Recent Mods: Removed Chrome Door Molding, Grille Swap, Tow Hooks, LED Fogs & RRO Lift
I've been doing a lot to the Jeep the past week so I figured it's time to share a few pics & tips of the process.
Tow Hooks The Mopar Tow hooks go on very easy. All of the holes line up very nicely. The only design flaw was the front-most bolt in the frame. The top is a carriage style so there was nothing to hold when it was being tightened. Should have been a traditional hex bolt. I stared to mess with these before the grille but it was tough to get inside the frame with the bumper on, my hands were all scrapped up - I am not a fan of wearing gloves. So I elected to remove the bumper - since I had to anyway - and finish the install. Made it much easier as I could see what I was doing. But, def not necessary to remove the bumper to install.
Overland Grille Swap Yes, you need to remove the bumper to do this. A few push pins up top and underneath. The difficult part was finding replacement plastic rivets because you have to remove the factory rivets from the wheel well. I could not find plastic rivets anywhere. So I bought some plastic screw-type rivets in the intermediate - they will work for now but I don't think they will hold up. The Tow Hook install has a good pic of the bolt locations underneath, I think you can download the instructions from Mopar's website.
Once you have all of the rivets and pins removed just start at one end and work your way around. Most of my pics are before and after as I was doing this myself and I tend to forget to stop and snap a picture.
For those who are curious, the Chrome Fascia and black plastic insert separate very easily.
LEDs While I had the bumper off I also changed my fogs to LEDs and installed the Chrome Bezels, was looking for the Summit Bezels but got tired of waiting.
The LEDs are H16, 5202, 6k, 68-LED, 1210 SMD with built-in circuit for 12v DC input. They are advertised for a Camaro's & Escalade's but they work just fine. Found them on eBay for $30 shipped.
Since I liked them so much I also bought LED DRL's, LED reverse lights and LED tail lamps - all from the same vendor. The rear turn signals are Sylvania Silverstar because I couldn't find an LED that would handle the blinker aspect.
Total time for Grille, Tow Hooks, & Fogs: ~4 hours.
Removal of the front 'Jeep' badge & the lower Chrome Door Molding I had de-badged the rear a few months back and debated on the Jeep upfront. So, I took a pic and edit the Jeep out, liked the way it looked so I decided to take it off. I used my finger and some dental floss. Then, I cleaned the glue with 3M Adhesive remover and re-waxed.
Then, I attacked the lower Chrome Door Moldings. This was pretty easy. I used a library card to help pry the glue on the moldings. Dental floss, like I use on the badges, wasn't strong enough and I am not a fisherman so I don't have any fishing line lying around, but that would probably have worked. Then, I cleaned the glue with 3M Adhesive remover and re-waxed.
*The picture shows the old film tinted tails, not the painted.
Total time remove, clean & wax: ~1 hour
Tinted Tails My taillights were sent to Scott's Tinted Tails (Jeep Garage Vendor) last Wednesday and I should get them back tomorrow, attached is a pic he sent me via text message. From the pictures they look amazing and so much better than the rVinyl film tint that I had installed myself. The paint is crisp, and clean and doesn't look dirty or dingy like the film.
2.5" Rocky-Road Lift Currently, my Jeep is sitting with a gansta lean as I have only finished 3/4 of the lift. My buddy should be available tonight to help. I'll put up a separate HOW TO for the lift later this week.
For those who don't read the Lifted Wk2 thread the back went on in roughly 2-hours but when we got to the front we started on the passenger side and the axle came out. Took about 4-hours to get everything lined back up so we could get the axle back in. By then it was too dark to get started the drivers side. Now, if the driver's axle falls out again we at least know what the spindles look like so the re-install should go a bit faster. I didn't take a pic of the spindle, but I'll look on the web for a diagram now that I know what it looks like and include it int the Lift HOW TO.
For now I have the stock 18's and 265/60 (30.4" x 10.43") tires. I plan to buy a set of Yokohama Geolander AT/S in 275/60r20 (32.99" x 10.83").
I can't comment on ride quality sine I am not driving it. But, I noticed when I got in to turn it around it felt nice to sit up a little more, the way a Jeep should feel - at least to me. I think with the appropriate sized sidewalls most owners (who want taller, slightly wider & more rugged tires) won't notice a terrible difference - again, just my gut feeling. Now, if you want to lift it in order to stuff 26" rims with 35-series tires, ya the ride will be harsh.
*none of these photos showcase the lift.
Total Time (to date): ~6 hours, with a friend and Air Tools.
Ahh, whats next.... well, I am working with a member to trade my Chrome caps for his painted, so hopefully that will happen this week or next. Then, a couple big ticket items - Mopar Rock Sliders & an exhaust, still undecided between the three (Magnaflow, Borla and Corsa). Not for a while though, perhaps my Birthday in Oct. Need to show some love to the wife's R350 with a RSE before vacation in August.
Then, if I (or Scurvy) can figure this Heated Steering Wheel Clock Spring out I'd be in business there. And, hopefully when the 2012 SRT8s are in production we can find out if the new HK radio components will be an easy addition. Perhaps the rear bumper as well.
The Following User Says Thank You to mhassler For This Useful Post:
Re: Recent Mods: Removed Chrome Door Molding, Grille Swap, Tow Hooks, LED Fogs & RRO
badass mods bro! I knew you WK2 guys would get going on the mods!!!
__________________ SCOTT The HARDER you work...the LUCKIER you are!
2014 REDLINE red Jeep SRT "BLOODIED" 1 of 1
2013 JKU Wrangler 10A-stormtrooper'ed, JW Speaker and more! Previous JEEP rides-
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-deep cherry
2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo-inferno red
Re: Recent Mods: Removed Chrome Door Molding, Grille Swap, Tow Hooks, LED Fogs & RRO
Originally Posted by Stroked & Blown
Any impressions of the fogs? How does the brightness compare to stock?
I can't comment on whether or not they are brighter than the stock bulbs, or if they throw the light further from the vehicle as I have yet to drive at night with them in.
However, they are definitely whiter, almost on the verge of Blue (the pic make them more blue than in person). I was trying to get as close to the 4300k color temp of the HiDs as possible but didn't want lower and couldn't find a 5k, so I went with the 6ks. During the day with my DRLs on (the standard bulb) I would notice the fogs were whiter and more crisp than the DRLs when I was sitting at a light behind a truck or something that was clean. So, when I bought the DRLs I got them to match, 6k. No pics of them because I can't have the vehicle out of park AND take a pic.
In short, not sure if the offer better lighting performance but they definitely offer better aesthetics; IMO.
Originally Posted by SvenskaJeepGuy
paint match the grille and it would look badass
Actually, I sold my old grille to fellow member REALM who is going to paint match his. Not sure if I want to go that route just yet, I'd like a little chrome. If I did anything I'd try to replicate the grille '04 WJ Stealth Edition (UK model), I like the chrome inserts (they could be aluminum - who knows) with the body color surround.
*Sorry for this size, couldn't figure out how to re-size
Originally Posted by 1200RT-P
thanks for sharing this. glad to hear the hooks and grill were easy - i'm hoping to do these in the next few months. Seems like it makes sense to do all at once.
Yes, that is what I was waiting for. And, if you decide to go HiD fog conversion, that would be the time to do it. another member has a great write-up where he hid all of the wires and tucked the HiD components into the frame, it was nicely done.
Originally Posted by dogface_313
Great job, loving seeing somebody remove the chrome. I plan on doing it as well. Any ideas for the chrome window trim and grille?
I actually like the chrome around the windows. Keeps a little bit of the class like on the X5, XC90 & MDX - all of which were SUVs I considered before purchase.
Ideally i'd like Chrome in the following places: around the windows, a little on the grille, the fog bezels and the lower trim near the tow hooks and the the rear bumper trim piece. Still undecided on the lift-gate eyebrow.
So, I priced out swapping the chrome door handles in favor of the painted and the cost from Mopar is ridiculous, something like $120 per handle. Plus, you have to remove the entire interior door panel to get to them, not sure it is worth it to me at this point, rather spend that $500 on something else.
LIFT UPDATE: Finished installing the lift last night (3-hrs for the driver's side front) and I'll get the photo's along with a HOW TO thread later. Still haven't driven it as my taillights aren't back from being tinted (should arrive today). And, when they go in the first place I am going is to get an alignment.