Friday, January 27, 2017

Project SRT8… The Beginning.

WIthout getting into too much detail, I have spent the last couple weeks discovering issue after issue with this truck. I am in the process of addressing these concerns with the dealer, so I do not want to delve any further into it at this point. I have also, however, begun the modifications. I picked the truck up last night and have not had a chance to snap any good pictures of it, but I figure I will post up an update anyway.

One of the first things I noticed about the truck when I looked at it was the wheel gap. The SRT8 model Jeep is lowered from the factory. When compared to a regular Jeep Grand Cherokee this is quite apparent. However, there is a bit of a wheel gap that I wanted to address. Being my daily driver and needing to maintain some practicality, I was not going to slam this truck to the ground. After some research, I decided the mild 1" front and 1.1" rear drop from the Eibach Pro-Kit springs is exactly what I needed. To my surprise, the ride quality is actually very comparable to the factory set-up.

Needs a bubble bath!

My next concern was the front windows. Tint. I do not like feeling like I am in a fish bowl when I drive. Thus, I had the front windows tinted to match the rear. I also had a windshield banner done.

Then, I had all the interior lighting upgraded to LED bulbs. This is a modification I recommend to everyone.

Being a black truck, I wanted to smoke the taillights. When the lights were removed, however, we discovered they were in TERRIBLE shape. I do not know what could have happened to them, but they were pitted and stained and would not take to the tint. So, I ordered new tails from Jeep.

They came out great. Perhaps a shade darker than I would have liked, but I am not complaining. Oh, and the rear bumper lights were done, as well.

Then I decided on a Stainless Steel Gibson Dual Exhaust system. I had owned a Gibson system for a prior American-made SUV that I owned years ago and I was very happy with it, so I did not need to do much research to conclude that I wanted a Gibson for this Jeep. Aggressive rumble. Mean. (Yeah, the truck is filthy.)

There is certainly more work to do on this truck to get it to where I would like it to be, but I think this is a good start. I have been going back and forth trying to decide what to do for wheels. Of course, I love Japanese craftsmanship and quality, so I had been looking into 3-piece wheels from Work and SSR, but I know a set of custom wheels would run me upwards of $4,000 and may not end up looking proper, given that this truck is AWD and runs a staggered wheel and tire combination from the factory.

That said, I stumbled across a set of forged Alcoa OEM SRT8 wheels today that have been professionally powdercoated and, unlike the wheels that came on this truck, have no curb rash.

 20x9" - Front
20x10" - Rear

SOLD. My thought process here is that I can run these wheels with a more aggressive/meaner tire set-up and keep the current wheels for the New England winter months. I also think this is the right decision for me because they were literally a fraction of the price of a Work or SSR wheel set-up, which means I can focus a bit more attention on the Z project.

Stay tuned for future updates.

JDMphasis… Innovation Over Imitation

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