Over the past few years, my poor '97 TJ has really begun to show her age. Each year I'd sand, prime and touch-up the trouble spots only to have them come back in worse shape the next year. With only about 135k on her, I know she's got a LOT more miles left in her. Yeah, I could just sell her and buy something new (or just newer), but she's MY Jeep, I love the TJ model and just really don't want to replace her. Besides, mechanically, she's in real good shape.
So this last spring I decided to get serious and fix her up right and took pictures along the way. (Just wanted to share...
From a distance she doesn't look too bad -
But, upon closer examination......
Lots of rust here -
The paint is shot -
Front fenders are rusting through -
This is the result of mounting my CB antennae on the front fender (I no longer recommend it...) -
Side mirrors were rotting, all the rubber looked old and was beginning to crack, the upper door sliding windows developed a death wobble of their own -
And..... the aluminum wheels had about 14 yrs. of accumulated road grime that just wouldn't clean off -
I couldn't stand looking at her any more! So last June I got started. With the help of you all on this forum, I found out about Busch's Aluminum Polish, bought some and went after the wheels -
By the end of June, this is how she looked with the wheels cleaned up, new upper doors, and side mirrors -
As far a personal upgrades go, by August I was able to add a Jeeperman bumper and light bar, and a Warn winch -
How she looked by September -
It took some time to get her into a good body/paint shop but here she is in the shop being prepped for painting -
The driver's side floor had to be replaced due to rust and I had the interior bedlined -
New front fenders on (new hood is outside the booth being prepped) -
As of today, they've just about finished the job. They are re-assembling and detailing her. (They ARE waiting for a part to come in to fix a small mechanical problem). I should have her back by the middle of next week! Finished pics then.