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Old 06-06-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
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2002 SE Re-Construction

Well this isn't the hardcore build that some have done up here but this is my project.

Not too long ago, the Jeep looked like this:


Then on a rainy Monday morning, my wife had a low speed accident while coming to a stop and the brakes locked up once the tires hit the street paint and found the rear end of a Titan.






Damage isn't very bad, really. But I did get to have a McGuyver moment the Wednesday after the accident when my wife called me to pick her up because the Jeep was making a God-Aweful racket. I showed up and listend to the engine noise and initially thought she blew the engine because it sounded like a connecting rod slapping around. But looking under the Jeep - No oil or engine parts...
So, I looked under and found that the fan shroud got caught up in the fan and cracked. The fan blades were slapping the plastic and made that loud racket.
I asked my wife for a pen and wedged one half of the shroud out of the way of the fan. I asked for another pen and wedged the other half out of the way of the fan. Fired up the Jeep and viola! All fixed.
But I had to drive the Jeep home and on the way a minivan cut in front of me and decided to drive that "magic 45 mph" (the speed where the tires wobble from being out of round/balance). And...everything I had wedged in the fan shroud fell out and the noise was back. Thankfully, I was only about 4 miles from home and got very lucky with hitting all the green lights.

The fix for this issue was to use my grinder with a cut wheel and cut the fan shroud in half. Now, no more noise.

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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(cont...)

About 1 week later, the insurance claims adjuster came over and evaluated the damage but I had already begun searching craigslist for replacement parts. I got lucky when I found a guy in Bakersfield selling both passenger and driver side fenders with turn signals, flares, and side markers for $300!

On top of that, I found a dismanteler shop on the way to Bakersfield that had a brand new OEM, in the Mopar box grille.

So...after a long day of driving:



All cleaned up and stripped:



And to finish the day, we got new shoes - BFG A/Ts:


Decided to take out the broken turn signals and tape up the bulbs (which didn't break in the accident surprisingly)


This section of crumpled up fender was causing the hood to bend and bow a little:

So after a little hammering I was able to flatten it out and get the hood to close well enough to not hit the fender and bend.

But...I did get a little wild with the hammer and put a hole in the charcoal canister (which later caused a CEL with a P0455 code). A little silicone epoxy and all fixed:

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:01 AM   #3
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(Cont...)

Yesterday, I spent a few hours gutting the doors and removing them. Decided to get them painted with the new body parts since they're a little scuffed up, too:


NOTE: I am not looking forward to re-assembling these things!

But on the bright side, I got to install the Olympic 4x4 Products mirrors (not the greatest picture but you get the idea).



I waited until today to remove the hood. Removed, stripped, and cleaned up:



And here the Jeep sits now:


Body parts are getting dropped off at the paint shop tomorrow and should be done by the end of the week. Up next is removing all the banged up body panels and waiting for the parts to come out of paint and install.

Until next time.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
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Just a quick update:
Picked up the doors, fenders, grille and hood from the paint shop today. Everything looks great! Pics tomorrow if I have time.

Also began tearing down the old stuff. Passenger side fender and grille removed thus far.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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And here's a pictures of the pieces that were painted:


And a pic showing the finish:


And the progression of stripping down the Jeep.
Passenger side fender removed:


Grille removed. I decided to use straps to hang the radiator instead of draining the coolant (mostly because I just did a drain/fill a couple weeks ago):


And driver side fender removed:


Up next is to mask off the freshly painted panels and begin re-assembly.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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Ok...today was the big reassemble the Jeep day. I got everthing put back together and was thankful I placed the groups of fasteners into labeled bags to prevent mixing and matching or forgetting where they go all together.

Fenders installed. I used tape to help prevent accidently scraping the fresh paint.


Grille installed:


Hood installed:


And some outside shots:



My hands/forearms are scraped and brused now so I'm going to relax with a brew.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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Nice work man, looks good!!! You probably made a few bucks from the claim since you got the good deal on parts huh?
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Thanks!

Yeah, just a couple bucks though. With a $1k deductible, there wasn't much to start with. Total cost for everything was about $1700.

$300 for used fenders
$295 for new OEM grille
$1000 for paint
~$100 for upper/lower radiator hoses & coolant, plastic clips, and a few other items.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:45 PM   #9
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Good job and glad to see you saved a jeep.

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