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"Oki": 4x4tographer's 2018 Jeep JLUR

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On 10/18/2021 at 8:11 AM, 4x4tographer said:

Little side (repair) project this weekend. My RuggedRidge RRC "sliders" are pretty flexible, in addition to being frame mounted. Any motion in the ocean from the body of the Jeep, or flexing of the sliders is causing contact between any grit, mud, and rocks unfortunate enough to be caught between.




In a few places, we've worn down through the primer and to the sheet metal underneath.




Initially, my project idea was to remove the sliders, lay down a coat of clear coat to prevent rust, and then add a layer of Xpel Bed Rail/Rocker Guard Film over the top of the affected area.


Picked up a can of Duple-Color automotive clear coat and a roll of Xpel on The 'Zon.





Laid down some painter's tape and some trash bags to mask off the area we wanted to paint.




Visually, it's clear coat, so not much to show on that front. I laid down 3 coats of clear and let it dry overnight. It should take a few days to cure, based on the label.

While I was waiting, I freshened up the sliders a bit with a few hits of Rustoleum Bedliner spray - they had several areas of surface rust from previous scratches. Sanded down the rust and went to town.


I ended up NOT installing the Xpel film (yet). The bodywork is a little more complex than I first though, with 1 painted "overlapping" body panel (right of the above photo), and a body panel gap (left in above photo) that will take a little more finesse than I was prepared to summon this weekend.


Here's the "finished look". Looks pretty much the same.





I was able to adjust the rails away from the body, but if they take a big enough impact nothing will prevent it from pushing back to its original position closer to the rockers. There is about a 1" gap at the moment on both sides. The body of the JL is surprisingly not just straight lines. There are subtle curves on the rockers, rear hatch, etc... which become more noticeable when you set something straight right next to it.




The next project might be to attack the 3 years of Arizona Pin-striping I've collected since I bought the Jeep!




I'll have to ping theksmith and ask him about his buffing process since Gadget is always shiny! Our last exploratory run to visit the town of Packer was extremely brushy!


On 10/18/2021 at 8:33 AM, shellback91 said:

Looks good! My rails have just enough space to get enough little pebbles in there to annoy me. After a weekend like this last one I will be digging those out.  A wise man once said, "Mud, it's the herpes of the Jeep world", I tend to agree. 🤣 My neighbors are gonna be angry when they see the mud piles on my side yard, it was EVERYWHERE! 


I would also like to learn @theksmith's buffing process and compare to what I do. I need to go over mine again, my method seems to hide pinstripes until I am at a certain angle which is okay. If I do not want to see them I don't stand at that angle. 🙂


On 10/19/2021 at 9:11 AM, johnpa said:

Maybe we can make a deal with Kris's guy and get a bulk discount on buffing



just for you guys: 



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13 minutes ago, theksmith said:





just for you guys: 



Thanks dude, you rock! 🤘

Edited by shellback91
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Quick little project in the garage tonight - installing some Metalcloak Adjustable Bump Stops on the rear. Noticed some pretty consistent availability of up travel on the rear suspension - this should give us a little more sexy flexy. 


Here's a side by side comparison of the 3" bump stop extensions from Clayton Offroad that came with my 2.5" Overland+ lift. 





Top-down view of the Metalcloak extensions. You alternate sides A and B depending on your application and what side of the vehicle you're installing them on. 

In my case, I'm stacking 2 to get 2" of extension, about 1" less than the Claytons.





Here's the passenger side. Nothing too terribly exciting! 





While under the rear, I decided to go ahead and unplug the rear axle locker wiring harness from the differential. If you saw my earlier post, I'm working through an issue with a sensor failure related to the rear factory locker. Long story short, the sensor uses magnets to determine in the rear locker has engaged/disengaged when asked to, and displays the locker status on the EVIC. This sensor is failing for some Rubicon owners on both the JL and JT platforms.


The short term "fix" is to unplug the rear locker until you need it. This helps to stave off a jump from the early "locker engaged while you're driving on the highway in 2-High errors" to a full-blown SVC REAR LOCKER error. Once you hit this "next level error", you are prevented from engaging the rear locker by the Jeep's computer. By unplugging it until you need it, you help buy yourself some time since no electrical current is running through the sensor, potentially causing a short and total sensor failure.


There are quite a few reasons for the sensor failure - but the big two are:


  1. Oil and metal shaving intrusion into the sensor, causing interference/shorting
  2. Oil and metal shaving intrusion into the wiring harness plug, causing interference/shorting


In my particular case, I get notifications that the rear end is locked after I've been on the highway for a while. I'm assuming this is from the gear oil heating up, sloshing around, and causing some funny business inside of the sensor. If the Jeep has been sitting for a while, the error goes away. Presumably due to the oil cooling and draining out of the sensor.


So - all of that just to say - I unplugged the rear-end tonight and take a look at what I found!




Looks like the plug/socket assembly is seeping some gear oil, and is probably the cause of issues. Unfortunately, Jeep's solution to this problem is still to replace the entire rear Dana 44 axle, which is insanity.


I cleaned up the area, put a little electrical tape over the plug and socket to help keep the dust out on my day-to-day drive.

More to come on that particular issue!

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Michelle and I took the Jeep with us on our recent "Parents-only Camping Trip" just off of Schnebly Road near Munds Park over the weekend. 


Got to test out a new 4-tire inflator that @theksmith graciously helped me put together! Worked great and should help save some time when airing up. :) 



We took a short jaunt to see the Schnebly Hill vista.




Spent a little time in the woods with my Fuji as well.








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