Roger's Evolutions - 2012 2-Door JK

ScottofKSU

Member
I purchased my Jeep in May of 2020 and wheeled it for the first time in October of 2020. This experience - my first off-roading trip ever - revealed that I have a little natural talent off-roading but that I also have a TON to learn! I decided then to evolve my Jeep in a series of stages so that it is always one level ahead of my abilities so as to hopefully limit the costs to the Jeep of the mistakes I will naturally make while I am learning.

Here is the progress I have made so far on Stage 1 (I will update this as I continue):

Jeep Stage 1 (Daily Driver)
  • Upgrade from stock to 33" tires
  • Longer Spare Tire Bumps
  • Pro-Comp Wheels with 4.00" Backspacing
  • Hard Rock Bumpers I got for $40!
  • Towing Receiver
  • Rock Hard Winch Plate
  • Badlands 12k Winch with Synthetic Line (Early add due to my trail buddy being unreliable!)
  • Home "Fabricated" Front License Plate Adapter
  • Home "Fabricated" Vacuum Pump Relocation Bracket
  • Rebuilt Rubicon Axles with Stock Lockers and Terraflex Ball Joints (Front Axle with Artec C Gussets)
  • Terraflex 2.5" Lift Springs
  • Hockey Puck Bump Stops
  • ARB Differential Covers Front and Rear
  • Lubelocker Gaskets Front and Rear
  • Fox 2.0 Shocks (4 on the Jeep; 4 that came with the axles that I am rebuilding as spares)
  • JKS Sway Bar Disconnects
  • JKS Track Bar (Rear)
  • Core 4X4 Track Bar (Front)
  • Raised Track Bar Bracket
  • Core 4X4 Tier 4 Adjustable Control Arms with Johnny Joints (Upper and Lowers on Front and Uppers on Rear)
  • Terraflex Rear Spring Retainers
  • Braided front Brake Lines
  • Driveshaft Direct Front and Rear 1310 Driveshafts
  • Rubicon Rock Rails
  • Synergy Tie Rod
  • Terraflex Steering Damper
  • Steer Smart Yeti Drag Link
  • Uprated Hood Latches
  • Tuned CB Radio with Spare Tire Mount for Antenna
  • Black Firestick Antenna with Red Tip
  • A-Pillar Pod Light Mounts
  • LED Pod Lights on A-Pillar
  • 8-Gang Switch Panel for Lights and Lockers
  • Molle Overhead Panel for CB
  • Rough Country Neoprene Seat Covers Front and Rear
  • Bulletpoint RAM Dash Mount (Converted to 1" Balls)
  • RAM Mount Arms for Phone and Another for iPad for Trail Maps
  • Paracord Grab Handles
  • Dash Grab Handle Pocket
  • K&N Drop In Air Filter
  • AEV Procal
  • High Clearance Exhaust System
  • Genright Boatside Rock Sliders and Rocker Protectors
Up Next for Stage 1
  • Rubicon Hard Rock Double Rear Red Tow Hooks (Installing Soon)
  • Full Skid Plate
  • Core 4X4 Tier 4 Rear Lower Control Arms
  • GMRS Radio
Stage 1.5 (Once I am less of a greenhorn)
  • 35" TA KO2 Tires
  • On-Board Air
  • High Clearance Fenders - Thinking Metal Cloak Overline so I get the wider fenders for daily driving and can take the outer portion off when I hit the trail...
  • BBK

Stage 2 (Dedicated Trail Rig)
  • Dynatrac 60 (Front)
  • Dynatrac 80 (Rear)
  • 4" Lift
  • 40"+ Tires
  • Trail Seats

Badges Earned
  • Peewee's Crossing (SMORR)
  • Guardrail (SMORR)
  • Rubicon Ridge (HSORV)
  • Snake (HSORV)
  • Fun Run (HSORV)

Stock Photo After 33" Tires but Before New Rims
Stock Roger.JPG


Current Photo
2021 Roger.jpg
 
Last edited:

WJCO

Meme King
I purchased my Jeep in May of 2020 and wheeled it for the first time in October of 2020. This experience - my first off-roading trip ever - revealed that I have a little natural talent off-roading but that I also have a TON to learn! I decided then to evolve my Jeep in a series of stages so that it is always one level ahead of my abilities so as to hopefully limit the costs to the Jeep of the mistakes I will naturally make while I am learning.

Here is the progress I have made so far on Stage 1 (I will update this as I continue):

Jeep Stage 1 (Daily Driver)
  • Upgrade from stock to 33" tires
  • Longer Spare Tire Bumps
  • Pro-Comp Wheels with 4.00" Backspacing
  • Hard Rock Bumpers I got for $40!
  • Towing Receiver
  • Rock Hard Winch Plate
  • Badlands 12k Winch with Synthetic Line (Early add due to my trail buddy being unreliable!)
  • Home "Fabricated" Front License Plate Adapter
  • Home "Fabricated" Vacuum Pump Relocation Bracket
  • Rebuilt Rubicon Axles with Stock Lockers (Front Axle with C Gussets)
  • Terraflex 2.5" Lift Springs
  • Hockey Puck Bump Stops
  • ARB Differential Covers Front and Rear
  • Lubelocker Gaskets Front and Rear
  • Fox 2.0 Shocks (4 on the Jeep; 4 that came with the axles that I am rebuilding as spares)
  • JKS Sway Bar Disconnects
  • JKS Track Bar (Rear)
  • Core 4X4 Track Bar (Front)
  • Raised Track Bar Bracket
  • Core 4X4 Tier 4 Adjustable Control Arms with Johnny Joints (Upper and Lowers on Front and Uppers on Rear)
  • Terraflex Rear Spring Retainers
  • Braided front Brake Lines
  • Driveshaft Direct Front and Rear 1310 Axles
  • Rubicon Rock Rails
  • Synergy Tie Rod
  • Terraflex Steering Damper
  • Steer Smart Yeti Drag Link
  • Uprated Hood Latches
  • Tuned CB Radio with Spare Tire Mount for Antenna
  • Black Firestick Antenna with Red Tip
  • A-Pillar Pod Light Mounts
  • LED Pod Lights on A-Pillar
  • 8-Gang Switch Panel for Lights and Lockers
  • Molle Overhead Panel for CB
  • Rough Country Neoprene Seat Covers Front and Rear
  • Bulletpoint RAM Dash Mount (Converted to 1" Balls)
  • RAM Mount Arms for Phone and Another for iPad for Trail Maps
  • Paracord Grab Handles
  • Dash Grab Handle Pocket
  • K&N Drop In Air Filter
  • AEV Procal
Up Next for Stage 1
  • Genright Boatside Rock Sliders and Rocker Protectors (Installing Soon)
  • Rubicon Hard Rock Double Rear Red Tow Hooks (Installing Soon)
  • Full Skid Plate
  • Core 4X4 Tier 4 Rear Lower Control Arms
  • GMRS Radio
  • Flat Fenders
Stage 1.5 (Once I am less of a greenhorn)
  • 35" TA KO2 Tires
  • On-Board Air

Stage 2 (Dedicated Trail Rig)
  • Dynatrac 60 (Front)
  • Dynatrac 80 (Rear)
  • 4" Lift
  • 40"+ Tires
  • Trail Seats

Badges Earned
  • Peewee's Crossing (SMORR)
  • Guardrail (SMORR)

Stock Photo After 33" Tires but Before New Rims
View attachment 368168


Current Photo (Coming Soon)
Quite a list. Have you considered getting on board air sooner than later?
 

ScottofKSU

Member
So far the places I have gone have had good access to air and I generally do not air down much below 18psi. Thus, at this point, it is more of an itch than something I have found myself wishing I had. I have like 5 10-20lb CO2 tanks sitting around (homebrewer of beer) and have thought about making a powertank. Eventually I want to get the ARB dual compressors... I mounted the fuse box and control panel for my switches on the passenger side next to the battery to save the space on the drivers side for the ARB compressor mount. I respect your opinion a ton; so this might be something I tackle this winter!
 

ScottofKSU

Member
Genright sliders are finally on! I started on Saturday and got the drivers side on and the passenger side prepped and then it rained all day Sunday... SO, last night I finished up the passenger side in advance of our trip to Hot Springs this weekend to hopefully collect 3 more badges running Snake, Fun Run, and Rubicon Ridge! I am excited to test myself and the Jeep out given that my first off-roading trip to SMORR last year was when my Jeep was stock (i.e., prior to adding 99% of the stuff on my list above).

Some guidance I learned from installing the sliders:
1. Go get you a nutzert tool if you don't already have one! Made installing the 22 or so nutzerts super easy!
2. I ignored their advice to not paint anything prior to assembly and I am glad I did. While there are certainly some spots I needed to touch up after install, painting prior allowed me to spend an entire weekend putting like 10 coats of primer and Rustoleum truck bed liner on the sliders.
3. I was surprised how much I had to trim and clearance the pinch seam just to get the sliders over it! Right into the foam... I took some extra time to cut up some scrap metal to seal the cut I made by welding, grinding, and then smoothing with JB Weld before painting with primer and truck bed liner.
4. It took me approximately 9 hours to install the sliders but I was going very slow trying to do it perfect, as the instructions suggest.
5. These things are pure beef! I have no doubt one could support the full weight of my Jeep without issue.
 

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ScottofKSU

Member
I would love to armor up the fenders and quarter panels using panels that would match up nicely to the Genright sliders. I am happy to modify whatever I can find to match up with the rocker protectors, but am trying to avoid fabricating something entirely from flat steel; however, I am not seeing much especially for the front fenders... Perhaps tube fenders will be enough to protect the fender. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

ScottofKSU

Member
Made it the 10.5 hours to and from Hot Spring ORV over the weekend to collect the three badges for the trails there. What a blast! I rode with two other Jeeps that I met on the trail with three couples from Tennessee running them. They had a built JKU and a JLU all on 35" sticky tires. I got lucky and was the third Jeep in the line, bringing up the rear; so I got to see all of their successes and mistakes. This made it so I could easily navigate obstacles that had given them trouble. After we had run about 10 trails, including the badge trails, we stopped to chat before going our separate ways back to camp. The drivers of the two other Jeeps stopped next to my JK and almost said in unison, "Wait, you are only running 33" all terrain tires?!" That was a big confidence booster!

Just a fantastic weekend! My tow rig did an amazing job on its maiden voyage, the Jeep performed perfectly, and everyone - my wife, oldest son, and mother in law, had a blast! That said, I added a BBK kit to the list as there were a couple times where I wished I had better brakes... I checked the fluid when I got home and found it a little dirty; so yesterday I changed out the brake fluid. This improved the peddle feel - it was kind of soft before - so maybe that did it, but this is something I will be keeping an eye on.
 

ScottofKSU

Member
One thing I forgot that I recently added to the Jeep were these door pockets from Overland Outfitters. Fantastic quality and I definitely like them better than the scrotal net bag that was there before... Overland.jpg
 

ScottofKSU

Member
Starting to research tires... I am noting that 35" KO2's are only available at my Discount Tire in Load Range E - weighing in at 69 lbs versus the 51 lb 33" Dueller Revo's I have on it now. However, 37" KO2's are available in Load Range C - weighing in at 65 lbs or 4 lbs less than the 35" tires. My question is, are there things other than weight that I should be considering? I know that it is generally not advisable to run 37's on Rubi 44s, but, just looking at weights, it looks like I would be better off in all regards (e.g., 1 inch more ground clearance and lower weights at the same width) running 37's over 35's... Obviously, there are other changes I would need to make first (e.g., high clearance fenders, adjusting bump stops possibly, changing gearing from 4.10's to 4.56 or 4.88) as my Jeep is currently setup to welcome 35's and NOT 37's. I am also not sure when I will "need" to go to bigger tires as I am currently not having much difficulty running trails rated up to 6/7 on my 33" tires, but I know the day will come when the trails I am running are beyond both my and my Jeeps abilities. I am trying to make sure that the Jeep's build stays ahead of the trails I am running. I do not intend to run any 9/10 trails (e.g., Holy Cross) until my Jeep is in its final evolution (i.e., 1 ton axles and 40's).
 

OverlanderJK

Resident Smartass
Running 37’s on factory axles is fine. And weight would not be a consideration for me at all ever with regards to tires because it’s unsprung weight. 4.10 to 4.56 gearing would be a waste. With 37’s and a dog turd motor that comes in the JK, go 5.13’s.
 

ScottofKSU

Member
Not much time for Jeep projects this weekend, but I DID get some new LED headlights installed and then adjusted the pattern so as to not blind oncoming traffic. I have been looking at KC headlights but could never justify the expense. I kept finding these cheap ($90) LED lights being reviewed highly in "Best of 2021" articles; so I took a chance! So far, it's like I had a candle before and now I have a flashlight! I also like the "blacked out" look to these lights given my Jeeps color.


LED Day.jpg
LED Night.jpg
 

ScottofKSU

Member
Happy New Year!

Frigid temperatures did not allow me to get as much done last week as I wanted, but I did get the fluids changed in the transfer case and both differentials! I thought my front axle was leaking around the seal and causing a drip on the passenger side, but I confirmed while changing the fluid that the leak was from the Fox shock on the passenger side.

I also was able to take a couple leisurely days to install a new head unit (ILX-W650) and have been enjoying the improved sound quality that resulted though it will be vastly better once I am able to upgrade the speakers from stock as well. One downside was the loss of my Bulletpoint RAM mount in the pocket on top of the dash as it used the bracket behind the radio that I removed. As a result I immediately ordered a Vector Bar and some 1" bar RAM mounts! LOL

Lastly, I also upgraded my stock fog lights to LED bulbs that are much brighter. While doing this I also removed the parking light extension harness that I used when upgrading to the 10A bumper. I then lengthened the stock harness by soldering in a some additional lengths of negative and positive wires that were the same length as the wire in the extension harness. In hindsight, I should have done this from the beginning as the extension harnesses I have used have all failed at the plug.
 

ScottofKSU

Member
how are those headlights treating you? I just ordered the same set and am waiting on them.
FANTASTIC! Just make sure you point them... Mine were WAY too high at first - when measured 3' from the ground with the Jeep at 25' away. Really nice solid cutoff line and lighting as good as my wife's 2020 Challenger or really any other new car I have driven! As I was telling the wife last weekend, the upgrades to the lights has been the best thing I have done to the Jeep so far and I have done a few things!
 
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