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"Oki": 4x4tographer's 2018 Jeep JLUR

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Wrapped up another smaller project related to adding some power to the rear of the Jeep. 

 

  • Ran 8 gauge power from the battery to the rear
  • Added a fused power distribution circuit
  • Upgraded connectors from the standard 12v cigarette plugs to some Anderson PowerPole connectors
  • Added a hard mount ground point

 

While the JL has a 12v outlet in the rear, the wiring is very thin and can't carry a lot of current. I need to be able to run my fridge back there, while also running some higher amperage items, like my RoadPro portable 12v oven without burning up the factory wiring. 

 

Here's a shot of the power circuit from Blue Sea. It will support up to 100 amps, which is overkill for my use. For the moment, I have it zip tied to a molle panel from Molle Panel Solutions that I already had. Eventually I'll relocate it somewhere more permanent. 

 

AP1GczOeW7eYR2cJ3khQQwloTSNIwtJZ-82dVAzA

 

Power runs down the driver's side trim and pops out at the grommet designed for the Jeep's hard top wiring and washer tubing. There's a ton of slack at the moment as I'm not entire sure where I want this thing to permanently live. 

 

AP1GczPx2jGXVX70RTW_ywosc_WlvzkxoOXbvWFW

 

An 8 gauge ground is run to a nutsert/rivetnut I installed in a panel with a gap behind it. Just needed to unsnap the carpet and peel it back a few inches. Got this idea from @theksmith who did something similar on his rig for his fancy new house battery solution. It's a nice durable grounding solution.

 

AP1GczPzIXvZKKNmovjAx1pj5wSs3zZp_2DvJuJU

 

Here's a photo of the Anderson PowerPole connectors I wired in. I replaced the 12v connectors on my RoadPro oven and my fridge with matching powerpole connectors. These are MUCH more secure than the 12v connectors which can be a little finicky and tend to unplug themselves on washboard roads. To plug anything it, I just need to reach behind the driver's side rear seat. 

 

With the Blue Sea circuit, I've got space for up to 6 total connectors/devices in the rear of the Jeep now. 

 

AP1GczPqKASfa7yTqxMsoNIdnPE65EyyYIBdZ0jZ

 

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On 4/20/2024 at 5:16 PM, 4x4tographer said:

Wrapped up another smaller project related to adding some power to the rear of the Jeep. 

 

  • Ran 8 gauge power from the battery to the rear
  • Added a fused power distribution circuit
  • Upgraded connectors from the standard 12v cigarette plugs to some Anderson PowerPole connectors
  • Added a hard mount ground point

 

While the JL has a 12v outlet in the rear, the wiring is very thin and can't carry a lot of current. I need to be able to run my fridge back there, while also running some higher amperage items, like my RoadPro portable 12v oven without burning up the factory wiring. 

 

Here's a shot of the power circuit from Blue Sea. It will support up to 100 amps, which is overkill for my use. For the moment, I have it zip tied to a molle panel from Molle Panel Solutions that I already had. Eventually I'll relocate it somewhere more permanent. 

 

AP1GczOeW7eYR2cJ3khQQwloTSNIwtJZ-82dVAzA

 

Power runs down the driver's side trim and pops out at the grommet designed for the Jeep's hard top wiring and washer tubing. There's a ton of slack at the moment as I'm not entire sure where I want this thing to permanently live. 

 

AP1GczPx2jGXVX70RTW_ywosc_WlvzkxoOXbvWFW

 

An 8 gauge ground is run to a nutsert/rivetnut I installed in a panel with a gap behind it. Just needed to unsnap the carpet and peel it back a few inches. Got this idea from @theksmith who did something similar on his rig for his fancy new house battery solution. It's a nice durable grounding solution.

 

AP1GczPzIXvZKKNmovjAx1pj5wSs3zZp_2DvJuJU

 

Here's a photo of the Anderson PowerPole connectors I wired in. I replaced the 12v connectors on my RoadPro oven and my fridge with matching powerpole connectors. These are MUCH more secure than the 12v connectors which can be a little finicky and tend to unplug themselves on washboard roads. To plug anything it, I just need to reach behind the driver's side rear seat. 

 

With the Blue Sea circuit, I've got space for up to 6 total connectors/devices in the rear of the Jeep now. 

 

AP1GczPqKASfa7yTqxMsoNIdnPE65EyyYIBdZ0jZ

 

That’s awesome. Been looking at multiple ideas to run power to the rear of the Jeep so I can run my fridge and not use the 12V plug in the center console 

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On 10/21/2023 at 4:24 PM, 4x4tographer said:

Oil - The 3.6L consumed about 1/2 quart of oil since the last change 5,400 miles ago. Still using Mobil1 Extended Performance 0w20.

 

......and so it begins.......😡

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On 5/4/2024 at 3:36 PM, OnPointOffroad said:

 

......and so it begins.......😡

 

We'll see! I'm about to do my first oil change since the oil cooler was replaced. I'm hopeful there won't be as much oil loss this time around. Dip stick measurements have been spot on ever since. 

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Seems like upgrade central around here as I get prepped for the Rubicon later this year. 

 

A more "long term liveability" upgrade was a new Mopar OEM hard top. After 6 years of ownership, and with the dawn of permanent work from home, I don't drive the Jeep as often as I used to and rarely have the top down on the Jeep. 

 

I've been trying to up my game in terms of interior storage and a lot the solutions I've been exploring (shelves, molle panels, etc) are all restricted by the inner mechanics of the soft top. The hard top really opens up some more options to maximize that unused space around the C-pillars and above the rear deck. Additionally, getting into the rear of the Jeep is a heck of a lot easier with a lift gate, as opposed to needing to unfasten the soft top every time I open the rear. 

 

Finding a hard top has been a bit of a chore, as they are constantly on backorder. Most retail sites, like Northridge and Quadratec, have 6mo backorders on them. I was able to work with Joe @ @OnPointOffroad to order one through one of his suppliers with delivery to the shop. From order to delivery it was only 28 days! WAY faster than I thought it'd be.

 

I pre-stripped the soft top components and then rolled over to Joe's, where he graciously let me use a little space in the shop to install the top's latching hardware. The crew there helped me lift the top up and into position (WAAAAAAY lighter than the JK hard tops), and away we went!

 

AP1GczN19Nl7cXQ8kGQ3f6bytPwclL_c649oogTh

AP1GczO5zqtcqAgz20wvA4hO7qtaF0En60DL1zrS

 

The difference in ride quality is pretty major - much quieter than the soft top. I'm also looking forward to the extra A/C comfort during the summer scorchers this year!

 

Just 2 days later I headed out for the Hole in the Rock overland trip, where it rained like cats and dogs two of the three nights. Zero leaks! And I stayed nice a cozy. 

 

AP1GczNTV2ue61_G-RBhY121SHxLnH7TIIHkVDOC

 

The Premium Twill Soft Top has been great all this time. It's proven to be extremely durable and has put up with numerous scratches from tight trails, low tree branches, an encounter with a rock wall squeeze on Smasher Canyon, and even being hit by a drunk SxS driver on the Backway to CK. 😁 My only "serious" damage to the top was a puncture by a pointy tree branch that I backed into that pierced a hole in the rear window. I've had some tape over it for about 2 years. 

 

All this time I've had minimal issue with it. My only real complaint is the related to the stitching coming loose around the bottom left and right sides of the rear window panel from repeated openings/closings over 6 years (probably well into the THOUSANDS of cycles). My only other complaint is how "tight" it gets in the winter cold when the material shrinks a bit - it can make it difficult to get into the rear or stretch it for a secure close - but that's just the nature of soft top life! 

 

AP1GczMjcuyEtBu2op-wPEkOduCqxCMeBdYMHfxY

 

I love the functionality of the soft top - it's EASY to drop the top on a whim. I can have the three rear windows removed and the top fully retracted in just a few short minutes. The track system Jeep devised for it with air struts makes flipping the top back a 1 handed operation, with a second handle making retracting the roof into the boot a breeze. 

 

I also like the multi-functional "modes" you can put the top into. You can run with the full top, just the front flipped back, the front flipped with the rear panels removed, "bikini mode" with just the rear panels removed, and of course, fully retracted. I've never had any issues at highway speeds in any of these "modes".

 

AP1GczMhncPdL4q9PlZcijHfsExo1UfQ3-36WhaB

 

For the moment, I'm holding on to the soft top. I just need to give it a good, respectable cleaning, and find a good way to store it in the garage. 

 

Until then - I'm loving the utility, quiet, and "coolness" of hard top life!

 

AP1GczO2gEPNWqrcA9Tri5VC2_f_1JPEXP3REYLC

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22 hours ago, 4x4tographer said:

Seems like upgrade central around here as I get prepped for the Rubicon later this year. 

 

A more "long term liveability" upgrade was a new Mopar OEM hard top. After 6 years of ownership, and with the dawn of permanent work from home, I don't drive the Jeep as often as I used to and rarely have the top down on the Jeep. 

 

I've been trying to up my game in terms of interior storage and a lot the solutions I've been exploring (shelves, molle panels, etc) are all restricted by the inner mechanics of the soft top. The hard top really opens up some more options to maximize that unused space around the C-pillars and above the rear deck. Additionally, getting into the rear of the Jeep is a heck of a lot easier with a lift gate, as opposed to needing to unfasten the soft top every time I open the rear. 

 

Finding a hard top has been a bit of a chore, as they are constantly on backorder. Most retail sites, like Northridge and Quadratec, have 6mo backorders on them. I was able to work with Joe @ @OnPointOffroad to order one through one of his suppliers with delivery to the shop. From order to delivery it was only 28 days! WAY faster than I thought it'd be.

 

I pre-stripped the soft top components and then rolled over to Joe's, where he graciously let me use a little space in the shop to install the top's latching hardware. The crew there helped me lift the top up and into position (WAAAAAAY lighter than the JK hard tops), and away we went!

 

AP1GczN19Nl7cXQ8kGQ3f6bytPwclL_c649oogTh

AP1GczO5zqtcqAgz20wvA4hO7qtaF0En60DL1zrS

 

The difference in ride quality is pretty major - much quieter than the soft top. I'm also looking forward to the extra A/C comfort during the summer scorchers this year!

 

Just 2 days later I headed out for the Hole in the Rock overland trip, where it rained like cats and dogs two of the three nights. Zero leaks! And I stayed nice a cozy. 

 

AP1GczNTV2ue61_G-RBhY121SHxLnH7TIIHkVDOC

 

The Premium Twill Soft Top has been great all this time. It's proven to be extremely durable and has put up with numerous scratches from tight trails, low tree branches, an encounter with a rock wall squeeze on Smasher Canyon, and even being hit by a drunk SxS driver on the Backway to CK. 😁 My only "serious" damage to the top was a puncture by a pointy tree branch that I backed into that pierced a hole in the rear window. I've had some tape over it for about 2 years. 

 

All this time I've had minimal issue with it. My only real complaint is the related to the stitching coming loose around the bottom left and right sides of the rear window panel from repeated openings/closings over 6 years (probably well into the THOUSANDS of cycles). My only other complaint is how "tight" it gets in the winter cold when the material shrinks a bit - it can make it difficult to get into the rear or stretch it for a secure close - but that's just the nature of soft top life! 

 

AP1GczMjcuyEtBu2op-wPEkOduCqxCMeBdYMHfxY

 

I love the functionality of the soft top - it's EASY to drop the top on a whim. I can have the three rear windows removed and the top fully retracted in just a few short minutes. The track system Jeep devised for it with air struts makes flipping the top back a 1 handed operation, with a second handle making retracting the roof into the boot a breeze. 

 

I also like the multi-functional "modes" you can put the top into. You can run with the full top, just the front flipped back, the front flipped with the rear panels removed, "bikini mode" with just the rear panels removed, and of course, fully retracted. I've never had any issues at highway speeds in any of these "modes".

 

AP1GczMhncPdL4q9PlZcijHfsExo1UfQ3-36WhaB

 

For the moment, I'm holding on to the soft top. I just need to give it a good, respectable cleaning, and find a good way to store it in the garage. 

 

Until then - I'm loving the utility, quiet, and "coolness" of hard top life!

 

AP1GczO2gEPNWqrcA9Tri5VC2_f_1JPEXP3REYLC

Very nice! If you haven't looked into Hothead Headliners yet I highly recommend it. They help some in the summertime and do quiet things down a little.  To borrow a phrase, YMMV. 🙂

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19 minutes ago, shellback91 said:

Very nice! If you haven't looked into Hothead Headliners yet I highly recommend it. They help some in the summertime and do quiet things down a little.  To borrow a phrase, YMMV. 🙂

 

Those are on my wish list! Heard nothing put good things about them.

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On 5/7/2024 at 7:33 PM, 4x4tographer said:

 

Those are on my wish list! Heard nothing put good things about them.

A light scuffing of the top surface, then a coating (or 2) of white elastomeric roofing paint will help lower interior temps in the summer by a great deal.   Worked wonders for Karen's TJL...   ;)

 

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