Mild JK Build

eric m

New member

Just thought I post my mild build up of my daily driver JK. This is about a month into owning it, I couldn’t stand the plastic bumper so I upgraded to an amazon winch bumper and I had installed the tires and wheels from my wife’s JKU.


This is about 6 months in, I had installed a leveling kit, heavier rated factory springs, Craigslist flat fenders and 33’s. Also did mirrior movers and led headlights.


By this time I had added a Daystar hood cowl to help air-flow while trail riding (it goes off-road but I’m always leading so all I have are poser pictures) I did the JL hood latch upgrade and had added a Banks Monster intake I got on Craigslist.

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Didn’t take pictures when I did it or don’t have them my current phone but I scored a rusty Rockslide Engineering rear bumper and tire carrier from Craigslist, I stripped the powder coat and shortened and capped the bumper so it was closer in length to the front bumper. Then I spraylined it, it looks much nicer and is holding up well. Also handles the current 35” spare just fine.

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Back in August at Southington off-road park I bent my factory tie-rod so I upgraded to a Cavfab bolt on one ton tie-rod and drag link...


While I was messing around in the front end I added a Steersmarts Yeti track bar, a raptor off-road swaybar, and changes my leveling kit and JKU springs for some 2.5” Rockkrawler springs front and rear.

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Installed some aluminum inner fenders up front to get rid of my modified factory ones.


Finally wired up my fender lights. I had wired the halo portion with my day time running lights. I also added a Pypes high clearance exhaust. This pretty much catches me up with my two year ownership so far.

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Should have gave details in the first post, it’s a 2011 JK with the 3.8v6 6-speed manual. Currently has 35x12.5 BFG Km3’s. I plan to re-gear this year and add a selectable rear locker.

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I hated the factory transmission shifter in the JK, super sloppy and would constantly shake around when in gear. This is due to the design, as you can see in the first picture the center retaining bolt has a steel sleeve vulcanized to the shifter handle allowing a lot of movement and vibration. I used the Amazon B&M knock off (I just couldn’t justify paying an extra $100). It is a huge improvement, the extra play and vibration is gone and the shifting angle feels “sporty-er”. Also you can see the Rockknob shift knobs I use. The transmission shift knob I’ve had for 17 years or so and used in a few different Jeeps, my wife got me the t-case shift knob for Christmas.

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About 10 months ago I added a throttle controller, there are many on the market some have good reviews some not so much. This one is from Extreme Terrain, it’s worked well for me in my application. The JK’s are drive by wire meaning unlike older Jeeps they don’t have a throttle cable. This leads to a lag from when you press the throttle until the Jeep responds, this is super annoying in the best of times but especially with a manual transmission. What the controller does is that it tricks the computer into opening the throttle further so it takes less pressure to git a response. Each controller has different ranges and settings, I have mine set fairly high so that it emulates having a cable. Combing the controller and the new shifter it makes for a much better driving experience.

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Because the JK is my daily driver I’ve added a few things to make it nicer and to protect the interior. The 11-18 JK’s did away with door pockets in favor of a mesh net thing...this doesn’t really work if you use your door pockets. I added Slickrock Gear’s JK pockets, really easy to install and add some extra storage. I’m not a fan of neoprene seat covers, the ones in my wife’s JKU started falling apart in 2 years. I went with the leather-like CoverKing covers. They still look new after 2 years, they’re water proof, and they wipe clean. I’m using a Rugged Ridge phone mount, it only just fits my iPhone 8+ in an Otterbox. If you have a larger phone or bulky case I would recommend a different mount. I also like the windshield frame mounted grab handles, they’re very sturdy.

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Is that a green LED on your headlamp? Would I need to work with some papers for me to install that or it's just on the outer ring so there is still a white light coming out?
Is that a green LED on your headlamp? Would I need to work with some papers for me to install that or it's just on the outer ring so there is still a white light coming out?

It is the halo ring that was built into those headlights, it doesn’t affect the headlight beams. I had it wired up to act as a day time running light by using some fuse jumpers and tapping into the accessory fuse. I seem to always have people pull out in front of me so I like the idea of daytime running lights.

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I upgraded the front turn signals and fog lights to leds. The turn signals are Axial units from ExtremeTerrain the fogs are xprites from Amazon, I’ve had good luck with those on other Jeeps.

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Started with this...

Made this...

Finished up with this...


To get this mounted, it’s an oil catch can, it will catch any oil that’s vented from the PCV system before it goes back through the intake causing buildup.

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Is that a homemade CB antenna mount?
If so is that top nut welded to the plate that will be grounded? I ask cause it looks like its all grounded and you will never get SWR to move.
Never-mind... i see it in the last pic.

Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up - Jesse Jackson

Installed a hood lift on my buddy’s JK and decided I wanted one as well. I went with a Hooke Off-Road lift from Amazon.







Went on in less than 30 minutes.

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What tires are those? I would like to buy a new set of mud tires. I am currently checking out selections on 4wheelonline.

Had to replace my clutch and slave cylinder, decided while I had everything apart I would upgrade the shifter to the B&M short shifter.


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