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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Long story short....

She's in a new WK2 and I'm going to have a bit of fun with this roadway machine. 10+ years of daily ATL commute, this monster is screaming to be thrown into the woods.

Who are we kidding. Short? Nah...

Truck was purchased in late 2005 off the showroom floor (literally) and was a daily driver from day one. It's a white loaded out V8 4x4. Had plans at the time to purchase a property in Panama and figured the white would be the best option that close to the equator. That ended up not happening and I really wish I would have had the black on red, but the black may be coming soon now as this is officially a toy after upgrading her to a 2016, Black WK2.

This truck has been an absolute monster from day one. Never had any issues mechanically and really outside of the recirculation door staying open and the factory NAV unit going out, we haven't had a single issue. Just preventative maintenance and 10 years later its still trucking along as it did from day one. 165,000 miles later and I couldn't be happier with this truck. We're going to start a build to have some fun and get it out in the woods on some trails where it belongs.

So far, the minimalists have been done. It's been given a slight boost of 2.5" to level it out and I went with the new Nitto Ridge Grappler tires in a 265 / 70 / 17 (I think that was the size, too lazy to go look, ha!) and a 1.5" hub centric spacer and the damn thing finally stands as it should have from the factory (stupid ass EPA).



Purchased a rack at a steal during the Holiday sale rush, but starting to second guess the size. I want it for functionality over looks, but after measuring it out, it's not very wide at all based on the roof size. It's 66" long, but only 39" wide. Any feedback on that size would be welcomed. Also bought 9 LED lights for the rack. One bar and two pods on the front and 2 pods on each side and the rear. The factory rails on this truck are way too big, IMHO. They just don't work for me so with some help, we came up with a plan. Used an idea from another board and created these.







More of a low profile look which is good as the rack is fairly tall as it is. I think this turned out great.

Steel Dillo hooked me up with a 5 switch panel for that compartment to the left of the wheel and I found switches on eBay for a few bucks each. Going to try and get the lighting and rack installed this weekend.



Also added an aftermarket 7" touchscreen to replace the factory NAV unit that kept going out after a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rack Update:

Unfortunately, the "going for functionality" and not caring about "looks" will not work on this day. Began mounting the rack and as soon as I put it on the roof, I knew it wasn't going to work. WAY too skinny for this truck. Looked better turning it sideways (66 inches, ha!). Let us not waste time with pics...

Being only 39" wide, I can't justify installing it. I plan on having 9 lights on the eventual rack and it would have looked silly and the side pods would have lit up the roof of the truck rather than the camp / trail.

I'm going to look for something to cover the entire upper section of the roof. Anyone have any ideas? Is there a rack that works perfectly for that space? I even like this look with the downturn and entire roof cover. Anything but what I just attempted on this day, ha!

Wil Mercer showing off his new WAM bumper for his Jeep Commander. #jeepCOM - WAM Bumpers (@wam_bumpers)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After some reading here, it seems the Yakima MegaWarrior with the extension is a good fit. Any other options for the same size / look cheaper than $300? Some might think, man, what a cheap ****, ha!! However, this is a 165,000 vehicle and you never know. I'm look at this project as if it were a boat. Now? It's going to be a damn good looking boat... But I will be smart about purchases after this failure that was the previous rack. Boxing it up and driving 14 miles to return it in the morning.

"A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into." -Someone

Not interested in sinking a ton of money at the bottom of the lake if she should ever have a major issue. Therefore, if any of you know of a rack the same size or larger than the megawarrior (52x48x6.5), for under $300 let me know. Thanks so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ordered a Yakima Mega Warrior and it's in route. After a lot of thought, it seems to be the best option for the size of the XK and didn't want to wait on doing a custom rack.
 

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Long story short....

She's in a new WK2 and I'm going to have a bit of fun with this roadway machine. 10+ years of daily ATL commute, this monster is screaming to be thrown into the woods.

Who are we kidding. Short? Nah...

Truck was purchased in late 2005 off the showroom floor (literally) and was a daily driver from day one. It's a white loaded out V8 4x4. Had plans at the time to purchase a property in Panama and figured the white would be the best option that close to the equator. That ended up not happening and I really wish I would have had the black on red, but the black may be coming soon now as this is officially a toy after upgrading her to a 2016, Black WK2.

This truck has been an absolute monster from day one. Never had any issues mechanically and really outside of the recirculation door staying open and the factory NAV unit going out, we haven't had a single issue. Just preventative maintenance and 10 years later its still trucking along as it did from day one. 165,000 miles later and I couldn't be happier with this truck. We're going to start a build to have some fun and get it out in the woods on some trails where it belongs.

So far, the minimalists have been done. It's been given a slight boost of 2.5" to level it out and I went with the new Nitto Ridge Grappler tires in a 265 / 70 / 17 (I think that was the size, too lazy to go look, ha!) and a 1.5" hub centric spacer and the damn thing finally stands as it should have from the factory (stupid ass EPA).



Purchased a rack at a steal during the Holiday sale rush, but starting to second guess the size. I want it for functionality over looks, but after measuring it out, it's not very wide at all based on the roof size. It's 66" long, but only 39" wide. Any feedback on that size would be welcomed. Also bought 9 LED lights for the rack. One bar and two pods on the front and 2 pods on each side and the rear. The factory rails on this truck are way too big, IMHO. They just don't work for me so with some help, we came up with a plan. Used an idea from another board and created these.




More of a low profile look which is good as the rack is fairly tall as it is. I think this turned out great.

.
As you well know I used your cross bars as inspiration. (Thanks!) Just wanted to let you know that I flipped my unistruts the other way around and took advantage of the unistrut nuts 1/2 in. Channel Spring Nuts (5-Pack)-ZA1001/2EG-10 - The Home Depot Really sturdy and inexpensive way to attach things to the struts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yeah, I used the channel spring nuts to mount the bars to the rails. Will use them again to add 2 more bars to help with heavier loads and deter would be theft making it seem more intimidating to remove. I thought about flipping the bars, but was worried about how it would look. If you have pics, I'd be interested to see them. I'll check out your build thread as I think you made one for this project.

While on the subject, I was lurking around that other Jeep site and someone had their lighting stolen off of their Jeep. My XK will no longer fit in the garage when the rack goes on, so I'm looking at options to keep the dorks from having a field day with my new rack / lighting. I'm hoping my decision to keep it simple will be a start. I don't like that "everyone is doing it" look when it comes to lighting. In the ATL burbs, you can't get a mile down the road without seeing that massive 50+ in curved bar on everyone's Wrangler. I went with a 14" "bar" and 2, 4" pods for the front and then 2 more 4" pods on both sides and the rear. Hoping that will keep the lights on the XK rack rather than riding in the bed of some assholes pick-up after being taken, ha!

I know there has to be some security options for the Yakima MegaWarrior. Anyone know of the best options to secure these racks to the roof? I know they have the key lock option, but any other ideas that folks have done / seen to secure these investments?

Also, spoke with Natalie at WAM Bumpers and going to get that ball rolling. Doing this one, so I'm curious if there are any must have options that need to be implemented on these metal bumpers? Was going to do the winch, tow hooks and fog add, but not sure about the "bull bar" add. Anything I need to know about metal bumpers before pulling the trigger? Buddy is going to paint it white to match the XK. Think that will be "different" over the normal black bedliner look.

Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Spoke with Natalie at WAM Bumpers and going to get that ball rolling. Doing this once, so I'm curious if there are any must have options that need to be implemented on these metal bumpers? Was going to do the winch, tow hooks and fog add, but not sure about the "bull bar" add. Anything I need to know about metal bumpers before pulling the trigger? Buddy is going to paint it white to match the XK. Think that will be "different" over the normal black bedliner look.

They're by far the cheapest I could find locally and being local I'll save the shipping costs, so it's a win win to have WAM close. Anyone know what winch's are a good fit for steel bumpers? I have ZERO experience in the winch game and looking for help with what will fit. Also, the cheaper, the better as I may never use the damn thing, ha! I don't want something that will catch on fire with the first use, but also don't want to spend a 4th of the vehicles value on one either.
 

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Just make sure you get the winch rated for at the least the GVW of the XK. I wouldn't use anything smaller than a 9500lb if I were you. Since this is your first winch experience, I would also throw down the extra cash for synthetic line (it's a safety thing - a snapped winch cable under load can do amazing amounts of damage whereas the synthetic doesn't whip back if it breaks). Harbor Freight sells the Badlands brand winches that are hella cheap, but I know very little about their reliability. I personally like the Superwinch brand, but they aren't cheap. Rugged Ridge makes a series of winches that generally have gotten good reviews and are fairly inexpensive. Just make sure it will fit the interior of the bumper and that you've got a spot to easily hook up the wired remote and you should be good to go. If you do go with cable, make sure you get an accessory pack with a weighted dampener, snatch block, gloves, d-rings, tree straps etc.


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Discussion Starter #15
Just make sure you get the winch rated for at the least the GVW of the XK. I wouldn't use anything smaller than a 9500lb if I were you. Since this is your first winch experience, I would also throw down the extra cash for synthetic line (it's a safety thing - a snapped winch cable under load can do amazing amounts of damage whereas the synthetic doesn't whip back if it breaks). Harbor Freight sells the Badlands brand winches that are hella cheap, but I know very little about their reliability. I personally like the Superwinch brand, but they aren't cheap. Rugged Ridge makes a series of winches that generally have gotten good reviews and are fairly inexpensive. Just make sure it will fit the interior of the bumper and that you've got a spot to easily hook up the wired remote and you should be good to go. If you do go with cable, make sure you get an accessory pack with a weighted dampener, snatch block, gloves, d-rings, tree straps etc.


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Excellent info, thank you! I'll look into everything in your post. I'm going to draw out the bumper with WAM so I'll make sure to get all the info on proper winch dimensions it will hold. I'm sure they know what they're doing and I'm over-thinking it, but just want to make sure it's done right as this a one-time shot, ha! Also, I what about controlling the unit? I had planned to wire the winch to the 5th switch in my Steel Dillo plate, but I'm not sure how that all works. How are these powered on and controlled if not wired to a switch in the dash? I've seen wireless remotes for these and I'm unsure what a switch would be needed for other than to supply power to the winch when needed. Is that correct? The rocker switch wired to the winch is to supply power when needed and the remote is what drives the winch? Or do I have that all wrong? Thanks again.

-Total Winch N00B:grin2:
 

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Excellent info, thank you! I'll look into everything in your post. I'm going to draw out the bumper with WAM so I'll make sure to get all the info on proper winch dimensions it will hold. I'm sure they know what they're doing and I'm over-thinking it, but just want to make sure it's done right as this a one-time shot, ha! Also, I what about controlling the unit? I had planned to wire the winch to the 5th switch in my Steel Dillo plate, but I'm not sure how that all works. How are these powered on and controlled if not wired to a switch in the dash? I've seen wireless remotes for these and I'm unsure what a switch would be needed for other than to supply power to the winch when needed. Is that correct? The rocker switch wired to the winch is to supply power when needed and the remote is what drives the winch? Or do I have that all wrong? Thanks again.

-Total Winch N00B:grin2:
Not a problem. You can most definitely wire power to an internal switch, but to control line in and out you'll either need one of the wireless remotes or a wired remote that attaches to the winch solenoid. You wouldn't really want to control the pulling from inside the vehicle. Need to be able to see what's going on with the line, etc. Since you're going to have a "hidden" winch, you'll have the solenoid attached somewhere accessible so that the detachable wired remote can be plugged into it. The wireless one's are cool too, but knowing my luck, I'd be stuck somewhere and the batteries in the remote would be dead so I'd have to plug in the wired anyway.
 

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Winch Use

It's been 3 Jeeps since I had a winch, but just a few things to think about.

1) when will you use it? are you stuck or are you helping someone else?
2) is the motor able to run or did it die in a puddle?
3) what are you going to hook to?
4) will you be pulling in a straight line?

If you are alone and need the winch then the winch should be large enough to pull the GVW+ 1,000-2,000 more and your battery should be have enough CCA to pull that weight for 10 min's.

You can't use a winch w/o a few other items, snatch strap to wrap around a tree, a snatch block to aide in pulling straight or to double the pull of the winch, a place on the front and rear of the XK to hook back to the unit.

The winch should be mounted as close to the frame and inline with it so as not to add a cable angle if possible.If you are going to draw up some specs. for them I'd hope they would have that in the plan already.

You need hooks on the back of the XK so that if you are helping someone you can hook the rear to a fixed object and then you will once again need to hve something to secure the XK to that object w/o using the equip. needed for the front.

And last but not least I'd go with a cable remote instead of a wireless as you have to be out to pull the cable and attach it anyway and it will be long enough to sit in the drivers seat after hook up, but it is very important to make sure that the overall hook is good before just pushing the button.

Swanny
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not a problem. You can most definitely wire power to an internal switch, but to control line in and out you'll either need one of the wireless remotes or a wired remote that attaches to the winch solenoid. You wouldn't really want to control the pulling from inside the vehicle. Need to be able to see what's going on with the line, etc. Since you're going to have a "hidden" winch, you'll have the solenoid attached somewhere accessible so that the detachable wired remote can be plugged into it. The wireless one's are cool too, but knowing my luck, I'd be stuck somewhere and the batteries in the remote would be dead so I'd have to plug in the wired anyway.
That all makes sense. Can you tell I've never used one or seen someone else use one? HA! I'll get them to show me some bumpers with the hidden winch option and see how they implement the remotes. What are the other ways to turn on the power to a winch? I have a 5 switch panel and will have LED's on all 4 sides of the XK and then some in the steel bumper. So, maybe I can use all 5 switches to control the lighting, or I can use the 5th for the winch power and tie in the bumper LED's to the factory fog switch?!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It's been 3 Jeeps since I had a winch, but just a few things to think about.

1) when will you use it? are you stuck or are you helping someone else? -- I won't unless I need to help someone most-likely
2) is the motor able to run or did it die in a puddle? -- Not likely...
3) what are you going to hook to? -- Another vehicle, or a tree in the off chance I get stuck somewhere (hasn't happened in 11 years)
4) will you be pulling in a straight line? -- In a perfect world, ha!

If you are alone and need the winch then the winch should be large enough to pull the GVW+ 1,000-2,000 more and your battery should be have enough CCA to pull that weight for 10 min's. -- Definitely planned on upgrading to a Yellow Top Optima when I have the winch installed as I'll be running lights, 1000w amp and the winch off of the single battery in the XK.

You can't use a winch w/o a few other items, snatch strap to wrap around a tree, a snatch block to aide in pulling straight or to double the pull of the winch, a place on the front and rear of the XK to hook back to the unit. -- Good to know, for sure!

The winch should be mounted as close to the frame and inline with it so as not to add a cable angle if possible.If you are going to draw up some specs. for them I'd hope they would have that in the plan already. -- Yeah, I'm sure they know what they're doing and I mean specs as in where I want the fogs and lines to match perfectly with the fender flares as I've seen XK's with steel bumpers that don't line up to the factory flares which is weird.

You need hooks on the back of the XK so that if you are helping someone you can hook the rear to a fixed object and then you will once again need to hve something to secure the XK to that object w/o using the equip. needed for the front. -- Great point, I'll look into options.

And last but not least I'd go with a cable remote instead of a wireless as you have to be out to pull the cable and attach it anyway and it will be long enough to sit in the drivers seat after hook up, but it is very important to make sure that the overall hook is good before just pushing the button. -- Awesome, thanks. I think the wired remote is the way to go from what I've read. Don't want to be the guy that has dead batteries or loses the remote, ha!

Swanny
Great post, thank you
 

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That all makes sense. Can you tell I've never used one or seen someone else use one? HA! I'll get them to show me some bumpers with the hidden winch option and see how they implement the remotes. What are the other ways to turn on the power to a winch? I have a 5 switch panel and will have LED's on all 4 sides of the XK and then some in the steel bumper. So, maybe I can use all 5 switches to control the lighting, or I can use the 5th for the winch power and tie in the bumper LED's to the factory fog switch?!

Wiring a winch is essentially the same concept as wiring an amplifier. You've got a positive that runs to the battery, a chassis ground, and a 12v turn-on lead. This is what you'd want to run to your switch. That way there's a current that runs to the winch when the key is on, but you have essentially a kill switch in between. A winch only really has two powered modes of operation in/out so if you're not going one way or the other it's essentially off and not drawing current. That's why most of the wired controllers are a 3-stage rocker style switch (in-off-out).

There's a lot to know when dealing with winches, but 90% of it is about safety.



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