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Old 02-27-2012, 01:33 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97flexy View Post
When I did my Hi-line front fender I just cut out a bit of the inner fender So I could still use the factory head lights and connectors. its not alot of work just a bit more cutting. I can shoot a pic of what I'm talking about tomorrow for ya
Yeah I know what you mean.. and I thought about that, but if I did that then my headlight wiring would essentially be exposed to the inside of the wheel well.. and I didnt like the idea of that

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:07 AM   #92
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oh, okay, I got new lights after I cut that out cause with factory head lights it shines light into the engine bay and with the hole cut in my fender I was lighting up my wheel well. If your afraid of corrosion you could always just use some di-elecric grease. Are you following a Build thread while your doing your hi-line, or are you just figuring it out as you go? There are a lot of VERY GOOD write ups on how to do this. I read all of them cause No one that I've came across has hi-line'd flat fenders

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Old 03-03-2012, 01:36 AM   #93
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I haven't updated my build thread in quite a while, i'm a naughty boy!! The bottom line is that we had a HUUUUGE snowstorm heading our way (wisconsin) and I really wanted to get it done before the storm hit. Luckily I was able to... kind of

I will try very hard to post a bunch of pictures tomorrow, and comments on the 2nd half of the build. I have tons of info left to post, just need to find some time to do it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:42 PM   #94
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So much to say...

As stated, I really busted my butt to get this thing drivable before the massive snowstorm we got. It ended up being huge (around 16 inches in one day) so I'm very very glad I did.

Anyways, on to the pictures. I didnt take as many during this stage because I was too busy rushing trying to get it done, but I did take some.

First off, had to relocate the entire charcoal canister system. Made a bracket that came off the brake master cylinder that held all of the valves/filters.



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Old 03-03-2012, 10:49 PM   #95
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As stated before, I wanted to add more room to the rear of the fenderwell, as this was the limiting factor in regards to tire clearance. Here are two of the aluminum pieces I had bent to help begin that process.



I then cut out the rear portion of the fender. I gained about 2" of clearance where it mattered. Because of the angle that face sits at, 2" directly would probably be about the same as lifting the fender up 3 or 4 inches, if not more.




This picture is quite a few stages down the road. I had to cut a piece of 1"x2" square aluminum tube at an angle to create the inner face of the well addition that I created. Doing this took a while to line up properly, drill holes in... etc. So like I said I didnt take nearly as many pictures, but going from the previous pic to this one was probably afew hours worth of work minimum.

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Old 03-03-2012, 10:50 PM   #96
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A view from the front:



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Old 03-03-2012, 10:52 PM   #97
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Needless to say the old brackets/braces that went between the rear of the tirewell and the tub were no longer going to work. I used the old ones as template, and started prepping some aluminum pieces that would add some rigidity back there:



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Old 03-03-2012, 11:28 PM   #98
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The passenger side bracket also provides all of the support for the battery system. On that side I made sure that there was enough support to hold the weight of my aftermarket battery. i use a Kinetik 1800 (designed for car audio) that comes with a metal sleeve to hold it (not pictured). I was able to re-use the battery hold down rods, but I did have to modify the retaining piece that goes between the hold down rods.



On the drivers side, I used that space to fit the larger charcoal canister. I was hoping to use the space to make an even larger than stock windshield fluid resivour, but after the rear wheelwell extension I didn't have nearly as much space as I was hoping...

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Old 03-03-2012, 11:42 PM   #99
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AND THEN!!! Tuesday night rolls around. What a story.

Things I had left to do:
New swaybar links to install
finallly install both side fenders
Mount battery
mount evap system
rewire all of the electrical (I turned the battery around so the positive post is on the inside and not so close to the hood)
reinstall my ARB air compressor, ARB manifold, and hook up airlines for lockers


It was 7:30 pm. Weatherman said "the storm" would start at 8, and we would be getting an inch an hour for a good long time. Yikes. I needed to get this thing done, if for no other reason than I needed to get my wife to work across town!

Tuesday night I did not sleep. I worked straight through the night. Fortunately I had two of my friends help me for a few hours to do the swaybar, and help with some of the electrical stuff. Without them I would not have gotten it drivable on time.

When done, the passenger side fender looked like this:



Note the cheesy O'reileys air filter. This is temporary, as are the sweet zipties that hold down the electrical box. I must say though, for being zipties, that bugger is on there quite well!!

The Driver's side looked like this :



The ARB compressor fit on top of the fender suprisingly well, I did not think It would work, but there is ample clearance. Also, I was able to put the ARB manifold in almost the same spot, meaning I did not need to lengthen any of the wiring or air lines which I was very thankful for.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:05 AM   #100
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It snowed like crazy. We got about 16" in 24 hours. I took a few pictures of the piles later on in the day. I almost wish I had gotten a few shots of the snow as it was falling, but I got the last fitting on the ARB manifold tightened with about 30 seconds to spare. my wife needed to be to work in 10 minutes, and he vehicle was buried in 16" of snow.

I literally took our big shop broom and pushed the tools out of the way with it, clearing a path for my jeep to be able to make it out the door, and into the crazy, stupid deep snow.





Heres a pic of it later that day:



Anyways, back to the story I literally swept the tools to the side and pulled my jeep out. I think its absolutely crazy that I got my jeep "drivable" exactly 10 minutes before I had to go rescue my wife from the biggest snowstorm we have had here in rhinelander in 83 years. As soon as I hit the 16" wall of snow on the other side of the garage door I could instantly tell it was a new machine. A beast. A snow eating monster. From the beginning, (as some of you may rememeber from some other posts) one of my primary goals with this build was to be able to drive through of deep of snow as possible.

I popped both lockers on, and we were in business. Some of the main roads were plowed already, but quite a few of the smaller side roads were not. It didn't matter. It honestly felt like the tires were hardly even spinning. The Goodyear Duratracs performed flawlessly in deep snow, I couldn't ask for more from them, and they weren't even aired down. About a block away from my wifes work, there was a large snow berm from one of the city plows going by. Probably about 2 feet tall, maybe a touch more. There was then the 16" of residual snow on the other side of the berm, as the side road hadn't been plowed yet.

Since we were that close to work, I decided to give it a shot. Flipped both lockers on, and as my wife was saying "Honey, I'm not sure this is......" (while clutching the grab handle that I installed for her for dear life) we hit the berm, and climbed right up and over without any hesitation. My jeep took it in complete stride, I was super impressed.

It was an awesome feeling getting to use my jeep for its intended purpose the MOMENT I pulled it out of the shop. My wife made it to work right on time, she was the only one So proud of Jeepses

Once I got my wife to work I actually went out on "patrol" trying to find people that needed to get unstuck. I found a few, and also got a call from two buddies in their plow trucks needing to get tugged out.

I can say this: I love my lockers so much now. With the addition of the 34" duratracs, they really complete the package. While tugging on my buddys stuck/sunk 2500 silverado I couldnt help but think about how much more tire surface area working for me than he did

But alas, by early afternoon my human body got the best of me, and due to the fact that I didn't sleep at all the night before... I had to go home and sleep.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:18 AM   #101
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Now, you will notice that in my little story I kept using the word "drivable". Its definitely not done. I didn't have time to get any of the flares on, and I didn't even get time to relocate the hood brackets so that I can clamp the hood down firmly. I used a few extra bungee cords to give me a little insurance. I haven't driven it too much since Wednesday, so this is still (very high up) on the list of things to do.


My father in law was in town this weekend, and he asked if he could help work on a few things on the jeep with me. I said sure So we went down to the shop and did a few things.

Mounted the rear fender flares - These are the AEV flares that come in the Highline kit, but I bought them seperately.





We also bought some door trim from oreileys to put on the edge of the hood where it had been cut:







I also bought some rubberized "shower pan liner" from Home Depot and will be using this to replace the rubber inserts that protect the engine compartment below the bottom of the fender. I used the old ones as a template, but made the new ones about 4" taller.





Just a test fit, but I think it will end up working pretty well! Its only about half as thick as the factory ones, so from a long term durability standpoint i'll just have to wait and see.

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Old 03-04-2012, 12:20 AM   #102
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Well, that pretty much covers my progress up to this point. I still have quite a few odds and ends to finish up, and i'll try to post some more pictures of those things if you guys are interested. My buddy and I are planning on taking a 4 day Keweenaw trip starting next week Thursday, So I would really like to get everything ready by then. I don't have TOO much stuff, but I have a feeling its going to add up

Comments? Questions? I would really appreciate feedback on these updates if you have anything to add
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:44 AM   #103
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Tire upgrade with no lift

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Originally Posted by netlohcs View Post
Hey everybody - a few new "toys" arrived today and i'm kind of excited, so I decided I would make a post

I am putting bigger tires on my jeep, decided on the Goodyear Duratracs. They were seemingly one of the only tires I could find that had a fairly aggressive tread pattern but still got good reviews for all of the different winter driving conditions, snow, ice, etc. The rims I chose are the AEV pintlers, designed specifically for TJs.

My "original" plans were to do somewhere in the 33" range, but I read one too many posts about people with 33s saying they look small after a while, or that they can't wait to upgrade again.. etc. So I decided to just go big the first time. The tire I got was a 315/70/17. That comes out to be 34.4" diameter and 12.4" wide.

You probably noticed that I said "tire", and not tires. I decided that for the time being I am going to start with just one, as my plan of action is somewhat different that most people. I am hoping to keep my jeep as low as possible, for a few different reasons.

Reason number 1 - My wife had bone cancer in her left knee when she was 18, and as a result needed to have a full knee replacement. I thank the lord every single day for the fact that she is even alive and with me today, however for her its a little more frustrating. She used to play all sorts of sports but is no longer able to. She cannot even run any more, and I know it just kills her inside. Anyways, when I started talking about doing lifts on my jeep I could just see the sadness on her face, and I instantly knew why. She hates being reminded of her limitations, and struggling to get into a jacked up Jeep would be very frustrating for her. She didn't even have to tell me, I could just tell. Because of this, I want to keep my jeep absolutely as low as possible. Every single inch counts.

Reason number 2 - its my daily driver. I do lots of city driving, in traffic, cornering, and the like. I really REALLY want it to stay absolutely as stable as possible. I won't be getting to buy another DD for a good long time, and as such I don't want to screw up the one I have.

Which brings me to my goal: Put 35s on my jeep while keeping it as low as possible. I want it to be a snow basher (is that a term? if not I just made it up ) and also be able to safely navigate the shores of lake superior. If/when I go on these trips I will most likely not have another vehicle with me, thus getting stuck is really not an option. I'm sure I could have gone with 33s and gotten to pretty much the same places, but in my mind the extra security of a larger tire surface area was totally worth it.

They say one valid test is worth a thousand "expert" opinions - I've done tons of research about what fits and what doesn't, and I pretty much got to the point where I just needed to start testing stuff. I plan to use this one tire/rim setup to clearance everything, and then once I know they fit, I will order the other 4. I plan to raise the front fenders about 3" (DIY), and I ordered just the rear fenders out of the AEV highline kits ( they were 100 bucks each).

If I need to (and I'm guessing I will) I will be installing a 1" JKS body lift, and probably a MML along with it. For the time being, the goal is to use the factory suspension. As time goes on, a very mild suspension lift is not out of the question. More likely would actually be that I buy some top of the line aftermarket control arms (currie or the like) to give me added strength in that department, but still keep the same ride height.

Articulation is not very high on my list of needs, and I know i'll probably get a little flamed for that... but I am what I am I know there will probably be a lot of the "why didnt you just go with 33s" opinion out there... but as I said I researched my stuff for a long time and I'm confident this is what I want

As some footnotes, I have already installed 4.56 gears and ARB airlockers front and rear. Before the jeep gets pulled out of the garage it will have a set of black magic rotors and pads. I do plan to upgrade the axles in my D30 up front at some point in time, however I do not forsee myself encountering any high traction situations in the near future that would put the stock shafts in jeopardy. Having the extra strength and peace of mind will be nice, but the 600-700 bucks could be better spent in other places right now. And no I don't have a Dana 35 in back, i'm not that dumb.

Well anyways, I highly doubt many people will read this whole post, I can't believe I typed this much :P I will continue to update this thread with pictures of my DIY highline as it progresses, and other upgrades as they come along.

A few pictures just to start - the first is of my new rim/tire posing next to my jeep. Looks pretty huge to me

The second is some of the preliminary test fitting I was able to do in the rear this evening. AEV seems pretty much spot on in the fact that if you run 35s with stock suspension you will need to trim the tub, but only in the rear of the well. I am hoping to keep the aftermarket AEV flares in the rear as low as possible.

If you even read this whole thing, Thanks if nothing else you should reply with a post that says "I read the whole thing" haha, it would make me happy to know at least one person read my "late-night-cant fall asleep have insomina and my sleep medication doesnt work" post
Yeah,, I read it all too and I am in your corner up to a point. Your wife should think a little more of you too.

My '06 former Rubicon has been major modified for a street legal Jeep. If I had it to do all over again, I would have waited for a JK in the first place. They are just that much better than the TJ with the medium length control arms.
If I were building a TJ again, much of your planning would be the same as mine. You don't need Big Foot height to do some serious Jeeping. The larger tires do come at some cost though.
In my opinion, making the fenders fit the tire rather than lifting the Jeep is good thinking... until you say your main reason is to bust deep snow.

Snow has some rules that most other obstacles don't. If you plan to travel in snow much over your axle height, most types of snow will eventually stop you cold (pardon the pun).
If your axle housings are pushing most snow types, they try to ride up on the snow and your tires, no matter the diameter, begin to raise up and lose traction with the ground. Even if they can bite will enough for forward progress, once you lose momentum you are stuck. If you are lucky, it will only be the tires and axles you will need to dig out. If you are not lucky, the belly pan and gas tank will be included too.
That would be why I would be thinking of a belly-up kit like Teraflex has to raise the middle of the bottom of your Jeep. It's not a big expense, but it isn't totally cheap either. Dig yourself out a time or two and you will agree I think.
The other thing I don't see in your plans is the differential gearing that should be done. I haven't yet read all of the posts you have so I don't know what axles you have. If you have a D30 in the front and a D35 in the rear, your 35" tires are going to stress those axles to the max. You will experience a lack of power with the stock gears. With the 35" tires, you should be running at least 4:88/ 1 or 5:13/ 1 gears to bring your engine RPM back into the correct power band for the power that your 4.0L puts out. Without the gear change, your mileage will suffer and the power loss will be very noticeable.
If you can, I would recommend upgrading the axles to D44s or better. With the 35s spinning with the throttle mashed to the floor, if a tire suddenly gets good traction, you will likely hear a nasty snap as an axle blows up.

Good luck with the rest of your build and may all your Jeep trips live up to your expectations. Happy Trails.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:58 AM   #104
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...That would be why I would be thinking of a belly-up kit like Teraflex has to raise the middle of the bottom of your Jeep. It's not a big expense, but it isn't totally cheap either. Dig yourself out a time or two and you will agree I think.
You are totally right! I haven't posted anything about it as of yet (probably due to the fact that when i even BEGIN to start thinking about major mods past this my eyes start filling up with $$ signs like Wile E. Coyote and a big anvil falls on my head), but I definitely would like to remove the factory "shovel" and get my belly up as close to the frame as possible.

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The other thing I don't see in your plans is the differential gearing that should be done. I haven't yet read all of the posts you have so I don't know what axles you have. If you have a D30 in the front and a D35 in the rear, your 35" tires are going to stress those axles to the max. You will experience a lack of power with the stock gears. With the 35" tires, you should be running at least 4:88/ 1 or 5:13/ 1 gears to bring your engine RPM back into the correct power band for the power that your 4.0L puts out. Without the gear change, your mileage will suffer and the power loss will be very noticeable.
If you can, I would recommend upgrading the axles to D44s or better.
Yeah, I'm not sure If I stated it specifically anywhere in this thread, but I was lucky enough to get a D44 rearend. I went to 4.56 gears when I had my ARB airlockers installed. At that time I was thinking 33"s were my target tire size. Would I rather have done 4.88s knowing what I know now? Probably. But I'm definitely not spending another 1400 just for that small change

I got to take it out on the highway today and its quite nice actually. I love my accelleration, so 4.88s would probably make my "butt dyno" a little happier, but its defnitely not a slouch by any means. Another thing to consider is that my tires are in fact closer to a 34" than a 35". Not a huge difference, but worth noting.

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it! having people comment is what fuels me to post more pictures
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:49 AM   #105
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looks great! I've always been a fan of big tires with little lift.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #106
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Great work so far. I can't wait to see the end results with front flares on. Looks great!
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #107
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Very nice man. Jeep is looking awesome good stories too!
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:59 PM   #108
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Your Jeep looks so cool, one of the most unique Jeeps I have seen on here. I love the look of the huge tires and not much lift and it still looks pretty stock even with the major mods that you have made. I can't wait to get my Duratracs now that I've read your experience in the snow. Good job with all the work looks awesome so far, keep it up.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #109
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This has been an awsome read man! I can't wait to see what you have done next!
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:45 PM   #110
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It took me a bit, but I read the whole thing lol!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:46 AM   #111
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Wow, great story and build. I just read the whole thing from start to finish in one go! I love build threads, maybe I'll actually start one now.. Haha
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:38 AM   #112
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[QUOTE=netlohcs;2100407]AND THEN!!! Tuesday night rolls around. What a story.

Things I had left to do:
New swaybar links to install
finallly install both side fenders
Mount battery
mount evap system
rewire all of the electrical (I turned the battery around so the positive post is on the inside and not so close to the hood)
reinstall my ARB air compressor, ARB manifold, and hook up airlines for lockers


It was 7:30 pm. Weatherman said "the storm" would start at 8, and we would be getting an inch an hour for a good long time. Yikes. I needed to get this thing done, if for no other reason than I needed to get my wife to work across town!

Tuesday night I did not sleep. I worked straight through the night. Fortunately I had two of my friends help me for a few hours to do the swaybar, and help with some of the electrical stuff. Without them I would not have gotten it drivable on time.

When done, the passenger side fender looked like this:



Note the cheesy O'reileys air filter. This is temporary, as are the sweet zipties that hold down the electrical box. I must say though, for being zipties, that bugger is on there quite well!!

Thats cool you were able to keep the battery under the hood. I moved my battery to the cargo area in the jeep.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:10 AM   #113
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Got to go on a little weekend trip up to the Keweenaw peninsula in the U.P. of michigan. I got to give the jeep its first real workout driving up a Rutted out ravine filled with basketball/slightly bigger size rocks. I was happy to say that even with two fairly large guys sitting in the back, I did not have ANY issues with scraping or tire rub in the back. Granted the rear sway bar was still connected, but I was very pleased with this fact.

We went to a place called Cliff drive, and took some fun pictures up at the top:





Me and my jeep



Note the bumper box that I got just before the weekend. Its made by Bestop specifically to mount on the Highrock series of bumpers. Construction is very nice, and it is not nearly as imposing as I was worried that it would be. Biggest complaint is that online it said it came with a locking latch - but when I opened up the package this was definitely not the case.

Up next (in the next week or so) is an AEV oil pan skid, which came in the mail today.

Other more long term plans include the matching rear bumper counterpart that has an integrated tire carrier. I've also been reading up on the AIROCK air suspension systems, but that will be quite a long ways off, if ever

Anways, I hope you guys enjoy the pictures!
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #114
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looks great!
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #115
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Ur fenders look like they are supposed to look like that!! Amazing job
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:01 AM   #116
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are those AEV fenders? and you are running 35s right? I'm hope'n to get 36s this weekend and try to stuff them under the jeep... I know I'l have to cut, but what I have to cut is the question.
Your Jeep is looking really good!!!!!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:50 AM   #117
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Still Amazed. Looks good.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #118
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Dude, you seriously have some mad body work skills! Looks awesome. More pictures!!
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #119
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I too would prefer to keep my TJ as low as possible on 35's I have no idea what lift is on my rig still need to research it more. Switching out from the Pocket style bushwackers to the flat style gave me a lot of clearance and the flat would give you more clearance then your stock fenders if you can find a way to mount them up after the custom work you already put in and keep you from kicking up rocks.

Before (It rubbed going into gas stations)

Jeep by Vosty3, on Flickr

After (I havent rubbed since and hit several trails) Only side view I have from when I had pocket style on front and flat in back

2012-04-12_09-47-58_114 by Vosty3, on Flickr


Prosser by Vosty3, on Flickr
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #120
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Location: TX
Posts: 404
Oh and by the way, I have read the whole thing too. You don't mention it, but I see you caved in and bought the AEV front flares as well. Good call, the time and money spent on the aluminum flares would have been too close to the cost of the $100 AEV flares.

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