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Moper JK big brake kit, Medalcloak JKU Undercloak, and TJ front bumper
Went to a Jeep work day at my college friend's place
August 30, 2016
1:41 pm
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kris_olof
El Dorado
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So this weekend I ended up helping with a couple of cool JKU projects plus got to use a welder where is wont start a potential forest fire.

First was a Mopar JK Big Brake Kit.  This kit stands out from other JK brake kits since all of the wearable parts are available from any autoparts store and it includes the appropriate master cylinder and booster to match the new bigger calipers.  Specifically the calipers and pads are from a ram 1500 and the rotors are from the UN spec wrangler and Dodge Nitro with tow package. 

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The caliper and rotor install goes as easy as any typical swap.  All bolt on, no fab work, no drilling, no hassle.  

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Removal and replacement of the master and booster is a pain in the ass just like any other booster swap.  The bolts are on the firewall under the dash, you cant see the little clip on the pedal, and brake fluid goes everywhere in the engine compartment.  The new booster is longer than the old so there are some clearance issues installing due to the ABS pump.  Online, some guys have cut down the studs on the booster to get the master closer before getting lined up exactly. We were able to loosen the ABS mounting bolts and kindof force it in.

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Reservoir comes un-installed but is a simple press on it.  Of course the booster has to be bench bled. The front and rear lines out of the master are different sizes but the bleeder kit he had included some soft rubber inserts that work with a few thread sizes.  Once bench bled, the MC installs easy.

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My buddy who was hosting is a bit of a neat freak.  This is his garage "filthy" mid-install. 

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August 30, 2016
1:48 pm
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kris_olof
El Dorado
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Second of the day was a Metalcloak JKU Undercloak skidplate system.  This kit includes a new very heavy duty cross member as well as a gas tank skid which isnt show in the first picture.  Note that the kit does require a odd sized drillbit to install the nutserts, be sure to order ahead of install because Home Depot doesnt carry it.

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Install is pretty straight forward.  Drop old skids, replace crossmember, bolt up new skids with factory hardware, mark holes to be drilled, pull skid plates, drill all holes, install nutserts, re-install skid plates.

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This kit went on a 2012 JKU sport and had 0 install issues.  The 2008 JKU Rubicon that got the big brake kit had the same kit installed in May and there was an issue with the crossmember which Metalcloak replaced for free.  (1 hole in the wrong location)

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Apparently my picture of the complete install went missing, will post when I get another one.

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August 30, 2016
1:52 pm
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Mike G
Newcastle, CA
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Looks good but being that I'm a tj guy I was hoping to see the bumper

August 30, 2016
2:05 pm
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kris_olof
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Final project of the day was one for me.  I have been running the same bumper I originally built for my previous totaled LJ in about 2006.  There was a crack in the bumper from a previous repair and it used trucker style D-rings rather than the proper clevis mounts.  I have had my eye on some fancy bumpers for a while but there are other parts that are higher priority so a $30 piece of steel and an afternoon aught to be enough to hold me over for a few more years.

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Like the old bumper, this one starts with a piece of 2x4x3/16 steel and some 2" and 3" strapping.  First the 2x4 box is cut to length and then the ends cut at 45 degree angles to match the edges of my winch mount and rear bumper.  Visually I wanted a little bit of a change so this bumper ended up about 52" long rather than the 55" of the old one.  The ends were capped with 2" strapping.

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3" strapping was cut to 5" lengths and drilled for mounting holes.  The strapping bolts to the top and bottom of the frame at the factory bumper/tow hook mounting points.  By putting the strapping on the frame loosely, the 2x4 box can be wedged between the top and bottom mounting plates and welded on in final position.  The Roughstuff clevis mounts were then tacked on and the bumper removed for final welding and cleaning with a grinder.  With daylight fading the bumper was installed with just some primer on it and 1 coat of paint on the back.

bumper-4.jpegImage Enlarger

The results are a more practical bumper than before for well under $100.  The Roughstuff clevis mounts are different so the bumper looks somewhat unique.  Best of all I got to use a welder where, unlike my house, there isn't dry grass all around to catch fire.  Hopefully I will get some time to paint it after work one day this week.  

 

Side note, the steel came in a 10 ft length so I have somewhere around 65 inches of 2x4 box left that I will sell for cheap.

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August 30, 2016
2:12 pm
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Mike G
Newcastle, CA
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I want what's left Kris for my TJ front bumper tell me your price and consider it sold

August 30, 2016
4:55 pm
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Guy and Lynda
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Way cool stuff Kris.  I know you had a good time and the work looks great. thumbs-up

August 30, 2016
10:57 pm
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k-jeep
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Those brakes look tiny. (just kidding) grin

Is the Undercloak gas tank skid a replacement or an overlay?

August 31, 2016
2:40 am
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davesjk
Carmichael
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good stuff Kris!  I'm considering the Metalcloak skid system.  would you recommend that one or are there any others you think I should consider?

[¯¯],[¯¯¯¯],
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Its a Gee(p) thing

August 31, 2016
9:43 am
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kris_olof
El Dorado
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k-jeep said
Those brakes look tiny. (just kidding) grin

Is the Undercloak gas tank skid a replacement or an overlay?  

The rotors were more than an inch larger in diameter (which is what really improves brake capacity on long hills) but they were also a few pounds heavier.  The new calipers were significantly larger.  But still tiny compared to your modern 1 ton brakes.

It is an overlay.  The instructions called the factory skid a "liner" and coming from the TJ world I just assumed that the tank was attached to it.  Not really worth the trouble of pulling the tank for the extra 1 mm of clearance, or whatever thickness the factory skid is.

August 31, 2016
10:11 am
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k-jeep
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kris_olof said

It is an overlay.  The instructions called the factory skid a "liner" and coming from the TJ world I just assumed that the tank was attached to it.  Not really worth the trouble of pulling the tank for the extra 1 mm of clearance, or whatever thickness the factory skid is.  

Unless your current stock skid is all beat to hell. Mine looks like a roller coaster. 

I think most are overlays. Guess I'll have to pound mine out with the ole BFH! 

August 31, 2016
10:59 am
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kris_olof
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davesjk said
good stuff Kris!  I'm considering the Metalcloak skid system.  would you recommend that one or are there any others you think I should consider?  

Up to you.  He chose Metalcloak since they are local as have two others I know.  I like that they dont use countersunk hardware so the plates will still be easily removable after a good bashing in the rocks.  Rather than be countersunk, the hardware uses ramped washers so the hardware is floating.

From an engineering sense, the hardware will only be in tension as the plates wont be putting cyclical shear fatigue on the hardware during temperature related expansion nor the standard imparted shear that countersunk hardware creates.

That said I haven't looked closely at any other skid system and Im just some guy on the internet.  This one does make snow wheeling easier since the bottom of the jeep gets nice and smooth.

P_20160830_191146.jpgImage Enlarger

 

P_20160830_191101.jpgImage Enlarger

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August 31, 2016
11:04 am
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davesjk
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kris_olof said

davesjk said
good stuff Kris!  I'm considering the Metalcloak skid system.  would you recommend that one or are there any others you think I should consider?  

Up to you.  He chose Metalcloak since they are local as have two others I know.  I like that they dont use countersunk hardware so the plates will still be easily removable after a good bashing in the rocks.  Rather than be countersunk, the hardware uses ramped washers so the hardware is floating.

From an engineering sense, the hardware will only be in tension as the plates wont be putting cyclical shear fatigue on the hardware during temperature related expansion nor the standard imparted shear that countersunk hardware creates.

That said I haven't looked closely at any other skid system and Im just some guy on the internet.  This one does make snow wheeling easier since the bottom of the jeep gets nice and smooth.

P_20160830_191146.jpgImage Enlarger

 

P_20160830_191101.jpgImage Enlarger  

your more than some guy on the internet.  I value your opinion.  I'll go with the metal cloak then. After going on the last couple of runs I realized I'm pushing my luck not having more protection.  Thanks Kris!

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Its a Gee(p) thing

August 31, 2016
12:40 pm
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Gregulator
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Great write up.  Was the brake kit an actual kit or acquired parts?  Any driving feedback on the kit?

Um...what?

August 31, 2016
2:15 pm
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Darrell and Jill
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kris_olof said

davesjk said
good stuff Kris!  I'm considering the Metalcloak skid system.  would you recommend that one or are there any others you think I should consider?  

Up to you.  He chose Metalcloak since they are local as have two others I know.  I like that they dont use countersunk hardware so the plates will still be easily removable after a good bashing in the rocks.  Rather than be countersunk, the hardware uses ramped washers so the hardware is floating.

From an engineering sense, the hardware will only be in tension as the plates wont be putting cyclical shear fatigue on the hardware during temperature related expansion nor the standard imparted shear that countersunk hardware creates.

That said I haven't looked closely at any other skid system and Im just some guy on the internet.  This one does make snow wheeling easier since the bottom of the jeep gets nice and smooth.

P_20160830_191146.jpgImage Enlarger

 

P_20160830_191101.jpgImage Enlarger  

I had my skid plates cut and fabed up at the local metal shop where I welded up. Because that flat design is no good. I lost my tranny pan with that other.

August 31, 2016
2:22 pm
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davesjk
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Darrell and Jill said

I had my skid plates cut and fabed up at the local metal shop where I welded up. Because that flat design is no good. I lost my tranny pan with that other.  

oh yeah, i forgot about that.  didn't you have it made out of 2" steel or something like thatgrin

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August 31, 2016
2:31 pm
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Gilbert & Betty
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Great write up,  I really like your TJ bumper where can I get one lolgrin

August 31, 2016
2:33 pm
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kris_olof
El Dorado
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Gregulator said
Great write up.  Was the brake kit an actual kit or acquired parts?  Any driving feedback on the kit?  

Actual kit from Mopar. P5160051 for the brakes (calipers/rotors/hoses/pads/etc.) and P5160050 for the booster and master cylinder (same booster and master cylinder Mopar recommends with the ultimate 60s).

No driving feedback yet but the Jeep is an 08 Rubicon JKU in green and we have another friend the same jeep in red.  Both are on 35s with the same undercloak.  We plan on having a 60-to-0 race to compare.  When testing is complete we should have some measurable results better than any "seat of the pants" feelings.

August 31, 2016
3:39 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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kris_olof said 

No driving feedback yet but the Jeep is an 08 Rubicon JKU in green and we have another friend the same jeep in red.  Both are on 35s with the same undercloak.  We plan on having a 60-to-0 race to compare.  When testing is complete we should have some measurable results better than any "seat of the pants" feelings.  

Sounds like your own version a MythBusters! If you're also going to blow stuff up like they do, please be sure to invite me!bomb

September 1, 2016
7:07 am
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Darrell and Jill
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davesjk said

oh yeah, i forgot about that.  didn't you have it made out of 2" steel or something like thatgrin  

It was only 3/8" plate!grin

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