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Old 02-05-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
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1997 TJ progress thread

*the first 8 posts are copy and pasted from another forum to get me up to date on this forum. i can update this thread when i do something instead of starting a new thread for each thing*


i bought my 97 TJ in September 07. other than the outlaw II rims, 100% stock, 4cyl, 5spd, d30, d35, yada yada.
the jeep the day i bought it in Spring...




it had a Bestop 'Supertop' that was less than a year old. i'll be frank, the Bestop 'Supertop' super sucks. i sold it within a couple days of ownership.

the previous owner didn't care for the factory 'spice' colored interior. so he did a crappy job of spray painting it to cover it up...good solution. he also spray painted the backs of the seats...but only halfway up.




i found a paint stripper that is safe on plastics and got some of it off. then i ran out. apparently i bought the only can in houston/new braunfels/san marcos/san antonio. so there it sits.




who doesn't use their carpet as a mat to catch oil...



pulled it...




ok so, i drove it a few times and basically parked it until about 2 weeks ago. it had some mechanical issues due to old age, high mileage, and poor maintanence (or lack there of) from the previous owner. while i was not driving it, i had dropped it off at the dealer to have them look it over. they went head to toe and gave me a list of things that needed replacing.

i finally got around to buying all the parts and got working replacing the battery, oil sending unit, spark plugs, wires, cap, rotor, thermostat, thermostat housing, waterpump, o2 sensor, air filter, serp. belt, and radiator cap. i also flushed and replaced fluids. it was then good-to-go to be my new daily driver.

the next step was to buy a new soft top. i found an OEM 'sunrider' soft top from an 06 Rubicon that was brand spankin new for $400 including all the hardware, which was 100% necessary because i had none. i had to buy the upper doors separate though.




i pulled the flares last weekend to paint them. a shot of that action...


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Old 02-05-2008, 02:28 PM   #2
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i ordered some wheels and tires last friday. they came in yesterday. had them mounted today.
a set of 31" Trxus MTs on some Soft 8s. once again, this is my DD and with the 4cyl and stock gears, 31s is the most i wanted to get myself into.



...need to get those flares back on.

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Old 02-05-2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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solution for no carpet...
i bought an air compressor last weekend for among many uses, to spray herculiner in the tub.
should get to that in a week or two.


solution for tie-die dash...

i have a line on an 'agate' dash that i will hopefully be able to get soon.

will be buying some agate door panels as soon as i can find some.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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basically, i am attacking the interior first....only because it is so bad and i am going to drive this thing everyday.

after the dash and door panels, i am looking to get some Corbeau seats, tuffy center console (i have no console), and a KOZ full cage.
from there, i narrow down what exactly i want to do with this jeep and being working toward that.

unless i buy a 4.0L next, these should be my next purchases...






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Old 02-05-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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well, i haven't been able to tackle much fun stuff the last couple of weeks. it turns out my simple oil sending unit problem wasn't the problem afterall. i have a blown head gasket. anyway, i've been working on tearing the top half of the engine apart to get the head out so i can send it off to be magnafluxed and cleaned, etc.



(i've done a lot more since then ^^^^)


in other news, i got the KC windshield light brackets in a couple days ago and got those put on. i have not had the time to mount the Hella 500s though. having a hard enough time finding the time to work on the more important engine situation.



(probably going to need to give this guy a good bath when this is all over. sometimes i forget it's blue)


the flares are still not back on. really hasn't been an issue though since i have not been able to drive the jeep for about 2 weeks now. they are patiently waiting in the garage ready to go though.

i also have my CB stuff to install when i get the time. it's just a small Cobra CB, cobra ext. speaker, firestick II antenna, and www.arizonarockyroad.com antenna mount. i had it all installed on my 02 and i'm glad i bothered to take it all out when i sold it....one less thing to rebuy.




i think for the time-being, i am just going to pick up some of the Smittybilt seat covers to take care of the seat situation for a while. i would like to get the corbeau seats, but between the engine work and other small things i would like to get done, it would be best to hold off on them for now.

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Old 02-05-2008, 02:33 PM   #6
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finally got around to getting the rest of it taken off.




couldn't get the thermostat housing off (RTV) so i'm going to see if the machine shop can take care of that for me.


oh, and i finally found a use for my hi lift....well the handle anyway







i am going to drop it off at the machine shop in seguin today during lunch. they said it would be $10 to clean it and check for cracks and warping, and then if it's ok, i'll have them continue working on it to reseal the valves and such. then i won't have to spend $300 on a new one if this one is OK.

i ordered a new exhaust manifold on friday. should be here tomorrow.

mounted the new Hellas on the windshield. haven't wired them though.

mounted the CB antenna mount and antenna. haven't installed the CB though.

haha...that's how it goes. i can do on tiny part at a time and come back to finish the next day.

coil spacers should be here any day now.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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some pics of the new Hellas mounted on the windshield. as mentioned in the post above, they are not wired in yet, but i'll get to that soon.








i'm not sure what the "comet" in front of the 500 means, but they are the same light as the other 500s i have. these were made in Germany though, compared to the 500s on the bumper which were made in Mexico.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:34 PM   #8
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went ahead and ordered a CB mount from www.jeepoutfitter.com. i had my CB mounted on top of the center bezel in my other TJ. it worked well, but i decided i wanted to give something else a shot. i saw this mount in a magazine the other day. it wa only $24, so i figured why not. i like that it is in an easy to see and use location, but it is out of the way.
the only bad thing about it is it is in great position for wandering hands. however, that is going to be the case just about anywhere i would mount it....including back on the center bezel as before. i made did a quick release for the wiring last time which made it a snap to take the CB in and out when it didn't need to be there.







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Old 02-05-2008, 02:43 PM   #9
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and this is why we check out the problems before we buy the jeep,
j/k looks like good work, just a LOT of it!
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debruins View Post
and this is why we check out the problems before we buy the jeep,
j/k looks like good work, just a LOT of it!
haha...well, i knew it had some issues when i bought it, but that's why i got it so cheap. in other words, i bought it as a 'fixer-upper'.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:16 PM   #11
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ic well thet makes it better then paying full price and then getting all this!
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:37 PM   #12
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yeah, it was/is a mess, but i'm working on getting it all cleaned up.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:29 AM   #13
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the mail man was good to me yesterday. the new manifold and the 2" spacers came in.






not really too exciting, but at least it's not cracked like my stock one is, and this will be the easiest time to install it with everything taken apart.



i'm not sure who the spacers are made by, but they are a full 2" spacer (as opposed to a 1.75" from Rubicon Express as i had on my other TJ). i bought them used on another forum for $50 shipped. i need to order some rear bumpstop extensions and i will be ready to install.


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Old 02-07-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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i guess now would be a good time to explain some of my plans/ideas for this jeep.
i am thinking of staying a little more conservative/less extreme, but at the same time being a highly functional, low center of gravity, high ground clearance all around good wheeling jeep.
some products/designs/ideas i am thinking of currently are:
Rokmen highline fenders

Rokmen rockers

Rokemn rear 'Stryker' panels

Rokmen gas tank skid

Rokmen steering box skid

Rokmen front Mercenary GT bumper

Rockhard 4x4 rear bumper/tire carrier

built Dana 44s f/r - possibly JK d44s or Waggy d44s

37" tires - BFG MT KM2 or Iroks


OME 2.5" coils and shocks
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:33 AM   #15
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JKS 1.25" BL

JKS 1" BMML

JKS control arms - all around

JKS adjustable tracbars f/r


Currie Antirock Swaybar

33 Eng. belly-up
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:43 AM   #16
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SYE and CV Driveshaft


KOZ full cage

Corbeau seats

PSC hydro assist

Tuffy center console
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:58 AM   #17
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You think you'll be able to clear 37's with an OME lift and the highline fenders?

Any plans to engine swap? You had mentioned that previously.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:44 PM   #18
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that belly up makes me drool...
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickpl View Post
You think you'll be able to clear 37's with an OME lift and the highline fenders?

Any plans to engine swap? You had mentioned that previously.
yeap...i figure between the 2.5" coils, 1.25" BL, and 3/4" spacers where needed (at least up front), 37s shouldn't be a problem.....afterall, the owner of Rokmen has that exact setup on his TJ with the highline fenders. i may have to do some bumpstop work in the rear, but that would be a trial and error kinda deal i think.

the alternative to the OME coils would probably be some RE 3.5" coils or some JKS 4" coils....both should be around the same lift height.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:02 PM   #20
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Sound options.

So you gonna keep that anemic 2.5 spinning those 37's?
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Sound options.

So you gonna keep that anemic 2.5 spinning those 37's?
Your right, maybe he should get these tires instead:


Round
Full of air
black
No holes
Attached to my Jeep
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #22
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haha...after doing as much work on this 2.5 as i have been doing, i think i'm just going to run it until it just won't work for me anymore.
i definitely do plan to swap in a 4.0L, an auto tranny, and an Atlas II at some point, but i think as long as the 2.5 runs strong enough for a while, i would like to tackle some of the other items on my list.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:48 PM   #23
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ok, so finally something productive to report. i got the CB mount in the mail a couple days ago. nothing much to it, but that is what is kinda nice about it. this is something i totally could've made myself if i would've taken 20 minutes to do so, but i don't mind spending a few bucks ($24) on something that is already worked out and fit properly.
www.jeepoutfitter.com is aparently somewhere in north texas, so shipping only took two days (ordered tuesday afternoon, arrived thursday afternoon).

oh yeah, i know the dash looks like poo (my wife calls it the tie-dye dash), but as soon as i get a newer dash, it will be a totally different interior.





no drill mount for the microphone end.



i also snapped a shot of the antenna mounted. i would like to swap my 4' firestick II for a 3'. i just don't need it to stick up that high.

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:57 PM   #24
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2" will put it just above the soft top, which is great for being in the trees.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:57 AM   #25
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then i may just go ahead with a 2'. the 4' is no problem running around on the road, but it sticks up an awful lot for trails.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:30 PM   #26
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Quote:
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...e/PA270035.jpg


i found a paint stripper that is safe on plastics and got some of it off. then i ran out. apparently i bought the only can in houston/new braunfels/san marcos/san antonio. so there it sits.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...e/PA280041.jpg

do you remember the name of the paint stripper?
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:24 AM   #27
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If you haven't Herculined your tub yet, here are a few pics of my tub after I Herculined mine. I actually used the roll-on kit and it turned out very nice!
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:53 AM   #28
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Quote:
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do you remember the name of the paint stripper?
no..i wish i did. i would look it up online and try to buy some more that way. i am thinking i bought the last can they planned to sell in walmart b/c i look everytime i am there with no luck so far.

it worked amazingly well though. spray it on. wait a few minutes. it bubbles up. wipe it off with a rag (wearing a couple layers of gloves). i had to repeat the steps a couple times on like the door panel where there are some grooves and such.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:56 AM   #29
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the liner looks awesome Nater. i haven't done mine yet. the weather has been too off and on and i have been working on the engine, which i have given up on. it will get pulled. i have rolled the herc. before in a friend's truck and we had great success.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:07 AM   #30
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If you haven't Herculined your tub yet, here are a few pics of my tub after I Herculined mine. I actually used the roll-on kit and it turned out very nice!
It is that shiny?? or it goes flat after the product has dry??

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