Well I have been working on my Rig for a couple of years now and have finaly decided to do a build thread on its progress.
Bear with me as I compile all the info and put this thing together.
I was fortunate enough to have traded my 02 Ford Ranger Edge for this 01 TJ. when I got it it already had a 3.5 Taraflex lift and 33" AT's other than that it was pretty stock.
So I figured that one of the first rhings I wanted to do was trade out that shiny grill guard and get some bumpers.......
researched for a while and settled on a local guy branded "Fessybuilt". nice solid construction and seemed to be what I wanted at the time
Then I had to name her.......I did a little research and went back to my roots and found a Celtic word that means Narrow Mountain Pass.....Great fit since that is where she will be most of the time......Bealach it is.......had a freind make up some vinyl decals for the hood with a Celtic knot font.......
I decided that the steps had to go after beating them up on a trail or 2. I once again went to a local guy in Falcon Colorado. Brand Name " Off Road Armor". Vey stout and had plenty of protection for the rockers......plus they were in my price range. JD took real good care to make me happy as a customer and I have nothing but good things to say about his service and his product.
so then I ran a few trails and learned that even the best laaid plans also need to be modified and that the trail will dictate what the next mod will be.......
I decided that I needed some more meat on the ground. I had a bud that was working here from Texas that was getting new rubber and he had some decent 35x1250x15 that he would let me have....woohoo.
started doing some more research and learned that I best start thinking about and axle upgrade. as well as SYE. so those moved to the top of the list.
Since I couldn't do a lot with the axle all at once I purchased the axle first and it sat on my floor for a year as I gathered parts for it. Gonna do the 8.8 swap.
I picked i up out of a 97 exploder which gave me a disc brake upgrade for the rear.
I'll get back to this later as the build progresses.
summertime rolled around and I wheeled instead of wrenched and gathered upgrades for the winter. it was a great summer for wheeling and I was able to get out almost every weekend. I began to prepare the axle. I wanted something that was reliable and very strong. so I went with the Artek Industries Truss system. it made the bracket location simplified and gave some major strength to the whole thing.
Being in the construction industry I have a buddy that welded it up for me....
in the mean time I look into gearing and Holy Crap....This is gonna cost some cash.......so do I just regear the front to the 3.73 that is in the 8.8??? or do I just save and do it right? I decide to save and do it next fall. Well I end up snapping a u-joint a couple of times up wheeling and said to heck with it I need the SYE right now.......Big trip set up and I am not going to break up there......I pull a few measurements on the D35 and the 8.8 and decide that I should be able to use the new driveshaft when I do the swap....I spend my gear money and I get a Taraflex SYE and Driveshaft. Needed to happen..........
Winter finally settled in enough to stop the wheeling season. I worked a few side jobs and saved enough over the couple of months to finish the axle and get a few more parts like a detroit locker and upper adjustable control arms for the instal (I had already purchased the lowers because of damage to the stock ones over the summer). I found a guy that was about 25 miles north of me that would do the gears for $1200 which was a good deal compared to everywhere else I had checked. so I took him my Jeep and the Axle and he did the gearing. I wanted to get it done and get 500 miles on it in the next 2 weeks so that I could get out to Jeep Safari in Moab in April.
After EJS I decided that I now needed to concentrate on the Armor a little more. I have been researching the idea of a Tummy Tuck and working towards that goal as I have done some other things....I did a BL and a MML in preperation for it already and now that the Axle swap is complete with adjustable arms and the SYE is done I began saving for Rokmen high clearance belly skid/ Gas tank skid and the Oil Pan skid. I decided to wait a few for the oil pan skid and just do the other 2 first. dang stuff is expensive....LOL
I'll get some pics later
then......as you all know I had to do more....LOL
I ordered up the Genright Fenders and picked up the rear corner armor from Rockmen. I also went ahead and snagged up the Oil Pan skid while I was at it.
I wanted to do something different and origaly was going to have it all powdercoated silver but decided against it and went with a 10% sheen flat black....
while I was waiting to get this done I went to Buena Vista and ran a trail by the name of Chinaman Gulch which is a upper moderate trail. It showed me once again that I needed an upgrade!!! I spun the spider gears in the front D30......CRAP!!
so I looked at all options and decided that I would get a trutrac locker and Chromolly axle shafts and have the D30 supersized.......I figure it will hold well enough for me. Time will truly tell but I have confidence.
haha. Nevermind. I love the flares they turned out nice. Which manufacturer are they? I am selling my JK and buying a TJ, so I'll have a whole new rig to learn. May need to get some help and advice from you!
Looks really good, Chad. Looking forward to checking out the upgrades on the trails soon.
2001 2.5L TJ, HPD30/D44 with dual OX and 4.88, full armor, X20-8 winch, 35" STTs on 15x8 black Cragar Soft 8s, 1" BL, 1" Brown Dog MM, 4.5" suspension w/ fully adjustable control arms and tie rod upgrade, OBA, Novak Shifter, PS hood louver