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2019 Camo Lonestar - Long-term build


zk-315
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New here and was going to wait to do a build thread later on, but figured I might as well go ahead and start now. I'm in central Texas and picked up a 2019 HD10 Lonestar edition defender February 2nd this year. When I bought it, I had already had a pretty good idea on 90% of everything I wanted to put on it.

My number one goal in this build is reliability and functionality, but still be a fully capable rig to do almost anything I want it to do. I don't plan to go super huge or make it a show machine. It will get used, but will also get taken care of. I like nice things, but when I can save a dollar here or there, I will do just that. I hunt a lot, do some guided hunts, and like to take my family out to trail ride and get outdoors.

I've already added quite a few smaller things to it which I'll attempt to add pictures of everything throughout this build, in hopes it could help anyone out with anything. I'm a big fan of DIY installs and builds, so the majority of this thread will be directed in that manner. The larger purchases will slowly come, but I tend to add a bunch of the little knick-knacks all the time. :classic_biggrin:

Right off the bat I put the factory glass flip out windshield on it. Everything I have heard about the poly windshields were that it wasn't for me. I go through a lot of brush and didn't want it scratched all to hell (like the poly tends to do), so I spent the extra coin and really glad I did.

Some of the smaller add-ons done so far:

-Removed the factory door netting

-Auxbeam LED cube lights on the back (ordered spot beam on accident and wish I would have gone with the flood beam)

-factory matched rocker switch for the rear lights. I can get a little ocd at times and wanted this to match the rest of the switches

-USB charging port with integrated volt meter (under the "Work, normal, eco" mode switch)

-Seizmik mirrors - bolted through the a-pillar webbing down close to the dash. If I ever get doors, I may have to move these somewhere else.

-Cheap amazon roll-bar led light for a dome light

-Kohlpin Rhino XL gun clamps under front middle jump seat (best mod I've done so far!)

-Rear view mirror (not installed yet)

 

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Edited by zk-315
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I loved the black plastics when they were clean and the metallic metal flakes in the paint made it match my truck perfectly, but I'm out in the brush so much I hated to scratch it up. I found a guy with a full set of Camo plastics and swapped him. A buddy of mine has an X3 turbo that he was swapping wheels and tires around and asked if I wanted to buy his take offs. Picked up some STI 15" HD5 Bronze wheels along with some 29" Maxxis Carnivores. The carnivores are just temporary but should do me just fine until I decide to lift it.

Eventually I'll put a set of S3 springs on it and upgrade to a 31 or 32" outback maxx tire. If I go 32" i'll have to get a different sized wheel since the 32 doesn't come in a 15" :classic_unsure:

I'm not a fan of puck lifts and would rather do it right and go straight with some springs when the time comes...probably in a month or two.

Future mod's I'm planning, mind you the bigger ticket items will come slower than the smaller cheaper items:

-S3 Springs

-31" or 32" Outback max

-Metal roof so I can stand on it while guiding or filling feeders

-52" curved led lightbar

-Tough Country front bumper

-winch relocate

-possibly a winch in the bed or even build a custom flatbed with a winch mounted

-another set of gun mounts in the back seat

-High rack seat in the bed

-Custom built radio

I currently have just a cheap wally world Bluetooth speaker I throw in the dash for my music, but I'm planning out some sort of custom stereo set up to put up in the roof. I see a lot of the Audio formz and pro-box roofs and makes me want to try to build my own. I love everything about the audioformz roofs except the front brow portion. I'll put a 52" light bar and I think they just look funny on that curved front brow...I don't know. Still trying to plan this out in my head. I THINK I want to do the metal roof, then incorporate something similar to the underside of the audioforms roof into the bottom of the metal roof I pick up.

Anyways, here's how she currently sits. I went ahead and threw a couple of pics of the family in there from this past weekend.

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Thanks for sharing. Will be cool to follow along with your build! I’m also thinking a lift and bigger tires at some point but prob not any time soon. 

Nice to see your whole family goes, my 2.5 year old son is obsessed with riding with me on it but my wife wants nothing to do with it haha. I took her around the neighborhood once and she won’t get back on. 

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Well I was going to wait to do a “build thread” but I got bored at work. I’ve been on quite a few truck forums and found other people’s build threads helped me with some of the little Knick-knack things I put on. Hopefully it’ll help others put some of the cheaper mods they wouldn’t have thought about. 

 

Haha same here. My oldest just turned 3 and I can’t keep him off of it. Don’t be discouraged, my wife won’t ride around the neighborhood either. She’ll go out to the ranch but around the neighborhood is a no-go. Hopefully when the youngest (almost 1) gets a little older, we can go out camping at a few Offroad parks and have a good time. 4 or 5 years from now I hope to head up to Colorado in the summer somewhere with the family and do a week long trip. 

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So I joined today to follow your build.   I'm in the market for a new Defender and probably going to go with the Lone Star.   It will be running in the Hill Country as well.  

I currently have a 15 yr. old Mule 4x4 Trans and will keep it for doing most of the dirty work.  Honestly, I haven't had any problems with the Mule, if you don't count the first week I had it when I had two flats and learned that I needed Kevlar tires.   I had the Mule modified with a steel roof, a lift kit, winch which can be located on front or back, and lights.   But I don't really like what Kawasaki has done with the current Mule and have decided on the Can Am.   

I'm now researching my upgrade options.   I like the idea of the roof-mounted sound system (i.e. ProBox or AudioFormz) but have some concerns about them.   The "Pro" for that kind of system is that with four (or more) speakers all around, you don't have to blast out the front row in order for the back row to hear the music (or vice versa).    The "Con" are (i) I like having a more sturdy roof in case I need to stand on it to fill feeders (currently not an issue as the feeders drop, but you never know) and (ii) I have not heard great things about the audio quality...specifically of the ProBox.   It also might be nice to have some kicker speakers facing out that could be switched on so we can hear music while not sitting in the cab, say, while shooting or hanging out in a creek.   Thoughts?

I'd like a lesson on the types of lift kits...pucks vs. springs.   I'll search out a topic on the forum but am curious as to why you like one over the other.    Without doing any research, I'm assuming that the spring lift would mean a smoother ride than the puck lift, but I also would think that the independent suspension might negate that issue.   

I also never thought about having a windshield due to the brutal summer heat, and I'm curious to see how you like yours when things get warm.  

What dealer did you work with to get yours?   I've visited with a few in the Hill Country area...some I like and some I really didn't.

Sorry for all the questions!   I'm going to school on you...

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I know where you are coming from. I had a 2006 trans-mule that I sold right at a year ago. Good solid machines but I’ve got to say this defender is everything that mule was, plus some. It will pull and work circles around the mule. 

I bought my defender from what used to be Central Texas Powersports in Georgetown. I used to work up there a LONG time ago and know a few people that are still around. I did some shopping prior to buying but I made them cut me a deal, plus I get a good discount on parts and accessories still. They have since changed names to Ride Now Georgetown. 

As for the roof, it’s kind of just up to you. I’m putting a Fortress level 2 metal roof on mine this week then at some point I’ll build my own stereo set up. I have some mild wood working tools that I like playing with from time to time, so I’ll just build something under the metal fortress. 

If you want to buy a roof that’s already set up, I have friends with the pro box and audioforms and both are nice. Pro box is stiff enough to stand on, not sure about the audioforms. Only thing I don’t like about the AF roof were the lights up front. I haven’t seen them at night personally but I think I’ll prefer a light bar over their little lights. Take the light portion with a grain of salt, since I don’t have any personal experience. Maybe someone else will chime in 

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As for the lift, how big are you wanting to go? I only want to go up to a 32” tire, so I’m just going with a 2-3” lift with the S3 hd springs. They are a little stiffer than stock but it’s a good upgrade for my needs. Helps eliminate body roll in corners, adds payload, and lifts it about 2-3”. On a lonestar, xmr, or can model you can fit up to 32”s without any rubbing. Anything larger on the tires, you will need forward front a-arms. On the other models not listed, you can go to 30” tires before a-arms. 

I don’t want to go with forward a-arms as it seems like just one more extra piece to a jigsaw puzzle that could portentously add more angle to your axle joints. Just my thinking though. 

Puck vs. spring vs. bracket...my thoughts are springs are better than the others, but I get that from playing with my truck suspension. Pucks and brackets are a cheaper way to lift and nothing really wrong with them, but springs will actually serve a purpose (adding payload and less body roll) while lifting it as well. 

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Thanks for all the information.   I've been talking to dealers in the Houston area where I'm located and in the San Antonio/Kerrville area where the property is located.   All seem to be about the same, but I'm trying to work some deals.  I'm also talking to Big Country Outdoors about making some modifications (see photos from one of their projects).   I'm OK with small repairs but not very patient with bigger projects!

I'll probably go with a steel roof with a component audio rather than the AF/PB.   I just think you wind up with an overall better product.

On the lift, I'm only looking for 2-3 inches for going up and down the hills.   Less body roll would be good in case I decide to add a high seat/shooting rail down the line.    I do need to locate some good kevlar tires.  The dealers and Big Country are telling me that the 8 ply tires are just as good as kevlar, but I haven't researched that yet.   All I know is I've not had a single flat on the Mule with the kevlar...so why would I do something different?

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I’ve searched for a good Kevlar tire since I had some of the Essex mfg tires on my mule too, but have come up empty handed. Depending on the terrain you’ll be in, Ive heard excellent results with the Blackwater tires. I have the carnivores on my rig now and so far so good. I haven’t really ridden with them other than around the neighborhood drainage ditches yet, but they seem good.

For lift, it sounds like the S3 springs would be right up your ally. I hunt out of mine a lot and tend to always have corn in it filling feeders, or will eventually have a high seat in the back. That’s a sharp looking set up on the one you pictures. 

Forgot about the windshield...I have the factory glass windshield and love it. If it’s warm I can just crack it a little at the bottom or open it all the way. I’ve ridden around on some rough ground in Mason with it fully open and the gas struts are stout enough that it didn’t bounce around. I’ve been really impressed with it so far and glad I went this route  

I had heard a lot of bad things about all of the polymer windshields scratching fairly easy. I plan to keep this one a long time, so spending g the extra coin didn’t hurt so bad on something I’ll use a lot. 

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Added a rear view mirror this evening. Seems like it’s pretty decent quality just unboxing it and installing it. Zero instructions were included so you have to just look at the pic on the front of the box and figure it out. 

I flipped mine upside down so it didn’t hang down so low. 

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On ‎4‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 12:18 PM, zk-315 said:

New here and was going to wait to do a build thread later on, but figured I might as well go ahead and start now. I'm in central Texas and picked up a 2019 HD10 Lonestar edition defender February 2nd this year. When I bought it, I had already had a pretty good idea on 90% of everything I wanted to put on it.

My number one goal in this build is reliability and functionality, but still be a fully capable rig to do almost anything I want it to do. I don't plan to go super huge or make it a show machine. It will get used, but will also get taken care of. I like nice things, but when I can save a dollar here or there, I will do just that. I hunt a lot, do some guided hunts, and like to take my family out to trail ride and get outdoors.

I've already added quite a few smaller things to it which I'll attempt to add pictures of everything throughout this build, in hopes it could help anyone out with anything. I'm a big fan of DIY installs and builds, so the majority of this thread will be directed in that manner. The larger purchases will slowly come, but I tend to add a bunch of the little knick-knacks all the time. :classic_biggrin:

Right off the bat I put the factory glass flip out windshield on it. Everything I have heard about the poly windshields were that it wasn't for me. I go through a lot of brush and didn't want it scratched all to hell (like the poly tends to do), so I spent the extra coin and really glad I did.

Some of the smaller add-ons done so far:

-Removed the factory door netting

-Auxbeam LED cube lights on the back (ordered spot beam on accident and wish I would have gone with the flood beam)

-factory matched rocker switch for the rear lights. I can get a little ocd at times and wanted this to match the rest of the switches

-USB charging port with integrated volt meter (under the "Work, normal, eco" mode switch)

-Seizmik mirrors - bolted through the a-pillar webbing down close to the dash. If I ever get doors, I may have to move these somewhere else.

-Cheap amazon roll-bar led light for a dome light

-Kohlpin Rhino XL gun clamps under front middle jump seat (best mod I've done so far!)

-Rear view mirror (not installed yet)

 

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Can you detail how you mounted the Kolpin gun mounts under the middle seats? I want to do the same.  Thanks

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Sure thing. There’s 4 torx head screws that hold the middle seat bottom to the frame. Flip the seat up and pull those 4 screws out and the seat base lifts off the frame. 

I used the Kolpin Rhino XL clamps on mine, but I’ve seen a couple of styles of Kolpin clamps used. In the pic below, there’s a horizontal bar (1” square tubing if I remember right) that I mounted mine to. Where the green circles are, I’ve seen people mount them on those vertical bars of the seat frame. Either way works, but I had the room on the horizontal one. 

After I had the first one mounted, I then realized there were two sets of mounting screws, so that’s why the one closest to the camera has shorter screws lol. 

Now, on the bottom of the seat bottom that you removed, there’s some plastic ribs that need trimmed. I just used a good pair of dikes to trim it away, but a drimel with a cut-off wheel would work fine too. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics of where I cut it. But put the seat on and figure out where it needs trimmed and then trim away. It’s still really sturdy and I haven’t had any issues with it yet. 

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Picked up a fortress roof from my dealership yesterday and put it on. It seems to be great quality and very heavy duty. It will take 2 people to install it mainly due to the bolts and lock nuts in the center of the roof. I haven’t stood on it, but I have no doubt my big ass wouldn’t make a dent in it. Easy to install and I’d give the instructions a solid B+. 

Theres foam tape and 2 rubber strips with a sticky backing to help with rattles, along with a bunch of nuts, bolts, washers, and rubber backed washers to install. Super happy with it, and it clears my flip out windshield. 

The pics of the underside shows the rubber on top of the round portion of the roll bar. 

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10 hours ago, zk-315 said:

Sure thing. There’s 4 torx head screws that hold the middle seat bottom to the frame. Flip the seat up and pull those 4 screws out and the seat base lifts off the frame. 

I used the Kolpin Rhino XL clamps on mine, but I’ve seen a couple of styles of Kolpin clamps used. In the pic below, there’s a horizontal bar (1” square tubing if I remember right) that I mounted mine to. Where the green circles are, I’ve seen people mount them on those vertical bars of the seat frame. Either way works, but I had the room on the horizontal one. 

After I had the first one mounted, I then realized there were two sets of mounting screws, so that’s why the one closest to the camera has shorter screws lol. 

Now, on the bottom of the seat bottom that you removed, there’s some plastic ribs that need trimmed. I just used a good pair of dikes to trim it away, but a drimel with a cut-off wheel would work fine too. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics of where I cut it. But put the seat on and figure out where it needs trimmed and then trim away. It’s still really sturdy and I haven’t had any issues with it yet. 

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Thanks!

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