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Old 07-25-2009, 01:06 PM   #1
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8 simple jeep building rules.

Found this on another forum....good advice for any jeeper.


1. Start with your foundation. Like a house your Jeep will only be a solid as your running gear and basic vehicle functions. I have seen so many Jeeps that look like they should be able to perform fantastically only to see them cough and sputter along when they get off camber or under load in one form or another. Safety should always come first and should figure heavily into any plans you have for the Jeep. Even if it is purpose built off road only Jeep, you should consider safety as your number 1 priority.
2. Plan your build. Don’t just rush into a build, think about what you want to accomplish and plan it out. Ask questions, seek advice, research the web do what ever you have to, to get the information you need to make an educated decision. These things have been around a long time, chances are someone has done whatever it is that you are planning. Find out about it and learn from the mistakes and successes others have had. This will also save you time and money. A well planned build is almost always an easier more successful build than one rushed into on a whim.
3. Know your limitations. This rule ties into the first two, if you are not a skilled welder don’t try to do your own spring over. Ask for help or if you have to, pay for it. This should also factor into your planning stage. You should understand what you will have to pay to have done and what you can do yourself. Remember everyone has a different skill level. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is much easier to swallow some pride and ask for help before you get to the trail than it is to break on the trail then have to beg for the help. This also applies to project completion, if you are not good at completing things it may be better and money well spent to pay someone to do it so the project doesn’t end up in the scrap heap.
4. Build to the 80/20 rule. Put the focus of the build on what your Jeep is going to be doing 80% of the time. Remember no vehicle can do everything. If you plan on using your Jeep for strict rock crawling duties then build accordingly. If it will be a weekend warrior/boat tower, build accordingly. The builds and parts used for these two builds will be entirely different. Just try not to forget the 20%
5. The Domino Effect. Understand that when you start almost any kind of project on your Jeep you are almost certainly going to find that while you intended to replace part A only to find out that part B is also bad, and you can’t replace part B without also replacing part C, and since you are already this far you may as well replace part D and F while your there. Don’t say “I will replace it later”, it never fails that “later” ends up being much sooner than you thought.
6. The Can of Worms syndrome. Remember that some Jeeps are 30+ years old and whether you have a low mileage museum piece or have a been run hard everyday since they rolled off the assembly line, the parts are either wore out or rotten and you won’t know what you have to replace unit you start working on it. The best way to plan for this is to figure that everything that you are going to be working on will need to be replaced EVERYTHING!! Even rear end housings are usually bad. A good estimate is 8 out of every 10 housings is bent and needs to be straightened to prevent bearing burnout. This type of issue is what you get into when you crack open your can of worms no matter what part you are working on.
7. The Quadruple Figure. This is probably the most important and most overlooked rule. Take all the factors above, sit down and carefully figure out a budget for the build. Then quadruple it, with today’s inflation and all of the factors that I mentioned above this is very realistic figure. No build I have ever seen or been a part of has landed on budget. Not even close. The only difference between those that are happy with the end result and those that aren’t, is how prepared the owner is for the actual cost of the build even if you are building it yourself.
8. Love Thy Jeep. Remember this is supposed to be fun and a way to escape the daily grind. Have fun with it, and keep everything in perspective and your build will be infinitely more rewarding.

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