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4x4tographer

"Oki": 4x4tographer's 2018 Jeep JLUR

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4 minutes ago, SonoranWanderer said:

 

This fact is lost on the far majority of Jeep owners. For being a brick on wheels, the Wrangler and Gladiator are both surprisingly curvy. The Jeep designers put a lot of effort into this. And this is why many (most?) aftermarket exterior parts (bumpers, sliders, etc...) bug me, the clash of hard angles and straight lines on what is a curvy body with, from the factory, not one hard edge to be found. It's like some dude wearing a brown sports coat with green pants.

 

Truth. During my install of the Teraflex Alpha HD Tailgate Reinforcement, I found that even the "flat tailgate" actually is curved as well.

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A quick 15min project this sunny Saturday. Added on a wind jammer screen behind the rear seats. This should help to cut down on the wind buffeting the kids when we're cruising with the top down.

 

This particular wind jammer by Rampage is designed to pair up with a cargo cover as well and has a zipper to mate the two together.

 

AM-JKLUICublRGZHkBzsGofIbIeS8A3f9dpmXIiw

AM-JKLUAGeo2UN2N9CDwaRgO36g2Hxe9TFeJGX32

AM-JKLVTIYvuFMI6rfobChzV_sCpdMAabZ3v0Mff

 

Edited by 4x4tographer
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Some recent progress updates:

 

Installed a Rusty's Offroad Xtreme Stubby Trail Bumper on the rear, ditching the big bulky factory bumper for something pretty "extreme" in the clearance department. 😆

 

AM-JKLX4x4SIrEEACS7OfttryDTdic3Ig3Jhb-VQ

AM-JKLVkZ0d_miNSaFPz_quyQ6k_Zl_oWYvWVnnx

AM-JKLUeAkVGmqYuiJe1_mlMXSU_boA32zjJzQlc

AM-JKLVyyfpi9y1CmBxQwqZlz6DZbOHL6FzmV398

 

Next up will be to install some corner guards from Rusty's Offroad to help protect the exposed sheet metal on the rear corners and clean up the look. I might install some Xpel film here and there to black out any of the red body work. Hoping to knock out that project some time this week.

 

 

Also did a little project with my wife's vinyl cutter, cutting out some fun "Balrog" decals for the hood in the original Rubicon font.

 

AM-JKLWH0kr2yfK6H55_CY3L6NIeG07fk1npj5eF

 

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Finished up the install of Rusty's Offroad rear corner guards to help protect the exposed tub and pinch seam. Drilling into the tub is not a fun process, but the overall install is very straightforward. Measure 6 times, drill once. 😅

 

The top row of bolts utilize nutserts as there is no way to access the backside of those panels. The lower row goes straight through the pinch seam. The biggest PITA in the process is getting your fingers around the backside of a few of the panels adjacent to the pinch seam to get the nuts on to the end of the bolts.

 

 

Drilling holes - an unnerving process. The top row of holes needed to be an oddball 25/64 for the supplied nutserts. Installing the nutserts was a breeze, thanks to a handy rivet/nutsert tool that @theksmith let me borrow (thanks man!!!)

 

I hit each hole with some automotive clear coat to help prevent the possibility of rust. In the future I might go back in lay down some Xpel film, just in case some sand or grit decides to make it behind the guards.

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Guards installed. Once you get the holes drilled and the nutserts installed, the rest of the process takes about 10 minutes.

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Completed booty shot:

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And of course: "It's always something!"

 

As I was reinstalling the bumper, the VERY LAST bolt was apparently booger'd up about 1/2 way through. It became fairly tight and I made the mistake of giving it a good uggadugga, snapping the frame nut off. The frame nuts on the rear bumper are apparently "pressed" into the bolt holes on the frame, with maybe a tack weld. Not exactly strong enough to stand up to rotational torque. This failed and now I've got 1 loose bolt on my passenger side bumper. 

 

There's no way to access the interior of the frame with the bumper mounted, and you can't take it off with a bolt still inserted (of course!) 

 

The solution seems to be to cut off the bolt head, push it into the frame, remove the bumper, and install a new bolt/nut. 

 

In the below photo, it's the top frame nut that snapped off of the frame.

 

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Now that I look at the image, there might be a small access opening on the left side of that frame rail, behind the crossmember. I'll have to crawl under the Jeep and take a look to see if I can get a pair of channel locks in there.

 

More to come!

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nice mods!

 

did you happen to weigh all the old stuff you took off versus the new stuff? my guess is you broke even or gained a couple pounds - but you have a much sturdier and higher-clearance booty now!

 

one question, i thought the guards/cover went all the way across the back - or am i looking at a different product on Rusty's site?

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Just now, theksmith said:

did you happen to weigh all the old stuff you took off versus the new stuff? my guess is you broke even or gained a couple pounds

 

Nah, I didn't weigh it - that's a good idea though. I'm thinking you're right about possibly gaining a few pounds. Since I've got the plastic factory bumper I'm sure it's negligible as compared to those folks out there with the OEM steel bumper. I had to remove 4 separate steel bumper brackets that were holding on the plastic bumper - probably to keep it from flapping in the wind on the highway 😄

 

 

 

8 minutes ago, theksmith said:

one question, i thought the guards/cover went all the way across the back - or am i looking at a different product on Rusty's site?

 

Good eye! Yes - it does come with a center piece. I opted not to install it since it required drilling another 5 holes into the tub and is more of an aesthetic piece than anything else. I figure the rear bumper covers up that area for the most part.

 

It doesn't bother me yet, but I might install it in the future.

 

 

11 minutes ago, theksmith said:

you have a much sturdier and higher-clearance booty now!

 

Totally happy with the clearance! Though I know I'll still need to be careful about keeping my corners from slamming down on any rocks. I'm sure that would crumple the tub like a soda can! I'm not much of a "crawler" though, so I can't see myself in that situation anytime soon!

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Posted (edited)

Nice little video on why a lot of JL owners are installing these. Really just the first 60 seconds or so.

 

 

Basically the OEM bumpers (both steel and plastic) have multiple brackets that support the bumper. They don't just bolt directly to the frame. The brakets bolt to the frame and the bumpers bolt to the brackets.

 

What happens is when you happen to come down on a rock, these brackets can flex and push into the body work. The bumper itself will also push into the tub, causing damage.

 

When selecting an aftermarket bumper for the JL (and I'm sure every other platform on the planet), it's important to look at how it's mounted (another video below - this is an excellent look at both OEM and aftermarket design issues). Even the aftermarket suppliers out there have some pretty big design flaws. A lot of people are installing corner guards preemptively to help protect the tub from their bumpers flexing into the bodywork.

 

It's always a "buy once, cry once" situation, really. The mass produced Chinese-made brands out there (pushed by companies like Quadratec, Extreme Terrain, and Amazon) have some potential design issues. For long-term, it might be better to make sure you do your homework and spend a little more on a better designed product.

 

 

Edited by 4x4tographer
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Your backside looks awesome, just saying

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12 minutes ago, johnpa said:

Your backside looks awesome, just saying


Coming from you, that means a lot to me John!

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