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A long time comin - 2012 JKU Rubicon

 
Old 04-02-2019, 09:06 AM
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Default A long time comin - 2012 JKU Rubicon

Hi everyone, my name is Josh. My wife is Ana, and my two boys are Jax (4) and Sam (2) - Follow on Instagram for the fun we have https://www.instagram.com/geekytechycool/

Like many folks who own a JK I've had quite a few other trail rigs over the years. I had more than a few XJs, had a YJ once, but I also liked the oddball stuff like my 94 Isuzu Amigo ;-). I spent quite a bit of time deciding between building another XJ or buying and slowly building a JKU. I went back and forth for months, and in the end with my wife echoing in my head "Stop messing around with all these other platforms and buy the rig you've wanted" I took the leap and bought my first JKU.

It's a 2012 Rubicon with 90K miles. Has two tone interior, 6sp manual, Teraflex upgrades, and a rare factory paint of Black Forest Green with a black hard top. I'm still developing plans but they include a utility/camping trailer to act as a base-camp when were out and about as well as a way to haul larger items while home, enough tire/articulation/recovery/armor to enjoy Moab again, and some fun accessories that help make it my own (stereo system is a must). Overall I'm a function/value over form kind of person, I care how it looks but I'll install an ugly upgrade if it works so well you can't deny it for the money...lol.

The night I bought it...











Aaaaaand the next day...cracked thermostat housing, rodent chewed air filter, black and low transmission/t-case fluid, ebrake couldn't hold on even the slightest of inclines, bump stop was bouncing around in the spring





















I'm the "car guy" among my friends/family so when I got home and realized what I had done...I was pretty pissed at myself. I made every mistake in the book when going to look at this thing, first it was three hours away (cheapest JKU Rubi in central FL), I went in the evening, I didn't leave myself enough time to go over everything there, and I was WAAAAAY to excited about it to be objective (and it showed). In the end after a couple phone calls and a one star review on Google the dealership took the thing back for a week to go over it and they did a great job supporting their customer fixing and adjusting everything I was concerned with (other than what I had already replaced)

First round of accessories are just to make it more friendly overall to drive and use here in my area, we see lots of sun here...lol

Rough Country grab handles front and rear (for ingress/egress)
Rugged Ridge quick disconnect mirror (for doorless fun while still legal/safe-ish)
Spiderweb sun shade (to combat cancer of the skin)

I take my boys to and from school so the shade helps a lot for them, and my wife is all of 5'2" (barely...cough cough) so the grab handles will help her in and out. Onto some random pics!!

You can start to see the green in the paint with the sun in the background.


Had to change the shift knob as it had a broken stock one, I have plans to upgrade the whole assembly down the road so for now it's a simple autozone knob.


My office building in downtown St Pete is a great place to snap a shot as you walk away


Obligatory driveway shots (don't mind the garage...we're still unpacking)







Last edited by GeekyTechyCool; 04-19-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:26 AM
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Welcome aboard! Sounds like the initial start was a little rocky, but hopefully things proceed in a much more enjoyable manner!

Did you replace that thermostat housing or did the dealer, and if it was the dealer, are they an actual Jeep dealership? I only ask since '12 was the tag ends of HOAT coolant. I believe OAT coolant started in '13 if I recall. These two coolants don't play nicely together when mixed. If you did it you'll obviously know what you topped off with. If it was a Jeep dealer, they should have topped off with the proper coolant. If it was just random dealership service center.....I'd be skeptical.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by resharp001 View Post
Welcome aboard! Sounds like the initial start was a little rocky, but hopefully things proceed in a much more enjoyable manner!

Did you replace that thermostat housing or did the dealer, and if it was the dealer, are they an actual Jeep dealership? I only ask since '12 was the tag ends of HOAT coolant. I believe OAT coolant started in '13 if I recall. These two coolants don't play nicely together when mixed. If you did it you'll obviously know what you topped off with. If it was a Jeep dealer, they should have topped off with the proper coolant. If it was just random dealership service center.....I'd be skeptical.
Thank you!

Good catch ;-) you're spot on. I replaced the thermostat myself and used the coolant with the proper HOAT mixture here at home. The dealership is three hours away from my house so when coolant start spitting out of the T-Stat housing I knew there weren't a ton of options other than replacing it myself. They are a Jeep dealer and this JKU has an extensive service history with them and their sister dealership near them, so I'm hoping for smooth sailing from here on out. Just in case though, I purchased a major component warranty from my bank with the loan to cover the Engine, Drivetrain, AC...stuff like that, hard to not justify it for a whopping 16 bucks a month over the course of the loan.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:05 AM
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Having a good time just driving the Jeep with a few small changes along the way.

Tried a ProClip HD mount and didn't like it. The mount is solid, no problems there however I bought it as a cheaper alternative to a 67Designs mount but in the end to make a phone mount solidly to the base you'd need to invest in ProClips phone clamp that has the correct ball socket, that pushes it right into the same price bracket as the 67Designs mount which is arguably a better mount and hands down a better looking solution so off it went.



Ordered and installed a 67Designs mount instead, freakin love it...best mount for the JK hands down. Add to that the fact that you can grow into the @Vector Offroad bar and keep your arms/clamp means its a solid investment.





Upgraded the stereo with a Pioneer MVH-s600Bs, Alpine MRVF-450 5 channel amp, and PowerBass S1004 sub in a small truck box. Now I'm no competition system designer, or audiophile, however I do like good clean audio with the ability to tune things along the way. I had a couple requirements for a new head-unit, it had to have 4V (four volt) outputs (better/cleaner sound to the amplifier compared to the 2V or 2.5V more commonly found today) and it had to have good options for EQ/Crossovers, the rest of the standard stuff was a given (bluetooth, aux in, USB in, mic input...) one bonus of this specific unit was the ability to customize the colors of the read out and buttons, it now matches (as close as possible) my stock lighting. My stock system was the infinity system without bluetooth or nav, nav is handled by my phone on a 67-designs mount so all I really needed was bluetooth for daily functionality. This install consisted of pulling the stock headunit, running RCA cables down the driver side to the amp location under the rear seat, running speaker wire back up the driver side from the amp to near the driver kick panel where the infinity amp was located, and then tapping into the infinity output wires to the speakers (I also added a set of "bass-blockers" to the positive line going to the tweeter since the infinity amp controlled that prior to this), I also ran power from the battery down the passenger side to the amp but that's a given. I tried using ALL the stock speakers including the sub and I will say that just adding the Alpine amp/HU made a HUGE difference in sound output both in volume and tone but, the stock sub just isn't up to the task of putting out rich full bass at any volume compared to any half decent offering from the aftermarket crowd so I added the mentioned sub behind the rear seat. Now I had the amp, sub, and amp kit laying around, the new HU, standard install kit, bass-blockers, and wire were ordered new. Naturally (damn it) I didn't take many pics while installing as the install was broken up over few afternoons when I could find time from Dad duties and work, but I did forget to plug the mic in...and I broke part of the clip mounts for the center dash panel so I had to pull some #nightshift duty and fix those two things this week.





I'll get some pics of the important sections this weekend for you guys and edit this post.

I did a good amount of research on this process and in the end this thread proved to be the most informative - https://www.jk-forum.com/forums/jk-e...em-h-u-226953/
*It covered wiring colors that were spot on, covered the proper way to add to the system to keep the factory HU, great stuff! Hats off to @imedic31 for the detailed writeup*

I wanted to highlight that you don't need to dump a ton of cash to get a good sounding system that you can hear down the highway completely open. Just had an event in Tampa yesterday which is about thirty mins from my house, top and doors off, stereo is almost completely free of distortion using the factory speakers and a cheap aftermarket sub at close to it's volume limit. With a little more tuning, this should be a viable solution for some time until I can add a good set of speakers to the mix and maybe a more powerful amp just for the sub. But all in, including what the equipment I have laying around goes for today, this same system might cost $300-$400 (possibly cheaper with with deals around your area)

Equipment needed + Affiliate links

Deck https://amzn.to/2DmMykd / Install kit https://amzn.to/2Xlhjh0 - Pioneer MVH-s600bs/Standard harness with dash kit and antenna adapter ~$100 on amazon
*If you NEED your steering wheel controls for volume and such you'll need this harness - https://amzn.to/2GluXtK

Amp Alpine MRVF-450 ~$125-$175 (I bought my amp used from a guy on craigslist for $100) / Install kit https://amzn.to/2Xvc52p - A basic 8 gauge kit will be fine for this wattage

Sub https://amzn.to/2Gmw1h4 / Box https://amzn.to/2GvS2Lv - ~$80 on amazon (any generic sealed box will get the job done)


Misc - https://amzn.to/2Xlhjh0 Bass-Blockers / https://amzn.to/2XmAk2w Wire / https://amzn.to/2DoWVnB RCA cables, 4 channel

All the Amazon stuff totals ~$232 leaving room for an amp to be sourced locally. Hit up pawn shops, FB marketplace, Craigslist, Offerup.


Thanks for taking the time to read my post, if you have any questions feel free to ask :-)

Last edited by GeekyTechyCool; 04-26-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:20 AM
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Spent some time adjusting the EQ now that it's been in there for a week or so, even more clarity now and a bit more volume as well. Damn good replacement for that basic stereo :-)

I'll invest in some speakers down the road (components up front and coax in the sound bar) but for now it's quite good just as it is, almost balanced I'd say!
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:58 PM
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Lots of rain the last couple of weeks, not as much fun...boo hoo

Should be taking the Jeep out on it's first run next weekend, bit of a shake down to test all of the Rubicon options.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:17 AM
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Woo hoo, headed to a Jeep meet this Saturday!


Get a chance to test the Jeep out and take a look at the new Gladiator and an Eco Diesel Wrangler
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