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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have owned Jeeps for 15 years and only lately have I even really considered the JK.

During a trip to Ouray and Moab this summer I rented a stock Rubicon and had a blast.

The combination of comfort, refinement and capability blew me away.

I came home with a vision of building a multi-purpose rig off of a JK platform.

My aspiration was to have a vehicle that I could:

- Drive to any wheeling destination in the country
- Wheel any trail (within reason)
- Drive it home
- Take it to work on Monday
** This rig will be used:thefinger:

I started the process of liquidating my fleet and sold my Jeep, Cummins and Trailer to fund the JK. This is what I got rid of:




My previous Jeep was more of a purpose built trail rig that was very capable but lacked the ability to comfortably drive on the road very often.





On to the build.........

I searched for several months to find the perfect platform to start from. To be honest I experienced major sticker shock when looking at used JKU’s.

I finally found what I was looking for in upstate NY and picked it up 2 weeks ago.

Model: Unlimited X (Auto Tranny)
Year: 2007 (35K miles)




Though this is a relatively extensive build I will be doing it on a STRICT BUDGET. Like most of us, I do not have the resources to drop this off at a shop – write a check – and pick it up 2 weeks later. I’m not knocking the turn key buyers, I wish I could do the same. My intentions is to produce a Jeep of the highest quality, capability and reliability without the $60K price tag.

The build will include:

- Front Axle: Tera 60, Full Chromo, ARB, 5.13's, Big Brakes, Tera HD Steering

- Rear Axle: Tera 60, Full Chromo, ARB, 5.13's

- Suspension: Tera 3" long arm

- Drivelines: Tatton 1350 CV's (front and rear)

- Shocks: TBD – wanting coil overs or remote resi smooth bodies but have not worked that into the budget yet

- Wheels/Tires: Pintler Beadlocks / 37" KM2's

- Motor: Hemi VVT Truck motor (JSS conversion)

- T-case: Atlas 2 speed

- Steering: PSC Hydro Assist

- Bumpers: JCR Offroad front & rear (MI made and top notch)

- Misc:
• "Black Box" electrical system (provided by Djstorm100 on the forum ** he is an awesome guy with great service)
• Big bore master cylinder
• ARB compressor
• Custom rock rails
• Winch (TBD - looking for a deal)
• Custom tunes (sub, components, etc…)
• Simple lighting upgrades (rock lights, headlight conversion, etc….)



While sourcing all of the parts I came across John Williams (Owner of Impulse Offroad).

John is a JKO vendor and has proven to be an invaluable asset in getting things moving. I shared my goals with John and he went to work offering different options, prices and ideas.

Not only does he have the ABSOLUTE BEST PRICES but he is also a great resource to help spec out the best mix of parts.

John has a TON of experience with the JK and is a straight shooter regarding functionality, capability and value.

Please hit him up if you are in the market for parts. You will not be disappointed.

I am not the easiest buyer........(I have a lot of wants and little $):) John has spent hours on the phone with me quoting, refining, and quoting again. His patience and service never wavered.

I ended up buying all of the axles, suspension, steering, etc.. through John.



Timing (I have never seen anyone achieve their expected timing):shaking::

90% of the parts arrived today. So most of what is left is just labor.:thefinger:

I plan to weigh the Jeep tomorrow and take it under the knife this weekend.

I will be doing all of the install in my garage at home.

- Stage 1 = Suspension & Axles Goal is to be complete by Dec 15

- Stage 2 = Motor Plan to drive/enjoy it for awhile
(will probably tear it down at the end of spring)

- Stage 3 = Cage Cage work will be done next summer


I will make updates as often as possible.

I’m sure I will be asking the JKO community for some insights along the way.

The purpose of this thread is to document progress, give credit to anyone that helps, and provide some tech.

Stay tuned……………….
 

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Can't wait to see this come together :bounce: best of luck to you:beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Last night was anti-climactic.

Parts arrived and went to a friends shop to pick them up after work.

This skid wieghs 1,300 lbs and is 8' long.



I took the rims/tires home but there was no good way to get the crate in the back of the truck or unload once I got it to my garage.

I will go back with a trailer today.
 

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Nice choice on the JCR Offroad bumpers!! They're a great group of guys, they used my JKU to prototype some rock sliders! Even though your making custom you should check them out! Their quality is second to none!! Look forward to watching your build! Sounds awesome.:beer:

Here's a link to their rock sliders:
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59549&page=9
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Nice choice on the JCR Offroad bumpers!! They're a great group of guys, they used my JKU to prototype some rock sliders! Even though your making custom you should check them out! Their quality is second to none!! Look forward to watching your build! Sounds awesome.:beer:

Here's a link to their rock sliders:
http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59549&page=9
They seem like a great product and the customer service has been top notch.

I recieved them bare and opted to paint them over powder coat. I used the POR15 4 step process:

- Marine Clean (degreases and cleans)
- Prep & Ready (etches and leaves a zinc coating)
- Paint with POR15
- Top Coat (I used Rustoleum Hammered black)

The decision to paint over powder was based upon my ability to touch up - they WILL get scratched.

This was my first real experience with POR15. MI winters are hard on vehicles. I want to make this thing as rust proof as possible.

I will get some pictures of the bumpers later.

I got early versions of the bumpers when the tire carriers were not available.

I have the Summit Machine spindle kit that I will use to fab a carrier:



Opted to integrate the carrier into the tailgate to avoid the latch. Will be using this kit. (this is not my bumper, just for reference):



I will write up the fab and install when the time comes.
 

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Holy Shit !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of the kind comments.

Does anyone know if I can use a Flashpaq 3875 with a Hemi swap?

I need to buy a calibration tool and would like to have the performance adder of the flashpaq between now and when the motor is finished.

If there is risk to the Hemi program I will just buy a pro-cal.
 

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I LOL'ED when I read "budget, not rich" and then Atlas, tera 1 tons, hemi, etc. I can't wait til my rubi is paid off so I can throw some junkyard 1tons, sawzall mods, and 42s all without flipping through a catalog, hopefully. Nevertheless very nice parts and will be a sweet crawler. The old YJ was much cooler imo though.
 

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Sweet build! Post more pics as you go along:beer:
 

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"Though this is a relatively extensive build I will be doing it on a STRICT BUDGET. Like most of us, I do not have the resources to drop this off at a shop – write a check – and pick it up 2 weeks later. I’m not knocking the turn key buyers, I wish I could do the same. My intentions is to produce a Jeep of the highest quality, capability and reliability without the $60K price tag."

I dont know if STRICT BUDGET is the proper term, but hey I guess its all relative ! and this is the way we would all love to build our rigs... spend a ton on some quality new parts and then put them on ourselves !!! what fun and how rewarding is it to tell someone what you want and then pick it up a few weeks later all done ??? BOOOO

this is awesome ! subscribed !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I LOL'ED when I read "budget, not rich" and then Atlas, tera 1 tons, hemi, etc. I can't wait til my rubi is paid off so I can throw some junkyard 1tons, sawzall mods, and 42s all without flipping through a catalog, hopefully. Nevertheless very nice parts and will be a sweet crawler. The old YJ was much cooler imo though.
I dont know if STRICT BUDGET is the proper term, but hey I guess its all relative ! and this is the way we would all love to build our rigs... spend a ton on some quality new parts and then put them on ourselves !!! what fun and how rewarding is it to tell someone what you want and then pick it up a few weeks later all done ??? BOOOO

this is awesome ! subscribed !
I don't want to turn this thread into a debate over $.

Here are 2 perspectives on "STRICT BUDGET":

1. I owned that YJ since it was new and did 100% of the fab work.

100's of hours of fab, frustration and pleasure. Over time I modified, re-modified, and re-re-modified as my budget allowed. Did I end up with a great Jeep? YES Was it a painful road getting there? YES.

The approach to the JK build is kind of a dream come true. I have never been the guy that just bought the high $ parts. I have always worked every angle and cut little corners to get close to what I wanted. Never exactly......but close.

I sold 2 vehicles and a trailer to allow myself to do it different this time. The money from those sales is my budget. Yes, it is a decent amount of coin.....but it is strict and it is what I have to work with.


2. After selling everything I went to the dealer to buy a new Rubicon. I was there on a Friday, worked out a great price, put together a purchase agreement and decided to take the weekend to make sure this was the right decision.

During the weekend I re-worked my planning file and realized I could never afford to make that Rubicon what I wanted.

I also realized that I could take the same $ as it would take to buy a stock Rubi and build exactly what I wanted.

The cost to build this Jeep is within $1K of what it would have cost me to drive the new Rubicon off the lot that day.

The only reason I even mentioned "budget" in my first post is because I want people to see that you can get for your $ as long as you are willing to be thrifty in your spending and put in your own labor. I searched and searched and finally got tired of seeing such high price tags on used Jeeps. I can build this Jeep (less motor) for less than what the market rate is on a LIGHTLY modified Rubicon.



For all you haters talking about sawsalls and catalogues ---- it is not about how much money you spend it is about how you use your Jeep. I am from the southeast and most of my friends still live there. We wheel Harlan, Coal Creek, and Daniel Boone + an annual trip to Moab. All of my buddies have rigs built to the level of my old YJ. I was not going to buy a JK to show up and just watch them wheel. This rig is being built so that I can wheel whatever I want and drive it home.



How about some tech? Can anyone answer my question on the Flashpaq?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I needed a couple replacement center caps for my wheels so I headed over to AEV during lunch.

I don't really have any AEV parts (other than my rims) and the prices are high for my appetitie but I was very impressed.

The guys there went out of their way to show me around the shop and the service was top notch.

The quantity and quality of their builds was shocking. They average more than 2 Hemi conversions per week.





The facility is pretty awesome as well. Spotless, proffesional, and well equipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I posted up a question about packaging an 8274 in my JCR front bumper.

I know its not a bolt in but was curious of any others that might have modified a "standard" winch bumper to work with the big Warn??

Any ideas?




Anyway....... I had some logistics challenges last week and just got all of the parts in my garage yesterday.



I felt like Indiana Jones opening the arch






It feels like the calm before the storm.

I am gone this week for the holiday and have the need to get these under the Jeep hanging over me.

 
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