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4x4tographer

4x4tographer's 2018 Jeep JLUR

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Posted (edited)

Welp, I've never done one of these ongoing logs on my vehicles before, so it's high time I get to it! Seems like a fun way to chronicle progress and the transformation of the Jeep.

 

Here's my brand-spanking new and bone stock 2018 Jeep JLU Rubicon on its very first trip off road on the Backway to CK in December 2018.

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Here it is, present day (October 2019):

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Edited by 4x4tographer

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First mod - Rugged Ridge's rocker guards for some better protection. Unfortunately, I'm a little disappointed in the design due to the use a very exposed u-bolts that hold on the fronts of the rails on each side. A well placed rock can bend them beyond recognition. I likely upgrade sometime in the future to something that mounts to the body bolts or the factory rail mounting points on the pinch seams.

 

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A little cosmetic upgrade on the fender indicators. :) The LED package for the JL is crazy expensive. Going aftermarket saved a boatload of cash.

These are Morimoto sequential indicators and side markers.

 

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67designs makes a fantastic rail system for the dashboards of many vehicles. Its modular, allowing multiple different attachment types that can slide along the rail until you're happy with placement. It'll support a variety of devices all the way up to an iPad mini. The phone clamp is rock solid. I've since added on their GoPro mount.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm a complete noob when it comes to a lot of the stuff related to modifying a Jeep. I was amazed at how simple it was to install a new stubby bumper, solo, with just some hand tools. Went with a GoRhino Rockline Stubby bumper due to the really low, but protected lighting option. I also love the look and how much it opens up the wheel wells.

 

While we were at it, installed a Quadratec Q-Series Stealth winch, a 10k model, with synthetic rope and a Factor55 thimble for a closed system set up.

 

The lighting I was able to carry over from my 2015 Cherokee KL Trailhawk - a pair of Rigid lights in Amber and my fogs.

 

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That push-button sway-bar disconnect motor is awfully exposed - I'm really glad I pick up a skid plate for it!

 

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side profile

 

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Test fitting everything before mating it up.

 

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Edited by 4x4tographer

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Was looking for a platform for mounting my remaining lighting from my previous Cherokee and a way to mount my CB antenna over the cowl area. From what I've read, this is the best location for an optimal CB setup on a Wrangler due to the metal hood serving as a plane for the antenna, as opposed to mounting it rearward on a tire carrier. Grounding was easy too with a short strap. My one concern is it getting snagged on a tree, but a quick disconnect solves that.

 

The cowl mount I ended up with came from Diode Dynamics. It provides a TON of flexibility for mounting up to 3 lights on each cowl, plus my CB antenna. I set up a pair of forward facing hyper spots for some distance lighting and a pair of "scene lights" as ditch lights.

 

The antenna is a 2ft Firestik paired to a Uniden CB.IMG_2635.thumb.jpeg.0456a2a77409be323d2a8da643312836.jpegIMG_2637.thumb.jpeg.3cee34c3bba08a0563399ec937ffffe7.jpegIMG_2639.thumb.jpeg.770c28de17a83b61d68aed0433ba5326.jpeg

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Having a soft top, I'm a little paranoid about keeping any common gear in the Jeep. Found this pretty slick Tuffy storage lockbox that mounts to the tailgate and doubles as a small table.

 

Install took all of 20 minutes.

 

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Headlights! Picked up these new-to-market JW Speaker "dual burn" LED headlights. I'm digging the darker look, and the fact that in "high beam mode", all of the headlight optics are lit, producing some pretty incredible light on the road.

 

I'm not terrible happy with the fit and finish of Quadratec's headlight mounts though. There's a good 1/4" to 1/2" gap all around each housing. Unfortunately, there are very few adapters on the market at this time. I'll upgrade sometime in the future.

 

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Don't mind all of the smashed bugs!

 

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Armor up!

 

Metalcloak's pricing and products are pretty tough to beat. That and:

 

austin powers love GIF

 

Installed their complete Undercloak system, rear differential skid, and CAD skid. Additionally, I installed their steering stabilizer relocation bracket, bringing it above the tie rod some some increased clearance and protection. The kit came with one of their Rocksport stabilizers, which I replaced the factory one with. Good thing too - the factory stabilizer ended up on a massive nationwide recall and mine was one of the ones affected.

 

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For the 2019 Annual ORP Event, the family was interested in trying out that RV life. Fortunately I have the towing package, but have to dive down that deep rabbit hole into towing accessories, "how to, what to, why to", brake controllers, and safe towing practices.

 

Ended up with a Husky weight distribution hitch and a Tekonsha P3 brake controller. We towed this 2013 R-POD (2,300lbs dry) from Peoria up to 7,000ft on the Mogollon rim without so much as a problem with the Jeep.

 

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