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Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 PM   #1
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Building First Jeep

This is my first Jeep. I've driven sporty cars for most of my life and decided that I needed something rugged. So of course the first thing that comes to mind is Jeep.
I happened to get a YJ on accident (and I'm glad I did). I was looking at everything from CJ's to TJ's, but this fell into my lap and just felt right.

I've now had my YJ for about 6 mounths and a lot has happened to it. I figured I might as well start my own build thread so that I can document my progress and possibly get some tips from Jeepers wiser than myself.

This is the earliest pic I have of her. At this point all that's added is cheap $25 Walmat off-road lights.
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Since then I've put in a vault style locking glove box because I was tired of not being able to leave valuables in the jeep when I running, biking, or hiking.
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I also wanted a way to be able to stack gear/cargo or whatever in the back without it falling out. So of course I look up cargo nets for jeeps they were freaking expensive! I've now fabricated my own out of some old webbing I had laying around. It attaches to my roll bars and encloses the back half of the Jeep. I'm actually going to take it apart soon and reinforce all of the intersecting points on it with grommets when I find some time. You'll see the net in some of the more recent picks.

I Tossed in a Cobra CB radio and a 2' Firestik antena but don't have any close up pics of those.

Just like all Jeepers I've also been looking for cheap ways to make more room for bigger tires. There seemed to be a lot of hype in the YJ world about putting TJ flares on your Jeep, so after doing some research I figured I'd give it a shot. The problem was finding a used pair for cheap or for free, because I wasn't about to pay full price for what I deemed to be a possibly shoty mod. After searching and asking around for about two months without success, I'd finally given up. But then out of nowhere I found a guy on Craigslist getting rid of some TJ parts. So I got a set for $40! Now for the fun part.
After measuring and re-measuring what seemed like 500 times and a lot of liberal cutting, I somehow managed to turn the TJ flare mod into a 10 hour job. But I love the end result. I measured the distance between my tire and anywhere it looked like it would rub before and after, just to see how much clearance I was actually gaining. THIS MOD IS NO JOKE! Before I had 3" in the front and 4" in the rear, then after I had 5 1/2" of clearance all the way around. That's the equivalent of a 2 1/2" lift up front! I'm still stoked about the results.
Before with the stock YJ flares...
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During...
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After with my trimmed TJ flares...
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Future mods:
In the near future (probably next month) I'm going to do a Daystar 1" body lift so that I can replace the old body mounts and make even more room for said tires. This way I can at least fit the tires I'm planning on getting in March. I'm planning on 32" KM2's. The KM2's seem to have a good track record and they're a decent price. As for them Being 32's, I want bigger then 31's but not as much power loss as 33's (I know it's only 1" but it makes sense to me). March, April, or May (whenever the wife lets me) I'm going to order the OME 2 1/2" kit and install that for the "final" product. I know it's never finished, but those are my first priorities.

I'm flirting with the idea of painting my grill black and repainting all of my faded/chipped black accented stuff, just to make everything look sharp.

Sometime in the next year I'm also going to bed-line the inside. I just need to build up the confidence because it seems like a big job.

In the more distant future I'd like to switch my rear axle out with a Ford 8.8 and lock both the front and rear, but that's going to probably be a year or so from now.

Thanks for reading. Any and all input is appreciated.

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Old 01-11-2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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Looks good. I like the fenders.

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Old 01-11-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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Looking good! Will be watching to see where this goes.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:39 PM   #4
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I've found a cargo net for 90$ off a website jeep 4x4 here's a pic of it
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I've found a cargo net for 90$ off a website jeep 4x4 here's a pic of it
The smitty built one isn't a true cargo net in my opinion. It may do the job but I wanted something that was more heavy duty. I know I'm not dropping anything out of a C130 but that's what I think of when I think of cargo nets.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #6
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Look what I picked up off of a guy in the local Jeepers group! I may be locked in the front sooner than later.
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Still trying to figure out exactly what I need for the install. I don't want to get everything taken apart and realize that I needed to order something.
Very excited about this though.

On a different note I've come across some 33" Pro Comps that someone isn't using. The owner is willing to part with them for $150. They just need to be cleaned up a little bit, but I think I may have found my next set of tires.
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Cheers...
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
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Some good finds...good for you.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:58 PM   #8
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Picked up some wheels off Craigslist to put the pro comps on. To all of those that say you can't put 33's on a stock suspension...

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How do you like them apples.

I love the way they look and don't notice hardly any power loss having the 2.5L.
However I now know why they were so cheap. They are chopped pretty bad (worn unevenly). They ride so rough that I can't keep them as dd tires. So I'm gonna sell them, suck it up, and get some new tires somewhere.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:46 PM   #9
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The TJ openings do help....
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The TJ openings do help....
Yes the trimming and TJ flares made it happen. This thing will be awesome once I put OME springs on it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:17 PM   #11
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So I just installed the 1" Daystar body mounts for a little extra flex room, but I have a problem. I can't figure out for the life of me how to get to the radiator mount bolts to put in those two awkward shaped pieces that help stabilize the grill and radiator. Anyone have a body lift that can shed some light on my situation? I'm sure it's something simple and I'm just being close minded. Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:24 PM   #12
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Those look almost bald
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:12 PM   #13
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You probably already noticed, but you did ask. The radiator support is a c channel with clearance holes for a socket on the outside piece. Is that what you are looking for?
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:16 PM   #14
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You probably already noticed, but you did ask. The radiator support is a c channel with clearance holes for a socket on the outside piece. Is that what you are looking for?
Yes, thank you. I was trying to find the bolt on the inside. It's all good now.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:23 PM   #15
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One thing I've noticed with the new body mounts is that every time I drive over anything I hear all sorts of creaking. Do I just need to put grease on them, tighten them, loosen them?
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:22 PM   #16
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Make sure you have them torch correctly. That happened to me on My 2500 Ram when I changed them out for better one. I didn't have them torch correctly, I thought truck was coming apart. Not sure TQ spec. but I'm sure someone does here.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Make sure you have them torch correctly. That happened to me on My 2500 Ram when I changed them out for better one. I didn't have them torch correctly, I thought truck was coming apart. Not sure TQ spec. but I'm sure someone does here.
Thanks. That's more or less what I was thinking. Trying to find the TC specs.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:18 PM   #18
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Old Man Emu lift and MORE boom shackles are on and done!
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...well sort of.
I still haven't dropped the T-case which seems to give me some nasty vibrations at higher speeds.
My question to you guys is if this is slipped out to much for a T-case drop to fix the vibrations and keep everything in tact?
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Or would a SYE or something else be better?

Also I can't figure out how to get the steering stabilizer off. One of the bolts just won't budge. I've lubed it, heated it with a torch, beat the heck out of if using a punch, and nothing. Am I missing something here?
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I just really don't want to pay a shop for anything.

Thank you for any input.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:40 AM   #19
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If you are planning on replacing the stabilizer... I'd just whack on it with a hammer and not the punch. It should come out. I'm surprised it didn't when you applied heat.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:16 AM   #20
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If you are planning on replacing the stabilizer... I'd just whack on it with a hammer and not the punch. It should come out. I'm surprised it didn't when you applied heat.
You could try a ball joint fork too.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:35 AM   #21
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mine was hard to get out also lots of heat and a B.. F...... hammer
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #22
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So I took it to a hand full of shops today to get some advice, and everyone told me that they would just heat it up and beat on it with a hammer as well. So I guess I'll try again for a while on Thursday and see what happens. Cheers.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:53 PM   #23
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Looks good man. YJ is where its at lol
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:15 PM   #24
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Make sure you support the tie rod when you beat on it. The flex will absorb the impact. Maybe a chunk of wood or something.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:37 PM   #25
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I wedged a 2x4 in mine against the axle then whacked it with a 2# sledge and she popped right out.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:40 AM   #26
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Still no luck with the steering stabilizer. I'm going to try some more heat and a sledge hammer after lunch, and see if the weight of the sledge makes any difference.

On a different note I ended up dropping the T-case. That fixed 'most' of my vibration problems, but the slip yoke is still slipped out a little further than I'd like. Would steeper axle shims help that at all?

Eventually I do want to look into an SYE and all that, but that's kinda pricey and I'm still recovering from buying OME and MORE components.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:21 PM   #27
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What size lift and shackles?

I'm lifted just over 4" and on 35s, and with the T case drop and the rear pinion degree shims my kit came with my yoke is pressed nearly all the way in at ride height.

Also, I don't have any driveline vibrations.

I'd start with replacing old u-joints before dumping $ into an sye and drive shafts.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:55 AM   #28
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What size lift and shackles?

I'm lifted just over 4" and on 35s, and with the T case drop and the rear pinion degree shims my kit came with my yoke is pressed nearly all the way in at ride height.

Also, I don't have any driveline vibrations.

I'd start with replacing old u-joints before dumping $ into an sye and drive shafts.
I have the 2.5" OME springs that gave me about 3" and boom shackles that gave me about half an inch.
I didn't get rear pinion degree shims though. Maybe that's what I need.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:04 PM   #29
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I recently took my stabilizer bolt out. After beating on it for a few I used a 1/2" impact with a socket and backed it out like that. Hope this helps!

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