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Old 11-26-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Project "Red Rocket" 97 Sport

Well, I'm new to the forum so I thought i'd put up a build thread to keep track of my progress and get some insight on future mods I'd like to throw at it.

It started out as a 97 TJ sport, 4.0L Auto trans, D30/35, NP231.

The previous owner installed a 2'' BB and 33x12.50x15 bald Geolanders. Had a homebrew winch bumper on it when I bought it aswell as an aftermarket rear bumper (unsure of manufacturer). The day I bought it:




I got it on the road and plated and went on the first wheeling trip with it up to Minden Ontario. For only having a 2'' BB and bald 33''s it performed surprisingly well. The tourque converter bolts decided they wanted to work themselves loose, so I carried out a trail repair to stop the racket it was making LOL




About a month after (I've only owned this jeep for about 2 months), I bought and installed a 4'' RC lift and New 33'' Hercules trail diggers (excellent tires BTW. I'm on my second set, first was on my Cherokee)


And the next week, More wheeling:




New stickers and Home made light brackets with lights




That's how it sits now. I've got a 1.25'' BL sitting on my shelf for it aswell, just need the time to install it. I'm thinking my next upgrade will be a SYE so I can lose the drop kit and get my clearance back.

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Old 12-13-2013, 03:26 AM   #2
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I like it!

No turn signals?

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Old 12-14-2013, 07:11 AM   #3
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Yup, they're there...just hard to see when they're off. they're super bright LED amber signals, mounted beside the headlights on the fenders. I'll try to get a better picture of them lit up...

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Old 12-19-2013, 01:18 AM   #4
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Your build is looking good!
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JakeArmstrong15 View Post
Your build is looking good!
Thanks, man. I appreciate the comments.

I was able to install a Durango steering box on the weekend as the OEM unit was leaking pretty good. There's not much of a difference, althought it is slightly easier to turn the wheels while stopped or at low speeds.


Also had a Thrush welded muffler installed on the weekend along with a new cat. Sounds decent I think. I recorded a little sound clip of it for those who are wondering what it sounds like...just keep in mind it was recorded with an iphone and I don't think it likes the revs as it sounds distorted, like there's an exhaust leak. I assure you that's not the case LOL

49CDAB16-624E-41BE-A584-3E246F26F18A_zps0svqf05m.mp4 Video by roblaza | Photobucket
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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Nice build, looking good so far. The thrush sounds like my jeep with no muffler haha! a little quieter but nice throaty sound
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Coming along nice!

Ive been debating the durango steering box.

Mine isnt an issue yet but just thought about it for the improvements. Worth it if my stock steering box if fine? In your opinion?
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by srad600 View Post
Coming along nice!

Ive been debating the durango steering box.

Mine isnt an issue yet but just thought about it for the improvements. Worth it if my stock steering box if fine? In your opinion?
The only difference I feel is at a stop, it makes it easier to turn the bigger tires than the oem box. I guess it's worth the extra coin (not too much more than a replacement oe box), especially if you're on 33" or bigger tires.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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So it's been a decent week... On top of my already ordered parts (MML, body lift, track bar bushings), I went ahead and ordered some more goodies...

Big boy jeeps cargo netting
Rough country rcx diff guard

Picked up a free winch from a friend (needs a new cable, but came with extended power cables and a wireless remote)
Also picked up a tank to use for my "moose-made" OBA system

Now I need to do a tie rod upgrade and I'll be off the the races
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:01 AM   #10
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So tonight after work I shot up to midland to moose's humble abode and made some more progress on the rocket.

BUMPER OFF:

One of the captive nuts in the frame rail broke off a couple months ago, so we needed to take care of that first. Check the placement and weld a new nut in.




In order to mount the winch to the bumper, the fairlead mounts needed to come
Off as they interfered with the mounts on the winch. I'll have to come
Up with another solution in the near future.



All mounted up and the old cable removed. It was in very bad shape. Moose has the solenoid box so he can make a new cover for it and hopefully next week I'll have it wires and the new cable on. Also grabbed a couple 10,000lb tow hooks for the too of the bumper for some tow points



Also got to wiring up the cb, re routing the wires and the coax along the roll bar.

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Old 01-20-2014, 08:05 PM   #11
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More goodies arrived... GC v8 Tie rod, wheel bearings and moog super strength u joints for the axle shafts.



still waiting on my cargo net to come in...Also wired the FREE winch to find out it's dead. LOL so I picked up a superwinch LP8500... I've heard mixed reviews on them, but I figured why not? One of my buddies has been running his for 3 years now without a single issue.


I've been collecting some parts to put together an OBA system, and I've gathered 98% of what I need, and with help of a machinist friend, My Manifold:

Air tank:

Panel for my OBA on/off swich, winch on/off and in cab control:


AND in the process of making up my fairlead mound
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:00 PM   #12
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Well, It's been a while again since my last update...Axle shaft U-joints decided they didn't want to live anymore so they got changed out for moog super strength greasable ones...the Tie rod was tired, so I upgraded to a grand Cherokee V8 tie rod.



My Cargo netting showed up back in January, but unfortunately it's winter still and has been too cold to pull the roof off to install it (minus 35 degrees celcius)


Bumper got finished up, painted and installed along with the new winch!




New Rustys Offroad adjustable front track bar to cure some DW Woes, aswell as a RCX d30 diff guard


Daystar 1'' MML,


Teraflex Steering stabilizer


Body Lift from RC installed at the same time as the MML (1.25'') AND removed the t case drop


Despite my efforts, my DS angle is still horrific as you can see...


So a SYE and CV shaft are here to fix that issue. A friend of mine also hooked me up with a set of shock relocation brackets and my cv style track bar bracket is coming. New Currie upper arms for the rear aswell! (arrived today, have yet to install them)


Also noticed my front uppers are mangled, so new front uppers are on route aswell...
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:12 PM   #13
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It was a nice day out today, so a wash was in order and I Parked in the Jeep only area in my driveway for a quick picture
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #14
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Well there's been a few new mods to this thing since my last post, so here goes...

Mounted and installed the new winch and fairlead (smittybilt low profile, which i replaced with a normal style after the smity rollers fell apart during the first use)


Finally got to install my SYE, currie double adjustable rear uppers and front uppers...Also installed this in the front axle


Sold the 33s and ordered sone 35'' MTR-k's and new wheels. Installed my soft top and cargo netting, also repainted my rails and front fenders then trimmed the rears.


Finally got my OBA installed and finnished up. Works great, great enough to fill my 35's from 10 PSI to 28 in about 45 seconds a tire. I've got it set to cut in at anything under 100 PSI and cuts off at 130. Run to a separate switch in the cab to control the ac clutch so i can turn it off when it's not needed and it doesnt run off my hvac knob.





Then i took it for a little wheeling trip north to the Hindon Forrest in Minden Ontario. Had a blast and found out i need fron extended brake lines so those went in next. Also picked up a snorkel for dirt cheap, complete with the modified airbox and all for under 100 bucks from a friend. I couldnt say no.



Pics from the wheeling trip:




And one of the flex for shits and gigs...
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:07 PM   #15
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Well, I got my warn steering box skid mounted up, and went out for a little run this weekend.




Also managed to bend my front driveshaft on a ledge...and on the way down taught the spare tire and bent my tailgate aswell.


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Old 07-28-2014, 02:54 PM   #16
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I love this build! Great Work!
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:11 PM   #17
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Great build. it would be tricky to get a light bar up there, but I'm sure it's doable. Looks like you have the fab skills to make some custom brackets, it would be awesome. The bar I made for mine is relatively simple, just time consuming. If you do decide to add some extra light, I might be able to help.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:03 AM   #18
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Awesome build! Great wheelin' pics too!!
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:46 PM   #19
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Thanks guys. It's still coming along I guess. LOL

Next big wheeling trip is next weekend, so hopefully i'll have some more pictures for everyone.

Today I managed to mount up some new RTX LED pods (that i ordered through my work at a steal of a deal...$40 for the pair) on my windshield brackets. I cant believe how bright these things are. I also installed some HID projectors into some JK housings about a month ago and couldnt be happier with the outcome. Here are a few more pics:






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Old 07-31-2014, 10:24 PM   #20
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I'm diggin those projectors, mind sharing your build?
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:35 AM   #21
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I dodnt get many pictures of the process, but you have to bake the housings in the oven at 250 for 7 minutes or so then pull them apart. Make sure you put them on some hardwood so they dont melt to the metal racks inside the oven LOL

I went with Morimoto Mini H1 Bi-Xenon projectors as they are small and have the high and low beam function to stay legal. It takes a bit of dremel'n to get them to sit in there nice and i ended up haveing to bolt the projectors to the housings as they are still too long to fit in there without trimming the back of the housing.

Once they're bolted in, epoxy the hell out of the back of them to make sure they wont come out AND they'll keep the water and elements out.

Then i went with the Morimito H4 HID relay/control harness so it was all plug and play.




the JK housings are a direct fit into the tj. no modifications needed. I'll get some pictures of the back of the housings tonight when i get home for you.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:49 AM   #22
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Awesome, I've only heard good things about the Morimoto Minis. I look forward to the pics - I think I'm definitely going to try this out.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:23 PM   #23
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One hell of a jeep, hoping to build on mine but seems to be like it's gonna be a long process because of a kid on the way but love what you did to it, looks phenomenal
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:57 PM   #24
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One hell of a jeep, hoping to build on mine but seems to be like it's gonna be a long process because of a kid on the way but love what you did to it, looks phenomenal
Thanks man. I appreciate it! It's definitely coming along.

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