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Thread: High Country Jeeper's slow build

  1. #1
    Fresh Catch
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    Feb 2012
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    Frisco, CO
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    High Country Jeeper's slow build

    I thought I would share my experience and results of my slow build with you all, so here we go...

    A brief history of my jeep:
    I bought my 2008 Unlimited Rubicon on 08/23/09 with 23,368 mi from Carmax for $28,991.41 which included the transfer of the vehicle from California to Virginia, where I lived at the time. 2 weeks later I was t-boned by a small ford car 2 days before I moved to Colorado. Because of the rock rail the jeep survived with a popped tire and minor scratches in the body work, however the ford was completely totaled because my rear passenger tire grabbed her front end and wrenched it 90 degrees. I had the tire replaced and on 09/16/09 I started my drive across country to Colorado. The day before I arrived in CO the touchscreen stereo started to stop responding to touches, which made getting to my new home a little challenging. Luckily I had this replaced under warranty at the local dealership.

    I moved in with some friends in an old house in Summit County, CO which is 619 square miles, has an elevation of 9,000 feet at the bottom of the mountains, contains 4 ski resorts and a large reservoir in the middle of the county. As you can imagine we have a prolonged winter, approx 6-7 months long of snow and very short but sweet spring, summer and fall. On my first winter season I was stopped on a large hill at a red light when a domino's delivery girl in a ford explorer slid into my driver rear corner. Again my jeep suffered minor injuries, scratched paint, broken tail light, dented bumper while her vehicle was completely caved in on her front passenger corner.

    Attached are some stock pics around the county and one in VA when I was missing my spare tire from the accident.

  2. #2
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    First mod and upgrade

    The first "mod" I did was a mirror relocation kit from Mopar. In VA and CO it is required to have 2 rear view facing mirrors and after driving with no doors I was hooked. After moving both mirrors and putting the doors back on I found that the passenger mirror is pretty useless. With the long winters I have the doors on far more than off so I moved it back onto the passenger door.

    The first "upgrade" I did was replacing all the lubricants myself with Amsoil products. It was a close call between Amsoil and Royal Purple but after some thorough researching I decided to go with Amsoil. Because the engine had a ticking noise on cold starts and was consuming about 1qt of oil per 1,000 miles I went with 10W30. The 10W30 oil helped reduce the ticking and reduced my oil consumption as well. Since I have a manual transmission I put in the 5W30 synchro mesh which seemed to make shifting in and out of gears smoother and felt less like I was forcing them. With the diffs I went with the recommended heavy weight oil Severe Gear 75W140 for the hot and dusty offroading I was planning on doing around CO. For the transfer case I used the Automatic Transmission Fluid which I didn't feel any difference in. I replaced both the brake and power steering reservoir fluids with Amsoil products as well. Before I replaced the power steering fluid I would hear pump noises on full turns and in cold weather but since I replaced it I haven't heard any noises at all.

    At the same time I switched from the stock paper filter to a K&N drop in filter. I can't say I felt any real difference with the K&N filter except at high RPM's where it sounded like it was breathing a little easier. I didn't want to keep buying replacement paper filters and I knew I wanted to eventually go with a snorkel instead of a CAI so thats why I decided on the drop in.

    During this time I was getting 16-18 mpg while cruising around town. Sorry for the long and boring update so here are some pics from the local trails. I promise there will be more exciting updates soon!

  3. #3
    Old Timer DA RUNT's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    Beautiful pics, sounds like your jeep is a magnet for bad drivers lol. Looking fwd to the rest of your build
    2013 Jeep with some stuff on it

  4. #4
    Been Around the Block
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    Amazing pics so far..also looking forward to the rest of the build!

    Ps..diggin' the color ;P

  5. #5
    Old Timer Armydog's Avatar
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    ImageUploadedByWAYALIFE1404362075.491245.jpg

    So I'm doing some quick math....

    7 pretty girls + 1 lucky guy + 2 jeeps out in the middle of no where = great times! Good for you man


    Sent from my iPad using WAYALIFE mobile app.......

  6. #6
    Hooked
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    Jun 2014
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    Big Spring Texas
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    Great pics, I lived in CO 2001-2003, loved it
    2014 JKU Rubicon X

  7. #7
    Old Timer noroad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armydog View Post
    ImageUploadedByWAYALIFE1404362075.491245.jpg

    So I'm doing some quick math....

    7 pretty girls + 1 lucky guy + 2 jeeps out in the middle of no where = great times! Good for you man


    Sent from my iPad using WAYALIFE mobile app.......
    thats my kinda math!!

  8. #8
    Fresh Catch
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    Feb 2012
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    Frisco, CO
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    Haha yeah that was a great jeep day for sure. Of course I didn't enjoy the music selection as much as they did, but hey you cant really complain when your jeep is full of pretty girls.

  9. #9
    Fresh Catch
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxcustody View Post
    Great pics, I lived in CO 2001-2003, loved it
    Armydog, that is ironic because I grew up in Va before I moved out here!

  10. #10
    Fresh Catch
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    More bad luck!

    in July 2011 I took a drive from the mountains down to Denver and hitting a pothole I experienced the dreaded death wobble. Let me tell you it was a scary experience! I had noticed slight wobbles at around 55 while driving around the county or when hitting cracks in the pavement but I thought it was just a jeep thing. As is common for early year JK's my track bar bracket had ovaled due to the metric bolt in an english sized hole. I took the Jeep to a local 4x4 shop, Specialized Truck and SUV's, and had them weld on grade 8 washers and retorque the track bar hardware. Ever since then I have not had any problems with the track bar.

    My second bad luck experience was during a local offloading trip up Websters Pass in September 2012 and at approx 57,000 miles. I like to call the Websters Pass trail my unicorn because I have attempted it many times but I have never completed it due to one stupid reason or another. Several attempts were cut short from snow drifts, one year was 10 foot boulder that fell on the trail but this attempt was the worst possible outcome. During september it is not uncommon to get overnight snow on the peaks of the mountains and this year was no different except we were getting rain storms at lower elevations. all of this precipitation resulted in high and faster rivers than I had seen. About halfway up the Webster trail is a river crossing that is usually only about 12-15" and not moving too fast, but this year it was up to the rock sliders and coming down the valley in a hurry! I entered the river a little too fast and a large wave of water went over the hood and hydro-locked the jeep in the middle of the river. I climbed out of the jeep and over the hood and opened up the air filter box to unfortunately find water on both sides of the filter. I dried everything out with a rag and climbed back in, making sure not to touch the icy snow melt river. during the restart I heard a loud pop and the jeep started lighting up like a christmas tree. Luckily I was able to limp it back down to the trail head in Montezuma before all the electronics and power systems started shutting down.

    I had the jeep towed to the local dealership for a damage report. I had ingested water into one of the piston cylinders resulting in a bent rod which punched a hole through the side of the engine block. Water had gotten into all of the fluids and the entire engine was declared bricked. Luckily a barely used engine from a 2009 was located from a jeep shop in the Denver area that had less than 1,000 miles. The shop specializes in the Hemi swaps for jeeps and had several engines taken out of jeeps fresh off the lot. After about $9,000 for a new engine, clutch, ac clutch and electronic sway bar the Jeep was back in action and running better than ever. I no longer have any ticking on start up or oil consumption issues but I still use 10W30 for the added protection. At this time the Jeep was getting a consistent 18 mpg.

    A few more pics:
    _MG_4133.jpg_MG_4473.jpgP1080002.jpgP6110007.jpg

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