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Thread: GraniteCrystal build thread

  1. #1
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO

    GraniteCrystal build thread

    Table of Contents of each mod
    Grill insert- this post - 2/5
    -It looks better but serves very little functional purpose and is kind of a pain to make
    Gobi Steal roof rack - this post - 3/5
    -Pros: Holds anything, looks awesome, super well built.
    -Cons: Adds road noise at high speeds, worse gas mileage, had to chase down mystery rattles that would pop up, kills your clearance by about 6" so I wasn't going to fit in my garage on 37s. Ended up selling it.
    -Follow up review:
    Leatherman mount - this post - 5/5
    -I love having this here. Never have to remember it and I find myself using it all the time. Never have to wonder where it is.
    Flashlight/powerstick holder - this post - 4/5
    -I later moved these so I could mount a fire extinguisher, but I liked having them here. Downsides were that it took up space where the fire extinguisher could be, and it was really visible from outside the vehicle when doors were off.
    JCR Crusader Mid-with bumper - - 4/5
    -Let's face it, mid-width bumpers always look a little weird. I wanted the additional protection though for when my wife drives it, so I can't complain. So far, it's held up well. Only real complaint is that the factory fog lights didn't just slide right on as advertised.
    -Follow up review:
    Warn Zeon 10-S - - 5/5
    -Haven't had to use it yet. Hope I never have to. Only beef with install was threading the synthetic rope nearly killed me until I started using wire to help me out.
    -some follow up notes:
    Custom CB bracket with Firestik II antennae - - 3/5
    -Ok, the only reason this only gets a 3 is I spent way too much time making my own antennae bracket. Save yourself hours of pain and just buy one for $25. Other than that, I love the way I routed the wire and how it feeds into my middle console. Always out of site; always in reach.
    Midland 75-822 CB Radio - - 5/5
    -I don't have much to compare it to, but so far it's worked great on the trails. Very clear and so much smaller than those that have a big ol box to mount.
    Gobi wind noise dampener - - 5/5
    -Cheap, has held up well, and got rid of the weird wind noises I was having with the rack. I like it.
    Plasti-dipped grill - - 4/5
    -Pros: Easy, cheap, gives a custom look, and has held up well
    -Cons: fades over time, to really have it look good, I should probably redo it once a year
    Fishing pole mounts - - 5/5
    -Keeps them up and out of the way, very secure, always ready to hit the streams
    Custom rifle mount - - 2/5
    -Took a lot of time, pretty secure but not super secure, and I may only use it one or two days a year when driving around looking for whitetails. Additionally, the mounts on the bottom of the door I used tend to bond with the paint on the door, so it chipped a tiny bit off, and it can get in the way a bit when getting out of the Jeep
    Tie down storage - - 4/5
    -Cheap, holds them perfectly, always in the Jeep and ready to be used. Minor con is they swing around while driving but I don't notice it anymore
    -Follow up review:
    Quadratec Safari Mirrors - - 4/5
    -yes, the vibrate when driving so the image isn't crystal clear. But it doesn't bother me that much; I just need to see if a car is there, not the facial expression of the person driving
    1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers - - 5/5
    -they moved my wheel out 1.5". What more is there to say?
    ARB 20,000lb snatch block - - 5/5
    -haven't needed it yet but seems very well built
    ARB 26,500lb tree trunk protector - - 5/5
    -haven't needed it yet but seems very well built
    2.5 gal Rotopax, gas and water - - 4/5
    -only complaint is that they don't self bleed pressure. I'm usually driving from 5500' elevation up to over 11,000' elevation and it's a pain to bleed off the pressure on the gas can
    -Follow up review:
    H3R 2.5lb fire extinguisher - - 5/5
    -haven't needed it yet but seems very well built
    Removable rear storage - - 5/5
    -I originally thought these turned out great. Might be able to save some time and just buy something that'll do the same thing, but it was a fun project that gives a cool feel to the Jeep.
    -Follow up review:
    -More modifications to remedy:
    EVO ProTek skids - - 5/5
    -Awesome fit, very well made, makes me feel better going out in the high country
    -Follow up review:
    First aid kit - - 5/5
    -Only used it for minor cuts so far, but already proved handy for that. And it has quik-clot for when I get attacked by a grizzly.
    Rugged Ridge dash mount for cell phone - - 4/5
    -It struggles to hold my Nexus 6, but can handle anything else
    Teraflex 2.5" Budget Boost - - 5/5
    -Install wasn't bad and I learned a lot about my suspension. And it was free from a fellow Wayalifer!
    3rd brake light relocation - - 5/5
    -If you have a dremel tool, there is no reason to not do this. Quick, fun, custom look, increased rear visibility.
    Hammock hanging system - - 5/5
    -You could hang anything from these. Very stout, very cheap, super awesome.
    -Follow up review:
    Driver's seat storage - - 4/5
    -I relocated the flashlight and power stick here so I could put the fire extinguisher next to driver. Overall, I like where they are. Some additional glue/epoxy is going to be needed on the edging though to hold it on; it's starting to rub off a bit
    -Follow up review:
    Fire extinguisher mount - - 3/5
    -Cons: sometimes my foot will tap it on the way out; this is less of an issue with the pin on the inside of the Jeep point outward. Also, it doesn't allow the seat to be move very far forward at all with a 2.5lb extinguisher. But, if only fairly tall people drive your Jeep, it's very nice to have within reach.
    --Follow up review:
    Taillight guards - - 5/5
    -They were free and I wanted a project. Why not?
    JKS JSpec JKonnect 3.5" lift - - TBD/5
    -Final pics here:
    -So far really happy with it, but haven't tested it on trails yet
    EVO Sliders - - 4/5
    -Pros: super strong, look awesome
    -Cons: Only complaint with these is the logo is cut all the way through. Why they did this is beyond me. Ended up going back after the fact, drilling a hole, and spraying paint inside.
    -Follow up modifications to remedy:
    Emergency escape cord from rear cargo area - - 5/5
    -Pros: I can now sleep in the rear of the Jeep and enter/exit through the tailgate. So much easier.
    -Cons: none
    LoD Offroad Destroyer Series shorty rear bumper and tire carrier - - TBD/5
    -Pros: optional attachments of trail rack, Rotopax mount, shovel holder, etc from a well-respected company. Can hold up to a 40" tire and it's one hand operation with tailgate which was a necessity for me
    -Cons: there were a few small issues I had to navigate during the install, but nothing major. Overall, I think the design is solid and should last me for years. I do wish they'd put in some sort of mechanism to stop the carrier from opening up all the way and denting my corners (yeah, that happened).
    5.13 Gears and C Gussets - - 5/5
    -Pros: more torque with the 5.13 gears, pairs well with 37" tires
    -Cons: it revs a bit higher than stock (3.73) before up shifting, but I'm hoping that'll be an asset in the mountains nearby. Stock it'd try to up shift, realize it couldn't hack it, and then down shift to 3rd with the rpms pegging at 5-6k. Should be fun to take it over the pass and see how this performs. 4.88 probably would've been closer to stock.
    JKS License Plate Relocation - - 5/5
    -Pros: easy to install, nice LED light to light up the plate
    -Cons: doesn't have a 3rd brake light, but that's not required by law in Colorado
    37" Cooper STT Pro Tires on ATX Ravine wheels - - 5/5
    -Pros: tires track well on highway, look really aggressive. Wheels look and perform awesome IMO. I like the beadlock look and how they drain water.
    -Cons: Definitely louder than my KO2s, but not annoyingly so. It's a mud terrain, so I think that's part of the deal.
    Locally sourced 1310 front driveshaft - - 5/5
    -Pros: built to the exact specifications of my lift from a local guy, so I can always go see him if I have any trouble
    -Cons: I went back and forth on 1310 vs 1350. 1350 was going to be $200 more. I guess time will tell if I made the right decision
    Fender trim - - 5/5
    - Pros: it's cheap to do and can look great if you take your time and do it right
    - Cons: none yet. Still would like MCE longterm though. Lifetime, no questions warranty, will look a little better IMO, and would give more clearance
    Chalk test on 37" Cooper STT Pro tires - - 5/5
    -Pros: easy to do and now I know the correct psi
    -Cons: none
    Tuffy Security Drawer - - 5/5
    -Pros: pulls out farther than the BestTop one and I scored it for $42 off Craigslist. One of the easiest things I've installed on the Jeep thus far.
    -Cons: none
    Rotopax breather hole - - 1/5
    -Pros: hope this really helps with letting the excess pressure off the gas can. Need to test it on a hot day or climbing elevation.
    -Cons: this leaked. Sealed it over. Looking for alternate methods of breating pressurized vapor
    Quick detach for license plate light on spare tire - - 5/5
    -Pros: uses factory hardware, allows me to swing tire carrier away
    -Cons: none

    June 2015 - picking up the Jeep from the dealer. Bought used with 29k miles. 2014 JKUR.


    July 2015 - Added a grill insert. There's a few write ups out there for how to do this. Was more of a pain than I'd planned on but it turned out good.



    September 2015 - added a Gobi Stealth Roof rack I got from a guy off Craigslist for $1200. Was a bit of a tight fit on the front windshield piece, but looks/works great.



    October 2015 - if you have an extra leatherman/pocket knife around that has a case, here is a great place to put it. Two zip ties and it fits perfect in the little space between the sub and the gate.



    November 2015 - one of the coolest/cheapest mods I've seen and I came up with this one on my own (as far as I know, never seen it before). Added a little bracket/carrier for a flashlight and a power stick (two essentials IMO). Light on the driver's side, power on the passenger side. To do both cost me about $6 (+cost of flashlight and power stick) and they work great. If anyone is interested in details let me know and I'll create a how-to thread.



    Last edited by GraniteCrystal; 04-01-2017 at 07:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
    Great pics. The flashlight mod has been done before, but I've never seen it done the way you did for that small of a light. Either way, nice job.
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  3. #3
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by WJCO View Post
    Great pics. The flashlight mod has been done before, but I've never seen it done the way you did for that small of a light. Either way, nice job.
    You're right, I had forgotten I did in fact see it with some big mag lights which is what inspired me. Yeah, I used a little different setup; I didn't want a huge light and that little LED flashlight is awesome and crazy bright. Nice that the same setup works for the power stick on the right side.

  4. #4
    Old Timer AllAmericanInfidel's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Wahiawa, HI
    Your rig is coming along nicely! I really like that Gobi rack on there, one of the best looking in my opinion!
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  5. #5
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by AllAmericanInfidel View Post
    Your rig is coming along nicely! I really like that Gobi rack on there, one of the best looking in my opinion!
    Thanks! JCR Crusader mid-width goes on next week with the Warn winch.

  6. #6
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO
    Well, the bumper and winch are both on but it seems I'm missing the final piece: Warn anchor puck. Good news is I called them up and they said they'd ship one free of charge. Also sent me some bumper stickers too for free. Bummed I can't complete the install till it arrives but glad I got a Warn.

    In the meantime, I'm installing my CB radio and antenna. Will post pics soon.

  7. #7
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO

    Bumper/Winch Install

    Finished up the bumper/winch install a few days ago. Bumper is a JCR Offroad Crusader Mid-width from Trail Jeeps. Trail Jeeps did the powder coat on it as well.

    Here is Oliver, obviously curious to see how the install will go:

    Here is the bumper, just unwrapped after picking up from Trail Jeeps:

    Only small hiccup was removing those really annoying plastic things on the stock bumper. Drilling a screw into the center and pulling did the trick. Ruins the part, but not going to need it anymore:

    Here is the front end with the stock bumper removed:

    JCR says if using a Warn Zeon you need to make some small cuts on the frame. Did that with my dremel tool, then used some cardboard to help me just spray paint the exposed metal:

    The Crusader bumper mounts the fogs farther apart than the stock, but JCR includes some extra wire to splice in so the factory fogs can go the distance. Here is the fog light harness before; you can see it's only about 6":

    I snipped the wires about an inch after they fork off to go to the fogs and spliced in the extra wire from JCR:

    So it ends up looking like this. Then wrapped in electrical tape and some new, plastic tubing (not shown):

    Here is the bumper, all mounted. You can still see the wire hanging down below. I just tucked that in and ran the fog light wiring over the frame so it wouldn't hang down:

    Next up was attaching the winch. Warn has a solid video on youtube on how to install. Pretty straightforward. Only part they conveniently leave out is actually getting the hoop through the slot in the tube. Did some reading online and found this to work best:
    It's a wire hanger threaded through, with some dish soapy water rubbed on the end of the rope to lessen friction. Once I did that, came through in about a minute. Trying to do it with zip ties was useless.

    The rest of the winch install was straightforward and is in the video by Warn, so I won't go into too much detail. Still need to pre-stretch the rope before using it though.

    Last part to go on was the skid plate from JCR. Only a few bolts, but it definitely takes some patience to get everything started. A bit of a balancing act.

    Here is the finished product:



    Haven't put it to the test yet, but really happy with the way it turned out. Love having more tire exposed with the mid-width compared to the stock.

  8. #8
    Old Timer JeepFan's Avatar
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    Palmenthal, CA
    Looks great!

  9. #9
    Guy with a Red 2-Door cozdude's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    West Chester, PA
    that came out good!!
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    2011 JK
    EVO Bolt-on Coilovers, EVO 1/4 pounder w/ stinger, 37" Cooper STT Pros, PR44, and some EVO stuff

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  10. #10
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Denver, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by JeepFan View Post
    Looks great!
    Quote Originally Posted by cozdude View Post
    that came out good!!
    Thanks guys!

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