Featured Build: The Official DGL JL
This week, we learn all about The Official DGL JL. On the heels of his JK build, Danny Langan opted for a brightly colored two-door JL that is more tailored to his needs.
what is the biggest difference between your old jk and the new JL?
My JL is actually my third Wrangler. My first Wrangler was a 2009 two-door X, it stayed stock for its entire life. Once the 2012’s came out, and I was financially able, I quickly upgraded because I knew I wanted the new 3.6 with the five speed auto. Since the first one was an X (now called Sport) I wanted to upgrade as much as possible, so I got the four door, I got the Sahara, I got leather, I got navigation, I got the color matched hard top… I got all the things I thought I’d want in a Wrangler.
As I started to build my JKU, I noticed that there were some trade offs I wish I had made. They money I had spent on a Sahara with all the options could have been used to buy a Rubicon that was still fairly well equipped. Leather seats and a body matched hard top were nice to have, but you know what would have been better? Dana 44s with lockers.
Once the JL was announced, my JKU was 5 years old and I had JL Fever.
I knew that instead of spending money on the pointless options, I would target what would be good for the long run. The JK had Poison Spyder bumpers, the JL has factory steel. The JK had JW Speaker headlights, the JL has factory LEDs. The JK had an sPod, the JL has the factory aux switches. My JL is more tailored to my needs.
what are the ultimate goals for the JL?
The ultimate goal for the JL is to perfectly straddle the line between off road monster and civilized daily driver. I want to be able to wheel it on the weekends, and then be able to drive it to work Monday though Friday without any issues. The JL is the perfect platform to achieve this. My 3.5” Rock Krawler X Factor lift, with 37” Trail Grapplers is so far proving to be the perfect combo. Better than stock on road manners, but enough flex to get over anything that’s in my path. In the future, some forced induction might be coming my way CoughRippSuperchargersCough and that will really make it the ultimate off road daily.
why a two door over a four door?
I rarely used the back seat of my four door. The only time it was used for its intended purpose was to drive people to the airport or help someone with a small car move a big object. No more of that nonsense with the two door. I even took the rear seat out the day I came home from the dealership. “Hey can you drive us?" “No sorry, it only has two seats.” With the rear seat removed it has the perfect amount of cargo room and just enough seats so that my girlfriend and I can go wherever we want.
Plus, two doors are rare nowadays, and that makes them pretty cool.
where do you plan to wheel this year?
Staten Island Mall, Woodbridge Mall, and Menlo Park Mall.
But other than that I’m planning on going to Camp Wrangler in July at Rausch Creek, and maybe a few other Rausch trips here and there. I’ve never been to AOAA, so it might be time to plan a trip there as well.
what is your advice to those who are just purchasing and looking to build a jl?
Have your end goal in mind.
Looking to run 33s or 35s? A Sport or Sahara should be fine. 37s? Rubicon. 40s? That’s where you get into the debate of buying a Rubicon vs building a Sport. What is your JL going to be used for? If it’s a daily driver, 40s might look cool but will hurt your wallet at the pump.
- Do your research.
- Shop around.
Spend your money once, and spend it the right way. “Buy once, cry once.” Quality Jeep parts are expensive. Don’t buy Rough Country because you NEED to lift your Jeep, you don’t. Save up money for quality parts and build a Jeep that you feel suits your needs.
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