2 weeks ago I purchased a 97 Sahara in pretty good condition with 122,000 miles on it. Gently owned and cared for by the previous owner. All seemed well but I felt a full going over was in order so I knew where I stood with this vehicle.
Week one I installed a new air filter, ran a bottle of sea foam in the gas tank and then set to work on a stereo system upgrade via Crutchfield.
I am extremely happy. Total cost was $409 delivered and that includes a Kenwood head unit, all new dash and sound bar speakers as well as a Sound Ordnance powered subwoofer which bangs and bolts up under the drivers seat.
So awesome. $409 and I have a kickass stereo.
I also replaced the passenger side door handle both inner and outer and re-tinted the driver and passenger windows to a legal 20%. No wrinkles and perfect job.
Now onto bigger and better things.
Servicing the new (old) Jeep.
She is currently on Jackstands at my brothers house and my brother and I are spending the entire week doing a major service on it. Prior to starting this major service I recorded the mileage per 150 miles of highway driving. When GPS said I had 150 miles to go till his house I refilled the tank and then refilled when I got here recording both odometer readings. Do the math and thats the mileage.
So far we have -
Replaced differential fluid (amsoil + posi fluid), transfer fluid (amsoil), manual trans fluid (ATF4), coolant and cooling system flush, greased ball joints and all fittings, sea foamed the vacuum line (straight into the intake), replaced factory 200 degree thermostat with 180 degree thermostat, removed the Mopar reece hitch (weight savings), discovered I have a cat delete exhaust (but original chrysler muffler) and replaced with Dynomax Super Turbo cat back (still cat delete though haha), cleaned carbon fouling off o2 sensor, cleaned throttle body, pulled old sparkplugs (one was a disgusting NGK others were Autolites) and replaced with Champions, aired up the 33" BFG AT's, and added Water Wetter to the coolant. I also replaced the tired old battery with a Yellow Top Optima and added new brass battery terminals. I replaced the front disc brake pads and pulled, inspected and brake cleaned (3 bottles worth)the rear drums.
From a cosmetic but also maintenance standpoint I have removed, sanded, primed and painted the fenders, side view mirrors, tube bumpers (front and rear), antenna, spare tire carrier (it was rusting), third brake light and license plate mount all in Duplicolor satin black. I wire wheeled the drums and painted them with VHT high temp black paint. I replaced the aging side marker/directional lights with the clear set from Quadratec and the rear brake light covers with the Rampage set. I painted the rusty torx head screws for the headlights and side markers black also (details man!). I will be under the vehicle all day tomorrow washing with Dawn and wire wheeling rust starting at the gas tank then going forward including the shock mounts etc. Then painting all of that as well. After the chassis we will also be scuffing and painting my 15x8" classic II knockoff rims with satin black VHT epoxy paint (I can't afford new rims so you make do with what ya got). I ordered new center caps from Summit and they will be going on as well on saturday.
This has been an absolute blast and I have really gotten to know my TJ and I am in love. It is a hell of a truck and I am really happy to be part of this Jeep family. FULLY boxed frame!! No bullshit C channel. Wow. You know this thing is both user friendly for maintenance AND extremely well engineered for off road. Mine has a Dana 44 rear and 3.55 gears with a posi- FACTORY.
I will re-record that last 150 mile leg for MPG as it is the exact route I took out here only in reverse and record my findings. I'm hoping that with the small modifications and maintenance I am able to increase not only my MPG's but obviously stretch and extend the life of this well made vehicle.
She has her quirks and it aint perfect but the fact I can do almost all of the maintenance myself is a godsend.
I'll definitely post up some pics as we finish up here. All the lurking on this site has been an immense help with what I have done. Those who post up and share their technical know how -I thank you!!