Ladybug Ladybug is offline
(Karen) (KG7UHP)
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
WOW and Holy Hare!!!
Many Congrats!!! Sure is a nice looking Jeep!
smiles, ladybug
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2016
theksmith's Avatar
theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Vehicle: 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
Originally Posted by Ladybug View Post
WOW and Holy Hare!!!
Many Congrats!!! Sure is a nice looking Jeep!
smiles, ladybug
thanks Karen! see you on the scenic runs
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2016
ob1jeeper ob1jeeper is offline
(Steve) (KG7EWF)
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
Lookin' GOOD Kris... Congrats...

And don't think you have to stop Jeeping, just because you might scratch it a bit more than LaFawnduh... It's still a Jeep...
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Old 03-07-2016
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dzJeepChic dzJeepChic is offline
(Diane) (KD7JPC)
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
Congratulations on your new baby! Just like back when we were all newbies, you'll be amazed where a stock Jeep can take you, remember? I think it's a beautiful rig albeit name-less as yet.
__________________
My '92 XJ Clifford
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Old 03-07-2016
ob1jeeper ob1jeeper is offline
(Steve) (KG7EWF)
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
Originally Posted by dzJeepChic View Post
Congratulations on your new baby! Just like back when we were all newbies, you'll be amazed where a stock Jeep can take you, remember? I think it's a beautiful rig albeit name-less as yet.
How about "Kristal-Klear" Or Kristal Pearl .
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2016
theksmith's Avatar
theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Default Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
Originally Posted by ob1jeeper View Post
Lookin' GOOD Kris... Congrats...

And don't think you have to stop Jeeping, just because you might scratch it a bit more than LaFawnduh... It's still a Jeep...
yup, the first major gouge or ding is gonna hurt - but it IS a Jeep and we bought it to WHEEL!


Originally Posted by dzJeepChic View Post
Congratulations on your new baby! Just like back when we were all newbies, you'll be amazed where a stock Jeep can take you, remember? I think it's a beautiful rig albeit name-less as yet.
i do remember! i wheeled Lafawnduh several times with street tires and no lift... i was really surprised what the limited slip diffs could do.

over the past few years we've been on runs with a lot of stock (or near stock) JK's and i've always been impressed at what they can handle. even the non-Rubicon editions are extremely capable thanks to the traction control.

IMO, breakover angle is the biggest limitation this one has as it came from the factory. for my first wheeling mods i've ordered a steering stabilizer relocation bracket, and i need to figure out which engine/tranny skid to get (the pans are pretty unprotected even on the Rubicon).
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Old 03-07-2016
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theksmith theksmith is offline
(Kristoffer) (K1KRS)
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Lightbulb Re: Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
mod #2, let there be (interior) light!

i had some extra LED's already on hand to replace the main interior lighting. the stock bulbs were pretty dim incandescents, so this made a huge difference.

the main (front) light uses (2) 912 bulbs (or any T10 base, i.e. 921 or 194): ~$16
the cargo area is a 578 (42mm festoon): ~$12

the ones i used did not flicker or cause any weirdness as they fade out, probably best to get "error free" or "can bus" compatible ones to be sure.




silly engineers (map lights)

the rearview mirror based map lights already use LEDs, but the silly Jeep engineers decided to use really warm (yellow) LEDs to match the halogen bulbs! having 2 different color temperature lights certainly wouldn't do! however, i wasn't eager to de-solder and replace the tiny SMD chips and i read about another person who did but it didn't work as he used replacements that drew too much current...

i was thinking i could use a photography gel to tint the light, but then saw someone else online just glued in glass beads to accomplish the same thing. i went red to preserve night vision with the first try:







however i didn't really like how that looked...



all of the instruments use the Chrysler signature blue-green color, and the JK even has matching little lights in the cup-holders. i decided that would look nicer and still be ok on a pitch-black night since the map-lights were already pretty dim. i couldn't find the exact color for beads, but used some teal-ish ones and piece of translucent blue-green plastic keychain to get the color pretty close.



i like how they project out into your lap from under the mirror instead of shining straight down - nice job on that part Jeep!



cost for this was ~$12 since i tried a few different bead colors.


if you thought that last step was getting carried away... (footwell lights)

so the footwell lights are also custom SMD LEDs in a very warm tint - who knows why FCA didn't just use a standard socket with an LED bulb. however, you can replace them with color changing lights from Mopar for ~$320!!! i of course just replaced the little custom LED boards with some cheap ones of my own...

here's one of the factory footwell light modules, each side has a single module held in by 1 screw:



but wait - why is there a light facing forward and one facing down? the downward ones are the standard ones that come on when you open the doors or turn the dimmer all the way up. but it turns out the ones facing forward are reeeeeally dim lights that only come on at night (when the headlights or running lights are on). you can barely even notice these with typical city light pollution. i guess Jeep has you covered if you forget where your toes are!

i wanted to replace the "toenail lights" with that blue-green color i mentioned earlier. so i really geeked out and instead of using some sort of tinting medium, i had some RGB leds on hand and soldered up a couple custom versions of those with just the right amount of blue and green intensities to match the factory instruments and cup holders.





those resistor values made it about the same brightness as factory, only now in the tealish color. i may replace them with some lower resistance values to brighten the lights, but i want to see outside the city on a dark night if "toenail lights" are annoying first as-is.

this would have been about $14 in components but i already had everything on hand in my electronics stash.

here's how they came out:




for the main footwell lights i used some stick-on surface mount LED's from Oznium that i knew were very bright. these are ~$3.50 each and ready for 12v without any added resistors.



i cut out the old modules and soldered these into the factory wiring, then just stuck them on the bottom of the little plastic housing (one LED per footwell). i always use rubbing alcohol to prep anywhere that i try to use that 3M double sided adhesive on and for the most part i've always had it stay "stuck" even with the wide temperature variations a car experiences.



they are indeed plenty bright and match the new overhead LEDs now too.

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