My 2011 Wrangler Rubicon build

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zmotorsports

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Although I am not new to the site I have never noticed this off-road section until wheeling with a few members last week in Moab.  I decided to throw up a link to the our 2011 Wrangler Rubicon build thread.  We have had it now for just about a year and it has undergone quite a major transformation in that time. 

Mike.

Here is a link to the build thread on wranglerforum.com
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/my-2011-jku-rubicon-build-project-143557.html

Any comments would be appreciated.



 

John Canfield

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Great build!  I love your two post lift, after spending three days off and on under my Rubi installing the RubiCrawler, I was wanting a lift - badly!

Nice fab of your tow baseplate.  I had mine moved to the bumper since I was always hitting it when doing obstacles, then I stopped towing 4-down completely in favor of a trailer.
 

zmotorsports

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Thanks, the lift is a real back and time saver.  I installed it two years ago but wish I would have done it when I built the shop in 1995.  It makes jobs that I don't look forward to doing bearable again.

I measured a few obstacles and the approach angle before building my towbar and so far haven't even come close to hitting it.  I flat tow if we are going to be bouncing from campground to campground on a road trip, otherwise I haul the Jeep, the Harley and our son's Buell in the trailer.  It flat-tows great but it is nice to arrive and have everything nice and clean as well as my rolling shop to work on everyone elses toys when they break.  I also like to keep the rock chips to a minimun on the Jeep so towing in the trailer is much preferred.  As far as weight the Jeep flat-towing definately weighs less, as with the trailer fully loaded it is just over 12k pounds although the coach tows it fantastic.

Mike.

The first picture is loading the Jeep/bikes into the trailer.  The last picture is of our recent trip to Ouray, CO in August.

 

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John Canfield

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I did hit my Roadmaster tow baseplate on a steep approach angle obstacle, so moving the attachment point to the bumper really helped that situation.  I love our Featherlite open car hauler but we do catch rocks and debris most likely thrown up by the large mud flap hanging under the coach rear end.  One of these days I'm going to remove it and take it to the landfill  :) .

We have 'pin stripes' all over the Rubicon from the trail so I'm not real worried about cosmetics - Rubi is basically a play vehicle (but I keep it in excellent mechanical condition.)

Maybe next year (depending on the elections and the economy) I can spring for a lift - been looking at them.
 

zmotorsports

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The big difference on the tow bar baseplate being feasible is that on the JK/JKU's the steering gearbox is further back and up a little higher so it is not in the way.  On the TJ/LJ's the gearbox is right out in front and under the bumper, a little more cumbersom to build around.  One of the guys in our club had the same issue, he wanted me to fab a towbar plate for his but I ended up fabricating some attachment points onto his winch bumper instead and then fabricated a riser for his Sterling towbar off of the coach.  Ordinarily I wouldn't recommend that because I don't like going up too high with the towbar but he was only lifted 2" on 31" tires so I only had to raise his towbar 4".

As far as pin stripes, I got a few when we were in Moab with the rvforum.net rally in May.  Maybe I am just anal but that was the first thing I addressed when we got home was to buff them out.  Maybe it is the old street rodder in me or something but I HATE scratches with a passion.  I have bowed out of a few trails because of the tree overhang and certainly knowing it will get scratched.  I love playing on the rocks and off-roading as long as the road/trail is wide enough to avoid scratches.

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

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Here is a current forum that displays Chrystal and I's 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon build thread. 

http://www.forbiddenjeeps.com/jeep-builds/2677-project-dream-jeep.html

I don't participate much on the previous forum and have documented a few items on the current build thread.

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

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John Canfield said:
Great job - impressive!  I'm really hot-to-trot to get a two post lift.

You won't regret it John.  I have had mine for close to 4 years now and had I known then what I know now I would have scraped and scratched anywhere I could to come up with the funds to do it when I built my shop back in 1995.

Mike.
 
O

Oscar Mike

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zmotorsports said:
You won't regret it John.  I have had mine for close to 4 years now and had I known then what I know now I would have scraped and scratched anywhere I could to come up with the funds to do it when I built my shop back in 1995.

Mike.

What brand of lift would you recommend, I am budgeting for my shop build and I will have a two post lift.
 

zmotorsports

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HueyPilotVN said:
I just read your entire 20 page write up on your Jeep build.  I can see where your son got his skills. 

Thanks fro posting the link.

Bill

Thanks Bill, I appreciate that.

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

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Oscar Mike said:
What brand of lift would you recommend, I am budgeting for my shop build and I will have a two post lift.

John, there are a lot of good lifts on the market.  I have an Ammco, which is the same as Challenger.  The Rotary and Bendbak are also very good lifts.  I prefer the clear floor vs. the floor plate model but much of that is determined by ceiling height, by the sounds of it you shouldn't have that issue.

One thing to keep in mind is to look for the ALI certification on ANY lift you are looking at (American Lift Institute).  One of the main requirements to hold that certification is the lift must be able to lift and sustain 150% of rated capacity.  So a 10k pound lift should be able to lift and sustain 15k pounds.  Many of the cheaper lifts coming out of China will be nowhere near that rating.  When I was looking I had multiple dealers inform me that a typical 10k pound Chinese non-ALI certified lift will be equivalent to a 7k pound ALI rated lift.

I would also get a minimum of a 9k pound rated lift.  My 10k will lift a four-door longbed truck no problem.  I even throw my four-door shortbed Duramax on the lift routinely just to polish the wheels and the undercarriage as it is so convenient vs. kneeling down or rolling under on a creeper merely to polish the stainless strut rods or shocks.

Keep an eye at your local NAPA parts store as they quite often have pretty good deals on their lifts and many times include freight.  That is where I got mine, and I had to pay no freight as they had it delivered to their store.  I then got a call saying it was there, backed my trailer up and they loaded it on my trailer.  There are places that offer pretty good deals on lifts but watch the freight, that is where they get you.

Mike.
 

hes4all

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I look at the two post and four post and bought a Bendpak four post about 6 years ago. There are times I wish I had the two post but not often.

Mine is rated at 15,000lbs with extra height (16 ceailings in my shop) and width so I can service my 4 doors Duramax.

I also purchased drip pans, oil change tank (hold 15 gallons), transmission jack and jack stands that mount between the rails.

Sure great to have one. Either two or four post!
 

zmotorsports

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John Canfield said:
It would be nice to have the room (and money) for a two post and a four post!

Yes, they both have their pros and cons.  Personally I do too much suspension/drivetrain work for a 4-post.  Worked off of one in a shop part time and if only doing transmission/transfer case work they are fine, actually nice to have the ramps to set tools/equipment on.  Yes you can use lift points/crossmembers across the ramps to raise the vehicles, however, when removing, installing axles and suspension components I found the 4-post to be a bit too obtrusive for my liking.

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

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John Canfield said:
It will be a two post for me if my CFO approves my proposal  :D.

It's all in your presentation John, all in the presentation.

My philosohpy has always been it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. 8)  Worked "most" of the time.

Mike.
 

John Canfield

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Good advice Mike  ;D.  I'm pretty committed to getting a lift, I have several winter projects planned for the Jeep and I don't want to do them lying on my back.
 
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