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Old 11-26-2013, 04:29 AM   #1
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1997 TJ Build on a budget.

I randomly found a 97 TJ 4.0 5-speed with 150k I it, on craigslist for $1900. Talked the guy down to $1400.... Back in the game! I've had several jeeps, CJ's YJ, TJ's and even a JK. I figured this would be a good place to document what I've done. Before I can build it up, I gotta make it road worthy. He's how it look when I got it.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:35 AM   #2
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So I get it home and start to paw through it. Time to make some mental notes! Needs a new top! The frame needs a patch, the floor needs a patch, the windows are spent. There is a vibration over 2k RPMs and the drivers seat and steering wheel are toast... As are the fenders and flares!
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:37 AM   #3
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So starting with the free mods... Let's fix the fender flares! Out comes the heat gun...

You will be amazed what 20 minutes will do.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:39 AM   #4
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:41 AM   #5
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Now this steering wheel, is annoying.
The leather peel off due to the PO picking at it (I think) I Scoured the forums, craigslist... Nothing. Looks like eBay it is. I wanted to stay with the leather warped wheel. $40 bucks later won the bid... A trip to auto zone and a steering wheel puller rental... Bam, Good as new.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
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Now I can try to figure out why it's shifting so poorly. Reading the forum, I suspect a fluid change is in order... Everyone swears by redline mt-90 so let's find some... Well you can't just get it at Walmart! Ordered the stuff and waited a day. Ok time to drain the fluid... GROSS!!!!
The PO went swimming! There's a ton of water in the fluid....
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:53 AM   #7
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Ended up changing out the fluid, bought some 10-30 motor oil.... I pulled the shifter boot and inner boot just to cross that off the list as a shifting issue. Since I already had the shifter off, I figured id pour the fluid in from the top. Threw that in... Drove 30 miles up the high way... Drained it. Still gross. Back to the store... More 10-30. Another 30 miles up the high way... Ok, now it's coming out clean. Ok now I have a fluid pump... Trust me, spend $14.00 and get one.
In goes the MT-90
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
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Now the jeep is running a bit crappy. Better give her a tune up. I love spending my extra time in the garage! Got new plugs, cap and rotor. Wires look good even though they are dusty.

Welp, look at that spark plug! That might be a problem.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:04 AM   #9
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Well the craigslist hint continues... Hard top for sale.. Hmmmm. $500. Yikes! Let's barter... $400. Cash today, bam got a top! Now to the hardware store for hardware and wing nuts! Ok fast forward another week. I find glass slider windows on craigslist...$100. Dollars, That's a steel! Turns out he is parting out a wrecked jeep. Windows weren't on it... Better check out that jeep too How about $60.00.... Really? I mean here, take my money! Wait, you have a carry bag for the windows to? SCORE!! It's kinda nice out for November in New Hampshire. Better wash the jeep!
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:06 AM   #10
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So the jeeps washed... What to do? I know, Mall crawl pics and drive way glamor shots! Not sure why my iPhone wants my jeep to look orange? It's red!
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:12 AM   #11
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Well it says I've used up all my space for photos... Better give it a rest for while. I'll try to add the rest later.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:40 AM   #12
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Wait you just blew my mind...are you saying that if i run a heat gun over those old fender flares they'll look like new? Thats just madness.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #13
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Even tho that frame rust looks bad i would have bought it for 1400$! Let us see how you fix it when you get there.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassanchaudhri View Post
Wait you just blew my mind...are you saying that if i run a heat gun over those old fender flares they'll look like new? Thats just madness.
Yep! It looks like your spraying pretend paint out of a paint gun!
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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So trying to figure out my vibration.... I pulled the front and rear drive shafts and took out the u joints... Some looks ok, some looked a little beat. I swapped them out with new ones. I couldn't source any spicer joints so auto zone non zerk it is....

Sorry guys I Can't post any more pics..

A pop up says, Error: exceeded your quota by
705.8 kb.

So much for a build thread... Maybe a part 2 thread is in order so I can continue to record my progress.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:38 PM   #16
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Nicely done. That TJ is lookin GOOD. Wish I could find a $1400 Jeep around here!!

Always wondered why everyone on this forum was painting their fenders. The hot air gun is really common on other types of vehicles with plastic parts that fade in the sun, ie; KLR650s, Chevy Avalanches, Chrysler Pacificas, etc.

On the pictures, try setting up an account on Photobucket.com. It's free for a 10 gb account. You can create folders to keep all your pics straight. And just post the URL for the pic in your forum posts using the Insert Image button in the toolbar. I've been doing this for like 7 or 8 yrs & only have 2 gb of pics in my account.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:10 AM   #17
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I have a photobucket account, but I do everything through my cell phone, the Mobil app hates me. I figured I would be able to post more pics being this is a build thread... I guess I'll just call it quits with the build thread.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #18
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Future plans for it? Great craigs list find I know up here in NH it is hard to find jeep parts.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:45 PM   #19
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I'm trying to get it all buttoned up mechanically and cosmetically...then I'll lift it. I'm working out a deal on a Dana 44 rear from a friend. I'm also looking at a few transmissions that are for sale.

I put 1.5 inch wheel spacers on it today. No more rubbing at full lock. Great stance with 31x10.5s.
It also has borla headers and a flow master exhaust on it. I'll be going back to a factory style quieter muffler in the near future.

I also picked up a new blue tooth radio (thanks Black Friday)

I'm looking into getting a pay membership here so I can ad more pics. Not sure what it's going to cost. So for now, build continues, but pics are on hold....
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:23 PM   #20
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What an inspiring transformation -- all it takes is time and money.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #21
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Nice work, Nice touch. keep it moving.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:21 AM   #22
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Aaaaaand We're back!!!!

I just bought a membership. Nothing like giving back to a badass group that helps us so much.

Update, added new u-joints to front and rear drive shafts. It seemed to help a little with the vibe. Not sure I'm out of the woods yet.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:30 AM   #23
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So I just added in some 1.5 inch wheel spacers I got from a forum member. No more rubbing at full lock. I'm gonna use them till I get new wheels with proper back spacing. The stance is looking good. I'll post the spacer back in the forsale section when I'm upgraded. I also got a new blue tooth head unit, and speakers thanks to Black Friday! For under a $100 I'm happy, I'm sure the speakers are a low watt/rms cheap throw aways, but I really just wanted the HU. I'll be installing it today when I wake up.... We shall see.
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #24
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I also found time to swap in my new craigslist seat. It's from a Sahara and doesn't match., but it will work till I find a matching one...So my old seat is up for grabs if any one wants it... It works, just had a nice rip from the PO. It's in NH

My bracket is rusted to a striped bolt, so I couldn't swap in the fold and tumble seat bracket... Bummer. Someday, hopefully. I'm May take the seat back out and try to drill it. It's a stupid Allen head someone put in... Rusted and stripped.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:18 PM   #25
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So my head unit shut off and reset every time I shut the jeep off..... Wicked annoying, lost my presets every time the jeep shut off. Thought the CD player was broken. Turns out the PO was cheap and didn't buy the $11.00 wire harness. So thanks to Black Friday, I got a pioneer head unit. The HU is blue tooth and has a mic. For hands free cell phone use. I can use my spotify and pandora wirelessly. The wires were a can of worms... After some investigation, I figured out there were two wires that were connected wrong. Pretty easy to figure out right.... Or not....



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Old 12-07-2013, 12:48 AM   #26
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So I got a craigslist transmission tonight. I also got him to throw in the front and rear drive shafts and the transfer case was still attached so he said I could have that too. I took the skid plate too. My ax15 is ok, but it doesn't go into third easy unless I double clutch. So tomorrow before work I'll be installing an NV3550 from a 2000. I'll get some pics. Fingers crossed!
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:59 AM   #27
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Cool build, wish u had documented more of my 19 month project. That's a hell uva deal on the tranny n stuff. On your stereo ordeal, prob nothing wrong with old stereo just wiring. The memory has to be on a constant hot. That way when u turn the jeep off the memory is still on. Be careful not to put main power on constant hot or you'll have to always turn stereo off when jeep is off or it'll kill your battery.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:44 AM   #28
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My bad my last post was sup to say I wish I had doc mine more.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #29
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HaHaha now worries jeeperdad! I knew what ya meant. My wires were switched and the old head unit works fine. If my brother doesn't want it I'll sell it on the forum. I got some goodies last night, but could not get it in today... The morning after my shift should work. 10 hours to go!
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #30
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Does the skid plate have parts of frame attached to it still? lol

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