Got the new Jeep ready to do some trails

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Dec 12, 2008
Where ever we park it!
Well it took a little longer than it normally would have, but I got the new Sahara ready to do some trails. Since everything I do is on the road and usually in a RV park, finding the place to do mods and have them delivered takes a bit more planning.

The mods I added to Jeep are:
1) A set of "Hothead Headliners"
2) Rockhard steel bumper with lowered winch mount plate.
3) Warn 8000 VR8 winch
4) Set up the Ready Brute braking system when flat towing it
5) Added the tow points on the bumper for flat towing
6) Cool Tech wiring harness for activating Jeep brakes and turn signals when being towed
7) 20" light bar added to existing tabs on Rockhard bumper

One of the cool things that Jeep added is a set of 4 "accessory switches" built into the dash panel. They are prewired, 2 40 amp rated switches, and 2 15 amp switches.  The wiring is preinstalled in two locations, in the engine compartment next to the battery, and in the passenger kick panel.  The switches are already set up with diodes so you only have to hook up one hot wire, and put the negative on the nearby ground post. 

The switches are configured by going into the "U-Connect" screen in the dash to decide how you want the switches to perform (on ignition or off, momentary or latching mode). 


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    Jeep front view (3).jpg
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Alpena Jeff said:
Very cool Marty.
You don't sit around and do nuthin much do ya? ;)

Yeah, not much Jeff. At least that's what Diane says!

spencerpj said:
Very Nice !!
Keep it away from those trees on the trails  ;)

Boy howdy. Getting that first ding will be a killer, but is always is. But that's why it's a Jeep and not a Mercedes!
That's some amazing build you made there. Wish I could go back to off-road driving again.
Any reason you didn't go with synthetic rope instead of steel cable? I installed the same bumper on my JKU, I haven't purchased a winch for it yet. I'm looking at the Warn M12.
I considered both, and it was really a matter of expected use. Based on my last Warn 9500ti, in 10 years on the Rubicon I used it a few times to helps someone else, or to do work around the house. I had steel cable on that winch and it worked well. It was very durable, lasted out in the elements with no cover. 

Both the last winch and this one can be swapped with a synthetic rope if I ever wanted to, but I doubt it.  If I was still into rugged off roading and rock crawling, I would have gone that way. But for me it's really an insurance policy that I might need. I like the Warn reliability, and the VR8000 came with lifetime mechanical warranty (they all do) and 7 years electrical warranty.  This also eliminates the possibility of damage to the rope from sharp objects (some people can be idiots). 
I highly recommend the Synthetic Rope. It is more costly to purchase, and maintain, but the safety factor outweighs the cost. I went synthetic about 3 years ago and my rope is still in excellent condition. I also carry a spare rope and safety thimble.

When you do decide to upgrade let me know and I will get you hooked up with John Grewell of Tactical Recovery Equipment (TRE).

So far I have purchased a fully covered winch line extension, a 12,000# & 18,000# Kinetic Ropes, and several soft shackles from them. All good stuff that you can trust your equipment to.
Have fun we have been off roading the last 4 years on our vacations. Heading into Estes Park today for four days to do some trails. Just left the Tetons. Found some nice forestery roads up there. Had a CV shaft start going out and called ahead to Rock City wy. To order one. Just picked it up this morning and heading out. Like they say if your jeep ain't broke you are. Lol

Off road is a good place to find trails if you havent already found them. Have fun and be safe.
Good link, thanks. We have been up to Estes Park, nice area. We tried to get reservations up there, but the place we liked was full up. Where are you staying?
We are staying at elks Lodge RV resort. Not bad. We done some good trails today. Switzerland trail is a good easy trail about 20 miles long. Almost no traffic. It runs an old railroad line. We did part of Coney flats today. Pretty rough. Some 2-3' boulders to traverse. We did about a mile. I broke a front dif mount before we went up it. I decided to turn back before I completely removed my front differential from my Jeep. It was our last day. We will defiently be coming back.
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