ZMotorSports 2011 JKUR Build Thread

I am new here but thought I would throw up some pictures of my latest Jeep build. It is not real time as I have owned it now for almost two years.

I bought the Jeep with only 3208 miles on the odometer and commenced building my "Dream Jeep". This is my daily driver and weekend wheeler.

On lift just before sitting it down with the 4" BDS Suspension Lift and 35" KM2 tires/ATX Crawl wheels.
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Backed outside the shop after just barely sitting her on the ground with new lift and tires/wheels.
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More to come as I dig through the pictures. Also pictured here is the Warn Rockcrawler bumper/Powerplant combination that I purchased used just to get me by until I could fabricated my own bumpers.

Mike.
 

TJDukit

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S.
Location
Clearfield
I'm looking forward to reading through your build again. You've got some killer fab skills that will be much appreciated here.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Removed the front axle to re-gear, sleeve, gusset and paint.
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Disassembly of the front axle to prep for welding and re-gear.
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Holes drilled for sleeves.
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A couple of welds on my gussets for the lower control arm mounts.
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Painted and ready for gears.
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Out with the 4.10 and in with the 5.38 gears.
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Proper backlash.
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Drive side gear mesh pattern.
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Front end back together complete with new RCV front axle shafts.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Now on to the rear axle.

Rear backlash reading.
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Gear mesh pattern on drive side of rear gearset.
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Ten Factory 4340 rear axle shafts.
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And rear completed. Also a shot of my MBRP rockcrawler exhaust system.
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I also use this Jeep as a toad to tow behind our coach. Sometimes I haul it in the trailer but usually it gets flat-towed. I didn't care for any of the aftermarket towbar adapters that I had seen and on my previous XJ and ZJ's I had merely incorporated tow points into the front bumpers when I fabricated them. I took a different approach on this one as it also sits quite a bit higher than the previous Jeeps.

This towbar bracket actually sits slightly below and back behind the front bumper and works perfectly to attach my Roadmaster Sterling towbar to without having to use those ugly adapters and not have to listen to them rattle around when driving.

This is what I started with. 2" OD X .250" tubing and .375" plates to make the attachment points out of. I just used a cardboard template and then once all were cut out I cut the hole to slide the tubing through.
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The mounting plate is .500" thick and ties up high to give extra support.
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Bolted together for proper spacing so I could weld the pieces together.
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Tack welded in place for fitment.
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Completely welded and ready to send off for powder coating.
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Back from the powder coater and ready for final installation.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
On to the dual battery installation. I like the idea of having a reduntant system here as without juice you are dead in the water and almost everything requires a current supply on these new Jeeps.
Before.
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Removing the TIPM.
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OEM battery tray out.
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While putting the new dual battery tray in I realized I didn't like the way the tray was supported, or lack of support rather. So I decided to remedy this by fabricating an extra support bracket. I started with some 11 gauge P&O steel and drew out a design.
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Cut it out on my trusty old vertical bandsaw.
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Fabricated a small bracket to mount the evap solenoid to.
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I decided to add one final touch.
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Completed, painted and ready to install.
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Evap solenoid mounted but you really can't see all of the work that went into fabricating the support bracket.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Next on to my auxiliary oil cooler installation.

This is a PITA to do with the winch in the way but luckily I had a 90 degree pneumatic drill and some small bits which made it accessible.
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Adding my stainless steel line with AN fittings.
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Routing of the lines.
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Next item up was some gauges to monitor the Jeeps vitals. Why Chrysler decided to remove gauges from the dash is beyond me. I started with some more 11 gauge P&O steel and bent it to form a channel behind which to run the wiring.
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Closed the top end.
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Trimmed to fit around the interior "A" pillar trim panel.
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Gauge buckets bolted to the channel after painting.
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Buckets installed and wiring ran.
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Ready for installation.
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Wires labeled for future reference.
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Bung machined for the transmission sending unit.
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Gauge trio completed and a shot with the dash lights on. Top to bottom are Voltage, Oil Pressure and Transmission Temperature.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Now moving on to my bumpers.

I fabbed the rear bumper/tire carrier first as I had a temporary front bumper/winch already.

Before.
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Mounting brackets.
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First piece to get the size/shape I was after as well as the spare tire cutout as low as I could yet still allow for if I ever decide to go to 37" tires.
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Top corner pieces cut on the bandsaw.
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Lower recess formed.
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One of my welds. A little blurry though.
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Tacked together.
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Another weld.
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Main piece welded to the frame mounts along with the nuts welded in place.
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Corner piece. I decided to throw a slight inward angle on the corner. Boy did that throw a wrench into the equation for the angle of the dangle.
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The trick is to get the pieces cut perfectly to allow an inside corner to inside corner fitment of the pieces. This will allow the corner to be completely filled with weld and very, very little grinding to radius the corner. All that was necessary was a slight pass with the flap disk and the weld was blended and ready for powder coating.
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Ready to start the tire carrier portion.
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Start of the tire carrier mount. I doulbled up the thickness for not only strength in this area but also to give a slight dimple to allow the lock pin to engage without going all the way through the bumper.
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Lock pin welded in place.
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Tire carrier mocked up and toggle clamp location determined.
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Another weld.
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While I was at it I decided I wanted a Hi-Lift mount added to the carrier. This will bolt on after powder coating.
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"D" ring mounts and LED lights cut in/mounted prior to removal for powder coating. You can also see the inward turned lower edge that was added to finish it off.
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I hate the looks of the rear ventilation being open so I fabbed a "tramp stamp" to cover its' ugly.
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While the rear bumper/tire carrier were at the powder coater I decided to add some small LED rock lights. I added two up near the front suspension, two midway under the "B" pillar and two at the rear where the OE muffler heat shield attached. I ran all of the wires inside of the framerails to not only eliminate the possibility of getting caught on something but also for asthetics.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Bumper back from powder coater.
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Installed.
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Completed with LED lights and third brake light installed.
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I machined spacers to space the tramp stamp out away from the tailgate and allow the vent to perform as designed.
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Hi-Lift mount installed. I machined some spacers to prevent the edges of the bracket from rolling over when tightened.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
After installing my Trektop NX soft top.
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I decided to add the JKS steering support to eliminate the possibility of having gear box issues which is quite common on the JK's.
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Knock the paint/undercoat off to provide bare steel to weld the block onto.
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Tack welded.
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Burned in.
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Painted.
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Driver's side completed. Now onto the passenger side for the strut rod mount.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Now onto the front bumper build.

Off with the WARN Rockcrawler bumper and Powerplant winch/compressor combo.
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I wanted to keep the mounting bolts hidden so I had to fabricate a sub-bracket in which to build off of. Here again is my CAD (Cardboard Aided Design) templates.
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WARN 9.5XP should do it.
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Final welding on the mounting bracket. I wanted the winch to sit as low as possible which resulted in having to shift it about 1.625" to the side.
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I mounted the "D" rings not only to the faceplate of the bumper but tied them directly to the sub-mounts which are bolted directly to the frame. This way upon having to really pull on something they don't merely pull the outer piece away from the sub-mounting bracket.
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Weld.
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Faceplate of the bumper cut out and ready for a trial fit.
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Front piece welded on around the "D" ring mounts as well.
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Ready for the top and side pieces to be mocked up.
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All welds blended and the bumper metal finished and almost ready for the powder coater.
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Grille hoop bent and welded on.
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Back from the powder coater.
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Completed.
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zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Moving on now to my onboard air addition after replacing the WARN Powerplant.
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Manifold block assembled.
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Compressor/manifold block assembly mounted. I was going to fabricate the mounting bracket but after pricing most of the items it was definately cheaper to purchase the system in kit form.
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Air tank mounted. I had to get creative here because the tank is designed to be mounted about 2.5" lower. I had my aftermarket transmission cooler lines as well as the JKS steering support that impeded the designed location.
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I also removed my driver's side "A" pillar trim panel to add an air pressure gauge as well as the power switch.
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This is one busy part of the Jeep.
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All of the wiring was run through convoluted wire casing for asthetics.
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Here is where my air outlet is located. I also have one in the driver's kick panel.
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While I was at it here, I have heard of the many issues that come up with the OEM motor and sensor assembly for the stock Rubicon sway-bar disconnect. I decided to address this prior to having issues. Also I was frustrated that when running trails where there was some distance between obstacles and I wanted to kick it back into 2 WD, my swaybar would try to reconnect. Usually by the time I hit the next obstacle the light would stop flashing and it would be reconnect just in time to put in back into 4-LO and disconnect the swaybar. This way no more of that.

I installed the EVO Manufacturing manual disconnect. Great, simple product. Works as advertised and swaybar is disconnected when I want it disconnected.
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I think that is about all which brings the rig current.

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Incredible fab work. I love the powder coating. What's the finish called?


I think it is just wrinkle black. When I first took my towbar bracket to them, I asked them to match the texture and color as close as possible. I think they did a great job of matching it. That seems to be what I stick with now, it also matches the fenders and top quite closely. Don't know what I'll do when I decide to change those.;)

Mike.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Supporting Vendor
Location
West Haven, UT
Impressive fab work Mike!! Love how clean everything turned out, especially those bumpers. They look aftermarket, very high quality! :cool:

NICE! My pile of Jeep needs bumpers if you're up for building another set. Not sure when I'll get around to it.

Looks great, very clean work!

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the compliments.

My son's LJ is just as clean and nice, I will have to find some pics of it and throw them up as well.

Mike.
 

glockman

I hate Jeeps
Location
Pleasant Grove
Pics don't do this rig justice. Your welded bumper joints are amazing. It was nice to meet you and your son at NPLD. I checked both builds out on forbidden jeeps. Your attention to detail is crazy. Love both jeeps. You should post your sons LJ so I have some more motivation:)


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