Help me with my build, this idiot needs it

taysby

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I'm currently in the process of ordering a 392 but I don't want to finalize anything until I have all of my ducks in a row and I know exactly what I will be upgrading. I would appreciate any help or direction because I'm struggling to find comparisons of options so I can educate myself. Just people saying "this is my list of products and yup it works" -_-

The only problem is I am NOT a car guy so I have no idea what I want from what brands. Links to specific products to buy would be greatly appreciated. I know the general modifications I would like to do though, input on what to add or take off would be appreciated.

I would be using it as a daily driver so while I want to be able to say no to as few obstacles as possible I need it to be relatively drivable on the highway. And of course I'd like it to look as cool as possible but that's a given ;)

I'm pretty good with my hands so I might be able to do some of it myself to save some dollars but I'd also like some advice on what to leave to the professionals.

Here's the list that I was thinking of.

1) Either get the extreme recon package and upgrade to 37" tires OR forgo that and do a 4" lift with 40" tires. I've heard that you need to beef up the axels to run 40s, however I've also heard that the 392 comes with an upgraded axel so I don't know if that additional modification would be necessary. And for either one of those would I need bumpers?
2) Bumpers. I'm thinking I want aftermarket stubby bumpers with a winch. I've also seen some with a built in light bar, but would that be worth it?
3) Winch for said bumper. It seems to me just stick with a Warn and it'll be more than sufficient?
4) Lighting. I definitely want a front facing light bar and LED headlights. Side and rear lights for night driving would be pretty nice too. I'd also like some neon rock lights because flashing colors make me happy. I know, I'm a child.
5) Either a fender delete or really narrow fenders. That would give me more articulation and make it easier to see my tire placement correct?
6) An onboard air compressor. I'd like to not have to wait forever while airing my tires back up so I'd like a heavier duty option. I've also read some things that some you can set to a certain psi and hook it up to all of the tires at once and let it do its thing?
7) CB radio. Nothing pisses me off more than not being able to get signal from the person on the other side of the caravan, I want one that wouldn't give me any issues
8) Rear storage, I'd like one row of drawers for all the tools and rescue equipment I'd need to carry so I don't have to mess with loose bags
9) Skid plates. Do I even need these? I don't want to break something underneath that would have been easily avoided but not many people talk about adding on past what comes stock
10) Tube doors. These all seem the same, just pick one that I like the look of and it'll be fine right?
11) Soft top. I want one to put on and leave on all the time. I like riding naked, so I want something really easy to fold up that isn't crazy loud on the highway.

That's definitely a lot to request help but this is my first jeep I'm building for myself so any help you want to give me would be sooooooo helpful.
 

Viking Jeeper

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You certainly have done a lot of research, sorry no responses yet. Maybe more will speak up.

1. As far as axles, I'm coming from the TJ world where you need to upgrade axles to run 37's so I really dont know.

2. I like the factory bumper with side extensions removed.

3. Cant go wrong with Warn. Some of their cheaper models are made in China if that is something you care about.

4. The aux switches will make installing lights pretty easy. Many people knock Rough Country and I would not use any of their suspension parts but I have one of their light bars ready to go on my 392 when it comes in. So far it appears to be of high quality.

5. Fender delete. I need to look at this also.

6. Double ARB under the passenger seat. Someone makes a bracket.

7. We are currently using CB as well as GMRS.

8. Check out goose gear. I dont have plans for drawers yet but I would probably go with them if I wanted drawers.

9. Skid plates have everything to do with the type of wheeling you plan on. Here in FL there are few rocks and not a lot of reason for me to get expansive skid plates. The current oil pans no longer leave the drain plug exposed. I might get an exhaust skid plate.

10/11. I am getting hard top and factory half doors. This way I can run with the uppers and freedom panels in the back but be ready for any bad weather.
 

RKKRAWL

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1. XR package will get you by for awhile if you go to 37s, you will need different offset wheels, beat on it and it will break. 4.5" suspension lift, power steering will need upgrading, either electric pump or PSC hydro a$$ist. Should upgrade axles and maybe truss the Cs. 40s will need 60s or 60/80s, you will get bigger brakes which you need anyway, heavier steering and will need new driveshafts. Front bumper will need to be a stubby or tires will rub, need new inner fender liners and high line the front fenders. FROM THIS POINT ON REMEMBER THAT IT IS A "JEEP" jUST EMPTY EVERY POCKET. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

2. Stubby bumpers and a Warn winch will work.

3. A&A

4. Your choice Check specs all lights are not equal

5. Narrow fender will give you more clearance, doubt that you will be able to see the tires with the seating position.

6. Needed

7. Needed

8. Expensive

9. Skid plates - should have

10. Pick your poison

11. New twill tops are much better that the older style.
 
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taysby

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You certainly have done a lot of research, sorry no responses yet. Maybe more will speak up.

1. As far as axles, I'm coming from the TJ world where you need to upgrade axles to run 37's so I really dont know.

2. I like the factory bumper with side extensions removed.

3. Cant go wrong with Warn. Some of their cheaper models are made in China if that is something you care about.

4. The aux switches will make installing lights pretty easy. Many people knock Rough Country and I would not use any of their suspension parts but I have one of their light bars ready to go on my 392 when it comes in. So far it appears to be of high quality.

5. Fender delete. I need to look at this also.

6. Double ARB under the passenger seat. Someone makes a bracket.

7. We are currently using CB as well as GMRS.

8. Check out goose gear. I dont have plans for drawers yet but I would probably go with them if I wanted drawers.

9. Skid plates have everything to do with the type of wheeling you plan on. Here in FL there are few rocks and not a lot of reason for me to get expansive skid plates. The current oil pans no longer leave the drain plug exposed. I might get an exhaust skid plate.

10/11. I am getting hard top and factory half doors. This way I can run with the uppers and freedom panels in the back but be ready for any bad weather.
Thanks for you're input. since I posted this I've done some more digging and have answered most of the questions I had.
Is there a minimum/recommended rating for the winch I should get? Or just any that are rated above the weight of my vehicle?
Is there an outside mount for the ARB? Or is it quiet enough that if someone was in the vehicle it wouldn't be obnoxious?
I'm in moab country so basically all the wheeling is on sandstone. I think rock sliders should be sufficient.
And I decided on the one touch top after I learned the back side panels still come off so I should be good there.
 
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taysby

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1. XR package will get you by for awhile if you go to 37s, you will need different offset wheels, beat on it and it will break. 4.5" suspension lift, power steering will need upgrading, either electric pump or PSC hydro a$$ist. Should upgrade axles and maybe truss the Cs. 40s will need 60s or 60/80s, you will get bigger brakes which you need anyway, heavier steering and will need new driveshafts. Front bumper will need to be a stubby or tires will rub, need new inner fender liners and high line the front fenders. FROM THIS POINT ON REMEMBER THAT IT IS A "JEEP" jUST EMPTY EVERY POCKET. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

2. Stubby bumpers and a Warn winch will work.

3. A&A

4. Your choice Check specs all lights are not equal

5. Narrow fender will give you more clearance, doubt that you will be able to see the tires with the seating position.

6. Needed

7. Needed

8. Expensive

9. Skid plates - should have

10. Pick your poison

11. New twill tops are much better that the older style.
After realizing I'd need to replace everything I decided against 40s lol. Don't have that much disposable income ;). I've seen a lot of videos with people getting the XR package and 37's still fit and seem to work just fine. Is it a "works fine now but not in 3 years" kind of upgrade?
Do you have a suggestion for a specific CB? I haven't found too much information and I can really only find ones by cobra.
 

RKKRAWL

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37"s would be the logical stopping point for a "limited budget build". You still need 3.5 - 4.5" offset rims, better brakes or high performance brake pads, upgrading power steering, 4.5" lift and shocks, hi lined fenders, new drive shafts, diff skids, rocker guards. If you do Behind the Rocks or Pritchett Canyon you will need under armor - just is case. The exhaust is very vulnerable to damage without a skid, you will damage it on small waterfalls. Axles will probably need RCVs at some point. You are looking at around 20K if done all at once, I budgeted 50K for the upgrades but am doing everything all at once.. If you aren't certain what you need/want, armor first, drive as is and get a feel for it and what you are comfortable with trail wise. Then you can make changes slowly to meet your needs, 37s will be expensive over time but will let you do harder trails. Most people I wheel with use Ham radio. I think Corba and Midland make a compact unit, not much space in the cabin for a radio. I use an Icom 5100A with a remote faceplate. Good luck with your new toy!
 

Viking Jeeper

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Is there a minimum/recommended rating for the winch I should get? Or just any that are rated above the weight of my vehicle?
10K is fine. The difference between 10 k and 12k is often just gearing meaning the 12 has same motor but geared to work slower thus increasing its pull capacity
Is there an outside mount for the ARB? Or is it quiet enough that if someone was in the vehicle it wouldn't be obnoxious?
I cannot imagine having someone sitting in the vehicle during air up. We are always mingling in the area telling war stories.
 
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Tree

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I am going to dive in with an “opinion” instead of advice… only because it’s mine and… I’m no expert but I feel I have a lot of experience on the matter.
I’ll be gentle with my opinion due to everyone’s budget is different.
1. As far as a winch (WARN)… when my latest 392 was shipped to AEV, it was almost ready to come home when I noticed the warn winch was of the Chinese assembled variety… the Warn Vr EVO 10.
I immediately stopped it’s progress and waited an extra two weeks for it to ship to me because there was a back order issue with the Warn Zeon 10s.
It was worth the wait.
My 2014 had the exact same winch and I used it many times over the last 7 years to pull a flatbed from a snowy ditch, a garbage truck unable to get traction on ice, a police car that slid off road into ditch, several friends while on the trail… blah, blah, blah… without fail.
The gears in the Chinese made variety do not come close the the strength and “longevity” of the American assembled variety. If you don’t plan on using it much, the Chinese variety is fine.
2. I have been asked many times “why” I spent the money on the XR package when all I have to show for the money spent are the XR fender extensions…
I have run 3.73 gears, 4.10’s, 4.56’s and 4.88’s…
Over the years, I have found that with 37’s, the 4.56 gears are the best choice for me and my setup.
The fuel mileage is extremely close to the stock 3.73 gears with no lift modifications.
Having my transmission happy and not having to “hunt” is priceless. The 4.56 gears allow the tranny to hold the correct gear for the present situation… period.
My 2014 JK had 4.56 gears.
One afternoon while making a right turn @ approximately 15 mph… the rear end literally sounded like it exploded.
The cost of replacing the gears was around $2700 including labor.
My reasoning behind the XR package was easy…
If I would have let AEV install the 4.56 gears included in the JL370 package, the warranty would have covered them for 1 year only. AEV credited me the money and deducted the price from the package.
Spending the money on the XR package and letting JEEP install them via OEM Factory install has afforded me 7 years coverage on the 4.56 gears vs 1 year.
I am not a mechanic, but am highly capable if something interests me.
Warranties make me comfortable and give me great peace.
This is another example of my OCD at work.
Hope this sheds a little bit of light on your decisions with your build.✌🏼
 

RKKRAWL

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Thanks for you're input. since I posted this I've done some more digging and have answered most of the questions I had.
Is there a minimum/recommended rating for the winch I should get? Or just any that are rated above the weight of my vehicle?
Is there an outside mount for the ARB? Or is it quiet enough that if someone was in the vehicle it wouldn't be obnoxious?
I'm in moab country so basically all the wheeling is on sandstone. I think rock sliders should be sufficient.
And I decided on the one touch top after I learned the back side panels still come off so I should be good there.
You might want to consider 1/2 doors if you like the open air look, if you order with the jeep it comes with keyless entry and lane avoidance like the full doors. It will cost way more if you try to get through the parts department later.
 
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taysby

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I am going to dive in with an “opinion” instead of advice… only because it’s mine and… I’m no expert but I feel I have a lot of experience on the matter.
I’ll be gentle with my opinion due to everyone’s budget is different.
1. As far as a winch (WARN)… when my latest 392 was shipped to AEV, it was almost ready to come home when I noticed the warn winch was of the Chinese assembled variety… the Warn Vr EVO 10.
I immediately stopped it’s progress and waited an extra two weeks for it to ship to me because there was a back order issue with the Warn Zeon 10s.
It was worth the wait.
My 2014 had the exact same winch and I used it many times over the last 7 years to pull a flatbed from a snowy ditch, a garbage truck unable to get traction on ice, a police car that slid off road into ditch, several friends while on the trail… blah, blah, blah… without fail.
The gears in the Chinese made variety do not come close the the strength and “longevity” of the American assembled variety. If you don’t plan on using it much, the Chinese variety is fine.
2. I have been asked many times “why” I spent the money on the XR package when all I have to show for the money spent are the XR fender extensions…
I have run 3.73 gears, 4.10’s, 4.56’s and 4.88’s…
Over the years, I have found that with 37’s, the 4.56 gears are the best choice for me and my setup.
The fuel mileage is extremely close to the stock 3.73 gears with no lift modifications.
Having my transmission happy and not having to “hunt” is priceless. The 4.56 gears allow the tranny to hold the correct gear for the present situation… period.
My 2014 JK had 4.56 gears.
One afternoon while making a right turn @ approximately 15 mph… the rear end literally sounded like it exploded.
The cost of replacing the gears was around $2700 including labor.
My reasoning behind the XR package was easy…
If I would have let AEV install the 4.56 gears included in the JL370 package, the warranty would have covered them for 1 year only. AEV credited me the money and deducted the price from the package.
Spending the money on the XR package and letting JEEP install them via OEM Factory install has afforded me 7 years coverage on the 4.56 gears vs 1 year.
I am not a mechanic, but am highly capable if something interests me.
Warranties make me comfortable and give me great peace.
This is another example of my OCD at work.
Hope this sheds a little bit of light on your decisions with your build.✌🏼
That's a really good opinion and exactly why I posted here. Its hard to find videos with this kind of information, most people just read off the box and show how to install haha. Thanks!
 
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taysby

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You might want to consider 1/2 doors if you like the open air look, if you order with the jeep it comes with keyless entry and lane avoidance like the full doors. It will cost way more if you try to get through the parts department later.
If i'm gonna be swapping the doors, I want it totally open. If I wanted the half door look I'd roll down the windows ;)
Ideally I'd just have no doors but I've heard that's not street legal.

Can't scratch the paint on something you don't take with you haha
 
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taysby

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This is the spec sheet I ended up going with from Dan Deery. If anyone else is in Utah and wants to go in on a trailer with me let me know
 

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cgr

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I will chime in with what I have experience with. I am running 37x13.50's on 20x12 wheels with no rub and no additional lift on non xr 392. You do have to remove the wings from the factory bumper if you stay with them. I am also running the body armor trail doors. I chose them as they have separate hinges that are not welded on - this gives you more opportunity for adjustments. I went with the kc hilites cyclones for under lighting and interior footwells. These do not let you strobe or change colors, but you can mix it up and go with that option for inner fender well lights - then you have the best of both worlds! I have not pulled the trigger yet on a winch but will share what little research I have done. You will probably want to look into a leveling kit for front as the winch will cause a drop, even more so if you combine it with an aftermarket front bumper. I am probably going to stay with factory bumper for winch and go with 1" or 1.5" after winch. Thinking this will compensate for winch drop and help with leveling out a bit. Just my thoughts and .02. Good luck!
Chris
 
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