Just another Daily Driver Build Thread - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Just another Daily Driver Build Thread

I’ve decided to start this thread to chronically my upcoming modification to my Jeep JKU. You see I’m pretty damn sure I’ve gotten myself in way over my head, and finding my way out will probably be fairly entertaining and possibly entertaining for anyone other than me. More on that later, let’s start at the beginning...

March 30th, 2013:

My recent relocation to Myrtle Beach, SC had found me questioning the sensiblity of my BMW 645. Damn I loved that car. Her and I racked up a lot speeding tickets together. But trying to keep sand and other environmental pollutants out of the wonderfully luxurious interior was threatening my sanity.

I needed a beach mobile. Something I could put the top back let the kids get it all full of sand and not take up one of my give-a-craps. Enter the 2013 Jeep Unlimited Wrangler, known by the cool kids as the JKU. It seemed like the logical choice, but (and this is going to sound stupid) I hate the way a stock JK looks. Give that thing some big tires and a little bit of a lift and things start to get interesting, but to me a bone stock Wrangler looks awful. In order to get me out the door, the salesman worked up a deal to put in a lift and some bigger tires in order to make it more appealing. That night I drove home a black
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, while the dealership acquired the the MOPAR Lift Kit and 33in tires.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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With my JKU now in the driveway, I took to the internet to learn all I could about new mode of transportation. After learning how to take off the top, remove the doors, and pull the carpets I found myself confronted by offroad videos. 40in tires crawling through the desert landscape of Moab and the rocky forests of Colorado. OMG! I had never seen anything so amazing as a well built Jeep maneuvering through challenging terrain.

Suddenly I realized my yet to be installed lift and 33” tires were well short of the mark. 40” tires, beadlocks, and coilover; anything short is just a waste of time...

Or so I thought until I saw the price of these upgrades. Compromise was necessary. With a phone call I was able to change my 33s into 35s and my body lift into a MOPAR Stage 3 kit.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Over the next couple years things were added slowly. Poison Spider Bumpers and Rock Rails. A DV8 tire carrier came into play when my stock carrier failed. My attentioned was turned from my Jeep to a Harley for a little while.

Now after learning that motorcycles are for me (the hard way!!!) and a relocation halfway across the country I’ve found myself back in Jeep mode.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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That brings us to the precursors to my current mess.

Since moving to Kansas my commute has gone from 7 minutes all bellow 50mph, to 30mins all over 70mph. And with these new driving requirements my 3.21 gear are not able to keep the 35” Toyos turning.

I dont see any reason to put money into the front D30 axle, so as I researched gear changes I started also looking at replacing my front axle as well. So on the list was D44 Front, new gears and ARB lockers all around as well as drivershafts. The first estimate from my favorite Jeep shop sent me for a loop. So off to my favorite Jeep Buy/Sell/Trade webpages... and this is where the snowflake started the avalanche!

What I found was a fellow JK enthusiast who had started a D60/14B Swap but lost interest soon after getting all the trusses and brackets welded in place. He happen to be in my former home town, which I happen to visiting the very next week.

And thus the JK gods have spoken!

Suddenly my regear turned into a 1 Ton Swap! Yikes!
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Even before leaving for SC the first challenge that I faced was how do I get a set of 1 Ton truck axles from Myrtle Beach SC to Kansas City, KS! I was flying to SC with my two boys and there was no room for an agenda change.

A cursory internet search sent me to Freightquote.com. As soon as I hit “send” on the information page my phone began to ring. It was an agent looking to help me with a quote WOW! He had a number for me before we got off the phone. I called the shipping guy at my job and he said the price was good.

In Myrtle Beach, the axles (at least from my untrained eye) looked good. Now the tricky part: they needed to be put on a pallet and taken to a place with a loading dock. They were currently located in a rented storage locker. We were able to secure a used pallet and use of a shipping dock from a delivery company across the street and the window and door supply place down the road loaned us a forklift and a driver to get them to the dock. I hate having to rely on the kindness of others to accomplish a task, but i’m sure glad this was all going down in SC. Those folks down there are always willing to lend a hand.

I officalized everything with Freightquote, and then I was left with 4 days to wonder... Would our pallet and amateur packing job would hold up, was the Freightquote place legit or did I just get hustled, was the guy selling them legit or did he pull a u-turn after I got up the road and pull the pallet back into his storage unit. What can I say i’m a little bit paranoid!
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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My fears started to subside that afternoon, when the seller started barraging my phone with links and tips for how to complete this project. I figured it was a little too much effor for a con-artist.

Next was when I recieved a tracking number for the LTL shipment. I eve checked with my local logistics guy to make sure the company was for real! Hahaha

The pallet left Myrtle on Friday and arrived in KS on Thursday. In the interim I spent every waking second that I had to spare researching everything I need to finish this project off... more on that later.

As I said before the pallet needed to be shipped from a loading dock to a loading dock. It wasn’t a “need” but it saved me a ton of money. So on th KS end I had it shipped to my place of work.

The next challenge was getting a 1200lb pallet 30min down the interstate to my house and then unloading it in my driveway.

Fortunately the company I work for has an F150 and a trailer that I was allowed to borrow. Unfortunately, I had never pulled a trailer before!

Also one of my coworkers who is an automotive enthusiast allowed me to borrow his engine hoist to help get these big axles off the pallet.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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We loaded the trailer with a forklift at work, so I was able to escape any public humiliation on my trailer handling skills. Normal street driving was a no problem. Backing into my driveway was another story. No harm no foul, but it did take a solid 30 minutes.

The hardest part of unloading the axles was figuring out how to sit them on the dollies that I purchased from Harbor Frieght for this specific purpose.

The D60 was first. I bought jack stands to sit it on, but the yoke wanted to spin it down. So I found a piece of scrap wood that was just the right size to prop it up.

For the 14B we decided to skip the jack stands and go right to the pallet. It worked like a charm, although I have a feeling I might regret this when it comes time to hang it!
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-21-2018, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Now of course one cannot JUST throw tins under a JK. There needs to be other considerations.

First was control arms. The Artec Truss and Bracket system for the truck axles recommends misalignment joints on the control arms, of which my MOPAR lift kit has none. While shopping for adjustable control arms I decided, in the spirit of “Buy once cry once” that this was the opertune time to go long arm. So add to the ever growing to do list “Installation of Evo Long Arm Kit”!
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-23-2018, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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The reason I titled this thread “Just another Daily Driver...” is because keeping this Jeep my daily driver is a significant factor in this project. Not only in the style of modification I take on, but the scope of downtime allotted do installations. My goal is to accomplish all of my modifications over weekends and return the vehicle to a road worthy state by each Monday.

Yes; buying a POS car, putting the Jeep up on blocks for 2 months, and then selling the POS when I’m done would probably be a zero cost and great stress reducer, but where’s the fun in that!

I enjoy all the research and leg work need to arrange parts and tools to make sure things flow as smoothly as possible. Which is exactly what consumed this weekend.

First I started making a spreadsheet with all the items that need to be accomplished and what was required to accomplish them. Then I went tool shopping. Finally I organized.

I will share the spreadsheet once it gets a little more complete.

One other limitation I have to work around is my tiny ass garage! At first I considered renting a storage unit, but I wasn’t fond of spending the next couple months away from my family.

With some clever reorganization I was able to squeeze both axles in as well as the lawnmower and the boys bikes, lol. Boxes of parts are currently being staged in a spare bedroom.

The next order of business is to start unpackaging the EVO Long Arm Kit and doing a dry run through the installation!
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-23-2018, 02:37 PM
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im running the evo double d long arm kit, kick ass ride and lots of flex. I'd def go with the high clearance brackets, the double d brackets might as well be skids. beefy setup tho

-Nomad
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-23-2018, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillypete View Post
The reason I titled this thread ďJust another Daily Driver...Ē is because keeping this Jeep my daily driver is a significant factor in this project. Not only in the style of modification I take on, but the scope of downtime allotted do installations. My goal is to accomplish all of my modifications over weekends and return the vehicle to a road worthy state by each Monday.

Yes; buying a POS car, putting the Jeep up on blocks for 2 months, and then selling the POS when Iím done would probably be a zero cost and great stress reducer, but whereís the fun in that!
Haha I did that for a few years, some long stressful weekends, sometimes taking 4-day weekends and putting in 4 16-hour days to get stuff done by the next week. A few borrowed cars here and there but mostly successful. Then a few months ago I bought a car and it completely changes life and my perspective on working on the Jeep. Can just do whatever I want now, I can't even imagine how I accomplished some of the things I did without a car to drive to work and around town. And so much time wasted, pull the axle one weekend to do some work and re-install it all then pull it again the next weekend to continue work.

Plus at the end of the day you put less miles on a very expensive vehicle that gets very poor gas mileage. Bought a car for $2k and it only has to last 20k miles to be free on gas savings alone. Highly recommended! Of course if you're really into keeping it your daily go for it.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-23-2018, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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im running the evo double d long arm kit, kick ass ride and lots of flex. I'd def go with the high clearance brackets, the double d brackets might as well be skids. beefy setup tho
I’ve already have the bolt on kit in hand. My welding is not something I would trust at 70mph with my kids in the back seat. I’m going to bolt it on and then drive it to work and have one of the welders burn it on.

Speaking of which, tonight I went ahead and unpacked the Evo Long Arm Kit. I staged everything on a table in order to take inventory. With my tight schedule it is imperative to have everything I need on hand. Even one run to the hardware store will make me miss my schedule.

Sure enough it looks like I am short three M12x130 bolts. I’m sure I would have had a hell of a time finding them on a Sunday afternoon! I’ll call EVO tomorrow and I’m sure they will take care of it.

BTW... oh my goodness are these arms beefy!!! WOW!
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-23-2018, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by christensent View Post
Haha I did that for a few years, some long stressful weekends, sometimes taking 4-day weekends and putting in 4 16-hour days to get stuff done by the next week. A few borrowed cars here and there but mostly successful. Then a few months ago I bought a car and it completely changes life and my perspective on working on the Jeep. Can just do whatever I want now, I can't even imagine how I accomplished some of the things I did without a car to drive to work and around town. And so much time wasted, pull the axle one weekend to do some work and re-install it all then pull it again the next weekend to continue work.

Plus at the end of the day you put less miles on a very expensive vehicle that gets very poor gas mileage. Bought a car for $2k and it only has to last 20k miles to be free on gas savings alone. Highly recommended! Of course if you're really into keeping it your daily go for it.
I love driving my Jeep. Sometimes it’s refreshing to drive a car that’s smooth and quiet, but I always end up missing my Jeep. Especially when I find myself waving to JKs in my wife’s GMC! Especially on a nice sunny 85deg day when I pass a Jeep with the doors off!
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-24-2018, 12:31 PM
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Iíve already have the bolt on kit in hand. My welding is not something I would trust at 70mph with my kids in the back seat. Iím going to bolt it on and then drive it to work and have one of the welders burn it on.

Speaking of which, tonight I went ahead and unpacked the Evo Long Arm Kit. I staged everything on a table in order to take inventory. With my tight schedule it is imperative to have everything I need on hand. Even one run to the hardware store will make me miss my schedule.

Sure enough it looks like I am short three M12x130 bolts. Iím sure I would have had a hell of a time finding them on a Sunday afternoon! Iíll call EVO tomorrow and Iím sure they will take care of it.

BTW... oh my goodness are these arms beefy!!! WOW!


Those stock brackets are fun to cut, and you gotta drop the gas tank and make minor adjustment on the gas tank skid. Flag nuts in the rear are a fun time

If your doing the install your self, take some time and make sure you get those brackets where they need to be. You can bolt the brackets on but you will be DRILLING for Hours. Id recommend drilling what you need, and welding those brackets on.

As far as the rear control arm brackets I highly recommend evo's high clearance setup. I wished I got those instead but those lower clearance brackets are already burned in.

Overall this set up rocks. great ride on the trail and on the street. Rons of flex and pretty straight forward install.


-Nomad
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-03-2018, 07:36 AM
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Build is looking great. Can't wait to see what's next.


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post #16 of 16 Old 08-07-2018, 12:17 PM
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Following your progress.




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