KayakMike's Granite Crystal Metallic LE Build

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kayakmike

kayakmike

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  • #16
Modifications Round 1 (Stubby Antenna, All Weather Mats, MOLLE Bags)

First day back from my trip home, I did a couple of the quick, simple mods. Nothing too exciting, but got them out of the way.

All Weather Floor Mats
Simple install. Front carpet has a couple of cutouts in the carpet when you remove the carpeted floor mats. Cutting the rest of the cutout away reveals the drain plugs. Pull those out, drop the all weather mats in and put the drain plug onto the new mats.

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Stubby Antenna
As I mentioned above, the stock antenna was extremely annoying on the drive home and wish I would have brought the stubby with me to install before the drive home. 3/8" wrench to take off the stock antenna and the stubby one I got screwed right on. Don't really use AM/FM, so haven't tried it out. Over the air radio coverage sucks at my house anyway.
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MOLLE Pouches
Bought a couple of pouches on Amazon. First Aid Kit was the main one I wanted. The others give me a little bit more storage.
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kayakmike

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  • #17
Remove the Top, Lower the Windshield and Install the SpiderWebShade

Pulled the top off a couple days after I got back. Cruised around with it off a bit and not too bad of a ride.

I bought a SpiderWebShade. Installing that requires dropping the windshield, so I figured I'd try doing that too. Pretty simple. Hardest part was removing the wipers after removing the bolt. A quick bump with my palm (in the direction of wiper motion) loosened it up so it would come off.

I bought the windshield straps, so also tried those out. Simple install and did a quick drive from my shop to our house and back. Windshield was solid.
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Installing the SpiderWebShade was pretty simple. At first I followed the instruction regarding which trim screws need to be removed to add the grommet holders. The instructions don't line up with the loops on the shade, so I had to move a couple of them around. In hindsight, should have laid the shade on the roof first and just remove the screws where the elastic loops are.
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The SpiderWebShade does cut down some of the wind. When parked at work it keeps leaves from dropping inside the truck. Been driving with the shade on and the roof off for about a week now. Still going to be in the 80s for the next few weeks at least, so don't see the top going back on anytime soon.
 
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kayakmike

kayakmike

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Winch/Brush Guard Install (& Front Receiver Test Fit)

This install was a bit trickier. Started taking lots of photos to document the entire install, until things went south then was focused on getting it back together so I could drive it the next day. Got most of the mechanical install/modifications done the first night, then finished it up by cleaning it up, hooking up electrical, and license plate bracket the next night.

Trim piece between the grill and bumper comes off easily by removing the two plastic clips. Skid plate drops by removing 7 bolts. Then disconnect the electrical connector for the fog lamps and the winch blank plate from the bumper. The bumper comes off after removing 8 nuts. The plastic trim piece and blank plate aren't needed after winch install. At first I used a floor jack to support the bumper as I removed it, but it wasn't that heavy and stayed in place with the nuts removed.
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I bought a Maximus-3 Winch Plate and a SmittyBilt 12,000 lb X2O Winch. Chose the Maximus plate since it was one of the few 1/4" plates that had hole pattern for the SmittyBilt winches.

Of course, things never go quite the way they are planned. Two of the bolts supplied with the winch plate were smaller diameter than the nuts provided. Fortunately the shorter temporary bolts were long enough to work for mounting, and I scavenged some other bolts to use in place of the temporary bolts. Other than that, plate went in super easy.
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Things went south when trying to install the winch. The hole pattern and winch were off by ~3/16". Also, 2 of the square nuts on the winch wouldn't slide completely into place. Had to do a little grinding on the square nuts to get them to fit into the winch base. Ultimately I had to drill slightly larger holes in the winch plate to get all 4 bolts to fit. Because I was futzing around with the fitment for so long, I never took photos of just the winch on the plate.

Once I got the winch body on the winch plate, it was getting late so I just wanted to get the bumper back on the truck. I removed the plastic cover from the bumper and installed the cover plate that came with the winch plate and hawse that came with the winch. I added the spacer plate to the back side of the bumper and then mounted the bumper. I also installed the Warn mid-height brush guard since it's just dropping 6 bolts and then reinstalling them (and I wanted to get a feel for what the final install would look like). Left the skid plate off that night.
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Next day I went to clean up the install. Went to put on the Cascadia Flipster license plate bracket. The bolts that came with the hawse were too short to handle the extra thickness of the Flipster bracket. Also, it was challenging getting to the nuts on the backside with the bumper re-installed. Bought some longer bolts and mounted it up.

Routed the winch power cables along the passenger side of the engine just behind the wheel inner fenders right up to the battery. Connected to the spare lugs on the battery posts.

Winch worked like a charm the first time. Wound the synthetic rope onto the spool, and swapped out the stock hook for a Factor 55 Flatlink. Photos of the final install with the Flipster up and down.
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Also took a quick photo to show what the front camera looks like with the brush guard installed.
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I also had purchased a front receiver before I got the JT. My thought was that I could use that to hold a bike rack up front, and still tow behind. Instructions mentioned trimming a plastic air dam to make it fit. I assumed with the Rubicons there would be an issue with the skid plates. I tried to put it under there before I put the skid plate on. Looking at it, it looks like if I were to mount it the skid plate would have to be left off. Also, it looks like the bracket interferes with the winch plate (maybe just the bolt but perhaps the entire plate). I decided not to try and mount it on there for now, and just re-installed the skid plate.
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5JeepsAz

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jurfie

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Love your licence plate frame! :like:
 

Daddy's Toy

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This is a summary of my Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition build & adventures. Thinking of calling it Grubi (Granite Rubicon) which also has other meanings which are equally fitting for me.

Kind of late to the build game, though no fault of mine. 3 days shy of 6 months from the time I ordered until I could actually pick it up. I'm just glad the wait is finally over.

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Consider this post an overview with table of contents with links to various posts below, and will update with latest build photo as the build progresses.
Very nice, love the color. I especially like the mascot on the back seat. When do the doors come off?
This is a summary of my Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition build & adventures. Thinking of calling it Grubi (Granite Rubicon) which also has other meanings which are equally fitting for me.

Kind of late to the build game, though no fault of mine. 3 days shy of 6 months from the time I ordered until I could actually pick it up. I'm just glad the wait is finally over.

31B98881-D5BC-4B65-A3AE-5BB07C31D5C9.png
EDA39B1C-6746-4150-8829-A2896A36FFDE.jpeg
DSE_3152.JPG
0534187F-5C3A-4767-8BA9-156071C9026B.jpeg
49DD866A-0854-4AD2-8D75-D0FDBECDE121.jpeg


Consider this post an overview with table of contents with links to various posts below, and will update with latest build photo as the build progresses.
This is a summary of my Granite Crystal Metallic Launch Edition build & adventures. Thinking of calling it Grubi (Granite Rubicon) which also has other meanings which are equally fitting for me.

Kind of late to the build game, though no fault of mine. 3 days shy of 6 months from the time I ordered until I could actually pick it up. I'm just glad the wait is finally over.

31B98881-D5BC-4B65-A3AE-5BB07C31D5C9.png
EDA39B1C-6746-4150-8829-A2896A36FFDE.jpeg
DSE_3152.JPG
0534187F-5C3A-4767-8BA9-156071C9026B.jpeg
49DD866A-0854-4AD2-8D75-D0FDBECDE121.jpeg


Consider this post an overview with table of contents with links to various posts below, and will update with latest build photo as the build progresses.
 
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kayakmike

kayakmike

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Very nice, love the color. I especially like the mascot on the back seat. When do the doors come off?
CMM Mirrors are on back order (20-30 days about 20 days ago...). So are my Smittybilt tube doors, but can't drive here in CA without the mirrors at least...
 
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kayakmike

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Brake Controller Install

A few lessons learned on this one, that should also apply to other brake controllers, especially with Tekonsha cabled connectors.

I had tried several brake controllers on my last several vehicles. On my 2014 EcoDiesel Grand Cherokee, I bought a Tuson Direclink brake controller, and this is by far the best brake controller I've ever used. So when I sold my GC, I pulled the brake controller off to use on my Gladiator (one less thing to buy on the new JT!). This brake controller allows you to adjust different settings for low and high speed travel, different trailer sizes, and also can display other vehicle info (transmission temperature, RPMs, etc.) on the hand controller.
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Most of the brake controller tucks up under the dash. One cable plugs into the OBD-II connector (and can be easily unplugged when taking it in for service), another one plugs into the vehicle's brake controller wiring using the same Tekonsha style brake controller connector, and the third connects to the removable hand controller with a 4 pin telephone jack. On my GC, I'd suction the hand controller to the windshield on the left side of the steering wheel and also have a ScanGuage II mounted on it to monitor the diesel temps while towing (I don't plan to use the ScanGuage with the Gladiator). I could remove the hand controller when not towing and stash it in the center console.

When I bought the brake controller originally for the GC, I ended up with an extra 3045 cable that is needed for the GC. I thought I could use that for the Gladiator, but when I went to install, I noticed the vehicle side connectors were the same gender. Strike one.
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So I looked on line and saw that I needed the 3014 cable. I wired it up with the 3014 cable. At first everything seemed to work. But in my shop, when I pushed the manual brake switch, dashboard lit up with check engine light, service ABS system, and a few other errors. Oops...strike two.

A little google searching I found this post on the JL forum. It seems that with the 3014 cable (Jeep Cherokee cable), without in line diodes, the brake controller will work fine most of the time, but if you press the manual override, it will back feed voltage into the vehicle electronics, which is why my dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree.
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A little google searching I found this post on the JL forum. This is the definitive solution for wiring a brake controller on the Gladiator. I bought the 3024 cable (RAM 1500/2500/3500 cable). I decided to use a pin extractor to swap the black and blue wires. You could cut and splice the two wires, but extracting/swapping the pins is super easy. Pull out the green retaining clip. Extract the pins with a pin extractor (a small screwdriver or awl may also work). Pull the two wires out, bend back the pin retainer if needed, then snap back in the pins and reinsert the green retainer clip.
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The brake controller install was pretty simple. The brake controller connector is located on the left side of the drivers compartment (photo below is looking straight up from the drivers floor board with the brake pedal visible on the right). Once I wired up the 3024 cable, routed the other cable to the OBD-II plug. I decided to mount the controller to the left side of the driver compartment just below the brake controller cable by zip tying it to the metal bracket just above the plastic trim. This allows easy access to plug the hand controller in when needed.
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As mentioned in the JL forum post, the brake controller works fine in this configuration. The one gotcha is that the trailer brake lights will not light up when pushing the manual brake control. The solution is to add the Tekonsha Brake Light Kit #30235. For now I'm only using my heavy dump trailer on my property, so I'm not worried about brake lights. Eventually I'll probably add that kit.
 
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kayakmike

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Roll-up Tonneau Cover Reinstall & Tonneau Lock Install

Decided to pull off the Mopar cross bars and put the roll tonneau cover back on. I didn't take good photos when I pulled it off, so here are better photos of the reinstall.

Bed has a hole on the top for the plastic alignment pin on the tonneau cover and a lower bolt hole. I bought a T45 driver which is useful for this as well as bumper/winch work (same T45). Not sure why they didn't include that in the tool kit for window, door & top removal (well, I know why...to save a few bucks). Align the pin into the hole on each side, then reinstall the two bolts.
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I liked @WildJD's tonneau cover lock, so did the same to mine. Drilled a hole on the tonneau cover bracket 1/2" down from the center of the rivet. Threaded in a 3" hook into each bracket. Had to slightly enlarge the hole on the side of the bed due to the bed liner thickness to accommodate the hooks. Once installed the "weekend warrior" end of the tonneau cover cannot be pulled up.

If someone really wanted in, they can get in by cutting the top (just like breaking a vehicle window), but this is secure when the tailgate is locked.
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kayakmike

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First tow. Wasn’t planning on it, but SDG&E is threatening to cut power this week if there is a fire danger, so had to top off the generator.
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kayakmike

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Let’s get Naked!

Carolina Metal Masters mirrors came in today, so got her naked!
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Door removal was pretty straightforward following the manual.

I got the Off Road Concepts 4 door hanger. Works pretty well. Some finesse to get the doors on the hangar, especially the right side which is in the corner. Needed to compress the door check link so that both doors would hang. Only about a 1/4” gap between the doors.
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Mirror install was pretty easy too. On line instructions said use the side with a red dot for drivers side, but mine didn’t have a red dot but was scribed with DS on that one.
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Took her for a quick spin into town and back. Mirrors worked fine, and definitely more open feel than with doors on/windows down.

Still waiting on my Smittybilt tube doors to arrive. Not sure I’d do highway driving like this.
 

5JeepsAz

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Roll-up Tonneau Cover Reinstall & Tonneau Lock Install

Decided to pull off the Mopar cross bars and put the roll tonneau cover back on. I didn't take good photos when I pulled it off, so here are better photos of the reinstall.

Bed has a hole on the top for the plastic alignment pin on the tonneau cover and a lower bolt hole. I bought a T45 driver which is useful for this as well as bumper/winch work (same T45). Not sure why they didn't include that in the tool kit for window, door & top removal (well, I know why...to save a few bucks). Align the pin into the hole on each side, then reinstall the two bolts.
DSE_3410.JPG
DSE_3412.JPG
DSE_3413.JPG


I liked @WildJD's tonneau cover lock, so did the same to mine. Drilled a hole on the tonneau cover bracket 1/2" down from the center of the rivet. Threaded in a 3" hook into each bracket. Had to slightly enlarge the hole on the side of the bed due to the bed liner thickness to accommodate the hooks. Once installed the "weekend warrior" end of the tonneau cover cannot be pulled up.

If someone really wanted in, they can get in by cutting the top (just like breaking a vehicle window), but this is secure when the tailgate is locked.
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Thanks for the deets on locking the tonneau. I'm struggling with this: would I rather lose some replaceable tools or have my sweet ass retro modern tonneau sawed through? Right now I'm leaning toward locking the box and leaving the tonneau open, but your method might work too.
 
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kayakmike

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So on that OTHER thread (that will no longer be mentioned we were stuck in for months), @HikerBob, @WildJD and I discussed hiding the white on the roof & freedom panels. We've had strong Santa Ana winds and another power outage due to fire danger, so I put the roof back on for a few days. Getting ready to take the top back off, so I snapped these photos before I removed it. It sort of shows how the Spiderwebshade hides the white. Front photo doesn't do it justice since you have to look at it just right to notice the white. Rear photo is more representative of what I see driving around from the inside. The latches for the freedom panels are a bit tricky to get to with the shade installed, but you can access all of them by stretching the shade when needed.
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First mod! Man this vehicle is beautiful. I did stand in my garage last night and stare at it. Seems like a dream.
Only weird thing so far is the panels and hard top are white on the inside with the dark fabric headliner. Don’t know why they didn’t paint the inside a dark color too. GCLE first world problems.
Hope to see more pics from our GCLE crew soon.
Gorgeous! I will be staring at mine, (in the wee hours of the morning) too! Can’t wait!
All Freedom Panel tops (JL, JK, all Wranglers) are white underneath. Just spray paint the insides of the Freedom panels with FCA Granite Crystal Metallic (Or Black) touch up spray paint! Quick, easy, problem solved! ;{
PS (Take ‘em off, and mask ‘em, and pull the headliners to do it! js... lol!)
Nice! The headliner panels are put in last, and all one color...white. I bought a Spiderwebshade for mine when the roof is off. You can leave the shade installed when the roof is reinstalled, so it should darken the white headliner quite a bit.
 

WildJD

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Got my Warn BullBar, (still waiting for winch)... installed it in about 30 seconds! Love it! TrailCam view is fine directly in front, but that’s where you’d need it anyway! ;{

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WildJD

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Let’s get Naked!

Carolina Metal Masters mirrors came in today, so got her naked!
1CF0E97E-5727-41B8-B26D-459C287FB5DC.jpeg
605901CC-860E-4E3B-AE8A-22D008B96C73.jpeg


Door removal was pretty straightforward following the manual.

I got the Off Road Concepts 4 door hanger. Works pretty well. Some finesse to get the doors on the hangar, especially the right side which is in the corner. Needed to compress the door check link so that both doors would hang. Only about a 1/4” gap between the doors.
695552D3-49A5-4226-A80F-B359184525C4.jpeg


Mirror install was pretty easy too. On line instructions said use the side with a red dot for drivers side, but mine didn’t have a red dot but was scribed with DS on that one.
2650D63A-B38C-4420-9F08-2C4E02014E03.jpeg


Took her for a quick spin into town and back. Mirrors worked fine, and definitely more open feel than with doors on/windows down.

Still waiting on my Smittybilt tube doors to arrive. Not sure I’d do highway driving like this.
Love the door hanger! Thanks for link! ;{
 

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