07BlackSpecV's other Build and Adventure Rig


Back in 2015 We sold our still somewhat new Subaru BRZ and got a Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock in White. My wife had really wanted one and at the time we were looking at the possibility of living apart by a state and having to visit each other in the winter months meant we thought she should be in something much more capable. Well, after we made the jump, life didn't work out that way. She had taken the time to find the perfect Jeep and we had it in our garage. The hard rock with a 6 speed was a tough find around northwest Ohio at the time but we are still enjoying it. Since our Xterra has taken us on a number of trips and is nearly complete with its "build" it was time to start turning attention toward the JKU and making it really the vehicle we want to take over for the Xterra some day.

  • Amsoil 5w30 XL
  • NAPA Gold Oil Filter
  • Metal Cloak Exhaust Spacer Kit

- AEV Procal

- Factory 4.10's

  • Stock Hard Rock Front Bumper
  • Stock Hard Rock Rear Bumper
  • AEV Tire Carrier
  • Stock Rubicon Sliders
  • Stock Skids

- Stock Warn Recovery Kit

  • AEV Dual Sport 3.5 SC
  • Rough Country 1.5" Spacers
  • Falken Wild Peak AT3W 315/70/17

- Maximus 3 Classic Hoop

  • Blue Ridge Overland Gear JK Attic
  • Cobra 75 CB
  • Bestop Lock Box
  • Grabbars USA Front Grab Bars

  • Yakima Two Timer Bike Rack
  • ARB Adventure Light
  • H3 3lb Fire Extinguisher w/ Drake Offroad Roll Bar Mount

IMG_3214 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr
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After a recent trip to Florida with the Rubicon I noticed how shot the stock tires were. That really set things into high gear as far as upgrading the JKU. So, upon return, due to other circumstances and the best family trip souvenir ever, we turned my tuner Sentra SER Spec V back to mostly stock for her to daily and we placed a lot of orders to start the build.

Now we had parts arriving for the Jeep and were starting to run out of room to store them.

First the Falken Wildpeak AT3Ws showed up. These are almost 35's but close enough for me. Also, I already have them in 33's on my Xterra so I knew they'd be a great fit for our Jeep also.
IMG_3487 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

Then this awesome pallet of AEV goodness from OK4WD showed up. The Tire Carrier and 3.5SC Lift were a must that we decided on last summer during AEV's Open House.
IMG_3523 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

Also, I forgot that I managed to spend enough that OK4WD threw in the ARB light for free. We got one last Fall at Overland Expo East free that I keep in the Xterra and constantly use it.
IMG_3526 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

Now I just need time to put all this great stuff on.
IMG_3527 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr
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We got to work on what we could. I have a friend coming up next weekend to help me put the suspension on and am going to get it in this week to put the tires on. I should be able to run it a limited amount with just spacers on. Spacers are temporary right now, we couldn't decide what wheels to go with and we'll get some next Spring along with the second round of changes.

The wife got to work on pulling wheels. Then we slapped the spacers on and buttoned it back up.
IMG_3528 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

We took another afternoon to put the swing arm on. It looked really good on droop so I finished it out. Now after a week I can see that it could use a shim but I'm not sure if it is off enough for me to worry about. Everything functions perfectly without noise and rattling. This swing arm is SOLID.
IMG_3537 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

IMG_3538 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

All that being said I am much less excited about the factory rear steel bumper than I used to be. I thought it was a fairly stout piece but after messing with it, its pretty obvious it just looks nice. There will be a AEV rear bumper in the future for our Jeep but for the time being the stock will work.
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Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $15.52
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.: And other mor...
by Jared McCaffree, Jessica Mans, Kobus Mans
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Tortillas to Totems (Every day an Adventure Book 4)
by Sam Manicom
From $9.99
4WD Driving Skills: A Manual for On- and Off-Road Travel
by Vic Widman
From $17.27


We got the lift on last weekend, that was a job and a half. Also, had to rush order in a 5.5" long 1/2-20 bolt because the bolts AEV sends with their tire carrier won't work with stock wheels and 35's. This lift dwarfs my Xterra with it's OME HD suspension we just put on. Looking forward to continuing the build up of our JKU and getting it out.

IMG_3594 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

IMG_3591 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

IMG_3585 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

IMG_3595 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

So, we are going to do some small odds and ends like ARB Intensity lights up front, a SPod, ARB or Solid diff covers, Yeti Tie Rod, Warn Winch. The next big round will be in the Spring with a set of AEV Pintler Wheels, Gobi Stealth Rack, and AEV Snorkel kit.


Haven't made a ton of progress lately but we are laying out a future plan for the JKU to be our Xterra's successor. Probably going to do a Gobi rack, AEV wheels, and tire carrier accessories (Fuel Caddy, High Lift Mount, Bomber Products Maxtrax Mount, Baja backup lights) to finish out this year...maybe a AEV Snorkel as well.

IMG_0594 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

Just small pieces of kit like a fire extinguisher and roll bar mount, BROG Attic, and there is a CB Radio Installed as well.
IMG_0593 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr

IMG_0592 by Jordan Schutt, on Flickr