Fun flashback product review we originally published in 2016 with a great build of “Dad’s JK.” Enjoy the read and the details of this build.
Its always exciting when a family member decides that they enjoy a hobby/sport/lifestyle as much as you do. Case in point, my Dad’s 2013 JKU. He has always enjoyed the backcountry and outdoors whether it was hiking, camping or just exploring our lands less travelled…and while his capable stock Rubicon would take him to most places he wanted to go, he knew it was limited.
He also spends the majority of his time driving on that black asphalt stuff…I know…weird. Well it just so happened that we also needed an additional JKU in the Metalcloak fleet for events and traveling. Perfect! With a base plan of some armor and small suspension tweaks…maybe 35″ tires…we set our plan in motion: Body armor first, then suspension, wheels, tires and finally bumpers. We all know how this goes right? What starts off as basics, quickly turns into chasing shiny things and squirrels…
Orders were placed and boxes began arriving…
Easy. Some Metalcloak Overland aluminum fenders front and rear along with their replacement inner fender wells. There are many aftermarket fenders out there, but ease of installation and fitment were key, along with strength and great looks. We considered steel and painting them but after seeing how the aluminum looked against the body…the decision was easy!
- One Piece – Easy Installation
- Traditional Metalcloak Look
- 3″ of Clearance Over Stock
- 9″ of Front Tire Coverage
- Reinforcement Bracket Optional
- Optional Aluminum Inner Fenders
- Signature Precision Fit
- Quality Craftsmanship
- Functional Strength
- Additional Rear Tire Coverage
- Award Winning Lifetime Customer Service
Installation is VERY straightforward. Remove the old and bolt on the new!
Having spent some time in Moab driving the red JKU MetalCloak rig a few years ago…I knew what the perfect suspension for this build was going to be. It is one of the most complete and easy to install kits I have ever dealt with. Straight from the MetalCloak website: The MetalCloak JK Wrangler 2.5″/3.5″ Game Changer Suspension Kit, Fox Edition, has all the components of the Game Changer, including the high-misalignment vibration-dampening Duroflex Control Arms.
It’s all about choice. Working closely with the leaders in the off-road shock industry MetalCloak offers the BDS tuned FOX 2.0 Performance series shocks as another great option to be used with MetalCloak’s Game-Changing Suspension product line.
This kit is perfect for the JK owner who wants the best flex and the best ride quality, but doesn’t need the unprecedented off-roading articulation and pre-running capability of the 6Pak Shocks.
What do you get? A lot!
|WHAT’S IN THE KIT?
We did decide to go with the 3.5″ springs 🙂 The highway ride is unbelievable for a lifted jeep! Responsive and controllable even at highway speeds! And the flex off road is second to none.
Wheels and tires.
We have always liked Raceline wheels. They make an awesome beadlock and typically have great deals on pricing and shipping. With the stock wheels backspacing being so large (6.25″), the rear sway bar almost touches the wheel as you can see in the above picture. We knew we wanted and needed less backspacing…we also wanted a taller and slightly wider tire. We ordered 5 of the RT232 – al with 4 3/4″ BS, 17 x 8.5″ with JK bolt pattern (5 on 5) and decided to swap the rubber off of my TJ (37″ Falken Wildpeak MT’s) to “see” how things would look. I knew that we had plenty of room and once Dad saw the 37″ tires…he wouldn’t want to go smaller.
Keeping within our MetalCloak theme, the stock bumper does not allow a winch to be mounted and the plastic leaves a lot to be desired when wheeling in the rocks, trees, etc.
This little guy (the vacuum pump) needs moved if you plan on running a winch. Metalcloak’s relocation kit is very well thought out and the instructions are very clear about how to accomplish this.
Anyone that has been around jeeps for a while, has either read or had experience with tire carriers/rear bumpers. The annoying rattles, hard to open and close latches, aftermarket wheels and tires ripping the hinges off tailgates, etc. The stock rear bumper is pretty…um…light weight. So light that after taking the few bolts off that secure it to the frame, one person can literally toss the entire rear bumper a few yards easily. The guys at MetalCloak have come to the rescue!
Designing a MetalCloak JK Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier presented a list of problems that Jeepers have had to just “deal with” in the past while using sub-standard, typical bumper/tire carriers: challenging installation, persistent rattling and squeaks, difficulty trying to open or close the carrier, sub-par fitment, etc…
MetalCloak has systematically tackled each of these problems with revolutionary designs and the result is an unprecedented bumper.
The Frame-Built Combo-base attaches directly to the Jeep frame for the ultimate strength and support for the MetalCloak tire carrier, but we didn’t just want strength and functionality; we wanted more.
To go in line with our focus on LCG Builds (Low Center of Gravity), we lowered the carrier arm a full 10 inches down from other carrier designs and added additional support to secure the tire. Our unique Dual Bearing swing-out system opens with ease and closes onto a double latch mechanism for safety. The carrier is adjustable to hold up to 38” tire and is mounted solid to eliminate rattles and squeaks.
To finish the bumper we developed four different end cap options to stylize and compliment the look of the bumper to fit your exacting needs from OE (full width without carrier), Overland ( full width with or without carrier), or Extreme (crawler caps with or without carrier).
We went with the full width Overland with carrier. Perfect.
Mac’s Tie Down’s makes awesome straps for securing you most valuable things. And it just so happens they all make a just as awesome storage solution for the JK. Introducing Mac’s Black Box!
From Mac’s: Rugged all-aluminum construction, OEM quality fit and finish. Lightweight and customizable, stow cargo out of the elements and away from thieves. Drawer lid makes perfect work table for food prep while camping.
The Mac’s Jeep Box is easily installed behind the rear seats in any 2007+ Jeep Wrangler 4-door. The factory floor storage wells are still accessible due to the Jeep Box’s innovative tilting design. Lightweight powdercoated aluminum construction allows the Jeep Box to include a fully locking drawer and a separate lock to keep the unit itself safely secured in the back of the Jeep. The factory floor cover is replaced with an aluminum integral floor that is part of the box for maximum security and durability.
- Width: 34in (35-1/4in to ends of buttons)
- Height: 16-1/2in
- Depth: 28in
- Overall depth of plate: 33-1/4in
Interior Drawer Dimensions
- Width: 29-5/8in
- Height: 11-5/8in
- Depth: ~27in
To offer double protection against the elements, the interior drawer features a gasket on all sides, so rain and mud will all stay on the outside, where it belongs. The Mac’s Jeep Box utilizes the factory rear seat bolt holes for mounting, but does not require the removal of the rear seats. Every Jeep Box comes standard with an integral locking floor cover, moveable dividers for modular interior space, Mac’s famous VersaTie tie-down track, removable fittings for even more gear space and a sliding drawer cover to offer more flat work surface.
The Jeep Box also features an exclusive pivot mount that allows you to swing the entire unit up and forward, out of the way in case you need access to the factory storage wells. The entire storage system, from mounting plate to powdercoated drawer unit can be installed in 15 minutes without any drilling, allowing for easy removal if desired.
Stay tuned as we continue to “personalize” this great looking JK…as well as keeping an eye out for it at events this year during the MetalCloak/Modern Jeeper #CTITour2016. For a list of the Events around the country, check out: