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Old 06-26-2012, 11:51 AM   #1
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Modest 98 Wrangler TJ build

Well I thought I would share the transformation of my new-to-me Wrangler into what it has become today. It started life as a stock 98 TJ Sport soft top, 4.0L 5-speed with 3.73 gears, Dana 30 up front and D35 out back. Here is a picture of the day I brought it home with 72,000 miles on it.




The first mods I made were to remove the water wings from the front and rear bumpers.



Next I painted the graying fender flares black and also painted the headlamp bezels black.



Next, I ordered a Rough Country 4" N2 Series suspension lift, Black 15x8 MB72 wheels and 33x10.50 BFG Mud-Terrain KM2s. More pics to follow on lift installation.


-Matt

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Looks good so far! I love white jeeps.

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Old 06-26-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thank you!
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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A lot will bash you for buying rough country but I say to each his own! It works for some and doesn't for others. Just do it all right and remember building is half the fun
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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To be honest, I bought the Rough Country because it was inexpensive, quick and easy. I do not intend to do any serious off roading/crawling. Ultimately I wanted to get a more aggressive look and stance quickly, and then upgrade individual components as I see necessary. I did a bit of research before choosing this lift, and I can honestly say that I am not dissatisfied with the ride quality thus far(only been installed for 2 days). I have found that no matter what product you buy there is always someone that had a poor experience or knows of a product that is "better".

Back on topic:

I ordered one 33x10.50 Mud-Terrain KM2 to get an idea of the size and see what I how much would be involved in getting it under my Jeep. Looks like its gonna be a tight fit :


I did have some issues with the installation of the lift. What should have taken 6-8 hours to install ended up taking 15 hours. This was due to the fact that my TJ was born and raised in the midwest and the suspension components were rusted together.




The lift arrived and I quickly unboxed to see what I had in store. It came with everything that I needed to raise my TJ: New springs, shocks, frpont and rear control arms, stabilizer links and a transfer case drop. I also ordered a new steering stibilizer.


As I said before, all of my original suspension was completely rusted together, most likely from our midwest winters and excessive road salt use. So there was a lot of cutting, sawing and torching of the original components. I reinstalled everything with new hardware. All of the transfer case bolts stripped out when they were removed. I actually had to clean the frame and weld new nuts in to install the transfer case drop. After a lot of blood and sweat we got everything installed. I tried to clean up the chassis and applied undercoating to all of the newly visible under carriage components.


I ordered 4 more tires and 5 black MB72 15x8 wheels from Discount Tire. Wheels arrived within 3 days from ordering. While I was waiting, I decided to put the original tires on and go for a spin to see how the new lift rides. Boy did it look goofy, 30" tires and a 4" lift


At this point I was not too impressed with the ride. I had not performed an alignment yet so the steering wheel was about 60 degrees off to the left. It rode a little rougher than stock with the factory size tires on. I also had to make some slight adjustments to the shifter bracket because I was having some trouble going into second gear. I bent the bracket slightly and this corrected the problem. The 4" lift actually netted me roughly 5" of lift from the center of the hubs to the bottom of the fender flares and closer to 5.5" from bumper to ground.

When the wheels arrived, I mounted and balanced all 5 tires.


I threw them on the Jeep and had the alignment performed and suspension all retorqued. Then mounted the 5th wheel/tire on the spare mount without any modification to the chmsl or the mount itself. I took the jeep for another ride and I don't know if it was the alignment or the extra rubber, but it rode 100 times better than before. I am very pleased with the ride of the rough country lift(so far), and for the money, I would definitely recommend it. After the lift and tire installation I gained nearly 7" in ride height. here are a couple pics:



Next upgrade will be to replace the top. Looking to go with the Rampage frameless top.

-Matt
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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that suckers clean man!
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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Looks good man! I recently lifted mine as well...




Luckily mine has been in Colorado it's whole life so I had no problem with rust. I've worked on rusted vehicles before, I feel for you lol.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I'm very happy with the way it turned out. The hard work was definitely worth while.

Matt
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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Looks Good!

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Originally Posted by jasongind View Post
Looks good man! I recently lifted mine as well...




Luckily mine has been in Colorado it's whole life so I had no problem with rust. I've worked on rusted vehicles before, I feel for you lol.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:53 AM   #10
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Rampage Trail Top

Well I added a Rampage Frameless Trail Top this past weekend. I like the safari top to keep the sun out on hot days, but you still get the feeling of being topless. I like the fact that you can store the rear windows in the safari top, just incase you get caught in a shower.

windows on



and with windows off

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Old 07-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #11
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White Lettering in or out?

I would like to get some opinions, I am second guessing my decision to mount my tires with the white lettering in.

What are your thoughts: Should I leave them the way they are or remount them with the white lettering out?

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Old 07-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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I have mine blackwall out and love it. Your choice, but I never liked the white lettering out.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #13
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Only bad thing about white lettering out is that the letters can get faded, right now the letters on my BFG ATs look kinda bad because they are faded.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #14
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I have my letters out and I think it looks cool once they fade. My jeep is a machine not a mall crawler, and people can tell by little stuff like that.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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White lettering out might look good with the white paint job. Pull a tire off and flip it around and see what you think before you switch them around.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmers2000tj View Post
White lettering out might look good with the white paint job. Pull a tire off and flip it around and see what you think before you switch them around.

I think I'll flip the spare around and throw it on to see what it looks like. The white lettering with the white paint is exactly what got me second guessing myself
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:53 PM   #17
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BTW, mine is white and I did test out the white lettering, didn't look great which is why the black is out.

GoldenSahara00, not sure why the white lettering (faded) out tells people you are a serious jeeper as opposed to a mall crawler. I thought it was cool on my 68 Mustang but I don't think most people care which side is out.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:07 AM   #18
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Well I decided to go white letters out. I like how it contrasts with the black wheels/tires/flares.

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Old 07-03-2012, 07:13 AM   #19
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Looks cool!
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swkenobi
BTW, mine is white and I did test out the white lettering, didn't look great which is why the black is out.

GoldenSahara00, not sure why the white lettering (faded) out tells people you are a serious jeeper as opposed to a mall crawler. I thought it was cool on my 68 Mustang but I don't think most people care which side is out.
Because when your tires are mud stained and scrapped and faded, versus gleaming white and spotless, people can tell you wheel your jeep.


Sorry for the hijack OP. I think your jeep looks pretty cool with them out.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #21
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No problem. That's the best thing about Jeeps, they are one of the few vehicles that look good, if not better, when they are dirty!
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #22
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Agreed. and my tires are white out and a little over a year old. can't even tell anymore. so its not a big deal either way IMO.

have you ever seen the movie Happy Accidents. The guy says hes from dubuque IA and I saw your from there, it made me laugh. I watched it a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #23
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Agreed. and my tires are white out and a little over a year old. can't even tell anymore. so its not a big deal either way IMO.

have you ever seen the movie Happy Accidents. The guy says hes from dubuque IA and I saw your from there, it made me laugh. I watched it a few weeks ago.

I have not seen it, or even heard of it for that matter. But now you have peaked my interest and I will be adding it to my netflix queue.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #24
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Looks great.

I like the wheels..MB72's? That is what I ended up getting from Discount Tire.

I like the way your white Jeep looks with the white letters out too. The good thing about BFG's white letters are that they are solid, and way easier to keep clean vs the outlined white letters.

If they get dark and dirty, a little bleach white whitewall cleaner and a quick scrub with a tire brush and they will look like new again.

Nice job on your Jeep.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:26 PM   #25
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I have not seen it, or even heard of it for that matter. But now you have peaked my interest and I will be adding it to my netflix queue.

Yep, I got it from netflix as well. Not that amazing, but entertaining. I don't think I am the one who added it but it somehow ended up in my mailbox so...

anyways, so what are your plans for the jeep next?
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:38 PM   #26
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Looks great.

I like the wheels..MB72's? That is what I ended up getting from Discount Tire.

I like the way your white Jeep looks with the white letters out too. The good thing about BFG's white letters are that they are solid, and way easier to keep clean vs the outlined white letters.

If they get dark and dirty, a little bleach white whitewall cleaner and a quick scrub with a tire brush and they will look like new again.

Nice job on your Jeep.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenSahara00 View Post
Yep, I got it from netflix as well. Not that amazing, but entertaining. I don't think I am the one who added it but it somehow ended up in my mailbox so...

anyways, so what are your plans for the jeep next?
I would like to do some nice seat covers next and eventually add some Poison Spider Rocker Knockers to cover up sume damage on the drivers side rocker behind the front wheel, then some bumpers...etc. I've got so many ideas running through my head, not sure were to go next

Any recommendations on nice seat covers? I was thinking of going with the Wet Okoles, but they are so expensive.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #27
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looks good i have some 33x12.5x15 and I wanna go 10.5 I like the skinnier tires
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:13 PM   #28
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Thanks!



I would like to do some nice seat covers next and eventually add some Poison Spider Rocker Knockers to cover up sume damage on the drivers side rocker behind the front wheel, then some bumpers...etc. I've got so many ideas running through my head, not sure were to go next

Any recommendations on nice seat covers? I was thinking of going with the Wet Okoles, but they are so expensive.
Take a look at the Iggee seat covers: 1997 1998-2002 JEEP WRANGLER TJ S.LEATHER SEAT COVERS [JEP004] I've been looking at them myself. Heard good things about them. Similar look to the neoprene ones, but they're simulated leather and supposedly hold up much better than neoprene.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:11 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by L.A Rider
looks good i have some 33x12.5x15 and I wanna go 10.5 I like the skinnier tires
After snooping around on these forums, I decided to go with the 10.5s. I liked the look of the narrower tire also.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:17 PM   #30
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Nice Jeep!

Hows the on road ride with the tires? I'm thinking the KM'2's over the duratrax because I also want a 10.5 inch tire.

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