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Old 02-19-2012, 01:59 PM   #31
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There are some pinch seams at the front of the rear wheel well that need to be cut down and bent. I spent some time with my grinder trimming them, and then used a pliers and hammer to gently bend them down. This area of the wheel well was starting to develop some surface rust, so I took a wire wheel and tried to remove as much of it as possible.

Quadratec sells small paint cans in factory match colors (you can find your paint code on the sticker in your door jamb), so I ordered some of that to try out. I'll let everyone know just how close of a match it actually is. I didn't get a chance to actually paint anything yet, as I need to do more trimming on the outer rim of the wheel, and I plan on painting all of the bare metal at the same time.

I didn't get much further last night since I didn't have all that much time. Hopefully today I will be able to do some trimming on the wheel well tub and get the rear fenders mounted up.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #32
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Are going to cut/trim the Hood yourself also?

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Old 02-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #33
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Are going to cut/trim the Hood yourself also?
Yup that is definitely on the list of things to do. For me I would classify that as one of the 'easy' parts once the more time consuming fender relocation is complete.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:32 PM   #34
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Wow, I will continue to read on and I give you up...
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #35
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I'll be going back to my shop in a little while and hopefully be able to put a few more hours in on the project tonight. My wife even said she would come with! Granted she is planning on sitting in the theater and watching a movie instead of being back in the workbay with be if I'm not too tired afterwords I'll post more pictures later tonight.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #36
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Still reading along! Just wondering whats your 'Shop' like? Theatre? I'd like to see some pics of the shop...
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:25 PM   #37
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Still reading along! Just wondering whats your 'Shop' like? Theatre? I'd like to see some pics of the shop...
Oh.. yeah sorry thats probably pretty confusing if you've never seen it. We sell and install car stereos and car accessories. In the winter we do mainly remote starters, and we do a lot of them. We also install things such as cruise controls, keyless entry, window tint, heated windshield washer fluid units (they are pretty sweet actually) GPS/Nav units, HID headlights, vinyl graphics, etc etc.

About 3 years ago I purchased a new building (we were renting for the first 7 years) and began expanding into home theater/commercial audio at that time. The theater that I speak of is our demo room for some of our Home audio equipment. It has a projection system with a 92" screen and all the fixins.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #38
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Wow! that must be awesome! I've always wondered what the purpose of heated washer fluid was when you could just put an additive into your washer fluid for frost or just buy lower freezing point washer fluid. Care to explain? Sorry I realize it's getting away from your thread but thats just how my mind works.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:36 AM   #39
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Wow! that must be awesome! I've always wondered what the purpose of heated washer fluid was when you could just put an additive into your washer fluid for frost or just buy lower freezing point washer fluid. Care to explain? Sorry I realize it's getting away from your thread but thats just how my mind works.
Don't worry about being off topic I don't mind Half the stuff I post is probably off topic...

Anyways, the windshield washer fluid heaters are not designed so the fluid keeps from freezing. If you your fluid IS freezing, I feel bad for you, and you need a new place to live The units are voltage sensing and designed to come on when the engine starts. While the car is running, it is an on-demand heating system that heats a resivour of fluid to 140 degrees.

Needless to say, 140 degree fluid melts that ice on your windshield a LOT faster than the 5 or 10 degree fluid most vehicles have I installed one on my own car, and the first morning my jeep had ice on the windshield it became very apparent that these units do exactly what they claim, and they do it well.

Also, I found a picture of the theater for ya... its an older picture, and theres some extra junk sitting around in there (the bare mdf contraption is my steering wheel mount for playing Gran Turismo on the projector ) The room isn't all that big, but we spent a lot of time trying to give it a "high end" feel - the picture doesn't really do it much justice.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:14 AM   #40
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Anyways, back to the jeep! I was able to spend a few more hours on it tonight, and continued to focus on the "easy" stuff in the rear. All of the trimming on the drivers side was complete, so I just needed to mount up my new fender flare. As stated previously, I ordered the flares out of the AEV highline kit. They line up well, and even have a contoured spot for the gas cap. Some of their mounting holes are in areas that I don't think would work very well (in the double walled area behind the door for example) so I drilled a few of my own holes in the flare.

I drilled the holes a little oversized so I have would some play to do minor adjustments when I mount it up the final time. I also had to trim a small bit off the inner lip of the flare on the front side.

When all of the holes were drilled into the tub, I decided to bust out the color matched paint pen I had gotten from quadratec. After opening it I realized that it is more than just a pen, it has a small brush on the inside of the cap just like a nail polish bottle would have. I used this to paint all of the holes, and I used the spray can to paint all of the cut edges on the tub.

Just to note, the rattle cans from quadratec are only 5 oz, so if you plan to do any amount of painting with them you are definitely going to want more than one.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:19 AM   #41
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With the paint drying on the drivers side, I turned my attentions to the passenger side rear wheel well. This one went much faster as I didn't need to remove the spring and do any clearancing etc. I just matched my work on the drivers side. I was able to get everything cut on the passenger side this evening but didn't have time to start mounting the fender or drilling any of the holes.

About the only thing of note from the passenger side was the moment I stopped paying attention to where my grinder was (while it was ON) - I bent forward to look underneath the rocker and dropped the grinder down a little too far, and hit my leg Pants have a nice line shaped hole ground into them too. I probably should have the guard on my grinder, as this isn't the first time its bit me
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:25 AM   #42
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Thats as far as I got for the evening. Work on the rear is going smoothly and I am hoping everything in the back will be finished tomorrow, and I can begin really focusing on the more difficult stuff up front.

I was curious how well the paint I ordered from quadratec would actually match my jeep. I had a piece of bare sheet metal that I gave two coats of paint from the rattle can. The darker right hand side is the new paint. I would guess that it would probably be almost an exact match if not for the fact that my jeep has been sitting out in the sun fading for about 12 years now. Considering it only cost about 10 bucks a can, I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Anyways, thats it for the evening. I really hope to make some good progress tomorrow, and figure out a solid plan of attack for the headlight area where the fender mates to the front grill. Hope everyone is enjoying the (fairly simple) work so far!
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:26 AM   #43
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Keep the updates coming, good work! I read every word from post 1 to 42! Now go grab a band aid so you don't bleed on your sheets overnight and make the wife miffed! HAHAHA
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:27 AM   #44
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So, I'm pretty much out of my alloted upload space on the forum. I don't have an account with any other image hosting websites currently. Is there any way I can get my space increased? All of the images I currently have uploaded are in the threads where I have shown my equipment installs and i'd really rather not delete them if I didn't have to. Anyone know if the space alloted can be increased?
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:45 PM   #45
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Become a supporting member... $25 I believe...
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:27 PM   #46
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I made a photobucket account so I can upload more photos. Hopefully I can get it working properly
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:29 PM   #47
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #48
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Yeay, it works I purchased all stainless steel hardware from home depot to mount the new rear fender flares.

I was really tired after work today but i decided to go try and work on the jeep for about an hour and a half. Things went very slowly, my brain was not cooperating very much at all. I didn't really feel like I got anything accomplished until towards the end of the evening, and then I could see a little bit of progress.

I didnt take any pictures tonight because I wasnt sure if i would be able to upload them (which I seemingly can, yeay ) I'll take some more tomorrow though and give everyone an update. Hope everyone has a pleasant evening
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #49
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I've read every word from post one to fourty-eight. Just subscribed. Can't wait to see it finished. When ur done, you should post pics of before and after side by side. I would like to see the differences. Thank you for dealing with my nosiness
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:30 PM   #50
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Good job dude, I have now read up to post #49... Keep it coming. There is a website that you can post all this on also, its called JeepsLimited.com - Home it has lots of good info on it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:15 AM   #51
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I've read every word from post one to fourty-eight. Just subscribed. Can't wait to see it finished. When ur done, you should post pics of before and after side by side. I would like to see the differences. Thank you for dealing with my nosiness
You need not apologize in any way, or even consider yourself "nosy".

If I wanted to keep this to myself I wouldn't have even made the post It makes me happy that people are interested and wanting to see it through to completion - it inspires me to take more pictures and be as thorough as possible.

Regarding the progress - I only got to work on it for about an hour today and didn't really make very much notable progress. I did however get my brakes in today, and one of my buddies will be helping me install them tomorrow night, so you can plan on a fairly large update sometime late tomorrow evening.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:25 AM   #52
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Ok... so I just got home from the shop, had a pretty productive day overall! I will defintely say this... this project ( just like all of my projects it seems) is going to take a lot longer than I thought. I'm proceeding quite a bit more cautiously than I do on a lot of other stuff, since this is still going to be my daily driver for a long time and I'd really like to keep it looking nice. I've had quite a few times where is just kind of sit and stare at different parts, pondering what exactly I'm going to do next.

I did this almost too much with the front fender/headlight area. At first I really wanted to "figure it out" before I started cutting anything, and know what kind of brackets I would be doing, where they would be going, everything down to a T. After a while I realized that I needed to just get started on it... and let things fall in to place as I go along. I'm glad that I started doing it that way too, because things actually got a lot easier once I started on it.

Anyways, on to the fun stuff, pictures! Yesterday, my package with my new brakes arrived. Got them from blackmagicbrakes.com - they were very quick to answer my questions, and shipping was very quick also . I got them in 3 days, and they came from California to Wisconsin -



I also got 2 more of my rims today!



So you're probably asking why I dont just order all of my rims all at once. Well... theres this stuff called money... and you have to earn it in order to get rims... and tires.... And I can only afford so much at once Also, I need to clear each purchase with my wife, and make sure she is still a happy girl at the end of the day

This weeks "deal" was that If we can get new carpet in the living room, then I can get TWO more of my rims/tires. That leaves me just one rim/tire away from a full set (I'll still want to buy a spare as soon as I can). So close!!! But I might need to wait a little while before I buy that 4th. In all reality though thats ok, because realistically I still have probably a week left on my project here. Maybe a little less if things really start clipping along, but I really don't want to rush things.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:33 AM   #53
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My buddy (and employee) Ben offered to help me do the brakes after work. He hasn't ever done a brake job before so I figured I would rather have him do it than one of the other guys that work for me who have done brakes many times... I'm always about giving people oppurtunities to learn and try new stuff. He was pretty eager to jump on the job, and I pretty much just let him do his thing and figure stuff out.

He was doing pretty good, the only error he made was thinking you had to take the large center nut off to take the rotor off. He had the cotter pin out and was looking for a socket big enough to take that big bugger off when I saw what he was doing, and redirected his efforts

A picture of the new rotors



My old pads and rotors actually have quite a bit of life left in them. I've put about 8k miles on my jeep since I bought it, I'm guessing the the previous owner probably replaced them shortly before selling them. I'm hoping I can find someone to sell or give my old parts to so they can find a new home. I'd hate to see parts that have that much life in them go to waste.



Ben took about 45 minutes to do the first side, but was able to bust out the other side quite a bit quicker... probably about 20 minutes or so. I think he was pretty happy to have done it pretty much by himself without any help.

While he was working on the brakes, I was working on fender fitment on the drivers side...
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:44 AM   #54
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So... fenders. Ahhh... fenders.

I've probably spent about 3 or 4 hours on this first fender, and I'm ok with that. I didn't think it would take that long, but its lots of mounting... marking... taking down.... cutting... repeat. I've probably mounted the fender a good 15 times or so just trying to size stuff up.

I started off by drilling out the spot welds on the main cross brace support towards the front of the fender. Once I did this, the two pieces seperated and the front part (where the forward facing turn signal is mounted) was free to flex and bend seperate from the rest of the fender. More on that later.

This is a picture of the drivers side fender after quite a bit of trimming has been done.



Note the painters tape, I have used a lot of it already. It allows me to make marks on the fender without them being permanent, and also protecting the very sharp cut edges from scratching up the paint on the other parts they are mating with. I didn't do that at first and put a few fairly bad scratches right by the headlight.... oh well, lesson learned.

I cut quite a bit of the structure out of the fender, and its pretty floppy now. This is going to allow me to work and mold it a LOT more than I would have been able to do if I left all that bracing in there. I've seen a lot of pictures of people that have DIY highlined that have creases on the fender portion around the headlight, and I didn't want that. The inset area around where the painters tape is currently laid out is a groove to allow the headlight to sink into the fender a little bit. I left a small tab on the bottom so I can still bolt the bottom up, making it rigid.

I do plan on replacing all of the bracing that I cut out, it will be just as strong as the factory ones when i'm all done with it.

Here is another picture of the fender, it is laying on its side (see the square cutout for the forward facing turn signal at the bottom of the picture)



One of the most difficult parts of working with the fender is getting tools in to cut the metal properly. I have been using a combination of a jigsaw with a 21 tooth per inch metal blade and a grinder with a thin cutoff wheel... whichever seems to work/fit better. I prefer to use the jigsaw if possible, it cuts cleaner, doesn't shoot sparks everywhere, and is a lot less likely to nick the paint in an area that I dont want the paint all screwed up.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:55 AM   #55
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I have the drivers side fender modified fairly closely to what I need it to be. With that being said and Ben being done with the brakes, we decided to kick it up a notch and tackle the hood. We spent probably an hour or so getting the cut line just right, since we only got one shot at getting it right.

The rear of the fender ( where it connects to the tub by the leading edge of the driver's door) is going to be lifted up 3.25 inches. This is the difference in height between the fenders factory mounting position and the body line above it (that continues on to the hood). The front of the fender is going to be lifted up 2.75 inches. The reason for this is that more clearance is needed in the back than in the front, and as you start lifting the front of the fender past this, the change in contour lines with the headlights starts becoming even more difficult to account for.

The fender will be near the top of the headlight as it is, and lifting it up any more would force me to move the front of the fender in (towards the center of the vehicle) another inch or so. This would be too much, and if you were to look straight down the side of the vehicle, the line wouldn't be right.

We spent quite a while trying to figure out how to get an exactly straight line between our two reference points on each side of the hood. A string or straight edge doesn't work because it wants to follow the contour of the hood and pulls up much higher than it should be. We measured, marked, and measured again a few more times, just to be VERY VERY sure. The other problem is that with using the jig saw, trimming very small portions off would be pretty tough, so we wanted to get it right the first time. Here is a picture of our line:



and a view from the front:

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:02 AM   #56
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So the line was drawn. I took a big breath... and we started to cut. Initially we started cutting from the back forwards, but decided to work on the front portion of the hood first. There is a much thicker area at the front of the hood that took a bit of work to cut through. My jigsaw blade was not long enough to make it through the double expanded layers, so some work with the cutoff wheel of the grinder had to be done:





Once we got through the thicker area in the front, cutting the hood went very quickly. One thing I was concerned about was the rubber bumpstop on the fender itself. The hood rests on it, and from the factory has a nice wide piece of metal that it sits on. If I were to just cut my hood straight off, it would be a sharp metal edge and I fear it would fairly quckly cut through the soft rubber mount. Because of this, I decided to leave a small square tab right where the rubber mount is.

Once it was all cut, the then bent the tab over, giving the hood a nice wide foot to rest on-



an up close of my little square tab that we would bend over to make the foot:

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:19 AM   #57
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So the hood was cut, and the moment of truth was at hand! Would it line up, or did I just screw up a 700 dollar piece of metal? Well, we re-mounted the fender with a few bolts in the rear, and slowly dropped the hood down.

Survey says... Dead on! Yeay!



The front of the fender was still loose so we could move it up and down for minor adjustments as needed. We needed to cut the small tab sticking up at the very front, it now needed to be bent in to wrap around the headlight at about a45 degree angle.

It was hard to hold the hood down, hold the fender up, and take a picture all at the same time, so I dont have a great shot of it with it lined right up, but seeing it fit together that well made me really really happy, and glad I had taken my time on all of the work I've done so far. It was one of those moments that was really encouraging and made me want to put in even more hours to get it done.

Heres a few more shots of the hood cut:



This is probably the best shot I have so far -



You will notice the top face of the fender flare is not level in that picture. I still have to make my mounting block to connect the fender brace to the side of the front grille. Also, due to the fact that the fender was not lifted straight up (as stated, we did 3.25" in the rear, 2.75" in the front) the fender bows out slightly at the bottom behind the wheel. That is not going to be a problem though, I'll explain why in a bit.

Here's one last pic of the hood cut. This one looks a little sloppy because nothing is being held together, but it lines up well..

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Old 02-23-2012, 01:37 AM   #58
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So, the hood was cut, the little tab we left worked out great... and things were going well. We were both tired, and figured that was a good stopping point for the evening, so after cleaning up all the tools (we are both pretty good at scattering tools EVERYWHERE) we called it an evening.

But fear not! I have some more pictures for you guys, with some previews of a few other things that I'll be doing that will make my build unique from all the other DIY highlines that have been posted so far.

First off, after putting the new 34"s on, removing the spring, and resting the suspension on the bumpstop, I determined that lifting the fender 3" was going to give me pretty ample room above the fender. I should have an inch or so to spare, so I don't think that is going to really be a problem.

However, if the swaybars are disconnected (which I don't plan on doing, but I'm a plan ahead kinda guy), front suspension is on the bumpstop, and the opposite corner is lifted, making the axle fully articulated, AND the tire is turned, the rear of the tire does hit the rear of the fender well. This is an area that isn't really talked about much, but is really the limiting factor in a lot of TJs.

The problem with the back of the fender is that because of the steep angle, lifting a TJ 1" only yields probably about .25"-.3" of additional clearance in the rear of the fender.

I really want this to be a "do it right the first time" project. I don't want to go through all this work lifting the fenders only to get it all back together and say "oh darn, look how much the tire rubs on the rear of the fenderwell when I turn".

Solution? Move the rear of the fenderwell back I haven't figured out exactly how much clearance I need to not rub no matter how articulated the suspension is, but I plan to move it back as much as I can while keeping the sleeper factory look.

Here is a picture of the area in question:



You'll notice a few things about the rear of the fenderwell. I'm not really sure why jeep did this, but mounting area for the fender flare (you can see the line in the dirt) actually gets wider towards the bottom. Naughty jeep, why do you do this to us? I'm guessing most people don't mess with this area much because moving this would mean completely re-fabbing the entire bracket behind that face. I planned on doing that already, so I wasn't going to let that stop me.

The area my 34s rub is acutally marked on the inside of the fenderwell with two tiny black lines, you have to look very closely to see them. My goal is to move the bottom of the fendederwell back 2 inches, tapering up to the spot where the large lobe sticks into the wheel well (the equivalent of where the battery tray would be on the other side). The nice part about doing this is that I can move it that far back, and still hide it with the fender flare.

I am thinking that if I do this properly, and am able to get a full 2" out of it, I won't even have to do the bodylift that I was originally planning on. I don't have my plan of how i'm going to do this exactly formulated yet, but I do have a big pile of 14 gauge plate aluminum sitting around that just might get put to good use. If things go well tomorrow, i'll be posting some pictures of the beginning of this project. Yet another side project that will make things take longer
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:46 AM   #59
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I'm really missing driving my jeep! Especially with the winter weather we have been having lately. This is my vehicle i've been driving lately:



Don't get me wrong, I love my 45 mpg Rexy, its just not quite a jeep
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:50 AM   #60
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I also got a set of these, i'll be putting them on tomorrow. I'm sick of streaks all over my windshield, hopefully they solve the problem:


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