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Old 10-26-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default Bender's 1:1 JK Build - Project Getaway

A few shots of my newest toy, a 2012 JKU Sahara. I bought it a few months ago, and have plans for some minor mods. It is going to be our family getaway vehicle for camping and wheeling trips in the future. Plans are to do a small lift by either using Rubicon springs and shocks, or picking up a Teraflex kit. I also want to make the jump to 35" BFG AT's from the stock 32's. I will most likely be selling the stock wheels and tires in favor of old school 15" wheels and tires for cost alone. Buying 35's for my stock 18" wheels will get pretty pricey if I don't make the switch. With the bigger tires comes the need for better rear bumper with a swing out tire carrier, not sure which direction I will go with this yet. I may cut the stock front bumper into a stubby, or look into the Poison Spyder Brawler lite front bumper. Seat covers are another must have on my "to do" list, kids and dogs are already working my interior over. I have done a lot of research on the seat covers that are available and the Trek Armor covers seem to have awesome reviews. Rocker guards are another must have for me, even though this isn't going to be a full on crawler. I am probably going to see if I can find a set of stock Rubicon sliders for cheap on Craigslist. And I am sure the want list will continue to grow.

First mods I wanted to do were simple, remove the silver bumper covers and front wind dam. I also stripped the factory stickers off for a little cleaner look. I love this new Crystal Red color, and the stickers took away from the overall look in my opinion.

The day after I bought it.


Removing the front air dam and bumper cover.




Installed the front license plate by drilling the stock bumper.


The factory sticker before removal.


I used a hair dryer to soften the stickers up, but not sure it was really needed.


Then you can peel the stickers away.


The Sahara sticker left quite a bit of residue on the front fenders. In order to clean that up without using harsh chemicals, I used electrical tape. Repeatedly stick the tape over the sticky area and pull it away until the residue is gone.






Last thing I did was use some Acetone and a paper towel to remove any leftover residue. I washed both sides thoroughly with soap and water after using the Acetone too.


Finished product.


Plans for this weekend are to black out the Jeep logo on the grill, and the Trail Rated badge on the driver's side front fender with black Plasti-dip. If I do decide to keep the stock wheels they will recieve the black Plasti-dip treatment as well.

Last edited by BENDER; 10-26-2013 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Will 15's fit over the brakes on a jk?
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

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Will 15's fit over the brakes on a jk?
From the research I have done, 15" aluminum wheels will work as long as they have 3.75" - 4.5" of backspacing. I have heard some 15" steel wheels will rub the calipers though.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Pretty sure that the first Sahara with a soft top I've ever seen. Did you get the hard top too?
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

You might be able to run 35" tires without a lift.
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Just go here....and get it over with....

American Expedition Vehicles - Brute Kit, V8 HEMI, Aftermarket Jeep Conversions, Suspension Systems, Products, Wheels, Accessories and Highline Kits for Jeeps (TJ, JK, WK, XK)
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

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From the research I have done, 15" aluminum wheels will work as long as they have 3.75" - 4.5" of backspacing. I have heard some 15" steel wheels will rub the calipers though.
we have to grind the calipers to run 15" drag wheels on our camaros too. if youve got the time its not that big of a deal.

looking forward to see where you go with this.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:12 AM   #8
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Pretty sure that the first Sahara with a soft top I've ever seen. Did you get the hard top too?
No hard top, just the soft top. This Sahara also has cloth seats and few other lower end options, which kept the price reasonable.

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You might be able to run 35" tires without a lift.
I have seen a few with 35's and no lift. But, I think when offroad the tires will rub pretty hard, especially if I disconnect the swaybar. I think flat fenders and a leveling kit for the front would be enough to clear though. I have thought about the aluminum Poison Spyder crusher flares too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by STANG KILLA SS View Post
we have to grind the calipers to run 15" drag wheels on our camaros too. if youve got the time its not that big of a deal.

looking forward to see where you go with this.
Yeah, I have seen a few guys grind the caliper to clear, most say it is just the cast line that needs to be hit with a grinder.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Looking good Brad!

First thing I did to my JK was remove those side decals and front air dam also!

Watch your hood at high speeds cause it may start to flutter with that air dam off. Mine did that anything over 65mph and all I did was remove the hood spring and it stopped.

Let's have a wheel painting party!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:32 AM   #10
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Looking good Brad!

First thing I did to my JK was remove those side decals and front air dam also!

Watch your hood at high speeds cause it may start to flutter with that air dam off. Mine did that anything over 65mph and all I did was remove the hood spring and it stopped.

Let's have a wheel painting party!
Thanks!

So far no issues with hood flutter, even at 80mph.

I will let you know if i decide to Plasti-dip the stock wheels for sure.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Look a lot better with the Vacation Land license plate on it...yes the lobster plate..lol
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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Look a lot better with the Vacation Land license plate on it...yes the lobster plate..lol
Not too sure about that.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:55 PM   #13
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Nice jk, looks pretty similar to my x I just picked up
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:50 AM   #14
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Nice jk, looks pretty similar to my x I just picked up
Very nice. I love that color!
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Tip for removing stickers, do as shown, but instead of using the tape to pull off the remaining adhesive, WD-40 works amazing. Then just clean with alcohol and give it a good wash and wax and walla.

Nice looking Jeep, buddy just picked up a JK 2Dr in the same color.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:11 AM   #16
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

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Originally Posted by binaryterror View Post
Tip for removing stickers, do as shown, but instead of using the tape to pull off the remaining adhesive, WD-40 works amazing. Then just clean with alcohol and give it a good wash and wax and walla.

Nice looking Jeep, buddy just picked up a JK 2Dr in the same color.
Thanks. I heard they also use the WD-40 and fishing line to remove factory plastic badges. Thought that was a cool tip when I read it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Got a little more work done on the Jeep this past weekend. We installed a 3/4 leveling spacer out front to level out the overall stance, on top of adding slightly taller front factory coils. This lifted the front about 1" overall. I also went ahead and blacked out the "Trail Rated" badge on the driver front fender and the "Jeep" logo on the front grill with Plasti-dip.

A few shots of the spacers and new coil springs.


The 3/4" leveling spacers


First thing we did was jack the front up with a Hi-lift, and braced the chassis with jack stands on the frame cross member. Remove the tire, and unbolt the sway bar link, lower shock mount and brake line bracket from the frame. This will let the axle drop out enough to remove the coil spring.


After everything is loose, push down on the axle to remove the spring.


There are quite a few different factory springs for the Wranglers, front and rear, and they all vary slightly as far as length goes. The higher the last two digits are in the serial number on the spring, the taller the spring will be. My stock springs were 16's out front. I am replacing the 16's with 17's, which are about a 3/16" - 1/4" taller, for a little extra lift when installed with the 3/4" spacer.

Stock coil removed.


The serial number on the stock spring, the last two numbers are what you want to look for to determine what you have on your JK, 16AC.


A shot comparing the two front coils. The stock coil spring on the left, new coil on the right.


Install the leveling spacer over the bump stop first, than the spring isolator and the spring. Make sure the spring is properly seated in the lower spring perch too.


Re-install the lower shock mount, sway bar and brake line bracket, and just snug them up for now. Then, re-install the front wheel and tire, gently tighten the lugs nuts up for now as well. Once both sides are done and sitting back on the ground we can go around and torque everything back down again, including the wheels. All finished, and one inch taller out front.


Now on to the badges, all taped off and ready to spray.




Plasti-dip used to black out the badges. It is a spray on rubber coating used for numerous applications, such as for handles on pliers. It can be sprayed on just about any surface, and peels right off if you don't like it. I have even pressure washed the Jeep since blacking out the badges without any peeling issues.


You want your first coat to be thin to ensure it adheres properly to the surface you are painting. Then do 3-4 more coats after that to get complete coverage.


The finished product after about 4 coats of Plast-dip.




Eventually I want to black everything out that is silver or chrome, including the key locks on the front doors, and rear gate.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

Are those Rubicon springs up front?

I've got my 4 Rubi spings and Rubi shocks if your interested.

Also have 5 Rubicon BFG tires with 9000 miles on 4 and a brand new spare.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

You have seriously ugly man legs. I expected more from you. Jk is looking better.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Bender's 1:1 JK Build

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Originally Posted by Bellvis View Post
Are those Rubicon springs up front?

I've got my 4 Rubi spings and Rubi shocks if your interested.

Also have 5 Rubicon BFG tires with 9000 miles on 4 and a brand new spare.
Not sure what model the springs came off. According to my buddy most Rubicon Unlimited JK's have 18's out front and 59's in the rear. I am at 17 in front and 58 in the rear, after the swap. The ride seems more balanced now, before my front felt a little softer than the rear. I am going to drive it for a while like this and see how feels off-road. I found some BFG AT's that fit my stock wheels that measure between a 33" and a 34" tire, and they are reasonably priced. So I may go that route for now. Trying to find a good balance of on road manners, decent gas mileage and off-road performance.

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You have seriously ugly man legs. I expected more from you. Jk is looking better.
Thanks. Those aren't my legs, they are my buddies who helped with the install. I will let him know you were checking him out though.
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