Music City Trucks Featured Projects

Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T Tires
Summit Racing
Rampage Recovery Bumper
Summit Racing
Rampage Rock Rage Front Bumper
Summit Racing
Rampage TrailCrawler Rock Slider Steps
Summit Racing
Rubicon Express Standard Suspension Lift Kit
Summit Racing
Rugged Ridge Black Satin XHD Series Wheels
Summit Racing
Summit Racing Electric Winch
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Marc)>> Today on Music City Trucks we head to the north Georgia mountains to pick up a JK Jeep.

(Brandon)>> Then we take it to Carolina Crawlers for a little evaluation.

(Marc)>> Followed by a trip to Summit Racing in McDonough, Georgia.

(Brandon)>> Where we pick up the parts that turn this stock Jeep into a bona fide wheeler. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Welcome to Music City Trucks. I'm Brandon Burke.

(Marc)>> And I'm Marc Christ, and we are in Cleveland, Georgia, at Wrangler Ranch, and if you can't tell already, they specialize in Jeeps.

(Brandon)>> And we're here to pick up our new project JK.

(Marc)>> It's a 2007 Jeep Wrangler. Anyway, north Georgia here is absolutely beautiful. It's a very popular area for Jeeps. Obviously, a dealership like this exists. All the mountains and everything. So, we're gonna take this thing out, see what it can do in stock form, and then Summit Racing in McDonough, Georgia, is just a couple of hours south of here. So, we're gonna swing by there and pick up some stuff to let's just say fix this thing up.

(Brandon)>> Now I know you haven't been to the store but I have 20 times, and it's amazing. It's a candy shop for car guys.

(Marc)>> Well let's go see what this thing can do in stock form. I've ridden in these but I've never driven one. I've driven a lot of earlier Jeeps, CJ's and TJ's. Obviously XJ's. ♪ ♪ I've got to tell you, it feels like a much more substantial vehicle than a TJ. This will be a good experience for both of us because we haven't really gone down the road of building a Jeep. I never have. I've modified Jeeps in the past for other people.

(Brandon)>> So it'll be nice to put the winches, and bumpers, and still have something you can drive.

(Marc)>> I'm anxious to see what that's like when we get to the point where it has been modified. We've driven it stock. We know what it's like. How much of this drivability, and comfort, and ability of it to be a daily driver, how much of that is still there? How much of it's gone? What is the threshold. I hope we don't find.

(Brandon)>> Look at that frozen water.

(Marc)>> There ought to be a name for that, frozen water.

(Brandon)>> Holy moly, look at that!

And I think too it's gonna be nice to see did our improvements really improve the truck off road. If we put lift, wheels, tires, bumpers, and winch on it is that really necessary? So we're wheeling it stock.

(Marc)>> Let's just take this thing off road and see what it'll do like this and go from there. Well, we made it here to Carolina Crawlers Off Road Adventure Park, and we've got Wally here, the owner. You can see we're at the base camp. Got a bunch of Jeeps here. Looks like we're gonna have a good day.

(Wally)>> Very proud to have y'all. Look forward to getting you up here on the trails. We have this awesome group with us. We've got six or eight Jeeps will be on the trails with us. We are gonna do some technical stuff. There's some trails in here we won't be able to do just because they're hardcore, but there is gonna be some challenging stuff for a stock Jeep.

(Brandon)>> Sweet, let's do it! ♪ ♪ Well right out of the gate you can tell these all terrains are gonna be our biggest problem for traction.

(Marc)>> Definitely our biggest problem.

(Brandon)>> I have a feeling the rest of the trip is gonna happen through the skinny pedal and wheel speed.

(Marc)>> The cool thing about us being here today is that Wally has offered to be our guide and spot us. Well, I will say it's a pretty good time wheeling this stock Jeep.

(Brandon)>> Rides pretty good from where I'm sitting. Well, what we're doing is we're gonna take a little break here. Air down our Jeep because it's just having a little bit of a hard time with the all terrains we've got on it. The family up here at Carolina Crawlers is running up the hill. We're not gonna try in our Jeep, but it's a lot of fun watching them. [ engine revving ] ( )>> You're fine, look at this!

(Marc)>> You're ready! ♪ ♪ Put your seat belt on Brandon because things are gonna get rowdy.

(Brandon)>> I can't see *^%$. [ engine revving ]

(Brandon)>> Pulled me right in. [ engine revving ] ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Gas pedal, zig zag, zig zag, zig zag! [ Wally on the walkie talkie ] >> Faster sooner guys!

(Marc)>> Wally says faster sooner.

(Brandon)>> We're doing it then. [ Wally on the walkie talkie ] >> Keep it coming!

(Brandon)>> Grab second if you can. There you go, skinny pedal, skinny pedal! Yes! That's what I'm talking about dude! Well, we made it as far as our stock Jeep will make it, which is pretty far up here. This amazing view.

(Marc)>> Yeah, I didn't think it was gonna make it this far, but we did find the weak parts right. Not enough traction.

(Brandon)>> Not enough clearance. Maybe a little bit more protection. I know we rubbed that nerf bar pretty hard.

(Marc)>> Plus we want to make it look cooler. If we had some more travel that would help too. Suspension travel would definitely help a lot.

(Brandon)>> I think we need to go to Summit and pick up some parts.

(Marc)>> Yeah, we definitely have a lot of work to do when we get back. I want to thank you Wally for having us out here. Really amazing experience. Thank you for coming out, being our guide, bringing your entire crew out. It just made a wonderful experience for us to just be a part of your team it felt like. We accomplished everything we needed to and then some. So, thank you so much.

(Wally)>> Honor to have you guys.

(Brandon)>> It was great!

(Marc)>> Really appreciate it. We actually need to get out of here, but since we're way up here maybe you can help us get down.

(Wally)>> Yes sir!

(Marc)>> Maybe not the hard way.

(Wally)>> Let's go the hard way!

(Brandon)>> Up next, we become like kids in a candy store at Summit Racing.

♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Well we had a blast wheeling our Jeep yesterday, and we've come just a couple of hours south here to McDonough, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta to this amazing Summit Racing store here. Now this is my first time here and I have to say it is quite impressive.

(Brandon)>> Well this isn't my first time here. This is like my 20th. You know it's great you can order all the parts you need online, but you can come into the store and pick up what you need if you're close enough or if you just want to look around. That's cool too.

(Marc)>> Yeah, I-75 is right there. So anytime you're traveling through here just swing by, but what we're gonna be doing today is we're gonna be showing you around the store so you can see what it's all about, and while we're here we're gonna be picking up all the parts that we need to take back to the shop to fix up our Jeep.

(Brandon)>> Well before we order parts, you want to go look around at shiny stuff?

(Marc)>> Of course! ♪ ♪ So, what's really cool about this store is not only is this place a store but there is a massive parts distribution warehouse connected to this building here that Summit uses to ship parts all over the country. So, you come in here to the store, order your parts, and while you wait they'll pull the parts. Then you can take them right along with you. Now they've got specialized staff here that know all about this entire catalog, and they're ready to help, and that's what we've got here. Jay is gonna help us get all the parts for our Jeep.

(Brandon)>> I see you've already got the lift pulled up. Is that in stock?

(Jay)>> Yep, got it all here.

(Brandon)>> Alright, so let's take that. If you're doing a lift you've got to do a bumper.

(Jay)>> Let's find you guys a bumper. How's that one?

(Marc)>> That looks good!

(Brandon)>> That one's already got a winch. So, let's buy a winch and get that put on there. You can't do a bumper without a winch. So, 12,000-pound winch.

(Jay)>> How's that for you?

(Marc)>> That'll work.

(Brandon)>> What other things we need? Wheels and tires!

(Marc)>> Some rock sliders maybe, rear bumper.

(Brandon)>> That should be it. So, after we're done ordering what's our next step?

(Jay)>> After that, when you guys are ready just see the cashiers on the right hand side there and order pickup. They'll have you ready in about 10-15 minutes. From there I'll just get everything else wrapped up for you guys and you're ready to rock 'n roll.

(Brandon)>> You want to go look at more parts?

(Marc)>> Yeah, let's do it. You know Brandon something I noticed while you're looking around here, some high-quality entertainment up there.

(Brandon)>> Two good looking dudes right there.

(Marc)>> Let's go over here. I've got something to show you. Alright Brandon, you ever seen one of these before? This is the Red Line Racer. Go ahead and fire it up.

(Brandon)>> Shift it. [ toy making engine noises ]

(Brandon)>> Is that all you're getting?

(Marc)>> All I'm getting, plus all this stuff for our Jeep.

(Brandon)>> Well I mean personally. Thank you!

(Scott)>> Music City Trucks!

(Marc)>> That's us!

(Scott)>> What's going on guys, I'm Scott. Nice to meet you. Guys we've got your parts all ready. About to bring them out here right now.

(Brandon)>> You want to take a couple of those? [ wobbly wheels rattling ]

(Brandon)>> Alright, oh there's the tires. This is getting cool now. That everything? ( )>> One more!

(Brandon)>> We might have to go through this stuff out at the Jeep.

(Marc)>> We're definitely gonna go through this later.

(Brandon)>> Thank you. We'll get this stuff out to the Jeep and start building something cool. We have our Jeep. We have all of our parts, and the cool part is everything was in stock. So all we've got to do now is go back to the shop and build us a woods toy.

(Marc)>> And a special thanks to Scott, and Jay, and the rest of the team here at Summit Racing for helping us out today. Now we've got to figure out how we're gonna get all this stuff back to the shop. I have an idea. I'll take the Jeep and you take the rest.

(Brandon)>> You want me to just get my little red wagon out.

(Marc)>> Whatever it takes. Up next, we unveil our upgrades and I tackle the front suspension.

(Marc)>> Well we made it back to the shop with our Jeep, and you can see we've got all the parts here that we got from Summit Racing on the floor laid out. It's very exciting because we really don't touch Jeeps that often here. So this is really kind of a new experience for us. Now let's talk about exactly what we found out taking our Jeep off road. We found three major problems. One, ground clearance. Two, would be suspension articulation, or travel, and then also traction. Well, we're gonna fix all of those with a few of the parts that you see here. We've got wheels and tires, 35 x 12.5, not a bad deal, and also a suspension lift. Everything that you see here is kind of on the budget side, which is really refreshing because we get to take a 2007 vehicle that's already a budget buy, install some budget parts, and really take this thing to the next level. This is a JK. So, they were made from 2007 to 2018. It's a very modern vehicle. It has four-wheel disc brakes, power brakes, a-b-s, a/c and heat, a reliable 3.8-liter V-6 under the hood. It's affordable to buy. I think we paid about $17,000 for this Jeep. One thing that I really like about this vehicle as well is that it's easy to work on and there's a ton of aftermarket support for it. The parts are cheap. You can spend a lot of money on parts, or you can buy budget minded parts like we have. If you are gonna be spending the money on a vehicle that you want to one, drive either daily or just from time to time, and two have some fun with and customize it on your way there's really nothing better than a Jeep, especially this JK era. They were made for so long. There's a ton of these things available. You can actually find some that have already been modified or you can just modify them yourself like we're doing. Well with all of that said I can't wait to get to work on this thing because I want to get it done. I want to attack the major problems first. What I mentioned earlier would be the suspension, the ground clearance, and the articulation, as well as the wheels and tires. So, we're gonna start there. ♪ ♪ [ drill humming ] ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Well looking under our Jeep here it's in relatively good shape, especially for a 15 year old 100,000 plus mile truck. I checked out all of the steering components as well as the ball joints up here. Everything looks like it's in good shape. So, we shouldn't need to touch anything there, but there is one major problem that I found here that we just can't ignore. It's got a pretty significant oil leak coming from the oil pan. Now this is a two-piece oil pan. It's got an upper and lower. The lower just attaches with r-t-v. So, we can reseal that if we need to while we're in there, but there's so much oil coming from the pan and the transmission I can't tell if the rear main is leaking as well. The only way to find out is gonna be to tear in there, put an oil pan gasket on it, get it all cleaned up, and just check it from there. So, we need to get that ordered. Another thing I noticed is our fuel tank skid plate's got some damage on it. There's obviously a lot of mud under here, but there's some serious scratches and dents in this skid plate, and by the looks of it being this is a steel plate and there's very little to no rust on these scratches, chances are we did that damage. So that's a pretty good sign that we need to replace that. There's actually some aftermarket ones available. We'll get that coming from Summit as well as the transfer case skit plate. Moving on to the rear, the rear axle, the rear cover's been taken off before. Not sure why but it is leaking. So that's gonna need to be addressed, and like I mentioned before brakes. It does need rear brakes as well, but we also have a stripped wheel stud here that we need to replace. So, the best thing for us to do is go ahead and take the cover off, get the rear axle taken apart. Go ahead and put a new wheel stud on there, and fix anything else that it needs while it's in there. For now, I'm just gonna go order some parts, and then we can get working on the suspension. We're gonna tackle the front first. This is a pretty simple job. Just removing the shocks and springs and replacing them with the ones that came with the kit. This will help address our ground clearance issue by allowing us to install taller tires. ♪ ♪ [ banging metal ]

(Marc)>> Well that does it for the front suspension. That's about as simple as a lift kit gets. Springs, shocks, longer sway bar links, and this is good to go. We do have a couple of other things we want to address here in the front, like the oil leak and the brake job, but we'll get to that later. For now, we're gonna move to the rear suspension.

(Brandon)>> Next, I install our rear suspension.

(Marc)>> Then we check out our new lift!

(Marc)>> Probably gonna need these.

(Brandon)>> The operation station. So, the rear's pretty similar to the front. Shocks, coils, sway bar end links, and Marc already addressed that we need to maintenance this rear diff cover. So, the first thing we need to take off is the shocks. [ drill humming ]

(Brandon)>> Tear down on these JK Jeep suspensions are pretty straight forward. Anyone with jack stands, and basic hand tools, and some experience can do this in their driveway. [ drill humming ]

(Brandon)>> The kit comes with longer sway bar end links for the rear. So, we're gonna go ahead and remove these completely.

(Brandon)>> Next the old coils come out, and we add bump stop extensions so we don't bottom out those tires on the fenders. ♪ ♪ Now this is an entry level lift. So instead of a new track bar we have a drop down bracket. [ banging metal ] ♪ ♪ [ ratchet clicking ]

(Brandon)>> Get everything snug for now. ♪ ♪ Now we're installing long shocks, which again is pretty straight forward. ♪ ♪ Then the longer sway bar end links and we're about done here. [ drill humming ]

(Brandon)>> With a two and a half inch lift you don't have to replace the brake lines but since we're gonna go back off road and flex this thing out I don't want to be stretching these brake lines any more than we have to. So, we're gonna get some longer ones. ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Let's see! Oh!

(Brandon)>> That's pretty cool! I like the offset. Now that the new suspension is installed you know we've got to throw on the wheels and tires. Yes, I love 35's. Oh yeah! Well, we've got our parts on order. So, we figure we might as well go ahead and throw our wheels and tires on the Jeep, and put it on the ground, and see what it looks like.

(Marc)>> And considering all we've done to this thing is just a super simple suspension lift, like the cheapest thing you can buy and a set of wheels and tires, it completely transformed the Jeep. I love it, and I would actually drive this thing.

(Brandon)>> I know you guys are thinking, it's only a 2.5 inch lift. It's not a 4- or 6-inch lift, but that's not what we were going for. All we wanted to do was be able to fit a 35-inch tire under our Jeep. That way our ground clearance from the differential to the ground is raised.

(Marc)>> I mean you saw how capable this thing was off road stock. This is just gonna take it to the next level. Besides, once you go higher than 2.5 inch you're gonna have to start changing a lot of other things under here, which is unnecessary and costly, and we want to keep this thing kinda budget minded.

(Brandon)>> So the next time you see our Jeep we're gonna be throwing bumpers, steps, winch, lights. What else?

(Marc)>> Fix the rear axle, fix the oil leak up front. Things we hadn't planned on doing but we're gonna do it. Then go take it wheeling.

(Brandon)>> Just part of an older truck. You've got to maintenance it and modify it.

(Marc)>> Save a little money on the front end, gotta spend it on the back end.
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