Originally Posted by jamesbernatchez
When I removed the driver side step the last bolt wouldn't come out so I pushed the step down and bent the bolt out. Only thing is the frame has a slight "protrusion" from doing so. The threaded part came right out. It is the lower hole that I am talking about in the photos below. Is this reason for concern?
Depends on how much force you had to apply to cause that protrusion. The frame looks good from the outside, but if it's rusting badly from the inside out, it may not be as noticeable.
However, from what I can tell, with where you have the jack stand, and looking into the oblong hole next to it, I don't see anything to worry about, as far as a compromise of strength due to rust and thinning of material.
If you're worried about how it looks, pull the plastic/nylon insert and take a ball peen hammer to it and reinstall the insert or replace with a new one. Othwerwise, there should be no cause for alarm.
Congrats on your purchase and on joining the Jeeping family. I, personally am the very proud owner of a 2005 Wrangler X "Willys Edition", complete with the star and numbers/letters on the hood. Mine is a 4.0 with the NSG370 6 speed manual trans. I currently have only a 2" BB (budget boost), which is basically a "puck" lift that installs on top of the stock coils. Plus an addition of some "take off" Wrangler Rubicon rims/tires, on the stock and open diff Dana 30 & 35 axles.
With your RE 3.5" lift and 33's you will easily be able to handle far more than I am capable of, especially if you also plan on, or have, lockers or limited slip installed in your axles, but here are some videos of what I've done with my minimal setup.
YouTube - GeneralTJWillys's Channel
Check especially, the Harlan on the rocks video. Still have some more to post, but I believe there's 5 right now. My little Wrangler has amazed me (as well as many others) with what it will do.
Oh, and I've had no issues with breakage, only some interesting dents and a couple of worn and creaky u-joints to change to date.
I wheel it pretty hard for how it's set up.