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'08 JEEP JKU rubicon - build thread

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I have been a member for awhile. I have not contributed much at all. I have been watching mainly. i must say this is a great community. I feel safe to make a build thread here as I feel people will provide info to help and it may help others.

 

First choice of vehicle. I wanted a v-8 so I started exploring a WJ. this is a great vehicle and is very capable and you can get the v-8. after I started I aborted it for no other reason other than the time commitment to build as alot of the parts you have to build yourself and you need to put better axles under eventually. plus for my goals for offroad capability the vehicle would not fit in my garage. rather than modifying the garage (I seriousley had started drawing up plans) I decided to explore a different vehicle.

 

that prompted the purchase of a jeep JKU Rubicon. before I bought the jeep i made a lift kit purchase. it was a used 4" lift teraflex lift 8 adjustable arms and monster track bars. then I found the jeep. here it is stock.

 

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then I put steps on that bolt to the frame. I can jack the vehicle up on these no worrys.

 

 

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the biggest drawback in a JKU is break-over clearence. I seemed to get hung up on everything. far more trouble than the WJ and XJ i have had. a regular JK wrangler (2 door) would not have near the issues that I did.

 

so next we did front axle strengthening and the lift install with wheels. the wheels are Mickey Thompson classic II with 33" rubber. good rubber but I want 37"s. the lift was said to be made for that max tire size. one thing I know is that when I got one tire size is that I always want to go bigger on previous vehicles. so the plan was to get the biggest I could get. that way I would save money in the long run...... I was wrong. you will see why soon enough.

 

here is a jeep I saw with envy.... :P

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so the axle build and lift....

 

drain oil and pull the shafts. blow out axle tubes to start. then wire brush the rust away at the end of the tubes and test fit chromoly sleeves. if your thinking of beefier shafts then you may want to consider exo beefing up the tubes. kits are available to do that. this will allow heavier thicker shafts. I have been told it is a problem later on. I am ok with the inner sleeve design.

 

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Drill holes in tubes. Tip - when drilling metal drill slow and use cutting oil for drilling and a good quality bit. we drilled pilot holes then went bigger. drill top bottom and on the sides where ever possible. then just weld to fill the holes back up. weld the end and done. make sure your not up against the diff seals to much to interfere with sealing.

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then weld on gussets. I used EVO reinforcement kit. nice stuff. you can see one top gusset here.

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finished job and painted

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lower control arm skid from the front and a pic from the side

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putting in the lift....

front

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comparing stock shocks to the 6"lift shocks from terraflex.

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I recommend 6" lift shocks. you have to tweak the suspension to make use of them. I have the bumpstomps cut to use these fully on the compression stroke. the swaybar links have to be disconnected or extended. I will extend mine as I like the swaybar controll maintained in the rear and limit to suspension articulation to be provided buy the sway bar links vs the shocks. Just IMO that is.

 

rear suspension

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also seen here is the beefy aluminum muffler skid plate. it is painted black.

 

other pics....

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aluminium skid plate and various parts reconditioned.

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Mickey thompson classic II 17x9 wheels 3.75 back spacing wrapped with 33" tires.

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Diff covers... solid axle diff covers are a great value. only thing I dont like is that you have to measure your fluid as you fill as the oil fill plug is raised for more extreme pinion angles.

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had bumpers sand blasted. then I primed and covered with truck box liner using spray cans. love it. get a scratch from the trail, then just respray the area. cant even tell.

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KC lights and Superwinch EPi9 9,000lbs winch

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well need bigger tires IMO....LOL

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done... before tires.... yeah yeah we are never done.....

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So 37" tires came and were installed. as you will see I needed to trim from bumper.

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so the plasma cutter came out. then just touched it up... easy

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so my problem going with 37" tires was that although the lift was made for it the bumbers were not. mainly the front bumper.

 

more to come.

- headlamp upgrade

- communications ... the cb radio

- interior mods

- miscelaneous offroad pics

- maybe that WJ I had

- the wish list! yeah that never ends.....

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sweet!

 

those steps do look very functional and beefy.

 

have you had any mechanical issues with it? do you have to use a block heater up there when it gets really cold?

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sweet!

 

those steps do look very functional and beefy.

 

have you had any mechanical issues with it? do you have to use a block heater up there when it gets really cold?

 

The steps a simple and beefy. the bumpers, steps and 5 aluminium skids plates are made by ASFIR.

 

Mechanical issues I have had with my jeep is the occasional unexplained, unable to diagnose, over heating issue. happens in summer, winter, highway, in city driving, wont happen again for over 2500kms. very very odd.

other than that - NONE. very happy.

 

block heater gets used alot in dec jan feb. we dip down to -4f (-20c) alot and that is when I start to use it. I have synthetic oil so not plugged in is not a big deal. we get as cold as -22f (-30c) commonly but can get as cold as -49f (-45c). that is not including wind chill people. although with the understanding of how wind chill works then you would know vehicles do not recognize windchill.

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miscellaneous offroad pics.....

 

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<embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf" flashvars="file=http%3A%2F%2Fvid1203.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fbb392%2Fasphaltassault204%2FInverness%2520falls%2520Power%2520line%2520trail%2FVID-20111023-00008.mp4">

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Awesome rig, thank you for sharing.

 

BTW, you should take that first photo of you on the bridge and submit it for a photo contest or calendar!

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It's a very nice looking rig! I didn't see that you regeared it, so I'm curious how it's running on 37s? They look awesome on it, btw!

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miscellaneous offroad pics.....

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awesome.

in the lower 48 states you have to pay for a bear encounter like this.. i think i see at least another one if not two roaming around in the distance. this guy right here looks hungry.

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It's a very nice looking rig! I didn't see that you regeared it, so I'm curious how it's running on 37s? They look awesome on it, btw!

 

Well there is a story for this. basically I had planned for three stages for upgrading the jeep. bumpers, skid plates. Lift. wheels tires and regear.

 

well those plans went out the window when a friend of mine bought a SEMA vehicle which was an '07 Jeep. he took off the lift, then sold it to me. then the decided the jeep was not for him and was selling it. so he sold the other parts to me. most of the parts you see here are used! so as part of the deal I had to give him my stock wheels with tires, and then give him back the tires on the MT classic II. so I bought 37's. no room to pay for the regear yet.

 

It is not great but on the highway I just take it out of OD and I am ok. going with 5.13's when I can

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awesome.

in the lower 48 states you have to pay for a bear encounter like this.. i think i see at least another one if not two roaming around in the distance. this guy right here looks hungry.

 

LOL well we were in south dakota for this guy plus his many friends. we PAID to see him. $50 at BearCountry USA very close to rapid city. LOL good call. but I have seen black bears, deer, beaver, moose, fox, rabbits, etc for free of charge other than spending gas to see them on many of our 4x4 excursions. when camping we tie our coolers up into a tree so that bears cant get it and do not attempt to get into the jeeps while we are sleeping... would be a rude awakening to say the least!

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some recent new years day snow wheeling. we dont have much in the way of snow right now and the temperatures have been unseasonaly high too.

 

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found a warm up shack supplied with wood and match's. good to get some lunch with family and friends.

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even an out house! yay!! no seat warmer though, .... BOOOOO! LOL

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My friends Excursion 4" lift and 33"s, he has 35's too on another set of wheels.

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