Vader - 2013 Oscar Mike JKU - Trail Rig Build

Qaddiction

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I added another rig to the stable! I'm just about done working on Detonator, my 2016 JKU. I only have a couple more things that I would like to do. I plan on using that rig more for overlanding. To keep myself busy I decided to start working on a second JKU that is to be more of a trail rig. I started a search to find just about the cheapest JKU within 100 miles. Wow, that wasn't the easiest task as they hold their value fairly well. I ended up buying this Black 2013 Oscar Mike JKU. The Jeep was actually in better condition that I was planning on acquiring.

I actually bought this a while back and have been saving like crazy to start building this up. I committed to making new axles as my first purchase. I'm getting close to making that happen. So far I am looking at Currie, Dynatrac, and Fusion. For my purposes I believe I can get away with heavy duty Dana 60's. As you all know, it's bad enough trying to save up enough to afford axles, but then wheels, tires, lift, and drive shafts add another 10-15k. I have some thoughts on those, but I'm still doing some research. I'm set on 40's and fairly certain of a long arm lift.

Here are a few pictures of my current rigs and the newest addition. I can't wait to start building.

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Running List of Modifications:
AEV Power Dome Hood
Rugged Ridge Hood Latches
KMC KM235 Grenade Crawl Beadlock Wheel, 20X10 8X6.5 - Black
NITTO Trail Grappler 42X13.50R/20LT

Page 2
Nemesis Crawler Rear Fender Flares
JW Speaker 8700 Evolution J3 Series Headlight Kit, Black
JW Speaker Trail 6 Pro Kit
VKS Shorty GEN2 Rear Bumper
AFE Rock Basher 3-Inch Cat-Back Exhaust
Nemesis Crawler Front Fender Flares
Superchips TrailDash 3 Programmer
Switch Pros - RCR-Force 12
 
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Qaddiction

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I'm not a huge fan of the star on the hood or the silver grill. I knew the bumpers, fenders, and sliders would be replaced so I wasn't too concerned with those. The radio quit working a couple weeks after I got it, but the rest of the interior is really clean.
 
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As I mentioned, for some reason I really didn't care for the star on the hood. I have no idea why. I debated on trying to remove it, but I wasn't sure how that would turn out The hood also has a few small dents and some scratches that didn't show up in the pictures. On a whim I checked my local Craigslist and found an AEV Power Dome Hood. It happened to be painted black and I couldn't resist. I bought it and then ordered some Rugged Ridge hood latches. I took the time to get both installed last night.

Now, about that grill.....

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Qaddiction

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I committed to making new axles as my first purchase. .... I believe I can get away with heavy duty Dana 60's ... I'm set on 40's and fairly certain of a long arm lift.

Jeeeez, I really need to watch what I write. lol. Ok, so as I was mentioning, I was getting close to making a decision and purchase of some new axles. So I went to a local shop to get some more opinions, or to verify my thought process of what parts to start obtaining. They were on board with my vision, but then the monkey wrench was thrown in. With supply chain issues, some tires are getting hard to find. They had a line on some Nitto 42" tires. I succumbed to the pressure and went ahead and bought a set of 5. I'm thinking they should be here within the next week.

That tire purchase has given me some clarity on the rest of my decisions. With 42's, I opted to go with 20"x10" KMC Grenade Crawl beadlock wheels in a 8x6.5 lug pattern. I purchased these with the tires. They should be here in a couple weeks. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. It's hard telling how long these will sit here before actually making it on to the Jeep. That's the one thing I hate about this build. I need to gather a lot of parts before I can start anything.

Memorial Day sales got me as well. I found the lift and bumpers I was looking at on sale. Needing to save as much money as I can, I went ahead and made those purchase as well. Yesterday I took delivery of the EVO 3-5" High Clearance Long Arm Pro Suspension (Black). Those 4 purchases put a hit on my funds for axles. Time to figure out what I can sell to recoup some of those funds!

The 42's also made me realize that I am going to need wider axles so I still have a decent turn radius. At the moment I'm leaning towards the Fusion 73.5" axles. I'll add some pictures as parts arrive.
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Speartip

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Jeeeez, I really need to watch what I write. lol. Ok, so as I was mentioning, I was getting close to making a decision and purchase of some new axles. So I went to a local shop to get some more opinions, or to verify my thought process of what parts to start obtaining. They were on board with my vision, but then the monkey wrench was thrown in. With supply chain issues, some tires are getting hard to find. They had a line on some Nitto 42" tires. I succumbed to the pressure and went ahead and bought a set of 5. I'm thinking they should be here within the next week.

That tire purchase has given me some clarity on the rest of my decisions. With 42's, I opted to go with 20"x10" KMC Grenade Crawl beadlock wheels in a 8x6.5 lug pattern. I purchased these with the tires. They should be here in a couple weeks. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. It's hard telling how long these will sit here before actually making it on to the Jeep. That's the one thing I hate about this build. I need to gather a lot of parts before I can start anything.

Memorial Day sales got me as well. I found the lift and bumpers I was looking at on sale. Needing to save as much money as I can, I went ahead and made those purchase as well. Yesterday I took delivery of the EVO 3-5" High Clearance Long Arm Pro Suspension (Black). Those 4 purchases put a hit on my funds for axles. Time to figure out what I can sell to recoup some of those funds!

The 42's also made me realize that I am going to need wider axles so I still have a decent turn radius. At the moment I'm leaning towards the Fusion 73.5" axles. I'll add some pictures as parts arrive.
View attachment 121383
Three Jeep’s in the garage . A build going on . It’s like Jeep Porn !! Nice
 
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Qaddiction

Qaddiction

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Added some more parts to the collection. I picked up the wheels and tires last night. I'm starting to think I am crazy. These tires are huge. I sat one next to my JKU which sits on Toyo MT 37" tires for a comparison.

I love the KMC wheels too. I need to decide if I want to powder coat the trim rings, or leave them alone. I'm leaning towards powder coating them. Here are some pictures.

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Going to need a gear change also, more Dollars$$$.
Talking about more dollars....

I'm getting ready to order Fusion Elite Kingpin Dana 60 front axle and Elite Dana 80 rear axle. Those will come with 5:38 gears, E-lockers, and 73.5" wide to help with the rubbing from the 42's.
 
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Speartip

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Added some more parts to the collection. I picked up the wheels and tires last night. I'm starting to think I am crazy. These tires are huge. I sat one next to my JKU which sits on Toyo MT 37" tires for a comparison.

I love the KMC wheels too. I need to decide if I want to powder coat the trim rings, or leave them alone. I'm leaning towards powder coating them. Here are some pictures.

View attachment 121750

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Those tires are fffnn huge even compared to the 37”.
My Jeep with 33” feels inferior .The 60 & 80 diffs with 8 lug hubs/bearings should handle all the weight & rotating mass without a problem .
Just curious what were you planning for brakes? As I imagine your going to need some pretty serious stopping power to slow those monsters down .
Very impressive build !!
 
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Those tires are fffnn huge even compared to the 37”.
My Jeep with 33” feels inferior .The 60 & 80 diffs with 8 lug hubs/bearings should handle all the weight & rotating mass without a problem .
Just curious what were you planning for brakes? As I imagine your going to need some pretty serious stopping power to slow those monsters down .
Very impressive build !!

For right now I plan on using the brakes that comes on the Dana 60 & 80 from Fusion. I'm buying the complete axle sets from them which have the 1 ton brakes already installed. I also believe I am going to install a larger master cylinder. I'll see what that gives me and go from there.

Every time I look at that picture I can't believe how small it makes my 37's look. Crazy.
 

Speartip

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For right now I plan on using the brakes that comes on the Dana 60 & 80 from Fusion. I'm buying the complete axle sets from them which have the 1 ton brakes already installed. I also believe I am going to install a larger master cylinder. I'll see what that gives me and go from there.

Every time I look at that picture I can't believe how small it makes my 37's look. Crazy.
Ohhhh ok . They come with 1 ton brakes , didn’t realize you could get them with brake setup as well . Hopefully they
have the stopping power !!

Was curious so measured 42
beside my front tire . Haha oh lordy . It’s an inch above edge of fender .
890E422C-4DE3-4FC0-80E6-9660D617B611.jpeg
 
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Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. The couple extra days off work was appreciated. I got to spend time with family, friends, and squeezed in some time to work on the Jeep a little. The weather was warm enough that I decided to get a few things painted. I painted all 4 Nemesis crawler fender flares, the VKS rear bumper, and the coil over springs that came with my lift. I'll be honest, I felt kind of bad for painting the King coils red....
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While paint was drying I started to get to work on the rear bumper install. It started out simple enough. Removed the spare tire, the tire carrier, and the stock bumper. Then it started to get more interesting. I had to cut out the back frame rail support and a few inches off the end of the frame. A new back frame support gets installed and I had painted that as well. The new rear bumper has more ground clearance and has a hitch. It also is really tight to the stock muffler. So I ordered an AFE Rock Basher muffler to make more room for the new rear bumper. I sanded down what I had cut off and hit it with some paint. I'll probably wait for the muffler to come in before I get the bumper installed.
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Oh yeah, I finally got the tires mounted on the wheels too.
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Speartip

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Looking good ! I'm surprised you had to cut the whole rear
cross member off and replace . Which rear bumper did
you go with that requires that much work?
Tires and wheels look sic!!
What is that 26 bolts each wheel for the
beadlocks .
 
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Qaddiction

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Looking good ! I'm surprised you had to cut the whole rear
cross member off and replace . Which rear bumper did
you go with that requires that much work?
Tires and wheels look sic!!
What is that 26 bolts each wheel for the
beadlocks .

I went with this rear bumper from VKS.
https://www.vksfab.com/product/shorty-gen2-rear-bumper/

My thoughts on purchase....I wanted a hitch to have the ability to pull my trailer if needed. I'm also building this to be more of a trail rig. My limited experience tells me the hitch and rear bumper drag coming off of ledges. So wanting a hitch is not ideal, but I thought this was my best compromise. I get a hitch and gain quite a bit of rear departure angle. The rear bumper should tuck in fairly tight. I hope to have some pictures up in the near future.

The wheels had 24 bolts each. Mounting was super simple, just time consuming. They are so big compared to what I am used to. I'm praying they look good once the axles arrive and are installed. It will be a damn expensive mistake if I don't like it!
 
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Speartip

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I went with this rear bumper from VKS.
https://www.vksfab.com/product/shorty-gen2-rear-bumper/

My thoughts on purchase....I wanted a hitch to have the ability to pull my trailer if needed. I'm also building this to be more of a trail rig. My limited experience tells me the hitch and rear bumper drag coming off of ledges. So wanting a hitch is not ideal, but I thought this was my best compromise. I get a hitch and gain quite a bit of rear departure angle. The rear bumper should tuck in fairly tight. I hope to have some pictures up in the near future.

The wheels had 24 bolts each. Mounting was super simple, just time consuming. They are so big compared to what I am used to. I'm praying they look good once the axles arrive and are installed. It will be a damn expensive mistake if I don't like it!
Thanks for posting link I totally get it now . That's a cool way
of doing rear bumper . The replacement cross member is
pushed forward . With aluminum rear bumper tucked under
body leaving only 1" of bumper actually exposed .
That will give a lot of clearance for your departure angles .
I've seen utube vids of guys driving off ledges and
catching bumper or rear spare . It's nice how hitch is
tucked right into the bumper .
My rear bumper is angled up but the built in hitch sits
just below . I kinda look at it like extra insurance .
Will rub on bottom of hitch B4 anything else.
So with yours you won't have a bumper tire carrier
and I presume the weight of a spare would probably
buckle the rear gate . I' m guessing 125 - 150pounds ?
That I guess is the one drawback of running a big big
tire is if you ever have to change one. Even in a controlled
enviroment like a shop lining up lugs etc would be a bitch
cause it's so heavy .
Believe me my friend . They will look awesome on
your Jeep . Looking forward to the next update .
 
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Thanks for posting link I totally get it now . That's a cool way
of doing rear bumper . The replacement cross member is
pushed forward . With aluminum rear bumper tucked under
body leaving only 1" of bumper actually exposed .
That will give a lot of clearance for your departure angles .
I've seen utube vids of guys driving off ledges and
catching bumper or rear spare . It's nice how hitch is
tucked right into the bumper .
My rear bumper is angled up but the built in hitch sits
just below . I kinda look at it like extra insurance .
Will rub on bottom of hitch B4 anything else.
So with yours you won't have a bumper tire carrier
and I presume the weight of a spare would probably
buckle the rear gate . I' m guessing 125 - 150pounds ?
That I guess is the one drawback of running a big big
tire is if you ever have to change one. Even in a controlled
enviroment like a shop lining up lugs etc would be a bitch
cause it's so heavy .
Believe me my friend . They will look awesome on
your Jeep . Looking forward to the next update .
I have 2 thoughts on spare tire carrier. My first thought is to mount it in the back of the Jeep. Perhaps an added bar to the roll cage to mount it? Again, not my daily driver so I'm not too worried about the rear cargo space. I am planning on installing a Genright cage this coming Summer. I have to throw a tire in the back to see if there is even room for it, but I know I have seen 40's mounted in the back before.

My second thought was going with the Genright aluminum swing out carrier. I have seen plenty of those with 40's, not sure I have seen a 42 mounted in one though.
 
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Small update. I ripped off the rear fender flares and inner liners last night. I drilled out the holes and installed the nutserts to be able to mount the new Nemesis crawler fender flares. Then I started thinking...dangerous I know! I easily could have mounted the flares last night. However, I am 1000% sure the tub will need trimmed to fit the 42's. I'm also having a local shop install the EVO lift for me once the axles come in. I'm guessing they would appreciate me just leaving the flares off until they are finished and the tub is trimmed. Although, I also want to make sure the suspension is cycled and bump stopped accordingly to keep the tires out of the flares. Maybe I will give them a call today?

Here it is just a little more stripped down. I took the picture before I washed out the area and installed the nutserts.

20221129_193617.jpg
 

Speartip

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I have 2 thoughts on spare tire carrier. My first thought is to mount it in the back of the Jeep. Perhaps an added bar to the roll cage to mount it? Again, not my daily driver so I'm not too worried about the rear cargo space. I am planning on installing a Genright cage this coming Summer. I have to throw a tire in the back to see if there is even room for it, but I know I have seen 40's mounted in the back before.

My second thought was going with the Genright aluminum swing out carrier. I have seen plenty of those with 40's, not sure I have seen a 42 mounted in one though.
Yeah that's a big thinker .
You have a 4 door so I would think if mounting spare in back
on roll cage you will still have some room for a cooler and
supplies for day trips. Plus it's a cool look and out of the way.
Nice looking carrier. I like how it mounts to outer body and not
the gate . But if you come down hard off a ledge onto the aluminum
carrier . That weight would probably damage carrier and possibly
bend up the rear body.
 
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Dirty Dog

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Yeah that's a big thinker .
You have a 4 door so I would think if mounting spare in back
on roll cage you will still have some room for a cooler and
supplies for day trips.
Especially if you can do the rear seat delete. Or add a roof rack. I've seen spare tires mounted up there, but I don't care for the idea. Primarily because (A) I don't want to lift anything that heavy alllllll the way up there (I don't really want to lift the spare as high as the tailgate mount, to be honest) and (B) I don't want to shift the center of gravity higher than it already is. Because rolling down a hill will scratch the paint...
 
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