Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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  #1  
Old 11-16-2015, 12:52 AM
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Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Okay, so after 15 months ownership I think it's time to start one of these for my Jeep. I drive a 2013 MY14 Billet Silver Laredo 4x4 (Australian delivery). It's my first ever Jeep and from my experience so far, it won't be the last—I'm completely hooked!

I almost purchased a Blackhawk, but before I signed on the dotted line I came across this ex-showroom-demo Laredo (i.e. non-driven and only 37km on the ODO), saving myself about 12% on the price of a brand new one and I just couldn't pass on that kind of deal. My intention is to own this GC for at least 5 years, potentially keeping it at that point as the second car and getting a new one to park next to it.

I'm not traditionally an SUV or 4WD enthusiast, nor had I ever owned one, but after moving to rural New South Wales and nailing a kangaroo with the front of my sedan at 100kph it was time for a vehicle with a bit more height… enter Grand Cherokee.






I love to tinker and make any vehicle I own a little bit individual, so here's a list of the work I've done and a nice long wishlist of things I plan to do
—keeping in mind my goal is the ultimate young family adventure machine!

Completed Mods/Additions

  • Replacement cargo floor with cargo drawer (doubling as a baby change station for road trips) and a fridge slider for the Waeco CFX-40.
  • Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform (plus half size luggage bag)
  • Plasti Dip some plastic chrome trim and the stock 18" wheels (Anthracite Grey colour with Glossifier)
WIP—the stuff I'm working on right now
  • Spotlight mounting brackets for the Pioneer Platform (to be fitted)
  • A 44.5" light bar for the front of the Pioneer Platform (to be fitted)
  • A custom nudge bar with recovery points, spotlight and aerial mounts and lower bracket for angled light bar (being fabricated)
The Big Hairy To-Do List (in somewhat of an order of completion)
  • Window tint—holy crap do I need this coming into summer here (should be in the next two weeks)
  • GME 6.6db aerial for boosted mobile signal (to be mounted on the nudge bar)
  • Signal boosting iPhone cradle (to attach to the aerial)
  • Spotlights (already own, to be fitted to the nudge bar)
  • Nitto Terra Grappler G2 in 275/65R18 (as soon as the factory Michelins wear out—50,000km and counting)
  • Powder coat the factory 18" wheels (tested the colour with the Plasti, time to make it permanent)
  • Paint the other Plasti Dipped parts to match the wheels
  • Under body protection (probably from Chief)
  • Lift kit (probably from Murchison)
Stuff I Might Do One Day
  • New wheels for a slightly wider stance would be nice
  • Front winch (the nudge bar will accommodate a number plate removal bracket to leave this as an option).

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  #2  
Old 11-16-2015, 06:42 AM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Looks good so far, Matt. Looks like you have quite a list of plans for it. Looking forward to seeing more
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:47 PM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Great looking rig...and you are well on your way! Just keep in mind, it never stops...so plan on adding to your lists above
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:07 PM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

cool rig. Nice project !! keep the pics coming
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:34 PM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

looks great! curious if you have some closer pictures of the plastidipped wheels? Thinking of doing this myself to my same wheels!

Also, did you pull the bumper to dip the front grill? That looks really great as well definitely want to do that.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2015, 07:33 AM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

I might try that anthracite gray plasti dip on my altitude wheels just to break up the black for a while.. that looks pretty sharp. Best part about plast-dip - it's a $10 experiment! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:08 PM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Thanks for all the feedback guys—appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acevesf View Post
looks great! curious if you have some closer pictures of the plastidipped wheels? Thinking of doing this myself to my same wheels!
Here's a couple of shots showing it in different light—these were before I had Plasti Dipped all of the chrome parts.
matts-jeep-mods-19.jpg matts-jeep-mods-18.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by acevesf View Post
Also, did you pull the bumper to dip the front grill? That looks really great as well definitely want to do that.
I didn't remove the bumper, but I did pull out those rings. I used some trim removal tools which cost less than $20 at my local Autobarn. Don't even try it with a screwdriver or something else, just grab the tools and you shouldn't have a problem.

I took some photos along the way which should help illustrate how the rings are attached in there and give you some guidance on where to be prying. They take a little bit of force to pull out but it's all plastic so I wasn't scared to give them a fairly decent yank.

For the colour build-up I used 3 x Black coats, 2 x Anthracite coats and 1 x Glossifier with about 10-15 mins between each coat. If you wanted it really thick and durable you could add an extra two or three coats of black.

You can see the positioning of the tabs here.
matts-jeep-mods-01.jpg matts-jeep-mods-02.jpg matts-jeep-mods-03.jpg

And refitting...
matts-jeep-mods-04.jpg matts-jeep-mods-05.jpg

I have also pulled together some shots of the cargo drawer and fridge slider I built for the boot. Everything used for this was able to be transported in the Jeep, hence the multiple pieces of ply used.

Step 1. Create a new replacement floor to build the rest on to. I used 12mm marine grade plywood (i.e. warp and knot free, more expensive etc) and it has been double stacked for a 24mm overall thickness. The bottom was cut out as showed here to save weight.
matts-jeep-mods-06.jpg matts-jeep-mods-07.jpg

Step 2. Start building the frame for the drawer and support for the top platform. I used 184 x 19mm dressed pine boards for this. All measurements were taken by climbing inside and using a tape measure. I made sure that the rear seats could be reclined to their second reclined notch and clear the whole unit.
matts-jeep-mods-08.jpg

I've run out of attachments so I'll continue in the next post...
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:22 PM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

... continued from previous post.

Step 3. Start building the cargo drawer. I used 140 x 19mm dressed pine for this. Again, the dressed pine is more expensive but less prone to warping etc. The drawer sliders are rated to 90kg (200lbs) for the pair. Test fitted in the boot for drawer clearance.
matts-jeep-mods-09.jpg matts-jeep-mods-11.jpg

Step 4. Cut and fit up more Plywood for the top. One again, 12mm thick marine grade was used for this. The left panel was cut to be hinged and access from the top. The right space was designed to store my tripod (I'm a photographer)—this is super handy when you're on holiday and the boot is chocked full of gear. More test fitting done.
matts-jeep-mods-12.jpg matts-jeep-mods-13.jpg

Step 5. Finally a base was fitted to the drawer—the sides were routed and the base was glued as well as bolted in using some cabinetmaking brackets. Everything was wrapped in automotive carpet from the local hardware and it was not exact, but a fairly close match to the factory Jeep trim. Final test fitting etc with the Waeco CFX-40. I used a sliding latch to secure the fridge slide and the drawer comes very close to the interior trim on the rear door so there isn't anything actually keeping this in place beyond the friction of the carpet and the door itself.
matts-jeep-mods-14.jpg matts-jeep-mods-15.jpg matts-jeep-mods-16.jpg

I also have two young children and part of this project was some practicality while road-tripping around the country for family holidays. The size of the drawer was made with this in mind. Any parent of young children that has experienced the mid-road-trip-poop-explosion will understand how cool this is.
matts-jeep-mods-17.jpg
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2015, 09:35 PM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Also, NEW TOYS. More to come on these.

K&N replacement panel filter—love or hate, don't care, I've used them for 10+ years and I think they work really well. Also, Rhino Rack spotlight mounting brackets.
matts-jeep-mods-20.jpg

A Stedi 44.5" single row 24 x 10w CREE LED light bar (20,000 lumens) to mount on the front of the Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform.
matts-jeep-mods-21.jpg
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:30 AM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

wow the anthracite really complements the billet silver! I had purchased a bunch of black but am definitely thinking of going and getting the anthracite for the wheels and grill. thanks for the pix!
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:49 AM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Great job with the rear drawer! That change table is a cracking idea.
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:28 AM
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Re: Matt's MY14 Laredo 4x4 Build Up

Yep nice job!
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