Build Thread with Reviews - 2015 JKU on 40's - The SantaCruzer - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-06-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Build Thread with Reviews - 2015 JKU on 40's - The SantaCruzer

Hey Guys - I'm going to use this as my build thread and will update it over time. Hopefully this thread can help some people out who are contemplating similar builds. I completed the first part of the build about a year ago.

My key objective for this build:

1) Simple and strong - I don't want to break stuff and get stranded with my family on the trail
2) Only build it once - I hate wasting money and re-upgrading stuff
3) Most importantly, I have to install everything myself. I want to know how everything works just in case I need to do trail fixes.


Here are the basic specs:

1) 2015 JKU Sport - No options except an auto and hard top. Why would I order one with options if I'm going to wheel it and replace everything?
2) Dana Ultimate 60 Axles front and rear with E-Lockers - 8 lug full float
3) 4" Teraflex Long Arm Kit - Originally purchased with Tera VSS Shocks
4) Atlas TransferCase - 4.3
5) Synergy Tie Rod and Drag Link
6) Front and Rear Tera Monster Track Bars
7) PSC Hydro assist Steering
8) Poison Spyder narrow aluminum fenders, BFH bumpers front and rear, RockerKnocker rocker guards ( body mounted )
9) 40" MTR tires on 17" Raceline Monster wheels
10) Warn 10K Zeon winch

And this sums it up for phase 1


Last edited by SantaCruz16; 05-06-2017 at 10:21 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-06-2017, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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I have very few regrets in my original choices. Now that I have 2 Moab trips and a year of wheeling on it, here is what I wish I would have done differently:

1) The Atlas 4.3 combined with 5.38's and an Auto is just too low to be useful on the trail. I would have preferred a 3.8 or 3.0 case.

2) Shocks - I blew out my Teraflex VSS shocks on my first Moab trip. I didn't think shocks were that big of a deal since I mainly crawl, however if you wheel in Moab much you'll find yourself on some very long dirt roads that are bumpy that will test your suspension. As I was exiting Golden Spike I was running my jeep pretty hard and I blew a seal on a front shock and oil went everywhere. It wasn't long after my other front shock died. I now run King 2.5's and it's like night and day when I'm running at higher speeds.

3) PSC Steering - I should have taken more time to get my steering perfect. My steering was plagued with leaks and slight binding from day 1. I should have taken the time to fab the right mounts the first time around and also really take my time with the hoses. ( more tips to follow ).

4) I initially purchased frame mounted sliders and started to cut them up to work with my long arms. After cutting them I realized I would have to do a lot of fabbing to make them work. I ended up buying body mounted sliders and they went on hassle free. I think they'll be plenty strong the way they mount up.

5) Rear BFH bumper - I have the 1st gen bumper without a receiver. I should have bought one with a receiver.

Those are the major items...not too bad if I say so myself.

Last edited by SantaCruz16; 05-07-2017 at 10:05 AM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-06-2017, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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So far I have 2K miles on the Ultimate Dana 60 axles and about 10 days of hard wheeling on 40's.



Pro's:

1) True full float - If I break a shaft I can remove it and limp out in 3 wheel drive.
2) E-lockers work quite nice. I don't have to deal with air lines
3) Strong housings - They won't bend
4) Perfect gear ratio with my 40's 5.29's
5) Width is perfect at 69"
6) Brakes kick ass
7) Pretty cheap considering what you get!
8) Brackets are beefy

Con's:

1) Not sure how trouble free the e-lockers will be over time?
2) Inner C's look less beefy then most true 1 ton C's
3) Brakes are so big you need to run 20 inch wheels or very little backspacing on 17's ( I run 3.75" on my 17's and I barely clear )
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaCruz16 View Post
3) Brakes are so big you need to run 20 inch wheels or very little backspacing on 17's ( I run 3.75" on my 17's and I barely clear )
Hmm, I am running 40'' tires (Toyos) on 17's with 4.5'' backspacing and have no problems with the UD60s.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 08:02 AM
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Are you sure about the 5.29 R&P gear ratio? Up until recently the UD60 only came in 5.38 or 4.88.

2012 JKUR w/ couple modifications
2002 BMW E46 M3
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaCruz16 View Post

3) PSC Steering - I should have taken more time to get my steering perfect. My steering was plagued with leaks and slight binding from day 1. I should have taken the time to fab the right mounts the first time around and also really take my time with the hoses. ( more tips to follow ).

Expand on this please.



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post #7 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannarun View Post
Are you sure about the 5.29 R&P gear ratio? Up until recently the UD60 only came in 5.38 or 4.88.
Whoops...fixed it. You're right. 5.38's
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviso View Post
Hmm, I am running 40'' tires (Toyos) on 17's with 4.5'' backspacing and have no problems with the UD60s.
Good point @Traviso . I should have mentioned that given the size of the brakes not all 17 inch wheels will fit. Each 17 inch wheel should be checked for clearance since some folks have issues. I personally would have liked to have run a 10 inch wide wheel with 5 inches of backspacing to put limit the leverage on my ball joints, etc. However, my wheel combo is working fine.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dkjeep View Post
Expand on this please.



Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
I'll start this by saying that my steering is absolutely perfect now. No binding lock to lock. No leaks. No heating issues with the fluid and both on road and off road manners are great. A few things that gave me some issues since I'd never installed hydro assist before:

1) My Synergy Mfg tie rod was "flopping" down due to the weight of the rod. This was happening as I would cycle the suspension and steer in the rocks. At certain points in the cycle the clamp on the tie rod ( for the ram ) would contact my diff cover. This wasn't something I picked up on when I cycled it at my house but found out once I was in the trail. The simple fix here is if you're running the Synergy Tie rod I think it's critical that you buy the mis-alignment bushings so the TR doesn't flop down, which will bring the whole rod closer to the diff. My bad, rookie mistake.

2) The Drag Link axle side bolt on the UD60 is very close to where the tabs for the ram assist should be welded. When I initially welded the tabs I kept about a 1/2" from the bolt. However, this caused the ram to be slightly lower than optimal at full lock and the ram would contact the TR ever so slightly ( some binding ). Again, I thought I had ample clearance but once I was on the trail and things were cycling I would get some contact with the ram and TR. I ended up re-doing the axle side mount, which only took a few hours and now I'm fine. Point here is you should be 100% sure you can cycle lock to lock and wheels up and down and check for clearance before you burn everything in.

3) Hoses - Unfortunately I have XL size hands and it's really hard for me to get my hands up near the steering box and tighten the hydro assist hoses. There are -an nipples on the box that the hoses attach onto. As I was trying to get the hoses on I was having a hard time getting them torqued to spec and clocked the right direction. I had leaks that I couldn't get rid of. I removed and re-installed them multiple times and I wasn't having good luck and its a complete pain to do this and bleed the system each time. Remedy: I went to my local hose shop and had some custom parker hoses made. Higher PSI rating and more durable than the hoses they supply you with. I removed the box and installed the box side hoses on my work bench and got them clocked perfectly and torqued to spec (1/3 turn past bottom out - per hose shop ). I then reinstalled the box with the hoses attached and it's been perfect since.

4) Check your o-ring on your box side high pressure line. Easy to put a new one on when you put the new box in.

5) Hose angles - It took me a while to figure out the optimal angles for all the hoses. Now they are 100% bind free during all my cycling. It's a tight fit with your DL, TB, etc. Again, this might be basic for some folks but I'd never done this before.

I keep my PSC stock hoses as trail spares.

Good Luck.
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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You can see in pic 3 that the TB hole is pretty close to the bracket. This is how I initially welded it up. It should have been intalled a bit higher but I was worried about clearance with the TB bolt. I've since removed the tabs and welded them up higher.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-07-2017, 11:48 AM
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Good info there, I'm going through the same. I noticed before it was too late about the tabs and the track bar bolt. I'm actually going to mill off one of the flats on the track bar bolt down the the shank of the bolt so I can raise the tabs as high as possible. That bolt is under more shear stress than tension stress so it should be fine.

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post #12 of 15 Old 05-08-2017, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaCruz16 View Post

My key objective for this build:

1) Simple and strong - I don't want to break stuff and get stranded with my family on the trail
2) Only build it once - I hate wasting money and re-upgrading stuff
I am about done with a very similar plan with similar logic! Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaCruz16 View Post
4) Atlas TransferCase - 4.3
Why not just swap in the Rubi case? Did you think this was/is worth the significant extra expense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaCruz16 View Post
6) Front and Rear Tera Monster Track Bars
How do you like these? Do you still have to disco for trail use? Did you consider and pro/con the other options (Anti-rock, Sway-lock, and the Tera adjustable one?)
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-08-2017, 04:16 PM
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Great and very helpful info. I am wrapping up my ton swap and run into some similar issues with steering. I was originally planning high steer, but no go unless I severely chopped the frame or relocated more stuff. I am running a straight tre setup and PSC, and was also having some issues with the RAM "folding" when completely turned to driver. I relocated a few things and re-tightened the ends and seems to have addressed the roll. I have very minor rubbing off the clamp on the fancy Ballistic skull logo, so that is getting shaved off a bit more


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post #14 of 15 Old 05-11-2017, 07:56 AM
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Nice updates, thanks for the info

I did something similar.

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post #15 of 15 Old 04-25-2018, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry Im not on this site much and I just saw this!

Yes, I think the Atlas is worth the extra $s if youre going through the hassle of swapping out a non rubicon case and youre going to run tons and 40s. Ive blown two output shafts in other jeeps ( 242 case ) and I had to replace the shaft both times myself. After my 2nd time tearing my case apart I told myself Id never wheel a chain driven chase hard again. I probably spend an extra $1,500 on my atlas vs. a rubi case. For me it was worth it. Plus, I only had to buy shafts once!

The track bars arent sway bars. My first Moab trip I went with no sway bars and I had crazy body roll. My 2nd Moab trip I installed currie anti rock bars front and rear. They work amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrockTT View Post
I am about done with a very similar plan with similar logic! Nice!



Why not just swap in the Rubi case? Did you think this was/is worth the significant extra expense?



How do you like these? Do you still have to disco for trail use? Did you consider and pro/con the other options (Anti-rock, Sway-lock, and the Tera adjustable one?)
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